Guy Le Gaufey – What Subject is it?

THE LETTER 50 (Summer 2012) pages 61-76


It is amusing to know that the word “subject”, which appears to assemble in it the essence of what makes man a rational animal, is also used to mean “a corpse used for the study of anatomy, dissection, vivisection.”2 From freedom to slavery, the semantic spectrum of this term is so broad that it borders on homonymy. Law, politics, medicine, literature, the arts cannot do without it. It’s philosophical career? Prestigious. The man in the street, for his part, uses it without blinking, and even the concierges do not shy away from saying: “What’s the subject?” Did psychoanalysis have to monopolise it in order to further its cause? …

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