title

Why Theory

Todd McGowan & Ryan Engley

29
Followers
427
Plays
Why Theory
Why Theory

Why Theory

Todd McGowan & Ryan Engley

29
Followers
427
Plays
OVERVIEWEPISODESYOU MAY ALSO LIKE

Details

About Us

Why Theory brings continental philosophy and psychoanalytic theory together to examine cultural phenomena.

Latest Episodes

Psychoanalysis and Capitalism

EIn this episode, Ryan and Todd argue for a psychoanalytic understanding of capitalism's appeal and staying power. They reflect on the possibilities for a psychoanalytic critique of capitalism and ponder its abilities to offer alternatives, rather than just serve as a source of critique.

75 MIN1 weeks ago
Comments
Psychoanalysis and Capitalism

Psychoanalysis and Disability

EIn this episode, Ryan recounts his own disability as a way of framing the discussion that he and Todd have about the relationship between psychoanalysis and disability. They explore the implications of disability for the status of the Other and the role that it plays in fetishistic disavowal. They conclude with an investigation of how disability runs counter to the structural logic of capitalism.

75 MIN3 weeks ago
Comments
Psychoanalysis and Disability

Mad Men

EIn this episode, Ryan and Todd dissect the television series "Mad Men" in political and psychoanalytic terms. They look at the characters Don and Peggy as ethical figures, as well as discussing the critique of capitalism that the series levels. They explore in depth the episode entitled "The Suitcase" as an example of the theoretical concept of the bottle episode.

84 MINSEP 2
Comments
Mad Men

Incels, Misogyny, and Castration

EIn this episode, Ryan and Todd discuss the Incel phenomenon and its relationship to the logic at work in misogyny. They frame the question in terms of how symbolic castration functions in contemporary society. The discussion turns to how the phenomenon of the Incel actually sheds light on many other aspects of today's capitalist universe.

81 MINAUG 14
Comments
Incels, Misogyny, and Castration

Signifier Vs. Sign (Aphorism 4)

EIn this episode, Ryan and Todd unpack Jacques Lacan's famous aphorism about the signifier--"the signifier represents the subject to another signifier." This aphorism focuses on the role of the desiring subject in signification and highlights the contrast between meaning and signification. Ryan and Todd contrast this definition of the signifier with the sign and explore what's at stake in this distinction. They wrap up the podcast by interpreting some current cultural signifiers and explain why we need to see them as signifiers.

87 MINJUL 31
Comments
Signifier Vs. Sign (Aphorism 4)

Contradiction

EIn this episode, Ryan and Todd explore the problem of contradiction, especially as it appears in Hegel's philosophy. In doing so, they work through the argument of Todd's new book on Hegel, "Emancipation After Hegel: Achieving a Contradictory Revolution." They debate the thesis of the book--that the end point of Hegel's philosophy is reconciliation with contradiction--while pondering the ramifications of contradiction for politics.

83 MINJUL 9
Comments
Contradiction

An Afternoon with Slavoj Zizek -- Hegel

EIn the third of a series of three special episodes featuring Slavoj Zizek, Ryan and Todd respond to Todd's interview with Slavoj concerning his relationship to Hegel. Slavoj brings up questions about Todd's interpretation of Hegel in his new book, specifically the claim about the end of history and the idea that Hegel argues for political freedom. Building on the interview, Ryan and Todd ponder how we might think of progress in Hegelian terms.

98 MINJUN 25
Comments
An Afternoon with Slavoj Zizek -- Hegel

An Afternoon with Slavoj Zizek -- Lacan

EIn the second of a series of three special episodes featuring Slavoj Zizek, Ryan and Todd respond to Todd's interview with Slavoj concerning his relationship to Lacan. They cover what Slavoj thinks is the key Lacanian concept and seminar, as well as Slavoj's assessment of trans theory. Ryan questions Slavoj's written interventions on this issue for not highlighting the way that the psychoanalytic theory of subjectivity speaks directly to the trans position.

82 MINJUN 10
Comments
An Afternoon with Slavoj Zizek -- Lacan

An Afternoon with Slavoj Zizek -- Marx

EThis special episode includes Todd's discussion with Slavoj Zizek about Marxism, conducted just before his debate with Jordan Peterson. Todd and Slavoj discuss why one might insist on the moniker "Marxist" today and why one might call it into question. Ryan and Todd then delve into the issues raised by Slavoj's responses. They focus Marx's relationship with Hegel and the implications of this relationship for politics.

81 MINMAY 29
Comments
An Afternoon with Slavoj Zizek -- Marx

Immediacy

EIn this special episode recorded at the 2019 LACK Conference, Ryan and Todd talk with theorist Anna Kornbluh about the proliferating sense of immediacy in contemporary society. Building on her talk at the conference, Kornbluh sketches the growing absence of evidence of mediation in a heavily mediated world. Ryan, Todd, and Anna then speculate on the signs of this absence and how we might combat it.

70 MINMAY 15
Comments
Immediacy

Latest Episodes

Psychoanalysis and Capitalism

EIn this episode, Ryan and Todd argue for a psychoanalytic understanding of capitalism's appeal and staying power. They reflect on the possibilities for a psychoanalytic critique of capitalism and ponder its abilities to offer alternatives, rather than just serve as a source of critique.

75 MIN1 weeks ago
Comments
Psychoanalysis and Capitalism

Psychoanalysis and Disability

EIn this episode, Ryan recounts his own disability as a way of framing the discussion that he and Todd have about the relationship between psychoanalysis and disability. They explore the implications of disability for the status of the Other and the role that it plays in fetishistic disavowal. They conclude with an investigation of how disability runs counter to the structural logic of capitalism.

75 MIN3 weeks ago
Comments
Psychoanalysis and Disability

Mad Men

EIn this episode, Ryan and Todd dissect the television series "Mad Men" in political and psychoanalytic terms. They look at the characters Don and Peggy as ethical figures, as well as discussing the critique of capitalism that the series levels. They explore in depth the episode entitled "The Suitcase" as an example of the theoretical concept of the bottle episode.

84 MINSEP 2
Comments
Mad Men

Incels, Misogyny, and Castration

EIn this episode, Ryan and Todd discuss the Incel phenomenon and its relationship to the logic at work in misogyny. They frame the question in terms of how symbolic castration functions in contemporary society. The discussion turns to how the phenomenon of the Incel actually sheds light on many other aspects of today's capitalist universe.

81 MINAUG 14
Comments
Incels, Misogyny, and Castration

Signifier Vs. Sign (Aphorism 4)

EIn this episode, Ryan and Todd unpack Jacques Lacan's famous aphorism about the signifier--"the signifier represents the subject to another signifier." This aphorism focuses on the role of the desiring subject in signification and highlights the contrast between meaning and signification. Ryan and Todd contrast this definition of the signifier with the sign and explore what's at stake in this distinction. They wrap up the podcast by interpreting some current cultural signifiers and explain why we need to see them as signifiers.

87 MINJUL 31
Comments
Signifier Vs. Sign (Aphorism 4)

Contradiction

EIn this episode, Ryan and Todd explore the problem of contradiction, especially as it appears in Hegel's philosophy. In doing so, they work through the argument of Todd's new book on Hegel, "Emancipation After Hegel: Achieving a Contradictory Revolution." They debate the thesis of the book--that the end point of Hegel's philosophy is reconciliation with contradiction--while pondering the ramifications of contradiction for politics.

83 MINJUL 9
Comments
Contradiction

An Afternoon with Slavoj Zizek -- Hegel

EIn the third of a series of three special episodes featuring Slavoj Zizek, Ryan and Todd respond to Todd's interview with Slavoj concerning his relationship to Hegel. Slavoj brings up questions about Todd's interpretation of Hegel in his new book, specifically the claim about the end of history and the idea that Hegel argues for political freedom. Building on the interview, Ryan and Todd ponder how we might think of progress in Hegelian terms.

98 MINJUN 25
Comments
An Afternoon with Slavoj Zizek -- Hegel

An Afternoon with Slavoj Zizek -- Lacan

EIn the second of a series of three special episodes featuring Slavoj Zizek, Ryan and Todd respond to Todd's interview with Slavoj concerning his relationship to Lacan. They cover what Slavoj thinks is the key Lacanian concept and seminar, as well as Slavoj's assessment of trans theory. Ryan questions Slavoj's written interventions on this issue for not highlighting the way that the psychoanalytic theory of subjectivity speaks directly to the trans position.

82 MINJUN 10
Comments
An Afternoon with Slavoj Zizek -- Lacan

An Afternoon with Slavoj Zizek -- Marx

EThis special episode includes Todd's discussion with Slavoj Zizek about Marxism, conducted just before his debate with Jordan Peterson. Todd and Slavoj discuss why one might insist on the moniker "Marxist" today and why one might call it into question. Ryan and Todd then delve into the issues raised by Slavoj's responses. They focus Marx's relationship with Hegel and the implications of this relationship for politics.

81 MINMAY 29
Comments
An Afternoon with Slavoj Zizek -- Marx

Immediacy

EIn this special episode recorded at the 2019 LACK Conference, Ryan and Todd talk with theorist Anna Kornbluh about the proliferating sense of immediacy in contemporary society. Building on her talk at the conference, Kornbluh sketches the growing absence of evidence of mediation in a heavily mediated world. Ryan, Todd, and Anna then speculate on the signs of this absence and how we might combat it.

70 MINMAY 15
Comments
Immediacy