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 “The I [or ‘self’] of philosophy [Das philosophische Ich] is not the human­-being [Mensch], not the human body [Korper], or the human soul [Seele], with which psychology deals, but rather the metaphysical subject, the limit of the world—not a part of it.” Or so protests young Wittgenstein, for “Where in the world is a metaphysical subject to be found?” But the latter non­-question scarcely supposes that “the subject” may be found out: a limit in this sense is neither here nor there. As Eco supposed, “if metaphysics considers things as they exist outside our minds, and if logic treats them in their mental being, [Lull’s] art can treat them from both points of view.” But can (one) Wittgenstein (or another)’s? Between his early and late works (c.1927 and c.1951), changes in style and terms are offset by continuity of contents and concerns. “What I want to say” the latter wants to say, “is surely that the Inner differs from the Outer in its logic. And that logic does indeed explain the expression ‘the Inner’, makes it understandable.” Or so we hope. But symbolic logic and German metaphysics make strange bunkmates; for the key to Ludwig’s Wunderkammer, we shall turn to his fellow Freudian.

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 Lacan agrees that Freud’s “Ich” is not the ego. While I speak” the liminal subject of the unconscious for “Es” (It or Id), the ego is the objectin the worldto which this ‘“I”’ nevertheless refers to prop up ‘myself­-image as if in an autonomous (my/it)self­-consciousness (Hegel: Selbstbewußtsein). But from where does It (or do “I”) refer? “The place in question is the entrance to the cave, towards the exit of which Plato guides us,” but as Lacan warns would­-be spelunkers, “it is the closing of the unconscious which provides the key to its space—namely, the impropriety of trying to turn it into an inside.” Such is the topology of a cave: one enters at risk of cave­-in. As Žižek recaps the reformula, “The unconscious is not the reservoir of wild drives that has to be conquered by the ego, but the site where a traumatic truth speaks. Therein resides Lacan’s version of Freud’s motto ‘wo Es war, soll Ich werden’ (where It was, I shall become): not ‘the ego should conquer the id’, the site of the unconscious drives, but ‘I should dare to approach the site of my truth’. What awaits me ‘there’ is not a deep Truth I have to identify with, but an unbearable truth I have to learn to live with.” (1994)

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