Questioning multiculturalism: The critique of Slavoj Žižek in political philosophical perspective

Nowadays, multiculturalism is the target of a lot of criticism. One prominent critic is the Slovenian philosopher and psychoanalyst Slavoj Žižek and this article will focus on the main points of his critique. The author examines the extent to which his arguments are valid when considered in the context of the full background of the multiculturalism debate. It will be argued that Žižek does not have a complete understanding of the vision of humanity underpinning the defence of multiculturalism. It will also be argued that Žižek’s plea for a revolutionary politics does not account for the importance of recognition.

Milan Kundera and the sorrow of Don Juan

The Czech author Milan Kundera, one of the most famous contemporary “literary analysts”, is recognized as a master story-teller of the relationship between men and women. In this article, Kundera’s perspective is compared with the Lacanian statement that “there is no such thing as a sexual relation”. In a critical way, some of Kundera’s protagonists (Tomas, Klíma, Martin and Havel) are confronted with the Freudo-Lacanian interpretation of the Don Juan character. Through a short historical review, the author examines how Don Juan has evolved through the centuries from vulgar libertine to romantic hero. Kundera’s characters are situated within this evolutionary continuum. Both from a phenomenological and a structural viewpoint, a clear distinction is made between the characters of Don Juan and Casanova. The question is whether Kundera’s characters are Don Juans or Casanovas.

The poetical identity implosion of Fernando Pessoa – a psychoanalytical reading and interpretation of a literary oeuvre

First and foremost, this article deals with the process of reading and interpreting the oeuvre of the Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa. Furthermore, it wants to examine whether freudo-lacanian psychoanalysis anno 2008 is still relevant for analysing and unlocking the personality structure of an author. By means of four central remarks this article describes the practical and theoretical pitfalls the interpreter must be aware of if he to avoid losing sight of the oeuvre and person of Pessoa. The article ends with illustrating how psychoanalysis, in order to analyse the personality of Pessoa based on some biographical elements and his literary inheritance, forces the interpreter into a continuing process of reflection. In conclusion the author stresses the importance of an attitude that does not trivialize the gap between the (symbolic) dimensions of knowledge and the (real) dimension of truth that lies beyond every theory.

Ethics in a Time of Norms and Values. About the Ethics of the Real

This text aims to clarify the possibility of an ethics of the real. First, we define an ethics of desire, the kind of ethics this article wants to argue against. Next, we highlight the ethics of the real by indicating why the real is a crucial dimension for ethics (the real gives space to the free will) and by illustrating how modern society neglects the importance of dealing with the real. We unravel the ethics of the real by pointing to the ethics of Lacanian psychoanalysis and to the ethics of truth as conceptualized by the French philosopher Alain Badiou. Finally, we question whether the ethics of the real gives rise to evil.