New: Lacan And Philosophy

This course gives an account of the development
of Lacanian psychoanalytic theory by looking at its
philosophical underpinnings at each of its major
stages. We start by exploring the influence of
Hegelianism, phenomenology and existentialism
(both Heidegger and Sartre) on Lacans early work.
We then examine how structuralism influenced
Lacans work in the 1950s and 1960s, stopping along
the way to look in detail at important offshoots of
Lacanian theory such as Laplanche and Leclaires
essay on the unconscious. The final part of the
course includes discussions of Lacans appeal to
the philosophies of science (Bachelard and Koyré)
and of mathematics (Frege and Russell) in the late
60s and early 70s. We conclude by considering
the use of Lacanian theory by contemporary
philosophers such as Badiou and iek.

Who is this course for

This course is at Advanced level and so would not be suitable for people who are new to studying philosophy. It would be an ideal continuation course for students who have previously studied on our Intermediate level courses and who now want a course that will look at the work of a particular philosopher in some depth. It may also be suitable for people who have had some previous grounding in Philosophy and who now want to study in more depth.
Although you should have some previous experience of studying philosophy it is not expected that you need to have a great deal of familiarity with the work of Lacan, as this is what the course will aim to provide.

What does this course cover

The texts from Lacan's crits will be worked through in chronological order, along with material from Lacan's Seminars. Extracts from Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit, Heidegger's Being and Time and Eugène Minkowski's Lived Time will be supplied in the early stages of the course, with later sessions involving discussion of extracts from Lévi-Strauss's Elementary Structures of Kinship, Frege's Foundations of Arithmetic, Russell's Inquiry into Meaning and Truth, Koyré's From the Closed World to the Infinite Universe and Bachelard's Formation of the Scientific Mind. The intersection of Lacan with some of the theorists of the Cahiers pour l'Analyse (Miller, Milner and Badiou) will also be discussed in the last third of the course, alongside iek's Hegelian reading of Lacan.

By the end of the course, you should be able to:

' Develop your understanding of the theoretical underpinnings of Lacanian Psychoanalysis and the development of Lacan's ideas
' Distinguish between phenomenological, dialectical, structuralist and modern French epistemological lines of argument in Lacan's work
' Explain and assess Lacan's theories about the unconscious, fantasy, sexual difference, the main forms of psychopathology and the relation of subjectivity and language
' Analyse the significance of Lacan's work for wider issues in Philosophy

What will it be like

The course is an interactive mixture of tutor exposition and class discussion. Extensive documentation will be provided throughout the course, and powerpoints covering the main points will be distributed after each session. There are opportunities for further discussion and reading outside of the class via the course's Moodle website.
We will assess your expectations of the course in the first sessions. Thereafter, you will be able to monitor your progress on the course through participation in class discussion, questions and answers and in-class exercises. At the end of the course, you will be able to measure your progress against the stated outcomes for the course.

What else do you need to buy or do

Students will need a copy of the full edition of Lacan's crits (trans. Bruce Fink et al).

What this course could lead to

Other Advanced level Philosophy courses at the Mary Ward Centre or other similar establishments. Other courses in the Humanities and Social Sciences with a strong emphasis on theory and the study of the mind and human behaviour(e.g., Psychology, Economics, Sociology, Anthropology, History

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I've been to many Centres to study in London and the Mary Ward Centre is one of the nicest I've studied in.

MWC student

Got a Question about this Course?

Contact The Departmental Administrator.

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Mary Ward Centre is the adult education centre with a difference. We provide a wide range of subjects for people at all levels and run courses during the day, evening or weekend to suit your timetable.

Get inspired and enjoy excellent teaching in an environment where each individual’s learning experience is valued. That’s what makes Mary Ward Centre ‘the friendly place to learn.’