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Lacanian comments on "What can I know?", "What ought I to do?", "What may I hope for?".

The Letter, Issue 2, Autumn 1994, Pages 1 - 46


LACANIAN COMMENTS ON "WHAT CAN I KNOW?"

"WHAT OUGHT I TO DO?", "WHAT MAY I HOPE FOR?"


Julian Quackelbeen


It must surely have struck the reader of the Ecrits how often Lacan refers to Kant. The reader of the Seminars is so familiar with this reference to the great philosopher of Koningsberg that in the long run he is erroneously going to take it for granted.


When Jacques -Alain Miller starts the sixth chapter of Television with the invitation to make a stand against Kant, he is not only aware of the fact that his question is stimulating, he also realizes that it nourishes a fundamental ambiguity. This ambiguity is revealed by two possible characterizations of Lacan: "Lacan, philosopher amongst analysts" versus "Lacan, analyst amongst philosophers". Miller had supported the philosopher Lacan when he invited him to give a lecture on the foundations of Fregian logic during his 1963-1964 seminar.[1] When he abandons his masters Canguilhem and Althusser, he will do so to join Lacan, the analyst.


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