Mythology, Madness and Laughter: Subjectivity in German Idealism explores some long neglected but crucial themes in German idealism. Markus Gabriel, one of the most exciting young voices in contemporary philosophy, and Slavoj Žižek, the celebrated contemporary philosopher and cultural critic, show how these themes impact on the problematic relations between being and appearance, reflection and the absolute, insight and ideology, contingency and necessity, subjectivity, truth, habit and freedom.
Engaging with three central figures of the German idealist movement, Hegel, Schelling, and Fichte, Gabriel, and Žižek, who here shows himself to be one of the most erudite and important scholars of German idealism, ask how is it possible for Being to appear in reflection without falling back into traditional metaphysics. By applying idealistic theories of reflection and concrete subjectivity, including the problem of madness and everydayness in Hegel, this hugely important book aims to reinvigorate a philosophy of finitude and contingency, topics at the forefront of contemporary European philosophy.
MARKUS GABRIEL is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the New School for Social Research, NY. He has published a number of books and journal articles in German, including Der Mensch im Mythos (De Gruyter, 2006), and Das Absolute und die Welt in Schellings Freiheitsschrift (Bonn University Press, 2006)