This work represents one of the few initiatives in the Anglo-Saxon world to elucidate the structure of psychic space by constructing an access to the nature of mathematical relations. Finding pathways through the complexities of sexual love is notoriously difficult: Raul Moncayo shows how Lacan’s psychoanalytic results have found some solutions to many of these difficulties and problems. Lacan formulated the spaces of the mind by using instruments such as his graph of desire: Moncayo’s book takes further the investigation of the “not-both” which has been fundamental to philosophy – and to mathematics and cosmology – since the time of Parmenides.
Bernard Burgoyne, Emeritus Professor of Psychoanalysis, Middlesex University.
Psychosis, an invasion of mind and body from without, creates an enigma about what is happening and thrusts the individual into radical isolation. What are the subjective details of such experiences? This book explores psychosis as knowledge cut off from history, truth that cannot be articulated in any other form. Delusion is a new language made of ‘incandescent alphabets’ that the psychotic adopts from imposed voices. The psychotic uses language in a singular way to found and explain a strange experience that he or she cannot exit. Through the exegesis of language in psychosis based on first person accounts, the book orients readers to an enigmatic Other, pervasive and inescapable, that will come to inhabit every aspect of the psychotic’s being, thought and bodily experience. Drawing on the author’s own experience of psychosis and psychoanalysis, as well as conversations with analyst colleagues, Dr Rogers offers ways to listen to language in delusion, and argues for the promise of a modified psychoanalytic treatment with psychosis.
‘This extraordinary book about psychosis as an encounter and relationship with language draws the reader in through a narrative that shows us how lacking mainstream psychiatric and psychoanalytic diagnostic categories are. Incandescent Alphabets is an amazing conceptual and poetic alternative that makes of the experience of psychosis an illuminated manuscript from which readers learn about the author, the people she works with, and about themselves.’
–– Ian Parker, psychoanalyst and author of Psychology after Psychoanalysis: Psychosocial Studies and Beyond
Lacan critiqued imaginary intuition for confusing direct perception with unconscious pre-conceptions about people and the world.The emphasis on description goes hand in hand with a rejection of theory and the science of the unconscious and a belief in the naive self-transparency of the world. At the same time, knowing in and of the Real requires a place beyond thinking, multi-valued forms of logic, mathematical equations, and different conceptions of causality, acausality, and chance. This book explores some of the mathematical problems raised by Lacan’s use of numbers and the interconnection between mathematics and psychoanalytic ideas. Within any system, mathematical or otherwise, there are holes, or acausal cores and remainders of indecidability. It is this senseless point of non-knowledge that makes change, and the emergence of the new, possible within a system. This book differentiates between two types of void, and aligns them with the Lacanian concepts of a true and a false hole and the psychoanalytic theory of primary repression. Finally, through jouissance, the language of desire is re-joined to the formal marks of the object and the language of science. This explains the connection in Lacanian theory among logic, the Real, mathematics, and jouissance.
“In this highly original book, the authors demonstrate that Lacan’s intermittent recourse to mathematical formalisation was not a quirky flight of fancy designed to enhance the scientific legitimacy of psychoanalysis, but something integral to his detailed investigation of the objects of psychic reality. Moving effortlessly between concrete clinical observations and more abstract epistemological considerations, this book is nothing less than mind-blowing, and it constitutes both an innovative contribution to the theory of Lacanian psychoanalysis and a fascinating outlook on what psychoanalysis may add to contemporary debates in the philosophy of science.”
Dany Nobus, Professor of Psychology and Psychoanalysis, and Pro-Vice-Chancellor at Brunel University London. Chair of the Freud Museum London.
“Moncayo and Romanowicz’s book makes an important contribution to the field of Lacanian studies. They not only provide clear and insightful expositions of Lacan’s use of mathematics and logic but also open up crucial questions about the interrelations between psychoanalysis and mathematics. In contrast to other studies written by non-clinicians, this book stays attuned to psychoanalytic practice, showing how mathematical structures and problems are central to clinical ones. It is a rich and thought-provoking study that will interest not only Lacanian analysts and scholars but anyone working in the area of psychoanalysis and epistemology.”
Darian Leader, Psychoanalyst, Centre for Freudian Analysis and Research, London.