The Lack(anians). Use and Misuse of a Concept between Psychoanalysis and Science


  • Pietro Bianchi


The concept of lack in Lacan can be understood as a clinical concept and as being one of the fundamental conditions of the parlêtre and one of the privileged ways in order to conceptualize subjectivity as a desiring manque à être. As we can see from the debate that occurred during the years of the Cahiers pour l’analyse, though, lack can also acquire a more formalized meaning: in Jacques-Alain Miller’s seminal article La suture: éléments pour une logique du signifiant published in 1966, it becomes a building block in order to address “the relation of the subject to the chain of its discourse.” Miller believes that lack serves the purpose of conceptually grounding the act of cancellation that the discourse of science operates on the subject of the unconscious; an argument that will be echoed in Lacan’s text La Science et la vérité of the same year. The consequences of such an understanding of lack has been extremely burdensome in the way Lacanian psychoanalysis has addressed its relationship with science for many years up to the present. In this intervention, we discuss the importance of such a concept for psychoanalysis and why it is a symptomatic point through which the relationship between psychoanalysis and science is articulated.


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How to Cite

Bianchi, P. (2013). The Lack(anians). Use and Misuse of a Concept between Psychoanalysis and Science. Filozofski Vestnik, 34(2). Retrieved from



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