Alcibiades attempted to seduce Socrates, he wanted to make him, and in the most openly avowed way possible, into someone instrumental and subordinate to what? To the object of Alcibiades?s desire: ágalma, the good object.
I would go even further. How can we analysts fail to recognize what is involved? He says quite clearly: Socrates has the good object in his stomach. Here Socrates is nothing but the envelope in which the object of desire is found. It is in order to clearly emphasize that he is nothing but this envelope that Alcibiades tries to show that Socrates is desire's serf in his relations with Alcibiades, that Socrates is enslaved to Alcibiades by his desire. Although Alcibiades was aware that Socrates desired him, he wanted to see Socrates's desire manifest itself in a sign, in order to know that the other, the object, ágalma, was at his mercy.
Now, it is precisely because he failed in this undertaking that Alcibiades disgraces himself, and makes of his confession something that is so affectively laden. The daemon of (Aidós), Shame, about which I spoke to you at another time in this context, is what intervenes here. This is what is violated here. The most shocking secret is unveiled before everyone; the ultimate mainspring of desire, which in love relations must always be more or less dissimulated, is revealed, its aim is the fall of the Other, A, into the other, a.'
— Jacques Lacan
I. In the Beginning Was Love
II. Set and Characters
III. The Metaphor of Love: Phaedrus
IV. The Psychology of the Rich: Pausanias
V. Medical Harmony: Eryximachus
VI. Deriding the Sphere: Aristophanes
VII. The Atopia of Eros: Agathon
VIII. From Epistéme to Mýthos
IX. Exit from the Ultra-World
XI. Between Socrates and Alcibiades
XII. Transference in the Present
XIII. A Critique of Countertransference
XIV. Demand and Desire in the Oral and Anal Stages
XV. Oral, Anal, and Genital
XVI. Psyche and the Castration Complex
XVII. The Symbol
XVIII. Real Presence
XIX. Sygne’s No
XX. Turelure’s Abjection
XXI. Pensée’s Desire
XXII. Structural Decomposition
XXIII. Slippage in the Meaning of the Ideal
XXIV. Identification via “ein einziger Zug”
XXV. The Relationship between Anxiety and Desire
XXVI. “A Dream of a Shadow Is Man”
XXVII. Mourning the Loss of the Analyst
About the Author:
Jacques Lacan (1901-1981) was one of the twentieth-century’s most influential thinkers. His many works include Écrits, The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis and the many other volumes of The Seminar.