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Jacques Lacan

Logical Time and the Assertion of Anticipated Certainty: A New Sophism

, I, . thc results of vour inspection. Your amongst vourse yes icationv f or an, , ib ' .h, cornmumcanon, ' Id ' anv case proscn e suc . own interest wou ,In , " I "II be the one to benefit the first to be able to deduce his own co or yyI , sure at our disposal. from the dispensatory mea lf ded upon logical and not "His conclusion, moreover, must re houn ind it is to be underbili '. " Keeping t IS In mi u, simply proba I isnc reasons. , d' f ulatc such a concluof vou IS rca y to orm ,, stood that as soon as one h' hi d .o that he may be judged II1dlsion, he should pass throug t IS ~or so
' cornm umcatc

In March 1945, Christian Zervos asked us to contribute, along with a certain number of writers, to the revival issue of his journal, Les Cahiers d'Art, conceived with the aim of filling the space between the figures on its cover, 1940-1944, dates significant for many people, with the illustrious entries which make up its table of Contents. We submitted this article, knowing full well that this would be tantamount to making it immediately unfindable. May it resound with the right note here where we place it, between the before and the after, even though it demonstrates that the after was kept waiting ffaisait alltichambre) so that the before could assume its place [plJt prendre rallg).'

vidually on the basis of his rlespose. I f the three subjects is adorned hi h ' r b en made c ear, cae 1 0 e , h T IS aving e inc rnad with a white disc, no usc being rna e 0 f t Iie black ones , of which t ere ou were, let us recall, but two. ) How can the subjects solve the problem.

The Perfect Solution
d her for a certain time, the three After having contemplate .cctl anot I _ de by Side through the k ( w steps toget ier am pass SI . subjects ta Eacha te them t Iien separate y furnishes a similar response e "I doorway. of I '·1 "111 be expressed thus: , w 11C 1 C. 'I "I I ire and here IS 10W I k now it.., as my compal1lons were I am a w 11 'h I d Ib a black each of them would have rcen whites, I thought tat, ia ~en c c 'II k the other would have able to infer the following: 'I I toOl amh~ )l,asc'l'white and would have 'I I' d s a ght 'lway tnat c ve: , nccessan y rea ize str: I, , bl. .k' And both would have left It i di I therefore I am not a ac . I lc t irnme late 'y; . d that they were w I' h lites. A s they did nothing of t re toget cr, convmce, ik I A I t I made for the door to make kind, I must be a white It e t tern. t t ia ,


A Logical Problem
A prison warden has three select prisoners to them the following: summoned and announces


"For reasons I need not make known now, gentlemen, I must set one of you free. In order to decide whom, I will entrust the Outcome to a test which you will kindly undergo. "There are three of you present. I have here five discs differing only in color: three white and two black. Without letting you know which I have chosen, I shall fasten one of them to each of you between his shoulders; outside, that is, your direct visual field-any indirect ways of getting a look at the disc being excluded by the absence here of any means of mirroring. "At that point, you will be left at your leisure to consider your companions and their respective discs, without being allowed, of course, to

my conclusion known." All three thus exited for concluding.

, ,, .d wi h the same reasons Simultaneously, anne wit

Sophistic Value of this Solution
, ,. " itself as the most perfect the problem Can this solution, wd hich presentts ,) We leave to the initiative of each ll y. allows, be obtaine expenmen a the task of deciding. f ' .ommend putting it to the test in Not that we would go so ar as to rec , ,' for real life-though our epoch '5 antinomian progress has, It seems,
'> > '

For hesitation is logid tl .r o~\~~k~ i~. . .\ c y which he is it and think it through again. Slllce e .~e~~I~lit~sa~~ndleaving). I'. had Ie. the facts diverge within in human too greatly from the thephilosophers expedient of fiction.ib Y at me sec lt tlh~ objec. f II " nee again the logical Before responding to rhis. or I I I" . II. supposing I Not at . a e »een . We now be sought the auspices sometimes often to in with him. ' . I o I . it-t .:~. A . that although here.annot deduce that he IS a \\ lite. in effect. been putting such conditions within the grasp only winners of an arc ever greater anticipated for whom attaining experiment prise-we value chosen. It will perhaps at least tried it with turn out to be of some scientific seemed various subjects groups of appropriately misunderstanding the reality We sense to the psychologist. I is logical thought process to t rern.B. to result number. B t while A can correctly Impute to ie f A's reasonll1g u '.lll1 t . fI " 1. B' 1 C's whole cogitation IS ·.. shadow 0 a d ount . ~. sinister to be contingent. ' would he !l)1'(mg to impute t 11 h '. For he sees that they too pose the question again 111' . for. C st be rep ie t 1. . he d. C stops hesitating: must thus remain must logically 6 .'. II ·k the others would he is a white (supposing that. and "B" A founds error. To t Ius It must nrs .' It be discerned here IS whether.havior.k B t it is also exc uc e In cally excluded for whoever sees twO. : ord~r to 'lI1~wer it. and and a first obthe reB's "C" those deduction. let it be noted our sophism which attention dons that its bearto our ing the sign of their one evening place is in no way superfluousit was brought of he who not have been long In realizing they iedi t . ld ·1 . for the resolution" in which presented. '. tl . .I I' . Ill: sees the others setting o c is why we preserve ourselves the trappings under banter.~) zt: I~il:ll: w. both is based on C's expectation.I~.. . .I' -there is no way for anyone to in the presence of a black an . deduced there rom. IS A II1S0 ar as rea . T" . and recipindecisive. no one ' reality 111 this first step 0 t led' . .I" I..' f I deduction.Newsletter of the Freudian Field Nothing therefore Jacques Lacan some time now. examination. . the innocent those who conditions still But when out under disappoint have what a taste for surto us it. ff stirred into action by his conclusion. finds himself for-as .' have stoppe . odious the good more in the comedian's encountered the politician's action: to the world. let us care u y pose 0 .' '" . ach of them is really in the same situatIOn as . .L .lhd the conclusion that As e( uLtlon. ne~~~h:I::is~ the philosopher's secretive and who-ambiguous-is but who is always logician. . d C he wiIl Imputes to an -. II1S0 . of others. ' f . . I Id. or t e " ffc 't the true one. he must . for the ory. '1 white and their hesitating left (irst which allows each to e lev~ te IS c . ~ei~::I~ i: ~nP:r7al an~1 resolves or fails to resolve to concl~lde :eb~~te~~: "B" d "C" arc the two others insofar as they a J own case.ufficc to rcconVIl1Le cac for but an Instant wfou C learthys he is '1 white.1t anc ' .I 'mid motivate I f h only Situation \\ uc 1 l( [alsel» imputed to t tern . can be easily whose conduct Let us call "A" his own real subject who concludes for himself.h of them be. .eer: a~ain whether the~ subjects One might object confidence rocally for C with that as B's conviction dissipate when respect to B. it. t the blem "A" designates each of the subJects. an. h dh I a black 13 and C anew that. if we can trust particular intellectuals: on the part a very of these [meco/Uzaissallcej Our only interest consider concerning is in the logical value of the solution sophism. '".Ilfter having established nevertheless go back over It-Itnme 1. e is a white. If f r . .1S . . tl ' others a . For he supposes ab(~ut ~:g~le:~les:' of the reasoning A now as ie. Discussion of the Sophism Every sophism jection fleered to this initially sophism upon presents itself as a logical formulated.0 hy these forms presents seem irrelevant itself to philosophical to our times.e. I'd I. le can.ach encounters the same fails to resolve to concl ude doubt at the same moment . . 'f " he . . . th at he is black it suffices for him to stop an have not III act seen. yon re . Consequent :' c. '. Nor are we of the ilk of those the ultimate carried will not guarantee from qualified having recent [Existentialist] four walls is but another freedom.ti g in the case that A is a necessitates t ieir reaL 111 '.1[ . -ond stage of . .:te t(~ c~)m~ .I b .: In cthis situation were the case.1L S. leave on the baSIS 0 w rat can )C .. hat he have every nght to conclude ag. thoug It process w III dC" .' hich is in fact false (as we have just shown). accor ing to our ly b I' 'I '. all.' 'I-i e insofar as he resolves or or more aptly stated.1t . '.1 \\ lite f . . for at the very moment at . . moment prove images host. . fa -t that neither of them di I pot eSIS It IS re . in which by an ingenious garb. What must cc h e f ac t 0 f seeing '1 black -IS not .iO!1 r~~S~I~:S :~~~y . of a logical raised story's a significant of the forms' the problem Our But lest . I . indeed.I .' black. ) . or foreseen confinement \Ve fear. function images to be a remarkable example at the historical will certainly times in such in the classical of the term-i.

' Their crucial value is not that of a binary choice between two inertly' juxtaposed combinations-rendered incomplete by the visual exclusion of the third-but rather of a verificatory movement instituted by a logical process in which a subject transforms the three possible combinations into three times of possibility. What the suspended motions disclose is not what the subjects see. object that the brinc r h -. t evinces t IS verv conclusi 0 cannot. Withstanding the test f cri I di . nonetheless.~~~g~. whose "eternal" prestige reflects an infirmity which is. .' c lon. ie ogica process Itself. namely what each sees of the other's attribute. not spatial. but rather that of something intrinsic to logical ambiguity.p occss. but rather their interruption [temf}s d'arretv. [ection turns up with the reiteration of th pr~duclllg 111 each of the subjects the very same doub~ a~~v:~:s~t. but rather what they have found out positively about what they do not see: the appearance of the black discs. hesitation in effect suffices for th d ut at t IS pornt: a single certainly neither of them is a L)lac~km efmonhstratBe each other that . That which constitutes these suspended motions as signifying is not their direction. do nothing of the kind ISthaetchaeushe ..tro. rut lusi f LI colll mon cessation of movement: had he been : b~:~~ u~l~n 1 rcombthe lute y should not I Ii' l .liS same ob " . y sekelIlghthat he is in fact a white. re act t at and C . reFor stshuredly. ' . But one can still obiec h . t le lf ta es tel ti hi h ' . . these forms never furnish us anything which cannot already be seen at a single stroke [d'llIl seul collpl.' lave ia te the three subjects are f re a w "": Which IS to say that this time doubt or I" IXC In a ccrta1l1ty permitting of no further o )Jectlon. This La Ion In t ie very a . the question as to which of the other two is the case remains open. w IC IS to say that they all head for the door too ec are t rat they are whites. nc soppe( .:~eil. while a single signal should suffice for the sole choice imposed by the first erroneous interpretation. In complete opposition to this. Their role.gives t err very hesitation its dell' . '.. on. the coming into playas signifiers of the phenomena contested here makes the temporal. recognized as their own.to . raving removed the obstacle' this way.~ . thi . therefore.I~~'the sophism the two suspended mo. rains all the const ' .h _ ' } east. structure of the logical process prevail. allowlIlg them to conclude that they are whites) It' b n~te Imptrt.e. Their hesitating a second time inaconeluding that th hl~ e s. f one integrates therein the value of tI . ' 'I d again means that A can onl I ' I' . we.or the . two scansions are "J Value of the Suspended Motions in the Process :. or at the ver ' I " hesltation-wh' . as it would give the logical process a spatialized conception-the same spatialized conception which turns up every time the logical process appears to he erroneous. jeer tat.t hI If the subjects manifests that it has led him to Ill'S ' mclusi W IC1 eac 1 0 Lone usion.. we take on a role only after the conclusion of the logical '" ' they h P rOLess. '. two whites: or three whites.1Inse gerher t dlll'llatlve. one black. ne external to til' _I . the sophism thus mainrallllng ngor 0 a logical r ' .ere supac s t h emselves-they would have had . and which constitutes the only objection to the solubility of the problem.Newsletter of the Freudian Field Jacques Lacan would have had to continue.are not (for being a black he' h' to set off again before him . But this is not at all the case. one white. 0 cntlca ISCUsslon.o:~sj~~I~::~b~~:. aue rnerr appearance? In order to de . ey are w lites would be ruled 0 his . Its answer derives from: 2) The experiential data provided by the suspended motions which amount to signals by which the subjects communicate to each other-in a mode determined by the conditions of the test-what they are forbidden to exchange in an intentional mode. Once the first combination is ruled out by what all three subjects see. to . is not that of experience in the verification of an hypothesis.' i.id m~\~tf::~m1l1e their role in the solution of the logical problem~ e.y g 1I1to t e solution an element . Slllce t e act they susoend " . acknowledging their IL concurs With the preceding argument (I ~~rt~d b y the facts) that makes them wonder whether the. t.bAutlogical progress must have been made in the int~rim IS time call dra w L' one unequlvo' . This is also why.0 . on condition that test shows the process of vcrific t' re tw. For at first sight the givens of the problem would seem to break down as follows: 1) Three combinations of the subjects' characteristic attributes are logically possible: two blacks. . lave not for all that refuted the logical object: fin .. It is precisely because our sophism will not tolerate a spatializcd conception that it presents itself as an aporia for the forms of classical logic.o suspensioe scansions. while crucial to the carrying-out [pratique] of the logical process.

only then docs one know that one IS. . "a rona CISCOntmuIty es. usion. i.. .. as though they 11 .. 'I cata extern' I " J II' motions 'Ire S() ~l to the ogical process.I h In t e temporal modulay w ic I eac of these '' . being equal to zero.e. ~ .. s represent nothll1g' 'ff . ThIS can be seen in the logical deterrni ' ' . andbeing the only one to whom the attribute "black" can be assigned-is able. permit us to recognize tl " 0 t ie process of the sophism. a b sorbs them alone rernainin Id b ' east mornenr which g. . ierem a true logical I . A certain time defines itself (in the two senses of taking on meaning and finding its limit) by its end. . "opposite two blacks".. ) re t rreo moments ' Id again to spatializing them thro hf I' \\OU amount once . apses ImplIed by the second. ' I nanon of the IIIterruptions bi ' matton-w lethe I " . at leal moment as the subjective unt S ance or more '1 tI .. '1'1' ca IIs for an examination of th ' I' . crystallizes into an authentic hypothesis. ogica su teet. r lIIg rorn as rIgo -. We have here a logical exclusion which gives the movement its basis. J C iromcity ImplIed by the .l .. suspended motions as pro 1 . "one is a white".hv I' . . an end at once goal and term..nd l I iscourse to an aligrl f' w III I ten s to reduce rnenr 0 signs. wou c to rest hei I sion and truly understand their cnes _ ' ' ore t err rea succesis what we will attempt sra ti g f SIS In the logical movement. the su bject encounters the next logical combination. the instant of the glance being necessary for this to occur. For the two whites in the situation of seeing a white and a black.I iobite.110\ ement. The Modulation of Time in the Sophism's Movement: the Instant of the Glance the T' f C I di . f ' possible of these evidenri 'II rous a ormulatlon as .b d'egradatlon in which necesSI't d ' In e ect. I ' bi nence can make their function i 'I ' .I " .. c far from being e xperrenn. u to ISeern (saIStr)h h tton the very function b hi . We have here an intuition by which the subject obiectifics something more than the factual givens offered him by the sight of the two whites.. 0 ay out the .Newsletter ot the Frcudi. ' aentia moments whose logical I crcnr and of mcreasin j TI ..ach r ogician s 01Jection or folding of a tcmnorn] I'n t s.tated ' away (fuite)" of the subject 'ith af • P Y state . in the first phase of the logical movement. rc y. . revea mg therem I j' " selltlal to their value B t d'. hi su jeer's doubt-revealing it. An instance of time digs a hole in the interval so that the pre-given [Ie d01l11el of the protasis. To sh I I' presents itself in a diff le s ow t rat tIC instance of time c erent moe e In each of tI ' to preserve their hiera . moments. of the two I .lese moments would be . .'sf which ~ . d wirlu icreasing or er of tern.. so to speak. But. uuce ova purelv I . The fact that this logical exclusion is anterior to the movement. as the slipping 1'1 \\ It in a ormal exigency lese temporn I instances. however impersonal. Field Jacques l. one knows that one is . in Its passage ) u sor e t erem th I ' . ut levels of .. T .acan necessary for the verification' an~ only valid. In this step. that we can assume it to be clear to the subjects with the givens of the problem-givens which forbid a three-black combination-s-is independent of the dramatic contingency which isolates the prefatory statement of these givens.c. Expressing it in the form two /J/clcks::OIlC white. If . and that the subject manifests in the terms he attributes to their lips. namely the attribute of which the subject himself is unaware. g ore cr. they constitute this dcterrni . That .. (ug a orrna Ism 'I' . each of the whites finding the key to his own problem in the inertia of his semblable [counterpart]'. c I) Being opposite two blacks.' . changes into the given [/a donnees of the apodosis. constitutive fl. to formulate the following evidence: II) Were I a black. ". for it aims then at the real unknown of the problem. and by the propositional conjunction which constitutes less a formal hypothesis than a still indeterminate matrix. the necessary to t I I make the logical process II' I' . liS process e qU. re rcgrstere WIth II'I be Integrated into its concl ' 111 t ie ogrca process so as to suspcnded c .. c lronological succession of tl I . the two whites I see would waste 110 time realizing they are whites. we see the instantaneousness of its evidence-its lightning-flash time. interpretation.e. only expeThe suspended motion' n tne \ enfieatlon process founder.1 Ity of Its tItnes. irne or ompre ten mg and the Moment of Concluding One call isolate in the sophism three eui i ' . temporal modulation introduces a form which. its formulation is already modulated by the subjectivization. which takes form here in the "one knows that .. The evidence of this moment presupposes the duration of a time of meditation that each of the two whites must ascertain in the other. we can put it in the following consequent form which linguists term protasis and apodosis: "Being . Into the logical equivalence of the two terms: "two blacks::one white". this time is the time for comprehending.k 'I I t iat on y experience can ere d C t Ie svn . to the sequential one is rcabs bd h ' moments. I values prove to be diftc . in this second moment.u. y engen ers an II' " d porallnstanC<.ed I. from the outset.

17 'lm'ltic contingency. die: to which onginal rc attons an assertive logic. t revca s. curious y re e C h hi d iuht engender error). but . do not precede me in recognizing themselves for what they are. judgement w IC 1 cone '" I It himself and cannot be ject who has formulated the assertion . whom I consider in this way. h: II try to bring out III t ie . [tendance a acte m " lIS t this pOIllt at w IC c1uded.'.d per exploratIon.J. In \\ c . )' -hi . d which he WI e incap: 'I in . it is the moment of concluding the time for comprehending. since this situation is but his own hypothesis. It is thus the moment of concluding that he is a white. I fl ctcd 111 t e gramma ic: anxiety. logical movement. seems to hi h h ' bject conc u cs lIS ' sertion by w IC t e su . Iogica I sense 0 t re verb: tares" in the etymo .' . continues on in the subject in reflection. the scb .'.tente] which WIll l .' d his departure ("preClpl. We have here the assertion about oneself through which the subject concludes the logical movement in the making of a judgement. I " I' in effect a form proper to . logIcal movement 111 w IC Temporal Tension in the Subjective Ass~rtionf and its Value Manifested in the DemonstratIon 0 the Sophism hi d idential moment.ab e 0 ven yll1g u . conclUSIve assertion. I I' of the first two mo'f h position a rc atIons progressll1g rom t e. scand t e test 0 I . h ti 'ally equivalent expressIon . with the second phase of the logical movement.ub lit ted to the test of doubt. b ing su jeer w 0 c I. I' . its evidence is revealed in a subjective penumbra as the growing illumination of a fringe at the edge of the eclipse that the objectivity of the time for comprehending undergoes in reflection. Having surpassed the time for comprehending the moment of concluding. It IS t e process. ec . Its meaning subsists solely in the form it engenders of subjects who are undefined except by their reciprocity. b hi d ngendenng error. . pro I ' the conJunction manifested here ments. I~ . apo d 0 SIS and Jyput JeSIS. so that these whites. . The very return of the movement of comprehending. and we must In reate this assertive logic can be applied. (a laggIllg e me. It is not. the bi h 'an only be expresse y . seems to "for fear that" (the laggll1g e III mig emerge' . that IS. before [sous J which the temporal instance that objectively sustains it has vacillated. should he allow himself to be beaten to this conclusion by his counterparts. is th [derou ement 0 IS' f I' seen. It is through this temporal modulation that. .' b th his Judgement an . This instance reemerges for him therein in the subjective mode of a time ~f lagging behind the others [un temps de retard sur les autresJ in that very movement. assertIon at a ru If ifvi nless he first at tams It as a 'II b . and whose action is suspended by mutual causality in a time which gives way under the very return of the intuition objectified by the subject.ludes the sop 115111 c. I.1CLJues Lacll1 Newsletter of the Freudian Field were emblazoned on a pennant: "Had I been a black. ' of the game. . hi h this conclusive assertion is verified. Otherwise this time would lose its meaning. the ogica su jec . that tune k r the competitiveness h riousness of testa es. More strictly speaking. the way is opened which leads to the following evidence: III) I hasten to declare myself white.' presses.110l .t here bell1g but t ie pas tum.. But if his hypothesis is correct-if. t th whic WI e su n . he would have left without waiting an instant." But how can we measure the limit of this time whose meaning has been th us objectified? The time for comprehending can be reduced to the instant of the glance. It IS owmg . ' I' us to d eserve ee . it is because I am a white. and will thus precede him by the beat [temps de battementv he misses in having to formulate this very hypothesis. t h ere f ore. f builds up to a 1110 lua . h subject preCIpitates 0 fI b: headlong) establishmg t e . but this instant can include all the time needed for comprehending. "Ill only be borne by a su hi I' . db" l" Otherwise stated. But I et us stop ich '11 b . the two whites actually see a blackthey do not have to make an assumption about it. 'iempor« tCllS:O c J f it rele'lse [(it. hi h t Iporal tension IS rcve modulatIon III w IC en. '. logically presenting itself as the urgency of the moment of concluding. The objectivity of this time thus vacillates with its limit. certainty. a . rsed in a move to action . d btedly related to the logical originality of the subThISf orm IS un ou is wh we characterize it as SlllJjcctlVe assetject of the assernon: that IS w Y I' I form of the knowcma . formulated in the asThe logical value of t h e t ir ev I de I'.I ' bi .' . I" • "so that there IVI 'II not I" ie ti tion of the conc usion.ause 0 f som e dr . he will 110 longer be able to determine whether he is a black or not. 'Wh t is the logical value 0 t lIS I h f its logical necessIty.l That IS what we s a now . It seems to the subject that the time required for the two whites to understand the situation in which they are faced with a white and a black docs not logically differ from the time it took him to understand it himself.e as we have alrca y I 'II 'ulmll1ates rcre 51 c . 0 _ f h logical movement that the . he h that the subject has con'I' 1 al1lfestIng to t e ot hi h the sub'Ject arrives 111 I' ers .h the ontological form 0 .' ' to the urgency 0 t e . If he stays to meditate.

he le k he c: t doubt whether he has . t the moment of cOllclll the instant of the giallce has passe am t 1. ' . but will have It if 'eromty a )()ut IS 'f ' of them mam ests unc c . This movement of the" 1" 's logical genesis through a decanting of its own logical time largely parallels its psychological birth. jectiveiy approprrate 15 . expressed in "the two whites" who must recognize" one another". It s 10U I cer " lue depen s t:5S up . \ ' t he iS1 white-but te . will immediate Y grasp It an lers the others precede him and. from the relation of reciprocity. In so tively.Newsletter of the Freudian field Jacques LJ. recu t:l c . 'makes this act so remarkable in the for this act of concludtng. i /. t for the form of assertion .onclu 1I1gpreuse Y l . 0 blectlve ded con moment of COliC ti uu! manifesting to t c . \ f them ia cone u u. subject of the conclusive assertion. convinced. II ' T oug It rna subl'ects overa motion. luc of the first SlIspenid -r the 0 jectlve V. The latter.charge 'I" rat. While doubt has. f h firs spell CL 1110 1011. expressed in the "one" of the "one knows that". however. I' t ' t\1e subl'ective certitude 0 tnc .' . ' . But in order to understand . and only discover his own attribute in the equivalence of their respective times.. d. he will be the only one to do so in these terms. .1 of the assertion. Just as. \' I ' am ds I .t of its end had seeme to f i bczi 'Inc t ie 1. and the dramatic contingencies here merely isolate this act in the subjects' departing movement. ined bv the discharge of t IS Iectlve\y . The assertive judgement finally manifests itself here in an act. . grasped the moment 0 l . If. this point to judge w rat any 0 I h" conclusion. is isolated from the other. the prison warden overseeing the game) would be suspended.' . red h. as tanou lieternune . hi \ he IS '1 black e canno I doing. The"]". i.atter\ s va the Ll1rticipatcd certaillty which first 111suspends the assernon t ian on re troduced it. It IS . introduces the form of the other as such. . table or washbasin.'" h ' 'f I' compre ienc IIIg d subject Its limit In t e time 0 . dh t of C()lIC II( ing t 1. let us recall.. As such. becHlse te l)eg1l1S 0 \ move but then stopS. as pure reciprocity. in our terminology) value of the sophism's conclusion is attested to by the uncertainty in which an observer (e. . " desubl'ectified to the utmost. I d c . I 1'11tegr'ltedinto the value of .d \ I.' t doubt whether he as . since the personal subject of the logical movement takes them on [les assume 1 at each of these moments. given the three subjects' simultaneous departure. having hastened to follow the other two. ihe I-perhaps-I It was confirmed without fail if it was correct. in deciding whether any of them has correctly deduced the attribute he bears.' "I \. 'I tension with which It IS subitud ' to the tempora . b I I I D bt ex 0 ia cs ' I burst like a uno e. DCHtes )een' .t . since esc. . we witness the reappe\" 'I "though sucked up between .d' its own certltu e owtng \' .. since the one can only recognize himself in the other. in the interval 0 t erst su I /' that for the two other s. What by the sophism is that it antiCIpates d subjective assertion demonstrate . ' on the doubt w 11C 1 Iudgement.can imputed to him unreservedly by anyone else-unlike the relation of the impersonal and undefined reciprocal subjects of the first two moments who arc essentially transitive. on the contrary. but even if he has not seized it." " 'I sion for the observer w Th h' . d It ( an d In e ect ie can . ew 'IS e 1as '..S I l. The former. n of this doubt for the subject the uncblo.idi '. The reference to these two subjects highlights the logical value of the subject of the assertion. provides but the general form of the noetic subject: he can as easily be god. by a logical beat [battclllent de temps].0 d ' I 111snnces' and that t ie I b ectltie tempor a . 'Hance of the o/)jecti!!c tinie of the First of all.lS e " f\ the instant 0 ItS eglnn1l1g. One could imagine other means of expression .I dcd we lind that eac 1 . assisted by an awakened jealous tendency. ' studied here-the .\ ld c t ' ly be note t a .:ly eXI)erienced it sub lec. y have been impOSSible up unn . f 0t . ' \ end the conc usion S I tenSion-so that In t re . really graspe t e momen h \ 'alrea. f.1 T c illg has returned. the "T" in question here defines itself through a subjectification of competition with the other.IS d initial mnnnon 0 t le mo i I h: .e. ou. conV1l1ce IlTI t rat . d verified In a loglca precipi I' 'I' no longer grounde on . have ilrcadv drawn to the h 'C attention we . ' ..' The essentially subjective (" assertive". that he is a black. that is. the "I" in question seems to provide the essential logical form (rather than what is called the existential form) of the psychological" l". " ' _ densing hcrelike a nuc cus T time ' 'h ' i u dimg. let us consi C .. \ b: ed on t 11Svery ar ~'~ h' .)ecause he has not su )f . t S IS e assertion IS follows. the objective evidence constituted by the others' departure leads him to act no differently: he leaves in step with them. h If anyone 0 f t h em IS.' f1 vernent w 1IL 1. anything but cornp Iete y 0 1 \ "d -monstrated by what . . ff \' even find in the others . All the observer can foresee is that if one of the three declares at the inquiry that he is a black. Modern thought has shown that every judgement is essentially an act. ' I ble I'll effect to make the first "ubjectlve ya . the psychological "I" emerges [se degage] from an indeterminate specular transitivism. in the function of logical time.g. '\ erroneous. For the subject has seized in the moment of concluding that he is a white due to the subjective evidence of a time-lag which presses him on towards the exit.I ' . ' 1tl"ip'ltion its certltu e IS .

he logical descent veri yin]. Insofar as bi therwise state . by the already accomplished objectification of the time for comprehending.f If in this orrn as prece Truth rnaru ests itse t . h Institute t e sop 11S1 . th_ou led out that one. the sophism's assertion of certitude is desubjectiiied to the utmost. . and its being thrown into question lasts but the instant of the glance. h' d form without constitutll1g bi 'ght reach t rs secon one. As is shown by the fact that according to our observer. 'onquenng imttattvcdifficulty in followlllg trut 1 S cd . in the subjective assertion which has given him a certainty as the sophism's conclusion. can once again throw it into question. This is proven by the fact that. perhaps correctly-the point remaining impenetrable to everyone other than himself. Lastly. in its verifzcatioll which has been -he can also express rhis certal~tYi . solely in the act t at en?en d rna correcting itself only With fests itself as being confirme In Its me . nsntutcs Its truth turns . in the followlI1g desub. have led me astray)" '~ . be c can as sue I1 on y e ifvi the sophism to e con. h remaining applicable by anyone g summated by all the subJects. . c of Oneself to Another: AntlClpat111g R elerence 'd t 1Form Subjective Assertion as the Fun amen a of a Collective Logic The truth I comes to be venfied through its of the sophism thus on y '. it requires t e. But the logical descent continues on towards the second temporal suspension. convinced that he was a black. ding error and advancll1g . ~ I )Vement. immediately indicating to him as it does that he is certainly not a black.' d subJect once e ias co II b him' whereas In Its secon I b assumed persona y y. thus he doubts whether he is a black until they again show him the way.ectified to the utmost II1 t re ogica me terms' . it would nevertheless impose itself upon him now. of them to eac h 0 f . Each of the subjects. namely the reference 0 an d f thers as such that is. for this subject who would have concluded the first scansion by following the two others. or he himself discovers it. roca I su Jects. because of that very fact. the certainty he has finally verified-stating it in these terms: "I hastened to conclude that I was a white. hich at the truth-a notion t iat 1 a tendency w 11C a 1111 S I out to d epen d upoi dUClble to the rempora tenId be a logical paradox were It not re wou 'h mt of concludmg. one can point out that at this same moment. I s.Jacques Lacan Newsletter of the Freudian Field new initiative logical confirmation of his belief that he differs from them). all three of them will indubitably declare themselves white at the inquiry. because otherwise they should have preceded me ill reciprocally recognizing themselves to be whites (and had I given them the time to do so. The subjective time of the moment of concluding is at last objectified here. for the mere fact that this hesitation is not the others' first but rather their second.t This reference of the" I" a certain time for cOlllprehen m tion of the logical relationship 0 f recrproci y." . The Truth of the Sophism as Tempora!i~ed . assuming he finds the suspended motions to be sychronic for the three subjects. they would. i "a'ne must know that one is a white when the others have hesltLltc{ twice in leaving. ik In the assertion It LO • I presumptIOn. IS co ' If they are ot ers 'd' h I proves to be an essentia uncg w IC1 . With the termination of the logical assembling of the two suspended motions in the act in which they reach completion. but only the others It IS not even ru . having reappropriated the subjective certitude of the moment of concluding. if each subject can express. manih J -rs Its certain y.. even if anyone of the subjects had not yet grasped it. . so to spe. or 0 h Th mrnon measure is provi e oy h for one anot er. would now-because of the present second scansion-be constrained to reverse his judgement. If he stops. suffices to put an end to his own hesitation as soon as he perceives theirs. however. of the su jeers mr hi ' I aving simply followed its verthe logical movement of the sop Ism. it is because he subordinates his own conclusion so thoroughly to that which manifests the others' conclusion that he immediately suspends his own when they seem to suspend theirs. error conversely. form. t IS co . . concluding this time that he's a black or that he's a white-perhaps incorrectly.0 0 " d d I.h logical form respond? To a h t f relation oes sue a But to w at sor 0 d d by the logical form 111 its moveform of obJectification enge~1 er~ I" t~ the common measure of recipment. db d d '1S unquestlone Ya . . 1 ' ification as manifested by the other two. sion which determmes t e mOmfe . (. It is now sustained. d h ' I'· n's logical movement. hi nclusion can b e a vance ' b In Its first form. ut .

lted by Bruce Fillk and M.1I11Ongst the se ect 111e k e d a ven ." ' dieter in the above footnote put it. as is apphes no less to . I t:.).." • .. u . . Band C cannot leave in this case either. here toO. A assumcs ie bl k "Consequence: w h en " '. they would surmise concerning the two ot ters t . .. 1) This infirmity h evidenced by teo f . IS here :I) Thus the" [". . I I· d still the "first person. . It IS on y a egeu: . C or D-could A thinks that. I -thus rcm.1 -k neither B nor C can leave.. since the collectivity is defined as a group formed by the reciprocal relations of a definite number of individuals-unlike the generality defined as a class abstractly including an indefinite number of individuals. . IIOW1l1g note we recelvell 'hrOI the diSCUSSIOn 0f our f ecun d . which l eter.. d rement An 111 er 0 . de str atc: the function u aste II self to overlook what we are try1l1g to cmon. . This assertion assuredly appears closer to its true value when presented as the conclusion of the form here demonstrated of anticipating subjective assertion: 1) A man knows what is not a man. even though not all may get to the truth [toucher all vrai). bl . if he were a b\ack.I \ '\ . . .rerday IS not tru Y conctu: I he the reasonmg a uuttc yes .nc Siit'cr Lacan's Footnotes .1 -ords '.ct of enunciation in logiC. I II' d: it is a demonstrative. 'I' . ~~ if he himself were black.. in each critical moment.. 1 f n one intellect-however ad... ually applicable to tee 0 .t For the grammatical second "b t also the on y anu as . h fi Id f person IS re ate to ano . faced with the inadequacy one senses in an assertion such as "I am a man. be temporalized in order to dialectically reduce the moment of concluding the time for comprebcnding so as to last but the instant of the glance. ..-IS re uci three pOSSible states . 3) I declare myself to be a man for fear of being convinced by men that I am not a man. '. difficulty: direct your attention to a new "My dcar Lacan.v logic. TIWlsl. d . moreover. eq person. .1111Shlinc to t lC the case too c car y.' it being posited that the attribute "negative" can only come into play in the case of a number equal to the number of subjects minus one. Despite Its opel1lng 'Iv . still no one can get there but by means of the others. others' behavior. . if not confirm. that truth-if reached by only some-can engender." couched in whatever form of classical logic and derived as the conclusion from whatever premises one likes (e. lv insofar as it posits itself as assimi"human" assimilation. and.table con uston. . but which nonet e ess r 6 termination 0 f t he "I" . "man is a rational animal". (appearances notwlthst.. a hasty note to. Tres [aciunt collegium. that if in this race to the truth one is but alone. h th rs' departure ut r a 1 II hi fact that It IS not teo e d.shable therein. A cannot e . 19 . . d .ihlc to any of t lC ot iers .' .-000 00' or O. . . If A assumes he IS white" d duce the color of his disc frum the upshot being that. The white. . as well as in the handling of the "complex" in psychoanalytic practice.. we would like to indicate their contribution to the logical notion of collectivity. Only the slightest disparity need appear in the logical term" others" for it to become clear how much the truth for all depends upon the rigor of each. etc. . as the adage goes. h venturous 111ot er sophism had provo [ects of an intimate . note bears t \Ie traces . f\ As for the grammatica tnir .' d t hastily refute us.lndmg). 2) Men recognize themselves amongst themselves to be men.g. f . Id ther function 0 anguage.Jacques Newsletter of the freudian field Lacan to others as such must. c versa). These forms obviously find easy application in bridge table and diplomatic strategy. h fi Id after a SOiree at \\ IC I .t le ot Icr e" . and the collectivity is already integrally represented in the sophism. as the contra f h bi . . . our WI. or f has . 'onl the last is decisivc. Here. Y· 1. d e d uce f r om their\ for they cannot k he I aves: and if instead the irst IS . ' e laVlOr \\ 1 f' . But it suffices to extend the sophism's proof by recurrence to see that it can be logically applied to an unlimited number of subjects.lusive for none of the . error in the others.t\ e 5-. precise': hI eservcs the essential delative of a barbarism. b I· '\ ether they arc ac or. thc minds formed by this tradition. This constitutes a movement which provides the logical form of all . c ones: _ one of the others-B. \ panic .. white: for if one 0 f t Irem IS acs . l IS 0 ac .t lees not do so (and viceI ay because t ie nrs l .1 mines the su b [ect s IU g . .' But temporal objectification is more difficult to conceptualize as the collectivity grows. of a laborious restate men .. We will nevertheless show what such a logic would have to furnish.. b tI cr their waiting. the third form 0 t Ie su lClc . however. the other eaves anyw. t of the problem. the enunciated and to everythmg ISt1l1gUI f h te discs and three black 4) Here is the example for four subjects. seeming to pose an obstacle to a collective logic with which one could complete classical logic.he a ows IIn· . dmi d . the circle. 2) "Irreduclbles. I Our contradlctor-1I1 seem". .

1 W itc But don't thcv. Assuming I am 1." f) We have opted to slightly extend the meaning of the English "instance" to correspond more closely to Freud's lnstanz and Lacan's instance. '.1Il. white. or "time of immobility". inferred. . therefore he IS white. . al Ing w lIC 1. first used by Bergson.ltloest IS!l1ean)E'tI h t h ev fall prey to the same doubr .0 posit t at t ley should both " . IA _ . D do it? Well if they don't the I gil at e IS. Norton. rn 1~ sense III w uch . 1(\ ) an. (David Carr. .' he IS white-since either _ "II I' ping l ocs not ncccssarilv imply can sn wonc er for un : . (We have never used it here in the sense of a particular example or case of something. l' . But if thcv all stop . j) "Fellow man" obviously cannot render the connotation irrestibly evoked by Lacan's semblable (the former adequately of resemblance translating the 11 .'. enc j 0 f the present article I'll I' (0 ectiv e. A says to himself If I . '" e ore lin I ] r T I icl .I l' . translates Gegeben as "pregiven"). emphasizing the length or duration of the halt. up againin hiirnsel! from t what . '' . . p.' IS. Press. French edition of the liS re erence to the . [Northwestern U. lc at ie unself IS wl itc 'h' h d pen.lIS h' anc can thus race off again without Iec1 to wonder whether the . en WI. " " 0 umse . SICS. "Interruption" should thus be understood here as the duration of a disruption. ~I ier t ey stop because worry. suspending or interrupting itself.supposition a out it ' he . standstill. It must now dawn . Evanston. h ~t arturc 0 t e other t. agency or authority (as when we speak of a court of the first instance). N. thing into its component parts.. "instance" should be understood in the sense of a power. . C or D. 0 .\\ IC oes not haph . Impute to the two others this further h' .1' .k A . urgent force. . constltutl!1g the . e. at least in pan.I ' . understand.ltIOI:. at certain other points in the text. black.d ' . is a phenomenological term denoting that which is immediately present to the mind before the mind acts upon it.'s. 'e at tl le same . . 1920 (Group subject of the individuaL' i ~g{)ll.' " ' vet to _he translated into English.orl er to srt uate wh t F d j of collective psycholog\. t len . Or it's that A is a bla . We have most often translated it as "grasp". c) "Forms" here refers to the different types of reasoning cataloged and examined in classical logic. or -t tat if he II k .. the term adopted by Alan Sheridan in his translations of Lacan's work (d.' It IS lise at tunes in phy " _. rather than resort to the usual term "agency" (used to categorize the id. usually translated as "data" or "given" (as in the "the givens of the problem"). Thd' stop. g) Fuite means "flight" as well as the slipping or leaking away.r IS to Lacan's "Siruar. and of an insistent. II . . 197(J]." . d) Temps d'arret literally means "stopping time". C and .k ' . C and .l!!ung 0 t le I'S\' 'I' I. ' B C' r an instanr whether he '5 not 11m < ~or D> t 'h I start up again before him if I '" '1I"k . . b Ilurnes to conclude that Ill' is a whi .) A ' d . \.' were a ) ac .1\ mg to nnke a ' '. it also conveys a note of instantaneousness.1 } st In 1956. for the German Gegebens. .... 1966 fTh I~us In the SUbjeLt of psychonon 01 Psvchoalnlvsis and T. 1(." I 'h'. ie could not D should thus stnrr up 'lg'"I'Il b f hCSItA. and all the others with him. t ic act 01 breaking down or transforming some< '_ " < . that which is not constructed. fading or aphanisis (of something). 1977). IS . 6) 1he reader who continues on in this coli. As lc donne docs not necessarily imply that subsequent intellection or construction will take place.y now t rat they arc whites if I am . Ecrits: A Selection. t re collective IS nothing but the . .S 1<:. the resolution of a beam of white light into its various constituent wavelengths. Scuil.Y. 1 ac says t I 'If' upon one of the others-B CD' . All Introduction to Phenomenological Philosophy. or stop as well as the stopping.' t h at le IS.g. seize.L "lnl t atf one 01 the (itl u ' rs'(B" C or D) has been den. and the . choanalvtlC function of th . i) Le donne (the French equivalent. . they ' not .. Which would allow .() lcbunalvs».] ... ha-see t iat C IS a black. in his translation of Husserl's The Crisis of the European Sciences and Transcendental Pbenomenologv. activity of intervention.) h'IS warnng III vain.0nLermng the condition of this I11mus . . hodv of the original F '-I ' ! g t IS P. but in order to bring out its connection with la donner. Throughout this article. . '. 4S0 in Ecrits. we have reserved "prcgiven" for lc donne and "given" for la donnee. D I h' ave the advantage over him of .I. . -. analYSIS. fie reference .\\l. says A S th ll s ' Second stop.()~Itr: Translators' Notes a) A reference. I' C 'I 11 C. "seize" or "appropriate".'A.' all I. It is often rendered in English as "given". It designates modes of reasoning in general.) "Agency".her.lrtllular article rn the "rUlL 1 version of the Ecrits. cave at t others too. . Ite. h) Saisir can be translated as to grasp. _ ' Lents liS advised to return to rl ' . ey a start up again. Why don't B.e. . as an intermission lasting a certain (though unspecified) amount of time. stops..acan Waste no time realizing thev 'He wh Th would quicklv havc to conclu 1 th. etc. assured of bein ) .IL hand' to sta r t . When A realizes that if t' . in no way conveys the insistance so important to Lacan's meaning here.. a reu prOluced in the field I'sycl}()I()~y and the AII~/vsis (O(~~I~)~W J. but the reader should keep all of these meanings in mind as he or she comes across these terms in the text. h' us one of the others-B. t It} stop.Newsletter of the Frcudian Field jacques I. . the "pre" of "pregiven" should not be thought to be necessarily indicative of temporal antecedence. ego and superego). or hypothetical. . d. B.' h " . A starts up again. time a' I . e) "Verification" should probably be understood here in the sense of "confirmation.\\0 oes not in fact signifv . the PS}'.Ill oubr. ref ccnori Ithe . fM 1 " . But all of them should know h ir I truly black..a black and to rt"III'Z tl " . " d ' ' y re un erstood here' the ' .e 13t t lelr stol' . an article H c I: II . Seuil I b) Resolution" should probnh] I d ' %6. . and would mislead one in substantifying or personifying time's roles here. 1O. to the llacin' of hi-. And the certarnrv IS verified in I ' ' 'i) c '" t tree SIISpCIISll'e SCaIlSI(!/IS .' ene-extra I U. realize. 0 I" one In t e attnbute.

which we define as follows: to punctuate. \X!ehave thus preferred to revive the now obsolete English "semblablc' found. The French verb "scandcr" plays quite an important part in Lac.: 22 j ~ . Act V. his umbrage. k) \'Vhilc Lac. four paragraphs further on Lacan uses the expression temps de lrattcmcnt.III as vet non-existent verb torm corresponding to the noun "scansion" (: "The action or the art of sc. the division of verse into metrical feet.mian discourse. divide or cut up into parts.Newsletter of the Freudian held french "prochein" which Lacan avoids throughout this article). Scene II. discrete units. and who else would trace him. etc."-OFD).inc 124: "his scmhlable is his mirror.1 I.uuung verse. a sort of blinking or beat(ing) of time itself. as docs the noun form "5(aIl5/01l"-d. emphasizing the temporal component. also an example of thcm.1'1 of our rr.m accentuates here an action. the £II/ratIO II. I) We introduce here . for example in Hamlet. 1'. I I '. nothing more". I.mslation where we extend the meaning of the English (scansion) to denote a temporal cut or suspension.

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