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Patricia McCarthy – The Big Other, Its Paradox and the Ruse of Knowledge


THE LETTER 52 Spring 2013, pages 57-77.


The fact of repression is that a thought or knowledge solution is launched. Freud’s hysterics showed him that they suffered from reminiscences where things did not add up. A knowledge  solution is the means by which we live our lives – of necessity, a fictional or lying means that masks/speaks the truth. This knowledge solution launches agency in the Other – again a fiction. Lacan’s radical formulation of the real makes for a very disconcerting disconnect between an agent Other e.g. God, mother, father, superego and a knowledge without a subject. And yet and yet…  psychoanalysis takes place in the presence of a flesh and blood other, who refuses the demand of the analyser, grounded as this demand is on an acceptance by him or her of this very refusal – a ‘thy will be done’.  For those who are committed to psycho-analysis, the question remains, what conditions such acceptance?

The Big Other, Its Paradox and the Ruse of Knowledge

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