Appearance and Reality in Psychoanalysis

Variant title

Schein und Realität in der Psychoanalyse 


The topic of the symposium, “appearance and reality”, was first studied in Freud’s psychoanalysis. Later on it was the subject of Lacan’s philosophically interesting psychoanalytic theory. Lacanian psychoanalysis treats “appearance and reality” as intrinsic to the framework of basic categories of the imaginary, the symbolic, and the real. Appearance is found mostly in the imaginary. “Reality” constitutes itself through the symbolic, through language, and the “real” finally represents a “thing” which can neither be symbolized nor imagined and “manifests” itself especially in traumatic experiences, as well as in great art.