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Other Desires: Other Architectures
Mario Gooden
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Following the publication of his paper on the Mirror Stage in 1949, Jacques Lacan began a series of weekly meetings at his Paris apartment in 1951 that would be transferred to the Centre Hospitalier Sainte-Anne and become known as his famous seminars. The seminars were later translated and published, with the first book of the seminars introducing Lacan’s maxim: “Man’s desire is the desire of the Other.” In the seminars and in subsequent writings, Lacan explained that this statement can be understood in two ways. First, desire is fundamentally a desire for recognition by the Other. Just as in the Mirror Stage, when the young male child can recognize his image and distinguish himself from the Other in an act of self-consciousness, this subject likewise desires to be recognized by the Other. Lacan stated that this is a fundamental Hegelian theme: “Desire is first grasped in the other, and in the most confused form. The relativity of human desire in relation to the desire of the other is what we recognize in every reaction of rivalry, of competition, and even in the entire development of civilization, including this sympathetic and fundamental exploitation of man by man whose end is by no means yet in sight, for the reason that it is absolutely structural to, and constitutes, as Hegel acknowledged once and for all, the very structure of the idea of labor.”

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