Less than Nothing: Hegel and the Shadow of Dialectical Materialism

Slovoj Zizek, Author, Slavoj Zizek, Author
Slavoj Zizek. Verso, $69.95 (1,024p) ISBN 978-1-84467-897-6
Reviewed on: 03/26/2012
Release date: 05/01/2012
Open Ebook - 2246 pages - 978-1-84467-902-7
Paperback - 1038 pages - 978-1-78168-127-5
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-306-91895-4
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In this rigorous examination of Hegel’s philosophical legacy, famed Slovenian philosopher and cultural critic Zizek (Living in the End Times) demonstrates how deeply Hegel’s ideas have pervaded Western thought and culture for the past 200 years, from Marx’s critique of capitalism to Hitchcock’s films. Zizek reveals the often subtle connections to later thinkers, in particular psychiatrist Jacques Lacan, as “repetitions” of Hegel, and spends as much time examining psychoanalytic theory as philosophical concepts, viewing both as attempts to understand the difficult nature of humanity. Zizek draws these connections across a variety of apparently unrelated topics, from Plato’s Parmenides as the first work to deal with dialectics to a detailed discussion on quantum physics, whose laws appear to follow Hegel’s thinking about reality. He uses humor to illustrate many concepts, frequently drawing on old jokes from former communist nations, providing laughs as well as understanding. Hegel and dialectical materialism, Zizek argues, still play an important role today in shaping views on history and political struggles. Though occasionally repetitive and potentially overwhelming in scope, Zizek’s latest offers a lucid rendering of modern society’s debt to Hegel. (May)
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