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ISSN 0869-5377
Author: Syutkin Аnton

Syutkin Аnton

Аnton Syutkin. Lecturer, ITMO University, 49 Kronverksky ave., 197101 St. Petersburg, Russia.


Saving the Absolute: Schelling and an Alternative Onset of Dialectical Materialism / Logos. 2019. № 6 (133). P. 47-72
annotation:  The article attempts to renew materialist dialectics by turning to the thought of Friedrich Schelling. His Philosophical Letters on Dogmatism and Criticism are used as a framework text to show that both Friedrich Engels’ Dialectics of Nature and Soviet philosophy have promoted a dogmatic version of Marxism, while György Lukács and the Frankfurt School provide a critical version. The task of materialist dialectics is then to resist Marxist dogmatism while addressing those criticisms. In his theory of overdetermination Louis Althusser proposes an origin for materialist dialectic that is an alternative to Engels’ dialectical materialism and Lukács’ critical theory. However, because of his polemical constraints, Althusser fails to complement it with a non-ideological theory of the subject. It is at this point that his endeavors are picked up by Slavoj Žižek and Alain Badiou. Each of them rethinks Hegel’s dialectics in his own way: the former with the help of Jacques Lacan’s psychoanalysis, and the latter by using mathematical formalization. The outcome of this rethinking is a dualism between Žižek’s death drive and Badiou’s truth procedure - in other words, between substantive negativity and affirmative decisionism. If this dualism is not to cause another dissolution of materialist dialectics (of which speculative realism is one symptom), it is important to return to Schelling’s philosophy of freedom, in which substantive negativity and subjective decision have equal ontological weight.
Keywords:  Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von Schelling; materialist dialectics; dialectical materialism; absolute; dogmaticism; criticism
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