Levinas and Lacan

The Missed Encounter

Edited by Sarah Harasym

Subjects: Continental Philosophy
Series: SUNY series in Psychoanalysis and Culture
Paperback : 9780791439609, 216 pages, October 1998
Hardcover : 9780791439593, 216 pages, October 1998

Alternative formats available from:

Table of contents


Sarah Harasym


1. Reading Hegel as a Mediating Master: Lacan and Levinas
Tina Chanter

2. Cognito and Separation: Lacan/Levinas
Hans-Dieter Gondek

3. Levinas and Lacan: Facing the Real
Donna Brody

4. The Subject and the Other in Levinas and Lacan
Paul-Laurent Assoun

5. Death and Sublimation in Lacan's Reading of Antigone
Philippe Van Haute

6. Ethics and Psychoanalysis
Alain Juranville

7. Rethinking the Beyond of the Real
Drucilla Cornell

8. Dis-possessed: How to Remain Silent "after" Levinas
Rudi Visker



Draws attention to the enigmatic missed encounter between Emmanuel Levinas and Jacques Lacan, and articulates the theoretical stakes and practical consequences of such a disjunctive encounter for ethics.


Levinas and Lacan traces the similar concepts and logics of Jacques Lacan and Emmanuel Levinas, to explicitly render the rigorous questioning of the philosophic tradition undertaken by these thinkers, and to articulate the theoretical stakes and practical consequences of such a conjunction for ethics. In this book, contemporary philosophers examine this missed encounter between Levinas and Lacan by tracing their preoccupation with issues that emerge in late modernity: language, subjectivity, alterity, and ethics.

Sarah Harasym has a Ph. D. in English Literature from the University of Alberta and is earning a Ph. D. in Philosophy at Duquesne University. She has also edited Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak's The Post-Colonial Critic: Interviews, Strategies, Dialogue.


"Levinas and Lacan brings together an excellent selection of essays written by some of the most talented thinkers working in the fields of contemporary ethics and psychoanalysis in the United States and Europe. It suggests the possibility of a critical encounter between Levinas and Lacan by focusing not only on the comparative study of the crucial concepts in the Levinasian ethics and the Lacanian psychoanalysis but also on the rigorous questioning of the philosophical tradition undertaken by each thinker, in particular, the legacies of Descartes, Kant, Hegel, Heidegger, Sartre, and Merleau-Ponty. This dual strategy allows for complex and nuanced reassessments of Lacan's and Levinas's contributions to the contemporary debates about ethics, without either forcing similarities or staging a more antagonistic confrontation between them. I am convinced that this collection will set the tone for any future discussions of ethics and psychoanalysis. " — Ewa Ponowska Ziarek, author of The Rhetoric of Failure: Deconstruction of Skepticism, Reinvention of Modernism

"Each of the essays makes clear connections between Lacan and Levinas or provides readings of one or the other that are truly unexpected and enlightening. As a collection, it is especially exciting insofar as it seems to herald a new approach to critical thinking about ethics, intertextuality, and inter-discursivity, a new possibility of critique that is neither simply cultural nor philosophical, but negotiates a difficult path between the two. " — Kenneth Reinhard, UCLA