In The Deconstruction of Sex, Jean-Luc Nancy and Irving Goh discuss how a deconstructive approach to sex helps us negotiate discourses about sex and foster a better understanding of how sex complicates our everyday existence in the age of #MeToo. Throughout their conversation, Nancy and Goh engage with topics ranging from relation, penetration, and subjection to touch, erotics, and jouissance. They show how despite its entrenchment in social norms and centrality to our being-in-the-world, sex lacks a clearly defined essence. At the same time, they point to the potentiality of literature to inscribe the senses of sex. In so doing, Nancy and Goh prompt us to reconsider our relations with ourselves and others through sex in more sensitive, respectful, and humble ways without bracketing the troubling aspects of sex.
In Doing, Jean-Luc Nancy, one of the most prominent and lucid articulators of contemporary French theory and philosophy, examines the precarious but urgent relationship between being and doing. His book is not so much a call to action as a summons to more vigorous thinking, the examination and reflection that must precede any effective action. The first section of the book considers this matter tersely: Jean-Luc Nancy’s quickness of language and grace of humor lead the reader carefully past the dangers of oversimplification, toward a general awareness of meaningful being. In the last section, Nancy examines the realities of terrorist actions—specifically those that shocked Paris a few years ago, and more generally the frightening world of politics without conscience, where conscience is the root of all thinking.
Handsomely Done: Aesthetics, Politics, and Media after Melville brings together leading and emerging scholars from comparative literature, critical theory, and media studies to examine Melville’s works in light of their ongoing afterlife and seemingly permanent contemporaneity. The volume explores the curious fact that the works of this most linguistically complex and seemingly most “untranslatable” of authors have yielded such compelling translations and adaptations as well as the related tendency of Melville’s writing to flash into relevance at every new historical-political conjuncture.
The volume thus engages not only Melville reception across media (Jorge Luis Borges, John Huston, Jean-Luc Godard, Led Zeppelin, Claire Denis) but also the Melvillean resonances and echoes of various political events and movements, such as the Attica uprising, the Red Army Faction, Occupy Wall Street, and Black Lives Matter. This consideration of Melville’s afterlife opens onto theorizations of intermediality, un/translatability, and material intensity even as it also continually faces the most concrete and pressing questions of history and politics.
Il y a plaisir à saluer l‘arrivée d’un philosophe tout neuf qui soudain bondit dans le cortège dionysiaque. Plus on est de fous, plus on pense, le proverbe dit vrai et notre temps de misère a plus que besoin de se refaire – s’il se peut – une vigueur spéculative. Il y a plus que du plaisir, une vraie jubilation lorsque le tout neuf philosophe affirme une pensée de la jouissance, de l’abondance et de la dépense au sens de Bataille (ici toujours discrètement mais efficacement présent). Une pensée énergique au sens le plus – oserais-je dire « vitalisant » du terme. L’energeia n’a-t-elle de sens que depuis l’être ? N’y a-t-il pas une autre énergie à penser ? Une énergie non pas de l’être, ni relative à celle extraite de la nature pour des fins productives et économiques, mais une énergie excédentaire, une sorte de « dépense improductive » (Bataille) de la vie ? Une énergie qui serait le luxe biologique du vivant. Ce luxe biologique, Valentin Husson le pense comme – on ne peut plus dire « ontologique » – comme existence en un sens qui se dérobe à Heidegger et à son « sens de l’être » pour affirmer un avoir à être selon lequel l’être se dissipe au-delà de toute consistance tandis que l’avoir à prend toute l’énergie d’une vie en débordante envie d’elle-même. Jean-Luc Nancy
Jean-Luc Nancy et Daniel Tyradellis, philosophes, questionnant tous deux la nature même de la pensée, se sont rencontrés un soir de novembre 2012 à Berlin. En a résulté un dialogue sur les représentations que nous nous faisons de la pensée, sur ce qui nous y amène, nous y force ou nous y incite ; mais également sur les bonnes et les mauvaises raisons de penser, sur la philosophie et la misosophie.
Cet échange rare et singulier traite de la précarité de toute pensée, qu’elle s’établisse dans la langue, dans l’image, dans le corps ou dans l’espace ; du nous et de la pensée partagée qui ouvre les possibilités du sens. Il dessine une pensée qui s’épuise, mais qui aime aussi, et nous redonne foi en l’existence.
Edited by Diane Davis University of Illinois Press, 2008 Library of Congress PN75.R65R43 2009 | Dewey Decimal 809
Avital Ronell has won worldwide acclaim for her work across literature and philosophy, psychoanalysis and popular culture, political theory and feminism, art and rhetoric, drugs and deconstruction. In works such as The Test Drive, Stupidity, Crack Wars, and The Telephone Book, she has perpetually raised new and powerful questions about how we think, what thinking does, and how we fool ourselves about the troubled space between thought and action.
In this collection, some of today's most distinguished and innovative thinkers turn their attention to Ronell's teaching, writing, and provocations, observing how Ronell reads and what comes from reading her. By reading Ronell, and reading Ronell reading, contributors examine the ethico-political implications of her radical dislocations and carefully explicate, extend, and explore the paraconcepts addressed in her works.
The Sense of the World
Nancy, Jean-Luc University of Minnesota Press, 1998 Library of Congress B2430.N363S4613 1997 | Dewey Decimal 194
An essential exploration of sense and meaning.
Is there a “world” anymore, let alone any “sense” to it? Acknowledging the lack of meaning in our time, and the lack of a world at the center of meanings we try to impose, Jean-Luc Nancy presents a rigorous critique of the many discourses-from philosophy and political science to psychoanalysis and art history-that talk and write their way around these gaping absences in our lives.
In an original style befitting his search for a new mode of thought, Nancy offers fragmentary readings of writers such as Nietzsche, Hegel, Marx, Lévinas, Lacan, Derrida, and Deleuze insofar as their work reflects his concern with sense and the world. Rather than celebrate or bemoan the loss of meaning or attempt to install a new one, his book seeks to reposition both sense and the world between the presence and absence of meaning, between objectivity and subjectivity. Nancy’s project entails a reconception of the field of philosophy itself, a rearticulation of philosophical practice. Neither recondite nor abstract, it is concerned with the existence and experience of freedom-the actuality of existence as experienced by contemporary communities of citizens, readers, and writers.
Combining aesthetic, political, and philosophical considerations to convey a sense of the world between meaning and reality, ideal content and material form, this book offers a new way of understanding-and responding to-“the end of the world.”
Jean-Luc Nancy teaches at the University of Human Sciences in Strasbourg. His books in English include The Literary Absolute (with Philip Lacoue-Labarthe, 1988), The Inoperative Community (Minnesota, 1991), The Birth to Presence (1993), The Experience of Freedom (1993), and The Muses (1996).
Jeffrey S. Librett is associate professor of modern languages and literatures at Loyola University of Chicago.
Interrogating the work of four contemporary French philosophers to rethink philosophy’s relationship to science and science’s relationship to reality
The Technique of Thought explores the relationship between philosophy and science as articulated in the work of four contemporary French thinkers—Jean-Luc Nancy, François Laruelle, Catherine Malabou, and Bernard Stiegler. Situating their writings within both contemporary scientific debates and the philosophy of science, Ian James elaborates a philosophical naturalism that is notably distinct from the Anglo-American tradition. The naturalism James proposes also diverges decisively from the ways in which continental philosophy has previously engaged with the sciences. He explores the technical procedures and discursive methods used by each of the four thinkers as distinct “techniques of thought” that approach scientific understanding and knowledge experimentally.
Moving beyond debates about the constructed nature of scientific knowledge, The Technique of Thought argues for a strong, variably configured, and entirely novel scientific realism. By bringing together post-phenomenological perspectives concerning individual or collective consciousness and first-person qualitative experience with science’s focus on objective and third-person quantitative knowledge, James tracks the emergence of a new image of the sciences and of scientific practice.
Stripped of aspirations toward total mastery of the universe or a “grand theory of everything,” this renewed scientific worldview, along with the simultaneous reconfiguration of philosophy’s relationship to science, opens up new ways of interrogating immanent reality.