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Tag Archives: Theory

Slavoj Žižek: A “Human” Example

If any are unfamiliar (and we must assume that some are not swept up in the Academio-acculturation of a protesting Self) or simply have lost track of him under some characterization, I encourage those who have a love of philosophy to consider the “human” example of Slavoj Zizek, a Lacanian philosopher and sociologist.

A wonderful documentary that focuses not only on his ideas, but his extraordinary personage.

A recent, September 9th lecture given in Oregon, on the nature of politeness.

Or, this prospective examination of the film Children of Men.

Zizeks early books definitely made an impression on me, opening the door to Lacanian thinking and cultural analysis, the melding of philosophy to the matters of social concern. I remember attending one of his lectures a decade ago and asking a question on Israel whose premise horrified him. What I suggest is that more than the ultimate validity of his synthesis of Hegel, Kant and Lacan, which can be of interest, it is his lived experience of the significance of philosophy that perhaps gives its most compelling argument for its relevance. As much as Zizek is at pains to not be “human” just like all of “us”, subsumed in the ideology of normalcy, it really is the affective example of his experience of alienation and his thought-out articulation in response to it which allows us to embrace his very sincerity of project, if not his conclusions.

If there were any intellectual I would like to sit down to dinner with, it would be this man.



Properties and Qualities: paschonta

A way Speaking: I would suggest Paschonta (from the Greek participle of pascho, things suffered, experienced, undergone) rather than Phenomena (from the Greek middle/passive participle of phaino, things appearing).

We can think of the world in this way:

1. There are extentional parts which compose extentional relations which are available as property-descriptions under a physicalist function/structure domain.

2. There are intensional states which are composed by intensional relations (the relationship in communication intrinsic to any body as a system), as an intrinsic relation produces a quality, sensation or experience, of such parts being together.

Extensional Parts = Physicalist description

Intensional States = Phenomenal description (Paschonta)

Intensional relations which made up many essentialist descriptions are nothing more than the triangulating capacities of a body to projectively report upon conditions of the shared world such that it is causally related to it, and these relations resulting in qualities and experiences make little sense outside of this triangulation since they provide the connective tissue between ourselves and the world and others.

To speak of paschonta, things suffered or experienced (instead of phenomena, things being made to appear) is to read the world both causally and bodily. We regularly read the paschonta of others, (and the paschonta of ourselves).

Build a table using directions, measurements, exemplar and you have followed extensional paths. While building the table listen to the report of wood as you strike it, the feel of the joints as they are joined, and you have followed paschonta, the intensional path. The two paths are braided.

The problem with phenomenal descriptions, and why they should be replaced by paschontal descriptions, is that they encourage a representational view of the world, one in which the “picture” of something is imagined to match up with the real thing on occasions of true sentences. Paschonta, rather, are the experiences themselves, as we imagine others to experience them (or our own experiences as we take a reflexive view upon them), such that our relations to others and the world we share makes sense.

Dualists mistake paschonta for things in-themselves (imagining a kind of extensional intensionality), rather than for relations between perceptile bodies, the felt of report.