English, Department of


Date of this Version



Umbr(a): Incurable (2006) No. 1: 65-83.


Copyright 2006, University at Buffalo. Used by permission. Translated by Roland Végső.


Psychoanalysis possesses the means to think the difference of the sexes without relying on the phallus. Lacanian theory of the sinthome offers an alternative by articulating a new quadruplicity (R, S, I, and the sinthome), which allows us to think the relation between the sexes and the generations without necessarily referring to the Name-of-the-Father or the phallus as absolute norms. Thanks to this theory, we can avoid the moral and political prejudices that accompany the grand questions of society posed to us at the dawn of the 21st century: the treatment of “mental health,” the legislation of marriage, filiation, and adoption.