Freud Museum London: Psychoanalysis Podcasts A treasure trove of ideas in psychoanalysis. History, theory, and psychoanalytic perspectives on a diverse range of topics. www.freud.org.uk

In The Not-Two, Lorenzo Chiesa examines the treatment of logic and God in Lacan’s later work.

The Not-Two: Logic and God in Lacan

Chiesa draws for the most part from Lacan’s Seminars of the early 1970s, as they revolve around the axiom "There is no sexual relationship." Chiesa provides both a close reading of Lacan’s effort to formalize sexual difference as incompleteness and an assessment of its broader implications for philosophical realism and materialism.

Chiesa argues that "There is no sexual relationship" is for Lacan empirically and historically circumscribed by psychoanalysis, yet self-evident in our everyday lives. Lacan believed that we have sex because we love, and that love is a desire to be One in face of the absence of the sexual relationship. Love presupposes a real "not-two." The not-two condenses the idea that our love and sex lives are dictated by the impossibility of fusing man’s contradictory being with the heteros of woman as a fundamentally uncountable Other. Sexual liaisons are sustained by a transcendental logic, the so-called phallic function that attempts to overcome this impossibility.

Chiesa also focuses on Lacan’s critical dialogue with modern science and formal logic, as well as his dismantling of sexuality as considered by mainstream biological discourse. Developing a new logic of sexuation based on incompleteness requires the relinquishing of any alleged logos of life and any teleological evolution.

For Lacan, the truth of incompleteness as approached psychoanalytically through sexuality would allow us to go further in debunking traditional onto-theology and replace it with a “para-ontology” yet to be developed. Given the truth of incompleteness, Chiesa asks, can we think such a truth in itself without turning incompleteness into another truth about truth, that is, into yet another figure of God as absolute being?

Lorenzo Chiesa is a philosopher who has published extensively on psychoanalysis. His works in this field include Subjectivity and Otherness: A Philosophical Reading of Lacan (MIT Press, 2007); Lacan and Philosophy: The New Generation (Re.press, 2014); The Not-Two: Logic and God in Lacan (MIT Press, 2016); and The Virtual Point of Freedom (Northwestern University Press, 2016). Since 2014, he has been Visiting Professor at the European University at Saint Petersburg and at the Freud’s Dream Museum of the same city. Previously, he was Professor of Modern European Thought at the University of Kent, where he founded and directed the Centre for Critical Thought.

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A Staged Reading of Selected Letters between Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung - followed by a panel discussion 

 
This staged reading of selected letters between Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung is the first performance in Britain of a project which originated in the US. The project arose from a desire to foster a dialogue between Freudian and Jungian communities, and has been performed to great acclaim.
 
The text – extracts from the letters between Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, tracing their complex, eventually doomed, relationship - will be spoken by actors.  This will be followed by a discussion between a truly distinguished panel: one of the project’s originators Margaret Klenck, the historian Sonu Shamdasani, and Christopher Hauke, Dany Nobus, and Stephen Gross, writers and analysts.
 
Margaret Klenck is a Jungian Analyst in private practice in New York City.  She is a graduate from the C.G. Jung Institute of New York, and holds a Masters of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary. Margaret is the previous past President of the Jungian Psychoanalytic Association in New York, where she also teaches and supervises. She is also a member and on the faculty of the Philadelphia Association of Jungian Analysts. Margaret has lectured and taught nationally and internationally.
 
Sonu Shamdasani is an academic, author and leading Jung scholar and biographer. He is a professor at University College London, and Director of the UCL Centre for the History of Psychological Disciplines. He is the editor and co-translator of C. G. Jung’s The Red Book: Liber Novus (Norton, 2009), and has written and published many books on Jung.
 
Christopher Hauke is a Jungian analyst, a senior lecturer in psychoanalytic studies at Goldsmiths, University of London, a writer, broadcaster and film-maker. His most recent book, Visible Mind: Movies, Modernity and the Unconscious, was published in 2013.
 
Stephen Gross is an analytic psychotherapist in private practice. He also teaches and supervises at WPF Therapy and other training organisations. He is particularly interested in the overlap between psychotherapy and literature. His play, Freud's Night Visitors, has been performed twice at The Freud Museum London.
 
Dany Nobus is Professor of Psychology and Psychoanalysis, and Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Development and External Relations at Brunel University London, where he also directs the MA Programme in Psychoanalysis and Contemporary Society. He is the Chair of the Freud Museum London, and has published numerous books and papers on the history, theory and practice of psychoanalysis.
 
Sigmund Freud is performed by Gerald Davidson, actor and researcher. Gerald has written and staged several presentations at the Freud Museum, including What Little Hans Knew and Aichhorn and Anna.
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October 28, 2014  
Nathanael Price
 
“Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing [...] Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the lord thy God am a jealous God.” Exodus, 20:4-5

“And well may the Jews go, as they do each Sabbath […] to visit and adore [the Moses of Michelangelo], since it is not something human, but divine that they adore.”
Giorgio Vasari, Vita di Michelangelo Buonarroti, 1550

“No piece of statuary has ever made a stronger impression on me than this.”
Sigmund Freud, The Moses of Michelangelo, 1914

In Vasari’s account of Michelangelo’s famous Moses, he describes how the contemporary Roman Jews abandoned their religious observances to “visit and adore” the statue of their own iconoclastic lawgiver on the tomb of Pope Julius II. The circumstances of this (imaginary) conversion – wherein the Jews establish their own image-cult of Moses – seems to epitomise the Freudian concept of the return of the repressed; the “inexorable” rule by which repressed psychic or cultural material (in this case idolatrous worship) re-emerges through the very agent of repression; here, the forbidding figure of Moses, destroyer of the Golden Calf.

Vasari’s story might be a fiction, but he recognised something inherent in Michelangelo’s statue; something that Freud himself would not admit when, four centuries later, he retraced the steps of the imaginary Jewish pilgrims. The idea of this talk – a centenary response to Freud’s essay, “The Moses of Michelangelo” – is that his concept of repression has unexploited potential as a tool for understanding not only the Moses, but Renaissance art and culture in more general terms. There is evidence, moreover, that Michelangelo and his contemporaries were as conscious of the cultural mechanisms of repression and recurrence as was Freud himself.

Nathanael Price is an academic art historian, now working on an AHRC-funded doctoral research project at University College London. His general research interest is in the historical interpretation and cultural legacy of the Mosaic image prohibition, and in particular the intersection between Jewish and Christian visual cultures in Renaissance Italy; areas in which he finds Freudian psychoanalytic theory has unexploited potential.
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Giles Fraser in conversation with Adam Phillips


Dr. Giles Fraser is a well known cultural commentator, priest and vicar of St Mary's Newington. He took a controversial stand on Occupy at St Paul's, resigning his post there in the process. He is also passionate about psychoanalysis.

Adam Phillips is a psychoanalyst and writer, author of many celebrated books, among them Missing Out and Promises, Promises. He has just finished a biography of the young Freud, who understood religion as an illusion.

Together they discuss psychoanalysis and religion.
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