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On the Names-of-the-Father

On the Names-of-the-Father

Jacques Lacan, Bruce Fink (Translated by)

ISBN: 978-0-745-65991-6

Oct 2013, Polity

96 pages

In Stock

$64.95

Description

What astonishing success the Name-of-the-Father has had! Everyone finds something in it. Who one's father is isn't immediately obvious, hardly being visible to the naked eye. Paternity is first and foremost determined by one's culture. As Lacan said, "The Name-of-the-Father creates the function of the father." But then where does the plural stem from?

It isn't pagan, for it is found in the Bible. He who speaks from the burning bush says of Himself that He doesn't have just one Name. In other words, the Father has no proper Name. It is not a figure of speech, but rather a function. The Father has as many names as the function has props.

What is its function? The religious function par excellence, that of tying things together. What things? The signifier and the signified, law and desire, thought and the body. In short, the symbolic and the imaginary. Yet if these two become tied to the real in a three-part knot, the Name-of-the-Father is no longer anything but mere semblance. On the other hand, if without it everything falls apart, it is the symptom of a failed knotting.

- Jacques-Alain Miller
Foreword by Jacques-Alain Miller
The Symbolic, the Imaginary, and the Real
Introduction to the Names-of-the-Father
Bio-bibliographical Notes
Translator’s Notes
What astonishing success the Name-of-the-Father has had! Everyone finds something in it. Who one’s father is isn’t immediately obvious, hardly being visible to the naked eye. Paternity is determined first and foremost by one’s culture. As Lacan said, "the Name-of-the-Father creates the function of the father." But then where does the plural stem from?

It isn’t pagan, for it is found in the Bible. He who speaks from the burning bush says of Himself that He doesn't have just one Name. In other words, the Father has no proper Name. It is not a figure of speech, but rather a function. The Father has as many names as the function has props.

What is its function? The religious function par excellence, that of tying things together. What things? The signifier and the signified, law and desire, thought and the body. In short, the symbolic and the imaginary. Yet if these two become tied to the real in a three-part knot, the Name-of-the-Father is no longer anything but mere semblance. On the other hand, if without it everything falls apart, it is the symptom of a failed knotting.

Jacques-Alain Miller
  • Jacques Lacan was one of the leading thinkers of the 20th Century and the most influential psychoanalyst after Freud. His work has been hugely influential across a wide range of disciplines, from philosophy and psychology to literary theory, critical theory, gender studies and cultural studies.
  • This is one of Lacan’s most famous and influential works and it is crucial for understanding the development of his thinking.
  • The book is comprised of two key texts that were decisive in the making of Jacques Lacan - one which introduces for the first time his key concepts of the symbolic, the imaginary and the real, and another which he wrote just at the moment when he split off from mainstream psychoanalysis.
  • This important new book, now available for the first time in English, will be of great interest to students and scholars in scholars in psychoanalysis, critical theory, literary theory, gender studies, philosophy and the humanities and social sciences generally.