Jean Laplanche

Jean Laplanche

Jean Laplanche (born June 21 1924) is a French author, theorist and psychoanalyst. Laplanche is best known for his work on psychosexual development and Sigmund Freud's seduction theory, and has written more than a dozen books on psychoanalytic theory. The journal "Radical Philosophy" described him as "the most original and philosophically informed psychoanalytic theorist of his day."Fletcher and Osborn] Laplanche has also for many years run "Chateau de Pommard", a French vineyard where he lives with his wife Nadine.

Early life

Laplanche grew up in the Côte d'Or region of France. In his adolescence he was active in Catholic Action, a left-wing social justice organization."Jean Laplanche"] Laplanche attended the École Normale Supérieure in the 1940s, studying philosophy. He was a student of Jean Hyppolite, Gaston Bachelard and Maurice Merleau-Ponty. In 1943, during the Vichy regime, Laplanche joined the French Resistance, and was active in Paris and Bourgogne. In 1946-47, he visited Harvard University for a year. Instead of joining that university's philosophy department, he instead studied at the Department of Social Relations, and became interested in psychoanalytic theory. Upon returning to France, Laplanche began attending lectures and undergoing psychoanalytic treatment under Jacques Lacan. Laplanche, advised by Lacan, began studying medicine, and eventually earned his doctorate and became an analyst himself, joining the International Psychoanalytical Association, of which he remains a member.

Laplanche continued his political activity. In 1948, Laplanche was one of the founding members of the Trotskyist organization Socialisme ou Barbarie ("Socialism or barbarism"), but notes that the group's "atmosphere soon became impossible", due to the influence of Cornelius Castoriadis, who "exerted hegemony over the journal." Nevertheless, Laplanche remained "in favour of the thesis of "Socialisme ou Barbarie" until 1968.


Laplanche published his first book in 1961. The following year, he was invited to a position at the Sorbonne by . Since then, Laplanche has maintained a regular publication schedule. Together with colleague , Laplanche in 1967 published "The Language of Psycho-Analysis", which has become a standard encyclopedic reference on psychoanalysis.Harpold] It was translated into English in 1973, and its thirteenth French edition was published in 1997. Laplanche was president of the "Association Psychoanalytique de France" from 1969 to 1971, being succeeded by Pontalis. His seminars have been published in the seven volume "Problématiques" series while many of his most important essays are found in "La révolution copernicienne inachevée" (1992).

One of his major contributions to psychoanalysis consists of a theory about the fantasmatic primary seductions. Of his work on Freud's seduction theory, he says,

[M] y job has been to show why Freud missed some very important points in this theory. But before saying that we must revise the theory, we must know it. And I think that ignorance concerning the seduction theory causes people to go back to something pre-analytic. By discussing the seduction theory we are doing justice to Freud, perhaps doing Freud better justice than he did himself. He forgot the importance of his theory, and its very meaning, which was not just the importance of external events."An Interview with Jean Laplanche"]

One key distinction between Laplanche's approach to psychoanalysis and most of those in the English-speaking world—Object relations theory, Ego psychology and Kleinian thought—is Laplanche's insistence on a distinction between "drive" (Trieb) and "instinct" (Instinkt). In contrast to the English-speaking schools, Laplanche—in some ways following Lacan—removes a biologically reductive basis from human sexuality.

Laplanche has been granted the "Honoris Causa" doctorship at the University of Lausanne (1986), at the University of Buenos-Aires and at the University of Athen, the Mary S. Sigourney Award (1995), and was made a Knight of Arts and Letters in 1990."Jean Laplanche"] Laplanche also served as the president of the "Association Psychoanalytique de France". He has now retired from teaching.


"Chateau de Pommard" is a fifty-acre winery in Burgundy, and has the longest continuous vineyard in the Côte-d'Or region. The Laplanches have lived on the estate and made wine for a number of years. In 2003, the couple sold the estate to new owners. The deal included an agreement that the Laplanches would remain on the estate and continue to participate in the winemaking process."Burgundy's Château de Pommard to Be Sold to Couple"] Their wine has been advertised as "the only wine in the world grown and bottled by an old disciple of Lacan's.""Saturday 29 September, 2001"]

Laplanche and his wife are interviewed, about both wine and psychoanalysis, in Agnès Varda's documentary "The Gleaners and I".


*"Hölderlin et la question du père", Paris, PUF, 1961. [ About Hölderlin and the psychoanalysis, i.e. about the book of Jean Laplanche, cf. Roseline Bonnellier : « De "Hölderlin et la question du père" à la "théorie de la séduction généralisée" de Jean Laplanche : Avancée paradoxale de la traduction d’"Œdipe" en psychanalyse ». Württembergische Landesbibliothek Hölderlin-Archiv. Internationale Hölderlin-Bibliographie "online" Id.-Nr.: 26088052007.0170-1.2. 2007.0171-1/3- Elektronische Ressource. - Paris : [Bonnellier] , 2007. - 1 CD-ROM (1041 S.) + Exposé [Ausdr., 18 S.] Zugl.: Paris, Univ. Paris XIII, Diss., 2007. - Systemvoraussetzungen: MS Word Textdatei. - Im HA auch als Papierausdruck (3 Bände) [HA2007.0171-1/3] .Thèse également reproduite par l'Atelier National de Reproduction des Thèses (Diffusion ANRT) 59046 Lille Cedex France, ISBN : 978-2-7295-70-5. ] ;"Hölderlin and the question of the father", Victoria, ELS Editions n° 97, 2007, ISBN 978-1-55058-379-3 [ With an introduction by Rainer Nägele, edited and translated by Luke Carson ] []
*"Vocabulaire de la psychanalyse" ("The Language of Psycho-Analysis"), Paris, PUF, 1967.
*"Vie et mort en psychanalyse" ("Life and Death in Psychoanalysis"), Paris, Flammarion, 1970.
*"Problématiques I: L'angoisse", Paris, PUF, 1980.
*"Problématiques II: Castration-Symbolisations", Paris, PUF, 1980.
*"Problématiques III: La Sublimation", Paris, PUF, 1980.
*"Problématiques IV: L'inconscient et le ça", Paris, PUF, 1981.
*"La pulsion pour quoi faire", Paris, APF, 1984.
*"Fantasme originaire. fantasmes des origines, origines du fantasme" ("Fantasy and the Origins of Sexuality"), Paris, Hachette 1985.
*"Problématiques V: Le baquet-transcendance du transfert", Paris, PUF, 1987.
*"Nouveaux fondements pour la psychanalyse" ("New Foundations for Psychoanalysis"), Paris, PUF, 1987.
*"Traduire Freud", Paris, PUF, 1989.
*"La révolution copernicienne inachevée (Travaux 1967-1992)", Paris, Aubier 1992.
*"Le fourvoiement biologisant de la sexualité chez Freud", Paris, Les empêcheurs de penser en rond, 1993.
*"Entre séduction et inspiration: l'homme", Paris, PUF, 1999.
*"Le mur et l'arcade", Paris, Flammarion, 2001.
*"Problématiques VI: L'aprés-coup", Paris, PUF, 2006.
*"Problématiques VII: Le fourvoiement biologisant de la sexualité chez Freud suivi de Biologisme et biologie", Paris, PUF, 2006.
* " Sexual. La sexualité élargie au sens freudien. 2000-2006", Paris, PUF, 2007.


*cite journal | author=John Fletcher and Peter Osborn | title= The other within: Rethinking psychoanalysis | journal=Radical Philosophy | year=2000 | issue=102 | url=
*Terry Harpold, an assistant professor in the Department of English at the University of Florida, refers to it as the "best reference in English of its kind". cite web | title=Interdisciplinary topics in literature: the book as technology & trope | url= | accessdate=November 21 | accessyear=2005
*cite book | author=Laplanche, J. and Pontalis, J.B. | year=1967 | title=The Language of Psycho-Analysis | publisher=W. W. Norton and Company | id=ISBN 0-393-01105-4
*cite web | title=An Interview with Jean Laplanche | url= | accessdate=November 21 | accessyear=2005
*cite web | title=Burgundy's Château de Pommard to Be Sold to Bordeaux Couple | work=Wine Spectator Online | url=,1145,1714,00.html | accessdate=November 21 | accessyear=2005
*cite web | title=Jean Laplanche | url= | accessdate=November 22 | accessyear=2005
*cite web | title=Saturday 29 September, 2001 | work=Lacanian Press Agency | url= | accessdate=November 22 | accessyear=2005


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