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Published on Nov 7, 2006
Although the arguements advanced by these scientists tends to supplement the neurological approach to subjectivity, it might do well to recall Lacan's views on neurology. During a talk he gave to M.I.T. in the 1970s, Lacan was asked a question by Noam Chomsky on thought. In his reply, Lacan stated that he had seen enough E.E.G. readings to know that there was not a single thought in the brain (Rudinesco, 1997). These comments, which scandalized Lacan's audience, may be interpreted as an allusion to the overwriting of the real by the symbolic. Science takes the real as its object of study without attending to the veiling of the object by its representation. E.E.G. readings, for example, are representations, and for Lacan the representation, as in speech, is all that exists. The meaning of that which it refers to is invariably constructed within a chain of signifiers from which it is possible to hypostatize a concept only when the principle of metaphoricity at work in its meaning is obfuscated. Such obfuscation is part of the 'paranoic refusal of recognition' (Lacan, 1953: p. 93), the stabilization of the barred subject, in which communication, in this case that of science, 'always subjectively includes its own reply' (ibid: p. 93).