Jacques lacan on Love: Realistic Cynic or Inveterate Optimist?

Crossroads 11 (1):47-65 (2007)

A perennial question of philosophy, literature and psychoanalysis centres on the impact of love in human living, and endeavours to offer definition and explanation of this concept. From the Pre-Socratics, through Plato and Aristotle, to Derrida and Kristeva, philosophical reflections on ‘truth’, ‘meaning’, and subjectivity inevitably involve an exploration of the centrality of love in human experience, its significance as a characteristic of being human, and its response to the question ‘how is one to live’? This essay explores, through the work of a philosopher who is considered notoriously cynical about human nature and its vicissitudes, the question of love from the perspective of its possibility in the realm of human relationships, and thereby examines the potential obstacles to its experience. Through a selected reading of the work of French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan, the possibility of love is examined with a view to confronting the impediments to its experience – evident in any analysis of the contemporary world
Keywords Desire, Love, Psychoanalysis
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