Abstract: My dream is to give an extensive talk on a single very simple word, 'on'. Here are some dimensions that coincide in this word: 'on' is Greek for being; 'on' is an injunction to go on (as in Beckett); 'on' is an imperative and touches upon the dimension of Lacan's claim 'ontology is the discourse of the Master'; 'on' is the inversion of 'no'; 'on' is the French impersonal pronoun; and there is more. Could one propose a new discipline, namely on-tology? One would have to briefly consider its relations to Derrida's project of hauntology, and to Lacan's suggestion of hontologie (from la honte, shame). What do these puns and glitches tell us about the nature of universality?
Bio: Mladen Dolar is Professor and Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Philosophy, University of Ljubljana. His principal areas of research are psychoanalysis, modern French philosophy, German idealism and art theory. He has lectured extensively at the universities in USA and across Europe, he is the author of over hundred and fifty papers in scholarly journals and collected volumes. Apart from fourteen books in Slovene his book publications include most notably A Voice and Nothing More (MIT 2006, translated into ten languages) and Opera's Second Death (with Slavoj Žižek, Routledge 2001, also translated into several languages). His new book The Riskiest Moment is forthcoming with Duke University Press. He is one of the founders of the ‘Ljubljana Lacanian School’.
- The Department of Comparative Literature
- Co-sponsored by the Humanities Council and the German Department