A Theoretical Introduction to the Functions of Psychoanalysis in Criminology (Paris?) : 29th May 1950 : Jacques Lacan with Michel Cénac

by Julia Evans on May 25, 1950

Presented at the Thirteenth Conference of Franco-phone Psychoanalysts (29th May 1950) in collaboration with Michel Cénac.

English translation published in Journal for the psychoanalysis of culture & society, 1996, Vol 1, Issue 2, p13-25

Translated by Mark Bracher, Russell Grigg, Robert Samuels – probably from the 1951, Revue Française de Psychanalyse

Available at www.LacanianWorksExchange.net /Lacan. 

& in the Écrits : 1966 : Jacques Lacan : See here

Published in French:

Introduction théorique aux fonctions de la psychanalyse en criminologie : 29th May 1950 : Jacques Lacan avec M. Cénac

publiée dans la Revue Française de Psychanalyse, janvier-mars 1951 tome XV, n° 1 pages 7 à 29.

& in Écrits : 1966 : Jacques Lacan : Published du Seuil : See Écrits : 1966 : Jacques Lacan or here  

Published by www.psychanalyse.com & available here

Or at www.LacanianWorksExchange.net /lacan

Additional material from this conference published 

Prémisses à tout développement possible de la criminologie : 29th May 1950 : Jacques Lacan :

Intervention du 29 mai 1950 lors de la discussion des rapports théorique et clinique à la 13ème conférence des psychanalystes de langue française, paru dans la Revue Française de Psychanalyse, janvier-mars 1951, tome XV, n° 1, pp. 84-88

Published as

– p121 of Autres Écrits: 2001 : Jacques Lacan : See here

– in Revue française de psychanalyse, janvier-mars 1951, tome XV, n° 1, pp. 84-88

This appears not to have been translated to English : In French:

Published at aejcpp.free.fr here

or at www.LacanianWorksExchange.net /lacan

Or see Summary of responses provided during the discussion of the report “Theoretical introduction to the functions of psychoanalysis in criminology” : 29th May 1950 : Jacques Lacan  or  here 

Jacques Lacan’s references

P17 of Mark Bracher, Russell Grigg, Robert Samuels’ translation :  ‘Also, what requires explication is less the passing into action of the unlawful act in a subject enclosed in what Daniel Lagache quite correctly characterized as imaginary behaviour, …’ : See Some aspects of transference : 4th April 1951 (London?) : Daniel Lagache  or  here  

P18 of Mark Bracher, Russell Grigg, Robert Samuels’ translation : Healy’s The Individual Offender[i] constitutes an important step in the return to principles by stating that such study must first of all be monographs.  Footnote xiii  :  Healy’s The Individual Offender A Text-Book of Diagnosis and Prognosis for all Concerned in Understanding Offenders by William Healy, A.B., M.D. 1915. Available https://www.questia.com/library/5768132/the-individual-delinquent-a-text-book-of-diagnosis

P18 of Mark Bracher, Russell Grigg, Robert Samuels’ translation : The results obtained with “major” criminals by Melitta Schmideberg, while their publication runs into the obstacle that is encountered by all our treatments, would deserve to be followed in their catamnesis  Footnote xvi  : See Psychological Factors Underlying Criminal Behaviour : 1947 : Melitta Schmideberg or here

P18 of of Mark Bracher, Russell Grigg, Robert Samuels’ translation : How can we not prove it completely when penology is so poorly justified that the popular conscience repels at applying it even in the real crimes, as is seen in the celebrated case in America that Grotjahn reports in his article in Searchlights on delinquency : See The Primal Crime and the Unconscious : 1949 : Martin Grotjahn or here

P18-19 of Mark Bracher, Russell Grigg, Robert Samuels’ translation : Melanie Klein affirms the categories of Good and of evil at the preverbal stage of behaviour, posing the problem of the retroactive implication of meaning at a stage prior to the appearance of language. We know how her method – playing in spite of all objection with the tensions of the Oedipal complex in an extremely early interpretation of the intentions of a small child – cut this knot by action, and not without provoking passionate debates about her theories. Footnote xix : See Texts by and notes on Melanie Klein https://lacanianworks.net/?cat=382. Probably the case of ‘Little Richard’ given in Early Stages of the Œdipus conflict : 3rd September 1927 Innsbruck [1928] : Melanie Klein See here

p21 of of Mark Bracher, Russell Grigg, Robert Samuels’ translation : And each of the periods of so-called drive latency (the corresponding series of which is completed by the one that Fritz Wittels discovered for the adolescent ego) is characterized by the domination of a typical structure of the objects of desire. : See  The Ego of the Adolescent : 1949 : Fritz Wittels or here

p22 of Mark Bracher, Russell Grigg, Robert Samuels’ translation : ‘as in a case recently published by Mademoiselle Boutonier, shows us the means of an awakening of the criminal to consciousness of that which condemns him.’ : Juliette Favez-Boutonier (1903-1994) : This particular case has not been identified, though was probably given to the SPP. A further case is mentioned in Seminar II : 9th February 1955 : p119 of Sylvana Tomacelli’s translation : See https://lacanianworks.net/?p=1141, After the split, she would be associated with the other side through her marriage in 1952 to Georges Favez : See https://www.encyclopedia.com/psychology/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/favez-boutonier-juliette-1903-1994 for detail. : She studied philosophy at the Sorbonne, for a while with Léon Brunschvicg. In 1926 she was one of the first women ever to take the state doctoral exam in philosophy. She was only twenty-three at the time.  In 1930 she wrote to Sigmund Freud, who responded personally on April 11 that “philosophical problems and their formulation were so foreign to him that he didn’t know what to say.” In 1938 she wrote her doctoral dissertation on ambivalence (La notion d’ambivalence); the text was reprinted in 1972. In 1935 she obtained a job in Paris teaching philosophy and it is here that she met Daniel Lagache and began analysis with René Laforgue, with whom she remained friends for many years. During the Occupation, Laforgue entrusted Favez-Boutonier with the Freud letters he had preserved. At this time she met with members of the Société Psychanalytique de Paris (SPP, Paris Psychoanalytic Society) who had remained in Paris. John Leuba wrote to Ernest Jones on December 31, 1944, the day after the Liberation, that new analysts were now beginning to appear, including “Mlle Boutonier, a gifted physician and philosopher with a sound technique; she was monitored by me and I can confirm that she will be one of the first recruits. Her thesis, Anxiety, was published in 1945 by Presses Universitaires de France and, in 1947, was awarded the Prix Paul Pelliot “Junior.” The “Senior” prize went to Henri Wallon.

While working for the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) she presented several papers to the SPP and was elected a member in 1946. Having trained in clinical psychopathology at the Sainte-Anne Hospital with Georges Heuyer, she was put in charge of the Centre Psychopédagogique Claude-Bernard, which had been created by Georges Mauco. She was soon replaced by André Berge, for that same year she was appointed professor in the humanities department at the University of Strasbourg.

Close to the circle of analysts around René Laforgue, she participated in meetings and contributed to Psyché, the review founded by Marie Choisy in 1946. She argued in favour of “assistant psychologists,” participated in the Section des Psychanalystes d’Enfants, and tried to promote the creation of psychoanalytic groups throughout the country, especially in Strasbourg. This led to a conflict with those who were setting up the future Institut de Psychanalyse de Paris (Paris Institute for Psychoanalysis). In 1952 she married Georges Favez, one of the future presidents of the Association Psychanalytique de France (French Psychoanalytic Association).

p24 : quote, Balthazar Gracian, in a chapter of his Criticon,  : 

Lacan also quotes Gracian in – Television: 31st January 1974 : Jacques Lacan : See here  : p16 of  Translated by Denis Hollier, Rosalind Krauss, and Annette Michelson’s translation : p19-20 of October v 40 :

So let’s turn to the psychoanalyst and not beat about the bush. Though what I am going to say is to be found under that bush as well.

Because there is no better way of placing him objectively than in relation to what was in the past called : being a saint.

During his life a saint doesn’t command the respect that a halo gets for him.

No one notices him as he follows Balthasar Gracian’s Way of Life – that of renouncing personal brilliance – something that explains why Amelot de la Houssaye thought he was writing about the courtier.

A saint’s business, to put it clearly, is not caritas. Rather, he acts as trash [déchet] ; his business being trashitas[il décharite]. So as to embody what the structure entails, namely allowing the subject, the subject of the unconscious, to take him as the cause of the subject’s own desire. : See https://lacanianworks.net/?p=12288 for full quote.


– Seminar XVIII : 20th   January 1971 : Seminar XVIII:On a discourse that might not be a semblance:1971: from 13th January 1971: Jacques Lacan : See here  

pII 16-17 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation : Someone, for example, that someone. must take responsibility for one day, is Baltazar Gracian, who was an eminent Jesuit, who wrote some of the most intelligent things that could be written. They are absolutely prodigiously intelligent in {?} everything that is involved, namely, to establish what one could call the sanctity of man, he resumes in one word, resumes it in what? His book on the Courtier, in a word, two points: to be a saint. It is the only point of western civilisation where the word saint has the same sense as in Chinese, Tchen-Tchen. Note this point, because, this reference, because same it is late, today, I am not going to introduce it today, I will give you this year some little references to the origins of Chinese thinking. See https://lacanianworks.net/?p=12322 for full quote.

El Criticón is a Spanish novel by Baltasar Gracián. It was published in three parts in the years 1651, 1653 and 1657. It is considered his greatest work and one of the most influential works in Spanish literature, along with Don Quixote and La Celestina. El Criticón collects and expands his previous works. The work takes the form of an allegory covering the life of Andrenio, representing two facets of his life: his impulsiveness and lack of experience. It outlines the philosophical vision of Gracián’s world in the form of an epic tale. Gracián produced a work of romance meant to summarize his thoughts and expanding his skills as a writer at the same time. The novel was written during his later years and contains his ultimate vision of the world


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Julia Evans

Practicing Lacanian Psychoanalyst, Sandwich in Kent & London


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