[Obligatory disclaimer of any implication of originality.]
As I’ve been reading the early Lacan, I’ve been puzzled by exactly what the many references to Heidegger are doing for him, what he’s getting out of Heidegger. Clearly Heidegger is important to him personally — he makes a huge deal out of the translation of Heidegger’s “Logos” essay that he did for his journal, he bulks out his introduction and response to Hyppolite’s presentation on Verneinung with Heideggerian references for the Écrits version (the original seminar version is much shorter), etc.
A cynical read would have him simply following an intellectual trend, but I think there’s more going on — in fact, I think Lacan’s appropriation of Heidegger is arguably much more faithful to the Heideggerian project than is the existentialist appropriation that was going on around the same time. Certainly Lacan makes use of the existential analytic of Dasein, but even though his project is naturally “anthropocentric,” he seems to take Heidegger much more at his word that the real goal is the question of the meaning of Being, and one could say that his historical work in the seminars often takes the form of a kind of “history of Being.”
Lacan also shares with Heidegger an opposition to a scientistic or reductionistic view of the world, and one of his primary complaints about ego psychology is that it violates the Heideggerian methodological principle that human phenomena, qua human, must never be treated as things, objects, the present-to-hand.
Other connections: the method of the “Logical Time” essay, which digs beneath the received wisdom about logic to find an originary temporal experience at the foundation of logic, is Heideggerian in spirit even if one can’t imagine Heidegger using the prisoner example; he’s continually castigating the analytic community for a radical forgetting of what was really in question in the Freudian experience (so much so that they don’t even realize there’s such a question); and since I was tempted to say that they “foreclose” that question, perhaps Verwerfung could be understood in Heideggerian terms as a primordial forgetting.
What do you think, readers?