Meeting of the Seminar VII Reading Group on Saturday 21st June 2014

by Julia Evans on May 31, 2014

Reading Jacques Lacan’s Seminar VII : The Ethics of Psychoanalysis

We start reading at Seminar VII : 25th May 1960: Ch XIX : p246 of the Dennis Porter translation, published by Routledge: starting ‘In any case, before I go on to define the beyond of the apparatus referred to as the central point of that gravitational pull, …’

Next meeting: Saturday 21st June 2014

Time: 10.30am to 12.30pm

LOCATION: Artists’ Room (NOTE : it’s up the back stairs)


25 Red Lion Square

London WC1R 4RL

Tube: Holborn

All are welcome to join in.  Just come along.

Contribution: £15/£10 concessionaries (Different contributions are available on request)


Updated posts from this group are available: “A. Reading Seminar VII: The Ethics of Psychoanalysis”’ category or here

REFERENCES: In 25th May 1960 session, Jacques Lacan starts to examine the play ‘Antigone’. The text is available to download from . There is a summary and line by line analysis at .

Lacan also refers to Aristotle’s ‘Poetics’. The text is available to download from . A commentary is available from the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, .

Please note: This Reading Group will finish in July 2014. A new series of seminars will open in the autumn.


Organised by

Julia Evans  –

Bruno de

You are invited to post your observations and comments to ‘the-letter’ Google group:

To access posts by this group, go to and look in the category  ‘Posts for the “A. Reading Seminar VII: The Ethics of Psychoanalysis”’ category or here

A number of the references commented on by Jacques Lacan are available at Seminar VII: The ethics of psychoanalysis: 1959-1960: Jacques Lacan or here

Posts for the “Lacan Jacques” category : Available here

Posts for the “Freud Sigmund” category : Available here

The meeting dates for 2013/14 are available: Reading Seminar VII Group – Schedule for 2013/2014 Or here


The 1992 translation by Dennis Porter will be used. Details of its availability are given Seminar VII: The ethics of psychoanalysis: 1959-1960: Jacques Lacan or here


The English translation of Jacques Lacan’s text will be read aloud during sessions. Group participants will be encouraged to contribute to the discussion of the ideas, the examination of the context and Lacan’s references. Invitations will be extended to them and others, with intersecting interests (such as linguistics, musicology, mathematics, Judaism, philosophy, topology, semiotics, Semitic languages, etc…) to join us in discussions. It is hoped that a body of notes will emerge.


What does psychoanalysis allow us to formulate concerning the origin of morality?

“Given all that is implied by the phrase, the ethics of psychoanalysis will allow me, far more than anything else, to test the categories that I believe enable me to give you through my teaching the most suitable instruments for understanding what is new both in Freud’s work and in the experience of psychoanalysis that derives from it.”

With these words Jacques Lacan begins his famous seminar on ethics, in which he discusses the problem of sublimation, the paradox of jouissance, the essence of tragedy (a reading of Sophocles’s Antigone), and the tragic dimension of analytical experience.

Delving into the psychoanalyst’s inevitable involvement with ethical questions and the ‘attraction of transgression’, Lacan clarifies many of his key concepts, as well as his criticisms of certain trends in psychoanalysis.


All meetings are from 10.30am until 12.30pm.

Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL

Tube: Holborn

21 June 2014               Artists’ Room CONWAY HALL

5 July 2014                 Artists’ Room CONWAY HALL

There will be no more meetings of this Reading Group. A new series will be announced in June.