Jacques Lacan

1901-1981French psychoanalytical theorist who’ s influence continues today most notably advocated by Slavoj Zizek. Lacan in turn, reinterprets Freud and in particular, the difficult concept of the unconscious. Lacan links language and the unconscious and suggests that the unconscious is structured like a language. This resonates with some of Freud’s ideas as articulated in Jokes and their Relation to the Unconscious and his earlier work on The Interpretation of Dreams. Lacan is also known for his theory of the Mirror Stage. This occurs in infants who at that stage develop a capacity that is evidenced by their reaction of recognition when they see their own image in a mirror. What is this capacity? It is a conceptual act, the establishment of ‘I’ (the ego) and an essential foundation for social functioning and a precursor to language. (Why do we use language? To communicate with others!) Lacan proposes that reality for humans is comprised of a trilogy of levels the Real, Imaginary and Symbolic orders. I see these as registers of the mind ways of knowing. Zizek provides a useful analogy – consider the game of chess: at one level, corresponding to the Symbolic, we have the rules of the game, Read More …