Jean Laplanche (born June 21 1924) is a French author, theorist and psychoanalyst. Laplanche is best known for his work on psychosexual development and Sigmund Freud's seduction theory, and has written more than a dozen books on psychoanalytic theory. The journal Radical Philosophy described him as "the most original and philosophically informed psychoanalytic theorist of his day".[1] Laplanche also ran Chateau de Pommard, a French winery, for many years, and, as of 2005, lives on the estate with his wife, Nadine Laplanche.

Early life[edit | edit source]

Laplanche grew up in the Côte d'Or region. In his adolescence he was active with Catholic Action, a left-wing social justice organization.[2] Laplanche attended the École Normale Supérieure in the 1940s, studying philosophy. He was a student of Jean Hyppolite, Gaston Bachelard and Maurice Merleau-Ponty. In 1943, during the Vichy regime, Laplanche joined the French Resistance, and was active in Paris and Bourgogne. In 1946-47, he visited Harvard University for a year. Instead of joining that university's philosophy department, he instead studied at the Department of Social Relations, and became interested in psychoanalytic theory. Upon returning to France, Laplanche began attending lectures and undergoing psychoanalytic treatment under Jacques Lacan. Laplanche, advised by Lacan, began studying medicine, and eventually earned his doctorate and became an analyst himself, joining the International Psychoanalytical Association, of which he remains a member.

Laplanche continued his political activity. In 1948, Laplanche was one of the founding members of the Trotskyist organization Socialisme ou Barbarie (Socialism or barbarism), but notes that the group's "atmosphere soon became impossible", due to the influence of Cornelius Castoriadis, who "exerted hegemony over the journal". Nevertheless, Laplanche remained "in favour of the thesis of Socialisme ou Barbarie" until 1968.[1]

Professorship and authorship[edit | edit source]

Laplanche published his first book in 1961. The following year, he was invited to a position at the Sorbonne by Daniel Lagache. Since then, Laplanche has maintained a regular publication schedule. Together with colleague Jean-Bertrand Pontalis, Laplanche published The Language of Psycho-Analysis in 1967, which has become a standard encyclopedic reference on psychoanalysis.[3] Its thirteenth French edition was published in 1997, and it has been translated into English. In 1969 Laplanche was made president of the Association Psychoanalytique de France, and held the position until 1971. He was succeeded by Pontalis. Laplanche's collected essays on psychoanalytic theory have been published in his five volume Problématiques series, and many of Laplanche's other works have been translated into English and Spanish.

Of his work on Freud's seduction theory, he says,

[M]y job has been to show why Freud missed some very important points in this theory. But before saying that we must revise the theory, we must know it. And I think that ignorance concerning the seduction theory causes people to go back to something pre-analytic. By discussing the seduction theory we are doing justice to Freud, perhaps doing Freud better justice than he did himself. He forgot the importance of his theory, and its very meaning, which was not just the importance of external events.[4]

One key distinction between Laplanche's approach to psychoanalysis and most of those in the English-speaking world—Object relations theory, Ego psychology and Kleinian thought—is Laplanche's insistence on a distinction between drive (Trieb) and instinct (Instinkt). In contrast to the English-speaking schools, Laplanche—in some ways following Lacan—removes a biologically reductive basis from human sexuality.[1]

Laplanche has been granted the Honoris Causa professorship at the University of Lausanne (1986), the Mary S. Sigourney Award (1995), and was made a Knight of Arts and Letters in 1990.[2] Laplanche also served as the president of the Association Psychoanalytique de France. He has now retired from teaching.

Winemaking[edit | edit source]

Chateau de Pommard is a fifty-acre winery in Burgundy, and has the longest continuous vineyard in the Côte d'Or region. The Laplanches have lived on the estate and made wine for a number of years. In 2003, the couple sold the estate to new owners. The deal included an agreement that the Laplanches would remain on the estate and continue to participate in the winemaking process.[5] Their wine has been advertised as "the only wine in the world grown and bottled by an old disciple of Lacan's".[6]

Laplanche and his wife are interviewed, about both wine and psychoanalysis, in Agnès Varda's documentary The Gleaners and I.[7]

Bibliography[edit | edit source]

  • Hölderlin et la question du père, Paris, PUF, 1961.
  • Vocabulaire de la psychanalyse (The Language of Psycho-Analysis), Paris, PUF, 1967.
  • Vie et mort en psychanalyse (Life and Death in Psychoanalysis), Paris, Flammarion, 1970.
  • Problématiques I : L'angoisse, Paris, PUF, 1980.
  • Problématiques II : Castration-Symbolisations, Paris, PUF, 1980.
  • Problématiques III : La Sublimation, Paris, PUF, 1980.
  • Problématiques IV : L'inconscient et le ça, Paris, PUF, 1981.
  • La pulsion pour quoi faire, Paris, APF, 1984.
  • Fantasme originaire. fantasmes des origines, origines du fantasme (Fantasy and the Origins of Sexuality), Paris, Hachette 1985.
  • Problématiques V : Le baquet-transcendance du transfert, Paris, PUF, 1987.
  • Nouveaux fondements pour la psychanalyse (New Foundations for Psychoanalysis), Paris, PUF, 1987.
  • Traduire Freud, Paris, PUF, 1989.
  • La révolution copernicienne inachevée, (Travaux 1967-1992), Paris, Aubier 1992.
  • Le fourvoiement biologisant de la sexualité chez Freud, Paris, Les empêcheurs de penser en rond, 1993.
  • Entre séduction et inspiration : l'homme, Paris, PUF, 1999.
  • Le mur et l'arcade Paris, Flammarion, 2001.
  • Problématiques VI : L'aprés-coup, Paris, PUF, 2005.

References[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Fletcher and Osborn
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Jean Laplanche"
  3. Harpold
  4. "An Interview with Jean Laplanche"
  5. "Burgundy's Château de Pommard to Be Sold to Couple"
  6. "Saturday 29 September, 2001"
  7. "The Gleaners and I"

fr:Jean Laplanche

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