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Glossary Affect is a psychoanalytic term referring to emotional or physiological symptoms, experiences or discharges involving a transfer of energies from one state to another. Dialectics has various meanings according to different philosophers. In Plato’s philosophy it refers to his own form of rhetorical argumentation. In Hegel, dialectics is a conception of historical forces that are antagonistic yet interrelated which, since their relationship is fundamentally unstable, lead to change – summarized by the formula: thesis, antithesis, synthesis. Marx adapted Hegel’s notion of dialectics to characterize the social and political conflicts under Capitalism between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. Nietzsche and, later, Deleuze use the term critically to refer to any form of dualistic thinking that revolves around an ideal of unified identity. See also Ideology and Metaphysics. Dionysian. Nietzsche believed that the rhythms, dynamics and musical harmonies of the great tragic plays by Aeschylus and Sophocles of the 5th century BC in Greece were derived from the hypnotic and intoxicating cadences of ancient festivals devoted to the god Dionysus. Nietzsche related this worship of Dionysus to the Greeks’ preparedness to open themselves to unconscious desires and forces of change. Discourse is a term derived from Latin meaning the process or power of reasoning; also, literally, “a running about”. Colloquially, discourse refers to any subject of theoretical or philosophical discussion, debate and inquiry. Empiricism is associated with the Scottish philosopher David Hume (1711–76) who challenged the idea that effects and events are necessarily traceable back to causes. Therefore, he claimed that knowledge does not arise through known causes a priori (given before an effect occurs) but rather a posteriori (subsequently through experiencing an effect). Hume’s philosophy was of importance for Kant and, subsequently, Deleuze. Existentialism is a philosophical and cultural phenomenon spanning the period from the late 19th century to today. Concerned with existence: there are nihilistic forms of existentialism summarized in phrases such as “the universe is absurd”; “hell is others” (Sartre) – in contrast to Heidegger’s version of existentialism devoted to an authentic form of existence for which he coined the term existentiell. Hermeneutics takes objects or signs as clues or symptoms for some vaster reality representing it as its ultimate truth. One such example is Heidegger’s reading of the historical significance of the temple in Greek culture. Idealism See Ideology, Metaphysics and Marxism. Ideology in its broad sense refers to any system of beliefs and its underlying assumptions and values. More particularly, following Nietzsche’s statement “I am afraid that we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar”, Lacan highlighted how all linguistic and symbolic systems of communication and exchange function through assigned subject positions from which to speak or act: “I”, “you”, “we” and so on. Speaking and acting from within these positions inevitably overlooks the medium in which communication is structured, thereby reproducing an idealized conception of consciousness and transparent meaning. See also Metaphysics and Marxism. Marxism is an intellectual tradition and a radical political praxis. Recent Marxist intellectuals, such as Slavoj Žižek, argue that Marx did not seek so much the secret that lies behind commodity exchange under Capital but, more importantly, the secret of the form of exchange, itself. This form is the symbolic system that mediates and structures

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