MIT Lecture on Topology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology : 2nd December 1975 : Jacques Lacan

by Julia Evans on December 2, 1975

This Text is part of the Conferences and Conversations in North American Universities.

Title:  Massachusetts Institute of Technology, December 2, 1975

Published by University of Missouri, M. I. T.: here

Translated by Jack W. Stone

Available here

NOW available at  /lacan         

An edited version is now available p31 to 38 of The Lacanian Review , Issue 05 : July 2018 : Translated by Jack W Stone & Russell Grigg : Retitled, ‘MIT lecture on Topology’

Published in French:

Title: 1975-12-02, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Scilicet n° 6/7, 1975, p53-63

Now published electronically at ‘pas tout Lacan’ here

Available here

OR in French & English

Translations by {i} Jack W. Stone {ii} Jack W. Stone with Russell Grigg

Published at  /Lacan (41. Lacan: Seminar at MIT: December 02, 1975)


Translation by Jack W. Stone with Russell Grigg of Scilicet 6/7 (1976) p53-63, The Lacanian Review 5 (2018) p31-38, republished as ‘MIT Lecture on Topology, 2 December 1975 – Jacques Lacan, in The Lacanian Review No 12, June 2022, p87-95.

Introduction by Duane Rousselle :

Psychoanalysis, neither science nor philosophical wisdom; a practice oriented by structure, the Borromean knot. The body in psychoanalysis is approached as that which is most imaginary, a sack of skin, a net with holes, a surface onto which man projects everything.

“… with holes. Shock, in return.”

Lacan said: “a real that is entirely real, well…” Lacan said: “[t]here is a hole. Because there is a knot, and some real that remains, deep down.” Lacan circles back to the letter, the signifier, which is not a phoneme: “only letters make holes.”

So: is the aim of analysis to undo the knot, and to approach the real that remains there, deep down?

Lacan’s answer: “No, that holds fast.”

Duane Rousselle, The Lacanian Review No 12, June 2022, p86


Opening : Linguistics is that by which psychoanalysis could hook on to science. But psychoanalysis is not a science; it is a practice.

Topology p5

Questions to Roman Jacobsen p11

Lacan on the blackboard p12

Question of Mr Quine, The aim (but) of analysis is to un-make the knot? p13 : ‘One could advance that if Freud demonstrates something, it is that sexuality makes a hole, but the human being hasn’t the least idea what this is. A woman presents herself for the man by a symptom; a woman is a symptom for the man. ‘

The Soul p13 : For quote see The Unconscious Testifies to a Real of Its Own : 15th January 2019 : Yves Vanderveken or here

Do the knots have three dimensions? P14

Question of Mr. Quine: solid models give us an idea of the third dimension. It is only vision that misses it. P14

Impromptu on Analytic Discourse p15

a          $

S2        S1


Note : If links to any required text do not work, check If a particular text or book remains absent, contact Julia Evans.


Julia Evans

Practicing Lacanian Psychoanalyst


Further texts

Yale University: 24th November 1975: Conversation with Students: Jacques Lacan  or here

Yale University: 24th November 1975: ‘Kanzer Seminar’: Jacques Lacan or here

Yale University: 25th November 1975: Law School Auditorium: Jacques Lacan or here

Columbia University Auditorium, School of International Affairs: 1st December 1975: Jacques Lacan or here

Massachusetts Institute of Technology : 2nd  December 1975: Jacques Lacan or here

Click on categories in the right hand margin, then scroll down.

‘The Symbolic in the 21st century’


Definitions of humanness

By Sigmund Freud

Notes on texts by Sigmund Freud

By Jacques Lacan

Notes on texts by Jacques Lacan

Use of power

Of the clinic

Ordinary Psychosis

On autism

Lacanian Transmission

Some Lacanian History


From LW working groups

By Julia Evans