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New beginnings in subjective and political life - an approximation between Jacques Lacan Hannah Arendt

Grant number: 13/21333-8
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): January 01, 2014
Effective date (End): June 30, 2014
Field of knowledge:Interdisciplinary Subjects
Principal researcher:Paulo Cesar Endo
Grantee:Gabriela Gomes Costardi
Supervisor abroad: Kenneth Reinhard
Home Institution: Instituto de Psicologia (IP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), United States  
Associated to the scholarship:12/13541-7 - The authority as possibility of bonding between the foundation and the transmission, BP.DR


This research proposes a dialogue between Hannah Arendt's thought and Freud's and Lacan's psychoanalysis, investigating, first, if the Arendtian political action concept is able to inspire a Lacanian theory on freedom, and, second, if the Arendtian notion of political plurality and her conceptions on republicanism and the council system can be approximated to the Lacanian feminine logic of sexuation, offering an alternative to the political conceptions based on sovereignty. For Hannah Arendt men are free when acting in concert in a shared world, being able to perform new beginnings in the course of history. It is a positive and performative concept, opposed to the philosophical notion of sovereign free will and to the Marxist and liberal conceptions of freedom as consequence of social justice, in the former, or equal rights, in the latter. Psychoanalysis, in its turn, does not have a conception of freedom, although it proposes that, through the analytical act, the subject of the unconscious can overcome the unconscious determination and experience new beginnings. Therefore, in order to investigate our first question, we will confront the Arendtian concept of political action and the Lacanian notion of analytical act, since both are related to repetition breaking; moreover, they share the same structure: unpredictability of results, irreversibility of process, and anonymity of authors. The analysis of the second question observes that Hannah Arendt proposes a non-sovereign model of political association in political plurality, republicanism, and the council system, as well as Lacan offers a non-sovereign model in his feminine logic of the sexuation. Lacan formulated masculine logic of sexuation based on the Freudian myth on the murder of the primal father -in "Totem and Taboo"-, in which the father prohibits sons to satisfy their sexual jouissance, being himself an exception to this prohibition. That is, the masculine logic proposes an exception that causes the rule, being the men set homogeneous in relationship to the castration. On the other hand, feminine logic of sexuation asserts that all women are under castration, without exception, but not-all submitted to the the phallus regime. In other words, women do not composes a homogeneous unity, but enter in the feminine series as individuals. The non-homogenization principle also animates political plurality, republicanism, and the council system for Arendt since men become individuals through political action, and collective deliberation coordinates different opinions against the unifying principle of general will embodied in a strong man, the sovereign leader. Therefore, the encounter between Arendtian politics and the psychoanalytical one will not follow the traditional reading of "Totem and Taboo" in the masculine sexuality framework, but it will take into account its relationship to the feminine logic of sexuation. The research considers some psychoanalytical propositions as guidelines to its methodology, namely, reading and writing as operations concerning the Real, the transferential level of the research process, and the notion of inspiration as principle to guide the dialogue between the theories. (AU)

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