Welcome to Scribd. Sign in or start your free trial to enjoy unlimited e-books, audiobooks & documents.Find out more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
3Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Ellie Ragland "Counting From 0 to 6 - Lacan"

Ellie Ragland "Counting From 0 to 6 - Lacan"

Ratings:
(0)
|Views: 224|Likes:
Published by svitlanax

More info:

Categories:Types, Research
Published by: svitlanax on Mar 18, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

11/08/2012

pdf

text

original

 
:
~;),"",,;
,/,
,
'-'--'7
('
The
University
of
Wisconsin-Milwaukee
r
r:
~r:
~
CENTER
FOR
,~,
TWENTIETH CENTURY
STUDIES
~
....
P.
O. Box 413, Milwaukee,
WI
5320 I
Telephone
(414) 963-4141
Working
Paper
No.7
"Counting From 0
to
6:
Lacan and the Imaginary Order" 
ELLIE RAGLAND-SULLIV
AN
Ellie Ragland-Sul1ivan
is
Associate Professor
of
French
at
the U niversity
of
Illinois
at
Chicago
and
the
author
of
Rabelais
and
Panw-ge: A Psychological Approach
to
Literary Character
(1976).
Her
book,
Jacques Lacan
and
the Philosophy
of
Psychoanalysis,
is forthcoming
from
the Univ.
of
Illinois Press. She
is
currently
at
work on anew book
on
post-structuralist poetics.
This
wOl"king
paper
was originally
presented
at
the conf"el'elu:e
on
Lacan,
held
at
the
Center
for Twentieth
Century
Studies
em
Apl'il
I;),
19H
/
l,
and
is
fort h(,()lllillg
ill
T/u'J;\mmalo/htftllliulI
Stutlit'.v,
 
II
",.,
Counting
From
O,to
6:
The
Lacanian Imaginary Order 
ELLIE RAGLAND-SULLIVAN 
Lacan
sta~~d
that
the
three
dimensions
of
unconscious space
are
mathematical instead
of
intuitive
(1.
Kant). Moreover,
the
un
conscious can
count
up
to 6
andnot
beyond.
1
My
interpretation
of
Lacan's theory requires a clarification
of
what I
understand
by
the
Imaginary
order, not
only because
the
Imaginary fogs
up
the
terrain between conscious
and
unconscious realms,
but
also becauseLacan used Symbolic-order models when
referring
to unconsciouscoullting:
numher-settheory,
Fregean mathematics, knot theory,
and
so on.
Yet.
UllcollsdollS
numbers
are
descriptive
of
realities con(:erning the
human
su~ject
who
is
only
rePT(~sented
in the Symbolic
order,
while being excluded from
that order.
2
Moreover, a
sul~jecl's
conscious
"self'
knowledge:'
(form.ai,wma)
is
merely supposed.
rhe
link between Symbolic pre-suppositions
and
unconscious. knowledge
(savoir)
is
what I have called an Imaginary text. Such a"text" tries to wed
the
being
of
language to
the
non-being
of
objects
through
conscious meanings
(significations)
which
infer
their
ownasymmetrical double: meaning
(sens)
in
the
unconscious.
If
the
human
subject
is
only re-presented in
the
Symbolic
order
of
conscious life,
but
finds
its
Real
re~f,ents
in
the
unconscious, then,
the
mediate Imaginary text
cannot
e dismissed.
Indeed
I find evidencein
the
Imaginary
"excluded ml die"
of
normative tendencies
by
which individuals reify narcissism
and
seek to realize Desire:
the
propensity to
identify
with images, with a species, with a name, witha sexual
gender
myth, with others
in
bonding-type relations, withone's own children, with a family line,
and
finally with some transcendental principle such
as
God. Lacan
taught that
such a
tr~ectory
obfuscates unconscious
"truth,"
however,
through
the
denials
of
language
and
the
misrecognition
of
the
roots
of
identity. Lacan,thus, criticized those analysts
and
ego psychologists who reify
the
I maginary at
the
expense
of
knowledge
of
the unconscious.
By
norlIIalizing
SYIIIPIOiIlS,
Ihey equal{' love, m<tlTiage,
and
parclliing as
 
impersonal categories
of
psychic health, thus mistaking
the
Imaginary circle
of
fantasy
for
the
unconscious Desire w
hkh
has already
made the
Imaginary dissymmetrical.
3
Unconscious space· as conceived
by
Lacan
is
not
innate (cf.Kant).
but
is
created
by
the
effects
of
the
outer
world. I shall
argue
that Lacan's six
numbers mark
the
Real impact
on
humans
of
aneurological
and
physiological
prematuration at
birth, followed
by
compensatory
perceptu~l
mergers
and
subsequent psychic separation.
In
"The
Linguistic Development
of
the
Concept
of
Number,"
Ernst
Cassirer wrote:
"The
number
is
inherent
in perception, as
are
space
and
time. Everything that exists in space lime also existsin number."·' I
hope
to show instead that the
number
is
inferredthe manner
in which perception
is
structured,
from which its unconscious limitations
are
derived.
Thus
seen,
number
would not ariseas
natural
representation
of
the
body
or
denote
a
symmetry
01'
harmony between
mother and
child.
Nor
would it be a representation
of
the
stars
or
a link between biological realities
and
emotion."
Number
would point,
rather,
to a dissymmetry in
human
knowl
edge
by which Lacan
reinterpreted
Frege's paradox. Even
thoughthe
unconscious subject
is
produced and
unified
by
language,
un
conscious "letters"
do not
directly condition
the
relative
order
of
spoken
discourse.
6
In
my view,
the
six
numbers
would
denote
mirror-stage
andOedipal
structures.
They are
referents
around
which societies organize themselves, moving individuals along a blind signifyingchain where they
represent
themselves to
one another
as objects
of
love
or
Desire.
As
representative signifiers,
human
subjects
aretethered
to
the
object (alA), then,
and
not to a specific, totalizedident.ity.7 Unconscious
numbers
become f((inctional
operators
of
the Imaginary
signifier
for
identity which
p(~tiol1s
the
su~ject
as
an
object in conscious life: object
of
its own unconscious constitution.
In
1966 Lacan said
thatjust
as language
is
constituted
by
a set
of
fi-
nite
signifiers-
ba, ta, pa, etc. -probably
the
process
of
integers
is
only a special case
of
this relation between signifiers, the collection
of
which constitutes
the
Other
(A).8
That
is,
meaning
is
made
by
oppositions, be it verbal
or
numerical.
This
brings us to Lacan's application
of
Frege's discovery to
the
constitution
of
human
mentality.
Frege
uncovered a
paradox:
the
fact
that
every
natural
number
has
something
before it,
and
something
after
it.
This
contradiction
stopped him from
counting
beyond
011,
a recursive function beingimplicit in his axiom.
Frege
postulated
that the
0,
the number and
the successor,function in constituting
the
series
of
natural
numbers
(Miller, "Suture," p. 27).
When
applied to a logic
of
the
signifier, Frege's

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
scribd
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->