Bryan Says: April 16, 2009 at 4:31 am
1. I’m not sure you’ve succeeded at that goal of disidentification. Generally speaking, any position that requires the construction of an entire universe of strawmen is suspicious and suggests a huge amount of libidinal investment in what its attacking, rather than the critique itself. Thus, for example, Kierkegaard’s critique of Hegel reveals less about Hegel’s philosophy than about the need for Kierkegaard to have a strawman who goes by the name of “Hegel” (there’s an excellent book on this by Prof. [not comedian] Jon Stewart, but anyhow…). Basically, I think you’re on the wrong track as far as rhetoric goes.
2. I disagree that Zizek is cultural studies, although your language is ambiguous (”falls into the domain…”). This is usually the reading of Zizek that people come away with when they’re not at all deeply engaged in his work and become distracted by the flashy pop culture examples. The fact is, the pop culture analyses are all subordinated to making Lacan and German Idealism understandable. Adrian Johnston’s book, *Zizek’s Ontology*, provides probably the best case of elucidating this point, but even a brief encounter with Zizek’s *Tarrying with the Negative* makes it clear that his main focus is not cultural studies. A much better description would be the reactualization of German Idealism through Lacanian psychoanalysis.
3. I don’t think Lacan simplifies ego psychology (would you honestly claim otherwise?), and as for Piaget and Chomsky, I’m not familiar enough with either. The difference between your argument about correlationism and Lacan’s is that, despite all of the name calling, Lacan’s criticism of ego-psychology is actually quite rigorous (as in Seminars I, II, and III), and also really damning because he gets it right. The same is true of Kant’s critique of Hume and Leibniz. All in all, we may forget exactly who Kant or Lacan or even Marx were criticizing in their texts, but we’ll never forget the critiques, because their critiques are invaluable and will stay with us for a long time.
On the other hand, I don’t think you get Kant right–I think he’s more of a strawman for you.