29 February 2008

This is what I want from a book review

Today Note Dame Philosophical Reviews reviewed Ido Geiger's "The Founding Act of Modern Ethical Life: Hegel's Critique of Kant's Moral and Political Philosophy." I quite enjoyed reading the review, and it left me with not the slightest desire to purchase the book reviewed.

The review briefly notes that Lacan comes up in the book; I suspect Zizek is lurking behind this, too, but the book is unsearchable on Amazon. Sentences like "The founding act is a new speech, which presents itself as old, the invisible deed which establishes the visible "truth" which comes after" make me want to pick For They Know Not What They Do back up, just to poke at it some more. I put it down after Zizek managed to manhandle both Russell's paradox and "The fear of God" within the same subheading. He also tries to expound on Hegel's understanding of the relationship between the Universal and the Particular without mentioning Hegel's distinction between "abstract" and "concrete universals". That is, he tries to expound on Hegel without Hegel. (To no surprise, where there should be a discussion of concrete universals there instead appears Lacan -- in particular the "not-all [pas-tout]". I have noticed a pattern -- Zizek will say he is discussing Hegel, then discuss Lacan, and then use the fact that he called Lacan "Hegel" to support Lacan. I suppose this is its own sort of "founding violence".)

Unlike Zizek, the NDPR review says many things about Hegel which are not wrong. It is a good review.

1 comment:

J said...
This comment has been removed by the author.