Ethics Of The Real

Ethics Of The Real


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The idea of Kantian ethics is both simple and revolutionary: it proposes a moral law independent of any notion of a pre-established Good or any ‘human inclination’ such as love, sympathy or fear. In attempting to interpret such a revolutionary proposition in a more ‘humane’ light, and to turn Kant into our contemporary—someone who can help us with our own ethical dilemmas—many Kantian scholars have glossed over its apparent paradoxes and impossible claims. This book is concerned with doing exactly the opposite. Kant, thank God, is not our contemporary; he stands against the grain of our times. 

Lacan on the face of it appears the very antithesis of Kant—the wild theorist of psychoanalysis compared to the sober Enlightenment thinker. His concept of the Real, however, provides perhaps the most useful backdrop to this new interpretation of Kantian ethics. Constantly juxtaposing her readings of the two philosophers. Alenka Zupan?i? summons up an ‘ethics of the Real’, and clears the ground for a radical restoration of the disruptive element in ethics. 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781859842188
Publisher: Verso Books
Publication date: 03/16/2000
Series: Wo Es War Series
Pages: 284
Product dimensions: 0.64(w) x 5.50(h) x 8.50(d)

About the Author

Alenka Zupan?i? is a researcher at the Institute of Philosophy in the Slovene Academy of Sciences, Ljublijana

Table of Contents

Foreword: Why Is Kant Worth Fighting For?vii
1The (Moral-) Pathology of Everyday Life7
2The Subject of Freedom21
What freedom?22
What subject?25
3The Lie43
Kant and 'the right to lie'43
The Unconditional53
The Sadeian trap58
4From the Logic of Illusion to the Postulates64
The 'stormy ocean' of illusion64
'Person also means mask'68
The passage to the postulates75
5Good and Evil79
Fantasy within the limits of reason alone79
The logic of suicide82
Degrees of evil86
Like angels, like devils90
The act as 'subjectivation without subject'96
6The Act and Evil in Literature106
The case of Valmont107
The case of Don Juan121
7Between the Moral Law and the Superego140
The quantum of affect140
The sublime and the logic of the superego149
The status of the law160
8Ethics and Tragedy in Psychoanalysis170
Some preliminary remarks170
Oedipus, or the Outcast of the Signifier175
The theft of desire--and the mother in exchange175
The death of the Thing187
What is a father?192
What shall we do with Oedipus?197
The hostage of the word200
Sygne, or the Enjoyment of the Remainder211
Ethics and terror213
Enjoyment--my neighbour221
The Real in ethics234
From pure desire to the drive238
9Thus ...249

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