The Four Lacanian Discourses: or Turning Law Inside Out, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Four Lacanian Discourses

or Turning Law Inside Out, 1st Edition

By Jeanne Lorraine Schroeder


208 pages

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This book proposes a taxonomy of jurisprudence and legal practice, based on the discourse theory of Jacques Lacan. In the anglophone academy, the positivist jurisprudence of H.L.A. Hart provides the most influential account of law. But just as positivism ignores the practice of law by lawyers, even within the academy, the majority of professors are also not pursuing Hart's positivist project. Rather, they are engaged in policy-oriented scholarship - that tries to explain law in terms of society's collective goals - or in doctrinal legal scholarship - that does not try to describe what law is, or to supply justifications for it - but which examines the 'internal' logic of law. Lacan's discourse theory has the power to differentiate the various roles of the practicing lawyer and the legal scholar. It is also able to explain the striking lack of communication between diverse schools of legal scholarship and between legal academia and the legal profession. Although extremely influential in Europe and South America, Lacanian theory remains largely unexplored (in the English-speaking world) outside of the field of comparative literature. In taking up the jurisprudential ramifications of Lacan's work, The Four Lacanian Discourses thus constitutes an original contribution to current theoretical and practical understandings of law.

Table of Contents

1. Quadripodes and Mathemes; 2. The Master's Discourse; 3. The University's Discourse; 4. The Analyst's Discourse; 5. The Hysteric's Discourse.

About the Series

Birkbeck Law Press

Birkbeck Law School has been recognised as an international centre of research excellence, specialising in legal theory and theoretically informed socio-legal research and pioneering critical approaches to scholarship.

Birkbeck Law Press aims to develop a distinct publishing profile by addressing the legal challenges of late modernity. Globalisation and the move towards universal legal values, which should respect cultural specificities and local conditions, has created the urgent need for greater dialogue and understanding between the major schools of thought and legal systems in the world. Most legal publishing, driven by the needs of specialisation and the state-based nature of positive law, has not systematically addressed these concerns.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / General
LAW / Jurisprudence
PSYCHOLOGY / Movements / Psychoanalysis
SCIENCE / Life Sciences / Ecology
SCIENCE / History