“Subversion” and “Dialectic”

Lacan with Hegel
By Bernard Baas

In this article we return to a particular gap between philosophy and psychoanalysis that had a constitutive function for the latter in bringing it up to date: in 1960, this gap gave rise to Lacan’s move away from Hegel’s theory of recognition, which Kojève had bequeathed him and which the first part of his teaching had drawn on. In this re-reading of the essay “Subversion of the Subject and the Dialectic of Desire in the Freudian Unconscious”, we ask: what subversion of the subject is produced by this new dialectic of desire that is introduced by the Lacanian concept of castration? In thereby overturning a philosophical concept par excellence – that of the subject – Lacan takes a position in relation to the Hegelian primacy of knowledge, of a non-barred subject, by establishing a theory of desire in which the latter duplicates, by virtue of the Law, the initial limitaion of jouissance by pleasure.


  • Lacan
  • Hegel
  • dialectic
  • subject
  • desire
  • castration
  • law
  • jouissance
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