The Little objet a of Anarchist Philosophy
Lacanian theory maintains that the “object” of psychoanalysis is that which one is never without. Put another way, the “object” is actually not an object at all: it is the objet petit a, which is the cause of the subject’s desire. Lacan was fond of the following expression: “anxiety is not without an object.” Lacan was an anti-philosopher. As such, he has a different point of departure than Daniel Colson, the philosopher. Lacan offers us an alternative to the sort of “object” offered to us by Daniel Colson and Jesse Cohn in their little dictionary of anarchist philosophy. For Lacan, the objet petit a resists symbolization. As a product of this resistance it gives rise to fantasies within the imaginary. The object therefore radically resists in-corp-oration into the body of knowledge. This explains why the objet a is so important for the clinical treatment of body-events such as nervous ticks, headaches, muscle tremors, nail biting, and so on: it is a rupture within the body revealed, in a form which is devoid of any authentic knowledge or meaning, as a symptom. Colson’s “object” may indeed be more comforting, but it is, for that reason, much more symptomatic.
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