A little more Žižek

It’s been a while since we had any quotations from Slavoj Žižek.  Here are some from Conversations with Žižek by Žižek and Glyn Daly.

On the nature of philosophy

“… Kant was always a model philosopher … [his] problem is not speculation about mortality of the soul.  He asks a simple question: ‘What is it that we have to presuppose is true by the mere fact that we are active as ethical agents?’ … That is what philosophy is about, not ‘I philosopher believe in a certain structure of the universe etc.’ but an exploration or what is presupposed even in daily activity.”

On dialogue

“It took me some time to learn this, but I think that I truly became a philosopher when I understood that there is no dialogue in philosophy.  Plato’s dialogues, for example, are clearly fake dialogues in which one guy is talking most of the time and the other guy is mostly saying ‘yes, I see, yes my God it is like you said — Socrates, my God that’s how it is’.  I fully sympathise with Deleuze who said somewhere that the moment a true philosopher hears a phrase like ‘let’s discuss this point’, his response is ‘let’s leave as soon as possible; let’s run away!’  Show me one dialogue which really worked.  There are none!  I mean, of course there were influences that pass from one philosopher to another …”

The gap of subjectivity

“Let’s say a neurobiologist shows you a genomic formula stating that ‘this is you’ — you encounter yourself objectively.  Isn’t it precisely in this encounter of ‘this is you’ that you will experience the gap of subjectivity at its purist?  … This dream of total self-objectivization will also confront us radically with its opposite, with the gap of subjectivity.”

Tolerance and giving money to charity

“The ultimate logic of tolerance and anti-harassment is ‘I want to be alone’: it’s about how to have contact with others, but contact without contact; how to keep a proper distance. … I would say that this is also why humanitarian causes are so popular.  They are not simply an expression of love for your neighbour, they are exactly the opposite.  That is to say, the function of money in giving to humanitarian causes is the same as the function of money as isolated by Lacan in psychoanalysis: money means I pay you so that we don’t get involved.”