This book examines the pretensions of the new paradigm in psychology that has put itself forward as the model for the future of the clinical disciplines, thereby seeking to put paid to psychoanalysis. What is this paradigm shift? It goes by the name of cognitive-behaviourism. Where does it come from? From the United States. Until the nineteen-sixties, behavioural psychology had enjoyed a certain prestige in the US. It was later disqualified by the objections from the linguist Noam Chomsky who held that learning procedure could ever account for linguistic ability. This ability was surely innate, Chomsky argued, and so he set about hunting out the organ of language. Behaviour had to be complemented by a machine for taking cognisance, a machine that was innate and which conformed to the post-Chomskyan model. It took the discipline some thirty years to deck itself out in new clothes. The advances in biology, in neurology, and in the nebula that resulted from them under the 'neuroscience' label, oversaw this change. Under the name of behavioural-cognitivism, a new reduction of human experience to learning has emerged.Based on the psychoanalysis of Lacanian orientation, this book upholds an opposing thesis. The unconscious does t fall into the learning category. It is what is missing from or surplus to any possible learning process. It a mode of thought that is free from both learning and consciousness, and this is what is at once odd and scandalous about it.
Eric Laurent is a former president of the World Association of Psychoanalysis and author of 'La bataille de l'autisme: de la clinique a la politique'. In 2004 he delivered the 'Eight Guiding Principles for Any Psychoanalytic Act' to the General Assembly of the WAP, and in 2011 was invited to deliver the Abram Kardiner Lecture at the New York Academy of Medicine. Eric Laurent has lectured widely in Europe, Israel and Latin America and his articles are regularly translated into English in the 'Psychoanalytical Notebooks of the London Society', 'Lacanian Ink' and 'Hurly-Burly'.