“Sade seems to follow only his own call, but on a closer look, his compulsion towards excess is still a result of the deadlock of not fully taking one’s discovery for being one’s own cause into account.” – “We can only be ethical if we do not rely on any pre-given ideas of what is Good. This is the discovery that Kant didn’t follow through to the end, not ready to risk doing good beyond any Good already established, to act outside the coordinates established by others, deciding only in accord with one’s own sense of duty, one’s own call.” – Andre Vantino on Lacan’s Sade


“there are few things more difficult than to enjoy, without guilt, the fruits of doing one’s duty (in this case, the duty of telling the truth). While it is easy to enjoy acting in an egotistic way against one’s duty” – “it is, perhaps, only as the result of psychoanalytic treatment that one can acquire the capacity to enjoy doing one’s duty; perhaps this IS one of the definitions of the end of psychoanalysis.” – Slavoj Žižek, The Fragile Absolute

““following one’s desire” …[can be free of] “pathological” …motivations. …The opposition is …not between the egotist …pleasures and ethical care…, but between …betrayal of [desire] and …fidelity to the “law of desire” beyond the pleasure principle.” – Slavoj Zizek on knowing one’s desire and not corrupting it in favor of pleasure

there is no “true reality” behind or beneath phenomena; noumena are phenomenal things which are “too strong,” too intense or intensive, for our perceptual apparatus, attuned as it is to constituted reality.

Deleuze’s point is … that one should subtract the opposition between phenomena and things-in-themselves, between the phenomenal and the noumenal, from its Kantian context, where noumena are transcendent things that forever elude our grasp.

What Deleuze refers to as “things-in-themselves” are in a way even more phenomenal than our shared phenomenal reality: they are the impossible phenomena, the phenomena excluded from our symbolically constituted reality.

s. zizek