Download Absolute Recoil: Towards A New Foundation Of Dialectical by Slavoj Zizek PDF

By Slavoj Zizek

Philosophical materialism in all its types – from clinical naturalism to Deleuzian New Materialism – has didn't meet the main 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. fresh background has visible advancements akin 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 convey materialism modern, 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 specified the “speculative” strategy in thought.

Absolute Recoil is a startling reformulation of the foundation and chances of modern philosophy. whereas targeting how one can conquer the transcendental strategy with out regressing to naïve, pre-Kantian realism, Žižek bargains a chain of tours into today’s political, creative, and ideological panorama, from Arnold Schoenberg’s track to the movies of Ernst Lubitsch.

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Example text

Hegel’s vision of social development is, on the contrary, full of unexpected reversals—the promise of freedom turns into the worst nightmare, and so on. This is why Hegel would have immediately comprehended the logic of the reversal of the emancipatory promise of the October Revolution into the Stalinist nightmare, or, today, of the rise of religious fundamentalism in the midst of consumerist permissiveness. As for reformism, the Hegelian stance would have been: yes, but with a twist—one begins with a modest reform which aims only to make the existing system more just and efficient, and one triggers an avalanche which sweeps away the very order of deliberation which led us to propose the modest reform in the first place.

This is why, for modern science, we have to begin with an impossible-Real to account for the possible: we first have to imagine a pure situation in which stones and feathers fall with the same velocity, and only thereafter can we explain the velocity of actual objects falling as divergences or deviations due to empirical conditions. Another example: to explain the attenuation of the movement of objects in our ordinary material reality, physics takes as its starting point the “principle of inertia” (again first formulated by Newton) which postulates that an object not subject to any net external force will move at a constant velocity—an object will continue moving at its current velocity until some force causes its speed or direction to change.

As Hegel points out, this last position itself has two forms, dialectical and speculative, and everything hinges here on the opposition between dialectical and speculative thinking—one might say that dialectics remains negative, while only speculation reaches the highest positive dimension. Dialectics which is not yet speculative is the vibrant domain of the tremor of reflection and reflexive reversals, the mad dance of negativity in which “all that is solid melts into air”—this is dialectics as eternal warfare, as a movement which ultimately destroys everything it gives birth to.

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