Philadelphia Lacan Study Group

Wednesday, February 26, 2020


Lacan offers a controversial formula for analytic training: “The analyst’s authorization derives from her— or himself alone.” The self-authorization of the analyst does not mean that anyone can become an analyst but it entails a passage, a transformative crossing that causes a subjective change, a process linked to transference and not to bureaucracy. Self-authorization, placed in an area of ambiguity between author (the creator of a work) and authority (an agent of power), reveals a desire that does not fully depend on the Other. In 1974, Lacan reformulates this idea when he specifies that analysts authorize themselves with “some others”. He thus extends the idea of the analyst’s self-authorization by stating that one’s authorization as a sexed being comes from oneself. Why is the radical principle of self-authorization underpinning the training of psychoanalysts applied to matters of sexual identity? Is Lacan putting forward a new ethics of sexual difference? What are the implications for the transmission of psychoanalysis?

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

Where? Kelly Writers House, ROOM # 203 Second Floor
38th and Locust Streets, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.

Wednesday February 26, March 25, and April 29, 2020 7:00 to 8:30 pm