18 January 2007

New Lacanian Blog

Those interested in Lacan, Zizek, and psychoanalysis will not want to miss Foucaultisdead:
Now why are these two controversies interesting when viewed together? They are interesting because they reveal how “Big Brother” - the impersonal voice of the show’s producers, which effectively functions as a site of negotation between the contestants and the desires of the outside world (usually for humiliation and entertainment but, in these rare instances, rectification of some sort of perceived injustice) - situates himself in relation to the housemates and the outside world. These controversies effectively reveal why Big Brother is not the Lacanian big Other.

The standard example employed to explain Lacan’s concept of the big Other (which is capital ‘A’ on Lacan’s graph of desire) is that of a judge who declares judgement on a case before him. Through this judge, the impersonal big Other utters its judgement - in other words, the judge effectively makes no judgement at all. He is merely an instrument of the big Other. This is not the only way to think about the big Other. Zizek often equates it to the analytic philosopher Donald Davidson’s “charity principle”, the assumption (without which, all human communication is impossible) that we all share a set of mutual understandings. Of course, the big Other is a functional illusion (as Lacan said: ‘the big Other does not exist’), a communal fiction - judges frequently make perverse judgements due to quirks of personality and there certainly is no stable set of mutual understandings. So the big Other provides the necessary communal fiction for social interaction to function. In other words, we voluntarily submit to it because the benefits it provides are immense. (Of course, there are some people - psychotics - who do not submit to the big Other, and who sadly struggle to function well in society.)
Read the rest here.

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Blogger foucaultisdead said...

Thank you, Sinthome. I am new to blogging, so it is very nice for an established blogger such as yourself to pimp me in this way.

At an appropriate time, I will return the gesture. (In inverted form, of course...)

January 18, 2007 7:12 AM  

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