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Adventures in Transcendental Materialism

Dialogues with Contemporary Thinkers

Adrian Johnston

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A new materialist theory of subjectivity mobilising philosophy, psychoanalysis, politics and science

Since Bacon, Gallileo and Descartes in the early 17th century, the relations between science and religion as well as mind and body have remained volatile fault lines of conflict. The controversies surrounding these relations are as alive and pressing now as at any point over the course of the past four centuries.

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Introduction: Reports From Philosophical Fronts: Exchanges with Contemporaries Past and Present
Part I: No Illusions: Hegel, Lacan, and Transcendental Materialism
Chapter 1: The Latest System-Program of German Idealism: From Tübingen to Today
Chapter 2: For a Thoughtful Ontology: Hegel’s Immanent Critique of Spinoza
Chapter 3: “Off with their thistleheads!”: Against Neo-Spinozism
Chapter 4: “Lacan, our Hegel”: Psychoanalysis, Dialectics, and Materialisms
Part II: Žižek: Dossier of an Ongoing Debate
Chapter 5: Hegel’s Luther: Žižek’s Materialist Hegelianism
Chapter 6: In Nature More Than Nature Itself: Žižek Between Naturalism and Supernaturalism
Chapter 7: Spirit Is a Quark: Quantum Physics with Žižek
Part III: Transcendental Materialism’s Significant Others: Psychoanalysis, Science, and Religion
Chapter 8: Life Terminable and Interminable: Hägglund and the Afterlife of the Afterlife
Chapter 9: The true Thing is the (w)hole: Freudian-Lacanian Psychoanalysis and Hägglund’s Chronolibidinal Reading
Chapter 10: Antiphilosophy and Paraphilosophy: Milner, Badiou, and Antiphilosophical Lacanianism
Chapter 11: The Real Unconscious: Malabou, Soler, and Psychical Life After Lacan
Chapter 12: Toward a Grand Neuropolitics: Why I am not an immanent naturalist or vital materialist
Works Cited.

About the Author

Adrian Johnston is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of New Mexico and a faculty member at the Emory Psychoanalytic Institute. He is the author of Time Driven (2005), Žižek’s Ontology (2008), Badiou, Žižek, and Political Transformations (2009), and Prolegomena to Any Future Materialism, Volume One (2013), all published by Northwestern University Press. He is the co-author, with Catherine Malabou, of Self and Emotional Life (Columbia University Press, 2013).


Adrian Johnston strikes again. This new book is a most comprehensive and rigorous account of the contemporary philosophical debates concerning materialism and the necessity of its conceptual reinvention. In arguing his own original conceptual line, Johnston addresses most of the critical points in the contemporary materialism debate. And he does so with breathtaking ease, strolling among various key philosophical projects. This excellent book is a delightful must for everybody concerned with materialism and related matters.

- Alenka Zupančič, Institute of Philosophy, Slovene Academy of Sciences

Adrian Johnston passionately defends the tenets of what materialism should be for our times. His new book is as sweeping, engaged, erudite and lucid as his previous extensive attempts, bringing his project of transcendental materialism to a new degree of clarity, passionately defending it against a wide range of opponents, and in the best tradition of materialism, polemically engaging with friends

- Mladen Dolar, Professor at the Department of Philosophy, University of Ljubljana

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