In this latest video from Big Think (released Sunday), somebody got Slavoj Zizek out of a crusty t-shirt and into a clean polo.
Also, he explains his concept of “The Event,” a term he shares with thinkers like Alain Badiou.
The Event, Zizek explains, is a purely contingent happening that cannot be boiled down to cause and effect. It “retroactively creates it’s own causes.” He uses the example of writers like Franz Kafka,who defined their own predecessors, and falling in love.
“You are not in love, you just make one night stands maybe here and there. You meet every evening with friends. You drink. You go to blah, blah. Then all of a sudden in a totally contingent way let’s say you stumble on the street, somebody helps you to stand up. It’s a young girl or boy blah, blah. And, of course, it’s the love of your life. A totally contingent encounter but the result can be that your whole life changes. Nothing is the same as they say. You even spontaneously perceive your entire past life as leading towards this unique moment, you know, the illusion of love is oh my God, I was waiting all my life for you. This – something like this would have been the love event. And I think it’s getting more and more rare today. “
Zizek has previously appeared in other Big Think videos like “The Purpose of Philosophy is to Ask the Right Questions,” and “Why be Happy When You Could be Interesting?“