Monday, February 1, 2010

Kant and Sade

Of all the couples in the history of modern thought (Freud and Lacan, Marx and Lenin…), Kant and Sade is perhaps the most problematic: the statement "Kant is Sade" is the "infinite judgement" of modern ethics, positing the sign of equation between the two radical opposites, i.e. asserting that the sublime disinterested ethical attitude is somehow identical to, or overlaps with, the unrestrained indulgence in pleasurable violence. A lot-everything, perhaps-is at stake here: is there a line from Kantian formalist ethics to the cold-blooded Auschwitz killing machine? 

5 comments:

Reasonsjester said...

I didn't know you read Zizek. I'll have to read this article and comment on it later.

Reaganx said...

Well, I don't know much about him. Probably he's a blockhead in general but the association between two kinds of ethics - Kantian and Sadist - caught my attention.

Reaganx said...

Because I'm opposed to Kant, as you know.

Reasonsjester said...

Yes, I've read an interview of Zizek and heard some students discuss him. He is an anarchist of the socialistic kind, in general. But he may have some interesting insights into philosophy.

Anonymous said...

"Beat me!" said the masochist; "No!" stated the sadist!