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Agamben's Philosophical Lineage$
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Adam Kotsko and Carlo Salzani

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474423632

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474423632.001.0001

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Jacques Lacan

Jacques Lacan

(p.252) 26 Jacques Lacan
Agamben's Philosophical Lineage

Frances L. Restuccia

Edinburgh University Press

Agamben only sporadically alludes to psychoanalysis and invokes psychoanalytic concepts. He does so most prominently in Stanzas, where he dedicates Part III to ‘geniisque Henry Corbin et Jacques Lacan‘ (S 61); refers to ‘the Lacanian thesis according to which […] the phantasm makes the pleasure suited to the desire’, in order to elaborate a point in Plato about desire and pleasure relying on images in the soul (S 74); and takes up melancholia and fetishism – both of which, it is important to note, circumvent lack. But Agamben is by no means ‘psychoanalytic’. He presents and employs melancholia and fetishism as paradigms for accessing the inaccessible (perhaps we can say that he plays with them). Melancholia, in Agamben, becomes an ‘imaginative capacity to make an unobtainable object appear as if lost’ so that it ‘may be appropriated insofar as it is lost’ (S 20), a strategy for saving the unsavable that evolves into his conception of the messianic. And, although Agamben is preoccupied with ‘a zone of non-consciousness’, he underscores that it is ‘not the fruit of a removal, like the unconscious of psychoanalysis’ (UB 64)

Keywords:   Jacques Lacan, The Law, Veiling, THE THEOLOGICAL APPARATUS, Ethics, EXPUNGING NEGATIVITY

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