Hard To Understand Ranking
Hegel, Heidegger, Lacan, Baudrillard, Derrida, Kant
Jameson, Deleuze, Lyotard, Badiou
Foucault, Butler, Pynchon, Marx, Zizek
Who would you add? How would you change it?
it is easy to understand Hegel microscopically, sentence by sentence, argument by argument, but very few understand him systematically. conversely, derrida may see obscure in particular, but his concepts are fairly intuitive to the postmodern sensibility.
so in some sense i suppose making a list like this is completely bunk; not only is the notion of difficulty of understanding a dynamic notion based on the thinker, but it's also historically contextual such that the difficulty of hegel for a postmodern-minded /lit/izen is nothing like the difficulty of hegel for an early twentieth century philosophy student.
Hegel is one of the most systematically understood philosophers ever. It's his whole thing. Derrida is far less easy to be understood systematically since he's opposed to that and didn't orientate his studies towards that. Maybe you're just retarded.
If you understand both I can't possibly imagine how you could believe this.
Derrida is like 10% of Heidegger expanded upon with some changes and different terms.
I would drop Kant DESU. Also Lacan is hard to read, but really not hard to understand whatsoever. Lacan is the one person I would tell people to absorb almost entirely via secondary material.
the only philosophers i know of who systematically understand Hegel are Marx, Tillich, and Zizek. everyone else misses the mark dramatically, as does everyone who listens to them.
as someone who devoted an entire semester to that book, my advice is not to take it slow, but to take it fast, at least on your first read. part of their strategy is obscurity and rambling—a manifestation of what they call schizophrenia—which can and should be reminiscent of Beckett's novels. but another part of the strategy, and here is where understanding Deleuze's philosophy broadly becomes critical, is repetition with difference: concepts continuously reoccur, but repurposed for different rhetorical and theoretical situations the particularities of which inevitably and irrevocably change the concepts' meaning and function. the BwO of page 13 is drastically different from the BwO of page 57, or what have you. i've thought a lot about the anti-oedipus as a sort of perverse bildungsroman with the body without organs as the protagonist.
>no maurizio lazzarato
Also I found baudrillards work much more approachable than Jamesons. Jamesons sentences run for pages whereas baudrillards prose seems much more immediate and therfore accessable
I have. The first parts of the book are pretty informative and interesting with the second parts just diving into what I thought was oblique Marxist critique.
Some very interesting stuff, though. It's a good companion to Baudrillard.
where would you put
The visual is essentially pornographic, which is to say that it has its end in rapt, mindless fascination; thinking about its attributes becomes an adjunct to that, if it is unwilling to betray its object; while the most austere films necessarily draw their energy from the attempt to repress their own excess (rather than from the more thankless effort to discipline the viewer).
- Fredric Jameson
that's probably a good start, but it doesn't have to be a person. a BwO is any molecular body, in which the constituent parts aren't organized into molar groups, but rather are granted their absolute difference from every other part. Chapter 1-Section 6 (i think) on The Whole and Its Parts. its a virtual space of immanent possibility. think of kantian subjectivity: perceptions come in, are linked up with forms of understanding, and an experience presents itself to the mind. one way to conceptualize the body without organs would be a situation where the sense perception joins up not only with the form of understanding that is its 'match' but every possible form of understanding at the same time, and all the resultant experiences persist: that experience would be a type of a body without organs. the concept is very much a concretization of D&G's notion of schizophrenia, schizoid semiosis. capital, for instance, is the body without organs of capitalism. it manifests itself in every possible form at once, but is itself unorganized when viewed in totality.
its opposite is the organized body, the product of paranoid semiosis. every sense perception joins up with its match and its match only, and all experiences then point back to signification of (to take the example of psychoanalysis) the phallus, or the father, or what have you. paranoia in the literal sense that all signs are pointing to the same meaning; when you're 'being paranoid' that meaning is your own persecution, but really any form of meaning-making that reduces the schizoid virtual to a single signification is a form of paranoia dialectically opposed to schizophrenia, to the making of a body without organs. it remains to be seen if a synthesis in the hegelian sense is possible; but deleuze's writing on simont's theory of disparation proves interesting here: the two flat images of either eye do not synthesize, but form a new perception (that of depth) in which the differences are preserved. it takes a better thinker than me to find a new semiotic dimension in which the differences between schizophrenia and paranoia—organized body and body without organs, conversely—persist.
so nobody ever read those?
no. start with his essay, Postscript on Societies of Control. it's only about four pages long and is increasingly relevant to a digitally-oriented society. after that I recommend his early monographs—Nietzsche, Bergson, Proust if you prefer literary studies. they lay the groundwork for a lot of his philosophy. you should understand hegel pretty well, but secondary literature will do. also, you should know a lot about the history of 20th century french philosophy. a lot of what deleuze is up to relates to overturning some academic traditions, so books like anti-oedipus will seem like utter tripe out of context. you can pick that stuff up as you go, though. his books on kant and foucault are good mid-level deleuze, and you should read all of either logic of sense or difference and repetition—though DR is arguably more important. after that you can wander freely through his collaborative work with felix guattari.