Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, Vol 15, No 1 (2019)

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... And Which Other Is Left Us? Psychoanalysis and the Reauthorization of Political Bodies - A Thought Experiment

Mitch Simon Thiessen


This paper performs a political or worldly reading of Lacan’s subject, and the way in which such subjectivity is founded as existing in today’s “existential” space. The question is the following: if, especially politically speaking, we are obliged to think the inexistent Other or delegitimated master signifier, what can and must be said about the status of the subject’s existence today and, in particular, its political or worldly status? How is political affirmation possible in the complete absence of symbolic authority? This essay attempts to confront these questions head-on, and to draw the conclusions, in classically Lacanian categories, that directly follow from both the fact of the total absence of either symbolic authority or, as a result, symbolic difference (including all gods “as if,” identities “as if,” etc.) and, on the other hand, the necessity of affirmation beyond this absence.

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