Boštjan Nedoh, Ontology and Perversion: Deleuze, Agamben, Lacan – Rowman International, June 2019
This book examines the philosophical and political relevance of perversion in the works of three key representatives of contemporary philosophy and psychoanalysis: Gilles Deleuze, Giorgio Agamben and Jacques Lacan.
Perversion is often understood simply in terms of cultural or sexual phenomena. By contrast, Boštjan Nedoh places perversion at the heart of philosophical, ontological and political issues in the works of Deleuze, Agamben and Lacan. He examines the relevance of their discussions of perversion for their respective critical ontological projects. By tracing the differences between these thinkers’ understanding of perversion, the book finally draws lines of delimitation between the vitalist and the structuralist or psychoanalytic philosophical positions in contemporary philosophy.
Why is perversion not simply a social phenomenon but a mode of being? In this remarkable book, Nedoh audaciously stalks a novel ontology that dresses in variegated furs. Lacan’s indifferently ferocious superego is juxtaposed to and played against the vitalist simulacra of Deleuze’s Masoch and Agamben’s Sphinx. Should critique drive with high heels?For an ontology to be truly fundamental and absolute, it must account for everything under the sun. Given this, the category of the perverse, with its peculiarities and strangenesses, represents perhaps the greatest challenge to any ontological ambitions. In Ontology and Perversion, Boštjan Nedoh admirably rises to this challenge. He does so through a wonderfully illuminating defense of Lacan’s reflections on ontology in relation to the ontologies of Deleuze and Agamben. Nedoh’s book makes perversion an unavoidable point of reference for contemporary Continental metaphysics.Adrian Johnston, Professor and Chair, Department of Philosophy, University of New Mexico