'I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth' we say in a court of law. 'In a court of law, the truth is precisely what we will not say', says Lacan. 'If God is dead, everything is permitted', writes Dostoyevsky. 'If God is dead, everything is prohibited', responds Lacan. 'I think, therefore I am', reasons Descartes. 'I am where I do not think', concludes Lacan. What are we to make of Lacan's inversions of these mottos? And what are the implications for the legal system if we take them seriously? This book puts the legal subject on the couch and explores the incestuous relationship between law and desire, enjoyment and transgression, freedom and subjection, ethics and atheism. The process of analysis problematizes fundamental tenets of the legal system, leading the patient to rethink long-held beliefs: terms like 'guilt' and 'innocence', 'truth' and 'lies', 'reason' and 'reality', 'freedom' and 'responsibility', 'cause' and 'punishment', acquire new and surprising meanings. By the end of these sessions, the patient is left wondering, along with Freud her analyst, whether 'it is not psychology that deserves the mockery but the procedure of judicial enquiry'.
A unique study on the nexus of Law and Psychoanalysis, this book will interest students and scholars of both subjects, as well as general readers looking to explore this perverse and fascinating relationship.