Fall 2010 Topology and Psychoanalysis III: A Theory of Symbolism

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Topology And Psychoanalysis III

First Seminar: Oct. 2, 30, Nov. 27, Dec.4, 2010
Time: 1:00-4:00pm
Place: Santa Monica
Lecturer: R.T. Groome and Guests
Secretary Contact: PLACE@topoi.net

Our seminar continues the tradition first introduced by Lacan of introducing an analytic theory and practice in a topological presentation. The reply to one of the most standard questions – What does topology have to do with psychoanalysis? – is direct: inherently nothing, it is how you assume their conjunction that determines a use. In fact, topology has no more to do with psychoanalysis than algebra has to do with geometry; or a letter has to do with a figure. And it is for this very reason that one must begin to reason not by resemblance – with the use of myth, religion, literature, and neurology – but by difference in asking the question 'What is a structure?". Thus, if Freud left us with scientific myths, Lacan has left us with structural problems that ultimately are constructible in a topology.

In order to present the progress opened up by the conjunction of topology and psychoanalysis, we propose the participant begin by reading the classic of orthodox psychoanalysis: E. Jones, 'Theory of Symbolism' [1916]. We will then begin our first course [Oct. 2, 2010] by returning to a little read text of Lacan – In Memory of Ernest Jones: On His Theory of Symbolism [1959] – with the topological post-scriptum in 1996 which states:

"Psychoanalysis has the privilege that symbolism is reduced in it to the truth effect that, whether it is extracted or not from its pathetic forms, it isolates in its knot as the counterpart without which nothing can be conceived by way of knowledge. "Knot" here means the division that the signifier engenders in the subject, and it is a true knot in that it can not be flattened out."

The claim has been made that Jone's Theory of Symbolism followed by his 1927 "Precocious Development of Feminine Sexuality" and his 1932 "Phallic Phase" sets the framework for modern analytic doctrines from M. Klein's genetic doctrine of fantasy until Lacan deconstructs the tradition in his 1953 "Function and Field". The objective of our first fall semester is to read through these early seminal texts, while constructing out an analytic theory of symbolism, or more precisely, the signifier, in a topology . Our Winter-Spring Semester will search to refine our topological presentation in response to the questions raised in our first semester.

Required Reading:

E. Jones: 1- Theory of Symbolism [1916].
2- Precocious Development of Feminine Sexuality" [1927]
3- Phallic Phase [1932]

J. Lacan: 1- Function and Field [1953]
2- The Signification of the Phallus [1958]
3- In Memory of Ernest Jones: On His Theory of Symbolism [1959]

Topological texts and articles will be introduced directly onto the Interface site at: http://www.lacanlosangelespsychoanalysis.com/classes/

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