Zero Squared: A New Year’s Special

This special January 2nd, 2016 episode of Zero Squared explores why Critical Theorists deploy the word “problematic” and what they are REALLY saying when they talk about your fave.

Clips in this episode/collage include KMO from the C-Realm, John Berger, The Wireless Philosopher on the Problem of Perception, Michel Foucault Beyond Good and Evil (1993), music from the Truman Show, Laci Green, Tori the Queer, Evan Edinger, Noam Chomsky, Robin Williams, and clips the film A Day in the Afterlive of Philip K Dick.

Here’s an excerpt from the collage:

What’s problematic in today’s Critical Theory? That is, what is it that motivates the critical theorist to call something “problematic?”
According to the Philosophy dictionary online (that’s www.philosophy-dictionary dot org) something is a “problematic judgement” when it involves “the consciousness of the mere possibility” or, when it does not contain the consciousness of actuality or necessity.

To clarify, something is a problematic judgement, when it is subjective. In Hegel’s Science of Logic he labels the problematic as “assertoric.” This just means that it is an assertion given by a particular subject. Hegel’s logic is quite complicated, but the claim here is that when one asserts something, like “twerking is bad” one is asserting more than a particular fact about one’s own subjective experience. One is also making a claim about a universal notion.
To make this clearer still, something is problematic or problematized when it can seen to be self-generated and thereby self-interested rather than objective or necessary.
Again, the problem in the term “problematic” is the subjectivity of experience. A claim is problematic when its relationship to a universal notion or an objective fact has not been determined.
We might wonder then why it is that so many people use the term “problematic” a bit differently.

Diet Soap Podcast #172: The Subject of Capitalism

The guest this week is the author and professor Jodi Dean. Professor Jodi Dean teaches political theory at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, NY, and she recently blogged about a chapter from Gilles Dauve and Francois Martin’s book The Eclipse and Re-Emergence of the Communist Movement. We discuss her blog entry and the book in this week’s episode.

It’s Wednesday, February 13th, 2013 and I’m Douglas Lain, the host of the Diet Soap podcast.

This week I want to thank Michael T and Brandon F for their one time donations to the podcast, and I want to urge everyone listening to follow me on Facebook and join the new Diet Soap International Facebook group. I also want to tell Shane and Michael P that I haven’t forgotten about sending copies of my dusty memoir Pick Your Battle your way.

Upcoming episodes of Diet Soap will include conversations with Jason Horsley, David Blacker, and my son Benjamin. Also a conversation with the primitivist John Zerzan is brewing for a future episode of Pop the Left.

The music you’re listening to is the Beethoven’s Ode to Joy played in tribute to the Late James DePreist, who was the music director for the Oregon Symphony from 1980 to 2003. James DePreist was a student of Leonard Bernstein’s and a Portland icon, and he died on February 8th this year. In just a moment you’ll be listening to Jodi Dean and I discuss The Subject of Capitalism. dietsoap172