Lexicon


 
My discourse proceeds, in the following way: each term is sustained only in its topological relation with the others, and the subject of the cogito is treated in exactly the same way.
 
Jacques Lacan (LX:100)


LX:4 | Questioning Builds A Way

In what follows we shall be questioning concerning technology.  Questioning builds a way.  We would be advised, therefore, above all to pay heed to the way, and not to fix our attention on isolated sentences and topics.  The way is a way of thinking.  All ways of thinking, more or less perceptibly, lead through language in a manner that is extraordinary.  We shall be questioning concerning technology, and in so doing we should like to prepare a free relationship to it.  The relationship will be free if it opens our human existence to the essence of technology.1  When we can respond to this essence, we shall be able to experience the technological within its own bounds. (3-4)


[1] "Essence" is the traditional translation of the German noun Wesen.  One of Heidegger's principal aims in this essay is to seek the true meaning of essence through or by way of the "correct" meaning.  He will later show that Wesen does not simply mean what something is, but that it means, further, the way in which something pursues its course, the way in which it remains though time as what it is. 


Source

Heidegger, Martin. The Question Concerning Technology and Other Essays.  Trans. William Lovitt.  Garland Publishing 1977. 


See Also

Lexicon Entries

The 'Claro, Pero' Paradox; The Most Basic Sphere of Concern is Schooling; Standing Toe to Toe

Works and Days

 

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Notes

 


LX:3 | Transition from the Ordinary Rational Knowledge of Morality to the Philosophical

There is no possibility of thinking of anything at all in the world, or even out of it, which can be regarded as good without qualification, except a good will. Intelligence, wit, judgment, and whatever talents of the mind one might want to name are doubtless in many respects good and desirable, as are such qualities of temperament as courage, resolution, perseverance. But they can also become extremely bad and harmful if the will, which is to make use of these gifts of nature and which in its special constitution is called character, is not good. The same holds with gifts of fortune; power, riches, honor, even health, and that complete well-being and contentment with one's condition which is called happiness make for pride and often herby even arrogance, unless there is a good will to correct their influence on the mind and herewith also to rectify the whole principle of action and make it universally conformable to its end. The sight of a being who is not graced by any touch of a pure and good will but who yet enjoys an uninterrupted prosperity can ever delight a rational and impartial spectator. Thus a good will seems to constitute the indispensable condition of being even worthy of happiness.

Some qualities are even conducive to this good will itself and can facilitate its work. Nevertheless, they have no intrinsic unconditional worth; but they always presuppose, rather, a good will, which restricts the high esteem in which they are otherwise rightly held, and does not permit them to be regarded as absolutely good. Moderation in emotions and passions, self-control, and cam deliberation are not only good in many respects but even seem to constitute part of the intrinsic worth of a person. But they are far from being rightly called good without qualification (however unconditionally they were commended by the ancients). For without the principles of a good will, they can become extremely bad; the coolness of a villain makes him not only much more dangerous but also immediately more abominable on our eyes than he would have been regarded by us without it.  (393-4)


Source

Kant, Immanuel. Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals: On a Supposed Right to Lie because of Philanthropic Concerns.  Trans. James W. Ellington.  Hackett Publishing 1993. 


See Also

Lexicon Entries

Foucault's Objective; Virtue Defined: The Differentia

Works and Days

 

Documents

 


Notes

 


LX:2 | The Place I Have Come To

In the beginning, there was not the origin. There was the place.

There are perhaps two or three people here who have some idea about this same old story of mine. Place is a term I often use, because there are often references to place in the field that my discourses - or my discourse, if you prefer - deal with. If you want to know where you are in that field, it is advisable to have what other and more self-assured domains call a topology, and to have some idea of how the support on which what is at stake is inscribed was constructed.

I certainly will not get that far this evening because I absolutely refuse to give you my teaching in the form of a little pill. 'Place' means something very different here from what it means in topology, in the sense of structure, where it is just a question of knowing whether a surface is a sphere or a ring, because what can be done with it is not at all the same. But that is not what this is about. 'Place' can have a very different meaning. It simply means the place I have come to, and which puts me in a position to teach, given that there is such a thing as teaching.

Well, that place has to be inscribed in the register of what is our common fate. You occupy the place where an act pushes you, just like that, from the right or the left, any old way. It so happens that circumstances where such that, truth to tell, I really did not think it was my destiny, and ... well ... I just had to grab hold of the thread.

It all revolves around the fact that the function of the psychoanalyst is not self-evident, that, when it comes to giving him his status, his habits, his reference, and even his place in the world, nothing is obvious, nothing is self-evident at all.

There are the places I talked about first: topological places, places that have to do with essence, and then there is your place in the world. You usually get to that place by pushing and shoving. In short, it leaves you some hope. No matter how many of you there are, you will always end up in a certain place, with a bit of luck. It goes no further than that.  (4-5)


Source

Lacan, Jacques. My Teaching.  Trans. David Macey.  Verso 2008. 


See Also

Lexicon Entries

Hupomnēmata
The Red Ink
White

Works and Days

It's Hard To Say

Documents

 


Notes

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LX:1 | Intentional Arc

Let us therefore say rather, borrowing a term from other works, that the life of consciousness - cognitive life, the life of desire or perceptual life - is subtended by an ‘intentional arc’ which projects round about us our past, our future, our human setting, our physical, ideological and moral situation, or rather which results in our being situated in all these respects. It is this intentional arc which brings about the unity of the senses, of intelligence, of sensibility and motility. (157)


Source

Merleau-Ponty, Maurice. Phenomenology of Perception.  Trans. Colin Smith.  Routledge 2005. 


See Also

Lexicon Entries

The Philosopher; Le Monde Perçu; If Photography Tends to the Literary; A Fundamental Quality of an Act; Freedom and Self-Emergence; Training of the Self By Oneself

Works and Days

Documents

 


Notes

 


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