Science and Truth: 1st December 1965 session of Seminar XIII: The Object of Psychoanalysis : Jacques Lacan

by Julia Evans on December 1, 1965

‘Science and Truth’ was the opening lecture of Seminar XIII: The Object of Psychoanalysis, 1965-1966 given on December 1st, 1965.

No translation is available of ‘Science & Truth’ by Cormac Gallagher.

Bruce Fink’s translation of ‘Science and Truth’

a)  published in ‘Newsletter of the Freudian Field 3 (1989) p4-29.

Available at  /lacan   


b) published, bilingual, at, available here

c)  This translation is now available in ‘Écrits: the first complete edition in English’, W.W. Norton & Company, 2006 : Information  Écrits : 1966 : Jacques Lacan or here

Introduction to ‘Science and Truth’: 1966: Jacques Lacan:

from ‘Écrits: the first complete edition in English’

This is the typescript of the opening class of the seminar I gave during the 1965-1966 school year at the École Normale Supérieure on ‘The Object of Psychoanalysis: Seminar XIII’, as a lecturer for the École Pratique des Hautes Etudes (Section 6).

The text of this class came out in the first issue of ‘Cahiers Pour l’Analyse’, published by the “Epistemology Circle” at the École Normale Supérieure, in January of 1966.

First published in French as :

a)  La science et la vérité: first issue of ‘Cahiers Pour l’Analyse’: published by the “Epistemology Circle”: École Normale Supérieure: January 1966

b)  La science et la vérité: Écrits: Jacques Lacan: Paris, du Seuil: 1966: p855-877

Notes :

Lacan and Topology by Bruno de Florence : 8th October 2011: Available here

Related Texts :

Seminar XIII: The Object of Psychoanalysis: 1965-1966 : from December 1st 1965: Jacques Lacan or here

Report from the Seminar ‘Object of Psychoanalysis’ (Seminar XIII) : July 1967 : Jacques Lacan  or here

Quotations from this text

– In ‘When Urgency comes from the Past’ by François Ansermet : available here : Circulated on New Lacanian School-messager, see here : as Subject: [nls-messager] 3054.en/ TIDBITS – François Ansermet – Towards the NLS Congress 2019 (!Urgent!) : on 1st April 2019

Reference 3 :   In any case, as Lacan says, “One is always responsible for one’s position as subject.” [3] [3] Lacan J., “Science and Truth”, in Écrits, W.W. Norton, New York/London, 2002, p. 729.

Quote from p7 of Bruce Fink’s translation, Newsletter of the Freudian Field, (3) 1989 : also available at : [This is an extract from a long argument]

You no doubt sense my haste here to dispense with the many precautions taken to remind psychoanalysts of their least debatable certainties.

I will nevertheless have to rehash them, even if it entails a certain heavy handedness.

To say that the subject upon which we operate in psychoanalysis can only be the subject of science may seem paradoxical.  It is nevertheless here that a demarcation must be made, failing which everything gets mixed up and a type of dishonesty sets in that is elsewhere called objective, but it is people’s lack of audacity and failure to locate the object that backfires. One is always responsible for one’s position as subject. Those who would like to may call that terrorism. I have the right to be amused, for it is not in a setting where doctrine is fair game for bargaining (Footnote 7) that I should fear obfuscating anyone by formulating that guileless errors are the most unforgivable of all.

[p8] The psychoanalyst’s position leaves no escape, excluding as it does the tenderness of the beautiful soul.  If it is still a paradox to even say so, it is perhaps once again the same paradox.

Whatever the case may be, I posit that every attempt, or even temptation, in which current theory persists in being a relapse, further incarnating the subject, amounts to errancy – ever fruitful in error, but as such faulty {fautive}(Footnote 8). The same is true when the subject is incarnated in man, himself nothing in such theories but a child.

Bruce Fink’s footnotes:

Footnote 7 : Lacan is no doubt referring here to the wheeling and dealing that took place within the Societé française de psychanalyse in 1963 – leading to Lacan’s marginalisation and “excommunication” – that proved to what extent analysts were prepared to compromise on theoretical issues to obtain IPA affiliation.

Footnote 8 : “fautive” can also mean “at fault” in the moral sense.


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Julia Evans

Practicing Lacanian Psychoanalyst, Sandwich, Kent & London


Further posts:

Lacanian Transmission here

Some Lacanian history here

Of the clinic here

Topology here

By Sigmund Freud here

Notes on texts by Sigmund Freud here

By Jacques Lacan here

Notes on texts by Jacques Lacan here

Translation Working Group here

Use of power here

 By Julia Evans here 

Écrits : 1966 : Jacques Lacan or here

Autres Écrits: 2001 : Jacques Lacan or here