Cardozo Law School

Jacob Burns Institute for Advanced Legal Studies
Working Paper 021 September 2000

The Four Discourses of Law: A Lacanian Analysis of Legal Practice and Scholarship

Jeanne L. Schroeder

Forthcoming in Texas Law Review, October 2000.

This paper can be downloaded without charge from the Social Science Research Network Electronic Paper Collection: http://papers.ssrn.com/paper.taf?abstract_id=242961

1

The Four Discourses of Law: A Lacanian Analysis of Legal Practice and Scholarship
by Jeanne L. Schroeder * I. II. Introduction Lacanian Discourse Theory A. Introduction B. Mathemes and Matrices 1. The Matrices 2. The Mathemes 3. Linguistics 4. The Master Signifier 5. Knowledge 6. The Split or "Barred" Subject 7. The objet petit a The Four Discourses of Law A. The Discourse of the Master 1. Lacan's Analysis 2. The Master's Discourse as Positive Law B. The Discourse of the University 1. Lacan's Analysis a. Introduction b. Context c. Obsession 2. The University's Discourse as Interpretation/Policy C. The Discourse of the Analyst 1. Introduction 2. Lacan's Analysis 3. The Analyst's Discourse as Legal Counseling D. The Discourse of the Hysteric 1. Introduction 2. Hysteria 3. Sexuality 4. The Hysterical Question 5. Lacan's Analysis 6. The Hysteric's Discourse as Advocacy a. Negotiation

III.

*

Professor of Law, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.

draft: 9/1/00

2

The Four Discourses b. Litigation IV. Dueling Discourses at an Academic Conference A. Law and Economics as a University Discourse B. Critical Theory as an Hysteric Discourse C. The Impossibility of Communication and the Sexual Impasse D. Fantasy I. Introduction. According to the picture implicit in the rules of professional conduct, the lawyer is a zealous advocate who owes an undivided duty to one client in the context of an adversary proceeding. This vision is certainly empirically incorrect today. It is a common complaint among transactional lawyers that the rules not only give little guidance on how to resolve many of the thorniest ethical issues they confront but that they pose potential conflicts with duties imposed by other law.1 The modern lawyer wears many hats. She is not merely the client's advocate, but his advisor as well. Lawyers interpret and help make the law, in their roles as negotiators, lobbyists, litigators, scholars, etc. Lawyers also directly engage in the making of positive law by acting as legislators, judges and regulators. It only begs the question to argue that only some of these roles are performed by lawyers as lawyers while others are performed by persons who just happen to be lawyers, but could be performed by others. It is true that many of the services offered by persons trained in the law do not require a license to practice law. In the case of the corporate

1 Of particular concern is the potential clash between traditional notions of advocacy and client confidentiality on the one hand and disclosure obligations imposed by the federal securities and other laws on the other. Although the Securities and Exchange Commission does not take the position that an attorney, acting in her capacity as an attorney, has a duty to disclose her client's violations of the securities laws, the government has, on a number of occasions, taken the position that by exceeding the role usually played by attorneys, the lawyer has taken on certain disclosure obligations. Probably the most notorious such cases involved the prestigious New York law firm of Kaye, Scholer, Fierman & Handler ("Kaye, Scholer"). Kaye, Scholer represented the Lincoln Savings and Loan Association, F.A. ("Lincoln") in connection with the government investigation of its notorious collapse during the height of the savings and loan crisis of the early 1990's. Kaye, Scholer viewed this as an adversarial proceeding and assigned the matter to its litigation department despite the fact that part of its duties would be assisting Lincoln in preparing and submitting disclosure documents required by the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the "Exchange Act"). Kaye, Scholar took an extremely aggressive position and, among other things, insisted that all communications between the government and Lincoln be made through Kaye, Scholer. Kaye, Scholer, in effect, prepared a report on Form 8-K as though they were answering a deposition. That is, they strictly interpreted the wording of the rule and only answered the specific questions asked without volunteering information. Unfortunately, the Exchange Act imposes a different standard. It is not sufficient for a registrant to disclose all material facts specifically required. In addition it is unlawful to omit to state a material fact necessary in order to make the statements made, in the light of the circumstances under which they were made, not misleading. That is, it is not enough to tell the truth, one must tell the whole truth. On March 1, 1992 the Office of Thrift Supervision (the "OTS") sued Kaye, Scholer on a number of grounds including the submission of a misleading Form 8-K on behalf of Lincoln. To the shock of the bar, the OTS froze Kaye, Scholer's assets pending resolution of the case. The OTS argued that by imposing itself between Lincoln and the government Kaye, Scholer had ceased to act as a mere scrivener with respect to Lincoln's Exchange Act obligation (in which case Lincoln, but not its attorneys, would be liable for any violations), but had taken those obligations upon itself. Although Kaye, Scholer disputed this analysis, it could not operate with frozen assets and was forced to enter into a $41 million settlement 9 days later. See generally P RACTICING LAW INSTITUTE COURSE HANDBOOK: THE ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP AFTER KAYE, SCHOLER (Jonathan J. Lerner ed. 1992).

draft: 9/1/00

3

the law and economics movement has remained impervious to external criticism. lawyers increasingly find themselves competing with the management consulting departments of investment banks and accounting firms. However. we need to recognize that we lawyers regularly hold ourselves out as lawyers in a wide variety of activities that would not necessarily require a license to practice law. it is incumbent on the profession to consider the ethical implication of these activities. No doubt. Hegel and the Marquis de Sade. SEMINAR XVII). does he make any direct statement of his theories. law-and-economics and its critics are quite literally speaking different languages or "discourses" -. LACAN. draft: 9/1/00 4 . Perhaps needless to say. Moreover. My taxonomy differentiates not only the various roles engaged in by the practicing lawyer. is a form of "university" discourse. My point is that we should no longer mere seek to determine when a person trained as a lawyer is in fact "practicing law" and subject to the canons of ethics. St. in the hope of developing ways to mediate or translate between them. As a result. if ever. Little of Lacan's work takes the form of formal writings. many specific attempted critiques have failed because of their own weaknesses. Rather. descartes. Rather. Introduction. It can also be applied to legal scholarship. LIVRE XVII: L' E N V E R S D E L A P S Y C H A N A L Y S E (Jacques-Alain Miller ed.law and economics. lecture series) which he delivered in Paris from 1953 until his death in 1982. In the last section of this Article I show why communication must fail between these competing forms of scholarship as currently configured. Over the years many scholars have critiqued the law and economics movement from a variety of perspectives yet. a philosophical position that implicitly accepts many of the basic assumptions of the law and economics movement. In this Article I analyze lawyering in terms of Jacques Lacan's discourse theory. and other policy oriented scholarship. Pandora's Amphora: The Ambiguity of Gift . 815 (1999). LE SÉMINAIRE DE JACQUES LACAN. but on a thorough understanding of the Western intellectual tradition. 1991) (hereinafter. II. these transcripts are maddeningly abstract and obscure. Rarely. given the obscurity and complexity of his work. As a consequence. expertise and experience as lawyers. edited by his son-in-law and protege Jacques-Alain Miller have been published in France. I argue that from a technical psychoanalytic standpoint. cannot take place. Augustine. their are probably more different interpretations of Lacan than there are readers. Rev. In this Article I propose an analytical structure of lawyering as a first step in this ethically necessary process. by and large. Schroeder. when we lawyers make our sales pitches for retention.The Four Discourses or "transactional" lawyer this statement can probably be expanded to "most" services. His account of the four discourses appears first in his Seventeenth Seminar entitled L'envers de la psychanalyse. as an advantage over our potential competitors. Scholars who identify with the movement have largely merely failed not merely to respond to these criticisms. including Plato. A. St. I have elsewhere extensively criticized much of this work as reflecting romanticism. conversation does not. 46 UCLA L. Nevertheless if one reads and rereads these transcripts one can discern that each lecture is supported by a skeleton of a rigorously worked out theoretical system based not only on Freud's psychoanalysis. As such. Official transcripts of fewer than half of these seminars. as well as the analytical and communication skills associated with our profession. his most influential work consists of 27 annual seminars (or more accurately. each school unintentionally fails even to address their arguments to the other. we hawk our education. Kant. 3 JACQUES LACAN. A smaller number of English translations have been published to date. but to acknowledge the points made or address the issues raised.2 But this cannot entirely explain this phenomenon. and perhaps. Paul. Lacanian Discourse Theory. Although Lacan was by reputation a rivetting speaker. while critical scholarship is a "hysteric" discourse.3 This influential Seminar was 2 My most extensive presentation of this argument is Jeanne L.

As a result. in truth this would be capital for interpretation. Rosalind Drauss & Annette Michelson trans."6 Interestingly Seminar XVII was delivered at the Facult de droit. SEMINAR XVII. In this Article I gratefully rely on a manuscript copy of the first draft of this translation that Prof. This will probably be by far the most important time of the three. at 41. no one knows what will happen here. the Societe Française de Psychanalyse (the organization that Lacan led) expelled Lacan and revoked his right to train analysts. 4 It was published in French in 1991. Id. Lacan announced that he would no longer deliver his seminars at L'hôpital de SainteAnne and formed a new organization. the invert. supra note 3. In 1979. with occasional modifications made by myself and David Gray Carlson based on the original French. 1990) [hereinafter LACAN. 4 5 In 1963. STUART SCHNEIDERMAN. and perhaps. The authorized English translation by Russell Grigg is scheduled for publication later this year under the name The Other Side of Psychoanalysis . draft: 9/1/00 5 . for a discussion of the context of Seminar XVII. in fact. He responded by disbanding the organization. and to the nth degree. since it is question this year of taking psychoanalysis from the other side.8 I discuss the context in which Seminar XVII was delivered in text infra at notes --. 6 LACAN. the law school of the University of Paris at Vincennes. (Specifically. Lacan died in 1982. he became associated with the new "radical" University of Paris at Vincennes. Quotes from Seminar XVII are based on this drafts. After his ejection in 1979. if that is not where one touches on how discourse structures the real world. in an act of sterotypically Gallic cartesianism. but. at 50. 8 LACAN.7 Lacan recognized both the irony and appropriateness of his new situation. supra note 3. precisely of giving it its status in the sense that is called juridical. 7 See infra text at notes --. at 10. SEMINAR XVII. Grigg. In 1974 he engineered a palace revolt within the psychoanalysis department expelling many prominent teachers including Luce Iragaray. JACQUES LACAN: THE DEATH OF AN INTELLECTUAL HERO 40-41 (1983). the École Freudienne de Paris. His theory centers around the role of the symbolic order (which includes law) in the formation of personality which is precisely why I think it can she light on jurisprudential theory. a group of dissidents in the École Freudienne de Paris moved to replace the increasingly feeble Lacan. the SFP voted to refuse not to ratify a motion striking Lacan's name from the list of training analysts.1 (Denis Hollier. Id. "Psychoanalysis upside down. n. under pressure from the International Psychoanalytic Association. Grigg has kindly allowed me to use. TELEVISION: A CHALLENGE TO THE P SYCHOANALYTIC ESTABLISHMENT 81.The Four Discourses delivered in the 1969-70 academic year and was addressed not only to the French universities which were the focus of student unrest the previous year. At the request of Prof. Lacan's career comprised a series of fractious disputes. references are to the corresponding pages in the French edition. were replicating the sins of the institutions they attacked. has always surely been concerned with the structures of discourse. but also equally to the self-styled student radicals who claimed to be followers of Lacan but. Merleau-Ponty and Althusser. TELEVISION].) Introduction to the Names-of-the-Father Seminar in JA C Q U E S L A C A N . If that isn't what law is. With the intervention of such prominent French intellectuals as LeviStrauss. As he said during the first class of the Seminar: Naturally. Lacan lost the privilege of teaching at the École Normale Supérieure. at 16-17. Lacan eventually became associated with the École Normale Supérieure.5 The original French l'envers carries the same connotations as the English phrase "other side": it can mean the reverse. in any case. Id. or the lining or facing (as of a jacket) of psychoanalysis. where can it be? This is why we are no worse off here than elsewhere. Partly because of his purported association with the student radicals who rioted in Paris in 1978 (not to mention his unorthodox ideas and insufferably arrogant manner). This. I don't know whether law students will come.

the university discourse is radically masculine and the hysteric's is radically feminine. In this Article I suggest that four legal roles correspond to the four discourses: Legislator. the analyst could very well adapt the university discourse or the master's discourse. AESTHETICS (Willy Apollon & Richard Feldstein. Lacanian Discourse Master University Analyst Hysteric Legal Role Legislator Interpreter Counselor Advocate Approximately half-way through the Seventeenth Seminar. so the discourse of the hysteric should provide a unique perspective for a critique of that of the university. 9 Quoted in Ellie Ragland. founded on language. Lacan proposed four discourses: the discourse of the master. SEMINAR XVII. or for that matter the hysteric's discourse . the discourse of the university (i. implicitly. supra note 10. qu'il attrape quelque chose) that does shed some light on each other. law and economics) is therefore the "other side" of the hysteric discourse (i. Counselor and Advocate. listen to the hysteric's critique. at 129-30. I will concentrate on Lacan's initial elegant schema. 10 Lacan expanded on these in later seminars.e. 1996) [hereinafter. Of course. but have a interrelationship. however. This dynamic is not unique to discourse. As Fink notes. Lacan left open the possibility that there could be other discourses. as he or she teaches. THE LACANIAN SUBJECT: BETWEEN LANGUAGE AND JOUISSANCE 198 n. LACAN. supra note 3. Lacan specifically identified the discourse of the master as the reverse of the discourse of the analyst. critical thought). See e. AESTHETICS] at 127. or is unable to. but he clearly thought that the four he identified had especial significance in modern society." Id. even as the university refuses. The masculine does not merely fail to hear the feminine. BRUCE FINK. i. the "other side" of psychoanalysis identified in the title. while Lacan forges a discourse of the hysteric there is no such discourse of the obsessive neurotic. for example. Discourse of the Master in LACAN. 13 FINK. "An analyst does not always function within analytic discourse. the analyst and the hysteric.The Four Discourses Lacan defined "discourse" as "a social link. draft: 9/1/00 6 . phobic. 1 3 Any individual might move from discourse to discourse. the university discourse of law and economics could not listen to the hysteric's critique and continue to do business as usual. insofar. no one speaks within only one discourse."9 In The Other Side of Psychoanalysis .e.1 1 In this Article. See infra text at notes --. As only the twentieth seminar is available in English at this time. or psychotic. I will show. but is an example of a single paradox that underlies every aspect of Lacan's theory: the sexual impasse. "One thing that is immediately striking is that. 5 (1995). 11 LACAN. eds. Interpreter.12 Just as Lacan thought that the discourse of the analyst stands in a unique critical position with respect to that of the master. 12 Id.10. P OLITICS. P OLITICS. Following Jamie Murray. at 130. pervert. the masculine must affirmatively ignore and not acknowledge the feminine because the masculine personality defines himself purely through repression of the feminine. 128. They do not so much explain each other. . a weaving (s'un rapport de trame) that creates material ( tissu) with a texture that captures something (un relief. how the discourse of the university relates to obsessiveness.g. Similarly.e. the university. at 61. I shall show that. at 99. . From a psychoanalytic viewpoint.

The Four Discourses ."14 Similarly, a lawyer takes on different roles and may speak within different discourses even with respect to a single legal matter. Discourses, however, "are not like hats that can be donned and doffed at will."15 Each discourse has its own constraints, conditions and consequences. Accordingly, I shall suggest that one of the ethical ideals for the lawyer is to identify the discourse appropriate for the role she adopts and to understand its demands and constraints. B. Mathemes and Matrices. 1. The Matrices. I begin with a description of Lacan's unique nomenclature and presentation. In an attempt to systemize psychoanalysis and make it more like a science, Lacan frequently expressed his theories in quasi mathematical formulations known as "mathemes." These mathemes can be mystifying to non-Lacanians. Indeed, they often seem designed more to obfuscate rather than illuminate the ideas they are intended to explain. A significant exception to this observation is Lacan's mathemes relevant to the four discourses. Lacan's diagrams effectively reveal a single structure shared by the four discourses. They vividly illustrate the relationships between them. They will help us see how one discourse can be positioned to critique another, and how one discourse can or can not speak or listen to another directly. Specifically, we will be able to see that how one discourse can be the other side of another. Each discourse is characterized by four terms arrayed in a matrix: agent truth

6

other product/loss16

These four functions designated by the four positions in the matrix remain fixed while four terms rotate through the positions. In the upper left hand corner is the "agent" -- the person (or institution) "speaking" in the discourse.17 The agent addresses the discourse towards the "other", in the upper right hand corner. This other might be a person,

14 15 16 17

Id. at 130. Id. Id. at 131. Id. at 130-31.

draft: 9/1/00

7

The Four Discourses institution or social structure."18 This relationship is designated by the arrow moving from the agent to the other as addressee.19 On the lower left, underneath the agent, is the agent's truth.20 They are separated by a horizontal line or "bar" a symbol that appears in numerous Lacanian mathemes with the same implications. The bar indicates that the term in the upper register is in someway radically barred from any direct relationship with the term in the lower register. In this case, the bar between the agent and the truth designates that the agent is in some way separated from his own truth. A disjunction between expressed message and true meaning, between appearance and actuality, is thereby implied. The concept of the bar -- of a constitutive gap or impasse -- is one of the most fundamental of all Lacanian ideas. As we shall touch on in this Article, most remarkably, sometimes this bar does not merely separate two ideas, but is internal to one single idea. On the lower right, underneath the other, is the result that comes about through the discourse.21 As shall become clear when I discuss specific discourses, this result can either be something produced by the discourse, or something lost or excluded from the discourse. In the case of the two discourses of power (the discourses of the master and the university) that are the "other sides" of the critical discourses, the result is unintended. In contrast, the two critical discourses are aimed precisely in producing the result. No arrow connects the truth to the product -- the two functions beneath the bar. There is no direct relationship between the two -- the relationship between the two lower terms is, in fact, a fundamental impasse. Any relationship between the truth of the discourse and its product only comes about indirectly through the discourse.

18

On the right, the side of the receiver, the top position as that of the other, which is occupied by the factor called into action by the dominant factor in the message. The activation of this factor is a prerequisite for receiving and understanding a given message or discourse. For example, if systematic knowledge is the dominant element of a discourse (occupying the top left position), receivers, in order really to receive (i.e., understand) this discourse, must (for a moment, at least) be receptive to a preconstituted knowledge, which means emptying themselves of any knowledge that might interfere with the knowledge in the discourse and becoming an amorphous, nonarticulated substance, a, to be articulated by the discourse.

Mark Bracher, On the Psychological and Social Functions of Language: Lacan's Theory of the Four Discourses , in LACANIAN THEORY OF DISCOURSE : SUB J E C T , S TRUCTURE , AND SOCIETY (Mark Bracher et al. eds. 1994) [hereinafter, THEORY OF DISCOURSE ] at 107, 109. "The right-hand positions are occupied by the factors that the subject receiving the message is summoned to assume." Id. at 109. Note, that the top right-hand position is called the "other" spelled with a small "o" to distinguish the fact that this is a particular other person or institution rather than the "Other" (spelled with a big "O", which I will call the Big Other). I discuss this distinction infra text at note --. 19 FINK, supra note 10, at 131. 20 The top position on each side represents the overt or manifest factor, the bottom position the covert, latent, implicit, or repressed factor -- the factor that acts or occurs beneath the surface. More specifically, the top left position is the place of agency or dominance; it is occupied by the factor in a discourse that is most active and obvious, The bottom left position is the place of (hidden truth, the factor that underlies, supports, and gives rise to the dominant factor, or constitutes the condition of its possibility, but is repressed by it. Bracher, supra note 18, at 109. 21 "What is produced as a result of [those who are placed in the position of the other] allowing themselves to be thus interpellated by the dominant factor of a discourse is represented by the position of production, the bottom right." Id. at 109.

draft: 9/1/00

8

The Four Discourses Four mathemes revolve through the four positions of the matrix: S1, S2, $ and a. Lacanians will recognize that these designate i) the "master signifier"; ii) "knowledge" or the "signifying chain"; iii) the "split subject"; and iv) the "objet petit a", respectively.22 Matheme S1 S2 $ a Concept Designated master signifier knowledge split subject objet petit a

I will give a brief introduction to the general meaning of these terms in Lacanian thought. An important point is that each of these terms takes on a slightly different connotation depending on where it is placed in the matrix. 23 For example, the mas ter signifier means one thing when it is in the position of the agent. It means something else when it is the other addressed in the discourse and takes on further distinctive meanings when it is placed in the other two positions. The four discourses and their logical relationship to one other is illustrated by rotating the mathemes counterclockwise through the four positions mentioned earlier.24 Lacan started with the discourse of the master -- the other side of psychoanalysis:25 S1 $

6

S2 a

By rotating this founding discourse we produce, first, the discourse of the university: S2 S1

6

a $

22 23 24 25

FINK, supra note 10, at 173. "Whatever matheme Lacan places in one of these four positions, it takes on the role ascribed to that position." Id. at 131. Id. at 131. LACAN, SEMINAR XVII, supra note 3, at 13. According to Fink, Lacan did this: both for historical reasons and because it embodies the alienating functioning of the signifier to which we are all subject. As such, it holds a privileged place in the four discourses; it constitutes a sort of primary discourse (both pyhlogenetically and ontogenetically).

FINK, supra note 10, at 130.

draft: 9/1/00

9

Rather. his theory is a retroactive (speculative) reconstruction of the internal logic of our culture (and human subjectivity) from the perspective of the twentieth century. Lacan himself spent a lifetime doing so. SEMINAR draft: 9/1/00 10 . For clarity of organization I will discuss these general terms here. 1988) [hereinafter. predictive account of an empirical process whereby an actual individual gains knowledge. For Lacan the subject is located within three psychic orders he called the symbolic. even though it appears third in his schema. THE SEMINAR OF JACQUES LACAN. ii) S2 (knowledge in the sense of the chain of signifiers). complex and paradoxical. 1985) [hereinafter. Consequently. just as inevitably. 28 See Jacqueline Rose. From a Lacanian analysis. A full explication of any of the following concepts would take several books. if something is inevitably always lost in any translation. iii) $ (the split or "barred" subject). Nevertheless. Consequently. 31 A J CQUES LACAN. Lacan's concepts are subtle. and iv) a (the objet petit a). Linguistics. At this point. This suggests that each discourse logically requires that each of the others will eventually be developed. I disagree with this in the context of law and restore the discourses to their logical order ending with the hysteric's. 27 Slavoj Zizek is probably the foremost proponent of the retroactive reading of Hegel and Lacan. Introduction II . See infra text at notes --. LACAN. FEMININE SEXUALITY (Juliet Mitchell & Jacqueline Rose eds. Miller ed.27 He does not purport to give a prospective. which shall be the primary concern of this Article. the fact that Lacan uses the same four terms in all four discourses obviously reflects essential definitions that perdure regardless of position. Nor does he give a historically account about the creation of discourses in Western history. THE VESTAL AND THE FAS C E S: H E G E L . i n JA C Q U E S LACAN AND THE ÉCOLE FREUDIENNE. BOOK I: FREUD'S P APERS ON TECHNIQUE 80 (J-A. Jacqueline Rose trans. I discuss the retroactive method of speculative thought in JEANNE LORRAINE SCHROEDER. 3. however. modifying his ideas over time. the imaginary and the real. LACAN. he discussed the analyst's discourse last. The concepts that revolve through the four discourses are symbolized as i) S1 (the master signifier). In this Article I simplify and rewrite Lacan within language more familiar to lawyers. is the order of social 26 As I discuss below. The specific content of each term depends on its position within the matheme of a specific discourse. The Mathemes. He posits that today we have (at least) four discourses and that the discourses have a certain relationship to each other. Lacan privileged the discourse of the analyst which he considered the one truly radical or potentially world changing discourse. not that they actually developed in any specific order.28 The symbolic. THE VESTAL AND THE FASCES].The Four Discourses The discourse of the analyst is produced by a further counter-clockwise rotation: a S2 We end with the discourse of the hysteric: $ a 6 $ S126 6 S1 S2 One needs to consider the nature of the progression proposed by Lacan. something is also gained. 311-12 (1998) [hereinafter. Forrester trans. I must give the usual caveat. 52-54. FEMININE S E X U A L I T Y ] at 27. Lacan works within the Hegelian speculative philosophical tradition. 2. 31-32. P ROPERTY AND THE FEMININE 13-14. SCHROEDER. J. I necessarily give a truncated description of those aspects of these concepts most directly relevant to the subsequent discussions.

not the symbolic. & Russell Grigg Trans. at 55. law. Id. LACAN. 1983) (quoting LACAN. eds. I]. rather. The meaning of this chain does not 'consist' in any one of these elements but rather 'insists' in the whole. That is. Lacan expresses signification as S/s -. whereas his later seminars put more emphasis on the real. is itself yet another signifier. The real is.The Four Discourses institutions including language. Whether or not Deacon's characterization of de Saussure's original thesis is accurate. Lacan's thinking about them developed over time. Terence W. which is the subject of this Article. 32 Here I am using the word "real" to include the colloquial sense of "actual" things. Deacon criticizes the linguistic theory of Ferdinand de Saussure (which forms the basis of Lacan's theory) as a simplistic mapping of signifier to signified. Lacan concentrated more on the contrast between the symbolic and the imaginary. Consequently. ÉCRITS). As Richardson explains. 30 For example. Lacan and the Subject of Psychoanalysis. THE SEMINAR OF JACQUES LACAN. Indeed. we must touch on his linguistic theory.the signifier over a signified. 6 P SYCHIATRY AND THE HUMANITIES 54 (Joseph Smith & William Kerrigan. Lacan defines such one-to-one mirror image identification as "meaning" which characterizes the imaginary order." GROSS. or which seems to escape. or the signifier stands for a signified. For example. at 34. 30 This interpretation is a grave misunderstanding because it gives precedence to the thing signified. The symbolic order is characterized by signification. TERENCE W." William J. All three orders are human reinterpretations of experience. whose meaning. where the 'whole' may be taken to be the entire interlude as described. Modifying the linguistic theory of de Saussure. supra note --. I shall frequently use the term "meaning" in the colloquial sense that includes signification rather than in Lacan's technical sense. at 500-01. signification is in an unending chain. just as a law can only be understood in the context of a legal system within a chain of interpretation and precedent. ad infinitum. Roughly speaking. as this Article is not intended for a clinical audience. is the order of intersubjective relations that includes language. in an otherwise insightful book. 29 JACQUES LACAN. the "real" is not physical reality or the "object world" per se. complementarity and meaning. to understand the terminology Lacan uses. 33 "Lacan compared this chain of signifiers as 'rings of a necklace that is a ring in another necklace made of rings'. SEMINAR III]. INTERPRETING LACAN. This is particularly crucial to an understanding of Lacan's notion of the master signifier (S1) and the signifying chain of knowledge (S2). The imaginary order is that of imagery. ÉCRITS]. BOOK III: THE P SYCHOSES 1955-56 54 (Jacques-Alain Miller ed. LACAN. The symbolic order. . 1993) [hereinafter. The End of the Market . ELIZABETH GROSZ .29 This idea has been parodied as a crude one-to-one identification of a word (a signifier) with some form of preexisting "thing" or concept (a signified). is discerned retroactively. it is completely wrong with respect to Lacan's variation. in the early seminars of the 1950's. DE A C O N . ÉCRITS: A SELECTION 149 (Alan Sheridan trans. 31 JA C Q U E S L A C A N . See Schroeder. draft: 9/1/00 11 . or rather whose 'effect' of meaning. The real is that which cannot be reduced to.33 Any word can only be understood in the context of a language as a whole within a chain of meaning. reality is lived as and known through imaginary and symbolic representations. Richardson.. it seems that over time. the other two orders. our sense that there is an external reality that cannot be reduced to our words or pictures.32 but rather another signifier which stands for another signified that. not only are three orders extremely complex. As is the case with virtually all of Lacan's concepts. The important point for our purposes is that each signified represented by a signifier is not a "real" thing outside language. law and sexuality. See also generally. 3 1 Nevertheless. JACQUE S L A C A N : A FEMINIST INTRODUCTION 10 (1990). in turn. . as well as Lacan's very different concept of the psychic order of the "real". In other words. supra note --. 1977) [hereinafter. In Grosz's words: "The Real is not however the same as reality. Lacan shifted some of the functions he originally assigned to the imaginary over to the real. signification and subjectivity. TH E S YMBOLIC SPECIES: THE CO-EVOLUTION O F L A NGUAGE AND THE BRAIN 69-70 (1997).

In that sense. But Lacan stresses the importance of this 'bar. a ship can be reduced to a sail. . SEM INAR VII. Lacan refers to thirty ships as thirty sails. essential. & Dennis Porter trans. at 157. supra note 29. " J ACQUES LACAN. Indeed. The "feminine" trope of metonymy is the slippage of signified's above the line of signification. but only suggest it. supra note 29. ROMEO AND JULIET. BOOK VII: THE ETHICS OF P SYCHOANALYSIS 1959-60 61 (JacquesAlain Miller ed. here manifesting the crossing of the bar" . Consequently. therefore. or the whole for the part. Lacan's usage of the bar stands for discreetness. Id. at 61. s u p r a note 29." LACAN. L A C A N . at 154. LACAN. simultaneously. supra note 35. . we can identify a similarity between the two which allows us to identify one to the other for a specific purpose. One could conceivably by extension refer to a steamboat as a "sail". Thus. the bar is quite the opposite from what mathematicians would make of it -. Metonymy is the insistence that the bar of signification cannot be crossed.the designation of the one concept by reference to only one aspect. 35 The formula for metaphor contains an addition sign: +. a metaphor is always false. .' conceiving it as indeed a 'barrier' to any one-to-one relationship between signifier and signified.signifiers are.34 Rather. READING LACAN 119 (1985) (citations omitted). 1992) (1988) [hereinafter. brightness. When Romeo said "what light by yonder window breaks. in the example he used. That is. it is always true in another sense. it is therefore "crossed" by the vertical line in the + sign. it insists that the signifier can never capture the totality of the concept of the signified in totality. if a metaphor is apt.35 Signification is. at 54. ÉCRITS. The two tropes of signification are metaphor and metonymy. he is not saying that a ship is a sail. The upper and lower terms are barred or separated from each other. THE SEMINAR OF JACQUES LACAN. That is. permanent one-to-one relationship between any signifier and any signified. Romeo believed that Juliet did in fact share certain essential qualities (such as beauty. literally "fraught with meaning.divisibility or complete continuity of the denominator into the numerator. But. Lacan writes of this "the + sign . . It reflects the proposition there is no simple. "for each ship to have just one sale is in fact the least likely possibility. Metonymy is Lacan's rewriting of the Freudian concept of "displacement. L A C A N . metaphor emphasizes the similarity or trait shared between two different concepts and de-emphasizes the differences." Id. Rather a sail is one aspect associated with a ship that can suggest the absent. insisting that any given signifier refers not to any corresponding signified but rather to another signifier . ÉC R I T S.it is the assertion that although the signifier and the signified are different. which is associated with the "masculine" aspect of personality is the impossible crossing of the bar of signification. at 156. ÉC R I T S. SEMINAR VII]. Metaphor is the temporary identification of a specific signifier above the line with a specific signified below -. or that each of the seven ships has one sail. JANE GALLOP. The "bar" is always represented in Lacan's notations as a horizontal line. a state of anxiety -. in metonymy the signifier does not attempt to describe the essential nature of the signified. Signification is in a constant state of slippage as signifiers slide above the line (different terms are used to designate the same concept in different contexts) and signifieds slide beneath the line (the same term designates different concepts in different contexts).The Four Discourses The indirect nature of the relationship between the signifier and the signifier is symbolized by the bar that separates the two terms." 34 Saussure also meant for the bar to indicate the arbitrary nature of the relation between the [signifier and signified]. warmth) with the sun. This is the same bar that separates the upper and lower bar between the upper and lower mathemes in the discourse matrices. When. The first. Metonymy emphasizes the difference between the signifier and the signified over the similarity. he was not suggesting that Juliet was literally a giant ball of gas in a state of nuclear fusion. at 156. it is the dawn and Juliet is the sun" WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE. As Lacan says. draft: 9/1/00 12 . Metaphor is Lacan's term for the Freudian concept of "condens a t i o n . unmentioned ship through association. the relation is contingent and temporary. The classic case of metonymy used by Lacan is synecdoche -. a metonymy does not need to assert any empirical truth. not continuity. . LACAN.

" Jeanne L. 1999 WIS. the proper Master-Signifier is produced. 38 FINK. as a common denominator of signification. Since it has no signified itself. the master signifier itself must be totally devoid of meaning. It is a purely transparent mediator of exchange. Lacanian linguistic theory holds that concepts can only be understood in terms of their negative -. Money is the one commodity that has no use value of its own. Consequently.in lacunaes. FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO: ENJOYMENT AS A P OLITICAL FACTOR 23 (1991) [hereinafter. are totalized): in this way. This signifier is the Master Signifier: the "empty" signifier" that totalizes ("quilts"_ the dispersed field -. the master signified is "nonsensical . there must be a signifier (a "something") that stands for "nothing. within its field. the dispersal of signification] is that we simply reverse the series of equivalences and ascribe to one signifier the function of representing the subject (the palace of inscription) for all of the others (which thereby become "all" -. Elsewhere he states. ZIZEK. devoid of reasoning" 38 Following Hegel. 39 BRACHER. The Master Signifier. "The only possible way out of this impasse [that is. every language contains a paradoxical element which. ENJOY YOUR SYMPTOM!: JACQUES LACAN IN HOLLYWOOD AND OUT 102-03 (1992) [hereinafter. In a market economy." "heaven.36 It might be thought of. 37 The master signifier itself is the signifier without any signified that can serve as the starting point of the chain. there is always "at least one" which functions as the signifier of the very lack of the signifier. Schroeder. The master signifier is the one signifier that gives meaning to the shifting chain of signifiers. SLAVOJ ZIZEK. stands in for what eludes it -." "Satan. or a translator of communication. As I have said elsewhere "Money understood as the repository of value has no characteristics of its own. 710 [hereinafter. It only exists as the repository or place holder for the exchange value of other commodities. As Georg Simmel said in his Kantian analysis of money: draft: 9/1/00 13 . for absence tout court). 687. at 112. The classic example of master signifiers are political masters who rule through a cult of personality. Schroeder. supra note 10. founding act of violence. ABYSS OF FREEDOM]. it is necessary to "objectify" value so that we can commensurate the two commodities to be exchanged. The master signifier is that which defines the signifying chain by serving as the negative to all other signifiers in that chain." and "communism" in political discourse." freedom. For example: quite common master signifiers would include words like "God. . economic subjects seek to acquire or trade commodities because of their use value which is both unique to the commodity and subjective to the person using the commodity. in comparison to what they are not.39 Master signifiers of the law and economics movement might include such words as "efficiency" and "rationality. But." and "hell" in religious discourse and terms such as "American. REV. within the context of the chain. THE ABYSS OF FREEDOM 39 (1997) [hereinafter. ." "democracy. L. nonfounded. In order to serve this function. "[I]n order for the series of signifiers to signify something (to have a determinate meaning). supra note 18. in every set of signifiers. ZIZEK. but is defined by the entire chain of signifiers to which it relates. 37 As explained by Zizek: 36 Because of this inherent tension. FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO]. the infinite chain of causes ("knowledge") is interrupted with an abyssal. The Midas Touch: The Lethal Effects of Wealth Maximization . master signifiers are frequently abstract concept. However. at 75. SLAVOJ ZIZEK.that is . such as Der Fuhrer or Il Duce. crudely. rather." "sin.The Four Discourses 4." a signifying element whose very presence stands for the absence of meaning (or. in order for trade to occur.that is.in it. it has no separate meaning of its own. The Midas Touch]. Z IZEK."40 In Zizek's words. 40 Another example of a master signifier with respect to a specific chain of signification is money with respect to the values of other commodities in a market economy. SLAVOJ ZIZEK. ENJOY YOUR SYMPTOM].

or unifying idea. or is aware of.41 This concept. Schroeder. in fact. at 70-71. ." Lacan emphasizes that because this is a master signifier of modern political and jurisprudential theory. When knowledge of any type articulates itself within a subject.The Four Discourses Probably.purchase on a subject . . supra note 3.that of the articulated systematic apparatus and that of the more intuitive savoir-faire .an image we have of our selves.(forthcoming 2000) [hereinafter.all knowledge is based on a signifying articulation. therefore. REV. even a philosophy that strictly speaking could be pinned down as being the most opposed to tit.the I-cracy emerges irreducibly. a master signifier for the chain of value because it is the pure negativity that defines define the value of all the positive commodities. belief. that is. -. some subtleties that must be pointed out. 43 A master signifier is any signifier that a subject has invested his or her identify in -. 41 The myth of the ideal I. language -. etc. Knowledge thus also determines the nature of the enjoyment -. . knowledge -. so to speak.is The condition of money is obviously the same as what is called its lack of qualities and lack of individuality. interchangeability personified.CARDOZO L. of course. Master signifiers are thus the factors that give the articulated system of signifiers (S2) -. Although our imaginary selves is a necessary part of our personality. it is an important master signifier in university discourse. each quantity of which can be replaced without distinction by any other.any signifier that the subject has identified with (or against) and that thus constitutes a powerful positive or negative value. of the I by which at least something is identical to itself. it has to be completely neutral. it is . THE P HILOSOPHY OF MONEY 123 (David Frisby ed. . LACAN." Id. -. 2d. 1990). in the first place.44 Rather. likes and dislikes. supra note 18. Bracher. Rationality].42 As I shall discuss when I turn to a consideration of the split subject. understood as the entire chain of signifiers for which S1 master signifier. SEMINAR XVII. our "true" selves is something very different indeed 5. . knowledge. is the economically rational actor who is of central importance to the university discourse of law and economics. that which chain -.that the subject is able to obtain.that is. the subject itself is caught up in the signifying apparatus in a position that is in certain ways unique. if it were philosophy. Rationality in Law and Economics Scholarship. Lacan's concept of knowledge is not the same as any subject consciously knows. --. Since GEORG SIMMEL. -. allies and enemies. . S2 is knowledge.43 Although this might at first blush seem to be most intuitive of the four concepts we will be there are. Simmel continues "Money is not only the absolutely interchangeable object.. namely. at 111. it stands between individual objects and in an equal relation to each of them. is very precisely what the university discourse cannot eliminate form the place in which the truth is found From every university statement of any philosophy whatever. 44 As Bracher says although knowledge has two aspects -.the connections between a signifying acts as the discussing. the discourse of Lacan -. ed. . RE V . autonomous individual of liberal political philosophy that corresponds with the Freudian "ego. Knowledge. .ORE. these invisible links. that seems to make sense of our sense of selves. such an ego is an imaginary construct in the strict Lacanian sense of the term -. make up the network of the subject's pleasure and pain. not common to all subjects. of the I that masters. even if can at first be approached as savoir-faire . Money is. draft: 9/1/00 14 . namely the speaker. L. . the single most important master signifier.jouissance -. Tom Bottomore and David Frisby trans. . knowledge is necessary in establishing identify for the subject. and thus constitute the subject's sense of self. at 124. 42 See Jeanne L. in American law is the self-identical. Schroeder.. -.

paradoxically. Moreover. supra note 10. STRUCTURE AND SOCIETY 74 (March Bracher et al. 653. WES L E Y N E W C O M B HOHFELD. this happens when the child learns first to speak. the Lacanian subject. and the very concept of rights and duties requires that these must be enforceable against or by the legal subject by or against other legal subjects. empty and alienated. frequently passive rather than active with respect to a knowledge to which he is subjected. Schroeder & David Gray Carlson. as Mark Bracher explains "One undergoes psychoanalysis in order to discover this knowledge that is the unconscious -that is. the liberal individual or "ego" is an imaginary construct and an essential master signifier of modern democratic democracy. Cook ed. L.49 As I have said. THE VESTAL AND THE FASCES. he feels an internal split. supra note 3). Kenneth Starr: Diabolically Evil?. . at 36-37. THE VESTAL AND THE FASCES. at 22.) The following is an abbreviated version of these more complete discussions. the subject of psychoanalysis is the speaking subject who functions through language. . supra note 10. at 731-35.54 Consequently the subject is not merely empty himself. REV. 48 I explain this phenomena at length elsewhere (see e. Schroeder. frequently does not know his true desire and frequently does not want to know." Id. at 52-54. the subject can not be limited to the conscious self. 27-34 52 This self-evident preposition is associated in American jurisprudence with Hohfeld. 49 SCHROEDER. at 111 (quoting LACAN. 53 See infra text at notes --. 88 C A L . is then otherwise socialized and becomes and Id. the subject only exists within a specific society and is formed through intersubjective relations.5 3 the symbolic order sometimes takes on a role known as the "Other" (Autre) or the Big Other (A) because it is experienced as alterity per se. Biographically. FUNDAMENTAL LEGAL CONCEPTIONS AS APPLIED IN LEGAL REASONING (W.g. and at times in conflict with. But. but not the Lacanian subject.The Four Discourses in the unconscious. One import of this analysis is that the subject feels that which is most the subject is in fact external to the subject. The Split or "Barred" Subject.what is most intimate to ourselves is experienced as external.'46 The subject is. yet knowledge is known by the subject.castrated..) in LACANIAN THEORY OF DISCOURSE : SUBJECT. The symbolic order is precisely that which is other than myself. s u p r a note 40. supra note 29. 1994). he feels that this state of alienation is something that has been imposed upon him. therefore. FINK. in fact. Lacan expresses this with the neologism "extimacy" -. One of the fundamental theses of Lacanian psychoanalysis is the subject is split -. 112 HARV . 483. draft: 9/1/00 15 . Jeanne L. L. the ego. 47 FINK. independently of.47 6. "in order to know what [one] doesn't know. See generally Jacques-Alain Miller. The End of the Market ]. Schroeder. 45 Indeed. but a creation of intersubjectivity. The End of the Market: A Psychoanalysis of Law and Economics . R E V . "the unconscious is nothing other than "knowledge that speaks all by itself" . at 110. the symbolic contains the very substance of my self. 51 I set out this analysis in full in SCHROEDER. at 87-94. 1919). a7 19-24. The Hegelian legal subject is also not the liberal individual. Specifically. The subject is created by submission to the symbolic order. 52 This intersubjective order of language. all in knowing it". Moreover. 659-60 n. su p r a note 27. The Lacanian subject is not the autonomous individual existing in the state of nature posited by classical liberal philosophy. See generally. Fink's book is an excellent introduction to Lacan's concept of the subject. eds. THE VESTAL AND THE FASCES. Schroeder. As I shall discuss below. 505-06 (1998)[hereinafter. Consequently. but necessarily includes an unconscious as well. negative.45 The subject does not know knowledge. at 110. su p r a note 27. 46 Id. SEMINAR XVII. and SCHROEDER. Rather. 50 Id. as Bracher notes.51 The legal subject only functions as such in so far as she has rights and duties. The Midas Touch .50 Unlike the economically rational actor who knows what he wants. law and sexuality is called "the symbolic". Lacan does not believe that the subject is natural. Extimité (Françoise Massardier-Kenney trans. 54 Jeanne L.31 (2000).48 Following the Hegelian tradition.

" of course is the subject itself. assign. ÉCRITS. the empty set. the idea of an internal constitutive split takes on increasing importance and reappears elsewhere in his work. ABYSS OF FREEDOM. Schroeder. the Big Other). 59 Lacan introduced the "$" as least as early as 1957. supra note 10. the bar between the signifier and signified is precisely the presence of the speaking subject imposing meaning on the world. of course partially correct -.The Four Discourses adult with a recognized sexuality and legal rights." LACAN. See also FINK. 58 See e. The Midas Touch. or the signifier is barred from the signified in the matheme of signification). giving a psychoanalytic spin to the Hegelian philosophic tradition that analyzes subjectivity as pure negativity.55 This nostalgic dream of a time before alienation is imagined as a primordial unity with the universe identified with the maternal body. LACAN. This is my crude introduction to Lacan's radical rewriting of the Freudian oedipal complex. and commits a crime in trying to avoid it. but can not formulate a conscious memory of their infancy prior to the acquisition of speech. 55 56 One shouldn't forget that in a sense Oedipus did not suffer from the Oedipus." Lacan is. during his infancy). and because his consciousness and feeling of split came about when he submitted to the symbolic order (the Big Other). dreams it needs to be interpreted. at 304. designating the subject with all content removed). supra note 31. supra note 48. the void that emerges as the result of the contraction in the form of expansion: when a contract myself outside myself. transfer. The End of the Market .e. appears in a barred form -. supra note 48. This is. Consequently. children do not literally want to have sex with their mothers and kill their fathers). one might think of all of the other bars we have seen so far as standing for the perspective of the subject in a specific concept. 57 Schroeder. What is delusional is the fantasy that the subject once existed as a subject before the splitting -. "the Oedipus complex is Freud's dream. SEMINAR VII. Eventually the matheme for the symbolic order of law. supra note 35. the oedipal complex does not reflect the actual experience of childhood development (that is.57 The word "split" is not an adjective modifying the noun "subject". .59 the one he offered for the subject "$": the signifying "S" is bifurcated by the Lacanian bar. at 501-02 n. the expression "split subject" is somewhat misleading insofar as it could imply that there could be an unsplit subject.58 This idea is expressed by one of Lacan's earliest mathemes. supra note 37. as Bruce Fink suggests. The End of the Market . the fundamental split is subjectivity. As Lacan elaborates in Seminar XVII.56 Because the subject feels that he was once whole but is now split. the "A" (standing for Autre. but a retroactive re-imagining of childhood from the perspective of adulthood.that wholeness is a lost state rather than a hope or aspiration. 29 292. the subject forms the unconscious belief that there once was a time when he was not split (i. at 732-34. the subject concludes that the Big Other did something to him to cause the split. language and sexuality itself. supra note 5."A" -- See Schroeder. in effect.the split subject was created through submission to the symbolic order. at 159. For example. ZIZEK. at 45. . Because adults feel split now. . the subject qua $ (the Lacanian matheme. This "nothing. and he punished himself for a sin he did not commit. As Lacan says in his Seventh Seminar on the ethics of psychoanalysis. He flees those whom he thinks are his parents. 58. Indeed. the subject is not merely created by splitting. at 505-06.g. etc. I deprive myself of my substantial content. The term "split subject" is a self-conscious redundancy much like such contractual legalisms as "I hereby sell. at 39. To Lacan. SEMINAR XVII. Rather. That is. but a synonym (split = subject). supra note 40. As his thinking progressed. unless those concepts that we have seen so far which are occasionally barred from others (as the agent is barred from his truth in the discourse matrix. LACAN. here the bar is internal to and constitutive of the very concept of the subject itself. Like all draft: 9/1/00 16 .

identity with the Feminine) for something that does not exist (the Phallus. 233-34 63 Zizek summarizes several of Lacan's cryptic pronouncements on castration: castration is ultimately structured like this -. or the like). TH E VESTAL AND THE FASCES. supra note 27. THE VESTAL AND THE FASCES. and in exchange for it. access to the Feminine) in order to achieve something with no content (subjectivity). at 85. precisely. supra note 36. at 4." S CHROEDER.6 1 I have argued extensively elsewhere that. at 733. 60 That is to say. In Zizek's words "what. 62 Schroeder.that which is most myself is now external and cut off from my self. That is. insofar as Lacan considered masculine and feminine sexuality to be two different ways of coping with the feeling of being split." the subject himself is made into an object . and in exchange for it we send him to the market where he becomes the object of general auction. THE P LAGUE OF FANTASIES 15 (1997) [hereinafter. The End of the Market . 64 Id. in short. this strategy is always necessarily a failure. I have suggested that this would be rape. Lacan uses a male anatomical metaphor and calls the process that splits the subject "castration. ENJOY YOUR SYMPTOM." A couple of lines later. yet all that the second part of this strange act of exchange brings about is an additional loss -. becomes an object of exchange. supra note 37 at 170.in this case. SCHROEDER. insofar as "castration" is defined as an act of exchange."64 The sexuated positions are two different ways of reacting to this universal condition. THE VESTAL AND THE FASCES. ZIZEK. SCHROED E R . at 230-31. ZI Z E K . s u p r a note 40. Schroeder. symbolic recognition.in thanks for handing over "everything. See also ZIZEK. supra note 37. Although such an idea of law is perhaps not surprising to a lawyer inculcated in the common law. ZIZEK.e. at 501-06. THE VESTAL AND T H E F A S C E S. the sense of the precise loss of something which the subject never possessed in the first place.62 I was once whole. But. at 170. at 85. the objet of himself. that he is deprived of what matters to him most. but the Big Other forced itself on me and left me violated and polluted: I no longer am what I once was. The Midas Touch .we take away from somebody his desire. but because the subject gave it to the Big Other in exchange for something else. . and in exchange for it we hand him over to somebody else -." SLAVOJ ZIZEK. and intact. that in which is "in himself more than himself. to the social order. one would expect the subject to obtain something in exchange for the renunciation (cultural progress. E N J O Y Y O UR SYMPTOM. it is an extra-ordinary intuition for a non-lawyer educated in the most strictly civil law system in the world. he tries to tell himself that the reason why he does not have the phallus (the technical term for that which is lost in castration) is not because the Big Other took it away. at 170. supra note 48. supra note 27. there is another formulation: "We deprive the subject of his desire." for sacrificing the very kernel of his being. material goods. draft: 9/1/00 17 . he is himself delivered to the texture which is woven between generations. the third and more general formulation: "The effects on a human being of the fact he becomes a subject of law are. as Zizek explains. ."60 This is the feeling I was once complete but the Big Other maimed me by splitting off my most precious part -. at 8794. i.The Four Discourses indicating its constantly changing and open-ended nature. s u p r a note 27. is symbolic castration? It is . S CHROEDER. for a signifier which represents him. ." At the bottom of the same page. P LAGUE OF FANTASIES]. Castration is universal because it is both the process and the effect of the subject's entering into the symbolic order. that there should also be feminine anatomical metaphor to describe the feminine interpretation. 61 One way the masculine subject tries to deny castration is to try to redefine it in terms of exchange. This is the way the "masculine" personality interprets his constitutive split: I no longer have what I once had.63 In Zizek's formulation: "[C]astration is symbolic: by means of it. FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO. As I explain elsewhere " The son exchanges something he does not have (access to the Phallic Mother. the subject exchanges his being (an object) for a place in the symbolic exchange.

71 I explain my interpretation of eros and thanatos in Schroeder. 747-49. supra note 40.The Four Discourses I briefly introduce Lacan's notion of symbolic sexuality here because later in this Article I come to the initially surprising solution that. The objet petit a is the object cause of desire. the subject seeks wholeness through intersubjective relations. HEGEL'S P HENOMENOLOGY OF SPIRIT ¶ 167 (A. speaking subject who is nevertheless unsplit. 70 G. Lacan concludes that the subject is nothing but pure desire. Few concepts in Lacanian opus are elaborated so extensively. 6 8 The other (lower case) stands not for the abstract otherness of the symbolic order itself but for specific concrete others encountered by the subject. Lacan felt he had made his most significant contribution to psychanalysis.67 I will only touch on certain aspects here. 69 Lacan insisted on the "universality of the process of castration as the unique path of access to desire and sexual normativisation . . The subject desires because he feels not merely split but castrated (violated) -. masculine and feminine. at 118. supra note 10.he is barred from his very essence that remains extimate to him. . 1977) [HEGEL. revised so significantly . and the critical scholar in analyzing the law. The Lacanian term "desire" is obviously very different from the anatomical mating expressed in one colloquial sense of the term. Eros is inevitably unsuccessful because this is impossible.V. The ter m "objet petit a" is shorthand for the phrase "the object spelled with a little 'a'. Indeed. or unbarred. .65 7. The Eumenides ]. 66 FINK. often gives way to the feminine desire of 65 I set forth this dialectic in full elsewhere. contrary to dominant stereotypes. In the masculine desire of eros. This is the impossible desire to be a conscious. The Midas Touch. [and] worked over from so many different perspectives . Moreover. I have called castration the "universal initiation rite of subjectivity. 67 "With object a. The subject could never achieve wholeness and still retain his subjectivity. Eros. The "a" refers to the French word autre or other. . The Eumenides: The Foundation of Law in the Repression of the Feminine (unpublished manuscript 2000) [hereinafter. The objet petit a. supra note 27. The masculine can not listen to the feminine without losing his subjectivity. Consequently. at 83. I will either use the original French or some shorthand reference such as "object a" or the "little a". it is impossible to translate the French term perfectly into English since both our words "object" and "other" begin with the letter "o". at 740-41. 68 To make this distinction even more clear. It is the longing of the barred subject to "re"acquire the primordial wholeness supposedly barred in castration. is feminine in the psychoanalytic sense of the terms. Schroeder. at 83 (ci t a t i o n s omitted). Desire is the symbolization of the mating urge in the sense of its reinterpretation in the symbolic order of law and language. which. and Schroeder.66 Lacan considered the objet petit a his most important theoretical innovation and. at 80. masculinity is defined and created through the intentional repression of the feminine. An object can stand in for a little other." Id. in the sense used in this Article. therefore. Following Hegel. the very reason why law and economics is fundamentally unable to acknowledge its (feminine) critics is because it speaks the radically masculine discourse of the university. the proper role of the attorney in representing clients. most specifically in Jeanne L. at 507-13. . Miller trans. masculine subjects do not merely fail to hear feminine ones. HEGEL. . draft: 9/1/00 18 . Schroeder. it is one of his most complex and paradoxical. supra note 28. Unfortunately. accordingly.W. the subject only exists insofar as he desires and desire only exists because it is impossible to satisfy. THE P HENOMENOLOGY]. . THE VESTAL AND THE FASCES.70 The desire for wholeness takes two forms.71 He tries to find the perfect mate who can fill in the space left by castration. To Lacan." FEMININE SEXUALITY. Lacan makes the "a" petit to clarify that he is referring to his concept of the "other" (lower case) and not his closely related concept of the "Other" (upper case). . supra note 48. The End of the Market .69 Desire is always unfulfilled precisely because the subject is by definition always split." S CHROEDER.F. I have already referred to the Other (upper case) as the Big Other. can stand for the symbolic order itself.

the subject fully assumes the fact that the object-cause of its desire is not a cause that precedes its effects but is retroactively posited by the network of its effects: an event is never simply in itself traumatic. the subject's experience will always be a 'this is not that'. supra note draft: 9/1/00 19 . can appear to offer the possibility of stopping up the gap. at 775-778. SLAVOJ ZIZEK . at 8. but by recovering the primordial union with the maternal. . The objet petit a is the object that the subject retroactively determines must be the object that causes his desire. & Carlson.73 That is. filing the place. to be something that their progenitors were unable to be. even though the subject actually seeks objects because he desires. "an object is anything that is not itself capable of having will. 73 In the words of Zizek: How are we to understand this strange reversal? In principle. ZIZEK.for example. it only becomes a trauma retroactively. supra note 18. This is the desire not to become whole through the assistance of another. Rather than accepting the seemingly hopeless truth that he is nothing but unfulfilled desire. TH E VESTAL AND THE FASCES. This loop is constitutive of the subject: that is. TH E I N D I V I S I B L E INDIVISIBLE REMAINDER]. at 79.72 The subject seeks a way out of this box. continue to serve the role for their parents (and perhaps their teachers and society at large) insofar as they were (and are being) produced to stop a gap -. thanatos is the death wish. In this precise sense. for instance. the subject wants to believe that his desire is caused by something. ZIZEK. Because such wholeness cannot be achieved in this life. at 668-71. SCHRO E D E R . and Schroeder. apropos of every positive object. I discuss drive at length in Schroeder. he might then be able to fill the desire.76 The objet petit a can take the form of a conventional object of desire such a woman's breast. supra note 27. This is the desire to achieve wholeness not by finding a mate. an entity that does not 'cause itself" is precisely not a subject but an object. he tells himself that he desires because he does not have a specific object. Because the feminine personality unconsciously understands that this type of wholeness is prior to subjectivity. in fact. for oblivion. a is the object-cause of desire: it does not effectively pre-exist desire as that which arouse it. As explained by Zizek: In this precise sense. by being "secreted' from the subject's symbolic space as its inassimilable point of reference. to the fact that desire is never satisfied by any positive object. that is to say. This should be distinguished from the death drive which is sometimes also referred to as thanatos. THE VESTAL AND THE FASCES. thanatos is a desire for the loss of subjectivity.74 Note that Lacan does not limit the term "object" to physical things. supra note 40. 74 SCHROEDER. supra note 37. it merely gives body to its inherent deadlock. Nor must the little a be something one normally 72 I use the term t h a n a t o s to refer to the death desire (i. but to be whole in and of oneself. the subject "causes itself" by way of retroactively positing that a which acts as the object-cause of its desire. 75 As Bracher suggests: REMAINDER: AN ESSAY ON SCHELLING AND RELATED MATTERS 144 (1996) [hereinafter. But it can also be a completely abstract concept. The function of object a can be filled by various things -. . Bracher. Students.The Four Discourses thanatos. If he could find the cause. at 114. at 35. things are clear enough: by way of positing itself as its own cause.whatever. 76 That is.75 In the speculative philosophical tradition. supra note 54. the desire for death or oblivion). ABYSS OF FREEDOM. The Midas Touch." 27.e. . an object is anything that is not the subject.

Because the object a is that which the subject feels causes or explains her desire understood as her feelings of emptiness and dissatisfaction. Consequently. Murray's defense of his dissertation.80 III. ." ZIZEK. when a subject actually captures the actual empirical object temporarily serving as his objet petit a (for example. he must immediately identify another object to serve as his objet petit a in order to explain his continued desire. . at 27. a 'something that stands for nothing'". 77 draft: 9/1/00 20 . As such. the subject only has subjectivity insofar as he desires.77 If the subject ever could capture and subdue the true object of his desire. mediated by reference to Nothingness: the true object-cause of desire (as opposed to the objects that satisfy our needs) is. as shall be explained when we turn to the founding discourse of the master.in a Hegelian way -. betrayed .78 In other words. the object a holds the key to understanding both the nature of jouissance and "what the incidence of the signifier in the destiny of the speaking subject is all about . at 114. 78 SLAVOJ ZIZEK. he would lose his desire and his subjectivity. Law is part of the symbolic order. "the 'cause of desire' must be in itself a metonymy of lack -. a 'metonymy of lack'. the object a can be an object of revulsion. by definition. contains all of the discourses of a symbolic order. However. . in fact.enables us to resolve the "fallout. and it underlies affect at well. . . lawyers engage in all four of the discourses in different aspects of their career. As Zizek notes: For Lacan. . an object which is not simply lacking but. he continues to desire. at 81. The Four Discourses of Law It has recently been suggested that from a Lacanian perspective law is located within the two discourses of power: the discourse of the master and the discourse of the university. The little a is that which is always missing in the symbolic order because it cannot be symbolized. supra note 37.79 Consequently. As Bracher says: The object a is that part of the subject's being that is simultaneously left out of and produced by the identify established for the subject in the S1-S2 articulation. TICKLISH SUBJECT] 79 ZIZEK. gives body to a lack." of the very process of symbolization. 80 Bracher. AN EROTICS OF LAW : LACAN I A N P S Y C H O A N A L Y S I S A N D L E G A L TH E O R Y 105 (1999) [Ph. . he finds that. The discourse of law can not be so limited. the object a is produced by its very exclusion from a discourse. supra note 18. human desire (in contrast to animal instinct) is always. P LAGUE OF FANTASIES. always an unattainable lost object by definition. in its very positivity. if he actually gets that job he wanted). and as such. I served as the external examiner at Dr. Consequently. One important point for the analysis that follows is that the objet petit a only seems attainable. THE TICKLISH SUBJECT: TH E A B S E N T C E N T R E O F P O L I T I C A L O NTOLOGY 107 (1999) [hereinafter. Consequently. "It is Lacan who -. Which is why. ZIZEK. ABYSS OF FREEDOM. . a stand-in for Nothingness.D. thesis in possession of author]. the little piece of the Real. The a thus figures the lack of being that cause all desire. It. for Lacan. supra note 60.that is to say. . constitutively. 81 JAMIE MURRAY. . objet petit a as the object-cause of desire is the originally lost object: it not only that we desire it in so far as it is lost -.this object is nothing but a loss positivized.8 1 I disagree. is always objet petit a.The Four Discourses thinks of as "desirable". is. It is desired precisely because it is missing. What is stolen.

This is law as legal research and policy recommendation as encountered and other policy oriented academic scholarship. is the subject who is subjected to the law. That is. The former seeks to wield power and control others.the discourses of the analyst and the hysteric -.82 The lawyer engages in the discourse of the university when she studies and analyzes.when she represents the client. the lawyer is the person who writes or interprets the law. The first two discourses --. the attorney should seek to engage in the discourse of the analyst when she speaks to the client -when she counsels and advises a client. lawyer = legal expert = subject who acts on the law as object attorney = legal advisor = subject subjected to the law The discourses of power are the discourses of the law viewed from the perspective of the governor. explains reconciles the law. the latter seeks to gain the power that will result in personal freedom. as well as English. and most importantly. Hart.the discourse of the master -.are appropriate for "lawyers" while the second two are appropriate to "attorneys". seeks to justify the status quo. The lawyer is the subject in the grammatical sense of the active "subjective" position who acts on the law as object.A.is the other side of the discourse of the hysteric. draft: 9/1/00 21 . The attorney should seek to engage in the discourse of the hysteric when she speaks for client -. The two critical discourses are the discourse of the law viewed from the perspective of the governed. Lacan identifies the first discourse of power -.as the other side of the critical discourse of the analysis. In contrast. This is the conception of positive law associated with H. In contrast. The lawyer engages in the discourse of the master when she engages in the making of law. In this Article I suggest that it follows from this that the second discourse of power -.The Four Discourses Indeed. I use the term "lawyer" to refer to persons trained in the law. That is: lawyer = legal expert attorney = legal advisor These two roles reflect two different meanings of what it means to be the subject of the law which reflects the two contradictory meanings of the term "subject" which exits in French and German. or changes in policy. the attorney.L.are that only two appropriate to the representations of clients These are the discourse to which the rules of professional responsibility apply.the discourse of the university -. who takes the position of the clients she represents. this was the discourse of the participants offering "new" approaches to law and economics at the University of Oregon Law School conference I attended. whether as a legislator. In the following discussion I adopt a colloquial convention which is common in the bar. the two discourse excluded from this analysis -. the attorney is the person who advises of represents another person with respect to the law. but it engaged in by practicing lawyers and judges as well. This was the discourse of the participants offering "critical" 82 See infra text at notes --. As I shall discuss. I use the term "attorney" more narrowly to refer to a person providing legal services to others. regulator or judge.the discourses of power discussed -.

draft: 9/1/00 22 . she will engage in the university discourse as a lawyer.The Four Discourses approaches to law and economics at the conference. in so far as she does legal research and analysis. But. of course. each devoted to the four discourses in the order specified Lacan. For example. It will. The exact form of the hysteric's discourse may vary depending on whether this representation is in the context of "hostile" adversary proceedings or "friendly" negotiations. There are four subsections. be necessary for the attorney also to engage in the two discourses of power from time to time in pursuit of client service. she should strive to minimize the use of these other "lawyerly" discourses. and then show how this can be applied to law. In each subsection. This section proceeds as follows. I suggest that as different discourses are appropriate for different aspects of the lawyer/attorney's professional career. [add arrows connecting appropriate terms in diagram] Master (Legislator) lawyer = legal expert = subject who acts on the law as object University (Scholar) Analyst (Counselor) attorney = legal advisor = subject subjected to the law Hysteric (Advocate) No speaker can or should remain totally within one discourse. when the lawyer leaves the library and becomes an attorney speaking with or on behalf of the client. the profession should consider whether different rules of professional responsibility are appropriate for the different discourses. I first give a brief description of Lacan's theory of that discourse.

the bondsman achieves knowledge through his enslavement. is not to defend blind submission to authority. It just is.The Four Discourses A. ENJOY YOUR SYMPTOM. the "discourse of the Master" is the first. of course. During the battle in which he was enslaved. a brute fact without reason (content) behind it. The slave is the master's other because the master establishes himself as master by differentiating himself from the slave.83 Hegel presents this dialectic as a primitive. According to Hegel. 8 5 This is a claim of status. the master in the upper left hand corner addresses the slave as his other in the upper right hand corner by commanding him: S1 6 S2. draft: 9/1/00 23 . at 20. The first two discourses are the discourses of power. at 131 (citations omitted). supra note 3." FINK. The Discourse of the Master. but the fact that discourse itself is in its fundamental structure "authoritarian" (for this reason. presents the master's discourse first because it is logically primitive yet is necessary for the development of the other three. at 131. The discourse of the master is. Yet he is simultaneously totally without content. Lacan. . No justification is given for his or her power. LACAN. supra note 37.but because he or she says so. or agrees that the master should be master. Through 83 84 85 As Fink notes "The master's discourse had long since been recognized by Hegel. The master must be obeyed -. the relationship that comes from power per se such as that wielded by an individual or institution by virtue of brute force or of the authority of position. accordingly. 90-91. . Lacan's Analysis. as the terminology suggests. The master is represented by the master signifier because he is both in the position of the one who imposes order on this society ( i. 86 FINK. By this Lacan means that the master demands that the slave serve him just because he is the master. supra note 10. 1. 198-200 The point of the preceding argumentation.not because we'll all be better off that way or for some other such rationale -. he learned the value of life. The discourse of the master is schematized as S1 $ 6 S2 a Lacan's analysis has its origins in Hegel's famous lord-bondsman (sometimes translated as master-slave) dialectic from The Phenomenology of Spirit. "founding" discourse in the Lacanian matrix of the four discourses. The master addresses the slave by subjecting him to his rule.e. . SEMINAR XVII.86 It is irrelevant whether the slave knows why the master is master. supra note 10. gives it meaning). ZIZEK.84 In the discourse of the master. at 102. only partially successful attempt at achieving self-consciousness which is a logically necessary step in the development of more adequate forms of consciousness. so long as he understands that he is obliged to obey.

into philosophical ontology. the receiver of the message enacts the function of knowledge. while Hegel argued that the master-slave relationship characterized the warrior culture of ancient Greece. philosophy emerges when the master appropriates to himself the Slave's "know-how" and transforms it into a universal episteme disengaged from utilitarian interests. at 120.. however is the very moment exposed."90 In the words of Renata Salecl: Knowledge does not belong to the Master but to those who obey. and that's what his function as slave is. 88 HEGEL. at 34. 87 Consequently. SEMINAR XVII. he learns the value of work -.91 Moreover. Knowledge first belongs to the Bondsman in the guise of his "savoirfaire" (know-how). supra note 3. TARRYING WITH THE NEGATIVE].. SLAVOJ ZIZEK. He achieves knowledge in the sense of know how or. supra note 70. one is forced. to accord full explanatory power and/or moral authority to the proffered master signifiers and to refer to all other signifiers (objects. 91 Renata Salecl. this moment roughly corresponds to Plato and Aristotle. of his practical skills about handling things in order to provide satisfaction for the Lord-Master. 90 Id. at 20-21. 8 8 The slave is knowledge in the Hegelian sense. in order to understand the message. which is the usual case.the Roman empire. "A real master desires to know nothing at all -. as Bracher maintains: When one reads or hears such a discourse. THE P HENOMENOLOGY. The slave knows it." According to Lacan. it proceeds in an unconditional manner and requires to be obeyed on the sole authority of its enunciation . Deference to the Great Other: The Discourse of Education in THEORY OF DISCOURSE ." Id.89 The master does not merely lack knowledge. or issues) back to them.. The discourse of the master is thus always characterized by a kind of fundamental ignorance with regard to its conditions. external objects so that they fit the end of satisfying the Master's needs. whereas stoicism. What is missing from this account. S2. supra note 18. the very position of being a master is to not need knowledge because one has the power to act ignorantly. draft: 9/1/00 24 . 89 LACAN. but what he knows even better still is what the master wants. i. "The slave knows lots of things. HEGEL. for without that he would not be a master. . . Through his effort to mold. he not only learns a skill. In doing this. to form.92 87 In the dialectic of Lord (Master and Bondsman. AND THE CRITIQUE OF IDEOLOGY 33-34 (1994) [ZIZEK. even if the latter does not know it. in French savoir faire.he desires that it work. TARRYING WIT H T H E NEGATIVE: KANT. isolated by Lacan as the inaugural moment of philosophy: the "appropriation of Knowledge by the Master.the ability to create and build that distinguishes a self-consciousness from mere animal consciousness (sense certainty). . at 163 92 Bracher. supra note 18. he argued that the slave consciousness eventually led to the concept of stoicism that characterized the next great era of European history -.e. In the history of philosophy. .The Four Discourses his labor for the lord. which follows them. at 24. at 121-23. stands for an attempt of the Slave to participate in the Master's disinterested Knowledge . . the Slave becomes aware of how Thought as such is already the form of every possible objectivity. Rather.

in fact. In this context. upon finding himself at the place of the constitutive lack in the structure. the Master is an imposter. This is what the letter that is to be read as the object a. partial. . an alienated. per se. radical ignorance. 9 4 The master is as deluded as anyone else as to the source of his own power. undivided. expands on Marx's theory. the master may try to tell himself that he deserves to have power. draft: 9/1/00 25 . i. the truth of the master is the split subject. 97 "The object a is what makes it possible to introduce a little bit of air into the function of surplus jouissance." L ACAN. the Hegelian dialectic suggests that the truth of the master is that he is even less than the slave he dominates. at 103. or master. at 13. at 121. empty person like any other. supra note 3.e. part of the split within the subject is the split between consciousness and the unconscious. is the truth. ENJOY YOUR SYMPTOM. 96 FINK. Bracher. self-identical. Beneath the other addressed in the discourse is the result. but from the master himself. SEMINAR XVII. however.cannot be abolished. S1 $ Despite his claim to special status or power. . the master is.9 3 Indeed. is oblivious to the cause of his own desire a ( ). In this case. . SEMINAR XVII. at 207.The Four Discourses Beneath the addresser." LACAN. supra note 18. but in his unconsciousness (which he cannot confront) he knows that this is an empty claim of a master signifier. Mastery lies not in knowledge but in a fundamental. at 131. The little a does note stand for surplus value. In this case. supra note 10. acts as if he holds the reins of that surplus. being influenced by Marxist theory. $ . that is. however. and has even repressed his own self-division. supra note 37. That is. yet the place occupied by him -the place of the lack in the structure -. the result of the address is the exclusion or loss of the objet petit a:95 S2 a Lacan. the product or loss of the discourse. Moreover. . compared the little a with Marx's concept of the surplus value produced by the slave (worker) and expropriated by the master (capitalist). from this trajectory there emerges something to be defined as a loss. . Lacan renames the little a as "surplus enjoyment" (plus-de-jouis ). 94 The speaker. of the mysterious X which eludes the grasp of the structure. supra note 3. This split is hidden or veiled not merely from the slave. has so successfully identified with his master signifiers that he actually believes himself to be whole. but for the object cause of desire.96 Lacan. The speaker.97 93 In the words of Zizek: Lacan's fundamental thesis is that the Master is by definition an imposter : the Master is somebody who. ZIZEK. 95 "Well we have always stressed that.

Four Subjects]. 103 Id.100 In Bracher's words And as a result . Surprisingly. emerges as (is "produced") as objet petit a. 98 draft: 9/1/00 26 . 104 See infra text at note --. including those made by judges. it should not be surprising that we should find this discourse in law. 75.the person who writes the law. recognition as an equal. I include all declarations of the law. at 121. I agree with Murray. in the master discourse. In contrast. supra text at notes --) if a subject ever were to obtain any specific object temporarily serving as his little a. the subject would immediately shift his desire to another object which would then take on this function. the receiver produces a. As I have suggested ( i.e. . however. if the subject could truly capture the object that caused his desire. at 120-21."10 3 2. 105 Murray identifies the master's discourse specifically with legislation. . at 113-20. 101 Bracher. Four Discourses.102 However. beneath the bar) excess of enjoyment. The discourse of the master is probably the easiest to translate into a legal concept because it is one of the two discourses of power in society.104 But Lacan was a Frenchman and he was not a lawyer. Although I use the generic term "legislator". this plus-de jouis . 102 Id.e.99 In this case. who declares what the law is and that it must be obeyed. by so depriving the slave of his enjoyment.e. the little a is the slave/addressee's enjoyment (freedom. supra note 81. The Master's Discourse as Positive Law. The discourse of the master is law as understood by positive law theory.that is. no longer to be enjoyed. etc. he would both cease to desire and cease to be a subject. "the remainder -. can not exist with the master's discourse. that carries the power of resistance and revolution. . it is surprising how closely Lacan's intuition reflects Hartian jurisprudence. Given that he is a Gallic layman. immediately recognizable to Anglo-American legal scholars. at 120-21. even though Lacan presents the discourse of the master as the most primitive. 1998) at 74. supra note 18. for which there is no place in the system of knowledge or believer (S2) enacted by the receiver in response to the Master's S1. 99 As explained by Zizek. the master signifier can be spoken by the legislature when it enacts law (and the That is.. " Slavoj Zizek. that insofar as the judge in his opinion also interprets the law and presents a reason for his decision. but had been largely superseded by the discourse of the university. 123-24. he is engaging in the university's discourse. freedom. the "enjoyment" desired by the slave (i. starting discourse which he thought was the other side of psychoanalysis.) is the one thing that. 100 I will discuss the concept of surplus enjoyment infra in text at notes --. however. 98 It is missing because it is that which cannot be integrated into the chain of signification and cannot be grasped in language and law. the master is never completely successful in obtaining the recognition he seeks precisely because. and the subject endeavors to "normalize" his relationship towards this excess via fantasmatic formations. by definition. As law is one of the most important institutions of power in modern society.105 It is engaged in by the lawyer as legislator -. recognition) that the master seeks to expropriate for himself as proof of the master's victory. the little a is always definitionally an absent unobtained object. Murray. the plus-de-jouis -. in SIC 2: COGITO AND THE UNCONSCIOUS (Slavoj Zizek ed. All that the master might succeed in doing is depriving the slave of his enjoyment as a mark of his servitude.that resists this symbolic representation. in our society. In Bracher's words: "It is this a.The Four Discourses The objet petit a is that which causes desire because it is missing. and locates common law adjudication within the university's discourse. Lacan thought it was rarely encountered in a pure form in modern society. Four Subjects [hereinafter. by definition. the suppressed (i. The discourse of the master is. Consequently. he makes the slave desire his enjoyment. . Zizek.the 'bone in the throat" -.101 In fact.

Positivism and the Separation of Law and Morals. inscribed in the structure. motivates them or not. H A R T . at 94. . The first type of Hartian secondary rule is rules of recognition. the dress. . Hart called these secondary because they are in a sense parasitic upon . CONCEPT OF LAW . Hart. at 163. 1961) [hereinafter. . . . or in various ways determine their incidence or control their operations. It is certain for example that the law -. It exists whenever the law is spoken as law. 71 HARV .108 As Salecl explains. the ambiguity. whether good intention.A. .106 According. . 109 Salecl. . [and] concern action involving physical movement or changes. that very law within whose walls we are finding shelter. The master discourse is positive law as associated with the theories of H. 107 Hart saw the law as a union of primary and secondary rules. supra note 106. L. "Under rules of the . CONCEPT OF LAW ] and his earlier. There are not thirty-six ways to make laws. extinguish or modify old ones." Id. Accordingly I do not argue that any legal theory or practice can be a perfect positivism fitting entirely within the master's discourse. L a w a n d Morals]. or whether it is always at least partially filtered through the university discourse. the regulator when she writes regulations. 1 0 7 That which is identified as law is that which is to be obeyed and enforced. [and] provide for operations which lead not merely to physical movement or change. first and foremost.The Four Discourses executive when he signs the legislation). the inspiration of justice. I present a highly idealized account of positivism which necessarily omits the complexities and subtleties of theory propounded by Hart or any other actual positivist. the police when they enforce law. ed. 108 To Hart. Hart. Hart. the Lacanian understanding of law as a master discourse is that "law must be obeyed because it is law and not because there are good reasons to obey it. HART. supra note 91. . primary type. and which would not fail to open to door to a number of interesting observations." Id. is very precisely a point on which our discourse can perhaps make better felt where its real mainsprings are. . TH E C O N C E P T O F LAW (sec. the "primary" rules of law depend on "secondary" rules of recognition that distinguishes between law and non-law. . A. [Secondary rules] confer powers. These "specify some feature or features possession of which by a suggested rule is taken as a conclusive affirmative indication that it is a rule of the group to be supported by the social pressure it exerts. whose place is occupied by S1. for there 106 Hart's two most influential works are H. . at 81. HART. at 81. H. draft: 9/1/00 27 . I mean those that enable the ambiguity and bring it about that the law remains something that is.L."109 In Lacan's words. human beings are required to do or abstain from certain actions. 593 (1958) [hereinafter.L. . . that this law derives from authorizing itself on the basis of justice. . but to the creation or variation of duties. to Hart. The secondary rules are those that establish the primary rules as law. the judge when she pronounces her decision.I mean the law as articulated. [Primary rules] impose duties. On the contrary. REV. this law (loi) that constitutes law (droit) -.L. . The following discussion is intended as a discussion of the Lacanian discourse of the master and not a complete exegesis of Hartian positivism.must certainly not be taken as homonym for what can be uttered elsewhere under the heading of justice. .A. If we called it the law we would be doing something that has great subjective value. As I explain ( see infra text at notes --) Lacan himself doubted whether one ever encountered a pure example of the master's discourse in modern society. public or private. . [primary rules] for they provide that human beings may by doing or saying certain things introduce new rules of the primary type. but only that an important element of positivism is so located. Take the dominant in the discourse of the master. . whether they wish to or not.

where rules exist. perhaps because he was a jurisprude steeped in the common law tradition. the entire point of positivism is to divorce law from morality. Once again a detailed explication of this dialectic is beyond this essay. 1996). supra note 106. One obeys law because it is law. It is easy to confuse Hegel's lord-bondsman dialectic with a command theory of law which Hart wants to avoid in the sense that the bondsman submits to the lord in order that he not be killed. This is merely the definition of what law is. like Rumpole's wife is "she who must be obeyed". the obligation of law is deeper than mere coercion. supra note 106. he chooses to live. The warrior who becomes a bondsman.'" Anthony J. H A R T. draft: 9/1/00 28 .The Four Discourses are perhaps laws of structure that bring it about that the law will always be the law situated in this place that I am calling dominant in the discourse of the master. or reasonable or for any other reason. . one does not obey law because to disobey it would result in sanction. SEMINAR XVII. at 96-97). comes to the conclusion that there is a value to life that must be preserved. at 84. To Hart. 113 "The rule of recognition serves an identifying function when it helps ordinary citizens determine 'which of the community's norms [are] binding on them. at 601-06. Law and Morals.110 The person (or institution) that engages in positive law is a master signifier in the Lacanian sense. Authority and Reason in THE AUTHORITY OF LA W : E SSAYS ON LEGAL P OSITIVISM 291 (Robert George ed. That is.. he is not afraid to die. he merely listed specific concrete examples or cases of rules of LACAN. and rules of adjudicating applications of primary rules (id. To a positivist. at 79-80. the law. objection to the predictive interpretation of obligation. Rather he chooses to submit to the lord's orders (positive law) as a means of achieving a more developed form of consciousness. supra note 106.111 Law as positive law is empty in the sense that the master is empty. supra note 106. Positive law demands that it be obeyed because it is law. recognizing and adjudicating the law. 106 (1999) (citations omitted and quoting Jules L.113 Hart himself did not offer a universal definition of a rule of recognition. The starting point of Hegel's analysis is that neither warrior is driven by fear and each is willing to give up his life for the struggle for recognition. See also Hart. There is. CONCEPT OF LAW . As he eloquently states 110 111 The fundamental objection [to the command theory of law] is that the predictive interpretation obscures the fact that. His criticism of the command theory of law comprises much of the second and third chapters of The Concept of Law. Rather. at 48. Coleman. In addition to rules of recognition (see supra note --). but this is an over-simplification. 52 SMU LAW REVIEW 75. a second. The addresser is she who determines the application of the to the issue at hand by applying the Hartian secondary rules of changing (creating). The bondsman does not merely obey the lord our of fear. however. deviations from them are not merely grounds for a prediction that hostile reactions will follow or that a court will apply sanctions to those who break them. but are also a reason for justification for such reaction and for applying the sanctions.112 Indeed. hart identified two other types of secondary rules: rules that determine how primary rules can be changed (HART. If it were true that the statement that a person had an obligation meant that he was likely to suffer in the event of disobedience. To apply the rule of recognition and identify something as a law is to say that it is to be obeyed. and flows from the nature of law itself. THE CONCEPT OF LAW . CONCEPT OF LAW . Finding Wittgenstein at the Core of the Rule of Recognition. not because it is just. simpler. 112 Hart is careful to distinguish his theory of primary laws as obligation from a command theory of law which holds that the power of law comes from coercion. Sebok. That is. at 95-96). HART. however. He does not obey the lord out of coercion or animal instinct. . it would be a contradiction to say that he had an obligation. . supra note 3.

. at 82-83."118 In this form of judgment. but law itself is a form of crime. Not only are law and crime inextricably linked. . draft: 9/1/00 29 . the position of law as master signifier is one of radical ignorance or emptiness -. 115 "In a modern legal system where there are a variety of 'sources' of law. the rule of recognition is correspondingly more complex: the criteria for identifying the law are multiple and commonly include a written constitution. and judicial precedents. Law and Mor a l s . (We can sense this concealed dimension of violence already apropos of the everyday. 117 This is one of Hart's primary points of his famous Oliver Wendell Holmes Lecture at the Harvard Law School which later formed the basis of his classic article Positivism and the Separation of Law and Morals (supra note 106). and does not justify itself by reason. CONCEPT OF LAW . .The Four Discourses recognition and left it for the reader to derive the universal rule from the specific applications. or to past judicial decision in particular cases. ." H ART.that which must be obeyed. supra note 28.121 "The existence of such a rule of recognition may take any of a huge variety of forms. In the words of Zizek: OF 114 This is how the tautology "law is law" has to be read. supra note 106. it only cares that it work. simple or complex. it is law -. within the context of Hegel's dialectic logic. See also HART. The first law ("law is . supra note 106.114 The rules of recognition identified by Hart are purely formal and lack all positive substance. was precisely the opposite of the Nazi's claim that the law rightfully must be obeyed. A law is what the legislature enacts following certain procedures. however." Id. This is the command theory of law which he rejects.is not this phrase usually evoked precisely when we are confronted with the "unfair". consistence with his insistence of the identity of identity and difference. 120 See supra text at note --. etc. at 101. to general declarations of specified persons.the law does not claim substantive content. Their actions are explained or determined by the master signifier of the law in the sense that they actually conform their behavior to the law. s upra note 106. there is nothing more to say about the law than. Hart does not mention the fact that the German slogan "law is law" which had been appropriated by the Nazis hearkens back to Hegel (see infra note --). at 618. ") is the universal law in so far as it is abstractly opposed to crime. . Hart. at 101. 118 Hart correctly feels the need to defend the positivist proposition that "law is law" from the "sinister character" it had acquired in Germany. 119 Hegel's point. CONCEPT LAW . Rather. "spontaneous" reading of the proposition "law is law" -. That is. take any one or more of a variety of forms: these include reference to an authoritative text. at 101. what does this tautology effectively mean if not the cynical wisdom that law remains in its most fundamental dimension a form of radical violence which must be obeyed regardless of our subjective appreciation?) ZIZEK. Id. 121 As discussed supra in note --. FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO. These persons are in the position of S2 understood as knowledge or the entire chain of signification.117 This is law as reflected in Hegel's notorious tautology: "law is law. 116 Id. the absolute.120 The others who are addressed in the master's discourse of positive law is those who are subjected to its jurisdiction. A law may be something found in the official codification. such as in the world of morality or politics.115 A law may be something enunciated at the end of a legitimate proceeding by a person who has been designated a judge in the appropriate manner. whereas the second law (". 1 1 6 Any question as to the wisdom of the law is external to the discourse of law itself and resides someplace else. law") reveals the concealed truth of the first: the obscene violence. to customary practice. universalized crime as its hidden reverse. enactment by a legislature. at 34. .119 Like the Hegelian master. at 94. to legislative enactment. Hegel posited that law always necessarily implies its own violation. "incomprehensible" constraint that pertains to law? In other words." "The criteria so provided may . the obligation of law (the submission to the master signifier) does not flow solely from the fact that disobedience would result in either a criminal or civil sanction. . the tautology is an internal critique of any and all law. .

122 Salecl. Positive law is not natural law set by God. imperfect subject. The law as Master discourse therefore implies that the subject knows the laws. conflict with what the person who owes the duty may wish to do. What is important is that the insistence on importance or seriousness of social pressure behind the rules is the primary factor determining whether they are thought of as giving rise to obligations. .it is always in the process of being written. . It may be limited to verbal manifestations of disapproval or of appeals to the individuals' respect for the rule violated. Hence obligations and duties are thought of as characteristically involving sacrifice or renunciation. It does not have the totalizing completeness that it claims. Id. most notably his distinction between the core and periphery of law set forth in Law and M o r a l s (supra note 106) are attempts to reconcile the theory of positive law with the actuality of legal indeterminacy. but might be unconscious. He learns what it is to have duties and to bear rights. in all societies.The Four Discourses Like the slave. 123 I am not suggesting that positivists are so naive that they do not recognize the problem of the incompleteness and indeterminacy of the law. lawless regardless of the actors intention. this knowledge is not necessarily conscious awareness. in the meaning of the unconscious knowledge implied by the law itself. therefore. . supra note 91. "Not knowing the law can be no excuse to violate it. at 163-64. this knowledge functions insofar as it molds the behavior of the other. could not be limited to the periphery of law. Two other characteristics of obligation go naturally together with this primary one. the social pressure may take only the form of a general diffused hostile or critical reaction which may stop short of physical sanctions. to be a citizen of a constitutional state. The rules supported by this serious pressure are thought important because they are believed to be necessary to the maintenance of social life or some highly prized feature of it. . the law has the status of a certain knowledge that no one should ignore because and only because it is written down. Secondly.122 Following Hegel. it may depend heavily on the operation of feelings of shame. the other subjected to law gains knowledge through his subjection. among the truisms of both the lawyer and the moralist. and the need for judicial discretion. and guilt. and the standing possibility of conflict between obligation or duty and interest is. is promulgated by a incomplete. . much of Hart's most work. Not knowing it cannot be an excuse because the law has been written down and is not just a word that we have perhaps heard or not heard. . . As is the case of the slave. and what the consequences are of his actions on himself and on others. by the fact that the law is written down. our not knowing the law cannot be an excuse for that. Sebok argues that Hart's eventual realization that indeterminacy.123 Rules are conceived and spoken of as imposing obligations when the general demand for conformity is insistent and the social pressure brought to bear upon those who deviate or threaten to deviate is great. I argue that the addressee of law gains other knowledge than knowledge of the law itself. . albeit this knowledge might be unconscious. and every interpretation and application of law. Indeed. remorse. The truth underlying positive law as master signifier is. of course the split subject. . As Salecl applies Lacan to positive law: The metanorm that constitutes law as such and establishes the subject's attitude toward all other norms is the famous statement. Nevertheless. Such rules may be wholly customary in origin: there may be no centrally organized system of punishments for breach of the rules. in fact the law can never be fully recognized because it is always incomplete. but lay draft: 9/1/00 30 . Consequently. Although the addressees of the law are commanded to obey the law identified by the rule of recognition. Every law. the law itself is also incomplete and split -. while benefiting others. it is generally recognized that the conduct required by these rules may. Every act is to some extent. at 86-87." If we violate a certain legal regulation.

Paradoxically. Schroeder and Carlson.124 Jurisprudence has nothing to say about the behavior of legislatures and the political legitimacy of legislative and similar acts. led to his theory of secondary rules presented in The Concept of Law. But the demonstration of this would not show the rule not to be (or to be) law. This is why morality and justice are the objects that those subjected to the law desire. Lacan has often gone further and insisted that law and desire (and necessarily. The discourse of the master is an accurate description of how positive law in fact functions. the identification of the universal moral law with any specific regime of positive law is radically evil. supra note 106. This is supposed to enable us to use morality as an external source to criticize. It is only through exclusion that we can formulate or desire. it would seem to raise a whole host of philosophical issues before it can be accepted. the discourse of the master s inherent and necessary to the very concept of what the rule of law might be. Because positive law (the master signifier) makes no claim to any transcendent value but demands obeisance purely because of its status as law. According to Kant. This is known as the separability thesis which claims "that there was no necessary relationship between substantively evil regimes and the presence or absence of the rule of law. it would surely follow merely from a statement of what the rule required to be done that the rule was morally wrong and so ought not to be law or conversely that it was morally desirable and ought to be law. From a Hegelian perspective. 124 The only difference which the acceptance of this view of the nature of moral judgments would make would be that the moral iniquity of such laws would be something that could be demonstrated. It is erroneous to assume that Hart's expulsion of morality from law was intended to subordinate the former to the latter. at 654. the excluded little a that serves as the object cause of desire) are born together. draft: 9/1/00 31 . freedom (and justice) can only be actualized within an organized society. we formulate our objection as an assertion that these evil things are not law. Rather. Hart. at 620. Sebok. Law and Morals. Law and Morals. This is the object of the law's desire. and if they are disposed to consider it at all. supra note 113. at 82. constrain and change the law. at 76. In this context. If. This is a moral condemnation which everyone can understand and it makes an immediate and obvious claim to moral attention. the very positive law that expels freedom and justice is itself the condition of freedom and justice. supra note 54. here is an assertion which many people do not believe. there can never be any guarantee as to the morality or justice of law. in either the form of impurity (overly technical legalism) or wickedness (prosecutorial fanaticism). we say that laws may be law but too evil to be obeyed.125 As such. at 89. This is the paradox that lies at the heart of the entire Lacanian understanding of desire and its object. Indeed. Elsewhere. Hart. 125 LACAN. morality and justice are the things that law must expel. 104. a law might be substantively bad because "they violated substantive moral principles" (id. thereby.The Four Discourses The result of this discourse is the objet petit a from which the addressee is separated. 126 He states: If with the Utilitarians we speak plainly. just as Hart argued. the discourse of the master is a necessary part of civilized society." Sebok. this was a point that Hart himself understood. at 84) yet it might still be law. law. supra note 113. Hart specifically expels considerations of morality and justice outside of the realm of law and insists that an evil law is. Consequently. I have defended Hart's separation of law and morality from the position of Kantian moral theory. the expulsion of morality allows us to consider moral issues in terms of morality without getting caught up in questions of legality. Lacan is speaking about law in the broadest sense of the symbolic order which "castrates" the subject and. the little a. supra note 7. enables her to desire. on the other hand. at 626. TELEVISION. That is. supra note 106. nonetheless. Indeed.126 One might have a moral right or at its very core. 681-83. It is what the law always fails to achieve.

therefore. Probably not even the most fervent positivist is so naive to suggest a pristine ideal positivism as either a practical or theoretical matter. Law is not morality. The secondary rules of change merely determine the formal process through which a primary rule is changed so that we can now whether or not a new rule is in effect. relate to the substantive content of when rules should or should not be changed. but. 127 128 draft: 9/1/00 32 ."127 What Hart does not tell us is how. THE CONCEPT OF LAW . Rules of change do not. other steps will be necessary. One must go outside the law -. do not let it supplant morality. was conclusive of the final moral question: "Ought this rule of law to be obeyed?" Surely the truly liberal answer to any sinister use of the slogan "law is law" or of the distinction between law and morals is. abstract but true moment in a complex.The Four Discourses obligation to disobey an evil law. one can only argue that a specific claim to law is not law either because it is inconsistent with other law higher in legal hierarchy (as when we find a statute unconstitutional). once declared. For everything that [those who insist on a connection between law and morality] say[] is really dependent upon an enormous overvaluation of the importance of the bare fact that a rule may be said to be a valid rule of law. Although positive law as the discourse of the master produces the little a of justice. once we have used externalized morality to criticize law. This suggests that although the discourse of the master is a necessary step for the actualization of freedom and justice. concrete legal reality. however. but that does not conclude the question. at 618. as if this. There is no way to criticize any law for being unjust within the realm of law itself. this little a is barred from the actors within this discourse. it should be equally obvious that it is not sufficient. following the Hegelian dialectic of recognition. at 117. This is reflected in Lacan's proposition that the relation of the concepts above the bar to the concepts beneath the bar in the matheme is impossible. HART. then again.128 This is precisely the question that the four Lacanian discourses attempt to answer. however. they do not and cannot give guidance as to what criteria the legislature should use in deciding whether or not to adopt or change a rule. freedom and justice through their exclusion. Consequently. Lacan suggested that the pure discourse of the master may not still exist as an empirical matter in modern Western society 129 But. "Very well. it has no direct access to these concepts. Nevertheless. if private law as the discourse of the master is necessary for the actualization of freedom and justice. Law understood purely as positive law creates the ideals of morality. do we then return morality to law in order to change law other than through civil disobedience. is an attempt to isolate and analyze one discrete. it probably also true that no two empirical warriors ever literally played out the slave-master dialectic. For example. ethics or political philosophy. because it was not properly promulgated or otherwise fails the appropriate rule of recognition. supra note 18. That is. Within law. The fact that a law is evil. to question law as law. does not make it any less the law. I argue that. like the slave-master discourse. but this a judgment that comes from outside the law itself. each discourse brings us a closer step towards this actualization. the discourse of the master.to morality. 129 Bracher. supra note 106. The substantive content of rules can only come from morality or justice or other considerations that have already been expelled from the law. a rule is changed if the properly elected legislature meets and votes following an appropriate procedure.

This time. supra note 99. at 78. and therefore rationalize it. Four Discourses . 1.132 Once again. 130 "The S2 occupiers the dominate place in so far as it is in the place of the order. in the case of pedagogical knowledge. supra note 99. applying his theory to Marx. at 78-79. The university addresses this lack. Lacan thought that. turning him into the subject ($). Zizek." LACAN. .131 It is that which was desired by the others who were addressed in the master's discourse because it is produced yet kept from them. in both cases.130 Unlike the master who merely demands obeisance by virtue of his status. knowledge itself. supra note 99. XVII. the command. Lacan suggests t hat the university studies the surplus value created by labor but expropriated by capital. a. the university discourse was a travesty of honest intellectual inquiry. supra note 3. which has become knowledge. Introduction. at 78. The second discourse of power is that of the university. The discourse of the university is schematized by rotating the discourse of the master counterclockwise to the left by 90 degrees. at 119. . Four Discourses . Lacan believed that this discourse was. at 115. this object of desire by studying it in order to explain. SEMINAR. reason. the dominant discourse not only of the French universities of his day and of the student radicals who claimed to distance themselves from the status quo to form a new university. S2 S1 6 a $. the university claims authority by virtue of knowledge. draft: 9/1/00 33 ." Zizek. uncultivated child"). 131 "[S2] addresses the remainder of the real (say." Zizek. and justifies the economic status quo. in fact. "The university discourse is enunciated from the position of "neutral Knowledge . Lacan's Analysis. the addresser is S2. The Discourse of the University.The Four Discourses B. The little a is that which has been produced in the previous discourse by exclusion. supra note 18. or expertise. 132 Bracher. The Four Discourses . The university addresses the objet petit a as its other. in the place initially held by the master. the "raw.

. FINK. Bracher. 136 Id. 134 Bracher explains this process as follows: Lacan. is the master signifier. however. SEMINAR XVII. at 132. Consequently. supra note 10. . at 132.that is. In Lacan's words. as has the worst kind of science. which has become knowledge. SEMINAR XVII. . As Fink puts it: The "truth" of the university discourse. the discourse of the university can serve as a sophisticated way of making the master's claims to brute power more palatable through veiling.137 133 "Why does it come about that one finds nothing else at the level of its truth than the master signifier. ."136 In other words. is power. at 78. . . presenting what effectively amounts to a political decision based on power as a simple insight into the factual state of things. hidden beneath the bar. supra note 3. draft: 9/1/00 34 . 135 FINK. totalized knowledge. has always served the master.117 -. supra note 10. supra note 18. And this assumption is neither more nor less than the assumption of the self-identical "I" as its master signifier. has always placed itself in the service of rationalizing and propping up the master's discourse. hidden below the university in the lower left. 133 Lacan suggests that any discourse that seeks to explain and rationalize the absences of society always ends up justifying the existing order."135 Consequently. supra note 18. Lacan suggested that the university discourse has largely surpassed the master's discourse in the modern state. . Lacan says. the constitutive lie of the university discourse is that it disavows its performative dimension. in so far as it operates in order to bring the master's order?" LACAN. . . of course. the discourse of the university is as much a discourse of power as that of the master. a subject that must itself be stable. at 119. at 117. in so far as it operates in order to bring the master's order? LACAN. 137 The discourse of the Master. at 119. self-identical ego. discourses that valorize and attempt to enact an autonomous. the command. Why does it come about that one finds nothing else at the level of its truth than the master signifier. Indeed.The Four Discourses The truth. [the university discourse] is in a way subservient tot he discourse of the Master. its ultimate value and truth. Bracher. Anyone who enunciates scientific knowledge automatically assumes the position of subject of this coherent. consistent. .that of an "I" that is identical to itself and transcendental. . Lacan came close to suggesting that there was a historical relationship between the discourse of the master and that of the university with the latter being a "sort of legitimization or rationalization of the master's will. supra note 3. is known by us today only in a considerably modified form . . at 116-17. self-identical. The S2 occupiers the dominate place in so far as it is in the place of the order.134 In Fink's words "Philosophy . in the place initially held by the master. but it is nonetheless active and visible in the various discourses that promote mastery -. interrogates the ground of this master signifier and -.finds that it consists in an even more fundamental master signifier -.

141 "In the place. that eludes the grasp of knowledge-power. it means that when we begin to understand language and to speak it. 139 Zizek gives the following example from medical practice. in the first instance. we are made to produce ourselves as (alienated) subjects. and by the position they attribute to us within that system . to a dominating totalized system of knowledge/belief (S2).e. Id. at 78. this initial term. Id.i. that which drops out. supra note 18. .142 Lacan lost his teaching privileges at the prestigious École Normale Supérieure because the "director of that august institution decided that the student uprising of May 1978 had been 138 See supra note --. has no room for the subject herself and the experience of her suffering. beneath it. 140 Take. . This is the violence of this discourse of power. the excess that resists being included in the discursive network. draft: 9/1/00 35 . his seventeenth seminar was delivered in a law school during 1969-70 following the Paris student uprisings of the previous year. . that our preverbal experience of ourselves and the world. This means. but its remainder . is the alienated split subject herself. Four Discourses . supra note 99. the one that is articulated here under the term of S2. at 115-16. 119-20. in its production. $. at 203. however. there is not question of it being able to see itself for a single instant as the master of knowledge. at 115. reducing him to an object of research. be universalized. obsessed with anxiety. 142 See Bracher. But. a subject. One needs to keep in mind the context of Lacan's original formulation of this discourse. is partially determined by the system of knowledge/belief. mediated as it is by the actions and demeanor of our primary caretakers." LACAN. and which is in this position. as Zizek warns us What one should avoid here is the Foucauldian misreading: the produced subject is not simply the subjectivity that arises as the result of the disciplinary application of knowledge-power. supra note 3. [A]t the surface level. of diagnosis and treatment. Subjected in this position. .The Four Discourses The product of the university's discourse. in the university discourse. S2. for production. we are dealing with pure objective knowledge that desubjectivizes the subject-patient. or language inhabited by them. we must fashion our sense of ourselves (our identity) out of the subject positions made available by the signifiers (i. who is easy to recognize -. addressing the doctor as a Master and asking for reassurance from him. at 172.141 This analysis can. of unheard-of pretension. LACAN. Zizek. SEMINAR XVII. one can easily discern a worried hystericized subject. of the exploited in the university discourse.it's the student. In the second instance. 139 By making the subject's product (desire) into a subject of study. for instance.138 The university discourse that scientizes and explains the subject's desire. As Bracher explains in the context of the discourse of the university engaged in by the parent teaching the child. As subject. SEMINAR XVII. . of having a thinking being. b. as Lacan intended. supra note 3. Context. As mentioned above. at 78-79. lets say.140 Of course. in actual universities the most obvious subject identified by Lacan who is split and alienated from himself is the student himself. categories) of the system. the discourse of the university further splits the subject from her desire. of this system.

. 145 Lacan thought that all so-called revolutionary discourses ended up justifying a new master. 147 FINK.146 Lacan's harshest words were addressed to these students precisely because they professed to be following his theories -. SEMINAR XVII. We can imagine it." LACAN.the transcript of a talk given by Lacan on December 3. SCHNEIDERMAN. Id. Lacan thought that the so-called student revolutionaries] "speak in the master's discourses -. however.The Four Discourses spawned by Lacan's Seminar". since he spent his entire adult life in such pursuits? Rather. Lacan does. the epitome of the University discourse was the Soviet Union -. at 132-33. As discussed supra in note --. The fact that the students he was addressing tended to be marxists may partially explain why Lacan himself draws his examples from marxist theory. the victims or the split subjects created by the university. You will have one. however.147 As we shall see. supra note 3. at 227. He compared them unfavorably to his dog. he was trying to distinguish the true search for truth from much of that which goes on in academia. the discourse of the university) as the professors they claimed to be criticizing. immediately after the university discourse). Seminar XVII was considered a reproof to the empty claims of precisely those students who claimed to be his followers. supra note 3. for all his insufferable arrogance and egotism. but rather as a kind of encyclopedic endeavor to exhaust a field. Lacan contrasts the false radicalism of the university discourse with what he sees as the true radicalism of the analyst's discourse. in the most pejorative Freudian sense of the term. 145 draft: 9/1/00 36 . Lacan gives psychoanalysis pride of place and discusses it 143 SCHNEIDERMAN. su p r a note 7. Indeed. According to Bracher. How could he. deliver a handful of paragraphs that are some of his clearest statements of his discourse theory.e. This remarkable document consists of an arrogant Lacan insulting the students while they heckle him back. suggested that they have a "love-in" and "wittily" started to strip. even though the students were on the one hand.they wanted to make him into a master and. Attached as an appendix to The Other Side of Psychoanalysis is Analyticon -. to Lacan. at 239. Nevertheless. Lacan was a notoriously arrogant and fractious individual and one suspects that the governing faction of École Normale Supérieure was looking for an excuse to cut their ties.revolve around such master signifiers as "imperialism" "domination" "freedom" "oppression"" Id.e. at 29. He told the students that "he could not be expected to have an intelligent dialogue with them". to maintain the difficulties posed by apparent logical and/or physical contradictions. SEMINAR XVII. LACAN. were part and parcel of the same power discourse ( i. Lacan locates true science in the discourse of the hysteric whereas the university discourse is mere rationalization. . By attacking the "university.government by experts. supra note 10. Lacan was not condemning all intellectual study nor even science per se. although the discourse of the analyst logically comes third in Lacan's taxonomy (i. Lacan acted bored and stated that he had seen better in the theater the night before. Consequently. at 232. SEMINAR XVII. 1969 at the "experimental" University of Paris at Vincennes. supra note 7. this was a role he refused to play.144 on the other hand these very same students. 144 LACAN. One student protested their treatment. with their neo-Marxist rhet oric. at 233. at 119. not as the kind of thought that tries to come to grips with the real. supra note 3. at 29. In Lacan's eyes. 146 Lacan taunted ted the Parisian student radicals "What you aspire to as revolutionaries is a master.143 The director's suspicion seemed to be confirmed when his decision was followed by student demonstrations protesting Lacan's dismissal. In the midst of this unpleasant and mutually obnoxious display of pique on both sides.

The End of the Market . and that the word will always name the thing in accordance with practice and lay it to rest. supra note 18.as the critical moment of law.148 In contrast. supra note 81. in the position of S2 (the chain of symbolization) confronts an anomaly. at 507-09. 1 53 Of course. according to Lacan. It is associated with what Lacan identified as the masculine aspect of personality. however. 153 MURRAY. at 122.what Lacan calls the discourse of the Analyst. Bracher. This. at 122. 152 The master signifier falsely claims to be whole and unsplit. such as obsession.the role of the attorney as representative -. 151 See supra text at notes --.150 Obsession is the characteristically masculine form of neurosis in the sense that hysteria is the characteristically feminine one. A corollary to this is that the masculine personality claims that the symbolic order (S2 as the chain of signifiers) is complete and not in a constant state of slippage. supra note 82. he does not adopt the feminine response of recognizing what he sees. when applying the taxonomy to law I restore the logical progression and argue that legal discourse ends with the discourse of the hysteric -. the objet petit a that has dropped out of the master's discourse.155 The university. draft: 9/1/00 37 . 150 MURRAY. lies in promoting a discourse with the opposite structure -. the endlessly detailed interpretations. The task is to ensure that there are no gaps in the law. how could it ever be possible to overturn this tyranny? The answer. In Murray's words The feverish activity [of the legal obsessive] is that of the identification of legitimate sources. as opposed to the feminine as the acceptance of castration. The very existence of the little a belies the university's implicit claim to be the complete bastion of knowledge. and to possess the lost object of desire (the phallus). c. because I shall return to it in detail when I discuss the hysteric's discourse. the remembering. describes the university discourse.151 all human beings are split or "castrated" and the two sexual positions are two different positions one can take with respect to this universal initiation right of subjectivity. that there is always already an answer. 154 Id. at 120. As I have mentioned.154 The obsessive develops increasingly more elaborate theoretical systems and explanations to explain away "apparent" anomalies. at 144-46. supra note 38. 152 Schroeder. 149 See supra note --.149 Jamie Murray suggests. the particularities of grammar and syntax. this is not accurate. that the discourse of the university is characterized by obsession in the clinical sense of the term. 155 Id. which is only roughly associated with being an anatomically male human being. he did not develop discourses for the other forms of neuroses. in Murray's analysis. citation upon citation. at 144-45.The Four Discourses last. Fink notes that although Lacan discussed the discourse of the hysteric at length. Obsession. I shall discuss this briefly here. When the obsessive masculine subject confronts holes and slippages in the symbolic. The university 148 As Bracher asks rhetorically: But if rhetoric and political movements simply repeat the discourse of the Master and its imperialism. Rather he obsessively tries to cover over the holes and explain away the slippages. The masculine is the position of denying castration.

This is the case even if. In our era probably the most ambitious or grandiose project of the latter sort is the "law and economics" movement generally. it betrays an essential intention of controlling others. at 237-38. He claims to identify and address the goals of a specific law or of society specifically (a). THE STRUCTURE OF SCI E N T I F I C R EVOLUTIONS 23-51 (2d. REV. T HOMAS S. The legal scholar then puts himself in the position of the subject creating. That is. Hysteria and Obsession in READING SEMINARS I & II (Richard Feldstein et al. Application of the university discourse to the legal academy is obvious. Thomas S. Reflections on My Critics . Abduction From the Seraglio ]. The legal scholar speaks from the position of expertise (S2). Jeanne L. and develops increasingly complex subtheories to explain away apparently anomalies between predicted results and empirical observations. Abduction From the Seraglio: Feminist Methodologies and the Logic of Imagination . Or it can be done at the global level of systematization. L. Schroeder. SEMINAR XVII. RICHARD A. In normal science the scientific community does not really engage in the critical work of testing a paradigm. The point of a recommendation as to what the law should be is usually an attempt to manipulate or otherwise to cause those individuals who shall be subject to the law to act in a prescribed manner. Arthur Corbin and Samuel Williston's magisterial treatises are examples from the past. 1970).156 2. Soler.the obsessional erotic -. OVERCOMING LAW 172-73 (1995). at 145 (quoting C. the truth of this discourse is power. 1970). 156 draft: 9/1/00 38 . Lacan recognized that leftists could be as "conservative" as rightists when they speak in the university discourse: the former Soviet Union.of the governor -. as when a scholar examines the minutia of a doctrinal issue.and recommends how the law should be changed (or not changed). was the very model of the Lacanian university.' . applied or interpreted in order to achieve the law's desire. The scientist merely explores problems detected within the paradigm. Rather. ed. with thoughts." Id. It is hardly news that legal academia is ultimately an extremely "conservative" institution ultimately supporting the master discourse of positive law. .159 It is also the case whether or not a professor's analysis leads to the conclusion that any specific legal doctrine is incorrect or unjust and should be changed. and the work of its doyen Richard Posner. 109. an existing paradigm is implicitly accepted. 70 TEX. 1996) at 272. specifically. the majority of American law professors identify themselves as being somewhat left of center. As we have seen. in order to explain. . 165-67 (1991) [hereinafter. even though this literature often speaks in the language of libertarianism and consumer sovereignty. is the production of the split subject. The result of such an analysis that addresses the imaginary goals of the law from the position of an expert writing the law.The Four Discourses seeks to reintegrate this lost little a into the signifying chain through a theoretical explanation that. P OSNER. 158 I apply this analysis to law-and-economics scholarship specifically infra in text at notes --. in CRITICISM AND THE GROWTH OF K N O W L E D G E 231 at 246-47. KUHN. supra note 3. applying and interpreting the law -. 250 (Imre Lakatos and Alan Musgrave eds. eds. There is a strong similarity between this notion of the university discourse and Thomas Kuhn's notion of normal science. 157 See e. This can be done at the modest local level. 159 LACAN. in some cases overturning laws and deciding "In legal discourse -. The University's Discourse as Interpretation/Policy.the subject in relation to the non-existence of the Other 'plugs up this lack with signifiers. as frequently claimed.157 Most American legal scholarship at the dawn of the new millennium is normative.g. Kuhn. Schroeder. simultaneously reasserts the totality of the university's knowledge. and five-year plans. justify or otherwise account for it within some larger legal theoretical framework in order to achieve some desired societal goal.158 Consequently. The vast majority of legal scholarship is devoted to some level to the exploration of the lacunae of legal doctrine. The point is that virtually all law professors are working within a single dominant paradigm that there should be a rule of law with an understood legitimate means of creating and modifying laws.. it is policy oriented. with its central planning. which has used neo-classical price theory as both a descriptive and normative lodestar for legal doctrine.

The crit implicitly assumes that there could be an unsplit legal subject -. [no] rules. 162 Carlson. the crit insists that law does not exist because he cannot imagine law as anything but an impossibly perfect system. supra note 113. however. But such an approach to law leads to only the Scylla of obsessive positivism (the failed attempt to fill in the gaps of law) and the Charybdis of nihilism. when the judge departs from precedent she is not leaving law and engaging in politics. arch-positivist Hart accused the legal realists (the predecessors of the crits) were "disappointed absolutists" who agreed with legal absolutists that "if a rule existed it would govern practical action in all circumstances" but concluded that. That is. supra note 1. ends up reasserting the status quo. It incomplete in the sense that it implicitly assumes that law and the legal subject could be otherwise."163 From a Lacanian position. supra note 1.161 This approach is ultimately unintentionally sup portive of the status quo. As David Gray Carlson has insightfully written (specifically in connection with the work of Pierre Schlag) the critical studies critique of mainstream jurisprudence may be seen as a form of failed Lacanianism which. because this is impossible. because of its failure. a nihilist who believes that there is no such a thing truth nor a "relativist. 164 I develop my critique of the policy orientation of most legal scholarship as a university discourse. at 88. Schroeder. Indeed. if any. the crit correctly recognizes that the legal subject in our society is alienated and "split" and that this split relates to law. Schroeder. . 1908 (1999). or hope to make it. supra note 2. Moreover. Pandora. at least in law. or "politics". This was even the case within the so-called American "critical legal studies" movement. Fear of Freedom. By doing so the crit implicitly adopts a theory that the only just law is a law that is complete and perfect.The Four Discourses disputes. L. The critical legal study analysis is frustrating because it seems to approach the Lacanian analysis. David Gray Carlson. there are few. 897-903. 883-84. The Traumatic Dimension of Law [unpublished manuscript in author's possession]. but then falls short at the last moment.164 Psychoanalysis will argue that law is flawed just as the crit perceives. Although there might be considerable disagreement as to within this paradigm.166 Even though Lacanianism holds that both law and the legal subject are artificial. at 886. REV. but is engaging in law because every application of law necessarily must include a unlawful moment. Pandora's Amphora . By this I mean that the crit doesn't criticize law. 1 6 0 The crit correctly recognizes that the law is not complete or coherent in the way that mainstream jurisprudes either claim it is. Duellism in Modern American Jurisprudence. 166 See Jeanne L. and of the failure of so-called "critical" scholarship in Schroeder. . This is why no true positivist proposes such a pure vision of his own theory and why it was inevitable that critical legal studies would run out of gas as it did." Nevertheless. The Eumenides: The Foundation of Law in the Repression of the Feminine (unpublished manuscript 2000) [hereinafter. "there were . This is because its vision of law is precisely the perfectly closed system envisioned by the mainstream scholar.165 To a Lacanian. the truly radical critique of law comes not from within university discourse. supra note 2. 895. and develop it further in Schroeder. at 1915-19. the Lacanian is not. Schroeder. 160 draft: 9/1/00 39 . he excludes any decision that is not rigidly determined by the statute and precedents as non-law.162 Indeed. 165 I raised these issues in Schroeder. he condemns the law because it is incomplete and the subject is split. supra note 160. The Eumenides ]. but the analytic and hysteric discourses. at 824-29. 99 COLUM. 161 Carlson. Pandora's Amphora. but that the entire symbolic order including law necessarily must be so. Fear of Freedom. the crit goes further than the mainstream lawyer who accepts some degree of imperfection in the law as unavoidable. supra note 160. at 1912-24. 163 Sebok.that there is a natural uncastrated personhood that could bloom forth but for the injustice of the current law. Like a radical positivist. supra note 2. true anarchists in academe. Schroeder. the See generally David Gray Carlson.

Lacan. This is not because it is either overwhelmingly powerful as a social matter. SEMINAR XVII. at 61. at 14. like the master discourse. which he noted earlier in the Seminar. As Murray correctly analyzes. the university discourse is necessary but insufficient for the actualization of freedom. at 120-25. that the very relationship among the discourses. This is inherent in the very concepts of legitimate law creation and precedent. not the discourse of the analyst. supra note 10. knowledge. Not surprisingly. gives the analyst's discourse a special pre-eminence. what can the words justice. . Just as any civilized society requires the master discourse of positive law as a necessary moment in the actualization of freedom. halts the giddiness of the three others. . 172 Id. miss its mark. 1."172 Nevertheless. at 129. 168 MURRAY. 169 FINK. Murray goes so far as to suggest that the university discourse is the characteristic discourse of the law. Once again. 175 Id. .169 or constitutes "a totalizing world-view" as a theoretical one. however. just as the master discourse negatively creates the desire for freedom and justice by exclusion. and its emphasis on desire and jouissance which permits us to temporarily step outside and stop this rotary 167 Murray locates common law adjudication in the university's discourse. Indeed. 173 Id.171 Moreover. the discourses of the master and the university are the dominant discourses of social power. C. the university discourse creates the legal subject through exclusion. whereby each leads to the next means that "we are going around in circles -. at 129. supra note 3. Lacan always insisted that psychoanalysis is "but one discourse among many.170 As we have discussed.The Four Discourses radical question Lacan requires us to ask is what does it mean to be true to the law when the law is always in a state of flux. so does it need a university discourse to supplement the master discourse. the university discourse is not limited to legal academia. The university discourse confronts the little a directly. supra note 81. the Other. Introduction. at the level of structure . knowledge. As we have seen. it can only explicate the master's claims to power."175 It is the analysts's discourse. with the university's. . "The analytic discourse. not the final ultimate discourse. freedom.the desire of law. etc. Society often does identify collective goals that the law should serve. 173 As Lacan says. and always will. the signifier. psychoanalysis claims our particular attention because it is a means of understanding other discourses. 171 Id. This is the person who will seek to actualize her freedom both through and in opposition to the law that excludes her. all it can do is try to integrate the little a within the existing chain of signification. 170 Id."174 This giddiness notes no doubt results from the fact. because it hides the truth that it is in the business of protecting the power of the master signifier.168 This is not as depressing as it might sound at first blush. See supra text at notes --. and ethics mean in a world when law always has. at 129. However.167 Every practicing lawyer and every judge who tries to reconcile the cases and explain the law necessarily engages in the same discourse. at 129. but can not yet get behind it. The very nature of a rule of law is the continuation and protection of a status quo.the signifier. in the words of Fink. 174 LACAN. at 136-37. the Other. Moreover. I believe that adjudication combines the master's discourse draft: 9/1/00 40 . It is a step beyond positive law which had nothing to say about the little a -. a practicing psychoanalyst who addresses his seminars primarily to other practicing clinical psychoanalysts. . The Discourse of the Analyst.

and this is not to be confused with the psychoanalyzing discourse. Does this suggest that there is one "possible profession" that corresponds to the remaining discourse of the hysteric? A profession that succeeds in actualizing the subject's freedom in the world? 2. she then helps the client to determine the appropriate response.the analysand learns to symbolize her trauma and better to cope with the external circumstances that contributed to her problem. at 41. 179 The analyst makes himself the cause of the analysand's desire. he discusses it last.The Four Discourses movement. at 193-94. because the attorney engages in the analytical discourse primarily as a preliminary stage prior to engaging in another discourse. Even Lacan distinguished between the pure analyst's discourse. FINK. supra note 10. The analyst (and the hysteric). one quarter turn to the left: a S2 6 $ S1. in contrast. Id. Consequently. even though the discourse of the analysis figures third in Lacan's matheme. probably more frequently. Once the attorney helps the client to identify his legal problem. In practice." Zizek. Id. Legal problem solving. Both the master and university address the other with the voice of positive content and a claim to authority -. takes on the role of the objet petit a itself. But. 177 178 draft: 9/1/00 41 . modifying Freud. master and university. litigation or otherwise. psychoanalysis may be more closely related to the hysteric's discourse. Lacan's Analysis. at 135. supra note 99. in contrast. is external as well as internal. there is the discourse of the analyst.177 He further notes that these correspond with the discourses of the analyst. with the discourse effectively engaged in the analytic experience. Four Discourses . when we pass . .178 The psychoanalyst. The psychoanalysis analyses the analysand and thereby helps her reach a cure. This is because of the difference between the roles played by legal and psychoanalytic professions. is only a stepping stone towards the hysteric's discourse. In other words. as if that meant something. In the 176 I hear a lot said about the discourse of psychoanalysis. the analyst's discourse is a discourse about discourse. supra note 3. . The psychoanalytical cure is internal -. So. Indeed. sitting in the upper left hand corner as addresser. the university from knowledge and reason. Sometimes. is the third "impossible profession" along with governing (Regieren) and educating (Erziehen).the master speaks from pure power. What does this strange thing mean?" LA C A N . What the analyst institutes as analytic experience can be said simply . at 35. Lacan concludes that analysis (Analysieren). respectively. Once again. to the analytic social link. In this Article I reject Lacan's ordering and reposition the analytic discourse back in its third position.176 just as I suggest that legal counseling. and the actual practice of psychoanalysis. speaks from a position of radical negativity. it may only be a primitive and shallow form of the discourse engaged in by the clinical psychoanalyst. the response is the internal decision to cope with the external circumstances that contributed to his problem. while touching on the analyst discourse. 1 7 9 This is a significant difference from the two discourses of power. Consequently. If we characterize a discourse by focusing on what is dominant in it. at 80. the new discourse is schematized by turning the previous discourse.it is the hysterisation of discourse. S E M I N A R XVII. legal analysis is only the prelude to legal representation in which the attorney steps into the shoes of the client and represents him in trying to change the client's external circumstances through negotiation. the agent (analyst) reduces himself to the void that provokes the subject into confronting the truth of his desire.

in so far as it sets out on the trace of the desire to know. at 135. -. in so far as taken at the radical level it has attained for the psychoanalytic discourse. that the psychoanalyst offers himself as the aim for this insane operation. Because Lacan uses the term "discourse" and "address" it is easy to assume that this means that the addresser is always actively speaking. It's as identical with the object a. 180 This reflects the fact that in her role as counselor and advocate. . draft: 9/1/00 42 . engaging in a continuous flight from meaning and closure. it is the object a itself that comes to the place of the command. the attorney must empty herself of her positive content in order to take on that of her client. in a displacement that never ceases. The analyst addresses the analysand through an absence of speech -. Is a question of the effect of discourse that is a rejection effect. repressed -. symptom . Id. wishes to interrogate the other. in psychoanalysis the analysis primarily listens in order to enable the analysand to s peak.that is. in so far as it interests us. the cause of the patient's desire. at 122. the a. The other addressed by the object of desire is the split subject himself. at 124. In the way I articulate what is structure of discourse. at 125.185 180 FINK. their own alienation. supra note 10. substantially. . like the master and the university. 1 8 2 The master speaks to command the other.183 When the analyst speaks. .improbable cases moreover.or rather the analysis speaks only in order to help the analysand speak and fill in the gap represented by the analyst. presents itself a the most opaque. supra note 3. 183 "Whatever the specific response of the analyst. at 124. anxiety. The discourse of the Analyst is able to promote such a response and production because it is opposed to all will of mastery. 182 "The analyst responds to this hysterical discourse of the patient in such a way as to illuminate and emphasize what has been left out." Id. at 123. . LACAN. shame.that is. this position is. that of the object a. This is because the analysis addresses the analysand from the position of the analysand's own desire.that is. Concerning the position called that of the analyst -. the psychoanalysis does not seek to control or teach the analysand. in so far as this object a designates precisely what in the effects of discourse. 181 This is because. . supra note 18. desire. at 135. 181 But. The analyst. . but tries to help the analysand learn her own truth. precisely qua those points where the split between consciousness and unconscious shows through".The Four Discourses discourse of the analyst "The analyst plays the part of pure desireousness". but to articulate the analysand's own desire. for is there even one analyst? who knows? but one can raise it theoretically --. in contrast. a psychoanalysis. 185 FINK. SEMINAR XVII. she seeks not to speak in her own voice as master or teacher. and let's say. .. ideally. That is. as misrecognised for a long time. . supra note 10. she must listen as much or more than she speaks. 184 According to Bracher." Id. The university speaks to lecture the other. she stands in for that which is missing. at 47. the discourse of the Analyst "puts receivers of its message in the position of assuming and enacting the $ -. Bracher. To do so.184 The analyst "interrogates the subject in his or her division. as Bracher says." Id. the a. and yet essential. . it is efficacious to the extent that it represents to the patient the effect of what has been left out of discourse.

He continues: "It is this basis in the mythic. . but rather a system of oppositions embodied in image and fantasies that offer no unequivocal identities." Bracher. supra note 36. ENJOY YOUR SYMPTOM!. supra note 7. simultaneously. 192 "What this discourse "produces" is then the Master-Signifier (i. supra note 18. There is a crucial difference. thus rendering the process circular rather than progressive. 189 As Bracher states: This knowledge. however. it is not the master signifier imposed upon her by the Big Other19 0 (as in the discourse of the master) but her own "new master signifiers (S1). cause of the patient's desire -."187 The analysand goes to the analyst because the analysand is a split subject -. Zizek. .is sustained by the analyst's implicit knowledge. .186 This relates to Lacan's description of the analyst as "the subject supposed to know. self-referential identities. . . F O R TH E Y K N O W N O T W H A T THEY DO. however. Mythic knowledge .the analyst should not stand in the position of the university."191 The analysand's original master signifier revealed by psychoanalysis is her "symptom. supra note 99. unconscious knowledge that allows the enactor of the discourse of the Analyst to discover and express the a. is the form of the knowledge that constitutes the truth of the discourse of the Analyst. merely the analyst's own expertise -. at 39. at 89). at 123. can be either the analysts's already acquired knowledge. at 123-24.e. . . . LACAN. TELEVISION. The knowledge that is the truth underlying the little a is not. . 190 This means that what is produced in the discourse of the Analyst is another discourse of the Master. at 80."192 In Lacanian psychoanalysis.he is unhappy and alienated and wants to know why so that he can become happier and better integrated. and hearing voices might be a symptom of psychosis.The Four Discourses The truth hidden beneath the little a is knowledge. clearly established. a form that is completely alien to the discourse of science. supra note 99. to which this knowledge bears mute witness.g. . but the knowledge that concerns the subject (analysand) in the truth of his subjective position. which functions as the basis of analytic savior-faire. Lacan identified a/S2 as the matheme for the analyst as the "subject supposed to know" in his earlier work (see e. But this time. draft: 9/1/00 43 . She is supposed to have knowledge. this hidden knowledge is the analysands' own unconscious knowledge. S2. Id. Four Discourses . the unconscious "sinthome"). ultimate values formulations or their identify or being. supra note 10. . at 87. at 171. because it offers not absolute. 191 Id. The analyst is the expert who is supposed to know what is wrong. at 80. Lacan says. and. refers to the supposed knowledge. 187 See ZIZE K . of representing the a. at 125. FINK. the cipher of enjoyment. Rather." Zizek." Id. but only related it to a system of discourses in Seminar XVII. and is repressed by the patient -. at 126. the place of truth. Four Discourses .188 The truth of the analysand's desire is within himself.is a disjoint knowledge. supra note 18. It is only the mythic form of knowledge that can avoid excluding the a. 188 Knowledge is the position of "truth" below the bar under the "agent. of the analyst. Bracher.. to which the subject was unknowingly subjected.189 The result of analysis underneath the split subject is the master signifier. at 125.that is. cause of desire." of course. . in this new discourse of the Master: its master signifiers are produced by the subject rather than imposed upon the subject from the outside. a psychoanalytic 186 "The analyst's activity of interpretation -. signals that the knowledge gained here will not be the neutral "objective" knowledge of scientific adequacy.It is what Lacan calls a mythic knowledge. . Rather. supra note 37. meanings or values. or it may be knowledge of the analysand's particular psychic economy and of the nature of the analysand's a . ZIZEK. the word "symptom" does not have the lay meaning of the external manifestation of a disease in the sense that fever is a symptom of the flue.

a bit of the real that has not been yet been symbolized and. so to speak. The very symbolization of the symptom leads to its disintegration as a symptom.196 3. Four Discourses . has no proper signification to the subject. it serves to explain the signifying chain of his neurosis. supra note 193. SUBLIME OBJECT]. it functions as a symptom precisely because it lacks meaning -. the analysand's unconscious knowledge is the chain of signification. therefore. but to find out what the client's problem is so that she may help the 193 In Zizek's words The symptom is not only a ciphered message. The Analyst's Discourse as Legal Counseling. LACAN. 196 Zizek.it is a trauma.194 The master signifier is stupid in that it is meaningless in and of itself. The symptom arises . . THE SEMINAR OF JACQUES LACAN . it is at the same time a way for the subject to organize his enjoyment -that is why. whereas his symptom is the trauma that he has not yet been able to symbolize and place in the symbolic order. 195 In Zizek's words OF LO V E AND Symptoms are meaningless traces. but constructed retroactively -. The point of psychoanalysis is to enable the analysand eventually identify this symptom and help the analysand figure out how to integrate it within his symbolic order. . .BOOK XX: ENCORE. 1998) [hereinafter. it is the block. SUBLIME OBJECT. SUBLIME OBJECT. where the circuit of symbolic communication is broken . . ZIZEK. the symptom.193 The symptom is a master signifier not only because it explains the other signifiers. their meaning is not discovered. supra note 193. the signifying frame which gives the symptoms their symbolic place and meaning. . THE SUBLIME OBJECT OF IDEOLOGY 74 (1989) [hereinafter. the unsymbolized traumatic event. ZIZEK. In his twentieth seminar on feminine sexuality. SLAVOJ ZIZEK. The "good" lawyer adopts the discourse of the analyst when she becomes an attorney and counsels the client. That is. the little stupidity or funny business. at 55-56.195 Nevertheless. that is. at 80. 194 JA C Q U E S L A C A N. By doing so.. Lacan called this S1 produced by the analyst's discourse. that is why he 'loves his symptom more than himself'. ZIZEK. announces its dissolution through interpretation: the aim of psychoanalysis is to reestablish the broken network of communication by allowing the patient to verbalize the meaning of the symptom: through this verbalization the symptom is automatically dissolved.the analysis produces the truth. THE L I M I T S KNOWLEDGE 135 (Jacques-Alain Miler ed & Bruce Fink trans. draft: 9/1/00 44 . Indeed. SEMINAR XX]. or a teacher to explain the law to the client (although in the course of her representation the attorney may also take on these lawyerly roles). supra note 99. the subject is not prepared to renounce his symptom. It is that which is blocking him from his desire. excavated from the hidden depth of the past. ON FEMININE SEXUALITY. around which the analysand has organized his life. roughly. at 73. but because it is vacuous. The attorney's role as counselor is not to be a master to tell the client what to do. Precisely as an enigma. even after the completed interpretation. the betisse. symbolize and fit into his discourse.The Four Discourses symptom is the "trauma" in the analysand's psyche that the analysand cannot integrate. As a result. he will give signification to the symptom and produce a new master signifier.

the client represented by inside counsel will probably already have formulated the response it wants from the attorney (We wish to securitize our receivables and sell them in Reg. In each of these cases. It is common for an educated analysand to come to the first session with his own ready-made analysis (I am unhappy because my mother was distant when I was an infant and now am in a relationship with a woman who reminds me of my mother . Indeed.The Four Discourses client figure out the best way of dealing with that problem. Accordingly. Another client. ). might have a strong sense of what his problem is and what he wants from the attorney. the way the counseling attorney addresses her client is primarily through listening. like the analyst. it is tempting to think that the knowledge that is the truth between the attorney is legal expertise. accountants and investment bankers who have already engaged in extensive preliminary analysis prior to engaging an outside attorney. like the suffering analysand. Similarly. Sometimes the client has only a very vague and unformed idea of what he wants. in my personal experience as an attorney the reason the most sophisticated client seeks from the outside attorney is not so that the attorney might mechanically implement a pre-existing plan -. to determine what its little a is.) Nevertheless. the client not only does not know what he wants. believes the attorney understands his desire.like the master -or of abstract expertise -. the attorney must be in the position of the one who understands and knows the client's true desire. The client wants to know what to do within the law in order to achieve his desire. The attorney address the client as the split subject -. he knows that he does not know. the client thinks he knows exactly what he wants. As with the analyst. and because the attorney. commanding and lecturing. The client lacks something but only the client can know what she lacks. and interrogates the client in her position as a suffering split subject with a problem to solve. as in analysis. rather than speaking. the client is a split subject who knows that he desires and wants the subject-supposed-to-know to explore the nature of its true desire. This is so even in the case of the sophisticated client with insider counsel and other advisers who must believe that it deeds to engage the attorney because the client cannot accomplish its desire by itself. however. in each of these cases the very fact that the client approaches the attorney to solve her problem means both that the client has a desire. believes that he cannot attain his desire without the help of the subject supposed to know. The client does not ask the attorney merely to tell him what the law is . Other times. The attorney is in the position not merely of arbitrary power -. Are there superior alternatives that the client has not considered? Has the client correctly analyzed the costs and benefits of its proposed cause of actions? In psychoanalytic terms. The truth lying under the attorney standing in the position of the client's desire is S2 -. like the analyst. inside counsel. his agalma. . This is a grave misunderstanding. draft: 9/1/00 45 . in contrast. For example. and. Because the client approaches the attorney as the subject-supposed-to-know. The counseling attorney.the subject that is alienated and contrasted from her desire. he might feel that he has been injured in some way and wishes to know if the wrong can be righted. Frequently. D offering etc. He might wish to form a business organization or enter into a contractual relation but only have a general sense of what might be involved. a corporate client might be represented by officers. For example. Remember when the attorney stands in the place of her professional expertise she is engaging either in the discourse of the master (I know what the law is) or the discourse of the university (I know why the law is what is). In order to do this.the position of the client's own desire. The attorney/analyst is supposed to know. the client has analyzed its problem correctly. the client approaches the attorney as "the subject supposed to know" just as the analysand approaches the analyst. in fact. sits in the position of the client's own desire. is a highly trained professional.the signifying chain of knowledge. .like the university. The client comes to the attorney because he perceives that he has a problem. the attorney addresses the client from the position of the little a -. Rather the client seeks advice because it wants confirmation that.if the plan could be so easily implemented it could no doubt be accomplished much more cheaply in house. and helping the client to speak. to have knowledge of the client's specific desire. further.

Note what this does and does not mean.198 This does not mean.in order to help the client get beyond that block. that the attorney always enables the client to do exactly what he wants to do. S1 in this position is not. To say that this little stupidity is the analysand's symptom is to say precisely that it is what blocks the split-subject from direct access to his own self-knowledge. individual symptom. The product of the analyst's discourse which lies under the client as split subject is S1. §77l. This is precisely why the analysand seeks help from analysis. as in psychoanalysis. "The knowledge in question here is unconscious knowledge. just as some analysands are beyond analysis. as Freud himself noted. the attorney does not merely help the client recognize the nature of her desire. the provision which makes such sales unlawful) is the client's symptom. then Section 12 of the Securities Act of 1933199 (i. Similarly. Some problems can be solved.The Four Discourses Rather. supra note 10. the subject must come to be.his personal little stupidity which is stupid precisely because the split subject has yet to symbolize it -. Some cannot and must instead be coped with. there is no such communication in the lower half of the diagram. or block. it is the split subject's own. The attorney does not tell the client what to do. the client's symptom is his belief that he wishes to sell the securities in a way that violates the law. As we have seen. the client's symptom is often the law itself. See infra text at notes --. then helps the client to decide what he wants to do. a Slovenian proponent of a philosophical reading of Lacan.the client's master signifier -.e. that the client will jettison after counseling. rather proudly points out that the only time 197 198 199 FINK. the knowledge that is the truth of the attorney/analyst is the self-knowledge of the client/analysand. to finance his enterprise) and to help him understand the alternative ways in which he could do this within the constraints of the lawful alternatives to achieve this desire (i. The door to self-knowledge has been locked by the key of the hidden symptom. Rather.e. the master signifier as master -. to understand how this desire could fit within the signifying chain of law). some clients can not be counseled. of course. that knowledge that is caught up in the signifying chain and has yet to be subjectified. Psychoanalysis helps the analysand to recognize the symptom as the key that can unlock the door to the analysand's self-knowledge thereby enabling him to symbolize his unconscious knowledge in order to deal with it. The knowledge that the split subject supposes the subject-supposed-to-know knows is the nature of the split subject's own desire. The secret of a successful counseling relationship is helping the client recognize the difference between the two.S. Of course. The attorney tries to help the client to understand that his true desire (presumably. As we shall discuss when we turn tot he discourse of the hysteric. Zizek. As we have seen. the knowledge that is the truth of the attorney when she counsels the client is the knowledge as to how the client as split-subject can symbolize his own desire within the signifying chain of law.C. and helping the client understand what his legal alternatives are.the signifier that gives meaning to the chain of signification. although the agent located in the top left-hand corner addresses the other in the upper left-hand corner."197 Similarly. Rather. with respect to all of the discourses. To give an example from securities law. however. She helps the client identify that which is blocking the client's access to her desire -. The relationship of the truth in the lower left-hand corner and the product in the lower right-hand corner is an impossible nonrelation. and eventually to shed the symptom as a key that might relock the door. The whole point of helping the client to understand how to symbolize his desire and place it within the signifying chain of law is so that the client can understand what his alternatives are and how to deal with them. His symptom -. at 136. 15 U.A. draft: 9/1/00 46 .as a brute given power imposed upon the subject. the analyst helps the analysand find his own truth. I am obviously not saying that when a client wants to sell securities pursuant to a materially misleading prospectus.is the key to the truth of his personal knowledge within the signifying chain. Where that knowledge was. but after helping the client decide what he wants within the given legal-economic regime. a master signifier -.

Lettres sur la pratique psychanalytique 55 (1977). draft: 9/1/00 47 . with respect to this particularly difficult analysand: The second case. It is the discourse of the client -. SEMINAR XVII. . the hysteric's discourse is the discourse of each of us who is subjected to the law. 1. appeal. in the domain of law. quoted in Z IZEK. 2 0 1 the counseling relationship is a failure and the attorney must resign. suggests precisely the opposite -. 202 LACAN. it is apparent that Lacan is not merely using the term "law" in its abstract sense of the symbolic order. the scholar and legal interpreter who seeks to explain the law and justify its violence and propose policy. Our analytical art fails when faced with such people. at 35. and our perspicacity alone cannot break through to the dynamic relation which controls him. or political action. D. is obviously a good-for-nothing who does not warrant your efforts. FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO. at 8. 201 I would probably include in this category a client who intends to engage in peaceful civil disobedience as a means of attempting to change an unjust law.the law called into question as a symptom.as well the attorney that speaks on behalf of the client. not the governor. If the analyst's discourse is a discourse about the other discourses.200 If the client continues to believe that his true desire is to engage in activity in violation the law. the result of analysis is the "the hystericization of discourse. the master discourse is the discourse of the legislature and judge w ho declares the law -. in fact. or incorrect interpretation of the law. SEMINAR XVII."203 The hysteric's discourse is the discourse of the split subject. Lacan's discourses properly end with the hysteric's discourse. As Lacan says." 2 0 2 Legal analysis can produce the conclusion that the client's desire is blocked because of an unjust law. The discourse of the analyst is the discourse of the counseling attorney who helps the client understand how his desire fits within and can either be fulfilled or thwarted by the law.The Four Discourses Freud ever mentioned a Slovene in his writings was in connection with just such a case. supra note 37. supra note 3. This does not mean that law can never be the client's symptom. another analyst. Lacan. The discourse of the university is the discourse of the expert. 203 LACAN. The Discourse of the Hysteric.the litigant. the negotiator -. 200 Sigmund Freud/Edoardo Weiss. rather than conforming his behavior to fit within the law or to seeking to change the law. . In this case the breakthrough of the analysis is the realization of the unjust or incorrect nature of the law which enables the client to determine whether to accept the situation or to challenge the law through litigation. supra note 3. the Slovene. Equally properly."This is in effect what we do see in our own time -. As we have seen. of the governed. at 48. Freud advised a friend. Introduction. In the context in which this statement is made.positive law as brute fact. the discourse of each of us as a speaking member of society. but also in the concrete sense of specific positive laws. the hysteric's discourse is the challenge to or critique of the other discourses. It is the discourse.

The Four Discourses The discourse of the master is command. when Lacan claims that there is no desire without an object-cause. This explains the cliche that any lawyer who represents herself has a fool for a client -. the attorney must stand in the client's position and engage in the discourse of the hysteric. In order to represent the hysteric client in a litigation or negotiation. his entire being is sustained by the uncertainty as to what he is for the Other. at 109. when the client counsels her client and helps him identify the source of his legal problem (his legal symptom. supr a note 3. nowhere does it appear more clearly that man's desire finds its meaning in the desire of the other. .knowledge/belief. I am using the word "hysteric" as a term of art. repress . 205 Zizek. Anthony Wilden. One of Lacan's most famous slogans is "the desire of man is the desire of the Other. S PEECH 1981) As Zizek explains: In other words. at 48. hystericizes the client. governing/brain-washing. . 204 In Bracher's words: In his schemata of the four discourses. she addresses the client through the discourse of the analyst and. as because the first object of desire is to be recognized by the other. 207 To put it in a nutshell. self-division/alienation. Translator's Notes ."205 The discourse of the hysteric is that of the client who seeks to realize his desire. Lacan demonstrates how differently structured discourses mobilize. The hysteric. The discourse of the hysteric is critique and accusation. this does not amount to the banality according to which every desire is attached to its objective correlative: the 'lost object' which sets the AND LANGUAGE IN P SYCHOANALYSIS at 91 (Anthony Wilden trans. 2. Bracher." L ACAN. the hysterical discourse completes the circle of desire in that it enables the subject to question the law's claim to act as law. desiring/protesting. although the attorney should be an analyst when she speaks with her client. and analyzing/revolutionizing. at 81. Four Discourses . in effect)."207 As Slavoj Zizek It has noted. she should be an hysteric when she speaks for him. SEMINAR XVII. one must not become hysterical.and produce four key psychological factors -.in ways that produce the four fundamental social effects of educating/indoctrinating. It is around the symptom that how things are with the discourse of the hysteric are situated and ordered. Hysteria. order. An attorney who was hysterical in the colloquial sense of the term would obviously be incompetent. thereby. At first. The discourse of the analyst is interrogation. Hysteria can be a "normal" everyday neuroses of the type that necessarily characterize the adult split subject.to engage effectively in the hysteric's discourse.204 "The hysterical subject is the subject whose very existence involves radical doubt and questioning. It is the client's inability to distance himself from his hysterical relation to his legal symptom that prompts him to retain an attorney to speak on his behalf. . draft: 9/1/00 48 . in turn. and jouissance /enjoyment -. 206 "At the level of the discourse of the hysteric it is clear that we see this dominant appear in the form of the symptom.206 Consequently. values/ideals. The discourse of the university is lecture. not so much because the other holds the key to the object desired. In other words. supra note 18. supra note 99. in JACQUES L A C A N . who now understands his desire and his symptom is in the position to challenge not merely his symptom but the master signifier -the law's claim to power.

211 S C H R O E D E R . Schroeder.214 we associate the Big Other with the symbolic order itself -. 211 The most basic intersubjective relationship that serves this desire is private law -property. the Other means just whatever is other than the subject herself. HEGEL. 827-28. and crime. 217 "If we believe in this big Other. Most specifically it can be other persons generally. As Lacan's theory concerns the subject of language. at 81. society. Schroeder. We treat the Big Other as being external and imposed upon us. Lacan called Hegel the "most sublime hysteric. ineliminable from the substance of he who has said I am what I am. s u p r a note 54. at2864-67. each one of is partially responsible for its creation both in the sense that each person is a co-creator and each person must accept the moral subject's desire in motion is ultimately the subject herself. Pandora's Amphora. at 167. which is another form of tautology altogether. and the lack in question concerns uncertainty as to her status for the Other's desire. supra note 3. I have argued extensively elsewhere that if one reads Lacan with Hegel then one can see that private law is hysterically erotic. at 164. or a specific other person. at 860-64. As members of society. at 823-24. language or society at large does not function. SEMINAR XVII. 210 I present this argument in full in SCHROEDER. supra note 2.B. Lacan notoriously proposed in Seminar XVII that the Big Other does not exist. SEMINAR XX. and forced upon her by the Other. at 33-34. supra note 2. language.212 Consequently."217 The Other neither exists as a pre-given essential object. 874-882. far from being a defective mode of desire. On the one hand. ELEME N T S O F T H E P H I L O S O P H Y O F R I G H T 67-132 (Allen W. puns and word plays are an essential part of his analysis. The Big Other is artificial -. Who is the "Other"? Lacan's term is intentionally ambiguous to reflect its many layers of meaning. Wood ed. INDIVISIBLE REMAINDER. & H. in this sense Lacan's theory looks back to Hegel's political philosophy. is rather."216 This was not. at 72-74. THE VESTAL AND THE FASCES. 212 draft: 9/1/00 49 .F."213 As I have stated. its paradigmatic case. however. 215 Miller. 213 LACAN . at 1-106. supra note 27. L A C A N . HEGEL. 216 LACAN. Pandora's Amphora. etc. THE VESTAL AND THE FASCES. desire is always the desire of the Other: the subject's desire is the desire to ascertain her status as object of the other's desire. G. In this precise sense.his desires others because he desires to be desired by them. at 164. it has a body. She desires to be desired by the Other.law. 1991) [hereinafter. the palpably silly assertion that the legal system. This prefigured his even more infamous pronouncement that Woman does not exist. INDIVISIBLE REMAINDER. Pandora's Amphora. Lacan tries to capture the fact that the big Other functions despite the fact that it does not "exist" in his statement that it nevertheless has a "body. contract. at 38. supra note 27. s u p r a note 3. supra note 74. but of the hysteric specifically. 208 ZIZEK. But Lacan's point is precisely that in Zizek's words. supra note 74. supra note 194. Schroeder.215 "What has a body and does not exist? Answer -. S E M I N A R XVII.The Four Discourses relatively few writers who quote this phrase have noted that Lacan is speaking not about the desire of just any subject. Nisbet trans. each person passionately desires to be so recognized -. however.210 Hegel posited that because one can only achieve legal subjectivity through recognition from other subjects. THE P HILOSOPHY OF RIGHT].the big Other. "the hysterical 'desire to desire'. The hysteric desires the Other."208 "A more than sufficient reason for maintaining the notion of hysteria is that the status of the subject as such is ultimately hysterical.W. The End of the Market . supra note 48.a human creation. at 492-93. She experiences her desire as not coming from herself but as in some way created by. at 74. social relations. supra note 3."209 The ambiguity of this phrase "the desire of man is the desire of the other" is the same in the original French and English and is intentional. desire tout court). Schroeder. As I have argued at great length elsewhere. ZIZEK. 214 See supra text at notes --. 864-65." Id. 209 Id.

221 Id. supra note 27. . on the basis of that assumption. supra note 36. the submission to the symbolic order] is precisely what the psychotic position lacks the psychotic subject acts as if he has a truly free choice 'all the way along'. 222 As Zizek says. law and sexuality. ZIZEK. ZIZEK. 220 LACAN. protest. . See also SLAVOJ ZIZEK. supra note 78. THE VESTAL AND THE FASCES. supra note 3. ZIZEK.identify and values less antithetical to its fundamental fantasy and the desires arising from that fantasy. ." Z IZEK. the discourse of the Hysteric remains in thrall to master signifiers." Bracher.218 The hysteric discourse can be the critique of the status quo precisely because hysteria is the one position that can recognize the non-existence or artificiality of the Big Other. and a system of knowledge/belief .g. FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO. supra note 18.222 This is why. THE TICKLISH SUBJECT. SCHROEDER. . to coincide with or be satisfied by the master signifiers offered by society and embraced as the subject's ideals. new master signifiers -. No specific symbolic order -. 219 As Bracher says: [T]he hysterical structure of discourse also characterizes other instances of resistance. The hysterical structure is in force whenever a discourse is dominated by the speaker's symptom -. separate from the given master signifiers and produce its own.that is.or particular positive law -. she nevertheless remains united with him. at 122. in that knowledge comes her to the place of jouissance The subject himself.is outside of the symbolic order. a uniqueness that is manifested . LOOKING AWRY : AN I N T R O D U C T I O N T O JACQUES LACAN THROUGH P OPULAR CULTURE 20 (1998). . at 88-89. in the passage just quoted. and complaint . "She unmasks however the function of the master with whom she remains united. For this reason.e. supra note 18. at 123. supra note 36.our very ability to speak -. draft: 9/1/00 50 . then. at 101. at 107. . Bracher. . at 146-49. through emphasizing what of the master in what is the One with a capital O. is alienated from the master signifier as being the one whom this signifier divides . .The Four Discourses implications. that it has not itself embodied and produced. . of course. at 19. THE TICKLISH SUBJECT. $. at 123. A central point of Lacan is that each one of chooses to submit to the Big Other.224 218 The concept of "forced choice" in Hegelian and Lacanian theory is an important focus of Zizek's writings. from which she escapes in the capacity of the object of desire. .is necessary. "psychosis [is] the maintenance of an external distance from the symbolic order". . his or her unique mode of experiencing jouissance.depends on there being a symbolic order of language. supra note 78. Only the psychotic -. at 18-19. 298-99. Lacan seemed to think that the hysteric discourse could never truly be revolutionary. 224 Id. Elsewhere he says "this level of 'forced choice' i [. she is in a position of challenging and seeking to change the Big Other."221 She can not. albeit the choice is always to some extent a forced one. 90-98. totally destroy the Big Other. SEMINAR XVII. Lacan states that although the hysteric unmasks the Other(here in the position of the master).219 It's simply that the discourse of the hysteric reveals the discourse of the master's relation to jouissance. however. as a failure of the subject.223 It is only in the discourse of the Analyst that the subject is in a position to assume its own alienation and desire and. Our subjectivity . See e. 223 "Despite its expression of alienation and division. the hysteric. FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO.220 Once the hysteric realizes not only that the Big Other as it currently exists is not inevitable and understands her role in creating and sustaining that Big Other.literally the screaming madman -.

This is the radical negativity that Hegel believed constituted the heart and sole of personality. Perhaps this is because unlike the discourse of the master that claims pure power. the hysteric does not claim the impossible position of purity. freedom requires a movement of a moment of pure spontaneity unrestrained by all bounds. it might be correct that only the analyst's discourse can be truly revolutionary. Nevertheless. as we have seen. The goal of psychoanalysis is to enable the analysand to understand and change herself. and as Lacan's taxonomy shows. It is possible precisely because its goals are always necessary limited. In so far as it is ever successful.225 The only discourse that Lacan does not identify as impossible is the hysteric's discourse. This is the Lacanian feminine. if you believe. Unfortunately. draft: 9/1/00 51 . To put it another way. of course. I have referred to Lacanian sexual theory many times in this Article. I maintain that once the analysis is completed. I include true critical scholarship within this category. Lacan admits that the analytic discourse. it is the one possible profession. Once again. usually the desired solution is not for the client to change her own position. may sound unsatisfying. the hysteric's discourse is the discourse of possibility precisely because she does not claim perfection. In this Article. if not out right depressing. and the discourse of the analyst claims pure desire. I also agree that the discourse of the analyst is a necessary step in the process of resolving legal problems for precisely the reasons given by Lacan. to both Hegel and Lacan.impure. We are now in a position to examine it in somewhat greater detail. But there is an affirmative aspect to this as well. As such. is impossible. Fear of Freedom. the proposition that legal representation is possible only because the hysterical attorney has resigned herself to the actuality that perfection is not possible and that success is only a relative term.it always leaves the status quo in place to some extent. This is achieved in the cure that signals the end of analysis. that the goals of law are justice and the actualization of human freedom. this can only be done by a hysteric. This means. as I do. as well as the psychoanalytic profession. to address an issue within the framework of law is to accept the basic status quo of civil society to some extent. But. By definition. Although one goal of law is to enable the client to understand her legal problem.to have a perfect answer to every conceivable fact situation. it can only be given effect through the hysteric discourse. legal representation is always addressed to the Big Other (S1). the fact that justice is always a work in progress is itself a guarantor of freedom. I believe my divergence from classic Lacanianism springs precisely from the difference in function between the practices of psychoanalysis and law. Sexuality. I suggest that the attorney's profession of legal representation226 is the hysterical profession. In other words. To a Hegelian or a Lacanian. it is precisely because it is able to accept some degree of failure as being necessary. the discourse of the university that claims pure knowledge. For justice to be achieved would be to totally inscribe the world within a perfect system of law -. She claims to be precisely what she is -. 225 226 See supra text at note --. imperfect and castrated.The Four Discourses I would agree with this in the sense that law is always conservative. its results always necessarily imperfect compromises. supra note 1. 3. but to change the behavior of others who affect her position. Consequently. This would necessitate making all subjects into "men" perfectly circumscribed within the symbolic order. that it can never be truly revolutionary -. See Schroeder.

Feminism Historicized: Medieval Misogynist Stereotypes in Contemporary Feminist Jurisprudence.231 The masculine is the position 227 The word derives from the Greek hyster (wom b) because medieval doctors speculated that hysteria was caused by a malfunctioning uterus (which had a nasty habit of becoming literally unmoored and wandering throughout the woman's body to ill effect). . supra note 5. supra note 67. 231 Schroeder. but also that all persons of whatever anatomy occasionally take on masculine and feminine subjectivity from time to time. . But it must exist because no human being can become a subject outside the division into sexes. The End of the Market . to his adamant rejection of any theory of the difference between the sexes in terms of pre-given male or female entities which complete and satisfy each other. Introduction II. Such a position is by no means identical with one's biological sexual characteristics. however. that the subject has no "direct" contact with here biological actuality. The Doubly-Prized World: Myth Allegory and the Feminine. in FEMININE SEXUALITY 1. Introduction I.there is no such thing as a neuter subject. 660 (1990)) is not to imply that biological sexual difference does not exist or is not important. REV. This account of sexual desire led Lacan. . Schroeder. understood as being a purely symbolic. 75 CORN . SAFOUAN. SEMINAR XVII. LA SEXUALITÉ FÉMININE DANS LA DOCTRINE FREUDIENNE (LE CHAMP FREUDIEN) (1976) 131). at 49. 44 (Juliet Mitchell & Jacqueline Rose eds." LACAN. Schroeder. as it led Freud. but that does not mean that anatomy does not 'figure' . but it only figures (it is a sham). in Lacan's colorful and confusing language. our understanding of sexuality is always created intersubjectively. 644. men and women are only ever in language ('Men and women are signifiers bound to the common usage of language'. supra note 50. Jacqueline Rose trans. That is: For Lacan. It is crucial to remember. The Eumenides . rather than an anatomic. 6. all subjects are necessarily sexuated -. imaginary and real." Jacqueline Rose.). 229 Lacanianism is not a simplistic social constructionist theory that denies the importance of anatomical differences or the probability that these differences result in different behavioral norms for the two sexes.The Four Discourses As its name suggests. Sexual difference can only be the consequence of a division. Rose. Anatomic sexuality is critically important to Lacan precisely because we inevitably conflate symbolic sexual differences with anatomical ones. supra note --. Sexuality is. JA C Q U E S L ACAN AND THE ÉCOLE FREUDIENNE . All speaking beings must line themselves up on one side or the other of this division. To say that Lacan sought to destroy any lingering biological determinism in Freud's theories while explaining how gender difference becomes mapped upon biological sexual difference (GROSZ .228 According to psychanalysis. . however. One must take up a position as either a man or a woman. nor is it a position of which one can be very confident--as the psychoanalytical experience demonstrates. at 36. without this division it would cease to exists. Juliet Mitchell. . Drucilla Cornell."2 3 0 The two psychoanalytic sexes are two ways of confronting this universal condition. FEMININE SEXUALITY 27. 1185 n. . category. "castrated. In order to think about our sexuality is to have already interpreted the experience in the three orders of the symbolic. however. These positions are only generally associated with the biological sexes.229 To repeat an earlier point. Lacanians do not make the common feminist distinction between sexuality (biology) and gender (socially constructed sex roles) because to do so implies that we can tell them apart and identify what our uninterpreted anatomical sexuality might be. REV. 230 See supra text at notes --. "[A]natomy is what figures in the account: for me 'anatomy is not destiny'. at 507. Femin i n e S e x u a l i t y] (quoting M. however. that not only do many females and males not take on these roles. This is why we tend to associate each symb olic sex with the anatomic sex that shares its name so that females tend to take on the feminine role and males the masculine. but anyone can cross over and inscribe themselves on the opposite side from that to which they are anatomically destined. See Jeanne L. at 13. As a result. L. 75 IOWA L. all subjects are split or. we are making the hysteric a woman. draft: 9/1/00 52 . The point is. 1135. 228 "In saying she. 1985) [hereinafter. hysteria227 is essentially "feminine" in the technical sense of the term. 182 (1990).

supra note 67. supra note 12.236 Indeed. the Feminine Depression. she is at least partially morally responsible for the injustice that results. also necessarily be imperfect. supra note 50.238 On the other hand. insofar as she (along with all other members of society) plays a role in the creation of the symbolic order. and. possible. SEMINAR XVII. HISTORY . bravely accepts the fact of her own castration as well as the consequences of being a castrated subject. of course. this can be experienced as deeply depressing.a mental disease that characterizes many hysterics that cannot keep their neurosis within bounds. at 62." LACAN. Schroeder. LACAN. Satterfield. the acceptance of castration can result in the creative freedom that permits true criticism and the possibility of building a new symbolic order. Prof. The feminine. which is pronounced "the barred A." P ETER GOODRICH . at 173. is a creation of discourse -.that nothing escapes the eternal 232 233 234 235 Schroeder. LAW 1 (1995). See supra text at notes --. 239 Schroeder.239 The masculine personality claims that he and the law are everything -. in contrast. the most successful law students tend to be the most pessimistic. 236 The tendency of the feminine position towards depression is the subject of Zizek's essay. the masculine subject constantly tries to cover over the holes in the symbolic order. 237 "The study of law has always travelled under the sign of Saturn. at 78-81. The Eumenides . Seligman. Indeed. first. essential. the virile. The End of the Market . the masculine is the part of personality that continues to insist that the Other exists. and subjected to. That is. the male. or as experienced as incomplete by the subject who comes to be in that lack. such as we know him. the symbolic order. imperfect and artificial. while the feminine is the position of accepting it." FINK.234 In this reading. second. As I have suggested. Consequently.to make it seem like the Other exists. supra note 5. permanent. a psychoanalytical account of the melancholy of law and lawyers. supra note 196. as structurally incomplete. and the attorney's profession. This new order will. P. it can literally lead to clinical depression -. all X are submitted to the function (i. this attitude makes the hysteric's discourse. my analysis that effective attorneys are hysterics may explain why traditionally law has been considered a lugubrious profession237 and why one empirical studies indicates that unlike all other professions in which optimism is an advantage in practice. SEMINAR XX. among other things. OEDIPUS LEX: P SYCHOANALYSIS. Goodrich's book proposes. I have already briefly introduced one of these -. David Lynch. "Man. the matheme of masculinity is which is translated for the set of X. Two of these are. John Monahan & Martin E. In order to sustain this untenable position. Murray has correctly associated obsession with the discourse of the university. draft: 9/1/00 53 . or. in SLAVOJ ZIZEK.232 The masculine uses a number of psychanalytical devices in a vain attempt to avoid confronting his own castration. and the sages both of common and civil law have seldom paused to doubt the depressing character of legal study. Murray. Because the masculine denies castration and falsely claims integrity and perfection both of his self and the symbolic order. but this does not rule out the possibility that it might be preferable. the symbolic order in which the subject speaks must also be incomplete." Fink defines the barred A matheme as "The Other as lacking. supra note 83. the symbolic order). the obsessional university discourse can never truly be critical of the status quo because its true psychoanalytic function is to uphold the status quo -.obsession. supra note 67.235 Once again. Lacan expresses this idea of that the symbolic order is necessarily incomplete and lacking by the matheme "A" (for Autre. 15 BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES AND THE LAW 1 (1997).nothing at least of what is analyzable in him can be defined in any other way.233 Obsession springs from the masculine pretense that both the masculine subject and the symbolic order in which he speaks is real. at 507-08. to reconcile what cannot be reconciled as a means of justifying the status quo. The Eumenides . THE METASTASIS OF ENJOYMENT: SIX ESSAYS ON WOMAN AND CAUSALITY (1994) at 113. 238 Jason M. the Big Other). Law School Performance Predicted by Explanatory Style.e.The Four Discourses of denying castration. the masculine is that part of the personality that is totally circumscribed by. the phallic function.

"241 By accepting castration. Only the feminine can give birth to the masculine. In Fink's formulation "While a man is always subjected to a master signifier. 242 Consequently. which should be read "not whole. Bruce Fink has translated this as "not whole. supra note 196.The Four Discourses law." it is on the basis of the following -. at 144-45. ZIZEK. not all X's are submitted to the phallic function. SEMINAR XX. someone is castrated. but the feminine can not function without all his draft: 9/1/00 54 . supra note 12. at 168. the masculine identity is created by abjecting the feminine. FEMININE SEXUALITY. at 116. The feminine. TARRYING WITH THE NEGATIVE. the feminine subject implicitly understands that subjectivity is split between the three orders of the real. imaginary and the symbolic. J. therefore. but it is not me (or masculine people like me) it is her. she also realizes that the order of speech itself (the symbolic) is not complete. a never-before-seen function in which the negation is placed on the quantifier. In Zizek's words: "Woman is a symptom of man" means that Man Himself exists only through woman qua his symptom: ontological consistency hangs on.243 When masculine subjects. The Eumenides .g. is "externalize" in his symptom. 2 4 4 Similarly. at 78-81." it means that when any speaking being whatsoever situates itself under the banner "women. Previous translations have rendered Lacan's definition of woman as pas-tout as "not-all. Schroeder. it is precisely in the following respect: whole." In other words. The strategy is to say to oneself. at 73. she has a supplementary jouissance compared to what the phallic function designates by way of jouissance. "yes. SEMINAR XX. This is why the Lacan called the feminine pas toute: not all or not whole in the double sense that not all subjects are completely subjected to the symbolic order and the feminine subject is not wholly so subjected. is the part of personality that is at least partly not so subjected. is the realization that the symbolic is not the totality the masculine claims it is." LACAN. 240 241 [W]hen I write [the matheme of the feminine]. supra note 89. being not- Id. Lacan. who partially escapes from or is exiled from the symbolic order. The masculine is created by feminine freedom.242 Yet another way to describe this is that it is the corollary of the Lacanian proposition that the masculine creates and defines himself in contrast to the feminine." See.that is grounds itself as being not-whole in situating itself in the phallic function. not so for [the lack in the Other] in relation to a woman. supra note 67. e. the sexes are mutually constituted. A master signifier serves as a limit to a man. supra note 196. FINK. in contrast. a woman's relation thereto seems radically different. More recently. The feminine. when the masculine subject must confront that there is an "It is not by chance that women are less enclosed than their partners in this cycle of discourses. supra note 30. LACAN. the translation of portions of Lacan's Seminar XX in LACAN. 244 As I have said elsewhere In other words. is suspended from. 243 This is one of the meanings of Lacan's frequently misinterpreted statement that a woman is the symptom of man. at 72. Another way of saying this is that as the feminine realizes the speaking subject is not complete. the matheme of the feminine is . in effect. supra note 30. and the feminine by masculine abjection. 162-71. at 188. "Seminar of 21 January 1975" in Feminine Sexuality. "For the class of X.240 This are several ways of explaining this. are forced to confront the fact of castration they react by trying to identify it with femininity. who deny their own castration." Id.." This better reflects the idea that the feminine is the possibility of escape from the symbolic order. The fact remains that if she is excluded by the nature of things.

"a man is perhaps simply a woman who thinks that she does exist"251 (i. To repeat my earlier statement. the masculine generative act. supra note 67. supra note 38. Lacan believes that all subjects are formed by desire -indeed they are nothing but desire. FOR THEY NOW NOT WHAT THEY DO. Consequently. SEMINAR XVII. The most complete and most human form of desire is hysteria. the woman's] privilege. failed women. The feminine who does not wholly fit within the symbolic order245 desperately seeks to understand whether she fits within the symbolic order at all. hysterical in the colloquial sense). Many men get themselves analyses who. Although hysteria is associated with anatomically female people. In Zizek's rewriting. In other words. in LACAN AND THE SUBJECT OF LANGUAGE at 49. they can never fit together. is not castrated). the rule of the game.2 5 2 it is. SUBLIME OBJECT. Ragland-Sullivan & M. the "feminine" neurosis is the hysteria that characterizes the hysteric discourse. 245 Hysteria means failed interpellation. are indeed obliged to pass through the hysteric's discourse. and how can she better fit within it. at 36. Four Discourses . in Zizek's words. supra note 195.the object in himself -. it falls conditional with the dominant form of symbolic identification.e. Schroeder. or engage in the hysteric's discourse. however. Men are. the feminine is associated with the inability to fit within the symbolic order -. at 75.249 The masculine position of denying castration is therefore a kind of incomplete or failed femininity. at 101. In the depressing Lacanian formulation. Four Discourses . supra note 5.refuses the mandate which is conferred on him in the symbolic universe. 250 Ellie Ragland-Sullivan. a misreading to interpret Lacan as a phallocrat who replicates the traditional stereotype of active masculine subjectivity and passive feminine objectivity. The Sexual Masquerade: A Lacanian Theory of Sexual Difference.250 Or. persons of either biological sex can be hysterics. in effect. 'Why am I that name?'" 2 4 6 Every subject desires that which he or she does not have and the hysteric is at least partially exiled from the Big Other. it means that the subject in the name of that which is "in him more than himself" -.247 As I have already stated. 162 (E. the traumatized hysteric asks the Big Other "'Why am I what you're saying that I am?' or. He can neither procreate nor satisfy the feminine just because he is castrated. The Eumenides . 251 ZIZEK. to quote Shakespeare's Juliet. therefore. 248 See supra text at notes --. But she only brings forth because she has been violated and can never forgive the masculine. Bracher 1991). 252 See supra text at notes --. individuals of either anatomical sex must take on both sexuated positions from time to time.she is not wholly subjected to the Big Other.The Four Discourses outside to the symbolic order. In Lacan's theory. If "masculine" neurosis is the obsession that characterizes the university discourse. supra note 101. by virtue of this fact alone. since this is the law.e. he once again tries to deny his own split by associating that which is outside it with the feminine.e. draft: 9/1/00 55 . 249 "[I]nsofar as the subject exists only as an answer to the enigma of the Other's desire. as such. The feminine is active and fertile. 247 "[the status of being a hysteric] is not her i [. Far from it. 246 Zizek." Zizek. at 81. ZIZEK. at 79. her desire is the desire of the Big Other. supra note 101." L ACAN. The masculine is passive and impotent.248 Lacan does not think that women are emotional creatures inferior to sober men (i. the hysterical subject is the subject par excellence. even though the two sexes require each other.

" Zizek. See also SCHROEDER. insist. 256 FINK. The fact that it wants means that it must be wanting. s u p r a note 39. as in "real life. 5. In other words. s u p r a note 39. first the hysteric addresses the Other because she thinks it has what she lacks.257 She addresses the master signifier -. The Big Other (the symbolic order. " ZI Z E K . discourse.in this case standing for the claim of the Big Other to be pre- As Zizek rhetorically asks "Does this not mean that subjectivity is in its most basic dimension.the hysterical. at 133. $ a Lacan's Analysis. The Hysterical Question. supra note 101. to be. insofar as the subject doesn't know what object it is for the Other. supra note 39. in order that you will desire me back -recognize me as a speaking subject. The hysteric constantly asks the Big Other. Four Discourses . THE VESTAL AND T H E F A S C E S. She then realizes that the Other also lacks what she lacks. LACAN. . the $ over a stands for the subject who is divided. desperate unrequited desire can in a snap of the fingers change from love to hate. but it is only the feminine in her radical negativity and hysterical desire who can be the subject. The matheme of the hysteric's discourse is created by rotating the analyst's 6 S1 S2256 The addressor is now the split subject -. By asking "What do you want?" "What do you desire" the hysteric comes to realize that the Big Other wants and desires. ABYSS OF FREEDOM. at 326-29. 257 "In the hysterical link. at 79. to say. the law) is not complete and totalizing as it.254 As explained by Zizek: One should always bear in mind that the status of the subject as such is hysterical: the subject "is" only through its confrontation with the enigma "Che voui? (What do you want?") insofar as the Other's desire remains impenetrable. ÉCRITS.The Four Discourses although the masculine claims to have subjectivity (deny castration). traumatized.e. the Big Other.253 4. it seeks active recognition from it . at 312. supra note 31. ABYSS OF FREEDOM. at 8. in the hysteric's discourse. 254 "[D]esire addresses itself to the symbolic big Other . her question to the Big Other "What do you want? What do I lack?" is revealed as the accusation "You are wanting!" "How must I change to accommodate you?" is now "You must change to accommodate me!" "You have what I lack or at least can tell what I am lacking. does not exist. "Che voui?" "What do you want (i." Becomes "You are the one who is lacking!" The hysteric's discourse is that of the true critique that opens up the possibility of reform. 253 draft: 9/1/00 56 . at 81. supra note 12. what role she plays in the Other's desire. A BYSS OF F R E E D O M . the masculine subject. s upra note 29.255 In the discourse of the hysteric. Consequently. by what an object she is for the Other. Lacan posited that the subject addresses the Big Other with the question "Che voui?" as least as early as his 1960 paper Subversion of the Subject and the Dialectic of Desire in the Freudian Unconscious . and the university discourse. in an unheard-of-way "feminine?"" ZIZEK. from me)?" What do I lack? Just tell me what I need to do. feminine subject who accepts castration and understands that she is incomplete. The feminine hysteric learns that her love. And she hates him for betraying her. . 255 ZIZEK. at 79.

259 This time.the symbolic order -. this knowledge can give the hysteric the courage to go on.the knowledge that the Big Other does not exist. It is the hysteric's discourse that allows this indirect relationship to come about. This is the hysteric's desire for completeness. SEMINAR XVII.the hysteric's discourse.The Four Discourses given. is S2 -. respectable identity. The product of the hysteric discourse. This means that only the subject herself can answer the question as to what she needs to do to satisfy her own desire and how to change the Big Other better to accomplish this. meaningful.is not a pre-existing "thing. supra note 20. however. Consequently. which now. This is because the knowledge obtained is precisely that the Big Other can not accommodate. more critically. draft: 9/1/00 57 . The hysteric can learn several things through this discourse. therefore. the split subject can learn what the Other wants from her -. Once one rejects the impossible goal of making the Other perfect." LACAN. however. The left hand portion of the matrix of the hysteric's discourse ($/a) is. supra note 5. S2 is the split subject's own knowledge. the hysteric's profession of building the Other becomes possible. but not merely that. Why should the hysteric try when the task of completing the Other is doomed to failure? How can the hysteric face the fact that she is partially responsible for the imperfection (and resulting violence and injustice) of the social order when she cannot cure it? Alternately. It is also the fact that the Big Other desires -. she can learn what is lacking in the symbolic order. The fact that the Other is not natural or complete means that it is a work of art in progress.I will be allowed to justify this in the more or less long term -. The object cause of desire which is the hysteric's truth is precisely that "object" which is excluded by the master's discourse. meaningless.what she needs to do or say in order to fit better into the symbolic order. Once again. .it is the Big Other's lack. This can lead to the final stage of knowledge -. becomes conscious and within the control of the addresser. the subject's desire. in a limited sense. The hysteric can express her creative freedom by furthering its progress. . and shame and give a sense of stable.desire itself. 259 "What leads to knowledge is -.every normal subject remains split and castrated to some extent." it is our own human creation.the signifying chain of knowledge. Of course it is a fundamental Lacanian point that a perfect fit will never be possible -. Bracher. 258 She addresses the big other with the hysteric's question/ accusation "What do you want (from me)?"/ "You are wanting!" The truth that lies beneath the split subject as addressor is the little a -. The hysteric can harbor the hope that she can at least partially expiate her guile for 258 In Bracher's formulation: It is this quest to which the receiver of the hysterical subject's message is summoned to respond by providing a master signifier. at 123. The reason the Big Other can never truly answer the hysteric's question "What do you want?" is explained by its alternate version as the accusation "You are wanting!" The Big Other -. and does not have the truth of. First. . S1. a graphical representation of the doctrine that the desire of the hysteric is the desire of the Other. for the first time. in the form of a secure meaning that will overcome anxiety. Once again. complete and totalizing. can lead to two results. The first is depression and impotence. in this discourse there if no direct relationship between the subject's desire as the truth of the discourse and the subject's knowledge which is the product of the discourse. at 23. the knowledge that the Other is not merely incomplete but necessarily so. She can learn what its flaws are in order to decide whether to accept them or seek to change them.

The client and the attorney are the split subject who realizes that she is not whole and is hysteric. and it is the lack in the Big Other that she is revealing.to stand in her shoes. a.its hidden goal. What do I lack? of "Please make me whole?")". contract and crime) which begins 260 261 262 See supra text at notes --. It is the client's desire that she seeks to satisfy in the legal action. Rather. by being excluded from the symbolic order of law. as opposed to counseling him. property. Schroeder. See supra text at notes --. draft: 9/1/00 58 . The first question. therefore. In order for the law to be just. The product of this discourse is the knowledge it produces. It is my thesis that the profession of the attorney representing a client. 863-67. The accusation "You are wanting!" is spoken in what I will call litigation.The Four Discourses participating in the injustice of the status quo. -. This is the aspect of the symbolic order which. "What do you want from me (i. Within "negotiation" I include contract negotiation and other forms of legal representation (such as drafting securities law disclosure documents) in which the parties see each other as having at least some shared interests. both causes the client's suffering while falsely claiming to be in the right. perhaps she can make things better. In other words. and to speak on her behalf -. Morality became law's desire -. The problem was.e. the attorney as advocate must become radically feminine. in the eyes of the client and her attorney. but 6. She can not make things perfect. what she needs is precisely that which has been excluded from the law). She addresses the another party who stands for the Big Other as the master signifier that explains and gives meaning to the split subject's problem. is or should be a hysteric discourse.260 One of the reasons Hart wanted to separate law and morality was to preserve morality as an independent value that could be used to critique intolerable law. that once he excluded morality from law. In negotiation one asks the other the less hostile. she does not address the client. it must be rewritten to include the excluded.e. Through legal counseling (the discourse of the analyst) the attorney hystericizes her client. When an attorney acts for a client. As we saw. questions "What do you want from me? How can I make you love he? Please give me what I desire?" This is consistent with my analysis. In order to represent her client. 827-28. indeed loving. The truth of the situation (the lower left corner of the matheme) is the little a of desire. Negotiation.the attorney must also become an hysteric.262 I have argued extensively elsewhere that Lacan's analysis of the hysteric's desire parallels Hegel's analysis of abstract right (private law. which I explicate elsewhere. The Hysteric's Discourse as Advocacy. Hart did not suggest how morality could be brought back into the legal system to actualize its critique. Most legal representation falling somewhere between the extremes of these two ideals. the attorney is the client's alter ego who stands in the client's position in the upper left hand as the person who addresses others. The hysteric's discourse enables us to identify how the substantive content that has been excluded from the law serves to harm the subjects subjected to the law. that from a Hegelian perspective contract is a primitive form of what Lacan called "love. Actual legal practice is a spectrum. 870-73. of course. whether in negotiation or otherwise. supra note 4. In Lacanian terms. at 824. by trying to undo this injustice." 2 6 1 Lacan based his discourse of the master on Hegel's lord-bondsman dialectic from The Phenomenology which is a failed attempt at achieving intersubjective recognition through violence. The truth of that split subject is that she desires. is spoken in what I will call "negotiation". Pandora's Amphora. I divide legal practice into two ideal forms that relate to the two different forms of the hysteric's discourse. The hysteric discourse enables us to accomplish the task that Hart started in his account of positive law. morality could serve as a petit object a. and that her desire is the desire of the other (i.

at 876-82. but surprising to discover. is a failed attempt at recognition because it is unilateral. Hegel concludes that this impasse of failed recognition can be resolved when society develops from a slave economy to a market economy (which he calls the regime of abstract right). than the master.e. in The Philosophy of Right. She believes that this desire can be accomplished though the other party. Her desire is to accomplish a specific goal.e.both hers and that of her contract party. Nevertheless. the client must also believe that other party also has an unfulfilled desire to accomplish a goal that she can fill. Indeed.The Four Discourses The Philosophy of Right. Gift. As I explain. Id. supra note 4. at 856-59. The fact that the is a bar between the split subject and the little a that is her truth in the matrix of the hysteric discourse ($/ a ) represents the fact that she believes that she is somehow barred from her desire. "primitive" (i. It is also appropriate. Given that the Hegelian hysteric seeks to achieve her desire for recognition through contract. the slave's recognition is worthless i (. the master) who the slave recognizes as being powerful. from a Hegelian analysis. as Lacanian Schroeder. if not superior ( i. She knows she lacks. This concrete other serves as a master signifier who seems to explain her relationship to the Big Other. 874-82. he also achieves a higher degree of recognition in the sense that he at least has a relationship with a person (i. legal rights.e. and she believes that her lack can be addressed by the other party. the failed recognition of the master's discourse eventually leads to the possibility of the more successful recognition through the hysteric's discourse. she wishes to achieve some goal and she believes that it can be achieved through the other. In complex relational contracts that continue for years -. Surprisingly. she is in the position of the split subject.e.). it should not be surprising to find that the discourse of the hysteric characterizes the communication aimed at the formation of contracts. a Hegelian analysis leads precisely to this conclusion. Not only does the slave achieve savo i r f a i r e. the master-slave dialectic is a failed attempt by the master to achieve subjectivity by being recognized as such by another free and equal subject. It is also appropriate. the slavemaster dialectic is in some respects more successful for the slave. Pandora's Amphora. the true desire of parties in contracts is mutual recognition as legal subjects.264 Insofar as a client wishes to engage in negotiation and enter into a contractual relation with another party. by reducing the rival to the abject state of slavery and refusing to recognize the slave's subjectivity. The exchange of goods and services in contract is merely a means for this ultimate end. True the master forces his rival to recognize the master's superior power but. That is.the mutual desires can be much more complex. like mastery. This is because it is the nature of contract that each party recognizes the other party as an equal subject in the sense of a creature entitled to. The basis of contract is the mutual belief that each party can benefit the other by entering into the contract. the donor implicitly (and frequently) demands that the donee recognize the donor in the act of gratitude. The truth of the client is desire -. The arrow that extends from the split subject to the other as her master signifier ($ 6 S1) represents the fact that she thinks that the Other can somehow lower this bar. pre-market) societies tend to be characterized by complex gift economies which are perceived as aggressive (if not expressly warlike as in the case of potlatch) attempts to establish unequal relations of status similar to master-slave economies. Nevertheless. that the hysteric's discourse is itself a means of critiquing and challenging the earlier discourse of the master. and capable of bearing. he is recognized by someone whose opinion "counts"6). by definition the master can not respect or even acknowledge the opinion of a slave who he considers sub-human).such as joint ventures -. As I argue in Pandora's Amphora (id. In abstract right the subject is partially successful in achieving the intersubjective recognition she desires through mutuality. But in order to negotiate a contract. Consequently. I further argue that the concept of failed recognition which underlies the master-slave dialectic presented in the Phenomenology reappears in the Philosophy of Right in the failed dialectic of gift. 263 264 draft: 9/1/00 59 . on the other hand. This mutual desire can be as simple as the client has a widget and desires cash while the counterparty has cash and desires a widget. By giving a gift. the donee often feels the necessity of returning an appropriate gift in order to obtain mutual recognition. As I have explained elsewhere.263 The Hegelian analysis of contract is sublimely hysteric. to find that on the one hand.

The subject. supra note --. the attorney addresses the counterparty (usually through his attorney) with the original hysterical question "What do you want (from me)?" "What can you give me?" "What can I give you to make you want to deal with me?" Negotiation proceeds as the two parties mutually explore their respective goals and desires of the other to formulate a single shared object of desire. at 9. arbitration probably lie somewhere between litigation and negotiation.g . it is the This is one of the imports of Lacan's concept of the little a. I further explicate this idea in Schroeder. the client obtains the knowledge that the two parties can or will not satisfy each other's desires and either moves on or proceeds to litigation. Within "litigation" I include those transactions in which the parties see their interests as being fundamentally diverse. Litigation. at times.as well as the very lack. seeks to fulfill his unquenchable desire for subjects by trying to substitute a desire for objects (the little a). As we have seen. in the case of the prosecutor or administrative agency. Vis a vis the defendant. This is why subjects desire other subjects.the actual substance of the contracts acts as the cause of the parties' desires. By seeking to make critique effective in law by. like Hegel. it leads to a contract -. what the Big Other lacks is precisely that which had been ejected by the master discourse such as such non-legal qualities as morality and justice. 265 draft: 9/1/00 60 . harmed. is the abstract concept of the people or the state) has been wronged -. Examples include criminal and civil litigation and administrative proceedings. if need be. argues that subjectivity can only be achieved through intersubjective recognition in the symbolic order. THE VESTAL AND THE FASCES. The plaintiff believes that the truth of the situation is the object of desire that is kept from the plaintiff -. Although not as immediately obvious. changing the law the hysteric's discourse completes the critical circle that the master's discourse started by expelling morality from law. but must be willing to challenge the value of what the counterparty claims to offer as well as the counterparty's claims to entitlements. It is equally the case. Mediation and.the overthrowing of the unlawful law.his wrongdoing explains the client's problem. and embodies. the hysteric's discourse also characterizes legal defense. This dynamic is perhaps most clear when the plaintiff is a citizen and the defendant is the government -. supra note --. SCHROEDER. always takes the form of object relations -. to a lesser extent. In litigation the plaintiff (prosecutor) makes the hysteric's accusation against the defendant positioned as master signifier: "You are wanting!" What is produced in litigation is knowledge. The defendant feels wronged by what she believes are the false claims of the plaintiff. the Big Other. In litigation the attorney bringing the action claims that the client (which. even the friendliest negotiation has moments of hostility as the hysterical attorney's discourse vacillates between the question "What do you want?" to the accusation "You are wanting!" The attorney seeks not only to know what the counterparty wants.265 In a "friendly" negotiation. The defendant is in the position of the master signifier that seems to explain the Big Other -. Even when unsuccessful. Elsewhere.clearly a manifestation of the Big Other -. See supra text at notes --. however. If it is successful. Lacan.is split. or the remedy sought in litigation -. however. holes and untruths of the defendant's case. I have expressed this as Lacanian subjectivity is intersubjectivity mediated by objectivity. By defending the status quo the defendant becomes identifies with. the intersubjective relationship of love and recognition. barred from the object of desire which is her truth.The Four Discourses psychoanalysis insists. the defendant and her attorney also find themselves in the position of the split subject. Of course. and compare it to the "new home economics" of Gary Becker and George Stigler. Having been sued by the plaintiff. This takes the form most immediately of the opinion that declares the outcome of the case. See e.a new intersubjective relationship creating a new signifying chain. Economic Rationali t y .and the plaintiff seeks to have a statute ruled unconstitutional or otherwise unlawful. b. Of course. in any other form of litigation. Negotiation produces the signifying chain of knowledge.

Indeed. completely reversing the positions of each of the mathemes. IV. The discourse of the master is psychoanalysis upside down -. Similarly. I shall use the example of self-identified practitioners of law and economics and their critics.refers specifically to the discourse of the master. invert.turned upside down. Dueling Discourses at an Academic Conference.the Other Side. but also that there is a fundamental impossibility or non-relation between the two discourses. lining and facing. The title of the Lacan's Seventeenth Seminar. draft: 9/1/00 61 . L'envers de la psychanalyse -. The defendant throws back the hysterical accusation at the plaintiff. The former is engaged in the university discourse and the latter seeks to engage in the hysteric's discourse. the two reverse sides bear a textual relationship of weaving with respect to each other.the one discourse that can truly create knowledge -. This nonrelation is the sexual impasse that forms the basis of Lacan's theory of desire.The Four Discourses plaintiff (or prosecutor) who is placed in the role of the Big Other insofar as she claims that the law is on her side. Master S1 $ Analyst S2 a a S2 6 6 $ S1 This explains the title of Seminar XVII. University S2 S1 Hysteric a $ $ a 6 6 S1 S2 Nevertheless.its reverse. of Psychoanalysis -. as Lacan suggests with respect to the relationship of the analyst's discourse to the master's. It is the inequitable action of the plaintiff (or prosecutor) who explains this harm. or Reverse. The Lacanian matrices graphically illustrate not only how these discourses are not addressed to each other. The discourse of the university is the discourse of hysteric -. the two discourses of the university and hysteric can be graphically shown no only to be mutually inconsistent. Being separated from each other by a full 90 degree rotation. it suggests that they cannot communicate directly. Lacanian discourse theory can show why certain schools of scholarship consistently fail to communicate. Lacan presents the discourses of the master and analysis are incompatible mirror images.266 266 See supra text at notes --.

Just-So Stories: Posner's Methodology (unpublished manuscript 2000).an identification of the objects petit a -. Posner.knowing and determining what economic effect a certain action will have. S2 S1 The 6 a $ Most law and economics is a type of policy science in which scholars app ly their expertise to a perceived societal problem in order to make policy recommendations designed to have a desired effect. Becker. in fact.269 The legal economist's goals of efficiency or wealth economics will. pareto efficiency or wealth maximization). Friedman's proposition is." The Methodology of Positive Economics. the legal economist must determine the goal. As I discuss elsewhere. the legal economist must determine the desires of the subjects who will be subject to the law. The other addressed by the scholar as agent is the object of desire in two senses of the term. Behavioral Economics. It is obvious that the law and economic scholar. knowledge or expertise is the agent who addresses the objet peti t a.e. product of the discourse is the split subject. as law and economics is a form of policy oriented instrumental reasoning. the rational economic subject seeks to maximize his utility. in law and economics. Law and Economics as a University Discourse. extremely controversial among economists. of the law and society.of economic subjects. Law. Second. draft: 9/1/00 62 . have devoted themselves to studying how specific preferences are formed. According to neo-classical economics. largely a study of the preferences -. He must identify the purpose of a specific legal regime and what is missing in society (e. ESSAYS IN P OSITIVE ECONOMICS at 3.his ends -depends on his subjective preferences. knowledge. The economic subject's utility -. therefore. The truth of the discourse is the master signifier. REV. 7 (1984). depend on the preferences of the subjects within the economy and on their rationality in pursuing their preferences. Indeed.268 Rationality is traditionally seen as seeking the best means to reach a desired ends (utility). . most notably Gary S. although most neo-classical economists accepts some variation on the pre-given preferences assumptions a few. 268 I discuss the neo-classical concept of rationality as utility maximization in Schroeder. supra note 2. supra note 42. not truistic) predictions about phenomena not yet observed. Rationality. even if the preference is irrational. Welfare economics is. Economic Rationality.g. therefore. and economic analysis proceed as usual. Schroeder. which are frequently considered pre-given. and the Law. To state the obvious. although widely adopted in law-and-economics literature. 1551. legal scholars apply their expertise in law and economics to law to determine whether change could be expected to have some desire effect. such as an increase in efficiency understood as a move to a pareto superior position. Schroeder. First." Richard A. This is reflected in the well known proposition that the purpose of an economic theory is prediction267 -. as addressor.this objet petit a -. As I discuss in Jeanne L. at the University Oregon School of Law Conference Community. 269 See e. For example.g. as the terminology indicates.The Four Discourses A. in MILTON FRIEDMAN. is in the position of S2. Power: New and Critical Approaches to Law and Economics both the key note speech by Robert Cooter and one panel discussed the relationship 267 In Milton Friedman's classic formulation "The ultimate goal of a positive science is the development of a "theory" or "hypothesis" that yields valid and meaningful (i.can be obtained through a change in the law. In the discourse of the university. 50 S TANFORD L. "A preference can be taken as a given. as the first step in trying to whether this missing thing -. 1555 (1998). or desire. Lacan had traditional academic scholarship in mind when he developed his analysis of this discourse.

For example. A second panel. REV. Kimberly D. and whether they can be altered. I still approach law as an attorney. entitled Behavioral Economics/ Law and Psychology271 discussed empirical research that indicated that economic subjects often behave in ways that is not economic rational (in the neo-classic sense). e concern of the lawyers on the panel was changes in law (such as changes in the laws of evidence or jury instructions) might make these subjects act differently. -. This description makes it clear that the truth of this discourse is. Rachlinski and Paul Slovic.270 Among the issues raised were what the preferences of economic subjects are. The bar separating the split subject as agent from the truth of her desire represents the fact that the split subject feels that it is the master signifier as law that is somehow keeping her from fulfilling her desire. L R E V . in my book The Vestal and the Fasces: Hegel. They are manipulated as passive objects of the law and. Norms Theory Panel -. At the conference. in fact. The product of law-and-economics discourse is the split subject in that the policy recommendations are intended to affect the behavior of subjects within our society.to come to irrational or efficient decisions. $ a 6 S1 S2 A truly critical analysis would be hysterical in this sense. 270 draft: 9/1/00 63 . I do not ask how law can be used to effect an impersonal societal purpose and the subjects of the law can be manipulated to serve the law's purpose. Behavioral Economics/ Law and Psychology.I have already suggested that the failure of the critical legal studies movement of the 1980's might have been do to the fact that it was. for example. they might seek to make subjects act in ways as to make society more efficient. Key Note Address -.ORE. Korobkin. not all analysis which claims to be critical is successful -.such as honesty. For example. 271 Russell B. Tracey Louise Meares. L. Perhaps because I practiced law as a finance lawyer for 12 years before entering academia. Property and the Feminine272 Robert D. -.ORE.(forthcoming 2000). in the discourse of the hysteric the split subject is the agent who addresses the master signifier. I try to identify with the subject who are subjected to law and ask who the law affects them and how they can manipulate or change the law for their own individual purposes. the key note speech and the norms-theory panel asked how subjects could be encouraged to internalize norms -. L. ultimately. how they are formed.that would make it more likely that they would obey laws designed to have specific goals --. McAdams. These subjects are split subjects in the sense that they are acted upon by the law and the agents interpreting and justifying the law. Lacan. REV.such as theft laws that encourage efficient market exchanges or anti-smoking and pooper-scooper laws that serve public health and cleanliness. etc. -.power over others. Of course. B. It's truth is desire. therefore. Critical Theory as an Hysteric Discourse. law and extra-legal norms. Cooter. The product of this discourse is knowledged. When I engage in my critical work I do not seek to determine the instrumental value of law. In contrast.The Four Discourses between economics. consideration towards others.ORE. 272 Supra note --. merely another university discourse. Krawiec. are in a fundamental way alienated from the law imposed upon them. Jeffrey J.such as juries and judges -. the master signifier -. -(forthcoming 2000). --(forthcoming 2000). Richard H. Some of this research suggested that this irrational behavior might cause legal subjects -.

But it is not merely that he fails to do either as a practical matter. L A C A N . supra note 30.273 The masculine is the subject who is totally identified with the symbolic order of law and the feminine is the subject who is not wholly so subject.the objet petit a. it is impossible for him to do either as a theoretical one so long as he remains within his own discourse. fit into the law? In what way is the law wanting. The critic is 273 274 275 See supra text at notes --. at 13 7 . supra note 67. but always fail. That is.The Four Discourses I analyzed the role property law plays the development of individual personality. The critic of law and economics wants the legal economist to listen to her and reply to her. The Eumenides . 276 See generally. they would lose their individuality and subjectivity. the individuation that remains despite our desire to merge allows us occasionally to achieve something much more valuable than any object of desire -. THE SPOILS OF FREEDOM: P SYCHOANALYSIS AND FEMINISM AFTER THE FALL OF SOCIALISM 116 (1994). but a melange of superfluous overlaps and uncovered gaps. who is to some extent excluded or alienated from the symbolic order. Schroeder. Lacan thus moves as far as possible from the notion of sexual difference as the relationship of two opposite poles which complement each other. s u p r a note 196. but direct communication between certain discourses is impossible." "Masculine" and "feminine" are not the two species of the genus Man but rather the two modes of the subject's failure to achieve the full identity of Man."274 The two sexes are not complements. RENATA SALECL. In other words. who can fit together to form a perfect whole. together forming the whole of "Man. The truth of this discourse is desire -. it is primarily the split subject's desire. But this time. the critique should produce knowledge. it has it has its positive side as well. The critic as split subject questions and accuses law as law -. The Impossibility of Communication and the Sexual Impasse. like yin and yang. If two people could really satisfy each other and join as one. draft: 9/1/00 64 . she does not ask the instrumental university question: How can you be justified. see also GROSZ . since each of them is already in itself a failed whole. Consequently. to what purpose can you be used? She asks the hysterical question "What do you want (from me and those with whom I identify)?" How can I/we understand you? Do I/we. if neo-classical economics is concerned with prediction.law as a master signifier. the critical scholar.love.276 Here I wish to show how this idea is captured in the idea of the four discourses and is vividly illustrated in Lacan's matrices. As so clearly explained by Renata Salecl: Ragland-Sullivan. the sexes result not in a single whole. I present Lacan's analysis as to why this is the case extensively elsewhere and it is not the subject of this Article. One of his most infamous maxims is "there are no sexual relations. or how can I/we. supra note 252. Yet again. at 67.275 When combined. C. The masculine and the feminine seek to have a relationship. She speaks out of her own intersubjective desire to achieve wholeness and understand how she fits within the symbolic order of the law. how does it fail me/us? If successful. Moreover. a fundamental impasse that can not be bridged in the symbolic order. I have suggested that. "Man" and "Woman" together do not form a whole. at 9. like the advocate. Discourses are an attempt to communicate. S E M I N A R XX. this sounds depressing. One of Lacan's most fundamental theories is that sexuality is an impossibility. from a Lacanian position the university's discourse is masculine and the hysteric's discourse is feminine. critical theory should be concerned with explanation and understanding. should seek to identify with the subject subjected to law -the split subject. This desire is also secondarily the law's desire in the sense that the hysteric's desire is always the desire of the Other.

This does not destroy the feminine. the problem is your desire.The Four Discourses incorrect in thinking that she is addressing her arguments to the legal economist. and repression of. To hear the call of the hysteric. I believe that many laws can and should have instrumental purposes. Schroeder. The university replies "the law has a purpose. LACAN. laws do and should affect people's behavior. the chain of signification). one must step out of the university discourse. But. supra note 196. because the masculine needs to preserve the feminine to serve as his defining other." One might decide this is the proper decision of society. at 756. As I have suggested elsewhere. This can be seen if we graph the relationships of the discourses to each other: [add arrows connecting discourses] S1 $ 6 S2 a $ a 6 S1 S2 S2 S1 6 a $ a S2 6 $ S1 These two discourse are opposed to each other. the masculine and feminine are two sides of the same coin." Repression does not destroy the repressed. but to her desire. however. 2 77 Communication between them must be mediated through the other two discourse. This is because the hysteric's discourse is addressed from the position of the person alienate from the law to law as law (S1. the point is. The idea that there can be a direct relationship between the two discourses is a fantasy in the technical sense of the term. instrumental justification of the law (S2. the same coin can not be both heads and tails at the same time. SEMINAR VII. 277 draft: 9/1/00 65 . It does not help her integrate within the symbolic order of law but further alienates her. the feminine. My analysis is based on Lacan's proposition that "repression and the return of the repressed are two sides of the same coin. s u p r a note 42. the university's reply is not an answer to the hysteric's question. I do not always speak in the hysteric's discourse. it calls it into being and preserves it. As I have introduced in this Article. Repression is a form of dialectic reason or "sublation. one must step out of the university discourse forward into the analyst's discourse. in the same way as the two sexes. and no doubt every law has negative effects on some people. at 12. the masculine defines himself through distinction from. and back into the master discourse to which the hysteric discourse leads. The Midas Touch . To answer the hysteric. the master signifier) not the expert. The university discourse is not addressed directly to the split subject in all her particularity. The hysteric cries "look what law is doing to us". Although the obverse and reverse only exist relative to each other.

fantasy is the truth and the product of any such discourse that claims to be without gaps. this does not mean that fantasy has no role in the master's discourse. meaningless. at 76. at 121. however. As a consequence. supra note 20. Id. imagines that he can bridge this gap and attain the object. Lacan's theory is one of negativity and gaps. in fantasy the split subject has an imaginary relationship with his desire. which is why it appears under the bar in the master's matrix. and unsatisfied desire. $. Lacan used his mathemes to write a formula of fantasy: $ Ë a278 That is. . a non-relationship. and has even repressed his own self-division. It remains below the bar. 2 8 3 "This formula as defining of the discourse of the master.282 But. Four Discourses . excluded object. Zizek. an impossibility. is of interest in showing that it is the only one to make impossible the articulation that we have 278 279 280 281 282 283 FINK. alienation ( ) and separation (^). The split subject. supra note 101. and so on. he would seek to be castrated. Bracher. the lozenge between the subject and the object represents the cut. the subject always desires. On the lower right is the objet petit a. Consequently. castrated. This is "fantasy" -. and am what I say I am.The Four Discourses D. The speaker. finds this gap between him and the object of his desire to be intolerable.imagining that one obtains and has a relationship with the object cause of one's desire. Bracher. . he does so from a position of ideal. therefore. the impossibility of suture or encounter between the two. Fantasy is merely repressed. draft: 9/1/00 66 . There can be no connection between the two in the symbolic order. On the lower left is the split subject."279 "In the basic structure of fantasy. supra note 12. as experienced in such subjective states as shame."280 One place this formula for fantasy appears in the matrices of the discourse is in the lower register of the master's discourse. less than (<). or master. The subject is split. (citations omitted). He. is oblivious to the cause of his own desire a ( ). supra note 20. If it was not excluded. There no arrow between them indicating a fundamental non-relation between the two: S1 $ 6 S2 a Lacan has on occasion indicted that the master's discourse is the one discourse that precludes fantasy. and lose his subjectivity. The master claims a self-identity and integrity which cannot exist -. 281 This is because when the master speaks. confidence and self-identity: the law is law. . the relationship between the split subject and the objet petit a is necessarily. at 9. Fantasy. at 174. if the subject every obtained his true desire. Id. Lacan's symbol of the lozenge "designates the following relations: 'envelopment-development-conjunction-disjunction'. anxiety. and as such is the fundamental support of the discourse. greater than (>). The objet petit a as object cause of desire is by definition the lost.

the discourse of the hysteric. Analysis reverses the production of fantasy because the discourse of the analyst is the other side of the discourse of the master. supra note 3. fantasy is created by the master's discourse in that it comprises the (non)relationship between the unacknowledged truth and product of the discourse hidden beneath the bar of repression. fantasy can not be articulated within the master's discourse in the sense that neither of its elements (i. reverses the latter's production. liberates the split subject who confront the raw power that is the truth of the expert in order to produce her own knowledge.e. at 124. The conceit that the hysteric can have a direct relationship to the university is a fantasy. as the other side of the discourse of the university. The university discourse uses knowledge to manipulate and split the subject subjected by law through her desire. The term at the far left corner is the split subject.The Four Discourses pointed out elsewhere as fantasy. $ and a) are acknowledged above the bar that separates the express and the implicit aspects of this discourse.$ Ë a. however. draft: 9/1/00 67 . SEMINAR XVII. The hysteric discourse. in the discourse of the analyst. the four discourses begin with the creation of fantasy. Nevertheless. Fantasy reappears once again when the four discourses are put together. This is the relationship between the hysteric and university discourses."284 That is. If in fantasy. Similarly. the split subject imagines he has a relationship to the object of desire ($ Ë a). Consequently. Lacan's formulas make clear that analysis is the reverse of fantasy. How then can communication come about? Lacan suggested that fantasy could only be understood and traversed through analysis. [add arrows connecting discourses] S1 $ 6 S2 a $ a 6 S1 S2 S2 S1 6 a $ a S2 6 $ S1 The four discourses form one giant lozenge. 284 LACAN. The term at the far right corner is the object petit a. the split subject is addressed by the analyst from the position of the subject's own desire (a 6 $). in so far as it has a relationship a has with the division of the subject -.