Lacan and the Subject of Law: Toward a Psychoanalytic Critical Legal Theory
Book format: An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.
Publisher: Date:Unknown - Humanity Books
By: David S. Caudill
The relevance of Lacanian categories for social theory and cultural studies is now established, but while many legal scholars -- law school professors, philosophers of law, sociologists of law, and criminologists -- are familiar with Jacques Lacan's psychoanalytic theory, his work is not yet part of the canon in the theory of legal processes and institutions. Perhaps his focus on individual analysis might appear to limit his relevance for social and legal theory, but Caudill argues that his emphasis on language and identity establishes the contours of a radical socio-legal psychoanalysis. Further, he maintains that Lacan's account of the human subject bridges the antinomies of traditional and critical theory, mainstream and left analyses of culture, and modern and postmodern paradigms, and that, in fact, Lacan's orientation is decidedly social. Caudill's primary intention in this book is to explore the promise of Lacanian theory as a critical supplement to the theory of law. In this pursuit, he introduces several Lacanian concepts that are significant for any attempt to employ Lacan's methodology in contemporary legal theory and practice, particularly in legal education and contract law. Applications of Lacan's theory to concrete legal problems then follow, in a series of studies of contemporary legal controversies, including child abuse hysteria, land use debates, the critique of legal ideology, and religion in law and politics.