Choang-tsu’s butterfly: objects and the subjective function of fantasy.

Neill, Calum (2006) Choang-tsu’s butterfly: objects and the subjective function of fantasy. Gramma, 14. 61 - 70. ISSN 1106 1170

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In the sixth chapter of the Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis, Lacan refers to the taoist Choang-tsu's well known parable of the dream butterfly. Choang-tsu poses the question of how, after waking from a dream of being a butterfly, he can tell whether he is Choang-tsu who has woken from the dream of being a butterfly or whether he is the butterfly now dreaming he is Choang-tsu. This article argues that Lacan's treatment of the parable allows us to discern two instances of fantasy; the fantasy of being the butterfly and the fantasy of being Choang-tsu. These two instances help to demonstrate the centrality of the process of identification to the function of fantasy and allow us to grasp an ethical dimension entailed in one's subjective relation to the object(s) of fantasy.

Item Type: Article
Print ISSN: 1106 1170
Uncontrolled Keywords: Psychoanalysis; Lacan; Choang-tsu; Dream butterfly; Fantasy; Process of identity;
University Divisions/Research Centres: Faculty of Health, Life & Social Sciences > School of Health and Social Sciences
Dewey Decimal Subjects: 100 Philosophy & psychology > 170 Ethics > 170 Ethics
100 Philosophy & psychology > 150 Psychology > 150 Psychology
Library of Congress Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics
Item ID: 2244
Depositing User: RAE Import
Date Deposited: 08 Apr 2008 10:12
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2011 04:48

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