The “Talking Cure”: Language and Psychoanalysis

Andrea Hurst

in Derrida Vis-à-vis Lacan

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print May 2008 | ISBN: 9780823228744
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823235179 | DOI:

Series: Perspectives in Continental Philosophy

The “Talking               Cure”: Language and Psychoanalysis

Show Summary Details


For Lacan, “successful negotiation of oedipal conflicts is quite literally a matter of learning to speak properly”. This chapter examines precisely what this means and how it is tied to questions of ethics and power. It examines Lacan's Seminar on the “Purloined Letter”, in which he capitalizes on both the literary metaphor and the ambiguity of the story's axial motif (namely, the “letter”, which allows for the play of multiple metaphorical manipulations) to demonstrate that the orders of the Real, Imaginary, and Symbolic can and must be understood in linguistic terms. This accords with his insistence on the fundamental importance of a linguistic theory in psychoanalysis and undergirds his call for psychoanalytic theory to situate Sigmund Freud's fundamental concepts “in a field of language” and to order them “in relation to the function of speech”. To read this seminar in terms of the “plural logic of the aporia” poses a direct challenge to Jacques Derrida's reading of this text. This chapter also looks at Barbara Johnson's seminal essay “The Frame of Reference”.

Keywords: Jacques Lacan; Jacques Derrida; ethics; power; plural logic of the aporia; metaphor; Barbara Johnson; psychoanalysis; language

Chapter.  11379 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Fordham University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.