European psychoanalytic group for research and training on  the causes of illiteracy


Illiteracy psychoanalysis and Topology- (Illettrisme psychanalyse et Topologie, in french)


The Borromean Knot  -  Definition







A knot is a simple closed curve in 3-dimensional space.
The Unknot

What does that mean? Well, a loop like the one at the left is considered a knot in mathematical knot theory (it is a simple closed curve in 3-dimensional space). In fact this knot has a special name: The unknot. The unknot can be drawn with no crossings, and is also called a trivial knot. It is the simplest of all knots.

The Borromean knot

So called because the figure is found on the coat of arms of the Borromeo family, the Borromean Knot is a group of three rings which are linked in such a way that if any one of them is cut, all three become separated. In his late seminars, i.e., from Seminar XX onwards, Lacan uses the Borromean knot as a way of illustrating the interdependence of the three orders of the real, the symbolic and the imaginary. This corresponds to a rethinking of the relationship between language and the body in the structuring of the subject.


This borromean knot is very old, about year 1300

In Roman law, the borromean knot was a contract between three families or more which were thus financially dependent. One shared the benefit or the losses. If one of the families decided to separate from the others, those ones could not remained bound by the contract and were obliged to also separate.




Borromean Knot 

How to built a borromean knot with three rounds of string ?

You pose one round (1), you pose another round above (2) and the third passes below that which is below (1) and above that which is above (2).


Other web sites on Topology or mathematics

Other interesting web site on psychoanalysis  (

PLACE - Psychoanalysis Los Angeles California Extension

What is Lacanian psychoanalysis ?

How does Lacanian analysis address the question of mysticism ?

Is topology used as a model in psychoanalysis ?

What is a psychoanalytic position on  current DNA research and homosexuality ?



Some of our other pages :


How to read lacan ?, by SLAVOJ ZIZEK

Another approach towards illiteracy

Joyce the Symptom : Conference given by J. Lacan in the large auditorium of the Sorbonne on the 16th of June, 1975

Illiteracy and Sexuation - (French Essai on illiteracy), by Charley Supper (Download)

Topological approach to the symbolic Sexuation, by Charley Supper

The Lost Topology of Psychoanalysis (La Topologie Perdue de la Psychanalyse) , by Robert Groome

What is "a cartel" in psychoanalysis ?

Recurso a las propuestas de Gottlob Frege,  by Luisa Matallana (Spanish text)

The topological Denouement of the cure, by Robert Groome

Invention of the concept of "Real" by Lacan, from Charley Supper

Frege's Predicate Calculus and Theory of Concepts (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)


Lacan's version of the Signifer

The Signifer "Europe"

The lying of illiteracy

Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, by Ludwig Wittgenstein

Illiteracy and Topology - Adam and Eve, by Charley Supper

Topology-Knots and Unknots

Illiteracy - Stop with warlike terminology !

Illiteracy and Globalisation by Charley Supper

Free Internet publications on education (Canadian)

El poder de la palabra vacia (The Power of the Empty Word). Hugo Calello y Susana Neuhaus - An analysis of the populist political discourse, supported by the disguisable plan regarding the ideology as language and by Adorno's idea of "empty word".  Text (in spanish only)

Knot theory

Iconicity and Metaphor in Sign Languages : Recent Studies by Sarah Lind

What is Psychoanalysis ?

Illiteracy and Sexuation

What is Topology ?

Pas Tout Lacan : All the writtings of Lacan (in French) to download on "L'école lacanienne de Psychanalyse"

Illiteracy and topology definitions - The Guide of every days words and current English and French expressions













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