Anxiety in Lacan and Kierkegaard

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Besides Sigmund Freud, Søren Kierkegaard seems to be the biggest source of inspiration for Jacques Lacan's definition of anxiety. A point of contact is the relationship between anxiety and its object, as both Lacan and Kierkegaard believe that anxiety is not without an object. For Lacan, it is about the object that must step in as that which must satisfy the desire of the Other. For Kierkegaard, the object is 'nothing', i.e. the nothing that the Spirit - according to Kierkegaard - is anxious about, but of which it does not know.

For psychoanalysis and Kierkegaard, anxiety concerns pleasure, while cognitive therapy excludes pleasure. Cognitive therapy's view of the unconscious rules out that sexuality or the body can play a decisive role in anxiety.

The author shows how the anxiety of our time is connected with the social changes of the last decades, which seem to have promoted the anxiety. In addition, the similarities between psychoanalysis and Kierkegaard's understanding are pointed out, while cognitive therapy's interpretation of anxiety is seen in relation to science, which seems to exclude the subject.