Jean Laplanche

Jean Laplanche is the most original and philosophically informed psychoanalytic theorist of his day. Setting out from a critical reconstruction of Freudʼs terminology, he has developed a systematic rethinking of psychoanalytic metapsychology under the heading of a ʻgeneral theory of seductionʼ. Still best known in Britain for his early joint work with Pontalis – ʻFantasy and the Origins of Sexualityʼ (1964; trans., International Journal of PsychoAnalysis, 1968) and The Language of Psychoanalysis (1967; trans. 1973) – Laplancheʼs main work is the five-volume Problématiques (1980–1987), in relation to which New Foundations for Psychoanalysis (1987; trans. 1989) represents a condensed summary of general results. More recently, he has been concerned with the elaboration of a psychoanalytic theory of time and an account of the role of transference in cultural production. His essay ʻPsychoanalysis as Anti-Hermeneuticsʼ was published in Radical Philosophy 79 (Sept/Oct 1996). An English edition of volume IV of the Problématiques, The Unconscious and Id, was recently published by Rebus Press, London, 1999. His most recently translated volume, Essays on Otherness (1999), is reviewed in this issue of RP by David Macey.


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