Introduction: Impossible Absolute Knowledge 1
Book I: Hegel with Lacan 7
1. “The Formal Aspect”: Reason versus Understanding 9
2. The Retroactive Performative, or How the Necessary Emerges from the Contingent 21
3. The Dialectic as Logic of the Signifier (1): The One of Self-Reference 35
4. The Dialectic as Logic of the Signifier (2): The Real of the “Triad” 54
5. Das Ungeschehenmachen: How is Lacan a Hegelian? 70
6. The “Cunning of Reason,” or the True Nature of the Hegelian Teleology 83
7. “The Suprasensible is the Phenomenon as Phenomenon,” or How Hegel Goes Beyond the Kantian Thing-in-Itself 97
8. Two Hegelian Witz, Which Help Us Understand Why Absolute Knowledge Is Divisive 105
Book II: Post-Hegelian Impasses 125
9. The Secret of the Commodity Form: Why is Marx the Inventor of the Symptom? 127
10. Ideology Between the Dream and the Phantasy: A First Attempt at Defining “Totalitarianism” 146
11. Divine Psychosis, Political Psychosis: A Second Attempt at Defining “Totalitarianism” 156
12. Between Two Deaths: Third, and Final, Attempt at Defining “Totalitarianism” 175
13. The Quilting Point of Ideology: Or Why Lacan is Not a “Poststructuralist” 195
14. Naming and Contingency: Hegel and
Analytic Philosophy 209
"The Most Sublime Hysteric clearly outlines the logic at the basis of the thought of the most important philosopher of our time. With care and precision, Zizek conjoins Hegel and Lacan, building the components of his own unique and powerful philosophical system. This long-awaited translation of Zizek's doctoral dissertation provides a valuable new point of entry to his work, appropriate for experts and newcomers alike."
Jodi Dean, Hobart and William Smith Colleges
"Slavoj Zizek’s doctoral thesis on Hegel, Lacan, and the impasses of post-Hegelianism is as fresh today as it was in 1982. Written with his characteristic wit and exceptional lucidity, this book will clarify the foundational ideas of one of the greatest thinkers of our time."
Kenneth Reinhard, University of California, Los Angeles
"What a fascinating document it is."
Irish Left Review