top of page

Saint Paul and Freud: The Denial of the Sovereign Good in Lacan’s Seminar VII

The Letter, Issue 42, Autumn 2009, Pages 109 - 126


SAINT PAUL AND FREUD: THE DENIAL OF THE SOVEREIGN GOOD IN LACAN’S SEMINAR VII[1]

Daragh Howard


In Seminar VII, Lacan makes the claim that Saint Paul and Freud tell us the same thing about the Sovereign Good in that what they each articulate about the law and pleasure constitutes a denial of the notion posited in traditional ethics that a relationship of complementarity exists between pleasure and this Sovereign Good. The author demonstrates that that this denial corresponds with Lacan’s own thesis in the seminar, which involves the idea that the moral law affirms itself in opposition to pleasure, and Lacan’s critique of such a relationship is presented in terms of the moral tradition failing to recognise the nature of the object upon which pleasure truly depends.

We may reject the existence of an original, as it were natural, capacity to distinguish good from bad. What is bad is often not at all what is injurious or dangerous to the ego; on the contrary, it may be something that is desirable and enjoyable to the ego. Here, therefore, there is an extraneous influence at work, and it is this that decides what is to be called good and bad (Sigmund Freud).[2]

Want to read more?

Subscribe to theletter.ie to keep reading this exclusive post.

Related Posts

See All

Kant with Sade

This essay was to have served as a preface to Philosophy in the Boudoir. It appeared in the review Critique (191, April, 1963) in the...

Issue 42: Editorial

This issue of The Letter opens with a psychoanalytic discussion of “case presentations” in psychiatric hospitals and elsewhere. Where...

Comentarios

No se pudieron cargar los comentarios
Parece que hubo un problema técnico. Intenta volver a conectarte o actualiza la página.
bottom of page