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Title: Subjectivity in-between times : an exploration of the notion of time in Jacques Lacan's work
Author: Wang, Chenyang
ISNI:       0000 0004 7426 0518
Awarding Body: Birkbeck, University of London
Current Institution: Birkbeck (University of London)
Date of Award: 2018
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Although time has been seriously contemplated by various philosophies of the Western tradition, it remains an underdeveloped topic in Lacanian studies. This thesis attempts to provide a comprehensive elaboration of the notion of time in Jacques Lacan’s work and to develop an argument to show how it contributes to our understanding of subjectivity. By working through various presentations of time in Lacan’s writings, this thesis puts forward the idea of dual temporality and demonstrates how it supports Lacan’s overall theoretical position. Chapter one introduces the idea of dual temporality through a critical examination of Lacan’s “Logical Time” essay. It is shown that Lacan’s “perfect solution” to the prisoner’s dilemma is logically flawed. It constructs an imaginary temporal experience that covers the unresolved tension between two temporal registers, which I name Real time and Symbolic time respectively. The two independent temporal registers are further explored in the context of the Real body and the Symbolic order. Chapter Four discusses how the fundamental desynchrony between these two temporal registers initiates the process of subject-formation, which is symptomatic in its essence. Chapter five develops a new epistemology of sexed subjectivity built upon a fresh reading of the relationship between time and sexual difference. Whereas others have thought that time is an intrinsic human experience, the result of my work is to show that, on the contrary, time in Lacan’s work is characterised by otherness and alterity, experienced by the subject as foreign and alienating. It is argued that the very split nature of the Lacanian subject shall be understood through time that is split in itself.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available