Lacan's Ethics and Nietzsche's Critique of Platonism (SUNY series, Insinuations: Philosophy, Psychoanalysis, Literature)
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Brings Lacan and Nietzsche together as part of a common effort to rethink the tradition of Western ethics.
Bringing together Jacques Lacan and Friedrich Nietzsche, Tim Themi focuses on their conceptions of ethics and on their accounts of the history of ethical thinking in the Western tradition. Nietzsche blames Plato for setting in motion a degenerative process that turned ethics away from nature, the body, and its senses, and thus eventually against our capacities for reason, science, and a creative, flourishing life. Dismissing Plato’s Supreme Good as a “mirage,” Lacan is very much in sympathy with Nietzsche’s reading. Following this premise, Themi shows how Lacan’s ethics might build on Nietzsche’s work, thus contributing to our understanding of Nietzsche, and also how Nietzsche’s critique can strengthen our understanding of Lacan.
remedial power. De Kesel notes that although Freud’s treatments of sublimation are “seriously heterogeneous in themselves,” Freud always has “a more or less positive concept in mind” where drives are diverted from primitive aims to become “the driving force behind art, science, and other typical cultural activities.” Moreover, De Kesel adds, “Freud characterises sublimation as a vicissitude of the drive that must be distinguished from repression,” as the drive is still able “to gain pleasure.”
Antigone and Polynices. Even then Zeus has his rivals. There is brother Hades, for instance, whose jurisdiction Creon has already trampled on with his irregular treatment of the dead. Then there is the invoked Aphrodite, who “mocks without resistance,”18 the Chorus reminds us, all who might oppose the amorous loyalty existing, say, between Antigone and Creon’s son Haemon, who is after all her fiancé.19 46 / L AC A N ’ S E T H IC S A N D N I E T Z S C H E’ S C R I T IQ U E O F P L AT O N I SM
but a “special case” of those we place on nature in general pertaining to “sexuality or death.”13 To explain this sudden criticism of Oedipus, we can turn to another point in Seminar XVII where Lacan states that he is “distancing himself from what Freud has said” (SXVII:91). This is on the issue of science, where Lacan suggests that psychoanalysis is not a science, because “the unconscious is foreign to the discourse of science,” because “what is reconstructed out of this disjointed knowledge,”
or be brought to her knees; the latter metaphor also in Herodotus. See respective entries ἀντί, γονή, γόνυ, in Liddell and Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, 153, 356, 357. 48. Sophocles, Antigone, lines 813–16; Watling’s Penguin translation is quite capturing here. 49. Sophocles, Antigone, line 781 [Love, unbeatable at battle]. Lacan’s seminar contains the translation “Invincible love of combat” (SVII:267–8), but this weakens the status of “Love” as the subject. Collits complains that the only
and asceticism in which violence has no explicit part.” Bataille, Eroticism, 89–90. Boothby, Freud as Philosopher, 177, 187. 11. Verhaeghe also takes Lacan to sense this in Freud’s response to hearing of his own father suffering harsh acts of racism like: “Jew! Get off the pavement!”—quietly without fighting back. Verhaeghe, “Enjoyment and Impossibility: Lacan’s Revision of the Oedipus Complex,” in Jacques Lacan and the Other Side of Psychoanalysis: Reflections on Seminar XVII, ed. J. Clemens and