Chapter

On Risk-Taking in the Psychoanalytic Text: The Reality-test

Simon Morgan Wortham and Gary Hall

in Experimenting

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print December 2007 | ISBN: 9780823228140
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823240975 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fordham/9780823228140.003.0010
On Risk-Taking in the Psychoanalytic Text: The Reality-test

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The moment Francis Bacon started his experimental wager, torture became linked to the test. Everything was put to the test, torturing the body, flaying the certitudes of knowledge. In Institution and Interpretation, Samuel Weber organizes an aspect of his reflections on psychoanalysis around the concept of experimentation. Lacan's laboratory is linked to “the laboratories of experimental science” and is shown to be, in comparison, “as unstable as the margins of a text: not entirely inchoate, to be sure, but also never completely under his control.” Freud introduces a third area of testing when he formulates the basis for a particularly potent type of psychic probe: the reality-test. None of these controls exclude the possibility of further innovation, for the test site is at each point reconfigured to include “everyone.”

Keywords: Francis Bacon; Samuel Weber; psychoanalysis; experimentation; Lacan; Freud; reality-test; test sites

Chapter.  4181 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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