«A Lacanian Answer to Alenka Zupančič’s article Sexual Difference and Ontology A Lacanian Answer to Alenka Zupančič’s article Sexual ...»
[ symbolic phallus impossible to negative, signifier of jouissance ] (Écrits, p.823). But given that in regard to the real, what is of the orders of symbolic and imaginary is semblance, Lacan modifies the definition of Φ, saying that it is « le semblant de la jouissance sexuelle » [ semblance of sexual jouissance ] (Séminaire XVIII, p. 146). And what is more, phallus Φ is not something primordial but « symbole à la place où se produit le manque de signifiant » [ symbol in the place where lack of signifier occurs ] (Séminaire
VIII, p. 278) or « ce qui vient à la place du signifiant manquant » [ what comes in the place of lacking signifier ] (ibid., p. 281). Also on the page 823 of his Écrits we can find these equivalent remarks of Lacan : « il [ le Φ ] vient à remplir un manque » [ Φ commes
Because of this fundamental phenomenological structure where a semblance represents Truth of subject’s Being, we can say a and Φ are homogenous to each other as far as a is not pure signifier of hole but semblance. When signifier a is semblance, it is « lettre d’amur », says Lacan, which prevents a man from getting to Ⱥutre [ Ⱥ as erased Other exsisting in the place of Truth ] as such, so that in a man all realization of sexual relation ends in phantasy (cf., Séminaire XX, pp.11, 75 and 80), whereas signifier Φ is « ce qui fait du sexe mâle le sexe faible au regard de la perversion [ surtout le fétichisme ] » [ what makes the male sex the weaker sex in regard to perversion, especially fetishism ] (Écrits, p.823) and « la jouissance phallique est l'obstacle par quoi l’homme n'arrive pas à jouir du corps de la femme, précisément parce que ce dont il jouit, c’est de la jouissance de l'organe » [ phallic jouissance is obstacle because of which a man cannot attain jouissance of woman’s body, because his jouissance is only jouissance of organ ] (Séminaire XX, p.
13). In other words, phallic jouissance is nothing else than masturbatory jouissance in
where the variable x is each speaking Being, i.e. Being living in language, as far as Heidegger says language is house of Being ( « die Sprache ist das Haus des Seins », Brief über den »Humanismus«, in Gesamtausgabe, Band 9, p.313). Lacan calls this speaking Being parlêtre. We can write it parlêtre [ in-language-Being, as Heidegger says In-derWelt-Sein, in-the-universe-Being ].
Now as far as the universal (x) (x) can be posed, we have the set M such as :
Exactly speaking, it is this set M that is situated in the agent’s place of discours of university, for discourse of university is discourse of totality or totalitarian discourse.
In regard to this totality M, the existential proposition (x) (x) says there exists as a being (Seiendes) in the ex-sistent place of Truth of Being Name-of-Father. Thus we can define an element P such as (P).
With M and P discourse of Man can be written as follows :
where the totality of Man in the place of agent-master substitutes for Name-of-Father that exists in the ex-sistent place of Truth of Being. M dominates women reduced to objects a
in the place of slave. $ as signifier of hole is repressed in the place of production.
As Freud says in Totem and Tabu, totality of Man killed and repressed the original Father P in the ex-sistent place of Being, whereas Father is always there ready to attack, as the ax of John the Baptist (Mt 3,10), root of Man. That is, threat of castration is structural for Man, so that Freud finds at final moment of analytical process where identification to totality of Man should be destroyed, masculine protest which masks anxiety provoked by threat of castration.
4.2. On the side of Woman As is well known, Lacan writes La Femme, erasing the definite article that denotes in that expression totality. Here in English I will write Woman instead of La Femme. You will see below why.
It is to be remarked that Lacan approaches the side of Woman in manner of apophatic theology, i.e. through negative propositions.
So the universal is denied : (x) (x). What it denotes is the hole outside of the totality of M. Mathema $ in the agent’s place in discourse of hysterica, mathema of unsatisfied desire, denotes the same hole out of whole. It is this hole out of whole that the terme Woman denotes.
In regard to discourse of analyst as pregenital discourse that constitutes the same starting point for both sexes, discourse of hysterica is characterized by fall of plusjouissance a which loses its position of agent-master to be situated now in the place of Being, just as on the side of Man, in a quarter of rotation from discourse of master to that of university, father signifier S1 falls from its dominant position to become dead father in the place of Being.
This fall of plus-jouissance a leaving in the place of agent-master the hole of unsatisfied desire $ formalizes what Freud calls Wunschversagung [ renunciation of desire] in his analysis of the dream of a hysterica Lacan nicknames witty butcher’s wife [ witzige Fleischhauerin ] (cf. Die Traumdeutung, chapter IV).
On the other hand, the negative formula (x) (x) in the ex-sistent place of Truth of subject’s Being denotes that on the side of Woman there is no semblance such as P threatening with castration. Nevertheless, if there is no threatening semblance, more terrifying abyss of Being gapes as hole of unsatisfied desire $ to claim that any semblance should fall into the abyss in sacrifice.
Lacan calls it « sacrifice of hysterica » : King Oedipus who abdicates gouging out his eyes himself « est indiqué à l’horizon, dans la fumée de ce qui s’élève comme sacrifice de l’hystérique » [ King Oedipus is indicated on horizon, in rising smoke of sacrifice of hysterica ] (Séminaire XVIII, p. 175).
And when Lacan says that « à l’hystérique, il faut le partenaire châtré » [ hysterica needs a castrated partner ] (Séminaire XVIII, p.175), this partner is indicated by the arrow La → S(Ⱥ) in the figure of page 73 of Séminaire XX, but if we formulate more exactly the realest partner of woman is abyss of Being itself.
In his article La signification du phallus Lacan says that we can find in woman splitting of her love partner : « l’Autre de l’Amour comme tel, c’est-à-dire en tant qu’il est privé de ce qu’il donne, s’aperçoit mal dans le recul où il se substitue à l’être du même homme dont elle chérit les attributs » [ Other of Love, i.e. Other deprived of what he gives, is hardly perceivable as such in his retirement where he is substituted for Being of the same man of whom she cherishes attributes ] (Écrits, p.695). We can say now that this « Other of Love » denotes Øther [ Ⱥutre ], i.e. Being or φ which hides itself in the place of Truth and which is Truth of Being of semblant object of love.
This Other Lacan calls Other of Love reminds us of God of love accentuated in the New Testament. So, if abyss of Being is God of love who calls us to participate in communion with Him in Being, we could say P on the side of Man corresponds to God of anger in the Old Testament.
If we return to the question of Name-of-Father, P on the side of Man is Father who exists in the ex-sistent place of Being. That is, if the place he occupies is ex-sistent, he himself is a being (Seiendes) and a semblance. When we say forclusion of Name-ofFather is necessary condition of symptomatic launch of psychosis, we mean that P
existing in the ex-sistent place of Bing will be forclosed from that place to launch psychotic symptoms.
On the contrary, to Moses who asks to YHWH to reveal his name, YHWH answers :
« I am that I AM ». That is, the unpronunceable Name of YHWH is « I AM ». Thus we can say the truth Name-of-Father is Being itself.
5. Hysterica and psychoanalysis As far as Freud invented psychoanalysis based on his clinical experiences of hysteria, we can say discourse of analyst was prepared by discourse of hysterica. How ? By the hole of unsatisfied desire and by abyss of Name-of-Father that doesn’t exist. When the hole of cleared space serves as place for object a which can function as material cause of desire of Other and the abyss of Truth of Being lodges supposed knowledge S2, then begins discourse of psychoanalysis.
But end of analysis isn’t return to discourse of hysterica. End of analysis implies dismissal of agent where signifier a is dismissed from dominant place of agent-master, in
6. Dismissal of sexual difference Heidegger indicates to us that abyss of Being gapes in the centre of the space where
we live. Lacan grounds psychoanalysis on this hole of Being stipulated by his formule :
« there is no sexual relation » and formalised by our mathema φ.
Formulae of sexualization, integrated into structure of four discourses, allow us to conceive how sexualization of in-language-Being is grounded on the ontological hole.
To be a man is related to the structure defined by this formula :
And to be a woman is related to the structure defined by this formula :
One of these two structures of sexualization persists, underlying to the structure of discourse of analyst, throughout process of psychoanalysis of each subject, so that at final moment of analysis there will be anxiety of castration or penis envy.
However, at the end of analysis, in structural dismissal, masculin protest of (x) (x) as well as castration threatening of (x) (x) will be abolished on the side of Man, and on the side of Woman the hole of (x) (x) will remain open with no semblance, neither
a nor Φ, coming to cover it. Then pure signifier of hole S(Ⱥ) will remain as witness of accomplished analysis.
In this end of analysis we can achieve abolition of sexual difference to which feminism aims. But this end is impossible to attain without personal experience of analysis which cannot be done collectively but only one by one.