Mystery and Separation (18 FEB 2007)

Butler has recently made much of the opacity of the self to self. But just as importantly, there is a mystery of the other. One fundamental principle of psychoanalysis is precisely that we cannot understand the other. We may seek to understand by analogy, semiotically, etc, but we are never “in agreement” with the other. We must, so to speak, “let the other be”, even if psychoanalysis is an interaction—the analyst enters into the other and, as physicists know, any measurement results in a change in the measured object. But there is a forbidden, untouchable place. I can never coincide with the other.

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