By Slavoj Zizek

Philosophical materialism in all its varieties – from medical naturalism to Deleuzian New Materialism – has didn't meet the foremost theoretical and political demanding situations of the fashionable international. this is often the load of thinker Slavoj Žižek’s argument during this pathbreaking and eclectic new paintings. contemporary background has obvious advancements comparable to quantum physics and Freudian psychoanalysis, to not converse of the failure of twentieth-century communism, shake our realizing of existence.

In the method, the dominant culture in Western philosophy misplaced its moorings. To carry materialism brand new, Žižek – himself a dedicated materialist and communist – proposes a thorough revision of our highbrow historical past. He argues that dialectical materialism is the one precise philosophical heir of what Hegel unique the “speculative” process in thought.

Absolute Recoil is a startling reformulation of the root and chances of modern philosophy. whereas concentrating on how one can triumph over the transcendental process with no regressing to naïve, pre-Kantian realism, Žižek bargains a chain of tours into today’s political, creative, and ideological panorama, from Arnold Schoenberg’s song to the movies of Ernst Lubitsch.

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Additional info for Absolute Recoil: Towards A New Foundation Of Dialectical Materialism

Sample text

This negative relation of the state to itself is embodied in the world as the relation of one state to another and as if the negative were something external. In the world of existence, therefore, this negative relation has the shape of a happening and an entanglement with chance events coming from without. But in fact this negative relation is that moment in the state which is most supremely its own, the state’s actual infinity as the ideality of everything finite within it. e. , something that is definitely superseded, rendered philosophically obsolete, by Hegel’s philosophical achievement.

How fragile must the belief of a jihadist be if he feels threatened by a stupid caricature in a low-circulation Danish newspaper? Fundamentalist Islamist terror is not grounded in the terrorists’ conviction of their superiority and desire to safeguard their cultural-religious identity from the onslaught of global consumerist civilization. The fundamentalists’ problem is not that we consider them inferior to us, but that they themselves secretly consider themselves inferior. This is why our condescending politically correct assurances that we feel no superiority towards them only makes them more furious and feeds their resentment.

A materialist approach should avoid not only this “maternal” temptation of imagining the Other as a pre-Oedipal Absolute without lack, but also the opposite temptation of reducing the Other to a mirror of our own disavowed interior (“all we find in the Other is our own repressed content that we have projected into it”)—the temptation to which Tarkovsky succumbed in his cinema version of Solaris. The difference between Stanislaw Lem’s classic science fiction novel and Tarkovsky’s cinema version is crucial here.

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