Philadelphia Lacan Study Group

Thursday, February 23, 2012 (7:00 to 8:30 pm)



Seminar XXII of Jacques Lacan, 1974-1975

After 1972, Lacan turned his attention to the topology of knots. This seminar is a turning-point because it systematically introduces the Borromean knot. This knot links the three registers of the Symbolic, the Real, and the Imaginary in such a manner that if one ring is cut, the other two are free. Such a knot can change shape but it always retains its properties. This seminar explains that mental and bodily life function topologically, that is according to a logic of jouissance, a libidinized meaning that materializes language. Desire, fantasy and partial drives are shown to be functions of it. Lacan’s theory of knots is not a metaphor, but an accurate way of understanding the subject, and for instance, the topology of knots has direct consequences on the clinic. This is also the seminar in which Lacan announces that Marx and not Freud invented the symptom. The far-reaching clinical and political consequences of this statement will be explored in our discussions.

Meetings are open to everyone interested. The reading seminars are an open forum for the discussion of psychoanalysis. Curated by Patricia Gherovici. Seminars are free and open to all. Questions? Email

Kelly Writers House, Room 202, 38th and Locust Streets, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.

This seminar will prepare for the Clinical Study Weekend, THE ART OF MADNESS that will be held at Fordham University in New York City, April 27-29, 2012, and the study weekend LACAN’S SEMINAR 22, 23-24 June 2012, in Dublin, Ireland, for information see