The Non-Human as Such

On Men, Animals, and Barbers

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What, if anything, is a non-human? A superficial reply seems to be on the surface: a non-human is anything other than human. It can be an elephant, a diamond, a wasp, a robot, a flower, a cloud, a cyborg, a stone, a computer program, a star, a work of art, a zombie — there is an endless list of worldly things that are different from the human being. They return from a long exile of ontological and epistemological subordination to the human, who, by historically expanding his habitat, appointed himself the hub of the universe. They come out of the shadow of the human and turn their back on him in order to face their own, non-human existence as autonomous objects, as alternative subjects, as irreducible singularities, as material agencies, as intensities, as bodies, as media, as forms of life.

The heterogeneous multiplicity of non-humans provides abundant resources and potentials for the study of culture, but, above all, it haunts the entire domain of the humanities. In their increasingly developing receptivity to significant otherness, which constitutes and shapes the limits of the human, the humanities are getting pregnant with the non-human. Various attempts to imagine or to theorize a world before, after, apart from, or simply without humans, a world outside the anthropocentric horizon endowing with a privilege of universality one particular form of being, are characteristic of a great deal of contemporary research.

An aggressive, greedy species that exploits nature, abuses other animals, and slowly but surely destroys the planet, and whose ways of cognition, communication, reasoning, and moralizing are designed to perpetuate violence, receives — and from itself at that — something like a vote of no confidence. This motion aims at the very heart of a long humanist tradition, which is gradually displaying its dark, seamy side. The human being manages to convince himself, at least theoretically, that that which is different from him and which was, for this very reason, continuously neglected, repressed, abused, or underestimated by him, deserves to be rehabilitated or redeemed. And, indeed, ultimately, all things are different from the human being except the human being himself. An entire world seems to turn back on him, unwilling to remain his possessions. Conceptualizing the non-human in this post-humanist vein leaves an impression that there is at last, on the one hand, an infinite multiplicity of the world or worlds that are not human, and, on the other, a human being standing apart, disgraced, all alone.

However, upon a closer view, it becomes clear that in this picture, with all due disrespect towards him, that very same human being still occupies a central place. His principal position only changed its value from а positive to а negative one. Everything is centered on him as before, but from centripetal, the general direction of the non-human turned into centrifugal. If there is something in common among all possible non-human things in the world, it is their negative determination with regards to the human. While being actively denied, human thus remains a main constitutive element of their identity, a kind of general equivalent; elephants, flowers, clouds, cyborgs, stones, stars, zombies, and others, all unite against the backdrop of the one that they are not. Nothing less than a universal non-humanity is born by this tectonic shift, but it is doomed to be, so to say, negatively anthropocentric, constituted by the torsion of the ‘non’ around the human. He is not a part of this multiplicity, he is excluded from it, but precisely from this position of the excluded, he keeps providing it with some consistency and meaning.

One of the main driving forces of the re/turn of the non-human is thus negation, in both the Hegelian and the Freudian sense. Trying to extend Hegelian logic to the human/non-human relation, [1] one can consider the ‘non’ as that which mediates between the two opposites, each of which, as Hegel says,

therefore, simply is, first, to the extent that the other is; it is what it is by virtue of the other, by virtue of its own non-being; it is only positedness. Second, it is to the extent that the other is not; it is what it is by virtue of the non-being of the other; it is reflection into itself. [2]

Furthermore, the ‘non’ not only indicates that the one is the other for the other, and that they negate, constitute, define, and affect each other, but also that these two terms are neither symmetrical nor stable: the ‘non’ is what transforms their mere opposition into a productive contradiction. Meanwhile, from the very beginning, a non-human explicitly contains and presupposes ‘human’: the ‘non’ here is needed to go beyond metaphysical binaries, towards a complex process of exclusion, alienation, and self-alteration, or becoming other, which is, after all, according to Hegel, the only way to arrive at oneself, to come back to being through one’s own non-being. Thus, seen through the lenses of Hegelian dialectics, the non-human turn is definitely a necessarily part of the human’s self-determination.

Slavoj Žižek repeatedly emphasizes the extreme importance and wide applicability of the notion of determinations of opposition, introduced by Hegel in the cited chapter from The Science of Logic. Žižek calls them “oppositional determination[s]” [3] and focuses on the radical asymmetry of the terms involved. He points, for instance, to a strange overlap, “when the universal, common ground of the two opposites ‘encounters itself’ in its oppositional determination, that is, in one of the terms of the opposition.” [4] Each one being the other for the other, the two terms are now not simply opposed, but contradict each other as a universal claim or idea and a particular element, which is taken as its genuine agent. One of the basic examples will be quite relevant here, since it has to do with the classical philosophical opposition between human and animal.

In the chapter “The Animal that I Am” of his Less than Nothing, Žižek develops his original critical stance on Derrida’s deconstruction of the human/animal distinction, [5] developed mainly in his late works on animality, especially in his ten-hour seminar The Animal That Therefore I Am, [6] where Derrida undermines traditional the philosophical idea that man differs from other animals according to a certain generalized criterion, be it language, thought, knowledge, awareness of death, etc. Philosophers were always concerned about such criteria — in this regard, Derrida even claims that “one understands a philosopher only by heeding closely what he means to demonstrate, and in reality fails to demonstrate, concerning the limit between human and animal.” [7]

For Derrida, however, the question is not what the true and ultimate criterion of differentiation is, so that already existing ones turn invalid again and again when evidence appears that certain animals fall under the same parameters. For instance, a philosopher claims that animals do not speak, and only humans do, and a child replies to this generalization by pointing to a parrot, or — a paradigmatic example — to Plato’s famous definition: “Man is a biped without feathers,” to which Diogenes replies by taking a plucked chicken and saying: “Look, Plato’s man!” Such a move is often triggered by science, which always brings about some important updates on animals’ intelligence, language, complicated ways of communication, developed models of social behavior, creativity, etc. Discoveries of this kind prompt a search for yet another criterion for the definition of the human being (as the previous ones were compromised), and this only shifts the border separating him from the rest of the animal kingdom.

The question is how this very differentiation, where there are humans, on the one hand, and all other animals, on the other, is ever possible. Deconstruction shows that this binary is absolutely illegitimate and based on a massive repression of diversity of the living species for the sake of just one of them. A violent merging of various multiple animals into an abstract homogeneous unit of ‘the animal’ shadows arbitrariness, tyranny of anthropocentric categories, and the limits imposed by them. “The limit of the animal” is a threshold beyond which no animal allegedly can step, “where the animal stops, the limit at which it comes to a halt, must stop or be arrested.” [8] Derrida’s aim is, however, “not in effacing the limit, but in multiplying its figures, in complicating, thickening, delinearizing, folding, and dividing the line precisely by making it increase and multiple.” [9]

It may be true that Derrida makes hay of philosophers’ persistent and failed attempts to separate themselves as humans from some generalized animality, and yet, as Žižek claims in response to this very powerful line of argumentation, there is a way for a notorious human-animal distinction to be justified. A passage from Marx, which Žižek quotes in this chapter, provides a great illustration for a better comprehension of the core of the problem. In the first edition of the first volume of Capital, Marx explains the logic of the general equivalent, using the following metaphor:

It is as if, alongside and external to lions, tigers, rabbits, and all other actual animals, which form when grouped together the various kinds, species, subspecies, families, etc. of the animal kingdom, there existed in addition the animal, the individual incarnation of the entire animal kingdom. [10]

Of course, one would say, Derrida was right, such an animal as such does not exist; it is just an abstract idea. However, this is a real abstraction, of which money is, of course, a perfect case: a universal equivalent is abstract, and yet it is real. [11] Yes, an exchange value doesn’t initially belong to a thing, it just attaches to it, but it equally attaches to all other things — that’s why it is called a universal equivalent. Since it attaches to all things of the world, it is now something which they have in common: they are determined by it. By a value-form, things are transformed into commodities, and hence what was conceived as a mere abstraction and a kind of unnecessary external supplement becomes the very intrinsic essence of these things and constitutes the reality of capital, which consists not of things, but of commodities.

If we read the Marxian metaphor literally, the same logic applies to animality: a solitary animal as such, running alongside a heterogeneous pack of all really-existing animals, but at the same time attached to every single individual in this pack, is a real abstraction that paradoxically unites such singular entities as tigers and rabbits and transforms them into ‘animals.’ He is a universal equivalent for the tiger and the rabbit; they all have this animal as their representative; he incarnates them, and they, too, now keep him, so to say, somewhere deep inside of them as their very essence. The problem starts with the question of how to locate the animal as such — does he himself belong to the multiplicity of animals which he incarnates? Does he ‘encounter himself’ in one particular species and is, therefore, a species of himself?

Thus real abstraction is hampered not only by the problem of oppositional determination, but also by Russell’s famous paradox of a set of all sets that do not include themselves — this ultimate set includes itself only if it does not, and does not only if it does. [12] It is also known as the barber paradox (although Russell himself denied that this popular version was his own): the barber is a man in town who shaves all those, and only those, men in town who do not shave themselves; but who then shaves the barber? Since the claim applies to the barber himself, the answer — but not the solution — is that either he shaves himself only if he doesn’t, or he doesn’t only if he does. A real abstraction falls in the same trap. As а value-form, it commodifies things, but at the same time it is itself a kind of paradoxical non-commodified commodity, a commodity without body. [13] As an animal as such, it animalizes tigers and rabbits, but cannot quite ‘animalize’ itself (again, it runs without a proper animal body). There is something in common between commodifying things, animalizing tigers, and shaving men: someone or something should do this job, but if they do, they cannot really exist.

One of the frequent quasi-solutions of the barber paradox has the form of a joke. From the standard paradox, it omits one important detail, namely the gender of the barber, who now claims in the first person: I shave all those, and only those, men in town who do not shave themselves. It is clear that the barber shaves men, but it is not clear whether this barber is a man or a woman. If we want to escape a paradox entirely, the barber should be a woman, since the claim applies only to ‘men in town.’ Gender rearrangement changes everything — since a man is fired, and a woman is hired by the barber’s shop, the town is rid of the burden of paradox.

Although this is a joke that seemingly has nothing to do with the initial paradox of a male barber, there is, as in every joke, a grain of truth in it. The truth is that a sudden intervention of the other breaks the continuity and immediacy of a given set. A logical paradox takes place within a closed homogeneous structure, a key element of which cannot sustain an unavoidable encounter with itself. Paradox is pre-dialectical: it deals with an identity that does not yet know difference, doesn’t know other, and is caught in a deadlock of pure positivity. It is the town of bearded men who are thrown upon their own devices and whose innocent attempts to shave each other are doomed to a logical failure. Bearded men are captured in a closed-circuit of self-referentiality until a woman enters into the town — and shaves everyone.

A logical paradox doesn’t have a solution in the desired condition; it can only be resolved when the condition changes, the gates of the town open, and a stranger crosses its border. Or, better to say, her intervention doesn’t resolve, but dissolves a paradox for the sake of something else. The female barber doesn’t shave herself, but, since she is beardless, it’s not a problem any longer. In turn, she introduces such a new thing as sexual difference, and thus brings even bigger trouble to town. Instead of a logical paradox, the set of bearded men have to confront a dialectical contradiction, with which the very act of shaving becomes something of great importance.

Let me now draw a parallel between an animal as such, who cannot find its proper place among actually-existing tigers and rabbits, and an unfortunate barber, who does not know what to do with his beard, while shaving all the rest in the town of men. Like this bearded barber, the animal as such would have stayed in the trap of a paradox of being a member of himself, on condition that there were only animals on earth. Coming back to Derrida and Žižek, one can indicate two respective vectors of dealing with this difficulty.

As already mentioned, Derrida doesn’t aim to efface the limit between animal and man, but he wants to multiply and complicate differences, to re-establish heterogeneity, and to get rid of such an absurd figure as the animal as such, which makes the world of living beings break up into two unequal parts by reducing all tigers and rabbits to the same level of ‘animals’ altogether, as opposed to a human being, the human being is dwelling beyond their limit. Philosophers, such as Decartes, think that animals cannot ‘reply,’ and this is their limit, [14] but what if animals replied? — asks Derrida. [15] Assuming that they can reply, within a deconstructionist framework, neither results in yet another shifting of the limit (if a capacity to reply doesn’t work, one can always introduce a new criterion of differentiation), nor does it makes animals part of a human world (as endowed with human capacities and therefore deserving compassion, respect, etc.). These perspectives are just two angles of pure and simple humanist deadlock.

Instead, Derridean animals would probably anarchistically reply that they do not want to be animalized (named, classified, counted, etc.), that is, deprived of their irreducible singularity and merged under the heading of the animal as such, who, although it hardly exists, pretends to be their very essence. Similarly, all the men in town could reply that they simply do not want to be shaved; they would prefer to stay bearded, to keep the diversity of their beards against the violent uniformity of clean-shavenness. The bearded men would probably even ask the barber, who treated them all alike, to leave the town and to leave them alone. Thus they would express their collective refusal of a certain kind of symbolic castration (which, in human societies, serves as a main step to manhood).

Žižek’s proposal is totally different. He apparently gets down to playing devil’s advocate in order to challenge what he calls “the common sense of deconstruction,” which in this case is presented by Derrida’s intention “to denounce the all‐encompassing category of ‘the animal’.” [16] The necessary evil contained in this category displays a reduction to a “minimal difference” and the introduction of a “minimal distance.” [17] As he explains:

To put it in Hegelese, it is not only that, say, the totalization effected under the heading ‘the animal’ involves the violent obliteration of a complex multiplicity; it is also that the violent reduction of such a multiplicity to a minimal difference is the moment of truth. That is to say, the multiplicity of animal forms is to be conceived as a series of attempts to resolve some basic antagonism or tension which defines animality as such, a tension which can only be formulated from a minimal distance, once humans are involved. [18]

Although this doesn’t sound like a joke, the solution proposed by Žižek for the animal as such and its pack is, in a way, analogous to the one with a female barber. It is as if an animal as such were itself not really an animal among animals, but a human being. In this vein, Žižek even refers to the early Marx’s definition of a Gattungswesen, [19] a species‐being, according to which man is an indeterminate creature who doesn’t really belong to this or that species, and precisely due to this luck of any specific determination, becomes both a universal producer and a producer of the universal.

An animal forms objects only in accordance with the standard and the need of the species to which it belongs, whilst man knows how to produce in accordance with the standard of every species, and knows how to apply everywhere the inherent standard to the object, [20]

says Marx in Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844. Almost like a woman in the town of bearded men, this strange being intrudes into an animal kingdom and introduces a minimal difference, which after all creates such a mess that tigers and rabbits look at this creature in perplexity. This is the end of a paradox and the beginning of an antagonism.

It is the human being who now animalizes animals, that is, produces ‘animals’ out of tigers and rabbits according to his standards, and who is to be blamed for a violent reduction, shaving, castration, slaughtering, torturing, and extermination of various kinds of really-existing living beings. And this is, following Žižek’s argument, precisely what animality is. The animal as such is not the animal other of the human, he is the animal other of the animal. He projects and imposes animality on really-existing tigers and rabbits. We see them and recognize them as animals (we put them all in one and the same zoo), but what do they see while looking at us? — The animal as such.

Žižek gives a striking example of a cat “after it had been subjected to some lab experiment in a centrifuge, its bones half broken, its skin half hairless, its eyes looking helplessly into the camera,” [21] and suggests that what the cat’s gaze expresses “is perhaps the cat’s horror at having encountered The Animal, namely ourselves, humans: what the cat sees is us in all our monstrosity, and what we see in its tortured gaze is our own monstrosity.” [22] Commenting on this, Žižek applies the Lacanian notion of the symbolic to what I already characterized as a real abstraction:

[T]he big Other (the symbolic order) is already here for the poor cat: like the prisoner in Kafka’s penal colony, the cat suffered the material consequences of being caught in the symbolic gridlock. It effectively suffered the consequences of being named, included in the symbolic network. [23]

Yes, the animal as such might hardly exist, but it really affects existents, leaves material traces on their bodies, and reflects in their eyes.

As regards the encounter between an animal gaze and man’s own animality, I must refer to another example which is very significant for the history of psychoanalysis, namely, a famous Freudian wolf-man case. Here, the animal gaze becomes the turning point of the whole story. After a period of quite unsuccessful due to a strong resistance, analytic treatment (started in 1910), Sergey Pankejeff, a Russian patient of Freud, suddenly recounted a dream which he allegedly had when he was a little child:

I dreamed that it is night and I am lying in my bed (the foot of my bed was under the window, and outside the window there was a row of old walnut trees. I know that it was winter in my dream, and night-time). Suddenly the window opens of its own accord, and, terrified, I see that there are a number of white wolves sitting in the big walnut tree outside the window. There were six or seven of them. The wolves were white all over and looked more like foxes or sheepdogs because they had tails like foxes and their ears were pricked up like dogs watching something. Obviously fearful that the wolves were going to gobble me up I screamed and woke up. [24]

One of the most important details of the dream is that the white wolves sat motionlessly on the tree, starring fixedly at the boy. Freud considerably advanced in his investigation of this case when he applied a notion of inversion (when something in the dream transforms into its opposite in order to stay disguised). First of all, together with his patient, he suggested that it was not the window of his bedroom, but his own eyes which were suddenly opened (as if the window were just one of the layers of his eyes, and the bedroom an extension of the interior of his head). Then followed an assumption that the gaze of the wolves was actually the patient’s own gaze: it was the boy himself who was staring with the fearsome eyes of wolves at something terrible which now occupied his own place: “The attentive gaze, which in the dream he attributes to the wolves, is actually to be ascribed to him.” [25] Finally, the stillness of the wolves indicated an intense, violent motion there on the side of the seen. [26] What does the boy sees with the wolves’ eyes? His parents having sexual intercourse, Freud replies, thus coming up with his hypothesis of a primal scene.

The idea that that the wolves’ “fascinated gaze is the [dreaming] subject himself” [27] was strongly emphasized by Lacan: “The subject passes beyond this glass in which he always sees, entangled, his own image.” [28] According to Lacan, this encounter of the subject with himself, eyes to eyes, is a privileged experience of an ultimate real, which only a dream can provide. The fact that the subject encounters itself implies that it is not one, that it is split, and there are at least two parts of it which meet halfway. One would ask, however, what is the place of a true subject? Is it within or beyond the glass (or the window)? Who or what comes first: a boy, that is, an integral unity of a human being which produces a fantasy, or white wolves as some primordial animal multiplicity revealed in the dream? In Lacan’s psychoanalytic theory, what comes first is the split itself. This impossible relation is established by “an absolute other,” or “an essential alien, who is neither the supplement, nor the complement of the fellow being, who is the very image of dislocation, of the essential tearing apart of the subject.” [29]

In a way, the task of psychoanalysis consists in shedding light on this “essential alien,” which Žižek also calls an “inhuman core of the human.” [30] This is a very interesting expression, in which negativity is so clearly exposed. The ‘inhuman’ is not simply the opposite of the ‘human’: these two terms are asymmetrical and, from mere opposition, they leap into true dialectical contradiction. The ‘in’ of the ‘inhuman’ has two meanings: it points at that which is not (human) and at the same time at that which is inside (human). The inhuman is thus a human with an alien within, an essential alien as it were, or, in other words, what is in (within) human, its inner self, is an other, an alien. “I is an other” (“Je est un autre”), repeats Lacan after Rimbaud. [31]

On the semantic level, an interesting parallel can be drawn between the inhuman, the unhuman, and the German Unmensch. As emphasized by Jean-Claude Milner, in the German language,

the prefix un- is not always as flatly negative as the Latin prefix in- […]. Thus, Unmensch is not a nonhuman but an undone man, a monster; Unkraut is not a herb (kraut), but a weed, a parasite; the unheimlich is not the inverse of the familiar, but the familiar parasitized by an anxiety that disperses it. […] In a similar manner in psychoanalysis, the unconscious perpetually parasitizes consciousness, thereby manifesting how consciousness can be other than it is, yet not without a cost: it establishes precisely how it cannot be other. The negative prefix is nothing more than the seal of this parasitism. [32]

I must add one more word to this list — Untier, which, again, means not a non-animal, but a kind of monster. Isn’t unconscious a territory, where Unmensch meets Untier? That is, a territory of the animal as such, which digs in or attaches to really-existing animals like a parasite?

With the non-human, the situation looks slightly different. By talking, for instance, about non-human subjects, non-human animals, non-human primates, etc., we are seemingly getting rid of the ambiguity of an animal as such, or a human beast. It must be noticed that the non-human is a negative multiplicity, a negative set, which includes itself — the barber’s paradox doesn’t apply to it. Each and every non-human being never shaves (since only humans shave), and that which contains all the non-humans, the non-humanity, is indeed itself non-human. It is not a positivity of ‘the animal’ (which was a subject of Derridean deconstruction), but a negativity of the ‘non-human’ that provides a non-paradoxical existence to all members of this multiplicity. The human apparently stays outside of it, almost like a barber kicked out of the city of bearded men who didn’t want to be shaved. However, as soon as he is kicked out, he immediately comes back — precisely in this inverted form.

Here, we are dealing with yet another kind of negation, perfectly described by Freud. “You ask who this person in the dream can be. It’s not my mother,” says a patient. To this, Freud adds: “So it is his mother.” [33] There are things which can come to the light of consciousness only in negative forms:

Thus the content of a repressed image or idea can make its way into consciousness, on condition that it is negated. Negation is a way of taking cognizance of what is repressed […]. The outcome of this is a kind of intellectual acceptance of the repressed, while at the same time what is essential to the repression persists. [34]

In such cases, ‘no’ is just “a hallmark of repression, a certificate of origin — like, let’s say, ‘Made in Germany’.” [35] As Mladen Dolar comments, “the dream knows no ‘no,’ there is no ‘no’ in its vocabulary.” [36] In the dream-like language of the unconscious, ‘no’ simply means ‘yes.’

In this sense, the insistence of the ‘non’ in the non-human can be interpreted as the persistence of the human that paradoxically paves its way through this self-obliteration. Just as the ‘un’ of the Unmensch is a hallmark of a parasitic monstrosity of an animal as such as an alien within a human subject, the ‘non’ of the non-human would be a hallmark of repression, a certificate of origin, of the human’s birth out of its own negation. Human and non-human revolve around each other and return to each other as repressed. What makes this possible is the fact that not only is everything different from the human being except for the human being itself, but, furthermore, that even a human being itself is different from itself; it is an other. It never coincides with itself. It, too, is non-human (and even a non-human as such). If psychoanalysis deals with the inhuman core of the human, then in non-human as such there is a human core, which operates through negation, through ‘everything but.’ The non-human dream is populated by monsters — human-elephants, human-clouds, human-stones, human-zombies, and human-stars.

_How to Cite

Oxana Timofeeva. “The Non-Human as Such: On Men, Animals, and Barbers.” On_Culture: The Open Journal for the Study of Culture 2 (2016). <http://geb.uni-giessen.de/geb/volltexte/2016/12353/>.

_Endnotes

  • [1] Among the most relevant passages, see, for example, Hegel’s analysis of determinations of reflection, identity, opposition, contradiction, etc., in the second book of the first volume of The Science of Logic (“The Doctrine of Essence”): Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, The Science of Logic, trans. George di Giovanni (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), 354–385.
  • [2] Hegel, The Science of Logic (cf. note 1), 369.
  • [3] Slavoj Žižek, Tarrying with the Negative: Kant, Hegel, and the Critique of Ideology (Durham: Duke University Press, 1993), 131.
  • [4] Žižek, Tarrying with the Negative (cf. note 3), 131.
  • [5] Cf. Slavoj Žižek, Less than Nothing: Hegel and the Shadow of Dialectical Materialism (London: Verso, 2012).
  • [6] See especially: Jacques Derrida, The Animal That Therefore I Am, trans. David Wills (New York: Fordham University Press, 2008).
  • [7] Derrida, The Animal (cf. note 6), 106.
  • [8] Derrida, The Animal (cf. note 6), 83.
  • [9] Derrida, The Animal (cf. note 6), 29.
  • [10] Karl Marx, Value: Studies, trans. Albert Dragstedt (London: New Park, 1976), accessed October 6, 2016, <https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1867-c1/commodity.htm>, qtd. in Žižek, Less than Nothing (cf. note 5), 410.
  • [11] The term “real abstraction” was introduced into Marxist debate by Alfred Sohn-Rethel, see: Alfred Sohn-Rethel, Intellectual and Manual Labor: A Critique of Epistemology (Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Humanities Press, 1977).
  • [12] See the wonderful analysis by Joan Copjec, who applies Russell’s paradox and set theory to the philosophical problem of the real and the universal (from Russell and Frege to Badiou and Lacan): Joan Copjec, Imagine There’s No Woman: Ethics and Sublimation (Cambridge/Massachussets/London: MIT Press, 2002), 1–11.
  • [13] In the beginning of Capital, Marx compares the commodity to a human being with a body and soul: “The use-values coat, linen, etc. — in brief, the commodity-bodies — are connections of two elements, natural matter and labour.” (Qtd. from <https://www.marxists.org/archive /marx/works/1867-c1/commodity.htm>, accessed October 6, 2016).
  • [14] Cf. Derrida, The Animal (cf. note 6), 84.
  • [15] Cf. Derrida, The Animal (cf. note 6), 119–140.
  • [16] Žižek, Less than Nothing (cf. note 5), 409.
  • [17] Žižek, Less than Nothing (cf. note 5), 409.
  • [18] Žižek, Less than Nothing (cf. note 5), 409.
  • [19] Žižek, Less than Nothing (cf. note 5), 410.
  • [20] Karl Marx, Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844, trans. Martin Milligan (New York: International Publishers, 1964).
  • [21] Žižek, Less than Nothing (cf. note 5), 411.
  • [22] Žižek, Less than Nothing (cf. note 5), 413.
  • [23] Žižek, Less than Nothing (cf. note 5), 413.
  • [24] Sigmund Freud, The ‘Wolfman’: From the History of an Infantile Neurosis, trans. Louise Adey Huish (London: Penguin Books, 2010), 29.
  • [25] Freud, The Wolfman (cf. note 24), 37.
  • [26] Cf. Freud, The Wolfman (cf. note 24), 29.
  • [27] Jacques Lacan, The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis. Vol. 11 (New York/London: W.W. Norton & Company, 1998), 251.
  • [28] Jacques Lacan, The Ego in Freud’s Theory and in the Technique of Psychoanalysis, 19541955. Vol. 2 (New York/London: W.W. Norton & Company, 1991), 177.
  • [29] Lacan, The Ego (cf. note 28), 177.
  • [30] Lacan, The Ego (cf. note 28), 394.
  • [31] Lacan, The Ego (cf. note 28), 7, 9.
  • [32] Jean-Claude Milner, “The Doctrine of Science,” trans. Oliver Feltham, in Umbr(a): Science and Truth 1 (2000), 33–63, here: 56.
  • [33] Sigmund Freud, “Negation,” in Standard Ed. 19, 1925, accessed November 1, 2016, <http://faculty.smu.edu/dfoster/English%203304/Negation.htm#_ftnref1>.
  • [34] Freud, “Negation” (cf. note 33).
  • [35] Sigmund Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams. Vol. 4 (Harmondsworth: Penguin Freud Library, 1976), 429–430.
  • [36] Mladen Dolar, “Hegel and Freud,” in E-flux journal 34.4 (2012), accessed October 6, 2016, <http://www.e-flux.com/journal/34/68360/hegel-and-freud/>. Dolar wittily characterizes this move as Freudian “negation of negation” which dialectically relates to Hegelian one: “Negation is like a certificate of origin, it testifies to the origin of repression, and if there is indeed a negation made in Germany, of all places, it must be the Hegelian negation. One could say, with all the ambiguity of the statement: ‘this is not Hegelian negation,’ on the model of ‘this is not my mother.’ Is Hegelian negation thus accepted or rejected? Do we have to decide between ‘this is a Hegelian negation’ and ‘this is not a Hegelian negation’?” (Ibid.).