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Slavoj Žižek

Slavoj Žižek
Slavoj Žižek in Liverpool, England, 2008
Born (1949-03-21) 21 March 1949
Ljubljana, PR Slovenia,
FPR Yugoslavia
Alma mater
Era 20th- / 21st-century philosophy
Region Western philosophy
Main interests
Notable ideas
Ideology as an unconscious fantasy that structures reality
Transcendental materialism

Slavoj Žižek (Slovene pronunciation: ; born 21 March 1949) is a Slovenian philosopher, cultural critic, and Marxist intellectual. He is a senior researcher at the Institute for Sociology and Philosophy at the University of Ljubljana, Global Distinguished Professor of German at New York University,[1] and international director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities.[2] His work is located at the intersection of a range of disciplines, including continental philosophy, political theory, cultural studies, psychoanalysis, film criticism, and theology.

Born in Slovenia and educated in Ljubljana and later Paris, Žižek first achieved international recognition after the 1989 publication of his first English text, The Sublime Object of Ideology, in which he departed from traditional Marxist theory to develop a materialist conception of ideology as inescapable unconscious fantasy that structures reality for the subject.[3][4] Grounded largely in Lacanian psychoanalysis and the German idealism of Hegel and Schelling, his early theoretical work became increasingly eclectic and political in the 1990s after the fall of the Berlin Wall, aligning him somewhat with contemporary thinkers such as Alain Badiou and Frederic Jameson, and dealing frequently in the critical analysis of disparate forms of popular culture and society.[5][6][7] A pronounced leftist critic of capitalism and neoliberalism, Žižek identifies as a political radical, and his work has been characterized as challenging orthodoxies of both the political right and the left-liberal academy.[8][9][10] His prodigious body of writing spans dense theoretical polemics, academic tomes, and accessible introductory books; in addition, he has taken part in various film projects, including two documentary collaborations with director Sophie Fiennes, The Pervert's Guide to Cinema (2006) and The Pervert's Guide to Ideology (2012).

Žižek's unorthodox style, popular academic works, frequent magazine op-eds, and critical assimilation of high and low culture have gained him international influence and a substantial audience outside of academia in addition to controversy and criticism.[11][12][13][14][15] In 2012, Foreign Policy listed Žižek on its list of Top 100 Global Thinkers, calling him "a celebrity philosopher,"[16] while elsewhere he has been dubbed the "Elvis of cultural theory" and "the most dangerous philosopher in the West."[17][18] Žižek's work was chronicled in a 2005 documentary film entitled Zizek! A scholarly journal, the International Journal of Žižek Studies, was also founded to engage his work.[19]


  • Biography 1
    • Academia 1.1
    • Politics 1.2
    • Public life 1.3
  • Thought 2
    • Ontology, ideology, and the Real 2.1
    • Political thought and the postmodern subject 2.2
  • Criticism 3
    • Ambiguity and lack of alternatives 3.1
    • Unorthodox style and scholarship 3.2
    • Accusations of plagiarism in 2014 3.3
  • Filmography 4
  • Critical introductions to Žižek 5
  • References 6
    • Bibliography 6.1
    • Citations 6.2
    • Sources 6.3
  • External links 7


Žižek was born in Ljubljana, SR Slovenia, Yugoslavia, to a middle-class family. His parents were both atheists.[20] His father Jože Žižek was an economist and civil servant from the region of Prekmurje in eastern Slovenia. His mother Vesna, native of the Brda region in the Slovenian Littoral, was an accountant in a state enterprise.[20][21] He spent most of his childhood in the coastal town of Portorož, during which time he was formatively exposed to noncommunist Western film, popular culture, and theory.[22][23] The family moved back to Ljubljana when Slavoj was a teenager. Žižek attended Bežigrad High School.[23] In 1967, he enrolled at the University of Ljubljana, where he studied philosophy and sociology. He received a Doctor of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Ljubljana and studied psychoanalysis at the University of Paris VIII with Jacques-Alain Miller and François Regnault.

Žižek has been married three times: firstly, to Renata Salecl,[24] another notable Slovene philosopher; secondly, to fashion model Analia Hounie, daughter of an Argentine Lacanian psychoanalyst; and thirdly, to the Slovene journalist Jela Krečič, daughter of the renowned historian of architecture Peter Krečič.[25][26]

He is a fluent speaker of Slovene, Serbo-Croatian, English, French, and German.


Žižek began his studies in an era of liberalization of the Titoist Yugoslavia. Already prior to his enrollment to university, he began reading French structuralists.[20] In 1967, he published the first translation of a text by Jacques Derrida to Slovenian.[20] Among his early influences was the Slovenian Marxist philosopher Božidar Debenjak who introduced the thought of the Frankfurt School to Slovenia.[27] Debenjak taught the philosophy of German idealism at the Faculty of Arts of the University of Ljubljana, and his reading of Marx's Das Kapital from the perspective of Hegel's Phenomenology of the Mind influenced many future Slovenian philosophers, including Žižek.[28]

Žižek frequented the circles of dissident intellectuals, including the Heideggerian philosophers Tine Hribar and Ivo Urbančič,[20] and published articles in alternative magazines, such as Praxis, Tribuna and Problemi, of which he was also an editor.[23] In 1971, he was given employment at the University of Ljubljana as an assistant researcher with the promise of tenure, but was dismissed after his Master's thesis was explicitly accused of being "non-Marxist."[29] He spent the next few years undertaking national service in the Yugoslav army in Karlovac.

Žižek's early work used Jacques Lacan to interpret Hegelian and Marxist philosophy. During this time in the 1980s, he also edited and translated into Slovene Lacan, Sigmund Freud, and Louis Althusser.[30] In addition, he wrote the introduction to Slovene translations of G. K. Chesterton's and John Le Carré's detective novels. In 1988, he published his first book dedicated entirely to film theory. Žižek achieved international recognition as a social theorist with the 1989 publication of his first book in English, The Sublime Object of Ideology.

Žižek has been publishing on a regular basis in journals such as Lacanian Ink and In These Times in the United States, the New Left Review and The London Review of Books in the United Kingdom, and with the Slovenian left-liberal magazine Mladina and newspapers Dnevnik and Delo. He also co-operates with the Polish leftist magazine Krytyka Polityczna, regional southeast European left-wing journal Novi Plamen, and serves on the editorial board of the psychoanalytical journal Problemi.


In the late 1980s, Žižek came to public attention as a columnist for the alternative youth magazine Mladina, which assumed a critical stance towards the Titoist regime, criticizing several aspects of Yugoslav politics, especially the militarization of society. He was a member of the Communist Party of Slovenia until October 1988, when he quit in protest against the JBTZ trial together with 32 other Slovenian public intellectuals.[31] Between 1988 and 1990, he was actively involved in several political and civil society movements which fought for the democratization of Slovenia, most notably the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights.[32] In the first free elections in 1990, he ran as the Liberal Democratic Party's candidate for Slovenian president (an office formally abolished in the 1991 constitution).

Despite his activity in liberal democratic projects, Žižek remains committed to the communist ideal and is critical of right-wing circles, such as nationalists, conservatives, and classical liberals both in Slovenia and worldwide. He wrote that the convention center in which nationalist Slovene writers hold their conventions should be blown up, adding, "Since we live in the time without any sense of irony, I must add I don't mean it literally."[33] Similarly, he jokingly made the following comment on May 2013, during Subversive Festival: "If they don't support SYRIZA, then, in my vision of the democratic future, all these people will get from me [is] a first-class one-way ticket to [a] gulag." In response, the right-wing New Democracy party claimed Žižek's comments should be understood literally, not ironically.[34][35]

Žižek seen here signing books in 2009.

In a 2008 interview with [36][37] The following year Žižek appeared in the Arte documentary Marx Reloaded in which he defended the idea of communism.

In 2013, he corresponded with Pussy Riot member and activist Nadezhda Tolokonnikova in a series of letters while she was imprisoned for hooliganism.[38]

Public life

In 2003, Žižek wrote text to accompany Bruce Weber's photographs in a catalog for Abercrombie & Fitch. Questioned as to the seemliness of a major intellectual writing ad copy, Žižek told the Boston Globe, "If I were asked to choose between doing things like this to earn money and becoming fully employed as an American academic, kissing ass to get a tenured post, I would with pleasure choose writing for such journals!"[39]

Žižek and his thought have been the subject of several documentaries. In The Reality of the Virtual (2004), Žižek gives an hour lecture on his interpretation of Lacan's tripartite thesis of the imaginary, the symbolic, and the real. Zizek! is a 2005 documentary by Astra Taylor on his philosophy. Liebe Dein Symptom wie Dich selbst! (1996) is a German documentary on him. The Pervert's Guide to Cinema (2006) and The Pervert's Guide to Ideology (2012) also portray Žižek's ideas and cultural criticism. Examined Life (2008) features Žižek speaking about aesthetics at a garbage dump. He was also featured in Marx Reloaded (2011), directed by Jason Barker.

Foreign Policy named Žižek one of its 2012 Top 100 Global Thinkers "for giving voice to an era of absurdity."[16]

The British Royal Opera House announced on January 2013 that four new operas inspired by Žižek's writings have been commissioned.[14]


Žižek's work and thought aims to provoke and critique common views of the self and the world. The philosopher, for Žižek, is more someone engaged in critique than someone who tries to answer questions by creating a theory.[40]

Ontology, ideology, and the Real

In developing a thesis of ideology and its function, Žižek makes two intertwined arguments:[41]

  1. He begins with a critique of Marx's concept of ideology (as described in The German Ideology) in which people are beholden to false consciousness that prevents them from seeing how things really are. Žižek argues that people's deepest motives are unconscious and that ideology functions as a justification for the existing social order. That is, reality is constructed through ideology.
  2. However, the Real is not equivalent to the reality experienced by subjects as a meaningfully ordered totality. For Žižek, the Real names points within the ontological fabric, knitted by the hegemonic systems of representation and reproduction, that nevertheless resist full inscription into its terms and that may as such attempt to generate sites of active political resistance.

Drawing on Lacan's notion of the barred subject, for Žižek the subject is a purely negative entity, or void of being.[42] His ontology gives primacy to the creative subject who can manipulate discourse even while he or she is shaped by it.[43] Žižek suggests that consciousness is opaque. He says that one cannot ever know if an apparently conscious being is truly conscious or a mime—and furthermore, that this confusion is fundamental to consciousness itself.[44]

Žižek speaking in 2011

Žižek argues that although there are multiple Symbolic interpretations of the Real, they are not all relatively "true". Žižek identifies two instances of the Real: the abject Real, which cannot be symbolized, and the symbolic Real, a set of signifiers that can never be properly integrated into the horizon of sense of a subject. The truth is revealed in the process of transiting the contradictions; or the real is a "minimal difference", the gap between the infinite judgement of a reductionist materialism and experience as lived.[45]

Political thought and the postmodern subject

Žižek argues that the state is a system of regulatory institutions that shape our behavior. Its power is purely symbolic and has no normative force outside of collective behavior. In this way, the term the law signifies society's basic principles, which enable interaction by prohibiting certain acts.[46]

Political decisions for Žižek have become depoliticized and accepted as natural conclusions. For example, controversial policy decisions (such as reductions in social welfare spending) are presented as apparently "objective" necessities. Although governments make claims about increased citizen participation and democracy, the important decisions are still made in the interests of capital. The two-party system dominant in the United States and elsewhere produces a similar illusion.[47] Žižek says that it is still necessary to engage in particular conflicts—such as labor disputes—but the trick is to relate these individual events to the larger struggle. Particular demands, if executed well, might serve as metaphorical condensation for the system and its injustices. The real political conflict for Žižek is between an ordered structure of society and those without a place in it.[48]

In stark contrast to the intellectual tenets of the European "universalist Left" in general, and those Jürgen Habermas defined as postnational, in particular, Žižek spares no efforts in his clear and unequivocal defense of the pro-sovereignty and pro-independence processes opened in Europe.[49]

Žižek argues that the postmodern subject is cynical toward official institutions, yet at the same time believes in conspiracies. When we lost our shared belief in a single power, we constructed another of the Other in order to escape the unbearable freedom that we faced.[50] For Žižek, it is not enough to merely know that you are being lied to, particularly when continuing to live a normal life under capitalism. Although one may possess a self-awareness, Žižek argues, just because one understands what one is doing does not mean that one is doing the right thing.[51]

Žižek has said that he considers religion not an enemy but rather one of the fields of struggle. In a 2006 New York Times op-ed he made the argument for atheism, arguing that religious fundamentalists are, in a way, no different from "godless Stalinist Communists." He argued that both value divine will and salvation over moral or ethical action.[52][53]


Many hundreds of academics have addressed aspects of Žižek's work in professional papers,[54] and in 2007, the International Journal of Žižek Studies was established for the discussion of his work. There are two main themes of critique of Žižek's ideas: his failure to articulate an alternative or program in the face of his denunciation of contemporary social, political, and economic arrangements, and his lack of rigor in argumentation.[55]

Ambiguity and lack of alternatives

Žižek's philosophical and political positions are not always clear, and critiques have called him out on his failure to take a consistent stance.[56] He has claimed to stand by a revolutionary Marxist project, but his lack of vision or circumstance of revolution makes it unclear what that project consists of. According to some, his theoretical argument often lacks historical fact, which lends him more to provocation rather than insight.[57][58][59]

Žižek's refusal to present an alternative vision has led critics to accuse him of using unsustainable Marxist categories of analysis and having a 19th-century understanding of class. For example, Ernesto Laclau argued that "Žižek uses class as a sort of deus ex machina to play the role of the good guy against the multicultural devils."[60] The use of such analysis, however, is not systematic and draws on critical accounts of Stalinism and Maoism, as well as post-structuralism and Lacanian psychoanalysis.[61]

For some, Žižek represents one of two trajectories in contemporary thought of a progressive alternative.[62][63] On the one side are those thinkers like Žižek and Alain Badiou who embrace communism as the only radical alternative to the current social, political, and economic arrangements. They draw their inspiration from the social theory of Marxism, and extend it to form a radical critique of capitalism, contemporary politics, and neoliberalism in general. They advocate a withdrawal from, in Žižek's words, "everyday material social life," and decry anyone who abandons the "hypothesis of communism" (Badiou) as resigning themselves to the market economy.[62]

For Roberto Mangabeira Unger, an alternative path not trodden by thinkers like Žižek and Badiou is that of rethinking structural transformation and the construction of an alternative vision of social arrangements.[62] Although Žižek and Unger have been compared for their mutual encounter with Hegel and Marx, as well as by their experience of engagement in the political life of their respective countries, for Unger, the lack of a clear vision of alternatives in contemporary thinkers like Žižek represents a betrayal of our most important attribute: our power to resist and to reshape the social and conceptual worlds in which we find ourselves.[62]

Žižek does not agree with his critics who attribute to him a belief in necessitationism and has stated:

"There is no such thing as the Communist big Other, there's no historical necessity or teleology directing and guiding our actions." (In Slovene: "Ni komunističnega velikega Drugega, nobene zgodovinske nujnosti ali teleologije, ki bi usmerjala in vodila naša dejanja".)[33]

In his book "Living in the End Times" Žižek acknowledges part of his critics of being ambiguous and multilateral in his positions.: "[...] I am attacked for being anti-Semitic and for spreading Zionist lies, for being a covert Slovene nationalist and unpatriotic traitor to my nation, for being a crypto-Stallinist defending terror and for spreading Burgeois lies about Communism... so maybe, just maybe I am on right path, the path of fidelity to freedom."[64]

Unorthodox style and scholarship

Žižek's presentation and argumentative style is forceful, entertaining, and exoterically appealing. Yet his convoluted delivery and departure from logical conceptual frameworks (in some instances), results in the absence of a clear line of argument. Critics complain of a theoretical chaos in which questions and answers are confused and in which Žižek constantly recycles old ideas which were scientifically refuted long ago or which in reality have quite a different meaning than Žižek gives to them.[65] Harpham calls Žižek's style "a stream of nonconsecutive units arranged in arbitrary sequences that solicit a sporadic and discontinuous attention."[66] O'Neill concurs: "a dizzying array of wildly entertaining and often quite maddening rhetorical strategies are deployed in order to beguile, browbeat, dumbfound, dazzle, confuse, mislead, overwhelm, and generally subdue the reader into acceptance."[67]

Such presentation has laid him open to accusations of misreading other philosophers, particularly [72] However, in response to the allegations, Žižek stated:

When I was writing the text on Derrida which contains the problematic passages, a friend told me about Kevin Macdonald's [sic] theories, and I asked him to send me a brief resume. The friend send [sic] it to me, assuring me that I can use it freely since it merely resumes another's line of thought. Consequently, I did just that – and I sincerely apologize for not knowing that my friend's resume was largely borrowed from Stanley Hornbeck's review of Macdonald's book. [...] As any reader can quickly establish, the problematic passages are purely informative, a report on another's theory for which I have no affinity whatsoever; all I do after this brief resume is quickly dismissing Macdonald's theory as a new chapter in the long process of the destruction of Reason. In no way can I thus be accused of plagiarizing another's line of thought, of "stealing ideas." I nonetheless deeply regret the incident.[73]


Year Title Role
2004 The Reality of the Virtual Script author, lecturer (as himself)
2005 Zizek! Lecturer (as himself)
2006 The Pervert's Guide to Cinema Screenwriter, presenter (as himself)
2012 The Pervert's Guide to Ideology Screenwriter, presenter (as himself)

Critical introductions to Žižek

  • Kelsey Wood, Zizek: A Reader's Guide (Wiley-Blackwell: 2012).
  • Warren Breckman, Adventures of the Symbolic: Postmarxism and Radical Democracy (New York: Columbia University Press, 2013)
  • Sean Sheehan, Žižek: A Guide for the Perplexed (London: Continuum, 2012).
  • Christopher Hanlon, "Psychoanalysis and the Post-Political: An Interview with Slavoj Žižek." New Literary History 32 (Winter, 2001).
  • Tony Myers, Slavoj Žižek (London: Routledge, 2003).
  • Sarah Kay, Žižek: A Critical Introduction (Cambridge: Polity, 2003).
  • Ian Parker, Slavoj Žižek: A Critical Introduction (London: Pluto Press, 2004).
  • Matthew Sharpe, Slavoj Žižek, a little piece of the Real (London: Ashgate, 2004).
  • Rex Butler, "Slavoj Žižek: Live Theory" (London: Continuum, 2005).
  • Jodi Dean, Žižek's Politics (London: Routledge, 2006).
  • Walter A. Davis, "Slavoj Zizek, or the Jouissance of the Abstract Hegelian" in Death's Dream Kingdom (London: Pluto Press, 2006).
  • Peter Klepec: Ad... In: Slavoj Žižek, Poskusiti znova — spodleteti bolje (Ljubljana: Cankarjeva založba 2011), p. 442–485 (Extensive in-depth dictionary of 70 major concepts with references to all Žižek's Slovenian and English works, to works of other members of Slovene Lacanian School, Lacan, Miller etc.)
  • Adam Kotsko, Žižek and Theology (New York: T & T Clark, 2008).
  • Marcus Pound, Žižek: A (Very) Critical Introduction (Interventions) (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2008).
  • Adrian Johnston, Žižek's Ontology: A Transcendental Materialist Theory of Subjectivity (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 2008).
  • Adrian Johnston, Badiou, Žižek, and Political Transformations: The Cadence of Change (Evanston, Northwestern University Press, 2009).
  • Dominik Finkelde, Slavoj Žižek zwischen Lacan und Hegel. Politische Philosophie, Metapsychologie, Ethik (Wien: Turia + Kant, 2009).
  • Paul A. Taylor, Žižek And The Media (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2010).
  • Raoul Moati (ed.), Autour de S., Žižek, Psychanalyse, Marxisme, Idéalisme Allemand, Paris, PUF, "Actuel Marx", 2010
  • Fabio Vighi, On Žižek's Dialectics: Surplus, Subtraction, Sublimation, (Continuum, 2010).
  • Matthew Sharpe and Geoff Boucher "Zizek's and Politics: A Critical Introduction" (Edinburgh University Press, 2010)
  • Chris McMillan, "Žižek and Communist Strategy: On the Disavowed Foundations of Global Capitalism" (Edinburgh University Press, 2012)
  • Matthew Flisfeder, The Symbolic, The Sublime, and Slavoj Žižek's Theory of Film (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012).
  • Matthew Flisfeder and Louis-Paul Willis (eds.), Žižek and Media Studies: A Reader (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014).
  • Igor Pelgreffi, Slavoj Žižek (Napoli-Salerno: Orthotes, 2014).
  • Agon Hamza (ed), "Repeating Žižek" (Durham: Duke University Press, 2015)

See also the International Journal of Žižek Studies.




  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Britannica
  4. ^ "Slavoj Žižek," by Matthew Sharpe, The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, ISSN 2161-0002, 27 September 2015.
  5. ^ Britannica
  6. ^ Britannica
  7. ^ Kirk Boyle. "The Four Fundamental Concepts of Slavoj Žižek’s Psychoanalytic Marxism." International Journal of Žižek Studies. Vol 2.1. (link)
  8. ^ Spiegel
  9. ^ Ian Parker, Slavoj Žižek: A Critical Introduction (London: Pluto Press, 2004).
  10. ^ "Slavoj Žižek," by Matthew Sharpe, The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, ISSN 2161-0002, 27 September 2015.
  11. ^ The Telegraph
  12. ^ Salon
  13. ^ Spiegel
  14. ^ a b
  15. ^ Ceasefire Magazine
  16. ^ a b
  17. ^
  18. ^ Vice
  19. ^
  20. ^ a b c d e
  21. ^ Slovenski biografski leksikon (Ljubljana: SAZU, 1991), XV. edition
  22. ^ "Slavoj Žižek," by Matthew Sharpe, The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, ISSN 2161-0002, 27 September 2015.
  23. ^ a b c
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^ Žižek's response to the article "Če sem v kaj resnično zaljubljena, sem v življenje (Sobotna priloga Dela, p. 37 (19.1. 2008)
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^ a b Interview with Žižek – part two, Delo, 2 March 2013.
  34. ^
  35. ^
  36. ^ television program online transcriptDemocracy Now!, 11 March 2008.
  37. ^
  38. ^
  39. ^ Glenn, Joshua. "The Examined Life: Enjoy Your Chinos!", Boston Globe. 6 July 2003. H2.
  40. ^ Butler, Rex and Scott Stephens. "Play Fuckin' Loud: Žižek Versus the Left." The Symptom, Online Journal for
  41. ^ Žižek, Slavoj. The Sublime Object of Ideology. New York: Verso, 1989.
  42. ^ Britannica
  43. ^
  44. ^ , citing Descartes' problem of the possible automaton in hat & coat and the Husserlian failure to fully account for the selfhood of the other (through resort to the metaphor of "empathy").
  45. ^ Zizek, On Belief
  46. ^ Žižek, For They Know Not What They Do
  47. ^ A Plea for Intolerance
  48. ^
  49. ^ (27 June 2010)ARGIAŽižek: "The force of universalism is in you Basques, not in the Spanish state", Interview in
  50. ^ Žižek, Looking Awry: an Introduction to Jacques Lacan through Popular Culture
  51. ^
  52. ^ Žižek, Slavoj. "Atheism is a legacy worth fighting for". The New York Times. 13 March 2006.
  53. ^ Zizek, Slavoj. "Atheism is a Legacy Worth Fighting For". Retrieved Mon., 18 August 2014.
  54. ^
  55. ^ Korstanje M (2015) A Difficult World, examining the roots of Capitalism. New York, Nova Science Publishers.
  56. ^ Kuhn, Gabriel (2011). The Anarchist Hypothesis, or Badiou, Žižek, and the Anti-Anarchist Prejudice Alpine Anarchist. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
  57. ^
  58. ^
  59. ^
  60. ^ Butler, Judith, Ernesto Laclau and Slavoj Žižek "Contingency, Hegemony, Universality: Contemporary Dialogues on the Left". Verso. London, New York City 2000. pp. 202–206
  61. ^
  62. ^ a b c d Skof, Lenart. 2010. "On Progressive Alternative: Unger Versus Žižek." Synthesis Philosophica 49.
  63. ^ MacNeil, William, 1999. "Taking Rights Symptomatically — Jouissance, Coupure, Objet Petit a." Griffith Law Review 8.
  64. ^ Slavoj Žižek. "Living in the End Times".
  65. ^ See e.g. David Bordwell, "Slavoj Žižek: Say Anything", blog, April 2005.[1]; Philipp Oehmke, "Welcome to the Slavoj Zizek Show". Der Spiegel Online (International edition), 7 August 2010 [2]; Jonathan Rée, "Less Than Nothing by Slavoj Žižek – review. A march through Slavoj Žižek's 'masterwork'". The Guardian, 27 June 2012.[3]
  66. ^ Harpham "Doing the Impossible: Slavoj Žižek and the End of Knowledge"
  67. ^ O'Neill, "The Last Analysis of Slavoj Žižek"
  68. ^ Ian Parker, Slavoj Žižek: A Critical Introduction (Pluto Press: London and Sterling, 2004) p.78-80. For example, Žižek's appropriation of Lacan's discussion of Antigone in his 1959/1960 seminar, The Ethics of Psychoanalysis. In this seminar, Lacan uses Antigone to defend the claim that "the only thing of which one can be guilty is of having given ground relative to one's desire" (Slavoj Žižek, The Metastases of Enjoyment, Verso: London, 1994; p. 69). However, as Parker notes, Antigone's act (burying her dead brother in the knowledge that she will be buried alive) was never intended to effect a revolutionary change in the political status quo; yet, despite this, Žižek frequently cites Antigone as a paradigm of ethico-political action.
  69. ^ Noah Horwitz, "Contra the Slovenians: Returning to Lacan and away from Hegel" (Philosophy Today, Spring 2005, pp. 24–32.
  70. ^ Newsweek
  71. ^ Newsweek
  72. ^
  73. ^


  • Canning, P. "The Sublime Theorist of Slovenia: Peter Canning Interviews Slavoj Žižek" in Artforum, Issue 31, March 1993, pp. 84–9.

External links

On 11 July 2014, leading American weekly newsmagazine

Žižek's tendency to recycle portions of his own texts in subsequent works resulted in the accusation of self-plagiarism by The New York Times in 2014, after Žižek published an op-ed in the magazine which contained portions of his writing from an earlier book.[70] In response, Žižek expressed perplexity at the harsh tone of the denunciation, emphasizing that the recycled passages in question only acted as references from his theoretical books to supplement otherwise original writing.[71]

Accusations of plagiarism in 2014

[69] Similarly, according to some critics, Žižek's conflation of Lacan's unconscious with Hegel's unconscious is mistaken. Noah Horwitz, in an effort to dissociate Lacan from the more problematic Hegel, interprets the Lacanian unconscious and the Hegelian unconscious as two totally different mechanisms. Horwitz points out, in Lacan and Hegel's differing approaches to the topic of speech, that Lacan's unconscious reveals itself to us in parapraxis, or "slips-of-the-tongue." We are therefore, according to Lacan, alienated from language through the revelation of our desire (even if that desire originated with the Other, as he claims, it remains peculiar to us). In Hegel's unconscious, however, we are alienated from language whenever we attempt to articulate a particular and end up articulating a universal. For example, if I say 'the dog is with me', although I am trying to say something about this particular dog at this particular time, I actually produce the universal category 'dog,' and therefore express a generality, not the particularity I desire. Hegel's argument implies that, at the level of sense-certainty, we can never express the true nature of reality. Lacan's argument implies, to the contrary, that speech reveals the true structure of a particular unconscious mind.[68]

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