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What Type Of Knowledge?: The Fidiest Position In Psychoanalytic Praxis.

The Letter, Issue 9, Spring 1997, Pages 102 - 116


WHAT TYPE OF KNOWLEDGE?: THE FIDEIST POSITION IN PSYCHOANALYTIC PRAXIS*.


Stephen J. Costello.


Introduction

'I am not one of those who philosophise'. The less', Lacan continues, 'one wants to do philosophy, the more of it one does'.[1] I don't particularly want to philosophise either but as both Aristotle and Lacan have confirmed, in order to want not to philosophise, one must philosophise. What I have to say locates itself within theological and philosophical discourses as much as within Lacanian psychoanalytic praxis.

Today, I would like to confine myself to exploring the relationship between fideism and psychoanalysis or, to put it more specifically, the fideist position and analytic praxis, a connection tentatively adumbrated for us by Lacan in week 19 of the seminar entitled Crucial Problems for Psychoanalysis, which we are here considering.[2] To this end, I shall cover three topics: (1) a succinct historical and hermeneutical survey of fideism in the Western intellectual tradition; (2) a brief exposition of Pascal's and Kierkegaard's philosophical psychology of religion, as two examples of such a fideist position and; (3) to conclude by connecting the fideist position to the Lacanian clinic and to the sujet suppose savoir.

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