chapter  1
15 Pages

Who are Zˇizˇek’s influences and how do they affect his work?

Zˇizˇek’s work draws on three main areas of influence – philosophy, politics and psychoanalysis. In each of these disciplines, Zˇizˇek finds the larger part of his inspiration in the writings of a single individual: Georg Hegel for philosophy, Karl Marx for politics, and Jacques Lacan for psychoanalysis. Although the ideas, methodologies and general effects of each of these thinkers overlap in Zˇizˇek’s books, each can also broadly be said to have a specific influence on his thinking. Thus, Hegel’s philosophy influences the type or method of thought that Zˇizˇek practises, Marx’s work provides the motivation or reason behind his books, and Lacan’s psychoanalysis furnishes the terminology and conceptual framework with which Zˇizˇek tackles the objects of his analysis. The aim of this chapter, then, is to outline some of the more pertinent ideas proposed by Hegel, Marx and Lacan, and to show how these ideas are employed by Zˇizˇek in his work.