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VERSO

london

II

New York

First published by Verso 2012 © Slavoj Zizek All rights reserved The moral rights of the author have been asserted 13579108642

Verso
UK: 6 Meard Street, London W1F OEG US: 20 Jay Street, Suite 1010, Brooklyn, NY 11201 www.versobooks.com Verso is the imprint of New Left Books ISBN-13: 978-1-84467-897-6

British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data
A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data lilek, Slavoj. Less than nothing: Hegel and the shadow of dialectical materialism / by Slavoj iIlek. p.cm. Includes index. ISBN 978-1-84467-897-6 -- ISBN 978-1-84467-889-1 (ebook) 1. Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich, 1770-1831. 1. Title. B2948.Z552012 193--dc23 2011050465 Typeset in Minion Pro by MJ Gavan, Cornwall, UK Printed by in the US by Maple Vail

Contents
Introduction: Eppur Si Muove
PART I. THE DRINK BEFORE
1

1

"Vacillating the Semblances" What cannot be said must be shown Idea's appearing From fictions to semblances Dialectical gymnastics? No, thanks! From the One to den "Nothing exists" Gorgias, not Plato, was the arch-Stalinist! "Where There Is Nothing, Read That I Love You" A Christian Tragedy? The big Other The death of God The atheist wager "Do not compromise your desire" Lacan against Buddhism

23
23 33

42
48

53
60 69 79 80 86 96
112

2

121
12 7

3 Fichte's Choice From Fichte's Ich to Hegel's Subject The Fichtean wager Anstoss and Tat -Handlung Division and limitation The finite Absolute The posited presupposition The Fichtean bone in the throat The first modern theology PART II. THE THING ITSELF: HEGEL

137 140

145 151 156 160 168
171

179

4 Is It Still Possible to Be a Hegelian Today?

Hegel versus Nietzsche Struggle and reconciliation A story to tell

193 194 199
207

VIII

CONTENTS

Changing the destiny The owl of Minerva Potentiality versus virtuality The Hegelian circle of circles Interlude 1: Marx as a Reader of Hegel, Hegel as a Reader of Marx 5 Parataxis: Figures of the Dialectical Process

213 219 226 232

241 265
269 280

In praise of Understanding Phenomena, noumena, and the limit The differend Negation of the negation Form and content Negation without a filling Interlude 2: Cogito in the History of Madness 6 "Not Only as Substance, but Also as Subject" Concrete universality Hegel, Spinoza ... and Hitchcock The Hegelian Subject Absolute Knowing The Idea's constipation? The animal that I am Interlude 3: King, Rabble, War ... and Sex 7 The Limits of Hegel

286 292 305 311
327
359

359 367 379 387 394

408
417 455 455 463 473 480 491 496

A List Necessity as self-sublated contingency Varieties of selj~relating negation The formal aspect Aufhebung and repetition From repetition to drive PART III. THE THING ITSELF: LAC AN

8 Lacan as a Reader of Hegel The Cunning of Reason The Lacanian prosopopoeia Lacan, Marx, Heidegger The "magical force" of reversal

507 508
513 520 529

CONTENTS

IX

Reflection and supposition Beyond intersubjectivity Drive versus Will The unconscious of self-consciousness Interlude 4: Borrowing from the Future, Changing the Past 9 Suture and Pure Difference

536 541 546 551 557 ' 581 581 597 603 608 625
649

From differentiality to the phallic signifier From the phallic signifier to objet a Sibelius's silence The pure difference Interlude 5: Correlationism and Its Discontents
10

Objects, Objects Everywhere

Subtraction, protraction, obstruction ... destruction The objet a between form and content Voice and gaze The grandmother's voice The Master and its specter The two sides offantasy Image and gaze Presence "The picture is in my eye, but me, I am in the picture" Leave the screen empty! Interlude 6: Cognitivism and the Loop of Self-Positing

11

649 660 666 672 679 685 69 1 695 702 708 715 739 739 745 75 6 764 77 2 780 787 794

The Non-All, or, the Ontology of Sexual...
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