Translated from the French by Dorothée Bonnigal-Katz.
A brief introduction to the work of Jean Laplanche
Article first published online: 15 APR 2013
Copyright © 2013 Institute of Psychoanalysis
The International Journal of Psychoanalysis
Volume 94, Issue 3, pages 545–566, June 2013
How to Cite
Scarfone, D. (2013), A brief introduction to the work of Jean Laplanche. The International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 94: 545–566. doi: 10.1111/1745-8315.12063
- Issue published online: 20 JUN 2013
- Article first published online: 15 APR 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 26 JAN 2013
- Jean Laplanche;
- theory of general seduction;
- reading of Freud;
- infantile sexual;
The author proposes an introduction to the work of Jean Laplanche, a well-known figure of psychoanalysis who recently passed away. He foregrounds what he views as the three main axes of Laplanche's work: firstly, a critical reading method applied to Freud's texts; secondly, a model of psychic functioning based on translation; and, thirdly, a theory of general seduction. Far from being an abstract superstructure, the theory of general seduction is firmly rooted in the analytic situation, as the provocation of transference by the analyst best illustrates. The analytic situation indeed consists in a revival and a reopening of the ‘fundamental anthropological situation’ which, according to Laplanche, is the lot of every human baby born in a world where he or she is necessarily exposed to the enigmatic and ‘compromised’ messages of the adult other. Thanks to the process of analytic de-translation, the analysand is therefore granted an opportunity to carry out new translations of the other's enigma – translations or symbolizations that might be more inclusive and less rigid than the pre-existing ones. Incidentally, such a model brings together the purely psychoanalytic and the psychotherapeutic aspects of the treatment.