‘A Crack In Everything: On Paradox’ by Slavoj Žižek, Sophie Allen & Hilary Lawson

Video recording of a discussion between Slavoj Žižek, Sophie Allen & Hilary Lawson titled Crack In Everything: On Paradox held at the British Institute of Art and Ideas’ annual philosophy and music festival HowTheLightGetsIn on 25th November 2019 hosted by Shahidha Bari.


Once we assumed that reason and rationality would gradually uncover the truth. But from quantum mechanics to set theory, positivism to deconstruction, philosophical realism to philosophical relativism, it seems that paradox lies at the heart of our most revered theories and at the cornerstones of our thought. Are these paradoxes evidence that our theories are wrong and is it essential that they are overcome? Will we one day find our way out of the hall of mirrors if we reason hard enough? Or should we accept that paradox is an unavoidable consequence of the limits of human thought, and a hint of the greater world that lies beyond the limitations of human understanding?


Slavoj Žižek is a Philosopher and Psychoanalytic social theorist. He is Senior Researcher at the Department of Philosophy, University of Ljubljana; Professor at the School of Law and Director of the Institute for the Humanities at Birkbeck, University of London; Distinguished Scholar at the Kyung Hee University, Seoul; and Visiting Professor at the German Department, New York University. His field of work comprises Lacanian psychoanalytic theory, dialectical-materialist metaphysical interpretations of German Idealism and Marxian critique of ideology. His more than sixty books in English have been widely translated. His latest publications include Pandemic! & Pandemic! 2, Hegel in a Wired Brain, Sex and the Failed Absolute, Like A Thief In Broad DaylightReading MarxIncontinence of the Void, and The Day After the Revolution.

Sophie Allen is a metaphysician at Oxford.

Hilary Lawson is a post-realist philosopher and author of Reflexivity: the postmodern predicament.

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