From Freud's unconscious to Lacan's subject: identification from Freud to Lacan via Conté.

Pepeli, Hariklia (2010) From Freud's unconscious to Lacan's subject: identification from Freud to Lacan via Conté. PhD thesis, Middlesex University.

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Abstract

The thesis starts with the question: ‘Does there exist a subject in Freud?’ and looks for answers first in Freud’s early formulations of the psychical apparatus in the ‘Project (1895), ‘Letter 52’ to Fliess (1896), then Chapter VII of ‘The Interpretation of Dreams’ (1900), that is his first topography. The answer confirms our claim that there exists a subject in Freud, that it is unconscious and that it is largely included in and concealed by the Freudian term of ‘ego’ (Ich). In Chapter 2, our claim is carried forward through the second period of Freud’s work to another aspect of Ich, not as unconscious, but as the narcissistic ego. Freud’s introduction to the theory of narcissism (1914c) highlighted the dimension of ego as a libidinal object and its role in psychosis. The metapsychological papers, ‘Drives and their Vicissitudes’ (1915c), ‘Repression’ (1915d) and ‘The Unconscious’ (1915e) proved on the other hand that Freud had not abandoned his research on the structural, the symbolic dimension of the ego (Ich). In Chapter 3 the thesis focuses on two particular aspects of Freudian metapsychology, the structure of the ideals and identification. The sub-claim here is that identification in Freud is not simply an imaginary process involving regression from love, but also a particular substructure of the ‘ego’. We develop this claim through the study of ‘Group Psychology’ (1921c) and Freud’s second topography in the ‘Ego and the Id’ (1923b). In Chapter 4, we present a post-Freudian, object relations, view of the psychical structure, that is D. Lagache’s : ‘Psychoanalysis and Personality’s Structure’ (1958) and Lacan’s own counter-presentation of the psychical structure as an ‘Optical Schema’ (1958), named after a model he adapted from experimental 19th century physics. In Chapter 5, we present Lacan’s largely unknown theory of identification, as he developed it in Seminar IX Identification(1961-1962), first the identification of the subject to the signifier, then to object a. This supports our final claim that the formalization of object a and the status of the Real were first developed in Seminar IX, which is before Seminars Book X and XI. In Chapter 6, we present two major contributions by C. Conté , ‘The Splitting of the Subject and his Identification’(1970) and ‘Topological Surfaces’ (1993) which lead us to conclude that Topology and the Real are the areas of research most suited to contemporary psychoanalysis which only now begin to show their relevance.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information:

A thesis submitted to Middlesex University in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

Research Areas:School of Health and Education > Psychology
Theses
ID Code:6507
Deposited On:14 Sep 2010 11:09
Last Modified:19 Jul 2014 00:21

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