Download (LIV) What is Sex - Alenka Zupancic PDF

Title(LIV) What is Sex - Alenka Zupancic
TagsJacques Lacan Psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud Unconscious Mind
File Size1.7 MB
Total Pages326
Document Text Contents
Page 163

hapt er 4

bject-isoriented ntology

ealism in sychoanalysis

Many recent philosophical discussions have been marked, in one way or
another, by the rather spectacular relaunching of the question of realism, trig-
gered by Quentin Meillassoux’s book ( ), and followed by
a broader, albeit much less homogeneous, movement of “speculative realism.”
We are witnessing a powerful revival of the issue of realism, with new con-
ceptualizations or definitions of the latter, as well as of its adversary (“cor-
relationism” in place of the traditional nominalism). “Realist ontologies” are
emerging faster than one can keep track of them, and we can take this accel-
eration of realism as an opportunity to raise the question of whether—and
how—the conceptual field of Lacanian psychoanalysis is concerned in this

debate, considering that the concept of the Real is one of the central conceptsof Lacanian theory.
As a quick general mapping of the parameters of this discussion, let me

just very briefly recall Meillassoux’s basic argument. It consists in showing
how post-Cartesian philosophy (starting with Kant) rejected or disqualified
the possibility for us to have any access to being outside of its correlation to
thinking. Not only are we never dealing with an object in itself, separately
from its relationship to the subject, there is also no subject that is not always-
already in a relationship with an object. The relation thus precedes any object
or subject; the relation is prior to the terms it relates, and becomes itself the

principal object of philosophical investigation. All contemporary (post-Car-
tesian) philosophies are variations on philosophies of correlation. As Meillas-
soux puts it:

Generally speaking, the modern philosopher’s “two-step” consists in this
belief in the primacy of the relation over the related terms; a belief in the
constitutive power of reciprocal relation. The “co-” (of co-givenness, of

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