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Topology in psychoanalysis

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Topology in psychoanalysis Edit

Topology has been influential in psychoanalysis through its application by Jacques Lacan (see e.g. his letters to Pierre Soury) since 1962, where it serves as a description language for psychic structures. For instance, according to Lacanian psychoanalysis, the relation between the Real, the Imaginary, and the Symbolic is homeomorphic to a Borromean Knot. Historically these formalizations of psychoanalysis can be attributed to the influence of Parisian structural mathematics, like Nicolas Bourbaki. However, Lacan's use of topology, like his use of algebra, does not meet the standards of rigour normally evinced by a mathematical discipline, and should be seen more as an analogy (the value of which is left to the reader to decide upon) than as a branch of applied mathematics.

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