The Parallax View

The Parallax View

by Slavoj Zizek
     
 

ISBN-10: 0262512688

ISBN-13: 9780262512688

Pub. Date: 02/13/2009

Publisher: MIT Press

The Parallax View is Slavoj Žižek's most substantial theoretical work to appear in many years; Žižek himself describes it as his magnum opus. Parallax can be defined as the apparent displacement of an object, caused by a change in observational position.

Žižek is interested in the "parallax gap" separating two points between

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Overview

The Parallax View is Slavoj Žižek's most substantial theoretical work to appear in many years; Žižek himself describes it as his magnum opus. Parallax can be defined as the apparent displacement of an object, caused by a change in observational position.

Žižek is interested in the "parallax gap" separating two points between which no synthesis or mediation is possible, linked by an "impossible short circuit" of levels that can never meet. From this consideration of parallax, Žižek begins a rehabilitation of dialectical materialism.

Modes of parallax can be seen in different domains of today's theory, from the wave-particle duality in quantum physics to the parallax of the unconscious in Freudian psychoanalysis between interpretations of the formation of the unconscious and theories of drives. In The Parallax View, Žižek, with his usual astonishing erudition, focuses on three main modes of parallax: the ontological difference, the ultimate parallax that conditions our very access to reality; the scientific parallax, the irreducible gap between the phenomenal experience of reality and its scientific explanation, which reaches its apogee in today's brain sciences (according to which "nobody is home" in the skull, just stacks of brain meat — a condition Žižek calls "the unbearable lightness of being no one"); and the political parallax, the social antagonism that allows for no common ground. Between his discussions of these three modes, Žižek offers interludes that deal with more specific topics — including an ethical act in a novel by Henry James and anti-anti-Semitism.

The Parallax View not only expands Žižek's Lacanian-Hegelian approach to new domains (notably cognitive brain sciences) but also provides the systematic exposition of the conceptual framework that underlies his entire work.

Philosophical and theological analysis, detailed readings of literature, cinema, and music coexist with lively anecdotes and obscene jokes.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780262512688
Publisher:
MIT Press
Publication date:
02/13/2009
Series:
Short Circuits
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
448
Sales rank:
652,958
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.80(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents

Introduction : dialectical materialism at the gates2
IThe stellar parallax : the traps of ontological difference15
1The subject, this "inwardly circumcised Jew"16
2Building blocks for a materialist theology68
Interlude 1 : Kate's choice, or, the materialism of Henry James124
IIThe solar parallax : the unbearable lightness of being no one145
3The unbearable heaviness of being divine shit146
4The loop of freedom200
Interlude 2 : objet petit a in social links, or, the impasses of anti-anti-Semitism252
IIIThe lunar parallax : toward a politics of subtraction271
5From surplus-value to surplus-power272
6The obscene knot of ideology, and how to untie it330

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