Slavoj Zizek: Lacan’s Four Discourses | 2 Full Lectures

#1 Lecture on Lacan’s Four Discourses

Four discourses is a concept developed by French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan. He argued that there were four fundamental types of discourse. He defined four discourses, which he called Master, University, Hysteric and Analyst, and suggested that these relate dynamically to one another.
  • Discourse of the Master – Struggle for mastery / domination / penetration. Based on Hegel's Master-slave dialectic
  • Discourse of the University – Provision and worship of "objective" knowledge — usually in the unacknowledged service of some external master discourse.
  • Discourse of the Hysteric – Symptoms embodying and revealing resistance to the prevailing master discourse.
  • Discourse of the Analyst – Deliberate subversion of the prevailing master discourse.

#2 Lecture on Lacan’s Four Discourses

Lacan's theory of the four discourses was initially developed in 1969, perhaps in response to the events of social unrest during May 1968 in France, but also through his discovery of what he believed were deficiencies in the orthodox reading of the Oedipus Complex. The Four Discourses theory is presented in his seminar L'envers de la psychanalyse and in Radiophonie, where he starts using "discourse" as a social bond founded in intersubjectivity. He uses the term discourse to stress the transindividual nature of language: speech always implies another subject.

See also:

Reading Žižek – Where to Start?

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