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Scilicet

SCILICET

The first issue of the review Scilicet, under the direction of Jacques Lacan, appeared in May, 1968 from Seuil, the same publisher that two years earlier had brought out his Ecrits. Just seven issues would appear in all, counting two double numbers (2/3 and 6/7), over the next eight years.

The Latin adverbial Scilicet (scire licet) means "it goes without saying"; Lacan translated it, as he stated in the first issue of the review, as: "You are permitted to know."

Beginning with the observation that he had "failed in a teaching project over the course of a dozen years which addressed only analysts," Lacan added that during four years of teaching at the Ecole Normale Supérieure he had taken an interest in notions of formal mathematics. He wrote, "This review is one of the ways by which I expect success in my school, which operates differently from the so-called Societies, over resistance I encountered elsewhere"

Thus, Scilicet was not addressed to analysts but to novices. That was why, punning on the English word bachelor, he stated, "I've decided to call you bachelier, to remind you of your place in this empire of pedantry, now so prevalent that actually entering this world will guarantee you nothing except a cultural sewer." This comment may be viewed as a harbinger of the revolutionary period of May, 1968.

Texts published in Scilicet were to be unsigned, "at least by anybody who would publish as a psychoanalyst." The no-signature rule appeared to Lacan as "a radical solution . . . the right one to disentangle the contortions by which in psychoanalysis experience is forced to reject anything that might change it."

The decision to publish Scilicet was announced in the "Proposition of October 9, 1967. . ." that introduced the idea of the passe, a test that Lacan designed to evaluate students as they advanced from being analysands to becoming analysts. He also made reference to "Nicolas Bourbaki," the pen name that an influential group of French mathematicians lent to their collective work beginning in the 1930s. "Let us be clear," Lacan added: "Scilicet excludes no one, but that whoever does not appear in it will not be recognized as one of my students."

Although Lacan listed the names of analysts who wrote for the journal in the next issue (2/3), anonymity for individual articles was maintained. Lacan published a number of interventions in Scilicet ; these would later be republished in Autres Ecrits (2001). Around the same time, another review, L 'Ordinaire du psychanalyste, also appeared, also with anonymous contributions, under the direction of Francis Hofstein and Radmila Zygouris. Although inspired by Lacan, these analysts had no allegiance to him and their review was a forum in which they could freely discuss clinical matters, providing a counterweight to Scilicet that proved a great critical success.

After Scilicet ceased publication in 1976 due to Lacan's loss of interest, it was followed by the first issue of Ornicar? in which Lacan published "Peut-êtreà Vincennes. . . ." Here he reaffirmed his aspirations for the department of psychoanalysis at the University of Vincennes and reiterated his confidence in Jacques-Alain Miller: "Hopefully, the curriculum at Vincennes will include teachings that Freud considered fundamental, enabling the analyst to confirm the findings of his personal analysis, to understand not so much the ends it served as the knowledge of which it made use." By this time, Lacan seemed to be counting on the school to advance the foundations he laid down. He had furthered efforts to bring to bear mathematically-inspired formulas on psychoanalysis, with a lecture by Jean-Toussaint Desanti, "Reflections on the Concept of Mathesis," which he introduced at a conference at Sainte Anne on "Psychoanalytic Knowledge," on December 2, 1971.

Jacques SÉdat

See also: École freudienne de Paris (Freudian School of Paris); Ornicar? .

Bibliography

Lacan, Jacques. (2001). Autres ecrits. Paris: Seuil.

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scilicet

scil·i·cet / ˈsiləˌset/ • adv. that is to say; namely (introducing a word to be supplied or an explanation of an ambiguity).

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scilicet

scilicet, abbrev. scil., sc. that is to say, to wit. XIV. — L., contr. of scīre licet ‘it is permitted to know’.

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scilicet

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