The Ticklish Subject: The Absent Centre of Political Ontology

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Books by Slavoj Žižek

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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 systematic 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.

Product Details
Zizek, Slavoj. The Ticklish Subject: The Absent Centre of Political Ontology. London; New York: Verso. June 2000, New Edition, Paperback, 416 pages, Language: English, ISBN: 1859842917. Buy it at,,, or