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Zizek and existentialism

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    Bill, I think dialectical materialism (Marx and Sartre) is based on dialectical reason (Hegel), so my inquiry will me lead back t/here eventually. A social
    Message 1 of 4 , Sep 8, 2011
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      Bill,

      I think dialectical materialism (Marx and Sartre) is based on dialectical reason (Hegel), so my inquiry will me lead back t/here eventually. A social theory founded on philosophical concepts is much different from what passes as political discourse these days.

      I appreciate Zizek as a contemporary who explicates Sartre. In the essay for which I provided the link, Bring Me My Philips Mental Jacket, he advances Sartre's essence-precedes-existence argument with: can nature, human or otherwise, survive scientific manipulation? He points out will-to-ignorance in several of his works, which Sartre never worked out this to his own satisfaction. Employing psychoanalysis, as did Sartre, Zizek describes it as disavowal, a thread which occurs in much of his work. Dignity and freedom, those other pillars of existentialist thought and liberalism? They too are briefly included in this essay and throughout all his writing. He concludes this article:

      "Hegel would not have shrunk from the idea of the human genome and biogenetic intervention, preferring ignorance to risk. Instead, he would have rejoiced at the shattering of the old idea that 'Thou art that,' as though our notions of human identity had been definitively fixed. Contrary to Habermas, we should take the objectivisation of the genome fully on board. Reducing my being to the genome forces me to traverse the phantasmal stuff of which my ego is made, and only in this way can my subjectivity properly emerge."

      I have no idea whether he has modified or rejected this particular position, but find it a deeper respect for life and more profound hope for human knowledge than any finite, reductionist scientific theory-or not so conversely- religious thinking. Please give me a universal, that justifies intentionally creating misery when there are means to alleviate or prevent such? My liberalism is based on its nonexistence.

      Mary

      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "William" <v.valleywestdental@...> wrote:
      >
      > I do not think anyone can claim that Zizek is an existentialist. That one contributor happens to think the communist leaning law professor has or deserves existentialist credentials is her own opinion. Law is a transational business. It is the business of defining what legislators have said. That is a far cry from the vaunted place that Mary places philosophy. I do not read Zizak because he is off topic. He is not an existentialist and he is not a philosopher. He is a law professor who writes books that pattern all over the map. He belongs in politics, writing the laws that lawyers debate. That an avowed philsophical purist finds him as champion is most odd. The thread could be served if Mary defended Zizak as a marxist but that is neither interesting or popular. Perhaps she might defend her place as a liberal.Bill
      >
    • William
      Message 2 of 4 , Sep 8, 2011
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        --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eupraxis@... wrote:
        >
        > Zizek is not a law professor and has never been associated with law. He
        > is a philosopher, social theorist and psychoanalyst.
        >
        > Wil
        > Wil ,the information I posted was from the site Mary asked us to read. I suspect we have a case of mistaken identity but that changes little in my distaste for Zizek. To each his own and I will no longer respond to Zizek material. Go ahead, discuss among yourselves, whichever Zizak you speak of he is an inconsequential minor writer that is of no interest to me. Enjoy your conversation but try to get your facts straight before you send me hunting wild geese. I will not fact check secound hand sources especially those that disintrance me. If you feel compelled to check that site I applaude your persistance, I really do not care who the guy is. Bill
        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: William <v.valleywestdental@...>
        > To: existlist <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
        > Sent: Wed, Sep 7, 2011 9:27 pm
        > Subject: [existlist] Liberalism and marxism
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > I do not think anyone can claim that Zizek is an existentialist. That
        > one contributor happens to think the communist leaning law professor
        > has or deserves existentialist credentials is her own opinion. Law is a
        > transational business. It is the business of defining what legislators
        > have said. That is a far cry from the vaunted place that Mary places
        > philosophy. I do not read Zizak because he is off topic. He is not an
        > existentialist and he is not a philosopher. He is a law professor who
        > writes books that pattern all over the map. He belongs in politics,
        > writing the laws that lawyers debate. That an avowed philsophical
        > purist finds him as champion is most odd. The thread could be served
        > if Mary defended Zizak as a marxist but that is neither interesting or
        > popular. Perhaps she might defend her place as a liberal.Bill
        >
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