Foucault and Žižek

25 July 2013

I have been reading Žižek and looking at some of his criticism of Foucault. Although Žižek’s work is an exhilarating experience, I am reminded of Foucault’s scathing attack on Hegel’s dialectical method in his review essay Theatrum Philosophicum and his remark that dialectics amounted to the ‘fakery of prepared answers’. Despite Žižek’s endless somersaults and teasing paradoxes, he is always stuck re-hashing the same space, whereas Foucault was always able and willing to risk moving into different spaces and directions of thought.

Foucault, M. (1998) [1970] ‘Theatrum Philosophicum’ in J. D. Faubion (ed.), Aesthetics, Method, and Epistemology: Essential Works of Foucault Volume 2, London: Penguin, 343-368.