“AM I A PHILOSOPHER?”: Zizek, Althusser, and Laruelle


At the beginning of his paper entitled “Am I a Philosopher?“, Slavoj Zizek cites a series of critiques that seek to deny him the very status of philosopher. The three main claims are that

1) Zizek has no philosophy, no system, but only proposes and exemplifies a method, he is a “reader of philosophy” rather than a real philosopher.

2) Zizek has no status as a philosopher inside of the academy, he is anxious over “being excluded from prestigi­ous insti­tu­tional appar­at­uses and depart­ments of philo­sophy”.

3) Zizek is an excitable hysteric rather than a Stoical master.

In short, Zizek has no legitimacy as a philosopher.

A primitive psychological explanation accompanies this diagnosis: Zizek’s nervousness, anxiety, and bodily tics are so many subjectivations and somatisations of his intellectual and social situation, psychosomatic reactions to his lack of legitimacy.

One is reminded here of Deleuze’s response to intellectual and personal…

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