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Absolute Recoil: Towards a New Foundation of Dialectical Materialism

"Few thinkers illustrate the contradictions of contemporary capitalism better than Slavoj Žižek." –John Gray, New York Review of Books

Philosophical materialism in all its forms – from scientific naturalism to Deleuzian New Materialism – has failed to meet the key theoretical and political challenges of the modern world. This is the burden of philosopher Slavoj Žižek’s argument in this pathbreaking and eclectic new work. Recent history has seen developments such as quantum physics and Freudian psychoanalysis, not to speak of the failure of twentieth-century communism, shake our understanding of existence.

In the process, the dominant tradition in Western philosophy lost its moorings. To bring materialism up to date, Žižek – himself a committed materialist and communist – proposes a radical revision of our intellectual heritage. He argues that dialectical materialism is the only true philosophical inheritor of what Hegel designated the “speculative” approach in thought.

Absolute Recoil is a startling reformulation of the basis and possibilities of contemporary philosophy. While focusing on how to overcome the transcendental approach without regressing to naïve, pre-Kantian realism, Žižek offers a series of excursions into today’s political, artistic, and ideological landscape, from Arnold Schoenberg’s music to the films of Ernst Lubitsch.

Reviews

  • “Like Socrates on steroids ... breathtakingly perceptive.”
  • “Few thinkers illustrate the contradictions of contemporary capitalism better than Slavoj Žižek ... one of the world’s best-known public intellectuals.”
  • “A gifted speaker – tumultuous, emphatic, direct – and he writes as he speaks.”
  • “A serious attempt to reanimate or reactualize Hegel.”

Blog

  • All ebooks are 90% off until Jan 1st!



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  • Video: Slavoj Žižek discusses freedom and love with the Guardian

    Slavoj Žižek's take on freedom was never going to be common-sensical, so it's perhaps no suprise that he begins his recent Guardian Comment is Free video in typically paradoxical style. To be truely free, for Žižek, would involve "the state taking care of things, not only without my choice, but even without me knowing about them."


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