Post-Rationalism: Psychoanalysis, Epistemology, and Marxism by Tom Eyers

By Tom Eyers

Post-Rationalism takes the experimental magazine of psychoanalysis and philosophy, Cahiers pour l’Analyse, as its major resource. verified by means of scholars of Louis Althusser in 1966, the magazine has not often figured within the literature, even though it contained the 1st released paintings of authors now well-known in modern severe idea, together with Alain Badiou, Jean-Claude Milner, Luce Irigaray, André eco-friendly and Jacques-Alain Miller. The Cahiers served as a checking out flooring for the combo of numerous highbrow assets indicative of the interval, together with the influential reinvention of Freud and Marx undertaken by means of Lacan and Althusser, and the sooner post-rationalist philosophy of technological know-how pioneered through Gaston Bachelard, Georges Canguilhem and Alexandre Koyré.

This e-book is a wide-ranging research of the highbrow foundations of structuralism, re-connecting the paintings of younger post-Lacanian and post-Althusserian theorists with their predecessors in French philosophy of technology. Tom Eyers offers a major corrective to plain histories of the interval, focussing at the ways that French epistemological writing of the Nineteen Thirties and Forties - specifically that of Bachelard and Canguilhem - laid the floor for the emergence of structuralism within the Nineteen Fifties and Nineteen Sixties, therefore wondering the traditional old narrative that posits structuralism as rising mainly in response to phenomenology and existentialism.

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The picture is further complicated by Irigaray’s insistence that, even with the intervention of the father qua third term, this I/you relation remains stuck within a static logic of the One unless the father and mother themselves can be understood as communicating. Only with the assumed transmission of significance between the two terms (mother/ 51 father) outside the subject can the subject fully recognize a “you” determined outside of its bounds. Like Leclaire, Irigaray understands the development of specular relations and the precarious identifications that they support as underpinned by a void, by a lack that threatens always to bleed into the lifeworld of the subject, even as it provides that subject with its only support.

The “literal” here refers to the signifier as letter, as material, and as abstracted from relations of sense; for Leclaire after Lacan, it is this “aspect” of the signifier, what I have, elsewhere, called its being “in-isolation,”20 that performs the function of “erogenizing” the body, of taking it up into the significatory networks that condition desire. At the level of the object, that signifier is posited as lacking, such that the object itself “comes in the place of the lost letter. ”21 The object has the potential, on Leclaire’s reading, to instantiate a kind of “certainty of lack” that the very indifference of the signifier qua letter, in its always being inadequate to the infinite circuits of desire, fails to provide; instead, the letter simply lacks, without any specificity or subjective charge.

As Real, the object of psychoanalysis can be neither mediatory in any simple sense, nor can it be specular. 16 By non-dialectically separating the function of the object and that of the Ideal, Green risks closing off the possibility of this transformation of the object qua Ideal into the object of the Real, and thus introducing a discontinuity into a concept that, for its coherence, requires a continuous account of its emergence and persistence beyond the movements of primary narcissism and in the post-Oedipal, Symbolic context.

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