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NLS Knottings Seminar - Paradoxes of an Analysis, of Civilisation on 25th March, 2023.

On Saturday 25th of March, 2023, the NLS Knottings Seminar takes place in person with guests Patricia Bosquin-Caroz, Vice President NLS, (ECF, WAP) and Els Van Compernolle, Kring voor Psychoanalyse (NLS, WAP).

Time: 9.30 am to 4 pm

Venue: Carmelite Community Centre

Paradoxes of an analysis, of civilisation

To follow Lacan is to posit that the structure of the unconscious has as its foundation an order of the discourse of the Other. Between the singular and the collective, we can say that the social bond is forged under the guise of ‘common’ ideals and identifications, garnered together under transference. What these ideals cloak, is an assumption of intersubjectivity and leaves no place for the unconscious - this represents a first paradox of psychoanalysis in relation to civilisation.

Between the singular and the collective then, transference is the motor force of an experience of psychoanalysis and also what fastens the collective. Initially conceived as operating on an intersubjectivity basis, (thereby providing a link between subjects), the concept of transference is radically changed by Lacan in 1967.1 What then might be the possibilities to found a collective bond, not on the basis of intersubjectivity nor an ideal, but a collective founded on transference to psychoanalysis? This is the question that drives Lacan when he founds the School2 and invents the device of the pass.3 One not without the Other. It is important to underline the collective procedure of the pass – with principles but without standardisation, 4 this device that links the School and what might constitute a possible end to an experience of psychoanalysis for each one.

We may ask, why was it necessary to found a School of psychoanalysis to examine the end of analysis? One answer returns under the form of the ideal. Lacan isolated the difficulties inherent to didactic psychoanalysis concerning the question of conferring the title ‘Psychoanalyst’ according to criteria based upon identifications, embedded in hierarchical structures. Instead, the question is opened for us from the ‘other side,’ asking what is it that functions as a psychoanalyst, for each one, and what might allow for a collective to hold together through transference to psychoanalysis and not to an ideal? And yet further, what may allow psychoanalysts to intervene in contemporary discourse?

Lacan’s revolution of the Freudian field radically disturbed the agreed upon knowledge concerning the unconscious and the conception of the direction of the treatment. Since Freud, the formation of the analyst emerges from the experience itself, an experience that for Lacan includes the passage from analysand to analyst. How might this be demonstrated in a singular experience that from its outset, refuses any a prioi outcome or guarantees? By what measure can such a passage – pass – be evaluated? This is the device that Lacan invented to attempt to do just that.5 A device that aims not at evaluation of capacity but rather at something of the being of the analyst.

The end of analysis, though it may lead to the formation of the analyst does not lead to the pass necessarily – neither does the pass guarantee that end of analysis. It is as Jacques–Alain Miller reminds us, following Lacan, a wager without guarantee.

Miller in his recent text6 evaluates this device that is the Pass. In the first chapter titled Introduction to Paradoxes of the Pass, he asserts why it is crucial to carry out this work of ‘appraisal’ not only of the pass but by implication, by so doing, the very heart/hole of the School and its relation to the Lacanian Orientation is exposed. This can be read via the place of the pass in the School. Miller says it explicitly here; “The pass in fact, modifies the notion of the analytic process. It only changes by a hair's breadth, Lacan says in his “Discours à l’École freudienne de paris”7 but it changes the demand of analysis which aims at formation.” 8

Joanne Conway & Caroline Heanue

Crucial questions therefore for all concerned with psychoanalysis as a praxis, a device of formation and its relation to the School via the pass.

This occasion of the Knottings Seminar seeks to interrogate such questions and paradoxes in the presence of Vice President of the NLS Patricia Bosquin-Caroz. The morning session will be dedicated to discussing the chapter Introduction to the Paradoxes of the Pass, of the recently published book Comment finissent les analyses - Paradoxes de la passe by Jacques-Alain Miller.

The afternoon session will focus on two clinical case presentations, and will speak to the theme of the annual NLS Congress Discontent and Anxiety in the Clinic and in Civilisation. The first case will be presented by guest Els van Compernolle, member of the NLS, WAP and also of the Kring voor Psychoanalyse (Dutch speaking Circle). The second case will be presented by ICLO-NLS member Cecilia Saviotti.

In the argument for the Congress, Daniel Roy proposes:

“it is through anxiety that, for a subject, his discontent in civilisation – his human, familial, work group etc. - can be read, by him, as a symptom in its singularity. And inversely the affect of discontent resonates in the body [on the basis of] what constitutes a symptom in civilisation, which is what is testified to […] when their anxiety, their anguish, has not been recognised.”9

1 Lacan. Jacques, “Proposition of 9 October 1967 on the Psychoanalyst of the School,”

2 Lacan. Jacques, “The Founding Act” 21 June 1964,

3 Ibid., “Proposition…”

4 Laurent. Éric, “The Pass and the Guarantee in the School. The Ends of Psychoanalysis and the Procedure of the Pass,”

5 Ibid., “Proposition….”

6 Miller. J.-A., Comment finissent les psychanalyses. Paradoxes de la passe, Navarin, 2022, pp.21-29. 7 Lacan. Jacques, “Discours à l’Ecole freudienne de paris,” Autres écrits, op.cit., p.276. 8 Miller. J.-A., op cit,, p. 22. 9 Available at

Title & Argument (1)
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