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The Palgrave Lacan Series

Lacan the Charlatan

Authors: Mathews, Peter D.

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  • Provides a rigorous engagement with the ideas of Lacan’s strongest critics
  • Breaches the division between supporters and detractors of Lacan
  • Demonstrates how the figure of the charlatan is essential to Lacan’s discourse of mastery
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eBook $84.99
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  • ISBN 978-3-030-45204-9
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Hardcover $109.99
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About this book

This book sets out to determine the validity of an accusation made against Jacques Lacan by Noam Chomsky in an interview in 1989. He stated that Lacan was a “charlatan” – not that his ideas were flawed or wrong, but that his entire discourse was fraudulent, an accusation that has since been repeated by many other critics. Examining the arguments of key anti-Lacanian critics, Mathews weighs and contextualizes the legitimacy of Lacan’s engagements with structural linguistics, mathematical formalization, science, ethics, Hegelian dialectics, and psychoanalysis. The guiding thread is Lacan’s own recurrent interrogation of authority, which inhabits an ambiguous zone between mastery and charlatanry. This book offers a novel contribution to the field for students and scholars of psychoanalysis, philosophy, sociology, critical and literary theory.

About the authors

Peter D. Mathews is Professor of English Literature at Hanyang University, South Korea.

Reviews

"What authorises an analyst to analyse? Lacan the Charlatan makes a significant contribution to this important question and is a must read for anyone interested in the future of our praxis."
(Russell Grigg, World Association of Psychoanalysis)

“Lacan the Charlatan is much more than a highly engaging study of Lacan’s various critics, detractors, and would-be debunkers. It focuses in on one of the essential problems of his psychoanalytic theory: the nature of authority under conditions of modernity. Clown, guru, master, imposter, insurgent, analyst: Mathews shows how Lacan both incarnated and exposed the impasses of authority, and how his theoretical framework is crucial for understanding the charade of power and mastery we are living in today.”

(Aaron Schuster, author of The Trouble with Pleasure: Deleuze and Psychoanalysis)


“Mathews is that rarest of scholar in psychoanalytic studies: someone brave enough to consult works he disagrees with, and then able to produce smart, judicious, and fair-minded commentary and critique. Likewise, his interventions into the work and legacies of the best critics of Lacan, such as Roustang and Borch-Jacobsen, is not just overdue; it is often revelatory. Lacan the Charlatan is a major contribution to the literature – one of interest to scholars of literature, philosophy, and sociology – that will still be worth reading in twenty years.” 

(Todd Dufresne, Professor of Philosophy, Lakehead University, USA)


Table of contents (7 chapters)

Table of contents (7 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $84.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-030-45204-9
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $109.99
price for USA

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Lacan the Charlatan
Authors
Series Title
The Palgrave Lacan Series
Copyright
2020
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-45204-9
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-45204-9
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-45203-2
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIV, 228
Topics