Descartes’s Horror?

descartes

Examining Descartes’s Cogito, one can find that rather than philosophy and reason being a shield from horror and madness, the truth might be the opposite.

Not School Group Proposal: Zizek!

PEL Not School

For March I’m proposing a Not School reading group on Zizek. The group will read a 25-page transcript of a talk he gave at the International Journal of Zizek Studies 2012 conference. It is, I think, a very nice summary of some of his key philosophical positions and where his current theoretical interests lie. The […]

Not School Digest #4: Sartre, Heidegger, Zizek, Marx, and Theater

Not School

Excerpts from PEL podcaster & listener discussions on Sartre’s Nausea, Heidegger’s “The Question Concerning Technology,” Slavoj Zizek’s Year of Dreaming Dangerously, Marx and Engels’s “Communist Manifesto,” Peter Schaffer’s play Equus, and Cormac McCarthy’s The Sunset Limited: A Novel in Dramatic Form. Plus an interview with Hillary Sydlowski, leader of the Not School Introductory Readings in Philosophy Group.

The Existentialist Self in the World: Doubt, Being and Caring

If from continental philosophy you throw out transcendental phenomenology and older idealist trappings–transcendental subjects and so on–you are left with a system which still has two components: the world and the self.  It was the relationship between these two that took hold as the major problem for 20th C. continental philosophy. The upshot of the first phase […]

Not School Discussion of Zizek Now Available

I and four Citizens took a first crack at discussing The Year of Dreaming Dangerously yesterday (read more about our Not School group here). Since Freud and Jung, psychotherapy has been used to try to make sense of group behavior, and Lacan himself applied his insights to the political realm (among other places). Zizek follows […]

Not School: Slavoj Zizek’s “The Year of Dreaming Dangerously”

Zizek

Featuring Mark Linsenmayer, Khari Robertson, Philip Cherny, Matt Cole, and Steve Robinson. Recorded October 22, 2013.

Zizek gives a Marxist analysis of the events of 2011 using Lacanian language: Capital is the “real” behind all of these various conflicts that seem to be between individual groups. Capitalism is never itself confronted as a system, but serves as the underlying force and the principle by which this force itself is made invisible to us.

The Digitization of the Real

“Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action comes, stop thinking and go in.” ― Napoleon Bonaparte   [From Sotiris Triantis]   In a previous article here on the PEL blog ‘Don’t Act. Just Think’: A Short Comment on Slavoj Zizek’s Critique of Activism, I argued that thinking is not enough in order to […]

Chomsky vs. Zizek

Editor’s Note: We feel the need to provide some coverage of one of the few big news stories in philosophy, which is the ongoing hostile exchange between two giants of the philosophical left, Noam Chomsky and Slavoj Žižek. Since none of us podcasters has read much by either fellow or has much patience for following […]

Zizek! – The Elvis of Cultural Theory [Review]

zizek poster

Zizek! is one of those documentaries centered around one really, really interesting person. For that reason it’s more like Crumb or Bukowski – Born Into This than more famously philosophical movies like Waking Life. Zizek!’s structure is simple: The director and a small crew simply follow Slavoj Zizek as he goes about his daily business, which pretty […]

Marxist Thought Today

marxist thought

The fall of the Berlin Wall (1989) seemed to herald the victory of capitalism over socialism, what Francis Fukuyama declared the “End of History;” the failure and death of both Marxist thought and political movements. Fukuyama, an eloquent Hegelian political philosopher and one-time neoconservative (and continued anti-Marxist) asserts uncompromisingly in his “End of History” essay […]

Zizek and Pop Culture in Philosophy Today

slavoj-zizek

PEL’s last episode focused on Karl Marx via The German Ideology. Possibly one of the most famous/infamous Marxists of our time is Slavoj Zizek. Some have called him too extreme to be taken seriously, while others have praised him for his brilliance.  A recent article in U.K. based paper The Guardian sheds some light on […]

Film Review: Examined Life

As my first Not School group, I led some folks in discussing two Netflix philosophy documentaries, i.e. things that have been on my instant queue forever, and which I feel culturally, given my position here, I should watch, but always seemed too boring. Examined Life (2008) (Netflix link) was the best of the two that […]

Zizek and Adorno: The Function of the Popular?

[Editor’s Note: We welcome Derick from our semiotics episode You can read more of him on his blog.]   Watch on YouTube. With Slavoj Zizek’s Lacanized form of Hegelian Marxism being all the rage these days, it is interesting to look at the Frankfurt School’s earlier Freudian version of the Hegelian Marxism.  One can wonder […]

Žižek on Hegel on Identity

One public intellectual who has made much hay of Hegel’s continued relevance is Slavoj Žižek, who begins one of his jazz-session-like lectures on Hegel’s concept of identity here: Watch on youtube. It’s not clear to me whether Žižek is properly interpreting Hegel, mostly because I find both Žižek and early Hegel incomprehensible. Z’s been accused […]

Slavoj Zizek on Applying Psychotherapy to Culture

Here is a somewhat startling video of Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek talking briefly about trying to apply the insights of psychotherapy (which deals with individuals) to cultures: Watch on youtube. His remarks about being able to relate an “anonymous social field” reflect Heidegger’s conception of “Das Man,” i.e. our tendency to conform to social norms, […]