The Real Jouissance of Uncountable Numbers by Raul Moncayo and Magdalena Romanowicz

Lacan critiqued imaginary intuition for confusing direct perception with unconscious pre-conceptions about people and the world.The emphasis on description goes hand in hand with a rejection of theory and the science of the unconscious and a belief in the naive self-transparency of the world. At the same time, knowing in and of the Real requires a place beyond thinking, multi-valued forms of logic, mathematical equations, and different conceptions of causality, acausality, and chance. This book explores some of the mathematical problems raised by Lacan’s use of numbers and the interconnection between mathematics and psychoanalytic ideas. Within any system, mathematical or otherwise, there are holes, or acausal cores and remainders of indecidability. It is this senseless point of non-knowledge that makes change, and the emergence of the new, possible within a system. This book differentiates between two types of void, and aligns them with the Lacanian concepts of a true and a false hole and the psychoanalytic theory of primary repression. Finally, through jouissance, the language of desire is re-joined to the formal marks of the object and the language of science. This explains the connection in Lacanian theory among logic, the Real, mathematics, and jouissance.

“In this highly original book, the authors demonstrate that Lacan’s intermittent recourse to mathematical formalisation was not a quirky flight of fancy designed to enhance the scientific legitimacy of psychoanalysis, but something integral to his detailed investigation of the objects of psychic reality. Moving effortlessly between concrete clinical observations and more abstract epistemological considerations, this book is nothing less than mind-blowing, and it constitutes both an innovative contribution to the theory of Lacanian psychoanalysis and a fascinating outlook on what psychoanalysis may add to contemporary debates in the philosophy of science.”Dany Nobus, Professor of Psychology and Psychoanalysis, and Pro-Vice-Chancellor at Brunel University London. Chair of the Freud Museum London.

“Moncayo and Romanowicz’s book makes an important contribution to the field of Lacanian studies. They not only provide clear and insightful expositions of Lacan’s use of mathematics and logic but also open up crucial questions about the interrelations between psychoanalysis and mathematics. In contrast to other studies written by non-clinicians, this book stays attuned to psychoanalytic practice, showing how mathematical structures and problems are central to clinical ones. It is a rich and thought-provoking study that will interest not only Lacanian analysts and scholars but anyone working in the area of psychoanalysis and epistemology.”Darian Leader, Psychoanalyst, Centre for Freudian Analysis and Research, London.