Jacques Lacan (died 1981) was a French psychoanalyst and psychiatrist who has been called “the most controversial psycho-analyst since Freud”. Giving yearly seminars in Paris from 1953 to 1981, Lacan influenced many leading French intellectuals in the 1960s and the 1970s, especially those associated with post-structuralism. His ideas had a significant impact on post-structuralism, critical theory, linguistics, 20th-century French philosophy, film theory, and clinical psychoanalysis.
In a 2012 interview with Veterans Unplugged, Noam Chomsky said: “quite frankly I thought he was a total charlatan. He was just posturing for the television cameras in the way many Paris intellectuals do. Why this is influential, I haven’t the slightest idea. I don’t see anything there that should be influential.”
The late and very great Sir Roger Scruton included Lacan in his book Fools, Frauds and Firebrands: Thinkers of the New Left, and named him as the only ‘fool’ included in the book—his other targets merely being misguided or frauds.