Details

ISBN-10: 023118395X
ISBN-13: 9780231183956
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publish Date: 09/03/2019
Dimensions: 9.00" L, 6.00" W, 1.10" H

A New German Idealism: Hegel, Zizek, and Dialectical Materialism

Paperback

Price: $30.00

Overview

In 2012, philosopher and public intellectual Slavoj Zizek published what arguably is his magnum opus, the one-thousand-page tome Less Than Nothing: Hegel and the Shadow of Dialectical Materialism. A sizable sequel appeared in 2014, Absolute Recoil: Towards a New Foundation of Dialectical Materialism. In these two books, Zizek returns to the German idealist G. W. F. Hegel in order to forge a new materialism for the twenty-first century. Zizek’s reinvention of Hegelian dialectics explores perennial and contemporary concerns: humanity’s relations with nature, the place of human freedom, the limits of rationality, the roles of spirituality and religion, and the prospects for radical sociopolitical change.

In A New German Idealism, Adrian Johnston offers a first-of-its-kind sustained critical response to Less Than Nothing and Absolute Recoil. Johnston, a leading authority on and interlocutor of Zizek, assesses the recent return to Hegel against the backdrop of Kantian and post-Kantian German idealism. He also presents alternate reconstructions of Hegel’s positions that differ in important respects from Zizek’s version of dialectical materialism. In particular, Johnston criticizes Zizek’s deviations from the secular naturalism and Enlightenment optimism of his chosen sources of inspiration: not only Hegel, but Karl Marx and Sigmund Freud too. In response, Johnston develops what he calls transcendental materialism, an antireductive and leftist materialism capable of preserving and advancing the core legacies of the Hegelian, Marxian, and Freudian traditions central to Zizek.

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Reviews
A New German Idealism is the culmination of Johnston's decade-long dialogue with my work. Although we share the same basic orientation (Lacan and German idealism), we differ in some central points: Johnston privileges evolutionary biology as a scientific reference, while I privilege quantum physics. Not only am I proud to have such a highly qualified partner in the debate; I also think that, in his reaction to my work, Johnston touches on the key question of today's philosophy: how to move beyond a transcendental approach (in all its versions, inclusive of deconstruction) without retreating into naive realism (in the form of object-oriented ontology). Johnston's new book is thus indispensable reading for all those interested in the state of philosophy today at a time when its fate is challenged by the latest achievements in the brain sciences. In short, it is indispensable for all those who want to think in the authentic sense of the term.–Slavoj Zizek, author of Less Than Nothing and Absolute Recoil
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Details

ISBN-10: 023118395X
ISBN-13: 9780231183956
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publish Date: 09/03/2019
Dimensions: 9.00" L, 6.00" W, 1.10" H
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