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COURSE TWELVE – Adventures in French Structuralism

COURSE TWELVE – Adventures in French Structuralism

Online Course

Course Coordinator: Judith Hamilton, MD (Ret’d), FRCP Psych

Course Leaders: Chris Vanderwees, PhD, RP; Reza Naderi, PhD; and Alireza Taheri, PhD, RP

Thursday, 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm: April 17, 24, May 1, 8, 15, 22, 2025. (6 sessions)

Fees: $420

Deadline for registration is April 10, 2025.
Preregistration is required.
** DISTANCE PARTICIPATION ONLY – This course will be conducted online.

After WWII, French philosophy entered a prosperous period whose influence is still strongly felt today. During its progress, we witness the invention of new styles, the formulation of new problems, and the engagement with new critical functions, making this singular period in the history of ideas responsible for transforming the nature of the humanities and the social sciences worldwide.

It is usual to structure the French postwar philosophy into three periods: the first period, starting before the end of the war in the 1940s until nearly the end of the 50s, is dominated by German philosophy’s influence upon the French thinkers. In the mid-60s, this humanist period ended, and what replaced it was a ‘scientific turn,’ the period of French Structuralism. According to French Structuralism, the only viable way to understand social and natural phenomena was to produce concepts that explain the inner workings of the structures that govern a mode of functioning, producing, speaking, or thinking. The third and last period is the period whose intent was partially to continue the consequences of structural commitments to their ends and partially to show the inconsistency/impossibility of some of the premises adopted by the structuralist orientation.

This series of talks focuses on the second period, French Structuralism. This period produced some of the most prominent thinkers in France in such fields as psychoanalysis, linguistics, mathematics, and anthropology: Jacques Lacan, Louis Althusser, Jacques-Alain Miller, Jean-Claude Milner, Etienne Balibar, Gilles Deleuze, Jacques Derrida, and Alain Badiou, to name a few, as well as institutional intellectuals such as the Bourbaki group as well as the group of writers gathered around the journal called Cahiers pour l’Analyse. The purpose of this study will then be to examine the following.

Learning Objectives:

By the end of this course, participants will be able to:

  1. Understand the humanist to the structuralist transition and the historical and theoretical grounds for this transition.
  2. Trace the trends in French Structuralism: with a focus on epistemological, mathematical, and political trends.
  3. Have facility in tracking the development of the theory of discourse in Cahiers pour l’Analyse and Lacan’s and Badiou’s reception of it.
  4. Articulate the heritage of French Structuralism and its aftermath during the post-structural era and today.
Judith Hamilton, MD (Ret’d), FRCP Psych

Psychoanalyst. She teaches in the Extension Program of the TPS. She is a co-founder of Lacan Toronto. Member TPS&I.

Chris Vanderwees, PhD, RP

Chris Vanderwees is a psychoanalyst, registered psychotherapist, and clinical supervisor at St. John the Compassionate Mission in Toronto, Canada. He is the author of On the History and Transmission of Lacanian Psychoanalysis (Routledge) and translator of Betty Milan’s Analyzed by Lacan (Bloomsbury). He is also a member of the Lacanian School of Psychoanalysis and an affiliate of the Toronto Psychoanalytic Society.

Reza Naderi, PhD

Reza Naderi is a computer scientist and an author and researcher in the areas of logic, mathematical philosophy, and theories of the subject. He is the author of Badiou, Infinity, and Subjectivity (Rowman & Littlefield).

Alireza Taheri, PhD, RP

Alireza Taheri is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist based in Toronto, Canada. He is a faculty member of Persepolis Psychoanalytic and the Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis. He is the author of Hegelian-Lacanian Variations on Late Modernity: Spectre of Madness (Routledge) where he develops a novel dialectical theory based on Hegel, Lacan, and Žižek. He wrote his dissertation for the University of Cambridge on Nietzsche, Freud, and Lacan. He also holds an MA in philosophy from Essex and an MSc in psychoanalytic thought from University College London. He has done psychoanalytic work in London (UK). He works in private practice in Toronto. TIP Candidate.

This event is eligible for Section 1 CME credits (0.5 credits/hour). This event is an accredited group learning activity (section 1) as defined by the Maintenance of Certificate Program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, approved by the Canadian Psychiatric Association (CPA). The specific opinions and content of this event are not necessarily those of the CPA, and are the responsibility of the organizer(s) alone. As per the Royal College standard, each presentation provides a minimum of 25% interactive learning.

Full-time students in universities and colleges, and mental-health trainees are eligible for a 25% reduction in course fees. Proof of 2024/2025 status needs to be provided. Please contact the tps&i directly to register at a discount.

Refunds must be requested in writing two weeks prior to the beginning of a course. A handling fee of $30 will be retained. After these two weeks, fees cannot be returned.

For more information about and for registration in the tps&i Extension Programs, Scientific Meetings, Training Programs, Study and Supervision groups and Special Presentations, please visit our website: or email

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