Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Theory 4 (Email 3)

Hi Jacob
     A nice transition from my response to Juan, to your post referencing structuralism...
  As noted, we are looking to Lacan for help in defining the account of reality opened up to metaphysics in electracy.  We can approach this account initially just by means of our common sense or popular understanding of psychoanalysis, which, according to some, is now (in its popular or vulgar version) the default explanation of human behavior (psychosis, neurosis and the like).  A quick statement of the reality to be ontologized is the Unconscious.  A virtue of Seminar XI is that (for reasons already discussed) Lacan took a break from pushing forward his more experimental speculations in order to regroup, to review the fundamentals of his project (the four Freudian concepts).  Part of the fun and challenge of heuretics has to do with our appropriation of a theory for purposes of invention, rather than as scholars let alone as experts or masters. 

As with any specialized knowledge, with psychoanalysis there is a vocabulary, touchstone examples and cases, methods.  We orient ourselves by coordinating our  own understanding relative to the unfamiliarity of the theory.  A good point of departure is to track vocabulary, technical terms, not just the four concepts, but the terms used to describe and explore them.  We may correlate and test Lacan's usage relative to Jullien's vocabulary, the terms used in the Cinematics overview (forthcoming), Internet Invention, and of course our own background as students and in popular culture.  Some terms will be foregrounded in this way: for example "position."  We know that a central debate in China (and between East and West) is the role of position in a set up, whether it is entirely deterministic, or the extent to which an agent may manipulate events by means of position. 

 The formula you discussed is a central point of reference, as you noted, scene of many book chapters and mis/understandings.  In heuretics we are responsible not for correctness but for invention.  We need to understand the functionings and manifestations of the unconscious, so we should be able to do something with the analogy (it is like a language).  Part of an instruction would be to note that our interest in electracy is not to return to the function of language in literacy, in alphabetic writing, so there  must be more to language, or language extends beyond what could be managed within the previous apparati, and this more is to be brought into general practice by means of experiments such as ours.

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