A Psychoanalytic & Phenomenological Critique of the Idea of Travel as Cognitive Enrichment



This essay will examine the notion of travel as cognitive enhancement, or as pursuit of the bottom line, or surplus enjoyment, in light of the projected surge in tourism across the world in 2013 (Kumar 2013) and the elements of pathic wantonness reflected in this surge. The essay will enfold in two segments with distinct apparatuses of investigation taking predominance. The first segment will propose a phenomenological account of the idea of travel as a purposive determination of agency for profit. This segment will provide an account of thetic consciousness as party to experiences of voluntary travel, occupational travel, and idle travel as moments of reflexion possessed of varying degrees of determination in light of profitable outcomes, or the bottom line. And, the second segment will deal with the psychoanalytic ramifications of seeing the utility of travel as a causally sufficient and necessary ground for its universal desirability. This segment will pick up the individual phenomenological determinations of travel through voluntary, obligatory, and indifferent dispositions towards the bottom line as an immanent, and universal archaeology of travel taken to be a rational manifestation of human desire for travel in society. It will read this desire against a normative psycho-phenomenology of the first person. The caveat here is that rationality, for psychoanalysis, is a symptomatic correlate of the phenomenological givens of everyday life, which is to say the normative grounds of psycho-phenomenology.

Key Words:


Lacques Jacan

Travelology as the Transcendence of the Immanent

A Psychoanalytic and Phenomenological Critique of the Idea of Travel as Cognitive Enrichment

To talk of travel as an event of enrichment, creativity and intellectual growth[i] is already to talk about a place where newly appropriated stimuli, inspirations and their attendant impetus can be collected for native tasks. Travel and its benefits are a properly cultural affair. For, the search for creativity is by its very design informed of its specific demands by the many stratagems of the would-be-travellers’ experiential world, his habitus if you will. This habitus, an amalgam of cultural engrams of rationality, and schemata of dispositions ([ii]Hillier & Rooksby 2005, p. 44), comes to orient the destination of affects that produces the demand for experiential novelty which comes to embody the human shape of the traveller. Affects must be distinguished from intellections inasmuch as the former contain an irreducible element which nonetheless produces real effects in the world of the agent (Nadelhoffer, Nahmias & Nichols 2010, p. 361). The traveller is the sum of what he expects from his journey subtracted from the desiderata of his post-excursive reflexions.

The changes he imbibes in his self-conception, in his dealings with the world, and his approach to the contents of his mental infrastructure are only a product of his future orientation as a person hoping to travel for whatever purposive determination (Maddux & Galinsky 2009, p. 1047- 1061). The traveller, at least insofar as impelled by his habitus, is an emissary bound on a mission which entails taking stock of what is to be had against the bulwark of what he carries already with him: the burden of the given, in no small part, comprises the most precarious aspect of the traveller’s luggage. His apparatus of novelty-seeking hangs on his musculature as would a lamp in the dark realm of the unexperienced, and though it may impair his motility, and exhaust the avidity of his groping hand, he may not dispense with its dead weight unless at loss of his original mission as promulgated in the desired object which impelled him to travel in the first instance. The nature of this examination forecloses the pursual of an entire psycho-phenomenological philosophy of Travelology, within an essay; nevertheless, the inevitable horizon of this guiding notion of travel-becoming-itself in and for the subject as his lived substantial experience of travel includes an onto-theology of the subject who travels. However, it is the express project of the author to explicate elsewhere, a reflexive, and systematic, philosophy of travel, i.e. a Travelology. This essay will examine the notion of travel as cognitive enhancement, or as pursuit of the bottom line from a phenomenological perspective, in light of the projected surge in tourism across the world in 2013 (Kumar 2013), and the elements of wanton pathic inertia reflected in the soft psycho-analytic underbelly of this surge.

Methodologically speaking, this essay will enfold in two segments with distinct apparatuses of investigation taking predominance. The first segment will propose a phenomenological account of the idea of travel as a purposive determination of agency for profit. This segment will provide an account of thetic consciousness as party to experiences of voluntary travel, occupational travel, and idle travel as moments of reflexion possessed of varying degrees of determination in light of profitable outcomes, or the bottom line. Naturally, this section will focus most intently on the first person commitments of a deontological bracketing of the notion of travel. And, the second segment will deal with the psychoanalytic ramifications of seeing the utility of travel as a causally sufficient, and necessary ground for its universal desirability. This segment will pick up the individual phenomenological determinations of travel through voluntary, obligatory, and indifferent dispositions towards the bottom line as an immanent, and universal archaeology of travel taken as a rational manifestation of desire in society, by reading them against a normative deontology of the first and third persons implicit in the unary traits of signifying regimes of desire. The caveat here is that rationality, for psychoanalysis, is a symptomatic correlate of the phenomenological givens of everyday life, which is to say the normative first and third person of deontology in complementarity inform the position of an immanent analytic totality. This analytic totality will be explicated, briefly, as the responsibility of the traveller, wherein he is despite his first and third person deontological commitments to his destination, and his habitus.

* In light of economic, and stylistic, concerns I will provide definitions for suggestive, or wide, and technical terms as and when they appear in the course of the essay; furthermore, I will try to curtail the definitions to the very bare minimum facility they require to uphold the points they are leveraged to make explicit.

  1. Phenomenological Axis

The desire to travel is a two-fold experiential entity.

The first component of the desire to travel is the revelation of intent, or the reasons by naming which the traveller is convinced that he must travel. This intent can be simple, or elaborate: I may need to travel because I need to travel to keep the paycheques coming, but I may also need to keep the paycheques coming because I have a mortgage on my house that demands that I keep this particular job, which requires me to travel. Alternatively, I may need to travel to get away from work, which is a rather peculiar need rooted in the particular whims that are the imperative deliverables of my habitus, and its demands upon me. I don’t know why I must escape from this work, which pursues me where I am; I am compelled to do that which I demand from myself for myself only in myself, i.e. according to the subjective vellity of my drive for the novel in disregard for the necessary normative ground which allows me this drive as my right. Thus, the first movement of the traveller’s consciousness [pertaining to his travel] is necessarily coterminous with a wide array of explicit, and implicit social injunctions that combine to formulate the cognitive commitments of the traveller to his destination, and his activities there. He is absolved from the demand that he possess a knowledge which brings him to this juncture in the measure that he is the master of his will; a free agent choosing to move his dispositions around, to re-orient them, if you will.

The second component of the desire to travel is an awareness, or even anticipation, of the friction of the real experiences that are to bear down upon the traveller, and his apparatuses of novelty-seeking; it is the specific remainder of his own desires as they are amended by the demands made upon his habitus by the others he will encounter at his destination. Thus, the constant tension between two nodes of the emergent desire to travel, and its traces of exhaustion in the actual world is already contained in the mental inventory of the individual poised to travel. His destination lies before him as an imperative, and as a blank cheque, in varying measures, and he seeks to cash in on the future by borrowing from his past; he must present himself to the tension of the contradictory determinations of his own impelling desires, and the desires of those he must yet encounter on their home turf. Apprehension is a prelude to the acquisitive modus operandi of the traveller, as his desire structures his search for novelty with a grammar of habitual resources for experiencing the world, and its immanent contents ([iii]Strawson 1950, p. 328).

There are different destinations for different travellers.

The object of travel is a cashing out of the bottom line, in an immanent, indeterminate, and therefore perfectly subjective sense. The bottom line is indeterminate because the traveller doesn’t yet know what insights he will reap from his excursion, how much of it will be compatible with his own habitus, and how much will be lost to the continual attrition caused by non-inferential appropriation of insights from the projected destination that curtail actually usable appropriation, or the desirous realm of ego-ideality. According to Freud the individual seeks to appropriate for himself a proximity to the object of his desires in order to compensate for the loss of a primordially narcissistically emollient object of desire, this object is his ego-ideal (Ragland-Sullivan 1986, p. 54). The lost destination of the traveller-to-be is what he expects from his experience of the journey, and the various vicissitudes it occasions for his habitual being in the world, the habitus itself. This bottom line holds a modicum of the narcissism which the traveller wants to reintegrate with his existential self by fantastic means as ransom against the contingent identifications he will make with particular aspects of his experiences at the destination which is still to register itself in the actuality of experience.

The bottom line, as indeterminate essence, is:  the universal form of content as a formal entity capable of expression; a universal normative culture wherein the expression of contents is comprehended, and responded to as a particular discourse; and, finally, the social determinations which continually interact with the possibility of particular discourses in actuality taken as an indeterminate generality coterminous with the conditions of desiring any cash out in and for oneself through another (Truong 2012, p. 7). The hypothetical agent of the decision to embark upon a possible journey, the ideal ego as the traveller in and for himself cashing out his bottom line, is always already sizing up the destination of his regard, and perusal/ pursual, “…to command” its “play of relationships” with his sense of being ‘I’(Ibid). But, it is not clear if this hypothetical agent can identify this destination prior to have having had access to its local emergent propositionality in originary experience, since there is no precedent to one’s first experience of the destination in its organic reality impressed upon the ‘I’. This real ‘I’, a second possible [shm]agent b, is as the “…ding an sich” and its “…inaccessible substance”, and betrays recollection, and propositionality only inasmuch as he fails to recognize, and sift away his own prejudices that conceal a traumatic “…das ding”, remaining repressed in what the hypothetical agent ideal ego cannot conceive of, in his unimaginable outrage at the alterity of the destination of every possible ‘I’s actuality as such (Brooks & Toth 2012, p. 272). The Real of the ‘I’, an isolable train of signifying unary traits, then, is an elemental determination which is in excess of the propositional relata of the demands it places for discourse (Eyers 2012, p. 57), and functions as a neither purely agent relative nor purely agent neutral normativity of metonymy and metaphor ([iv]Barcelona 2003, pp. 171- 194).


If one must examine the elements which mark the concept of travel with the generality that makes particular experience, and its crystallisation as creative insight cashable as the bottom line, it is imperative that the unexamined bracketings of what constitutes meaningful travel, and the meaning of travel in individual instances be exhausted by a phenomenological archaeology. This phenomenological archaeology follows through from the givenness of the positive agentic intention, and its secondary state of alienation as a negative conceptual entity in the indeterminate realm of intention, to the dynamic being of the “…manifest actuality…” (Skempton 2010, p. 58) of self-consciousness, and thereby creates property in one’s consciousness for itself by investing the conceptual nullity with the reflexive pursuit of the bottom line. But, the rejoinder to the tautology is, precisely, the semanticised secondariness of any retroactive conditioning of “…contingent external conditions…” (ibid. p. 61) inasmuch as all notions of necessity used to define natural phenomena are predicates of contingent propositions assumed true by some inaccessible but actual shmagent b, acting as a witness to the intent of the given agent a. The unhappy consciousness of this agent a after he has encountered his alienation from his initial desire, and understood it to be arbitrarily free for him is the repressed destination of the shmagent b for itself, the subject supposed to be the traveller for another’s cause. This cause of the other is explicated in the symptomatic non-translation of experiences into agent a’s immediate and personal bottom line as reflected in the pliancy of the imaginal shmagent b. To travel meaningfully, in the sense of unpacking the bottom line, for agent a, one must arrive at the meaning of travel as a semantic entity for agent a in himself for shmagent b. Understanding this semantic entity is tantamount to understanding the indeterminate grounds of its normative commitment; the normative scope of language is accessible to the questioner, just as the position of the traveller as his own meaningful referent in experience is accessible to the reflexive decision of the agent a. The cost of the satisfaction of the shmagent b’s desire to travel for another, as a link in a phenomenological chain that binds travel with cognitive enhancement for agent a, is that agent a must travel for himself even if against the grain of his triebend identikit, and the demands of his habitus as expressed in the normative grammar of the shmagent b; to travel is to wade in the barely familiar waters of the unconscious, and face its traumatic interpellation within an objective conceptual world of others with authenticity, and moral poise that predicates actual understanding, and appreciation of both shmagent b, and the deontological commitments of agent-relative and agent-neutral determinations of the will to travel as correlates of an ethically reflexive Travelology that remains immanent, and implicit, in the manifest normativity of the propositional first persons’ rights.



The sheer necessity of the hypothetical agent ‘I’ of the decision to embark upon a possible journey, the ideal ego a as the traveller in and for himself, is the normative ground of his own subjective agency for another, who calls himself an ‘I’ as [shm]agent b, or any particular traveller. The hypothesis [agent a of the ‘I’] collapses into coevality with any real life traveller as soon as “…the positive substantial thing” (Ibid.) which lies behind the objective cast of the synthetic unity of the mind of agent a becomes propositionally existent, i.e. as soon as the traveller acknowledges that he is about to embark on such, and such a journey he has carved out of the immediate generality of the will into a specific determination of his subjective intent in himself for shmagent b. For, if the agent a were actually “…a shmagent” ([v]Shafer-Landau 2012, p. 39), or shmagent b then he would be like a ‘hiker’ questioning the necessity of physically traversing a trail at all in order to be a ‘hiker’; since, the shmagent supposed he could be otherwise than a ‘hiker’ it was assumed that he knew what ‘hiking’ implied in terms of normative semantic commitment. It must be the case that there was never a [shm]agent b, it was agent a who was the traveller-to-be all along, and had decided to find in his destination the sum of his projected ideal-egoic totalisations and it imaginary bottom line. This imaginary bottom line belonged, equally, to the redundant shmagent b actually in the course of agent a’s pause for reflexion; he sought to enquire why he had needed to set about his affairs to go abroad only because he could not find any shmagent b present in itself for his reflexion, although it was present for him as a correlate of his ideal ego. What did not stick was the false visage of the self setting about to travel freely without continued commitments to the habitus which actually occasions both the ideal ego, and its traumatic existence as a pre-reflected agent a, who must fulfil his semantic commitments as traveller, solely for the bottom line of an other in the figure of a shmagent b. Thus, in a dialectical short circuit the [shm]agent b, who doesn’t actually exist, reflects the agent a’s alter ego—in itself—and exists as the vellity that resembles “…the identificatory exclusion, and closure of ‘apparent sameness’, which occurs in the relating of ideal ego to ego ideals in relationships” (Ragland-Sullivan 1986, p. 55). Indeed, it exists as an actual entity negotiating the demands for that which one must cash out as the bottom line for an agent a supposed to travel at all—for himself in another’s stead. Ultimately, “[w]ondering whether we should engage in practical reason in itself is part of the activity of practical reasoning…practical reason is reflectively closed in a way that no other activity is” (Shafer Landau 2012, p 42). Ultimately, pondering if one ought to know oneself as a traveller is part of the discursive activity of the prâxis that is contained in the lexis which calls the word travel to account for its semantic commitments, a question about the normativity of the norm quickly gives itself to beggary in the solipsistic, and imperative, modality of its being for us as interrogation. The first person’s deontological commitments to the notion of travel concern only his own “…stake” in what he takes to be a “…source of value” in his journey, and it is fundamentally different from the commitments he bears towards another for whom he travels under obligation, for here he is the embodied as a second-person responsible to a third person due to yet another field of “intersubjective…”, and non-exhaustible, travel experiences, where experiences are neither traveller relative nor traveller neutral ([vi]Hooft & Vandekerckhove 2010, p. 91).


The traveller, though he is impelled by the peculiar libidinal forces which define his personal sense of being in oneself, as an inscrutable determination of wanderlust in shmagent b, is actually the leverage given the non-reflexive subject, shmagent b, to arrange agent a’s affairs according to these instinctual, and habitual, designs, provided for him by his commitments to an employer to whom he owes his service. But this service is a predicate of a demand taken as the gift of an identity semblant, agent a as traveller, and so, accordingly, the traveller’s service is owed to his habitus, and his identity semblant yet again, making coherent the participation of employer and employee as mutual determinants in a self-enfolding disclosure of normativity as such. “[vii]Having a life, being alive, continues to happen to” him “through a kind of haptic circuit that fuses power and habit, potentiality and custom, into an active, living-decaying disposal of” his “being, a losing-becoming of” his self “among other active dispositions”. Just so, being is a state of negotiation between the diverse forces which enliven the world of the subject. Being in oneself is being at home in one’s skin, just as being for oneself entails doing what it takes for keeping the soul sheathed in one’s skin. But, in the assimilation of desires that compel the traveller to provide care for himself, even on his journey, there is no refuge from the absolute authority of the other shmagent b who inscrutably mediates his demand for satisfaction—in the way of exercising his normative legal rights as master of the property the traveller holds in his body unconsciously, as debt against future expressions of his actual employment read against the actuality of the bottom line for the employer in the present, i.e. in relation to absolute referent of the other’s desire [which is the bottom line for shmagent b, a tautological incursion of the triebe into the very vellity of the other as embodying the position of tyrannous master to an ‘I’ in agent a]. The money, and social infrastructure which allow him to articulate his demand for novelty are only a partial determination of the being in himself of the traveller, so as to be free to be in himself the traveller must first successfully be for himself by answering the demands of the other shmagent b as employer. In traveling away, in escaping the call of duty, or in capitulating to its expeditious demands, the traveller is called to realise that his way to mastery, his vocation and avocation were what had always already lain latent in his sense of being in oneself as a general concept accorded to a hypothetical agent a; he realises that his being in oneself finds its full expression only, and only, in his being for oneself in the other [who is the inscrutable shmagent b, yet again!]. For if he had not desired to travel, and was compelled by he who cannot comprehend being the traveller because he is an aleatory fiction, or shmagent b, it must be that the employer is allied to the unthinking traveller shmagent b who is determined externally by the bottom line as conceived of by the employer’s ego ideal. Though I find sustenance for my body in the employer’s fairness there remains a niggling remainder of the bondage which responsibility imposes upon its respondent, namely such as in the considerations of the shmagent b whose sole aim is to explicate my drive to work at this actually underpaying, and overly demanding job as it impresses itself upon me as the alienation of my immediate desire to, perhaps, travel for my own pleasure, or even to stay put, and not play at being a traveller.


It would be inadmissible to my sophism were it contented that the dependency of a traveller on his resources is a marginality of reflective thought not relevant to the actual lifeblood of travel for travel’s sake. The determinations of a concept are real only inasmuch as they intimate to our rational faculty the shape of our embodied experience, and its proclivities as absolutely indeterminate are still coherent as the gestalt of ideas yet to come, to be actualised between the nexus of time, repetition, and contingency. The embodiment of the concept as actual reality is a perfect analogy for what happens to the traveller as he becomes the object of his wanderlust through the particular articulations of his being in himself, in the foreign territory of his latent desire; as, here, he comes to embody, or actualise, the prepotentiated vestiges of instinctual repetition, [viii]triebe, that are his property in-himself geared beyond the conscious demand of his appetite for novel experiences for-himself. The triebe is an embodied analogue of force, which in its stimulus takes on a mediated appearance that is then transcended by thetic consciousness as a class of experience of appearances proper to the stimulus as objectal insinuation. The inherent structure of the triebe is that of the nonreflexive kernel of the self-evidence of sense experiences; beyond reflexion this sense certainty is a determinate concept of reality. Hegel says that “[ix][d]rives or inclinations are primarily a content of the will, and only reflection stands above them: but these drives [triebe] themselves become impelling [triebend], press upon each other, and all of them wish to be satisfied…” (2011 §17, p. 50).


The questions of relevance, now, are how the unconscious of the traveller can be explicated to an extent where the implicit rationality of travel is exhausted in ethically sustainable ways accessible to the individual; and, how its triebend nexus with conceptual normativity is understood in relation to the purposive surplus of travel for the individual traveller in and for himself. Though, in accordance with the scope of this essay, I will try to unpack only the latter determination in a suggestive way. The rest of this essay will deal with normative concept of travel as cognitive enrichment in light of the psychoanalytic insight that travel is allied with the expansion of egoic mastery (Jenkins & Pigram 2013, p. 142); and, it will seek to explicate, psychoanalytically, how the bottom line of travel is situated in the rootedness of the other [both in the sense of the unwilling agent a and the natives of the destination who resist agent a’s imperatives] in fantasy. In so many words, does the voluntary act, or contractual pliancy of the ethical traveller bear the lode of ethical principles made evident by the travel-related and travel-neutral modalities of being for the agent across first and third person deontological commitments?


  1. Psychoanalytic Axis

Destinations and travellers mutually determine each other.


In an itinerary he finds not only the intimations of the free determination of his will but also the trappings of the immediate world of normative reality which give the traveller his identity in his native habitus, and an interpretive schema without it. One may say, it is, also, a partial inventory of normative structures which give him an identity semblant that is accorded an objective existence compossible with the nominal alienation of agentic freedom, and the normatively propositional purposive contents of the will. Once the agent a has appreciated his mediate personhood as traveller for another shmagent b, embodied in both the agent a’s residual desire and its alienation in service to an employer one arrives at the determinate relationship between the traveller as a rational cognitive enhancement seeker, and the first and third person deontological commitments he bears to them, and to traveller-relative, and traveller-neutral commitments, from an ethical point of view that is intersubjective proper. This task entails a psychoanalytic appraisal of the normative grounds for evaluating the deontological performance of traveller-relative, or traveller-neutral demands generated within the preceding phenomenological exegesis of travel for the first, and second person as dictated by third person deontology. While the Levinasian piety for the disclosure of the other’s faciality becomes an appreciation of second person deontological commitments, by invoking the “I-It relation” (Hooft & Vandekerckhove 2010, p. 96) which mediates the sphere of third person normative deontological commitments, it remains wholly inadequate to account for the apodicity of the second person relations it invokes in the first instance as constitutive of normativity as such. While it is true that the second person commitments of deontological ethics impair the totalising psychism of the agent a, and the reifying compulsion of the third person embodied in the shmagent b’s being for the reason of agent a (Ibid.) it is a betrayal of the former’s unconscious predilections which is at stake if we ignore the apoditic status of the present moment in relation to its apparent manifestation of normativity for agent a through shmagent b, i.e. for oneself in another. To put it psychoanalytically, the ideal ego of the traveller as a third person of deontological commitment bears the marks of an ego ideal that is forever lost in the loss of childishness, and in the adequations internalised by the adult traveller that attempt unconsciously to reanimate them with the sheer omnipotence of thought which is the prime talent of children.


As we established earlier, the ideal ego, which is of a collective character, bears upon its particulate disjecta membra the indeterminate ground of the will of the individuals under its banner of normative commitment. The fragmentary assertions of the individual traveller’s ethical dispositions upon the whole sphere of travel, and tourism, amounts not to a revaluation of the possibilities of ethical discourse pertaining to the traveller alone but to possibilities of travel as a generality excluding discourse inasmuch as it is not explicit, not self-identical with the ego ideals of first person deontology, and not conscious of its lacunae in relation to the dialectical gestalt of the self-fulfilling totality that can be called Travelology, and its proper deontological scope. [α] The “relation”, and “separation”, of the traveller as agent a to the concept of travelling, which belongs to shmagent b as normative third person deontology [β] the mutuality out of symmetry between the agent a, and shmagent b, and [γ] the endless reciprocity of mutually pursued symmetry between traveller and destination, as emblems of agent a, and shmagent b form a transubjective perspective that is the hallmark of a totality that is demanding of agent a’s subjective determinations of travel oriented being as such, and the ethical deontology tied to such an endeavour in particular (Ibid, p. 100). It is quickly apparent that the ideal ego, in these determinations of the mediate grounds of phenomenal embodiment of travel as such, comes to its concretion in the “common denominator” ([x]Žižek 2003, p. 17) of a social egoity that remains inaccessible to analytic probing because: [a] the object taken as merely instances of relation and separation actually involves an affective, and instinctive component; [b] the object as a constant adequation from the first person relata of travel centric affects, and second person relata of travel centric affects in conscious experience, is an inscrutable entity that elides the duty of reason to prove the travel-centricity of travel in itself serving as the “libidinal object-tie” for the agent a (ibid.); and, [c] the relations between the agent a repressed by identical determinations shared by an-other exceeds the modality of sexualised objective identification (Ibid.) precisely by a logic of withdrawn hypotheticals that exceeds concerns about rational action, and cognitive enhancement.


The tension between [α] and [a] can be summarised as the lability of objectivity-subjectivity in the normative deontological ethics of travel; as in oral consummation of infantile desire, we come to eat the object of desire, and thereby eliminate it through the assimilative apparatus of libidinal desire itself (Ibid). Here, we find that the different realisations of one original desire as private oral union with the mother’s salutary dug on one hand, and the communal union implicated in the totem meal in honour of the killed father on the other as two faces of identity. Thus, agent a carried within him the seeds of shmagent b, since his very inception as a traveller supposed to be, and there was never an ontological necessity that agent a could be the only traveller possible, or in other words agent a was never a necessary conditional entity for first person normative responsibility in the first instance [a1]. The tension between [β] and [b] can be summarised as the sufficiency of a single act of arbitrary self-determination to trigger a series of actions that may be deemed reciprocal in light of the causal interaction between hypotheses, and experiential data. Thus, agent a, and shmagent b are reciprocal interlocutors if there exists a dialectical tension between them in the first instance in the mind of the former. And, as they relate to each other in copulas of duration for us, in the second person deontological view, the mutual reciprocity of the identical, the negative, and the negation of negation in the agent a as he embodies these subject positions for himself, and for shmagent b, and for the first and third persona of deontological commitment, in itself as a respondent, we are introduced to an antinomian schemata of travel which seeks itself in nonidentical experience of the self. The reciprocal determination of a universal concept precludes an agency that is free from the deontological commitments of the first person [b2]. The tension between [γ] and [c] is neatly encapsulated in the non-coincidence between the agent a who is not a necessary condition of deontological commitments towards the object of travel, and the possibility of both agent a and shmagent b finding their ethical commitment as the logical sufficiency of the two types of identificatory departures in the introjective/ projective constitution of the libidinal object. We have, here, on the one hand an ego ideal of travel as self-sufficient justification for its arbitrary choices as a traveller and on the other hand an ideal ego which is given anew each time an ego ideal is negated by conscious experience of reality [c3].


Taken as mutually corroborative totalisations of intersubjective phenomenal experience, and their responsibility towards the deontological commitments implicit in first, second, and third person of language as such a1,b2, c3 means: we can take the self-sufficiency of the agent a of naïve phenomenology to be both conscious, and unconscious, libidinal and objective, virtually constitutive and actually acausal based on a notion of space, and time that is exterior to the agent a in question. It should be evident by now that all determinations of the truth procedures of philosophy, both of the phenomenologically and psychoanalytically leavened kind, must by necessity operate within the charmed circle of a chosen hermeneutic inertia. However, it is not necessary that the circle be squared for the individual as his peculiar cathexes with the objectal existence of travel as a concept, along with the subjective, and intersubjective ethical commitments that are entailed in such a concept. These experiential entities of reflexion in the agent bear a structural homology with the analyst’s relation to his own analytical apparatus; he too blocks out the stuff which constructs his self semblable, just as the analysand unconsciously masks his repressed ideational content (Stern 2009, p. 45). It involves only a perspectival shift of the spatio-temporal axes which undergirds the adequacy of the analysand’s, or agent a’s, propositional elaborations on travel to gain insight into what makes travel exceed the resource of the ethical agent a; actions, gestures, tics, confabulations, behavioural excesses, etc. all count as spatio-temporal determinants inasmuch as they amplify, fix, or disabuse the propositional conditions of rationality expressed in travelling as adjudicated by the account of the events, and responses to situations that arise in the course of the journey. Just as hostility presents to us a problematic object of hatred, since the object repudiated must in effect belong to my prior circumspection, consciousness in affective commitment obtains from an ineluctable spatio-temporal lacuna between speech, and discourse. Hostility, though finding its concrete actuality in the heat of an unpleasant, traumatic encounter, is nevertheless a potentiality included in the very technics of the self, in the habits that find their identity as a whole structure of human being: hostility is whatever a person is specifically not above hating because it is not for him, but in and for itself in another. The language which makes hostility expressible is founded by something which resits it from within the speaking person: the difference between speech and eating makes meaning, and discursion, a negotiable game of veridical dominance between two registers ([xi]Deleuze 2003, p. 214- 215): lexis and prâxis are two sides of the coin which stands on in its edge as we embark upon a journey from the individual cathexis as the traveller possessed of deontological justification of his responsibilities to himself, the other, and the world which contains their mutuality, and non-coincidence (Derrida 2004, p. 114). Yet, despite this thin line separating what is from what ought to be, when hostility as a concept is invoked, we are aware of an immediate, if indeterminate, content of human experience under the givenness of conflicting agents of desire. To adjudicate the object of travel from the normative grounds of deontological ethics, from a psychoanalytic perspective, requires the analyst to assume himself in the company of the agent a, and the unconscious stratagems of his desire as they appear to the analyst in his own inter-subjective dalliance in the session, and its procedurally emergent object of desire (Parker 2011, p. 37). How the popular variety of psychoanalytical literature, with a number of unconscious impressions casually inducted from a consciously crafted work of literature, art, or philosophy, is possible from an archaeology of desiring agents is absolutely beyond the imaginary prowess of practicing analysts (Roland 2011, p. 124).


  1. Concluding Remarks, and an Inventory for Future Determinations of Travelology

The psychoanalytic perspective is especially suited for the task of illuminating the psychisms of travel as consciousness in the subject precisely inasmuch as the phenomenological epochê fails to consider the negative as it actually is ad rem; because conceptual determination remains positive in its effects for the traveller as agent a.  The positivity of conceptions is often a matter that is not cleanly discernable as either normatively grounded, or individually posited when the issue at hand is neither specifically traveller-dependent nor traveller-neutral. Accordingly, the analytic acuity of psychoanalysis rivals phenomenology only by the hair-breadth of an epistemological decision which inaugurates the investigation of thetic consciousness: the givenness of sense certainty in the present moment is adequate for phenomenology, and to question this givenness incessantly alone is adequate for psychoanalysis as a pursual of apodicity ([xii]Lohmar & Brudzińska 2012, p. 132). By reading the significatory unicity of the letters of the Real of travel as an enriching experience for the traveller, which escapes the propositional closure of his propositional reason, as an affective impulsion of the ego object, psychoanalysis can offer news ways to redress the onto-thetic closure which imposes itself on the traveller as a discerner of novelties (Ibid. p. 136) prepotentiated by the isolated signifier (Eyers 2012, p. 59) of the other’s bottom line. How to rehabilitate the autonomy of the traveller, and how to elevate the tacit haptic circuit of dispensations, and absorptive facilities of the intellect into an autonomous determination of the free will in travel will be questions that remain perpetually accessible to a psycho-phenomenological exegesis of the discourse of travel-relative, and travel-neutral unary traits of the signifier Travelology.

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[i] To learn about the link between cognitive enrichment and travel see Maddux, William, W. & Galinsky, Adam, D. (2009). “Cultural Borders and Mental Barriers: The Relationship Between Living Abroad and Creativity”. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 2009, Vol. 96, No. 5. PP. 1047–1061. Print.

[ii] Hillier, Jean & Rooksby, Emma Eds. Bourdieu, Pierre. “Habitus”. Habitus: A Sense of Place. Burlington, VT: USA. Print. PP. 44- 50.

[iii] “People use expressions to refer to particular things. But the meaning of an expression is not the set of things or the single thing it may correctly be used to refer to: the meaning is the set of rules, habits, conventions for its use in referring” Strawson, P. F. (1950). On Referring. Mind. New Series, Vol. 59, No. 235. July, 1950.PP. 324- 344. p. 328.

[iv] Barcelona, Antonio. Ed. (2003). “Metaphor in Semantic Change”. Metaphor and Metonymy at the Crossroads: A Cognitive Perspective. Berlin, Germany: Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. Print. PP. 171- 194.

[v] Shafer-Landau, Russ, Ed. Walden, Kenneth. “Laws of Nature, Laws of Freedom, and the Social Construction of Normativity”. Oxford Studies in Metaethics, Volume 7. New York, USA: Oxford University Press. Print. PP. 37- 79.

[vi] Hooft, Stan, V., & Vandekerckhove, Wim. (2010). Verlinden, An. “Reconciling Global Duties with Special Responsibilities: Towards a Global Dialogical Ethics”. Questioning Cosmopolitanism. London, UK: Springer. Print. PP. 83- 104.

[vii] Masciandaro, Nicola. (2013). Come cosa che cada: Habit and Cataclysm, or, Exploding Plasticity. Accessed May 23, 2013. See < http://www.academia.edu/908512/come_cosa_che_cada_habit_and_cataclysm_or_exploding_plasticity >. Web.

[viii] Hegel, Georg, Friedrich, W. Wood, Allen, W. Ed. Trans. Nisbet, H., B. (2011). Elements of the Philosophy of Right. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. Print. P. 50.

[ix] Ibid.

[x] Žižek, Slavoj. Ed. (2003). “Ch.1. The Imaginary”. Jacques Lacan: Critical Evaluations. Vol. 1: Psychoanalytic Theory and Practice. New York, NY: Routledge. Print. PP. 7- 32.

[xi] Deleuze, Gilles. Trans. Lester, Mark & Stivale, Charles. Ed. Boundas, Constantin, V. (2003). “Twenty-seventh Series of Orality”. The Logic of Sense. London, UK: Continuum. Print. PP. 214- 224.

[xii] Lohmar, Deiter, & Brudzińska, Jagna Eds. Leder, Andrzej. (2012). “Edmund Husserl and Jacques Lacan: An Ethical Difference in Epistemology?”. Founding Psychoanalysis Phenomenologically: Phenomenological Theory of Subjectivity and the Psychoanalytic Experience. New York, NY: Springer. Print. PP. 132- 148.