Absolute Recoil: Towards a New Foundation of Dialectical Materialism

Žižek’s new philosophical masterwork

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.


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


  • Your best Hegel memes!

    Thanks to everyone who made us laugh last week with the many brilliant Hegel memes that were posted on twitter and facebook!

    It was a tough job but we've chosen our favourite 10, and the winners will recieve a copy of Slavoj Žižek' Absolute Recoil and Fredric Jameson's The Hegel VariationsThe original competition details are here.

    1) @sonderino:

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  • Who said it: Hegel or Hubbard?

    "I'm drinking lots of rum and popping pinks and greys."

    Can you choose between science fiction writer and founder of the Church of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard, and the philosopher and dialectical wizard Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel? How well do you know your Dialectics from your Dianetics? Your Scientology from your Science of Logic? Take our quiz and find out – it’s quicker than a stress-test.


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  • You can run, but you Kant hide!

    When doing the Very Important research for our Hegel or L Ron Hubbard quiz we came across some fun Hegel related gifs (see bottom right) and even created one of our own (bottom left)! So, in the interests of doing something vaguely amusing on a Friday (and getting some free books at the same time) we want you to send us your favourite Hegel gifs, or have a go at making your own. They can be moving, still, whatever you like! Bad photoshopping is very much welcomed as is anything rude, obscure and unusual!

    At the end of the day we'll pick our 10 favourite gifs to win a copy of Žižek's new book Absolute Recoil: Towards a New Foundation of Dialectical Materialism AND Fredric Jameson's The Hegel Variations. Details below!

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Other books by Slavoj Žižek