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Vol. 3 No. 1 (2023): Contingency, Unpredictability and Law in Psychic and Collective Development

The Violent Origin of the Law: The link between signifier and jouissance in the criminal act

March 27, 2023


Several past theoreticians have observed the close connection between law and violence. In psychoanalysis, this structural link has been expressed in terms of drive and jouissance. In this article, we give a state of the art on this theme by highlighting the specificities of the psychoanalytic approach. We demonstrate that law, that is “public law”, finds its unconscious roots in individual phantasmatic law, by highlighting its violence aspects. More specifically, through a clinical case of homicide, we demonstrate this structural link between law and drive, crime and superegoic jouissance.