The Parallax View

Slavoj Žižek
European Graduate School
In his formidable Transcritique: On Kant and Marx, Kojin Karatani endeavors to assert the critical potential of an in-between stance which he calls the “parallaxview”: when confronted with an antinomic stance, in the precise Kantian sense of the term, one should renounce all attempts to reduce one aspect to the other. One should, on the contrary, assert antinomy as irreducible, and conceive the point of radical critique not as a certain determinate position as opposed to another position, but as the irreducible gap between the positions themselves, the purely structural interstice between them. Kant’s stance is thus “to see things neither from his own viewpoint, nor from the viewpoint of others, but to face the reality that is exposed through difference (parallax).” What Kant does is to change the very terms of the debate; his solution—the transcendental turn—is unique in that it first rejects any ontological closure: it recognizes a certain fundamental and irreducible limitation (“finitude”) of the human condition, which is why the two poles, rational and sensual, active and passive, cannot ever be fully mediated—reconciled. And, according to Karatani, Marx, in his “critique of political economy,” when faced with the opposition of the “classical” political economy and the neo-classic reduction of value to a purely relational entity without substance, accomplished exactly the same breakthrough toward the “parallax” view: he treatedthis opposition as a Kantian antinomy, i.e., value has to originate outside circulation, in production, and in circulation
Keywords Ancient Philosophy  Continental Philosophy  History of Philosophy
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ISBN(s) 1085-1968
DOI 10.5840/epoche2004821
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