Patricia McCarthy – The Big Other, Its Paradox and the Ruse of Knowledge

THE LETTER 52 Spring 2013, pages 57-77.

The fact of repression is that a thought or knowledge solution is launched. Freud’s hysterics showed him that they suffered from reminiscences where things did not add up. A knowledge  solution is the means by which we live our lives – of necessity, a fictional or lying means that masks/speaks the truth. This knowledge solution launches agency in the Other – again a fiction. Lacan’s radical formulation of the real makes for a very disconcerting disconnect between an agent Other e.g. God, mother, father, superego and a knowledge without a subject. And yet and yet…  psychoanalysis takes place in the presence of a flesh and blood other, who refuses the demand of the analyser, grounded as this demand is on an acceptance by him or her of this very refusal – a ‘thy will be done’.  For those who are committed to psycho-analysis, the question remains, what conditions such acceptance?

Keywords: the hole in the big Other, paradox, lack-of-sense (ab-sens), the drives, the real of sex, knowledge solution, the pervert, the mystic

Unwittingly, I realise, that for the past three years of my work in three separate cartels within ISLP, I have been preoccupied with the conceptual challenge posed by the big Other2 – particularly as Lacan speaks about it in the Seminar for 1968–69, Seminar XVI From an Other to the other. This preoccupation was given an unexpected boost by a teaching exercise in the academic session of 2011–12 where I had the opportunity to re-read Seminar V The Formations of the Unconscious delivered by Lacan some eleven years earlier in 1957–58.

Comments are closed.