Lecture delivered at the Faculty of Psychology of the University of Buenos Aires, on Wednesday 21 October 2015.
How to think the responsibility of a subject who, given the unconscious, is not master of himself? This is the question Monique David-Ménard attempts to answer in this lecture, through the concepts of contingency and chance. Psychoanalysis, she says, allows us to think freedom otherwise than philosophy precisely by working with a positive notion of contingency. That is, by conceiving contingency not as the absence of necessity, but as that which allows a detour of the death drive through an encounter. Freedom, for David-Ménard, is neither absolute, as it is for Kant, nor absurd, as it is for Sartre. It is, rather, the chance that some seemingly meaningless fragment of reality—like the day residues in the dream—could be used by a subject to introduce difference in repetition, so as to make the latter less catastrophic. The responsibility that takes on account the unconscious is then a responsibility necessarily shared, in transference. It is “the responsibility of allowing a process to take place”. Alejandra Tomas Meier’s commentary transposes this process to the scene of writing, where the responsibility is shared with the reader.