American Univesity of Beirut

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This talk has been postponed​; new time TBA
Niklas Toivakainen (University of Helsinki)
`Reading Plato's Gorgias as a Challenge to Lacan's Decentered Subject'

I begin by giving a rough characterisation of the main features of the structure of the subject as theorised by Lacan. After identifying a basic internal deadlock that the Lacanian theory of subjectivity continues to reproduce, I turn, somewhat surprisingly, to Plato’s Gorgias in order to seek a picture of the self or subject that answers to some of the essential features of Lacan’s theory, yet without reproducing its deadlock. One of my main arguments will be that Plato identifies the force of irrationality in Socrates’ interlocutors as sourced in their struggles for social affirmation. Moreover, I argue that this struggle for social affirmation is a defensive move against the openness of the soul’s being, and manifests a displacement of desire. The real of the soul exists or has its meaning, I contend, in-between naked or open souls.​


Tuesday October 29, College Hall B1, 6:00-8:00pm
Frederic Worms (ENS Paris)
'Vital Humanism as an Orientation in Politics and Philosophy'



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