Event

A Philosophical Journey Through A Concept

“A tsunami killed more than 200,000 people in Indonesia!” “The people have won! The dictator has run away!” “How is something as beautiful as Beethoven’s last piano sonata even possible?”

All these statements refer to what some of us would consider an event . . . An “Event” can refer to a devastating natural disaster or to the latest celebrity scandal, the triumph of the people or a brutal political change, an intense experience of a work of art or an intimate decision . . . An event is the effect that seems to exceed its causes—and the space of an event is the distance of an effect from its causes.

But, asks Slavoj Žižek, does everything that exists have to be grounded in sufficient reasons? Or are there things that somehow happen out of nowhere? How can philosophy help us to determine what an event is and how it is possible?

SLAVOJ ŽIŽEK is a Slovenian philosopher and cultural critic. He is a professor at the European Graduate School, International Director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, Birkbeck College, University of London, and a senior researcher at the Institute of Sociology, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. His books include Living in the End TimesFirst as Tragedy, Then as FarceIn Defense of Lost Causes; and many more.

“’The biggest event of the year!’ ’Don’t miss this event!’ There is a part of all of us that perks up at the mention of an ’event.’ I am very curious about the philosophical analysis of events (what is an event, really?) and their role in our modern lives, and I can’t wait to dive into this quick read.” —the Barnes & Noble Book Blog

See a video of Slavoj Zizek talking about Event at The Big Think

“The giant of Ljubljana provides the best intellectual high since Anti-Oedipus.”—The Village Voice

“The most formidably brilliant exponent of psychoanalysis, indeed of cultural theory in general, to have emerged in many decades.” —Terry Eagleton

“Unafraid of confrontation and with a near limitless grasp of pop symbolism.”—The Times

“Žižek is a thinker who regards nothing as outside his field: the result is deeply interesting and provocative.” —Guardian

“Žižek leaves no social or cultural phenomenon untheorized, and is master of the counterintuitive observation.” —The New Yorker

 

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