‘Hegelian-Lacanian Variations on Late Modernity: Spectre of Madness’ by Alireza Taheri

Published by Routledge in 2021.

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The current rise in new religions and the growing popularity of New Ageism is concomitant with an increasingly anti-philosophical sentiment marking our contemporary situation. More specifically, it is philosophical and psychoanalytic reason that has lost standing faced with the triumph of post-secular “spirituality”. Combatting this trend, this treatise develops a theoretical apparatus based on Hegelian speculative reason and Lacanian psychoanalysis.

With the aid of this theoretical apparatus, the book argues how certain conceptual pairs appear opposed through an operation of misrecognition christened, following Hegel, as “diremption”. The failure to reckon with identities-in-difference relegates the subject to more vicious contradictions that define central aspects of our contemporary predicament. The repeated thesis of the treatise is that the deadlocks marking our contemporary situation require renewed engagement with dialectical thinking beyond the impasses of common understanding. Only by embarking on this philosophical-psychoanalytic “path of despair” (Hegel) will we stand a chance of achieving “joyful wisdom” (Nietzsche).

Developing a unique dialectical theory based on readings of Hegel, Lacan and Žižek, in order to address various philosophical and psychoanalytic questions, this book will be of great interest to anyone interested in German idealism and/or psychoanalytic theory.


“Alireza Taheri’s book provides the ultimate proof that a combination of Hegel’s dialectics and Lacan’s psychoanalytic theory is the best instrument to analyse the madness of our late capitalist modernity. Spectre of Madness is not yet another book on Hegel and Lacan – it is simply a book for everyone who wants to understand how things could have gone so wrong after Fukuyama proclaimed the end of history.”

— Slavoj Žižek, Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities of the University of London


Alireza Taheri provides psychoanalytic psychotherapy in private practice in Toronto where he is also actively involved in teaching Lacanian theory at the Toronto Psychoanalytic Institute and Society. Alireza is a permanent faculty member of HamAva Psychoanalytic Institute in Tehran (Iran) where he teaches psychoanalytic theory and practice. He is also engaged in writing articles on philosophy and psychoanalysis and is presently the editor-in-chief and book review editor of Psychoanalytic Discourse (an independent international journal for the clinical, theoretical and cultural discussion of psychoanalysis).

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