In Écrits, Lacan proposes an “unthinkable list” of objects (a) that includes “the phoneme, the gaze, the voice – the nothing”. While the gaze and the voice have received extensive critical commentary, the phoneme and the nothing have gone practically unnoticed. I propose to theoretically construct the object (a) by means of an explication of Lacan’s enigmatic allusion to the phoneme and the nothing. I contend that the phoneme is the “ur-form” of the object (a), whose ontological status is nothing. As the ur-form of the object (a) (both structurally and genetically), the phoneme exemplifies the primary function of the structural causality of the Lacanian Real within the Symbolic Order, namely, the function of the bar resisting signification between signifier and signified. By developing the concept of the object (a) in relation to linguistics, psychoanalysis can reply to the persistent misunderstanding of Lacan’s position by deconstructive critics, such as Judith Butler.
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Field of Research
220318 Psychoanalytic Philosophy
Socio Economic Objective
970120 Expanding Knowledge in Language, Communication and Culture