David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Studies in East European Thought 56 (4):335-356 (2004)
Part of Slavoj iek's philosophical background is located in German idealism. In this article, his relation to German idealism is critically assessed, and the key to this assessment is found in iek's favorite medium: film. In film, reality can only appear as a new image, replacing an old reality as fictitious, the real itself, however, remains unreachable by thought. At this point, a parallel with German idealism appears: it was Kant who turned reality into a desert, and Hegel and Schelling who tried to retrieve it. Siding with Adorno and Heidegger, iek reaches a negative conclusion that does justice to neither German idealism nor indeed Schelling. His use of German idealism is one-sided and selective, regardless of the fact that it allows him to formulate an adequate critique of Western society. Perceiving a parallel between iek's conception of cinema and Kantian imagination [Einbildungskraft], the final conclusion is that he approaches German idealism not in terms of its conceptual system-character, but in terms of sensual multiplicity, not seeking unity in it, but precisely fragmentation.
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