This book is a close reading of Jacques Lacan's seminal essay, The Agency of the Letter in the Unconscious or Reason Since Freud, selected for the particular light it casts on Lacan's complex relation to linguistics, psychoanalysis, and philosophy. It clarifies the way Lacan renews or transforms the psychoanalytic field, through his diversion of Saussure's theory of the sign, his radicalization of Freud's fundamental concepts, and his subversion of dominant philosophical values. The authors argue, however, that Lacan's discourse is marked by a deep ambiguity: while he invents a new language, he netheless maintains the traditional metaphysical motifs of systemacity, foundation, and truth.
Jean-Luc Nancy and Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe are Professors of Philosophy at the University of Strasbourg, France. They are the authors of The Literary Absolute, also published by SUNY Press. Nancy is also the author of The Inoperative Community. Lacoue-Labarthe authored Typography. Francois Raffoul is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. David Pettigrew teaches philosophy at Southern Connecticut State University.
Jean-Luc Nancy, Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe
State University of New York Press
Date of Publication
SUNY Series in Contemporary Continental Philosophy