Symptom without transcendental syntax
This paper aims at investigating the Freudian symptom as an individual anti-language involved in a semiotic antagonism towards the internal logonomic system. In Freudian-Lacanian psychoanalysis, the symptom is interpreted according to transcendental and atemporal principles. Leaving aside these principles, we argue for a social semiotic approach in which the meaning of symptom is determined by its antagonistic relationship to the logonomic system, and also by its converted link with the repressed object in a specific socio-cultural context. The symptomatic antagonism is marked by a hypocritical and ambivalent relationship with the logonomic system and the repressed entity. The duplicitous semiosis of the symptom refers to rhetorical transformations made to reach a compromise between the contradictory poles of the law and the forbidden phenomenon. As regards the relation of the symptom to subjectivity, the symptom emerges as a conjuncture in which the subject of statement is related to the subject of speaking in a conflicting way. Accordingly, the former as the replica of a legisign-subjectivity is related symptomatically to the latter as a mere sinsign not preceded by any ideological subjectivity. The symptom is like a hinge on which the opposing doors, namely consciousness and unconsciousness, turn. Finally, the case of Little Hans will be analysed proceeding from the antagonistic aspects of symptom.
symptom; subjectivity; anti-language; social semiotics; Little Hans
SIGN SYSTEMS STUDIES. ISSN 1406-4243 (print), 1736-7409 (online). E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Postal address: Sign Systems Studies, Dept. of Semiotics, University of Tartu, Jakobi St. 2, 51014 Tartu, Estonia