Tuesday, November 21, 2006

An Encounter with the Real

While commenting upon Merleau-Ponty's Le Invisible et l'invisible Lacan offers the following aside:

Precisely this gives me an opportunity to reply to someone that, of course, I have my ontology–why not?–like everyone else, however naïve or elaborate it may be. But, certainly, what I try to outline in my discourse–which, although it reinterprets that of Freud, is nevertheless centred essentially on the particularity of the experience it describes–makes no claim to cover the entire field of experience. Even this between-the-two that opens up for us the apprehension of the unconscious is of concern to us only in as much as it is designated for us, through the instructions Freud left us, as that of which the subject has to take possession. I will only add that the maintenance of this aspect of Freudianism, which is often described as naturalism, seems to be indispensable, for it is one of the few attempts, if not the only one, to embody psychical reality without substantifying it

(Four Fundamental Concepts, p. 72).

I must admit that I'm having a diffucult time understanding exactly what Lacan means by reality, or the encounter with the real, which he designates as tuché. The reason I press on is precisely because I see in Lacan an attempt to embody psychical reality without substantifying it. A general question: Can experience be grasped apart from its particulars? How do we go about understanding the entire field of experience?

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posted by Fido the Yak at 2:54 PM.


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