Enjoying What We Don’t Have: Interview with Philosopher Todd McGowan

Film theorist and philosopher Todd McGowan recently spoke with me about his new book, Enjoying What We Don’t Have: The Political Project of Psychoanalysis. For however much we throw the word "accessible" around in academic discussions as the strength of a philosophy book, McGowan's accessibility really is quite stunning. In one chapter he compared the … Continue reading Enjoying What We Don’t Have: Interview with Philosopher Todd McGowan

Captured in the Image: Cynicism and Culture Jamming

We used to read the news like a Dadaist — piecing together the seemingly random series of signifiers to reveal an underlying or deeper truth. In this disarray and slanted piecing together of phrases, certain slips make themselves apparent like a series of cracks in the Real, bringing into relief the symptoms behind the news … Continue reading Captured in the Image: Cynicism and Culture Jamming

On Shame, or the Proof of the Other’s Inexistence

In analysis, one of the most frustrating questions an analyst can ask is: "Yes, I know that's what you are saying, but is it really that way, or is what you are saying more of a wish?"  Or, I know that you think you are over this, or that you have identified the way this … Continue reading On Shame, or the Proof of the Other’s Inexistence

In Defense of Theory

In a blog that I deeply respect, Marginal Utility, Rob Horning writes of Theory Cults and particularly about how the "Cult of Lacan" functioned in his comparitive-literature seminars during graduate school.  Horning dismisses Lacan as a religio-based prophet who was ultimately a narcissistic intellectual incapable of real emotional relations.  As a result, he claims that Lacan over-compensated … Continue reading In Defense of Theory

10 Things I’ve Learned from Psychoanalysis

In this post, I want to share my experience in psychoanalysis. Some things have been truly surprising. Concepts that were once elusive become apparent in a way that is sudden and palpable. I won’t share too much about the specifics of my analyst or get into the details of the content of what we exchange … Continue reading 10 Things I’ve Learned from Psychoanalysis

Singularity, Psychoanalysis, and the Self-Help Industry

The biggest section in American bookstores is usually the self-help section. We’re addicted to our symptoms and we're told by the industry of self-help techniques and motivational books that we can find self-betterment if we follow the latest best-seller that offers the secret code for living a free life. We find inner solace in yoga, … Continue reading Singularity, Psychoanalysis, and the Self-Help Industry

Part 1 “Fleetingly Improvised Men” – Lacan’s Seminar on the Psychoses

Why does Lacan always refer to Schreber with the signifier of 'President'? Freud simply called him Schreber. The chapter omitted from Schreber's Memoirs of My Nervous Illness on his early family life and his relationship with his father has recently been released following both Lacan's and Freud's reading of the Schreber case. In the text … Continue reading Part 1 “Fleetingly Improvised Men” – Lacan’s Seminar on the Psychoses

Video: Hegel and Lacan Seminar – Master and Slave

Last night I was happy to present on Lacan and Hegel for the Lutecium: a non-school of Psychoanalysis. My presentation addressed the way that Lacan responds to the master slave dialectic. I've been thrilled to work with this community of philosophers and analysts. You can watch the presentation here. It felt appropriate that I recently … Continue reading Video: Hegel and Lacan Seminar – Master and Slave

Sincerity and Kant’s Inner Religion

From Immanuel Kant, Religion Within the Limits of Reason Alone (trs. Greene & Hudson), p. 178, n. 2: O sincerity! Thou Astraea, that hast fled from earth to heaven, how mayst thou (the basis of conscience, and hence of all inner religion) be drawn down thence to us again? I can admit, though it is … Continue reading Sincerity and Kant’s Inner Religion

Improving the Interstitial Space – Lacan and Democracy

"Structures do not take to the streets." Lacan on May 68' At the core of the psychoanalytic political project (Badiou, Zizek, Laclau, etc.) is the idea of antagonism. Antagonism is the problem of exclusion in democratic formations, or the tendency for an excluded class, race, religion, etc. to be othered to the point of it … Continue reading Improving the Interstitial Space – Lacan and Democracy

The Category of the Real

Freud’s theory of the unconscious was formed around Aristotle’s notion of the automaton. Aristotle characterized the real as a category always beyond repetition and returning – the area of the unconscious. The first thing you are taught in psychoanalysis is that the patients reality must not be taken at the level in which he (the … Continue reading The Category of the Real

Object Petit a and the Left

In Zizek's Tarrying with the Negative, he compares how the American protestant "if it suffers it must be good" attitude to how popular culture has made Mohamed Ali into the "Greatest." Zizek points out that this designation did not come from Ali's toiling in the ring for 25 years, in fact Ali was only the … Continue reading Object Petit a and the Left

Fundamentalism and the Other

The fundamentalist holds his “belief” as closest to science, which is why the Fundamentalist's real difficulty is actually faith as a matter of having to believe - the Fundamentalist hates to believe, because they know. In all belief-systems the other is always complicit in the belief, which is the very definition of a shared ritual, … Continue reading Fundamentalism and the Other

The Need for an Imagined Enemy: Must One Be a Saint to Know What they Want?

Because I wish to outline the basis of a society formed around desire I depend on your complicity of my desire to keep the fantasy of this exercise real to you. if we start by charting typical injunctions we can locate our reliance on our own subjecthood. After all the psychoanalytic symbol system is our … Continue reading The Need for an Imagined Enemy: Must One Be a Saint to Know What they Want?