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Athens in ParisAncient Greece and the Political in Post-War French Thought$
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Miriam Leonard

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199277254

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199277254.001.0001

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Socrates and the Analytic City

Socrates and the Analytic City

(p.157) 3 Socrates and the Analytic City
Athens in Paris

Miriam Leonard (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The chapter starts by analysing Lacan's and Irigaray's readings of Plato's Symposium. Lacan's identification with the figure of Socrates is built around a eulogy of Socratic atopia — Socrates' self-imposed alienation from the city. The Lacanian Socrates evades the city to launch his quest for self-knowledge. Through his formulation of the divided self outside the city, Lacan raises fundamental questions about the relationship between psychoanalysis and democracy, structuralism and political commitment. In his seminal encounter with Socrates in ‘Plato's Pharmacy’, Derrida constructs a vision of an open democracy where the Greeks would come to recognize, accommodate, and embrace their others. Derrida's exemplary (democratic) Greeks thus perform their project of self-analysis at the very heart of their city. Derrida's return to the Greeks is constructed around an interrogation of the insiders and outsiders of democracy.

Keywords:   Derrida, psychoanalysis, citizen, divided-self, democracy, structuralism

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