top of page

Lacan's Notall: Logical Consistency, Clinical Consequences

The Letter, Issue 45, Autumn 2010, Pages 37 - 70



Guy le Gaufey

Translated by Cormac Gallagher


This Prologue is a road map for the circuitous journey which Le Gaufey will follow in his work on the Logic of the Sexual Fault-Line, which can be read as a continuation of the Prologue. The starting point is classical logic, then moving on to the quarrels of logic in the Middle Ages and coming to an end- point at Lacan‟s changes to traditional logic which enabled him to develop his formulae of sexuation.

Keywords: universal affirmative and negative propositions, part object, not- all, Borromean knot, neither one nor two.

Logic is not known for its close relationship with the sexes. The p's and q's that populate propositional calculus do not stimulate licentious thoughts in many. Likewise inasmuch as we think about the sexes we imagine them as poorly regulated by the literal rigour that makes logic stick to its priapism with regard to the truth.

And nevertheless…scarcely have we convinced ourselves that the attraction called sexual is not reduced in human beings to the interplay of pheromones, but draws considerable resources from the symbolic material so pregnant in this species, that we see a curious questioning opening up: if there are two sexes, which attract oneanother, which is the one and which is the other? "It's all the same!‟ our contemporaries will say, each is the other of the other – therefore each is one. I propose in what follows not to go so quickly, and to take the time required to go from one to two by posing that the latter must be the other of the first. Already logical concern shows the tip of its nose. We have a presentiment that the otherness at the heart of a couple is not that established in the heart of a plurality, and that the difference which separates one from the other is perhaps not proper to either the one or the other. In any case things become complicated in the measure that the basic logical instruments – the same, the other, difference, quality, the identical – are from the very start required to articulate anything whatsoever about the sexes in the discursive order. Could it be that the noble philosophical clothing of these instruments is in fact completely impregnated by the muffled quarrel of the sexes, and that certain logical pillars (and some foundations of the social order) have been constructed to regulate a sexual confusion considered to be fatal? That very early on people began to think, including logically, against the sexual thing?

Want to read more?

Subscribe to to keep reading this exclusive post.

Related Posts

See All

Issue 45: Editorial

We continue with Cormac Gallagher's translation of Lacan's L'Étourdit. The First Turn: the signifier and the absence of sexual...


Couldn’t Load Comments
It looks like there was a technical problem. Try reconnecting or refreshing the page.
bottom of page