The Not-Two: Logic and God in Lacan (Short Circuits)

May 4, 2021
The Not-Two: Logic and God in Lacan (Short Circuits)

A philosophical examination of the treatment of logicand God in Lacan's later psychoanalytic theory.In The Not-Two, Lorenzo Chiesa examines the treatmentof logic and God in Lacan's later work. Chiesa draws for the mostpart from Lacan's Seminars of the early 1970s, as they revolvearound the axiom "There is no sexual relationship." Chiesa providesboth a close reading of Lacan's effort to formalize sexualdifference as incompleteness and an assessment of its broaderimplications for philosophical realism and materialism.Chiesa argues that "There is no sexual relationship" is forLacan empirically and historically circumscribed by psychoanalysis,yet self-evident in our everyday lives. Lacan believed that we havesex because we love, and that love is a desire to be One in face ofthe absence of the sexual relationship. Love presupposes a real"not-two." The not-two condenses the idea that our love and sexlives are dictated by the impossibility of fusing man'scontradictory being with the heteros of woman as afundamentally uncountable Other. Sexual liaisons are sustained by atranscendental logic, the so-called phallic function that attemptsto overcome this impossibility.Chiesa also focuses on Lacan's critical dialogue with modernscience and formal logic, as well as his dismantling of sexualityas considered by mainstream biological discourse. Developing a newlogic of sexuation based on incompleteness requires therelinquishing of any alleged logos of life and any teleologicalevolution.For Lacan, the truth of incompleteness as approachedpsychoanalytically through sexuality would allow us to go furtherin debunking traditional onto-theology and replace it with a"para-ontology" yet to be developed. Given the truth ofincompleteness, Chiesa asks, can we think such a truth in itselfwithout turning incompleteness into another truth about truth, thatis, into yet another figure of God as absolute being?