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Monica Errity – Tyche and Automation in Aristotle’s Physics


THE LETTER 51 Autumn 2012, pages 69-73.


In his introduction to the Seminar on “The Purloined Letter”  Lacan attempts to show how the real lies at the heart of that which, ordinarily, would be deemed to have happened by chance. Again in his discussion of the phenomenon of repetition in The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis, he highlights that it is the real which lies behind Freud’s notion of repetition automatism, noting that, ‘what is repeated  is always something that occurs…as if by chance.’ Throughout his discussion of the relation between the real and chance Lacan draws on two Aristotelian terms, tyche and automaton. On Lacan’s recommendation,2 this paper aims to revisit these terms as they appear in Aristotle’s Physics, in order to throw some light on Lacan’s use of them in his understanding of the relation between the real and chance.

Tyche and Automation in Aristotle’s Physics

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