Volume 19, Issue 1, Spring 2015

Schelling After Theory

Joseph Carew
Pages 39-51

Reading Schelling Psychoanalytically: Žižek on the Ground of Consciousness and Language

What are the origins of consciousness and language? Why are so many driven to see them as epiphenomenal to a metaphysically more primordial phenomenon when we have good reasons to think they are irreducible to such? Drawing on the work of the Slovenian psychoanalyst Slavoj Žižek, and in particular his reading of the German philosopher F.W.J. Schelling, I suggest a provactive but nuanced thesis: that at the basis of human subjectivity there is no rhyme or reason for its emergence and to protect ourselves from this insight we build various fantasy-constructions of its ground as defensive mechanisms.