Phenomenology is a central reference for Lacan in the first half of the 1950's; when Lacan, at the beginning of his Seminar, seeks to delimit the field of psychoanalysis by appealing to the difference between the symbolic and the imaginary. In Seminars I and II, phenomenology is criticized because it remains prisoner of the imaginary and is thus not capable of entering the symbolic dimension, which is the dimension proper to psychoanalysis. Despite this rupture, in Seminar XI (1964) Lacan refers again to phenomenology. However, in 1964, psychoanalysis is not criticized, but presented by Lacan as having important points of convergence with what psychoanalysis has to say about the field of the drive and the desire. This project aims at examining the status of Lacan's appeal to phenomenology in 1964 on the background of the rupture that took place in the 1950's. Our hypothesis is that this constitutes a crucial turning point in Lacan's teaching that revolves around the notion of objet a. We will seek to show how this new appeal to the phenomenological discourse is not only compatible with the 1950's rupture, but is part of the evolution of Lacan's thought: indeed, Lacan's elaborations about the objet a lead him to reevaluate the place of phenomenology in the field of psychoanalysis and to reconsider the dimension of the imaginary, henceforth infiltrated by the drive.
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