Each one of us has to be born "inter urinas et faeces", as St. Augustine so strikingly put it. More recently, Freud's 1915 discovery of 'instincts' - that is, 'drives' - and their 'viscitudes' leads us further to envision a human subjectivity that would have nothing mataphysical about it. The baby's "feeling of himself" first arises in the midst of the earliest interactions with his parental partner, establishing his 'drive monatges' whose acomplishment forms a circuit latching on to something in the first other.In the course of these early interactions, the 'new subject' evoked by Freud will gradually take on its own qualities, accoridng to the signifcations that it can grasp in the primordial partner's messages, responding to the baby's manifestation of needs. One of Lacan's key ideas is that 'signifiers' are percieved first of all in the Other. The Freudian subject may then be defined as 'an agent of corporeal energy caught up in a signifying relation with his parental other (already a subject)'. As a conseqeuence of the newborn's 'prematurity and subjection', the incomparable development of human subjectivity occurs through a sort of passion - the same passion that must be revisited in every psychoanalytic treatment. And what could be more 'passionately'engaging than the precariousness of this complex function? The preconditions for it appear most clearly when the psychoanalysis runs up against its own limits - for example, when dealing with grave problems of 'subjectivisation' in the adolescent.
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About the Author
Dr Bernard Penot, is a Psychiatrist (Paris, Salpetriere, 1972.), member of the Paris Psychoanalytical Society and training analyst in the Paris Psychoanalytical Institute, (1992); he was director of the Cerep-Montsouris day hospital for teenagers in Paris from 1988 to 2004; since 1996 he has worked to train psychoanalysts in Istanbul. He is the author of various books published in France and Brazil as well as of several papers in The International Journal of Psycho-Analysis.