Journal of Speculative Philosophy 30 (3):316-327 (2016)

The conflagration of community stands as the “gravest and most painful testimony of the modern world.”1 So begins Jean-Luc Nancy’s The Inoperative Community. But as he quickly shows, it is not a return to a premodern communal intimacy that we should seek. The lost intimacy of community is a lost immanence. The question, instead, must be: Can absolute immanence be undone through community? “Community, or the being-ecstatic of Being itself? That would be the question.”2To answer this question, I turn to an unlikely source: the political ontology of John Duns Scotus. Our return to the premodern political ontology of this medieval scholastic is not a return as nostalgic yearning. There is no longing for the...
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