Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2020 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming

Lacan, Jacques

  • John PahuckiEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-24348-7_782

Jacques Lacan (1901–1981) was a French psychoanalyst associated with the literary and philosophical movements of structuralism and post-structuralism. A notoriously abstruse thinker, Lacan, like many French intellectuals associated with postmodern thought, has often been accused of being deliberately obscure in his writings. This is particularly true of his major work, the Écrits, which is noted for its difficulty.

Lacan is known for his claim of a “return to Freud,” though in actual practice this amounted to a radical reconfiguration of Freudian psychoanalysis as Lacan attempted to effect a synthesis between Freud’s biologically driven psychology and the linguistic theory of structuralists like Ferdinand de Saussure and Roman Jakobson. Freud’s biologically founded subject is thus replaced, by Lacan, with a linguistically constituted subject, with the Freudian drives and even the body itself transliterated or overwritten by culturally specific signifying activities. In this view, the...

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  1. Fink, B. (1994). The Lacanian subject: Between language and jouissance. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Fink, B. (1996). A clinical introduction to Lacanian psychoanalysis: Theory and practice. Boston: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Lacan, J. (2007). Écrits: The complete edition (trans: Fink, B.). New York: W.W. Norton.Google Scholar

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of HumanitiesSUNY RocklandSuffernUSA