Kojève and Lacan


The paper traces the history of the intellectual relation between Kojève and Lacan and develops its theoretical implications. The analysis centers on the Hegelian notion of desire, one that Kojève redevelops with and against Hegel to found human self-consciousness within a relational framework in which otherness plays an essential and ambivalent role. Together with the Kojèvian theme of desire, this very ambivalence will become for Lacan the place of continuous critical confrontation: from the initial analyses devoted to the “mirror-phase” (1938) up to Seminar II (1954-55), this issue undergoes a range of theoretical mutations that reflect important phases of Lacanian thinking. Behind Lacan’s complex hermeneutic debt towards Kojève what finally emerges is the knot of the Hegel-Freud relation with regard to the meaning and the limits of knowledge an human self-conscience.

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European Journal of Psychoanalysis