By Adrian Johnston
Slavoj Žižek is without doubt one of the finest and demanding philosophers operating this day, identified mainly for his theoretical explorations of pop culture and modern politics. This ebook specializes in the commonly ignored and sometimes overshadowed philosophical middle of Žižek’s work—an crucial part in any real appreciation of this certain thinker’s accomplishment.
His valuable situation, Žižek has proclaimed, is to take advantage of psychoanalysis (especially the lessons of Jacques Lacan) to redeploy the insights of late-modern German philosophy, specifically, the concept of Kant, Schelling, and Hegel. by means of taking this avowal heavily, Adrian Johnston eventually clarifies the philosophical undertaking underlying Žižek’s efforts. His e-book charts the interlinked ontology and thought of subjectivity developed by way of Žižek on the intersection of German idealism and Lacanian idea. Johnston additionally makes use of Žižek’s mixture of philosophy and psychoanalysis to deal with perennial philosophical difficulties: the connection of brain and physique, and the character of human freedom. by way of bringing jointly the earlier centuries of ecu philosophy, psychoanalytic metapsychology, and state-of-the-art paintings within the typical sciences, Johnston develops a transcendental materialist conception of subjectivity—in brief, an account of ways more-than-material kinds of subjectivity can emerge from a corporeal being. His paintings indicates how an engagement with Žižek’s philosophy can produce compelling solutions to today’s such a lot vexing and pressing questions as inherited from the heritage of ideas.
“It is often tough to learn books approximately oneself; with Johnston’s ebook, my anxiousness used to be even superior than ordinary. whereas analyzing it, I usually had the uncanny feeling of being faced by means of a line of argumentation which inserts greater than my very own texts what i'm suffering to formulate—as if he's the unique and i'm a duplicate. He definitely is familiar with find out how to learn me. the vast majority of my critics be aware of pop culture, politics, and beliefs in my work—Johnston is going on to its transcendental-ontological nucleus. this isn't a e-book on me, yet a e-book, serious of me, on what either Johnston and that i examine the middle of our philosophical hindrance. I hence recommend the reader to ignore me and to benefit from the labor of penetrating the vague size of the philosophical foundations of psychoanalysis.” —Slavoj Žižek
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Extra resources for Žižek’s Ontology: A Transcendental Materialist Theory of Subjectivity
Speaking of the Hegelian "night of the world," Zizek claims that death itself stands for this "self-withdrawal, the absolute contraction of subjectivity, the severing of its links with Reality'" (Zizek 1999b, 154). What if the inverse is (also) true? 6 Is the subject-asnegativity a response to its corporeal Grund (ground), to a primordially chaotic and discordant Real that produces its own negation immanently out of itself? Are Zizek's otherwise inexplicably odd choices of adjectives here indicative of such a link, of a thinly concealed umbilical cord teth ering the (pseudo)immateriality of the modern subject to a dark base rendered obscure through a forceful disavowal/abjection?
Kant's status as a pivotal linchpin in the history of philosophy is a central tenet of Zizek's oeuvre. , the distinction between the "I" as an unknowable an sick kernel and the "I" as it appears to itself vis-a-vis various series of appearances and their qualities) and Lacan's separa tion of the sujet from the moi What's more, in numerous places, Zizek argues that Lacan is deeply Kantian: Lacan, in contrast to his theoretical contemporaries, pursues a transcendental project involving a "critique of pure desire";9 both the Kantian and Lacanian subjects are "empty," incapable of being collapsed back into the determinate empiricalphenomenal contents fleshing out this $ as a monstrous, faceless void;10 the Lacanian distinction between the subjects of enunciation and utter ance is ultimately a Kantian one;11 Lacan's subject of the unconscious is nothing other than what Kant designates as the necessary failure of intro spective reflection to establish any kind of stable, qualitative self-identity12 .
Its ownmost ontological finitude, arising from the brute Real as both temporality and corporeal ity—there are justifications for viewing time itself, in its resdess nega tivity, as belonging to the dimension of the Real in Lacanian theory43 (see chapter 15)—can be encountered only as an antinomic deadlock. Consequendy, such finitude also must be considered a noumenal, an sich feature of "this / o r he or it (the thing) . . " The subject is inherently barred from any form of phenomenal self-acquaintance in which it would know itself as finite in the ontological-material sense.