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Few individuals have had as far-reaching and long-term influence on the humanities as Jacques Lacan. Not only did he change many of the thoughts behind the psychoanalytic movement, but he also had many impacts on French philosophers during their formative academic years. Many of Lacan’s writings explored Sigmund Freud’s discovery of the unconscious. This earned him the nickname of “the French Freud” within certain circles. Lacan’s fundamental concepts include the mirror stage, otherness, and the orders among many others.

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1. Family and Personal Life

Jacques-Marie-Emile Lacan was born on April 13, 1901, in Paris, France. He was the eldest of three children. His father was a successful oil and soap salesman, and his mother was a devoted Catholic. In his teenage years, he developed an interest in the work of Baruch Spinoza and his views on atheism. This led to some tensions between Lacan and his religious family. Later in his life, Lacan reflected on his familial regrets, stating that he wished he had persuaded his brother not to enter a monastery. Lacan died in Paris on September 9, 1981.

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