New Lacanian Symptoms in Contemporary Radical Philosophy (Part One)



The New Hysterical Question

Lacanian psychoanalysts necessarily express an interest in at least one of three clinical structures: neuroses, perversions, or psychoses. Typically, analysands come to analysis with a problem which relates to one of the two key neuroses – either hysterical or obsessional. Within this rubric, hysterically neurotic analysands are far more likely to seek out an analyst than obsessional neurotics. This is due primarily to the fact that hysterical analysands have as a part of their symptom a demand for knowledge about themselves. This is a demand made toward the symbolic Other incarnated as the analyst. The strangeness of the hysterical symptom occurs as a consequence of the analysand’s paradoxical refusal of the analyst’s offerings: the analysand demands knowledge from the analyst while simultaneously rejecting all of the knowledge that the analyst might offer. It is for this reason that hysterical analysts are typically motivated toward profound discoveries…

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