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Lacan’s Logic of Subjectivity

Mattias Desmet

A Walk on the Graph of Desire

Modern Western science started with mathematically modeling phenomena that were removed the furthest from us: the movements of the sun, the planets, the stars. With his Graph of Desire, French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan presented the first mathematical model in the history of Western science for the phenomenon that is closest to us: subjective experience.  

Author Mattias Desmet shows how the various levels of subjectivity all relate to the same structure – the Graph of Desire. Desmet unravels how a singular Graph represents the intricate relationships between phenomena – at first glance unrelated – such as the becoming of the subject, immediate subjective experience, the effects and process of the psychoanalytic treatment, the ethical positioning of the psychoanalyst and the selection of interventions in this process.  

The Graph does what every science does, it simplifies complex matters. It introduces remarkable clarity into a field – subjectivity, and the effects speech has on it – that initially appears chaotic and endlessly complicated. This theoretical parsimony is one of the principal scientific achievements of Lacan, one we should consider among the greatest in the tradition of the Enlightenment.

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Owl Press








140 x 215 mm


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Mattias Desmet

Lacan’s Logic of Subjectivity

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