A spectre is haunting Western academia, the spectre of the Cartesian subject. Deconstructionists and Habermasians, cognitive scientists and Heidiggerians, feminists and New Age obscurantists ... all are united in their hostility to it. The Ticklish Subject seeks to undermine the common presuppositions of all these crititiqes by posing a provocative question: What if there is a subversive core of the Cartesian subject to be unearthed, a core that provides the indispensable philosophical point of reference of any genuinely emancipatory politics.
In this new, long-awaited sustematic exposition of the foundations of his theory, Slavoj Zizek explores this question through a detailed an rigorous confrontation with predominant contemporary notions of the subject: Heidegger's attempt to overcome subjectivity; the post-Althusserian elaborations of political subjectivity (Ernesto Lalau, Etienne Balibar, Jacques Rancière and Alain Badiou); deconstructionist feminism (Judith Butler); and the theories of second modernity and risk society (Anthony Giddens, Ulrich Beck).
While philosophical in tenor and peppered with Zizek’s characteristic witticisms, The Ticklish Subject is first and foremost an engaged political intervention, addressing the burning question of how to reformulate a leftist project in an era of global capitalism and its ideological supplement, liberal-democratic multiculturalism.
“The Ticklish Subject may be his most focused and most political book to date.” — Lingua Franca
“Zizek's interest in pop culture, combined with his clear, conventional writing style, makes his books more accessible than most critical theory, perhaps to the greatest degree since Foucault.” — San Francisco Bay Guardian
“Zizek is a one-person culture mulcher ... a fast-forward philosopher of culture for the post-Cold War period.” — Village Voice LiterarySupplement
“Discussing Hegel and Lacan is like breathing for Slavoj.” — Judith Butler
“The most formidably brilliant exponent of psychoanalysis, indeed of cultural theory in general, to have emerged from Europe for some decades.” — Terry Eagleton