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the priority of signifier or the signified : a criticism to Lacan's model

asked 2015-04-10 12:06:29 -0500

hojat gravatar image

With Greeting, My name is HOJAT KHOOSHEHCHIN BAHAR. I am studying at the level of MA in Linguistics. My thesis is about the priority of signifier or the signified : a criticism to Lacan's model . Jacques Lacan is a French psychoanalysist whose theories significantly affect psychoanalysis in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. One of his most famous phrases express that the unconscious mind has structures like language, which he is especially indebted to Ferdinand-de-Saussure (Swiss linguist) for this sentence. Lacan's model for the symbols is associated with some changes from Saussure's model. With the exception that although the signifier and the signified have a same value in Saussure's model, the signifier has critically logical priority over the signified in Lacan's theory. Saussure states that the dependence between the signifier and the signified is like two sides of a paper which it will be disappeared by tearing it. But Lacan says that no special signifier but a chain of signifiers forms the basic structure of language by using paradigmatic and syntagmatic processes. Lacan attempts to explain the mechanisms of human psyche by prioritizing the signifier. Also he used this issue in the clinical strategies. You are kindly requested to express your idea about this subject that between the signifier and the signified , which of them takes precedence or do they have a same value and why? Best regards

My Email : [email protected]

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answered 2018-09-28 09:16:39 -0500

Gerard Cheshire gravatar image

The modern linguistic model regards the 'signifier' as the actual thing being described. On the other hand, the 'signified' is the mental concept of the thing being described.

As the 'signified' is subjective - specific to the writer/speaker and the reader/listener - then its value is never definitive. Therefore, precedence must vary between the 'signifier' and the 'signified'.

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Asked: 2015-04-10 12:06:29 -0500

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Last updated: Sep 28 '18