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It is curious enough that neither Freud, nor any of his epigones, ever attempted to remember what is nevertheless within the grasp of everybody concerning the act - let us say, human act, if you like, since to our knowledge there is no other act but the human one. Why is an act not mere behaviour? Let us concentrate, for example, on an act that is unambiguous, the act of cutting open one’s belly in certain conditions - incidentally, it’s not called hara-kiri, but seppuku. Why do people do that? Because they think it annoys others, because, in the structure, it is an act that is done in honour of something. But wait. Let us not be precipitate until we know, and let us take note of this, that an act, a true act, always has an element of structure, by the fact of concerning a real that is not self-evidently caught up in it. (50)


Lacan, Jacques. The Seminar of Jacques Lacan Book XI: The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis .  Trans. Alan Sheridan.  Ed. Jacques-Alain Miller.  W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. 1998.

See Also

Lexicon Entries

Situated Freedom
This Permanent Dissonance
A Fundamental Quality of an Act 

Works and Days






Tags: Jacques Lacan

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