Kant's Eroticism from the Perspective of Sade

  • Marija Simonovic


The article examines the seemingly paradoxical equation between the puritanism of Immanuel Kant’s moral doctrine and the literary-philosophical obscenities of the Marquis de Sade, as expounded in one of Jacques Lacan’s most hermetic writings, “Kant with Sade”, and subsequently elaborated by Jacques-Alain Miller. The central point of the equation is the eroticism as the dominant characteristic of Sade, whose existence in Kant is systematically rejected, but finally found in his very heart. This topological reversal takes place in the analysis of two moments of connection between these thinkers: the logico-formal identity of their maxims, which leads to the realization, in the Lacanian perspective, of the Sadian parody of Kant, and the common presence of jouissance as detected through the psychoanalytical reinterpretation of the fundamental concepts of Kantian ethics, namely the voice of conscience as partial object and the categorical imperative as superego.