Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Zizek - "The Reflection of Life in Hegel"

Beginning at 3:33, The question of the arbitrary (and nominalistic) division of nature into identities and their predicates is addressed; that is, whether identity truly has its ground in nature.  The broader question is one of organic form and relationality versus the self-determination of thought and self-same identity.  

The minimum of identity, its first moment, Zizek theorizes, is the difference between "inside" and "outside," given a border that emerges.  Life, we are told, presupposes a minimum of self-relation; of a self "on the inside" and anything "on the outside."  Relation-to-other is thus always mediated by self-relation.  However, this is fundamentally organic; that is, the living organism is the basic element.  

In speculative terms on the other hand, onto-logically (rather than bio-logically), identity is a category of reflection.  It is not the most simple thing.  One may talk about identity only when one has "the one" - some unifying feature that cannot be problematically reduced.  Hegel believes that it is the function of the name to designate that "oneness."