Articles/Adrian Johnston/Where To Start

From No Subject - Encyclopedia of Psychoanalysis
Jump to: navigation, search

'Where to Start?: Robert Pippin, Slavoj Žižek, and the True Beginning(s) of Hegel's System' by Adrian Johnston



Hegel scholarship of the past several decades, especially in the English-speaking world, has been dominated by non/anti-metaphysical interpretations of Hegel's philosophy. Slavoj Žižek is far from alone in resisting these still-fashionable deflationary variants of Hegelianism. However, his ongoing work, particularly as elaborated in 2012's [[Books/Slavoj_Zizek/Less_Than_Nothing|"Less Than Nothing"], challenges in especially powerful ways attempts to downplay or jettison the ontological, materialist, naturalist, and realist dimensions of Hegelian thinking. Herein, I focus on Žižek's disagreements with perhaps the most influential deflationist Hegelian, namely, Robert Pippin (with his thesis that the core of Hegel's entire apparatus consists in a certain appropriation of Kant's transcendental unity of apperception and, along with it, the subjectivist anti-realism of Kantian transcendental idealism). Although I am fully sympathetic to the broader cause of combatting deflationary Hegelianism, I opt in what follows, by contrast with Žižek, both: one, to contest directly Pippin's construal of the importance of the [[Articles/Adrian Johnston/Where To Start/Books/Immanuel_Kant/Critique_Of_Pure_Reason|"Critique of Pure Reason"]'s "Transcendental Deduction" for Hegel; and, two, to problematize the very idea that the Logic alone forms the ground-zero foundation of the Hegelian System (an assumption arguably underpinning aspects of both Pippin's and Žižek's otherwise strikingly divergent approaches to Hegel).