Saturday, January 21, 2017

Zizek on "Illiberal" tolerance


FreeThinke said...

If this guy's a leftist, I'm a little green man from Mars with purple hair.

I often get the feeling that what Zizek really craves most is to be the center of attention, and he'll say just about anything to make it happen.

Even so, there's a indefinable seething about him that makes him tremendously likable. That Teddy Bear effect i've mentiied before.

I hope his doctor has urged him to go on a diet. He's getting too fat for his own good. I'd hate to see him get ill. He's already 67, and has a young, rather attractive-looking third wife, so maybe he's having too good a time to worry about his health? But even though I think he's its, I'd hate to see him leave us any time soon.

By the way, what in the world is a HEGELIAN Marxist? Hegel came first, and Marx stole many of his ideas, but I don't study these things assiduously the way you, apparently, do, so please allow me to pick your brain a bit.

-FJ said...

He's a dialectician:

The purpose of the dialectic method of reasoning is resolution of disagreement through rational discussion, and, ultimately, the search for truth.[4][5] One way to proceed—the Socratic method—is to show that a given hypothesis (with other admissions) leads to a contradiction; thus, forcing the withdrawal of the hypothesis as a candidate for truth (see reductio ad absurdum). Another dialectical resolution of disagreement is by denying a presupposition of the contending thesis and antithesis; thereby, proceeding to sublation (transcendence) to synthesis, a third thesis.

Fichtean[6]/Hegelian dialectics is based upon four concepts:

Everything is transient and finite, existing in the medium of time.
Everything is composed of contradictions (opposing forces).
Gradual changes lead to crises, turning points when one force overcomes its opponent force (quantitative change leads to qualitative change).
Change is helical (periodic without returning to the same position), not circular (negation of the negation).[7]
The concept of dialectic (as a unity of opposites) existed in the philosophy of Heraclitus of Ephesus, who proposed that everything is in constant change, as a result of inner strife and opposition.[8][9][10] Hence, the history of the dialectical method is the history of philosophy.[11]

-FJ said...

Hegel was an idealist. Marx was a materialist. Zizek is a materialist, as well, and seeks to advance the field of dialectical materialism.

-FJ said...

Zizek tells a joke about a Jew applying to leave the Soviet Union. "I'm worried that communism is going to collapse, and we Jews will get the blame," Rabinovitch explains. "No need to worry," says the official. "Communism is here to stay." To which Rabinovitch replies, with sudden frankness: "Quite so, and that's my other reason." The truth, in short, emerges only in the wake of muddle and deceit.

FreeThinke said...

Thank you,that helps a great deal, but the word DIALECTIC still troubles me. It sounds too abstruse and frankly contrived by academicians in an attempt to make a simple concept sound more complex than it really is, and to appear more impressive at the same time. Why do we not use good, solid, old-fashioned plain English, and say "discussion," "debate," "argument," "an attempt to resolve conflict," "conversation based on diametrically opposed ideas," and the like?

As I suspected, I have stumbled upon a field I've never studied that uses a specialized language all its wn. (Dare I call it "jargon?" ;-)

Here's Merriam Webster on the topic:



1. logic

2. a: discussion and reasoning by dialogue as a method of intellectual investigation; specifically : the Socratic techniques of exposing false beliefs and eliciting truth b: the Platonic (see platonic 1) investigation of the eternal ideas

3. the logic of appearances and of illusions : the logic of fallacy

4. a: the Hegelian process of change in which a concept or its realization passes over into and is preserved and fulfilled by its opposite; also : the critical investigation of this process b: Marxism (1) usually dialectics plural in form but singular or plural in construction : development through the stages of thesis (see thesis 3), antithesis, and synthesis (see synthesis 2b) in accordance with the laws of dialectical materialism (2) : the investigation of this process (3) : the theoretical application of this process especially in the social sciences

5. usually dialectics plural in form but singular or plural in construction a: any systematic reasoning, exposition (see exposition 2a), or argument that juxtaposes opposed or contradictory ideas and usually seeks to resolve their conflict: a method of examining and discussing opposing ideas in order to find the truth b: an intellectual exchange of ideas

6. the dialectical tension or opposition between two interacting forces or elements
See dialectic defined for English-language learners

Origin and Etymology of Dialectic

Middle English dialetik, from Anglo-French dialetiqe, from Latin dialectica, from Greek dialektikē, from feminine of dialektikos of conversation, from dialektos —see dialect

First Known Use: 14th century

Other terms used in the study of Philosophy

dualism, epistemology, existentialism, metaphysics, ontology, sequitur, solipsism, transcendentalism

DIALECTIC Defined for English Language Learners

Philosophy : a method of examining and discussing opposing ideas in order to find the truth

I'm a KISS man, myself. I prefer to "Keep it Simple," probably because I am "Stupid." (:-c

FreeThinke said...

PS: Our friend Zizek may be a DIALECTICIAN, but what he needs most right now is the services of an enlightened DIETITIAN.

(Sorry, I just couldn't resist the cheap shot.)


-FJ said...

...and here's my parting shot. The reason it needs it's "own word" lies all in the nous-ance (nuance). ;)

Gert said...

Slavoj Žižek is a leftist alright. Sometimes incoherent, rambling and much despised by the Clinton Left (and some anally retentive Marxists) but always asking the daring questions. Much to disagree with but always worth following.

-FJ said...

An honest dialectician, w/o a doubt! ;)


FreeThinke said...

I TOLD y;all the guy was LIKABLE. I never met a Marxist before who was.

It's a bit confounding, but then what ISN'T these days? ;-)

To make matters even more confusing MOST of my really good friends are Democrats.

We remain friends, because we avoid talking politics.

Gert said...

So many ducts to choose from!!!!

Funnily enough, that's exactly what I think when I see all these micro-variations of, say Coke, in my local super. Is so much choice more freedom or another form of enslavement?

Gert said...

The terms 'left' and 'right' are of course largely meaningless and VERY last Century. We only use them still because that's how language works. Especially in the post-Brexit/Trump era...