Archives mensuelles : juillet 2013


One can see the divide between Zizek and Chomsky as a battle over the « correct » or the most useful definition of ideology. Zizek has made it clear that on his definition Chomsky, contrary to what he himself may think, is … Lire la suite

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3 MORE TRAITS (14, 15, 16) OF CONTINENTAL PHILOSOPHY: Alterity, Pluralist Dialectics, and Transformations of the Subject

I have been using the Chomsky/Zizek divide as a catalyst for a more general discussion. Chomsky and Zizek are involved in a battle over the criterion of truth (and thus over the criterion of ideology). Chomsky’s ideal is monist: differences … Lire la suite

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FEYERABEND ON IDEOLOGICAL CRITIQUE: the need for « contrary causes »

Paul Feyerabend’s texts provide us with useful perspectives on the Zizek/Chomsky divide. For example, in CONSOLATIONS FOR THE SPECIALIST (available online here), he has this to say about the relative efficacy of argument and of immersion: « We certainly cannot assume … Lire la suite


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CHOMSKY AND « CANNED » THOUGHT: Did Chomsky fake the results of his thought experiment?

We have seen that there is something very curious about Chomsky’s « Niño » argument. At the very moment he accuses Zizek of making non-empirically-testable assertions, Chomsky himself indulges in a rather puzzling thought-experiment. Try explaining Zizek’s ideas to a twelve year … Lire la suite

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13TH TRAIT OF CONTINENTAL PHILOSOPHY: Postmodernism (in Lyotard’s sense)

In a recent post I offered a reading of the first paragraph of Zizek’s LESS THAN NOTHING as proof that he is not writing incoherent rodomontades or empty platitudes. It is an example of how Zizek reasons reflexively, analogically, imagistically, … Lire la suite

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11TH AND 12TH TRAITS OF CONTINENTAL PHILOSOPHY: Deconstructing the question and Thinking in problematics

Chomsky is an unreliabe narrator, an unreliable reader of an commentator on Continental Philosophy. Deleuze relegates such comments AND THEIR EXPECTED RESPONSES to the dogmatic image of thought. Chomsky constructs no problematic, he just presumes that he can rattle off … Lire la suite

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Chomsky exemplifies a typical argument from authority. He claims to “see nothing” in the Continental texts he has read (I suppose we must believe him, but what texts has he read? and has he done the background reading? even Bertrand … Lire la suite

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I began my discussion of the Chomsky/Zizek dispute by saying that my interest is not so much doctrinal or adherence to a party line (the party of Zizek fans, or that of Chomsky supporters) as typological, and that the typology(in … Lire la suite

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TWO MORE TRAITS OF CONTINENTAL PHILOSOPHY (Traits 6 and 7): Begin in the middle and Work with incommensurables

Chomsky claims that when you take the time to read works of Continental Philosophy, to decode the language, to figure out the content, what you find is « simple and familiar ideas have been dressed up in complicated and pretentious rhetoric ». … Lire la suite

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ON ZIZEK’S « IRRATIONALITY »: Some Traits of Continental Philosophy (Traits 1 to 5)

Nowhere in my defence of Continental philosophy do I claim that one must abandon all rational grounds, nor that anything goes. I do say that Chomsky has a very limited idea of rational grounds, quite insufficient even in analytic terms, … Lire la suite

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