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Keywords:

  • Psychoanalysis;
  • identification;
  • inter-objectivity;
  • inter-subjectivity;
  • trans-subjective

Abstract

Revisiting Lacan's discussion of the puzzle of the prisoner's dilemma provides a means of elaborating a theory of the trans-subjective. An illustration of this dilemma provides the basis for two important arguments. Firstly, that we need to grasp a logical succession of modes of subjectivity: from subjectivity to inter-subjectivity, and from inter-subjectivity to a form of trans-subjective social logic. The trans-subjective, thus conceptualized, enables forms of social objectivity that transcend the level of (inter)subjectivity, and which play a crucial role in consolidating given societal groupings. The paper advances, secondly, that various declarative and symbolic activities are important non-psychological bases—trans-subjective foundations—for psychological identifications of an inter-subjective sort. These assertions link interesting to recent developments in the contemporary social psychology of interobjectivity, which likewise emphasize a type of objectivity that plays an indispensible part in co-ordinating human relations and understanding.