Love Thy Neighbour

  • Joanne Conway


This article will attempt to interrogate the title of the conference, Human Rights: Why do we respond and why do we turn away? via the tension that exists between the questions why do we respond? and why do we turn away? This tension will be explored from the perspective of psychoanalytic discourse, departing from Freud’s work Civilisation and its Discontents wherein he asserts that there is a fundamental impossibility at the heart of human subjectivity to ‘love thy neighbour as thyself,’ because there is an inherent division (spaltung), an alterity or otherness at the very experience of being. This otherness, Lacan, in his return to Freud, will formulate as being related to the fact that we are speaking-beings, parlêtres, parasited by language, subject of the unconscious and the real of a body with which each must find a way.

Keywords: Alterity, Aggression, Civilisation and its discontents, Freud, Sigmund, 1856-1939, Human Rights, Lacan, J. (Jacques), 1901-1981, Psychoanalysis, Speaking-subject, Subjectivity, Unconscious, Violence

How to Cite:

Conway, J., (2020) “Love Thy Neighbour”, Studies in Arts and Humanities 6(1), 36-40. doi:

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Published on
14 Dec 2020
Peer Reviewed