Kant avec Sade

a Lacanian Cartel


I’m interested in starting this cartel this summer and aiming for a year’s duration. The literature and schedule are very much malleable and are offered as a starting point. In keeping with LSP policy, the cartel is limited to five members; please email me at asap if you have interest!

Cartel description

This cartel is formed to explore Lacan’s imperative near the beginning of “Kant avec Sade,” which instructs as follows.

[… Kant says that] no intu­ition offers up a phenomenal object in the experience of the moral law.

I agree that this object slips away throughout the Critique [of Practical Reason]. But it can be surmised in the trace left by the implacable suite Kant provides to demon­strate its slipping away, from which the work derives an eroticism […].

This is why I will ask those of my readers who are still virgins with respect to the Critique, never having read it, to stop reading my text here and to return to it after perusing Kant’s. Let them see if it does, indeed, have the effect I say it does. In any case, I promise them the pleasure that is brought by the feat itself. (Écrits, Fink tr., p. 768, standard pagination)

However, one cannot simply begin with Kant’s “second” critique—it builds from the “first,” the Critique of Pure Reason. So, to read “Kant avec Sade,” we would do well to read it with Kant’s first two critiques, which this cartel proposes.

With the theoretical complexity of this program, supplementary texts are included in the literature list, some of which the cartel may choose to read together. They include, for background on psychoanalytic ethics and the pleasure and reality principles,

For philosophical context, especially for the first critique,

For a recent synthesis of all these ideas,

LSP cartels

The Lacan School of Psychoanalysis (LSP) includes, as a part of its training of scholars and analysts, study groups called cartels. The LSP defines a cartel as follows.

The cartel is a group of three to five Students/Candidates/Scholars-in-Training who meet on a regular basis to work on a single topic of psychoanalytic interest. The group is periodically joined by an additional person or plus one (plus un) who serves to disperse the group effects and leadership structure. Cartels may be formed at any point in the academic year and usually disband after one year of work.

General information

Time (synchronous)
Zoom (password sent separately)
Google Groups (invitation required)


Primary literature

[CPrR] Immanuel Kant (translator: Werner S. Pluhar). Critique of Practical Reason. Hackett Publishing Company, Inc., 2010. ISBN 9780872206175.

[CPuR] Immanuel Kant (translator: Werner S. Pluhar). Critique of Pure Reason. Hackett Publishing Company, Inc., 1996. ISBN 0872202577, 9780872202573.

[KaS] Jacques Lacan (translator: Bruce Fink). Chapter “Kant with Sade” in Écrits: The First Complete Edition in English. W. W. Norton, 2005. ISBN 0393061159, 9780393061154.

Supplemental literature

[BPP] Sigmund Freud. “Beyond the pleasure principle” in The standard edition of the complete psychological works of Sigmund Freud. Vol. 18, 1920-1922, Beyond the pleasure principle, Group psychology and other works. The Hogarth Press, 1955. ISBN 0-7012-0067-7.

[EP] Jacques Lacan. The Seminar Book VII The Ethics of Psychoanalysis. Norton, 1992. ISBN 0-393-03357-0.

[EPF] Bruce Fink. “The ethics of psychoanalysis: a Lacanian perspective”. The Psychoanalytic Review, 1999. PubMed ID 10612121.

[ER] Alenka Zupančič. Ethics of the Real: Kant, Lacan. Wo Es War Series. Verso, 2000. ISBN 9781859847244.

[HP] Frederick Copleston. Chapter 11 of History of Philosophy Vol. 6. Image, 1994. ISBN 9780385470438.

[ID] Sigmund Freud. Chapter 7 of The Interpretation of Dreams in The standard edition of the complete psychological works of Sigmund Freud Vol. 5 (1900-1901), The interpretation of dreams (second part) and on dreams.. The Hogarth Press, 1958. ISBN 0701200677.

[LD] Dany Nobus. The Law of Desire: On Lacan’s ‘Kant with Sade’. Palgrave Macmillan, 2017. DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-55275-0.

[PB] Marquis de Sade. Philosophy in the Bedroom.


Meets weekly Mondays for

The discussion threads are visible in the Google Group (password-protected)
groups.google.com/g/kant-avec-sade-cartel. If we discuss each reading before and after in the same thread, this will serve to organize the discussion.

Here’s the group’s shared calendar: calendar.

ses. day reading (up to and including) thread must request access to Google group