chapter  5
40 Pages

The paternity of law

ByAlain Pottage

The appeal of psychoanalytical theory was spectacularly enhanced through Jacques Lacan’s elliptical ‘return to Freud’. Lacan’s shamanism conjured away our ‘naïve’ image of Freud as the bourgeois rangé de Vienne, and made way for a rather more irreverent, cosmopolitan-and, significantly, a francophone-figure. Lacan adjusted Freud’s recipe for psychoanalysis so as to emphasize its muted hints of myth, poetry and irony. In doing so, he fashioned a distinctive model of the ‘scientific’ nature of the enterprise: ‘One might say that, although [the discours analytique] is not altogether a discourse of science, it is conditioned by it, in the sense that the discourse of science has no place for man’ (Lacan 1991:171).