Dr Lacan's writings, and especially the seminars for which he has become famous, have provoked intense controversies in French analytic circles, requiring as they do a radical reappraisal of the legacy bequeathed by Freud. This volume is based on a year's seminar, which is of particular importance because he was addressing a larger, less specialist audience than ever before, amongst whom he could not assume familiarity with his work. For his listeners then, and for his readers now, he wanted "to introduce a certain coherence into the major concepts on which psycho-analysis is based", namely the unconscious, repetition, the transference and the drive.In re-defining these four concepts he explores the question that, as he puts it, moves from "Is psycho-analysis a science?" to "What is a science that includes psycho-analysis?" Dr Lacan argues in particular that there is a structural affinity between psycho-analysis, construed as the science of the unconscious, and language - the science of linguistics being one of the significant discoveries of our time. He also discusses the relation of psycho-analysis to religion, and reveals his particular stance on a wide range of topics, such as sexuality and death, love and libido, alienation, interpretation, repression and desire.This book constitutes the essence of Dr Lacan's sensibility. There is no clearer statement of the ideas and issues which have aroused such passionate reactions in France, and which can now gain the hearing they deserve in the English-speaking world.
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Probes the relationship between psychoanalysis and science and religion as well as defining the unconscious, the repetition, the transference, and the drive as the underlying concepts of psycho-analysis.