This is a short preview of the full episode.
On Bruce Fink's The Lacanian Subject (1996) and Lacan's "The Mirror Stage as Formative of the Function of the I as Revealed in Psychoanalytic Experience" (1949).
What is the self? Is that the same as the experiencing subject? Lacan says no: while the self (the ego) is an imaginative creation, cemented by language, the subject is something else, something split (at least initially) between consciousness and the unconscious. Lacan mixes this Freudian picture with semiotics--an emphasis on systems of linguistic symbols--using this to both create his picture of the psyche and explain how psychological disorders arise.
The regular PEL foursome (with Wes acting much like a guest due to his formal study of psychoanalysis) try to make sense of this complex picture as presented by American psychoanalyst Fink and complain about Lacan's language as they wade into the nearly impenetrable writing of the Frenchman himself. Featuring the alienation of language! Eruptions into consciousness! Undifferentiated needs! "The Real" opposing "reality!" A baby preening in front of a mirror! Castration! And introducing the mysterious "object a!" Read more about the topic and get the texts.
End song: "Something Else" by Madison Lint, recorded mostly in late 2002 with vocals added just now; written by Jim Low and Mark Linsenmayer.