Amal Wahbi – Psychoanalysis is not a science but a discourse…


“Analysis is not a science, it is a discourse, without it the so-called discourse of science is not sustainable by the being who has acceded to it for no more than three centuries; moreover the discourse of science has «unbreathable» (irrespirables) consequences for what is called humanity. Analysis is the artificial lung by which we try to ensure what we need to find of jouissance in speaking in order for the history to go on. We have not yet noticed this and it is fortunate because in the state of inadequacy and confusion in which analysts are, the political authorities have already got their hands on it. Poor analysts, what would have deprived them of any chance of being what they should be: compensatory; in fact, it is a bet, it is also a challenge that I supported, I leave it open to the most extreme risks. But, in all that I have been able to say, some happy formulas, perhaps, will survive, everything is delivered in the human being, to fortune”(1).

Lacan has already told us in 1973 that the discourse of science has «unbreathable» consequences for humanity and analysis is the artificial lung, a breath of oxygen to fight the discourse of science still growing and powerful in everyday life forty-six years later. To the proliferation of scientific discourse, Lacan opposes the absolute necessity to have more and more analysts. According to Lacan, the problem comes from the use man makes of the real, so he explains, «the real has become of a such presence as never before because we started to build a lot of devices that dominate us, like it had never happened before» (2).  Today’s real turns out to be the result of machines that, day after day, shape our world without imagining how unbearable (irrespirable) such an enterprise can be. Hence the need for analysts to prevent this excess of knowledge in the real. Lacan will say, «Analysts, they say they’re there… finally…. when you have a crisis. A crisis that can really question… putting the question of knowledge on the spot in such a way that we no longer want to know anything» (3).

  1. Jacques Lacan, «Declaration of Lacan to France-Culture about the 28th International Congress of Psychoanalysis» in 1973
  2. Jacques Lacan, “Alla Scuola Freudiana”, in G. B. Contri (ed.), Lacan in Italia 1953-1978, Milan, La Salamandra, 1978, p. 106
  3. Ibid p.12
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