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.
The SF Lacanian School of Psychoanalysis mourns the passing of our very dear friend and colleague, Janet Thormann Macintosh.
She passed away on January 3, 2014 in San Francisco, CA.
Janet Thormann Mackintosh was founding member, former member of the board, and faculty of the Lacanian School of Psychoanalysis. She was most active and passionate in the pursuit and transmission of Lacanian and Freudian psychoanalysis. We deeply acknowledge her and thank her immensely for her immeasurable contributions to the School, specially during the most intense and challenging yet exciting early times of the School.
Janet was the co-editor of the school’s early newsletter and later the journal (a)namorphosis. She also co-edited the book Four Lessons of Psychoanalysis by Moustapha Safouan, based on a series of seminars Safouan offered to the School. Later on she joined the editorial board for the European Journal of Psychoanalysis where she continued to write plenty of articles and reviews on Lacanian psychoanalysis. You can read a special tribute to Janet and her contributions to EJP here.
We remember her as a sharp and passionate scholar but also for her sense of humor. She can debate with other Lacanian teachers, other members of the school, as well as with well known authorities on Lacan who had visited the school through the years from Europe and Latin America.
She was an English Professor at the College of Marin (CA) and a poet with two books to her name.
A conference on Lacan is being planned in the Bay Area this year in her honor by the San Francisco Society for Lacanian Studies.
Janet was also an active member of the Society. Society’s President Annie Shane remembers: “The last thing she did for the society she really came through, we’d gotten an invitation from a fellow that had a symposium at the Brooklyn museum, and he wanted us to provide a speaker on Lacan and art/literature, and all I could think of was Janet, and she did it, she went out there and did it, and it was outstanding, rave reviews!”
Here are a few memories from other founding members of the School:
“I spent some time with Janet in Paris few months ago. I was happily surprised by her humor, her witty gentle comments and her good spirit. It did evoke to me, at that time, a kind of a satisfied ‘repos du guerrier.’ Nearly twenty five years ago Janet was a catalyst in the seminars I was giving, she was an active scholar and a committed Lacanian, beside her many other committed interests.” – Andre Patsalides, PhD.
“It was very sad to hear about Janet’s passing. I will remember her as a very accomplished and spirited person who gave a lot to the Lacanian School especially in its early years.” Martine Aniel, Ph.D
“Janet was a scholar in our school since her early participation in the Society and later in the School. She taught many seminars and was always an informed participant in discussions and asked very pointed questions. She was a good example of what Plato called the spirited element of the psyche and had a wry sense of humor. She had a very close relationship with Andre and always missed him once he left, and she also felt close to Dany Nobus, one of our regular visiting faculty. In fact the last times we saw her in the school were for their presentations. Go strong, our sister, going beyond the boundaries of the unknown, unknowable, and undying.” – Raul Moncayo, PhD
“I think about Janet sometimes, and what a mind, what a scholar. I am very sorry to hear of her passing. She is a major figure for me in terms of my participation in the Lacan School, and in terms of my own learning and growth in psychoanalysis.” – Carrie Thaler, PhD
“I remember her well, and the news comes like a shock. Thank you, Marcelo, for informing us. She was there from the beginning, and I think she defined herself more as an academic. I also remember her smiling and laughing. She was cheerful and compassionate.” – Jurgen Braungardt, PhD
“Thank you… for letting me know of this sad news. Although it had been a while since I last saw Janet, I always admired her spirit and intellect.” – Michael Brown, PhD
“Thanks for passing this (news) on to me. I always enjoyed Janet. I am sorry to hear the news. Funny, I was thinking of her and Yvette last wk.” – Anne Haley.
“Janet brought her sharp intelligence to the group, and yes her memory will be honored in a great way.” – Yvette Chalom, PhD
Janet is survived by her daughter, Gabrielle Thormann, and her husband, Graham Macintosh.