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Slavoj Žižek’s Hegel

Slavoj Žižek’s Hegel

(p.91) 4 Slavoj Žižek’s Hegel
Robert B. Pippin
University of Chicago Press

Žižek argues in his book, Less than Nothing, that the version of Hegel that has become the whipping boy for much of Continental Philosophy and for the analytic traditions is a straw man, and that Hegel’s position still has much to offer in any historical diagnosis of the present age. I agree with him, but do not agree that he has successfully characterized the “Hegelian option.” The basic Hegelian problem that the book addresses is the ontological problem of “subjectivity”; what is it to be a thinking, knowing and also acting and interacting subject in a material world? This problem is tied to the question of how we should understand that subject’s status as “not” an object in the world like all others. (This is the source of the book’s title.) I argue here against Žižek’s interpretation and present an alternative.

Keywords:   Alain Badiou, Jacques Lacan, Emmanuel Levinas, Martin Heidegger, Fichte, Henrich, JM Coetzee, Alfred Hitchcock, ontology, discursive historicism

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