Žižek and Heidegger : the question concerning by Thomas Brockelman

By Thomas Brockelman

Žižek and Heidegger deals a thorough new interpretation of the paintings of Slavoj Žižek, one of many world's top modern thinkers, via a research of his courting with the paintings of Martin Heidegger. Thomas Brockelman argues that Žižek's oeuvre is essentially a reaction to Heidegger's philosophy of finitude, an immanent critique of it which attracts it towards innovative praxis. Brockelman additionally unearths obstacles in Žižek's courting with Heidegger, in particular in his ambivalence approximately Heidegger's techno-phobia. Brockelman's critique of Žižek departs from this ambivalence - a basic pressure in Žižek's paintings among a historicist severe thought of techno-capitalism and an anti-historicist thought of progressive switch. as well as clarifying what Žižek has to claim approximately our global and concerning the probability of radical switch in it, Žižek and Heidegger explores a number of the ways that this break up on the middle of his proposal appears to be like inside of it - in Žižek's perspectives on historical past or at the dating among the progressive chief and the proletariat or among the analyst and the analysand.

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If you like, Žižek raises and fails to answer the question of the relationship between capitalism and technological productivism: but that relationship is precisely what his various efforts to come to terms with contemporary technology amount to. Given his obvious concern with this issue, why both raise the issue and fail to respond to it? Most obviously Žižek doesn’t say more about techno-capitalism in that opening passage of The Ticklish Subject because what he has to say doesn’t fit the polemic he constructs about postmodernism and the modern subject.

So, on the one hand, I want to suggest that Žižek’s list of rhetorical questions at the beginning of The Ticklish Subject includes the actual (nonrhetorical, non-polemical) question of techno-capitalism precisely because he feels the demand for a univocal thesis like Heidegger’s, the demand for 28 Žižek and Heidegger: The Question Concerning Techno-Capitalism a definitive answer to the question of modernity’s status and value. On the other hand, his work demonstrates that precisely this question evades such resolution.

He suggests an emblematic photograph for our time, a press image from 1997 of indigenous Borneans attempting to put out an enormous forest fire, a fire that indirectly was caused by global warming and the resultant El Ninõ effect. What strikes Žižek about the image is the mismatch of scale indicated by tribesmen passing small plastic bags of water with which they vainly strive to put out a blaze whose smoke plume covers “the entire area of northern Indonesia, Malaysia and the southern Philippines” (Žižek 1999a, p.

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