•  240
    Reclaiming Rationality Experientially: The New Metaphysics of Human Spirit in Hegel’s Phenomenology
    Online Journal of Hegelian Studies (REH) 13 (21): 55-93. 2016.
    Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit is typically read as a work that either rehabilitates the metaphysical tradition or argues for a new form of idealism centred on social normativity. In the following, I show that neither approach suffices. Not only does the metaphysical reading ignore how the Phenomenology demonstrates that human rationality can never adequately capture ultimate reality because ultimate reality itself has a moment of brute facticity that resists explanation, which prevents us from…Read more
  •  76
    The Threat of Givenness in Jean-Luc Marion
    Symposium 13 (2): 97-115. 2009.
    Absent within Jean-Luc Marion’s theory of selfhood is an account of psychosis that displaces standard phenomenological and psychoanalytic models. Working primarily with Book V of Being Given, my paper sketches the formal possibilities exhibited in a self who cannot manage the superabundance of the given and, swept away by an uncontrollable flood of givenness, thereby falls into a hysteria of self-experience and loses its ipseity. Then, contrasting psychosis with positive figures of the self, I e…Read more
  •  73
    In Ontological Catastrophe, Joseph Carew takes up the central question guiding Slavoj Žižek’s philosophy: How could something like phenomenal reality emerge out of the meaninglessness of the Real? Carefully reconstructing and expanding upon his controversial reactualization of German Idealism, Carew argues that Žižek offers us an original, but perhaps terrifying, response: experience is possible only if we presuppose a prior moment of breakdown as the ontogenetic basis of subjectivity. Drawing u…Read more
  •  71
    I argue that Hegel’s Phenomenology is an attempt to prove that human experience displays a sui generis logical structure. This is because, as rational animals who instinctively create a universe of meaning to navigate our environment, the perceptual content of our conscious experience of objects, the desires that motivate our self-conscious experience of action, and the beliefs and values that make up our sociohistorical experience all testify to the presence of rationality as their condition of…Read more
  •  58
    What are the origins of consciousness and language? Why are so many driven to see them as epiphenomenal to a metaphysically more primordial phenomenon when we have good reasons to think they are irreducible to such? Drawing on the work of the Slovenian psychoanalyst Slavoj Žižek, and in particular his reading of the German philosopher F.W.J. Schelling, I suggest a provactive but nuanced thesis: that at the basis of human subjectivity there is no rhyme or reason for its emergence and to protect o…Read more
  •  44
    “Why Is There Nothing Rather Than Something?”: Less Than Nothing's New Metaphysics
    International Journal of Žižek Studies 8 (1). 2014.
    I argue that Žižek's Less Than Nothing: Hegel and the Shadow of Dialectical Materialism presents us with a radically original variety of metaphysics both in terms of Žižek's own intellectual development and the history of philosophy. Rather than being concerned with the study of being qua being, Less Than Nothing proclaims that we ought to investigate nothing qua nothing inasmuch as contemporary physics demonstrates that the more we analyze reality the more we find a void, this latter now in mat…Read more
  •  30
    I argue that Hegel’s logic is an anthropology. Appealing to the fact that we, as the kind of beings we are, search for meaning in our sensory encounter with things and in our actions, it articulates the rationality that guides this search and explains the fundamental shape of human experience. This has three implications for his logic. First, since this rationality is first and foremost an instinctive activity, it is an elaboration of our unconscious knowledge of the rules of thinking. Second, i…Read more
  •  15
    Although Hegel's absolute idealism is often presented as a solipsistically self-grounding, the Realphilosophie offers us an another image of Hegel which not only challenges standard interpretations, but more importantly gives us valuable resources to rethink living being. The zero-level determinacy of nature as “the idea in its otherness” has two consequences. Firstly, the starting point of any philosophy of nature must be a realism, insofar as nature's material constitution shows itself as unth…Read more
  •  12
    Following a series of textual gestures which suggest that Schelling is the culmination of the German Idealist tradition, this essay is an attempt to articulate the ambiguity of the Hegel-Schelling relationship in Slavoj Žižek's work and its productive potential. Characterizing his own dialectical materialism again and again as Hegelian, but never a Schellingian project, Žižek often belies the central role played by late Schelling of the Freiheitsschrift and the Weltalter in the self-unfolding lo…Read more
  •  11
    Absent within Jean-Luc Marion’s theory of selfhood is an account of psychosis that displaces standard phenomenological and psychoanalytic models. Working primarily with Book V of Being Given, my paper sketches the formal possibilities exhibited in a self who cannot manage the superabundance of the given and, swept away by an uncontrollable flood of givenness, thereby falls into a hysteria of self-experience and loses its ipseity. Then, contrasting psychosis with positive figures of the self, I e…Read more
  •  10
    Slavoj Žižek and the Ontology of Political Imagination
    International Journal of Žižek Studies 5 (3). 2011.
    My aim is to show how Žižek's political philosophy is informed and made possible by his reading of German Idealism, thus establishing an intrinsic relationship between Žižek's politics and ontology, by focusing on the problematic of “political imagination.” First, we will see to what degree Žižek's interpretation of the Schellingian logic of the Grund lays the foundation for his own appropriation of Marx's analysis of capital and this theorization of the sociopolitical deadlock we find ourselves…Read more
  •  6
    Truth, Imagination, Act: The Methodology of Žižek's Sociopolitical Writings
    International Journal of Žižek Studies 6 (3). 2012.
    My goal is to offer a strategy for understanding the intended effect of Žižek's sociopolitical writings. Although many critics are suspicious of Žižek's lack of a positive program for action or his rejection of liberal democracy, my conviction is that these concerns miss something essential in Žižek's endeavor as an intervention: Žižek's continual insistence on the need to “reformulate” the Left, “reinvent” the political, “think” an alternative future, if we are to overcome the impasses we face …Read more