Everyone is mad that is to say delusional

English translation

– “There are four discourses…”, translated by Adrian Price, edited by JacquesAlain Miller and Maire Jaanus, in Culture/Clinic, Issue 1, Spring 2013 : Available at www.LacanianWorksExchange.net /lacan (October 1978)

Bilingual, Translated by Adrian Price with Russell Grigg. Additional notes & suggestions by Anthony Chadwick, published at www.Freud2Lacan.com /Lacan (31. Lacan pour Vincennes)

– in English – Announcement circulated From: NLS-Messager, Subject: [nls-messager] 4802.en/ WAP CONGRESS – SCILICET: “EVERYONE IS MAD” – OUT NOW!, Date: 4 February 2024 at 20:37:47 GMT. : This 10th volume in the Scilicet series is part of the preparatory work for the XIVth Congress of the World Association of Psychoanalysis on the theme “Everyone is Mad”. The volume also carries Lacan’s text “Lacan For Vincennes!” in which this provocative assertion can be found and a text by Jacques-Alain Miller elaborating some of the implications of this aphorism for the contemporary psychoanalytic clinic. (see https://congresamp2024.world/tout-le-monde-est-fou/ )

Published in French

Transfert à Saint Denis? : Lacan pour Vincennes ! : Il y a quatre discours. : 22nd October 1978 : Jacques Lacan

1) Ornicar ? : n°17/18 : 1979 : pp. 278.

2) http://aejcpp.free.fr/lacan/1978-10-22.htm

3) available at www.LacanianWorksExchange.net /lacan

The second paragraph:

Comment faire pour enseigner ce qui ne s’enseigne pas ? Voilà ce dans quoi Freud a cheminé [Cheminer?]. Il a considéré que rien n’est que rêve, et que tout le monde (si l’on peut dire une pareille expression), tout le monde est fou c’est-à-dire délirant.

Roughly translated:

How to teach what cannot be taught? That is what Freud has crystallised [found a way?]. He considered that everything is but a dream, and everyone (if one uses an equivalent expression), everyone is mad that is to say delusional.


Jacques-Alain Miller cited this text three times during the closure of the Grandes Assises virtuelles internationales de l’AMP – La femme n’existe pas – on 3rd April 2022, at the Maison de la mutualité, Paris and on Zoom.Quoted by Jacques-Alain Miller in the presentation of the theme, towards the XIV Congress of the World Association of Psychoanalysts, 22-25 February 2024 (Zoom), 30th May 2023, “All the world is mad”, see https://congresamp2024.world/tout-le-monde-est-fou/

Quote from Miller : Après cet excursus, ma première remarque, ou rectification, sera des plus simples : je me contenterai de prendre en compte la phrase qui suit immédiatement Tout le monde est fou, c’est-à-dire délirant. Cette phrase est la suivante : C’est bien ce qui se démontre au premier pas vers l’enseignement [6].

Translation : After this excursus, my first remark, or rectification, will be the simplest: I’ll just take into account the sentence that immediately follows, Everybody’s mad, that is delusional. The sentence is as follows: This is indeed what is demonstrated at the first step towards teaching [6].

[1]. Lacan J., « Lacan pour Vincennes ! », Ornicar ?, no 17 / 18, printemps 1979, p. 278. [2]. Ibid. [6]. Lacan J., « Lacan pour Vincennes ! », op. cit.

Adrian Price’s translation of this quote, p1 of www.Freud2Lacan.com, quote,

There are four discourses. Each one thinks it is the truth. The only exception is the analytic discourse. We would be better off if it did dominate, people will conclude, but in point of fact this discourse excludes domination; in other words it teaches nothing. There is nothing universal about it, which is precisely why it cannot be taught.

How does one go about teaching what cannot be taught? This is something Freud ventured into. He thought that all is but a dream and that everyone (if one can say such a thing), that everyone is mad, that is, delusional.

This indeed what the very first step in the direction of teaching demonstrates.

But it does still need to be demonstrated: for this any old object will do, it always presents itself poorly. That is, it needs to be rectified.

Mathematics is for that: rectifying the object. It is a fact that mathematics rectifies and that what it rectifies is the object itself.

Hence my reduction of psychoanalysis to set theory.


Context for the APPG’s survey on prescribed drug dependence : 30th November 2018 : Julia Evans. See this site /Evans Julia (5 Other Authors A-Z) or Index of Julia Evans’ texts at this site /Evans Julia


The Ordinary Psychoses and the Others – Under Transference : 26th March 2017 : Anna Aromí & Xavier Esqué. See this site /Psychosis/Ordinary Psychosis (1 A Lacanian Clinic) or www.LacanianWorksExchange.net /Other Authors A-Z (Aromí or Esqué)


Ordinary Psychosis – elaborations of James I/VI, Hamlet & Oedipus : 28th November 2015 : Julia Evans. See this site /Psychosis/Ordinary Psychosis (1 A Lacanian Clinic) or this site /Index of Julia Evans’ texts (4 Other Authors A-Z/Evans Julia)


– Psychoanalysis and the Post-DSM Crisis : probably July 2014 : Éric Laurent. See this site /5 Other Authors A-Z (Laurent) & https://www.LacanianWorksExchange.net /Laurent

Quote from Laurent : On one hand, in the name of psychoanalysis, he discards any kind of segregation of our fellow humans (for example when he defines madness as the essence of human liberty in his first Écrits [13] or when he proclaims in 1976 that “Everyone is mad”) [14] ; this is the Lacan in favor of continuism.

[13] Lacan, J. “Presentation on Psychical Causality”, in Écrits, op. cit., p.121. See Presentation on Psychical Causality : 28th September 1946 (Bonneval Hospital, Paris ) : Jacques Lacan at this site /4 Jacques Lacan or www.LacanianWorksExchange.net /Lacan. Also in Écrits : 1966 : Jacques Lacan. NOTE : Jacques Lacan’s phrase the ‘unfathomable decision of being’ (p177 of French Écrits, p145 of the English Écrits), Bruce Fink translates as ‘unsoundable decision of being’. This appears to be a mistranslation. See this site /4 Jacques Lacan or www.LacanianWorksExchange.net /Lacan for information and availability

[14] Lacan, J., Ornicar ?, Issue 17-18, 1979, p. 278 See above for the quote.


From ‘Who is Mad & Who is not’ : by Pierre-Gilles Guéguen : Presentation given on September 18th 2010, at the Irish Circle of the Lacanian Orientation-New Lacanian School (www.iclo-nls.org), Clinical Conversation on « Differential Diagnosis in Psychoanalysis » : available www.iclo-nls.org /ICLO /Texts or https://www.iclo-nls.org/_files/ugd/add8ea_cc2abe8048e44c88b03c7f7da5c9ba25.pdf


Ordinary Psychosis Revisited : 7th July 2008 (Paris) : Jacques-Alain Miller . See this site / 5 Other Authors A-Z (Miller or Index) or www.LacanianWorksExchange.net /Other Authors A-Z