At the risk of upsetting [his] fanatical global following, I would say that a lot of his work is impenetrable. But he writes with exhilarating ambition and his central thesis offers a perspective even his critics would have to concede is thought-provoking. In essence, he argues that nothing is ever what it appears, and contradiction is encoded in almost everything. Most of what we think of as radical or subversive – or even simply ethical – doesn’t actually change anything.
If you want to understand why philosophers have an image problem; if you want to see why, through reading newspapers and journals, the general public will never get what it is that we do, look no further than this Guardian interview with the ‘philosopher’ that has somehow, alongside Peter Singer, for many people become synonymous with the discipline: Slavoj Žižek. I despair.