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Alireza Taheri: Psychoanalytic Topology

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๐”๐๐‚๐Ž๐Œ๐ˆ๐๐† ๐–๐Ž๐‘๐Š๐’๐‡๐Ž๐: ๐€๐ฅ๐ข๐ซ๐ž๐ณ๐š ๐“๐š๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ข: ๐๐ฌ๐ฒ๐œ๐ก๐จ๐š๐ง๐š๐ฅ๐ฒ๐ญ๐ข๐œ ๐“๐จ๐ฉ๐จ๐ฅ๐จ๐ ๐ฒ

Lacanian topology is the contemporary heir to speculative philosophy. The Moebius strip, the Torus and the Klein bottle all stage paradoxes for the common understanding (e.g. an object that has its centre of gravity outside itself, a surface with only one side). Only a paradoxical topology can grasp the object in its inherent contradictions. Lacanโ€™s move to topological thinking must be seen as a corrective to both spatial and temporal thought (two aspects of representational thought). An inherent limitation of representational thought is that it depicts contradiction in such a way that โ€œthe contradictory is held external to itself, next to and after itselfโ€ (Hegel quoted McGowan, 2019, 118). Time and space are ideological categories insofar as they misrecognize the paradoxical unity of an entity by falsely dividing it into disparate moments. Rather than depict one thing that is internally divided, representational thought puts forward two separate self-identical objects conceived as different only from one another. Lacanโ€™s topology corrects this shortcoming and creates a new โ€œimaginaryโ€ as an endeavour to overcome the limitations of Kantโ€™s transcendental aesthetics: โ€œI maintain that transcendental aesthetics has to be recast in our timesโ€ (Lacan, 2006). Elsewhere, Lacan (2001) asks: โ€œIs topology not this noโ€™space [nโ€™espace], into which mathematical discourse leads us and which necessitates a revision of Kantโ€™s transcendental aesthetics?โ€ Similarly, Hegel casts his own speculative philosophy in opposition to Kant. Does this common urge to overcome Kantian ontology not further confirm the kinship between Lacan and Hegel? The Lacanian โ€œNoโ€™spaceโ€ (as an alternative to Kantian transcendental aesthetics) provides the most current manifestation of the Hegelian project.


Lacan, J. (2001) Autres ร‰crits. ร‰ditions du Seuil. Paris.

Lacan, J. (2006) ร‰crits. Translated by Fink B. In collaboration with Fink, H. and Grigg, R. W.W. Norton and Company. New York and London. Page numbers refer to the French original displayed on the margin of the text.

McGowan, T. (2019) Emancipation After Hegel: Achieving a Contradictory Revolution. Columbia University Press. New York.

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