Vital Signs offers a radical new understanding of the role of psychoanalytic theory in contemporary French thought. Drawing on the work of Lacan, Kristeva, Foucault, and lesser-known thinkers Eugenie Lemoine-Luccioni and Catherine Millot, Shepherdson argues that we have misinterpreted the nature/culture distinction in relation to psychoanalysis. He shows how the constitution of subject, and the phenomenon of the body, are irreducible to this distinction, and argues that the reception of French psychoanalysis has been wrongly governed by the debate between biological models and symbolic theories of social construction. Shepherdson approaches this dilemma through a series of specific topics, using both theoretical texts and clinical material. The topics discussed (transsexualism, anorexia, maternity, and femininity), allow the author to bridge the gulf between theory and clinical practice, and to distinguish psychoanalysis from its disciplinary neighbors in contemporary social theory. Vital Signs will be of interest to philosophers, psychoanalysts, and those involved in literary and cultural studies.