Invitation to guest lecture by Aaron Schuster

Postgraduate School ZRC SAZU invites you to a public lecture by Aaron Schuster:


Theory of the Brake Up.

Bad Boyfriends from Socrates to Kafka.


Just as we speak of Platonic love, so we should speak of the Platonic break up, which is, of course, the ideal form of the break up. Its formula, invented by Socrates, has two parts:

(1) I am nothing.

(2) You would be happier with someone else.


In this seminar Schuster will trace a certain history of the break up, following the development and transformations of this seminal formula. Breaking up is, generally speaking, a neglected topic of philosophical inquiry, even while love is one of its most precious concepts. He proposes to invert this hierarchy: instead of seeing the break up as nothing but the failure and death of love, he will attempt to grasp love from the perspective of the break up, that is, to understand splitting, separation, rupture, abandonment—the end—as a phenomenon in its own right, essential for any understanding of love. We will proceed from Plato to Kierkegaard to Freud (the problem of ending in psychoanalysis, considered in relation to the problem of ending in art), passing along the way Franz Kafka, Fernando Pessoa, and Georg Lukács.


The lecture in English language will be on Friday 6th of December 2019 at 4 p. m. at Mala dvorana ZRC SAZU, Novi trg 4, 2nd Floor, Ljubljana.


Aaron Schuster, Ph. D. is a philosopher and writer, based in Amsterdam. He is the author of The Trouble with Pleasure: Deleuze and Psychoanalysis (MIT Press, 2016). He is a co-author, together with Eric Santner and William Mazzarella, of Sovereignty Inc.: Three Inquiries in Politics and Enjoyment (University of Chicago Press, 2019), and his book Spasm: A Philosophy of Tickling is forthcoming from Cabinet Books (2020). He is a senior research advisor at the V-A-C Foundation, Moscow.


A draft of the paper will be made available to seminar participants.

Kindly invited!