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Žižek’s Ruptured Monism: A Comparative Typological Reading of Less Than Nothing

In: Philosophia Reformata
Author: Dean Dettloff1
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The problem-historical method of D.H.Th. Vollenhoven is easily, rightly or wrongly, seen as needlessly idiosyncratic and esoteric, casting the suspicion that it is no longer useful for understanding contemporary philosophers. I suggest, however, that a “comparative typological reading” that utilizes Vollenhovean types as productive failures could provide new avenues for the method. That is, by failing to capture the uniqueness of certain discourses, using the ontology of Slavoj Žižek as a test case, Vollenhoven’s types help articulate certain misunderstandings of those discourses. In doing so, a new theoretical type, what I call a “ruptured monism,” emerges in order to summarize Žižek’s ontology, operating as a possible contemporary expansion of Vollenhoven’s taxonomy. The paper intends, then, to demonstrate there may be creative and underexplored uses of Vollenhoven for illuminating contemporary philosophy, suggesting a future for Reformational historiography.

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