The autistic sinthome : towards a numerical distribution of jouissance

Mackmin, Simon (2021) The autistic sinthome : towards a numerical distribution of jouissance. (PhD thesis), Kingston University, .


In Lacanian psychoanalysis autism is part of the clinic of foreclosure and as such is linked to the non-separation of jouissance and the subsequent lack of symbolic incorporation. Where the machine of discourse has not been incorporated the autistic subject seeks to plug into a supplementary device, or what Miller (2020, p.67) refers to as a ‘machinic assemblage’. The Lacanian field seeks to apprehend what is singular about the subject’s mode of jouissance while also offering us a means of understanding symptoms as they relate to the pervasive discourses of our time, namely science and capitalism. This theoretical approach is particularly appealing in offering a framework in which to examine the central question of this thesis, which is ‘how can we understand the relationship between scientific discourse, the autistic scientist and the inventions, devices, and machines which they create’? In this thesis I attempt to outline a particular autistic mode, that of the coder, whose mode of functioning and subjectivity emerges through attempts to metricise the real, organising body, identity, and experience through the laws of mathematics.

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