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Logic of phantasy 20

Jacques Lacan
雅克 拉岡

Lacan Seminar 14: The

Logic of Fantasy 6
Seminar 6: Wednesday, December 21, 1966

I think I proved to you the last time that I can tolerate a lot of little trials: the bulb, like that, going on and

off ...(laughter). In previous times, in these bogey-man stories, the explanation was given how people

were led, in certain places, to their auto-critique. It was used for that. In any case ... it was less

disagreeable for me than for you, I must say, because I had it over me and you had it in your eyes.

You were able to see that these little discomforts are not capable of diverting me from what I have to






That is why I hope you will not try to refer to any personal sensitivity the fact that today we will not be

celebrating, despite the fact that it is the season for it. I am warning you right away; I will not give today

the seminar that I had prepared for you. I apologise to those who, perhaps, might have delayed their

holiday plans in some way to benefit from it. At the very least no one will have gone out of his way for

absolutely nothing. since I hope you all have the little copy with which I pay homage to you as an end of

year gift. I have not gone so far as to put in a dedication for each of you, since there are too many

names that I do not know, but of course it can always be done!






We have arrived at the moment at which I am going to formulate formulae about the unconscious that I

consider as decisive, logical formulae that you saw appearing written on the blackboard the last time, in

the form of this "either I do not think or I am not" (ou je ne pense pas ou je ne suis pas), with this

reservation: that this or is neither a vel (the or of union: the one, the other, or both), nor an aut (at least

one, but no more: you have to choose). It is neither one nor the other.





And this will be the occasion for me to introduce, I hope, in a fashion which will be acceptable in logical

calculation, a different function: the one which, in truth tables, would be characterised by this operation

which should be called by a different name, (2) even though there is one that I have already used, but

since it has other applications, may be ambiguous. It does not matter! I will make the link with it: it is a

matter of nothing other, I point out to you - I am not here to play at mysteries - than what I at one time

indicated here under the term off alienation, but what matter! It is up to you to make the choice.

Meanwhile, let us call this operation omega and, in the truth table, let us characterise it by the following:

if the two propositions on which it operates are true, the result of the operation is false.







You can consult the truth tables that you have within hand's reach, and you will see that none of those in

use up to now from conjunction, to disjunction, to implication, fulfil this condition.



When I say that the conjunction of the true and the true gives, by this operation, the false, I mean that

every other conjunction here is true: that of the false and the false, of the false and the true, of the true

and the false.



The relation between this with what is involved in the nature of the unconscious, is what I hope to

articulate before you on the 11th January, for which in any case I give you a rendezvous. You can well

imagine that if I am not doing it today - on this point, I think, you can trust me - it is because my

formulation is not ready, nor what I could limit it to today. Nevertheless, if, effectively, it is from a certain

fear of putting it before you in all its rigour, on a day where I find myself embarrassed, because of the

fact that I spent these last hours questioning myself about something which is nothing less than the

appropriateness or not of continuing this: the fact that we are all together for the moment and what is

called my seminar.






If I ask myself this question, it is because it is worth posing it. This little volume (Language and the

unconscious) that I have given you and which, it seemed to me, ought to be brought to your attention

just before I bring forward a logical formula which allows in a way there to be secured in a firm and

certain way what is involved in the reaction of the subject caught up in this reality of the unconscious. It

is not useless for this volume to bear witness to you of what is involved in the difficulties of this abode,

for those whose praxis and function it is to be there.





Perhaps it is for want of measuring the relation between this "being there" to a certain necessary "not

being there". This volume will bear witness to you of a meeting that took place around this theme of the




There participated in it in an outstanding role two of my pupils, amongst those who were most precious

to me, and still others ... everything is in it, even the Marxists of the CNRS.



You will see on the first page in very small print, a very singular manifestation. Any (3) analyst here will

recognize what is called technically, what Freud alluded to at one point of the five great case histories (I

will leave it up to you - this will allow you to go through them a little - to find this point) what Freud and

the police, with one voice call "the gift" or "the visiting card". If one day it happens that your apartment is

visited in your absence you will be able to note perhaps that the trace that the visitor may have left there

is a little shit. We are here on the plane of the little o-object. It is not surprising that such things happen

in the relations with the subjects that you are tracking by your discourse on the paths of the


In truth, there are swing and major excuses for the lack that the psychoanalysts of today demonstrate in

keeping themselves to the theoretical heights required by their praxis.







For them, the function of resistances is something regarding which you will be able to see that the

formulae that I wish to be as sure of myself as possible, the day when I try to give them to you in their

essential and in their true agency ... you will see the necessity which is attached to resistance and that it

cannot in any way be limited to the non-psychoanalysed.




Moreover, from the schema that I will try to give you of the relation, not between the un-thought and

non-being (do not believe that I am on the slopes of mysticism!) but between the I am not and the I am

not thinking which will allow there to be marked for the first time, I believe, and in a tangible fashion not

simply the difference, the non-overlapping of what is called resistance and of what is called defence,

but, even, to mark in an absolutely essential fashion, even though it has not been published up to now,

what is involved in defence, which is properly what circumscribes and what preserves exactly the I am

not. It is for want of knowing it that everything is displaced, maladjusted in the perspective in which

everyone phantasises about what is involved in the reality of the unconscious. This something which we

lack and which constitutes the risky part of what we are confronted with, not by some contingency,

namely, this new conjunction between being and knowledge.






This distinct approach of the term truth, makes of Freud's discovery something which can in no way be

reduced and criticised by means of a reduction to any ideology whatsoever.