LX:42 | The Act of Naming

He began by naming, and the thing existed. But clearly, a name alone is unable to establish existence. It must as well be the case that the name is repeated and inscribed in a structure. To name is not simply to attach a name, naming is an act which not only instantiates an element, but gives it consistency and engenders a structure. Freud names, the thing exists, and the consistency unfolds.

Now quite often, in the context of the cure, the psychoanalyst’s interpretation is limited to this act, the act of naming. A correct interpretation consists precisely in giving the right name to an event that emerges. In this way, it causes the structure of the unconscious to exist. But the problem is that one must interpret without giving it too much thought. An interpretation is not a reflective or calculated intervention. An interpretation is a name that one gives without much knowing, and in the giving of the name there is a leap. An interpretation is the leap of a name; it is a passage, a crossing, a risk taken. You see, as an act of naming, interpretation involves the risk of exposing oneself. (48)


Nasio, Juan-David. Five Lessons on the Psychoanalytic Theory of Jacques Lacan.  Trans. Pettigrew, David and François Raffoul.  State University of New York Press 1998. 

53, 54, 50

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