Claire Piette – To Acquire or to Cerebralise?


The neuro-scientific craze has not been satisfied with the field of mental health; it has also spread to the field of education.

Like a small skylight, this issue illuminates the grip of the “servo” as a cognitive and behavioral management machine. The latter is fitted out with an unconscious. Patrick Paquier traces the effort of neuro-psychoanalysts to locate it and reduce it to non-conscious memory systems. Suddenly, this servo becomes the cause of everything! Psychical life is drained away and at the same time the responsibility of each parlêtre – in the relation with oneself and with the other – becomes little by little ever more displaced.

We currently have neuropsychologists, neuro-psychoanalysts, neuro-educators, we will soon have more and more neuro-professors (in Belgium, they are called “orthopedagogues”) who will ensure the correction, by means of “reasonable adjustments”, of all those who suffer from various behavioural disorders. However, these new “neuros” will always be confronted, as Hebe Tizio very rightly points out, with dead ends which result from the fact that “[…] the residence of what is said, of this said (dit) whose knowledge poses the Other as locus” [1] is not to be found there.

José Ramon Ubieto attests to the means by which political correctness strives to constrict language, in order to make the “servo” believable.

The analytic knowing-how-to-do does not fall under such brain ramblings, but under an artisanal frame which allows one to accommodate that which was not envisioned in the program: roll up one’s sleeves and put one’s all into the zones where scholarly knowledge can only become desirable on the condition of making of the classroom a living space.

Translation by Raphael Montague

[1] Lacan J., The Seminar Book XX, Encore, London and New York, W.W. Norton and Co., 1975, p. 96.

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