A Critique of Pure Concupiscence: Back to Lacan's Reading of Kant through Sade
This is an attempt to analyse a psychoanalitic reading of the 'Critique of Practical Reason', proposed by Jacques Lacan and his followers. In the well known article 'Kant through Sade' Lacan has pointed to a symmetry between the Categorical Imperative and the 'imperative of delight' of Marquise de Sade. Lacan argues that moral law presupposes a bifurcation of the subject that splits it into the subject of uttering (the imperative and the other that stands behind it) and the subject of utterace, or the symbolic identity. A similar division of the subject is found in de Sade, where the will of the submitting party is subjects to the will of the other ordering it to 'indulge in delight'. In Kant's philosophy laws is an impersonal injunction that comes from nowhere. Lacan interprets this aspect of Kant's philosophy as an attempt to make the other invisible or barely adumbrated as a sadistic executioner. The Categorical Imperative is like a cruel maxim imposed by the other, and its functioning resembles the operation of the superego. Finally the author proposes to get further insights into Kant's philosophy by following Slavoj Zizka and reading Kant not only through de Sade's: 'Frenchmen, make one more effort, if you want to become republicans', but also by relying on Kafka's novels and films by Passolini.
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