Chapter

The Ethics of the Act

Mari Ruti

in The Singularity of Being

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780823243143
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780823243181 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fordham/9780823243143.003.0004

Series: Psychoanalytic Interventions

The Ethics of the Act

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This chapter presents an overview of recent Lacanian theorizing on the so-called ethical act (the act of subjective destitution). Starting from an analysis of the sinthome as a site of subjective singularity, it explains what it means to plunge to the jouissance of the real beyond symbolic and imaginary supports. It also offers an analysis of Antigone as an ethical actor who refuses to give ground on her desire (who adheres to Lacan's famous dictum: “do not cede on your desire”). In opposition to some powerful trends in post-Lacanian theory, the chapter asserts that for a destructive (or self-destructive) act to be properly “ethical,” it must hold some sort of revolutionary, liberatory potential – that destructiveness alone does not render an act ethical.

Keywords: the ethical act; subjective destitution; the sinthome; jouissance; Antigone; “do not cede on your desire”; revolutionary politics

Chapter.  10630 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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