An Utterly Dark Spot: Gaze and Body in Early Modern by Miran Bozovic

By Miran Bozovic

Slovenian thinker Miran Bozovic's An completely darkish Spot examines the elusive prestige of the physique in early sleek eu philosophy through interpreting its numerous encounters with the gaze. Its variety is remarkable, relocating from the Greek philosophers and theorists of the physique (Aristotle, Plato, Hippocratic scientific writers) to early sleek thinkers (Spinoza, Leibniz, Malebranche, Descartes, Bentham) to trendy figures together with Jon Elster, Lacan, Althusser, Alfred Hitchcock, Stephen J. Gould, and others. Bozovic presents startling glimpses into numerous overseas mentalities haunted via difficulties of divinity, immortality, construction, nature, and wish, scary insights that invert favourite assumptions concerning the courting among brain and body.

The viewpoint is Lacanian, yet Bozovic explores the idiosyncrasies of his fabric (e.g., the our bodies of the Scythians, the transvestites reworked and disguised for the gaze of God; or Adam's physique, which remained unseen so long as it was once the single one in life) with an cognizance to aspect that's unheard of between Lacanian theorists. The method makes for enticing analyzing, as Bozovic phases imagined encounters among best thinkers, permitting them to communicate approximately topics that every explored, yet in a special time and position. whereas its concentration is on a specific challenge within the background of philosophy, An totally darkish Spot will entice these drawn to cultural reports, semiotics, theology, the historical past of faith, and political philosophy besides.

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Additional info for An Utterly Dark Spot: Gaze and Body in Early Modern Philosophy (The Body, In Theory: Histories of Cultural Materialism)

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By being denied transsexual surgery, he is in fact denied the Leibnizian transformation of the body that would always be animated by one and the same soul, and so he understandably chooses the only alternative available: the Pythagorean transmigration of the soul from the male to the female body. Thus, he kills women with the intention of inhabiting their bodies. Clearly sharing Aristotle's fascination with the metamorphosis of insects, he inserts the chrysalis of an insectthe death's-head moth-into the mouth of his flayed victims.

What Leibniz would require for his proof then, is nothing less than a creature that would survive its own death, in a word, the living dead. Leibniz could have encountered such an example of the living dead in Spinoza's Ethics, where he considers those who commit suicide to be necessarily dead even prior to taking their own lives. According to Spinoza, no one can autonomously strive for selfdestruction. For someone to be capable of taking his own life, he must already have been "completely conquered by external causes,,25 and therefore be dead even prior to death.

The lover sees something in the beloved, wants something from him, whereas the beloved does not know what it is that the other sees in him; he does not know what it is that makes him attractive in the eyes of the other. The only way for the beloved to wriggle out of this impasse is by returning love, that is, by assuming the position of the lover and thus becoming the desiring subject, the subject of the lack. It is by donating his own lack that he gives what he does not have. 1 It is this sublime moment of love, the very metaphor of love in Spinoza's Ethics, that we shall deal with here.

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