The real cause is the non necessary cause: 8th December 2013: Marco Focchi

by Julia Evans on December 8, 2013

The real cause is the non necessary cause: 8th December 2013: Marco Focchi: An orientation text towards the IXth World Association of Psychoanalysis (WAP) Congress : 14th -18th April 2014 : Paris

Circulated 8th December 2013 : [nls-messager] 885.en/ What’s up! Issue 9 [English]  – In real time : the WAP congress : Paris – April 2014 : here

Available here

This text resonates for me as it maps onto the chapters on ‘Das Ding’ in Seminar VII and what Lacan is developing within the seminar. It also comments on assumptions used today – is it a certainty or a process? Please see Philip Stevens’ comments here : Financial Times : 15th December 2013 at 9.20pm : Osborne joins a futile quest for the holy grail of economics.


1) The Position of the Unconscious: 31st October 1960: Remarks made at the Bonneval Colloquium (October 30th to November 2nd 1960), Bonneval Hospital, rewritten in 1964: Jacques Lacan

Published in French at École Lacanienne de la Psychanalyse, Pas Tout Lacan:  and available: 1960-10-31, Position de l’inconscient au Congrès de Bonneval (15p) or here

Also in Ecrits: 1966

Published in English: Position of the Unconscious: 1964: Translated by Bruce Fink: in Richard Feldstein, Bruce Fink and Maire Jaanus (eds), ‘Reading Seminar XI: Lacan’s Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis’, 1995a, p259-282

2) JE suspects that the references to ‘later Lacan’ are to Seminar XXIII: The Sinthome: availability given here Seminar XXIII: The Sinthome or Joyce and the Sinthome: 1975-1976: beginning on November 18th 1975 : Jacques Lacan  Or here

3) Hume:  From  University of Edinburgh at

David Hume was born in Edinburgh in 1711, attended the University of Edinburgh from 1723, and died in Edinburgh in 1776, having meanwhile achieved worldwide fame as an historian and philosopher. Indeed he was the most influential thinker of the Scottish Enlightenment and is now recognised as one of the greatest philosophers of all time.

Hume’s philosophy is remarkable not only for its revolutionary insights, but also for its continuing vitality and ability to provoke and inspire others. In his own day, it prompted Thomas Reid to develop a rival theory of the human mind – thus giving birth to the Scottish “common sense” school – while his pioneering essays on economics, politics and society inspired his younger friends Adam Smith and Adam Ferguson. A generation later, Immanuel Kant was famously “woken from his dogmatic slumbers” by reading Hume, and responded with an idealist system that went on to dominate 19th century thought.

In the 20th century it was Hume again who inspired first Bertrand Russell’s influential reaction against Kantian idealism (leading to the development of modern analytical philosophy) and then the logical positivists of the Vienna Circle and associates such as A. J. Ayer and Karl Popper. Now in the 21st century Hume remains the most fertile and provocative of all the great thinkers, his theories regularly cited by contemporary philosophers, and his name appropriated for enduring fundamental ideas in epistemology, ethics, metaphysics, philosophy of action, language, religion, and even mathematics.

David Hume’s primary project was to develop a science of human nature, a science stripped of dogma and based on observable fact and careful argument. He thus paved the way for cognitive science, a vibrant interdisciplinary enterprise combining philosophy, psychology, neuroscience, and artificial intelligence. But Hume’s “science of man” extends well beyond the individual mind, into fundamental questions about morals, society, political and economic behaviour, and religious belief. In particular his moral theory, grounded on empathy and the emotions rather than theology or logic, continues to exert a profound influence.


Julia Evans

Practicing Lacanian Psychoanalyst, Earl’s Court, London


Other texts

By Marco Focchi here

Texts on ‘The Symbolic Order in the XXIst Century’ here

Ethics here

Definitions of humanness here  & here

On Lacanian History hereh

Use of power here

Lacanian Transmission : here

Topology : here

From LW working groups : here

By Sigmund Freud hereh

Notes on texts by Sigmund Freud : here

By Jacques Lacan here

Notes on texts by Jacques Lacan here

Orientation texts towards the IXth Congress of the WAP : A real for the XXIst century : Paris : 14-18 April 2014

Circulated from April 2012 until March 2013


Also published in Hurly-Burly  : Issue 11 : May 2014


Presentation of the Theme of the IXth Congress of the WAP
by Jacques-Alain Miller

I will not make you wait long to announce the theme of the next Congress. A new series of three themes has begun with ‘The Symbolic Order in the 21st Century’. It will be a series specifically dedicated to the ‘aggiornamento’, as one says in Italian, to the bringing up to date of our analytic…

See The real in the XXI st century: 27th April 2012: Jacques-Alain Miller  or here:  for further infromation and references


A Real for the 21st Century
by Guy Briole

We say of the real that it is enclosed in reality, which is itself only accessible to us in a sifted form – which is to say that we avoid bad encounters with it, we avoid bad encounters. Being able to avoid the real allows one to think that one knows where it is, that it is localised…


Amphibologies of the real
by Leonardo Gorostiza

What is the real? This question, which at a first approximation could be considered the necessary and indispensable point of departure for the investigation towards our next Congress of the WAP, is precisely the question that should not be formulated. Indeed, many years ago now, Jacques-Alain Miller…


On the real in a psychoanalysis
by Éric Laurent

Since his presentation in Athens of the NLS Congress to be held in Ghent in 2014, Jacques-Alain Miller’s presentations of Seminar VI have allowed him to develop on what the psychoanalytical practice becomes when it aims at getting past the function of the Other…

On the real in a psychoanalysis : 17th October 2013 : Éric Laurent or here for information and references


In psychoanalysis there is no knowledge in the real
by Miquel Bassols

This is the affirmation that Jacques-Alain Miller sustained in his presentation of the theme of the forthcoming IXth Congress of the WAP on ‘A Real for the 21st Century'[1] His elaboration allows us to re-read a paragraph from Lacan that appears paradoxical. It is to be found in the Italian Note of 1973…


The Clinic and the Real
by Graciela-Brodsky

In the address given by Lacan on the occasion of the creation of the Clinical Section in Paris[1] we find a definition of the real that is worth commenting on. At the time Lacan was giving his seminar L’une-bévue, a title that can be translated in Spanish…


Psychoanalysis of the Lacanian Orientation: An Offer for the 21st Century
by Sérgio Laia

A real for the 21st century – the title of the forthcoming congress of the WAP – can be heard as an offer: that psychoanalysis of the lacanian orientation would offer to our century a real. Why would we do it?…


The Desire of the Analyst
by Pierre Naveau

In the first chapter of Seminar XI Lacan asks; “What is the analyst’s desire? What does it have to be in order to operate?”[1] And in the last chapter of this same Seminar he puts forward – it’s well known – that “the analyst’s desire is not a pure desire » and that « it is a desire to obtain the absolute difference”…


Savoir y faire
by Mauricio Tarrab

What type of knowing and what type of doing are implied in Lacan’s formula: savoir y faire? It is not the know-how of the craftsman, of a trade, a know-how that could be transmitted from a master to a pupil as a ‘mastery’ of the matter that would be the material on which one works…


The real cause is the non necessary cause
by Marco Focchi

The notion of causality is depreciated in modern thinking. Bertrand Russell, in a paper that is the starting point for contemporary reflections on the problem, affirms that “The law of causality, […], like much that passes muster among philosophers…

See The real cause is the non necessary cause: 8th December 2013: Marco Focchi or here for information and references


A real that changes (us)
by Ana Vigano

The modification in the title for the next Congress involves a subtlety that has not passed unnoticed. Its coordinates provide a blow, a chisel, even a challenge that points in two directions that I wish to dwell on…


The Artist
by Francisco-Hugo Freda

To the question: “What do you paint?”, Picasso answered: “I paint the painting”. The dialogue continued and Picasso affirmed that he had painted one picture alone. At the end of the interview, in a slightly sad tone, he declared: “The painting always wins”…


Unhappy Jouissance
by Amanda Goya

In the absence of a natural law that regulates the relation between the sexes, it is quite by chance that each speaking being bumps into a bit of the real, the fruit of a singular shock between lalangue and the body. Sexual identifications, in the epoch of the father…


Making Material from the Real
by Dominique Holvoet

If Freudian psychoanalysis emerged from the vestiges of the decadent paternalism of the 19th century, Lacan forges a path toward another consistency proper to the 21st century with the category of the real that underlies both the meaning that was guaranteed…