‘With Hegel Beyond Hegel’ by Slavoj Žižek

Criticism Vol. 53, No. 2 (Spring 2011), pp. 295-313 (19 pages) Published By: Wayne State University Press

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The essayistic nature of Fredric Jameson’s short new book on G. W. F. Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit should not blind us to the fact that the book offers a systematic interpretation of the entire inner structure of Hegel’s first masterpiece. Although The Hegel Variations comes from someone for whom reading Hegel is like eating daily bread, the book is readable as an introduction to Hegel while simultaneously providing precise interpretive hints worthy of the greatest Hegel specialists.

In this review, I limit myself to four variations of my own, to four interventions into the book’s key topics: Hegel and the critique of capitalism, the circle of positing presuppositions, Understanding and Reason, and the eventual limits of Hegel. Of course, the critical nature of some of my remarks is based on my great admiration of Jameson’s work and on a shared solidarity in our struggle for the Hegelian legacy in Marxism.

One should remember here the proverb that says only the highest peaks are struck by lightning. Jameson is right to draw attention to the fact that, “despite his familiarity with Adam Smith and emergent economic doctrine, Hegel’s conception of work and labor—I have specifically characterized it as a handicraft ideology—betrays no anticipation of the originalities of industrial production or the factory system”—in short, Hegel’s analyses of work and production cannot be “transferred to the new industrial situation”. There is a series of interconnected reasons for this limitation, all grounded in the constraints of historical experience at Hegel’s disposal…

‘Studies in Hysteria’ by Sigmund Freud & Josef Breuer

Published by Penguin Classics in 2004.

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Hysteria—the tormenting of the body by the troubled mind—is among the most pervasive of human disorders; yet, at the same time, it is the most elusive. Freud’s recognition that hysteria stemmed from traumas in the patient’s past transformed the way we think about sexuality. Studies in Hysteria is one of the founding texts of psychoanalysis, revolutionizing our understanding of love, desire, and the human psyche. As full of compassionate human interest as of scientific insight, these case histories are also remarkable, revelatory works of literature.

‘Jacques Lacan and the Other Side of Psychoanalysis: Reflections on Seminar XVII’

Published by Duke University Press in 2006.

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This collection is the first extended interrogation in any language of Jacques Lacan’s Seminar XVII. Originally delivered just after the Paris uprisings of May 1968, Seminar XVII marked a turning point in Lacan’s thought; it was both a step forward in the psychoanalytic debates and an important contribution to social and political issues. Collecting important analyses by many of the major Lacanian theorists and practitioners, this anthology is at once an introduction, critique, and extension of Lacan’s influential ideas.

The contributors examine Lacan’s theory of the four discourses, his critique of the Oedipus complex and the superego, the role of primal affects in political life, and his prophetic grasp of twenty-first-century developments. They take up these issues in detail, illuminating the Lacanian concepts with in-depth discussions of shame and guilt, literature and intimacy, femininity, perversion, authority and revolt, and the discourse of marketing and political rhetoric. Topics of more specific psychoanalytic interest include the role of objet a, philosophy and psychoanalysis, the status of knowledge, and the relation between psychoanalytic practices and the modern university.

Contributors. Geoff Boucher, Marie-Hélène Brousse, Justin Clemens, Mladen Dolar, Oliver Feltham, Russell Grigg, Pierre-Gilles Guéguen, Dominique Hecq, Dominiek Hoens, Éric Laurent, Juliet Flower MacCannell, Jacques-Alain Miller, Ellie Ragland, Matthew Sharpe, Paul Verhaeghe, Slavoj Žižek, Alenka Zupančič.

‘The Other Side of Psychoanalysis’ by Jacques Lacan

Published by W. W. Norton & Company in 2007.

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Revolutionary and innovative, Jacques Lacan’s work lies at the epicentre of modern thought about otherness, subjectivity, sexual difference and enjoyment. Lacan’s deliberation on psychoanalysis and contemporary social order offers welcome, readable access to the brilliant authors seminal thinking on Freud, Marx and Hegel; patterns of social and sexual behaviour; and the nature and function of science and knowledge in the contemporary world.

‘Lacan’s Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis: An Introduction’ by Roberto Harari

Published by Other Press in 2004.

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The informal tone of these ten lectures by Roberto Harari reflects their original character as classes held at El Centro de Extension Psicoanalitica del Centro Cultural General, San Martin Buenos Aires. Destined for a wider audience than just the psychoanalytical camp, his work presents the Lacanian endeavor without presupposition of specialized knowledge—and yet without conceding intellectual subtlety.

Harari provides an introductory display of essential themes developed in Lacan’s Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis, and offers his own insightful reading of the text’s central ideas. These ten classes, sparked by the crucial Seminar XI within the teaching of Lacan, reframe a wide range of questions in psychoanalysis for the professional in the field, scholars and students across disciplines, and interested lay readers.

He dismantles and rebuilds Lacan’s oeuvre and its structure so that order and logic suddenly appear inherent to Lacan’s way of thinking. The unconscious, transference, repetition, and the drive are here reintroduced, not only to do justice to Freud’s insights, but also to link these concepts to the larger question of the complex relationships between psychoanalysis, religion, and science.

‘The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis’ by Jacques Lacan

Published by W. W. Norton & Co Inc in 1981.

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Jacques Lacan’s writings, and especially the seminars for which he has become famous, offer a controversial, radical reappraisal of the legacy bequeathed by Freud. This volume is based on a year’s seminar in which Lacan addressed a larger, less specialized audience than ever before, among whom he could not assume familiarity with his work.

For his listeners then, and for his readers, now, he wanted to “introduce a certain coherence into the major concepts on which psycho-analysis is based”, namely, the unconscious, repetition, the transference, and the drive. Along the way he argues for a structural affinity between psychoanalysis and language, discusses the relation of psychoanalysis to religion, and reveals his particular stance on topics ranging from sexuality and death to alienation and repression. This book constitutes the essence of Lacan’s sensibility.

‘Endings: Questions of Memory in Hegel and Heidegger’ edited by Rebecca Comay & John McCumber

Published by Northwestern University Press in 1999.

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In this collection of essays, leading scholars provide a variety of models from which to view the unique relationship between the bodies of thought of Heidegger and Hegel, revealing how these philosophers offer ways of thinking historically that understand such thinking not merely as extensions and elaborations of a given paradigm but as actively engaged in the critical and transformative revisioning of the world.

Beginning at the point where Heidegger encountered Hegel, this volume of provocative essays addresses the respective philosophies of the two men. Leading scholars provide a variety of models from which to view the unique relationship between the bodies of thought of Heidegger and Hegel: bodies of thought that cannot be taken as two objects to be compared, contrasted, and finally evaluated but that must be viewed in dynamic terms, as a relationship in which self-transformations lead to mutual transformations and vice versa.


Table of Contents:

Introduction: Transforming Thought by John Mccumber
1 Heidegger-Hegel: An Impossible “Dialogue”? by Dominique Janicaud
2 The History of Being and Its Hegelian Model by Michel Haar
3 Circulation and Constitution at the End of History by David Kolb
4 “We Philosophers”: Barbaros medeis eisito by Robert Bernasconi
5 Ruins and Roses: Hegel and Heidegger on Sacrifice, Mourning, and Memory by Dennis J. Schmidt
6 The Hegelian Legacy in Heidegger’s Overcoming of Aesthetics by Jacques Taminiaux
7 Hegel’s Art of Memory by Martin Donougho
8 Heidegger on Hegel’s Antigone: The Memory of Gender and the Forgetfulness of the Ethical Difference by Kathleen Wright
9 Stuff • Thread • Point • Fire: Holderlin on Historical Memory and Tragic Dissolution by David Farrell Krell
10 Stone by John Sallis

‘Ecstasy, Catastrophe: Heidegger from Being and Time to the Black Notebooks’ by David Farrell Krell

Published by State University of New York Press in 2015.

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Lectures on ecstatic temporality and on Heidegger’s political legacy.

In Ecstasy, Catastrophe, David Farrell Krell provides insight into two areas of Heidegger’s thought: his analysis of ecstatic temporality in Being and Time (1927) and his “political” remarks in the recently published Black Notebooks (1931–1941). The first part of Krell’s book focuses on Heidegger’s interpretation of time, which Krell takes to be one of Heidegger’s greatest philosophical achievements. In addition to providing detailed commentary on ecstatic temporality, Krell considers Derrida’s analysis of ekstasis in his first seminar on Heidegger, taught in Paris in 1964–1965. Krell also relates ecstatic temporality to the work of other philosophers, including Aristotle, Augustine, Kant, Schelling, Hölderlin, and Merleau-Ponty; he then analyzes Dasein as infant and child, relating ecstatic temporality to the “mirror stage” theory of Jacques Lacan.

The second part of the book turns to Heidegger’s Black Notebooks, which have received a great deal of critical attention in the press and in philosophical circles. Notorious for their pejorative references to Jews and Jewish culture, the Notebooks exhibit a level of polemic throughout that Krell takes to be catastrophic in and for Heidegger’s thought. Heidegger’s legacy therefore seems to be split between the best and the worst of thinking—somewhere between ecstasy and catastrophe.

Based on the 2014 Brauer Lectures in German Studies at Brown University, the book communicates the fruits of Krell’s many years of work on Heidegger in an engaging and accessible style.


David Farrell Krell is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at DePaul University and Brauer Distinguished Visiting Professor of German Studies at Brown University.

‘Contagion: Sexuality, Disease, and Death in German Idealism and Romanticism’ by David Farrell Krell

Published by Indiana University Press in 1998.

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Although the Romantic Age is usually thought of as idealizing nature as the source of birth, life, and creativity, David Farrell Krell focuses on the preoccupation of three key German Romantic thinkers—Novalis, Schelling, and Hegel—with nature’s destructive powers—contagion, disease, and death.


Table of Contents:

Introduction

Part One: Thaumaturgic Idealism: Novalis’s Scientific-Philosophical Notebooks of 1798-1800
1. The First Kiss
2. A Poetics of the Baneful
3. Touching, Contact, Contagion
4. The Artist of Immortality

Part Two: Tormented Idealism: Schelling’s First Projection of a System of Nature Philosophy (1799)
5. First Projection: An Outline of the Whole
6. Sexual Opposition, Inhibition, Contagion
7. The Bridge to Death
8. The Ultimate Source of Life

Part Three: Triumphant Idealism: Hegel’s Early Philosophy of Nature in the Jena Realphilosophie of 1805/06
9. Nature’s Seductive Impotence
10. Turned to the Outside: The Dialectic of Genitality
11. Turned to the Inside: The Dialectic of Death
12. Conclusion: A Triumph of Ashes

‘Basic Writings’ by Martin Heidegger

First published by Harper Perennial Modern Thought in 1993.

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This book offers a selection from the writings of the German thinker Martin Heidegger, born September 26, 1889, in Messkirch, died May 26, 1976, in Freiburg. Its dual purpose is to provide English speaking students of philosophy and of the arts and sciences with (1) an introduction to Heidegger’s thought, and (2) essays particularly thought-provoking for students’ own areas of interest.