Multi-level discrete models of genetic networks, or the more general piecewise affine differential models, provide qualitative information on the dynamics of the system, based on a small number of parameters (such as synthesis and degradation rates). Boolean models also provide qualitative information, but are based simply on the structure of interconnections. To explore the relationship between the two formalisms, a piecewise affine differential model and a Boolean model are compared, for the carbon starvation response network in E. coli . The (...) asymptotic dynamics of both models are shown to be quite similar. This study suggests new tools for analysis and reduction of biological networks. (shrink)
We consider metabolic networks with reversible enzymatic reactions. The model is written as a system of ordinary differential equations, possibly with inputs and outputs. We prove the global stability of the equilibrium , using techniques of monotone systems and compartmental matrices. We show that the equilibrium does not always exist. Finally, we consider a metabolic system coupled with a genetic network, and we study the dependence of the metabolic equilibrium with respect to concentrations of enzymes. We give some conclusions concerning (...) the dynamical behavior of coupled genetic/metabolic systems. (shrink)
This paper concerns periodic solutions of a class of equations that model gene regulatory networks. Unlike the vast majority of previous studies, it is not assumed that all decay rates are identical. To handle this more general situation, we rely on monotonicity properties of these systems. Under an alternative assumption, it is shown that a classical fixed point theorem for monotone, concave operators can be applied to these systems. The required assumption is expressed in geometrical terms as an alignment condition (...) on so-called focal points . As an application, we show the existence and uniqueness of a stable periodic orbit for negative feedback loop systems in dimension 3 or more, and of a unique stable equilibrium point in dimension 2. This extends a theorem of Snoussi, which showed the existence of these orbits only. (shrink)
In this paper we build a prey–predator model with discrete weight structure for the predator. This model will conserve the number of individuals and the biomass and both growth and reproduction of the predator will depend on the food ingested. Moreover the model allows cannibalism which means that the predator can eat the prey but also other predators. We will focus on a simple version with two weight classes or stage and present some general mathematical results. In the last part, (...) we will assume that the dynamics of the prey is fast compared to the predator’s one to go further in the results and eventually conclude that under some conditions, cannibalism can stabilize the system: more precisely, an unstable equilibrium without cannibalism will become almost globally stable with some cannibalism. Some numerical simulations are done to illustrate this result. (shrink)
In this interview 1, Jean-Luc Nancy retraces the origin, the affirmation and the trivialisation of deconstruction: from its point of departure in Heidegger's project of the destruction of the history of ontology, to its attachment to Derrida's philosophical style; from its quick dissemination in the American universities and its adoption as a method of textual critique, to its gradual banalisation in common discourse as a synonym of ‘demolition’. All this is discussed through the lens of Nancy's personal experience, with (...) particular attention to the historical background and some insights into the origins of the project of a deconstruction of Christianity, the relation between deconstruction and différance and the future role of deconstruction. (shrink)
Appearing in English for the first time, Jean-Luc Nancy’s 2002 book reflects on globalization and its impact on our being-in-the-world. Developing a contrast in the French language between two terms that are usually synonymous, or that are used interchangeably, namely globalisation (globalization) and mondialisation (world-forming), Nancy undertakes a rethinking of what “world-forming” might mean. At stake in this distinction is for him nothing less than two possible destinies of our humanity, and of our time. On the one hand, with (...) globalization, there is the uniformity produced by a global economical and technological logic leading to the contrary of an inhabitable world, “the un-world” (l’im-monde)—as Nancy refers to it—an un-world that entails social disintegration, misery, and injustice. And, on the other hand, there is the possibility of an authentic world-forming, that is, of a making of the world and of a making sense that Nancy calls a “creation” of the world. Nancy understands such world-forming in terms of an inexhaustible struggle for justice. This book is an important contribution by Nancy to a philosophical reflection on the phenomenon of globalization and a further development on his earlier works on our being-in-common, justice, and a-theological existence. (shrink)
Jean-Luc Marion is one of the leading Catholic thinkers of our time: a formidable authority on Descartes and a major scholar in the philosophy of religion. This book presents a concise, accessible, and engaging introduction to the theology of Jean-Luc Marion. Described as one of the leading thinkers of his generation, Marion's take on the postmodern is richly enhanced by his expertise in patristic and mystical theology, phenomenology, and modern philosophy. In this first introduction to Marion's thought, Robyn (...) Horner provides the essential background to Marion's work, as well as analysing the most significant themes for contemporary theology. This book serves as an ideal starting point for students of theology and philosophy, as well as for those seeking to further their knowledge of cutting-edge thinking in contemporary theology. (shrink)
Jean-Luc Nancy takes the concept of "essence" in order to indicate its drawbacks on the singularity of being. The concept of essence is not a universal and necessary origin, but contingent and historical meanings for Nancy. This historicity in meaning leads Nancy to question the concept of the individual and the rules of the social/public sphere allocated through individuality. Nancy's argument on the ontological environment of finite beings aims to highlight those beings are mixed singular, not belonging to a (...) universal unit. This allows us to discover that being is singular and also singular-plural to the extent that it is with the other. Thus, essential historical concepts invalidate individual or social organizations at this point. Nancy calls this “finitude” which is the only transcendental concept that makes possible the “being with” (Mitsein). It is possible to think that finitude is the only property to make a community of singularities rather than ready-made concepts of social sciences. I argue that this position is methodological for an alternative socio-ontology. (shrink)
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.”. (shrink)
The Theory of Literature in German Romanticism Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe, Jean-Luc Nancy. Preface: The. Literary. Absolute. I. "There are classifications that are bad enough as classifications, but that have nonetheless dominated entire ...
The work of the contemporary French philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy has impacted across a range of disciplines. His writings on psychoanalysis, theology, art, culture and, of course, philosophy are now widely translated and much discussed. His L'Experience de la Liberte is considered to be one of the landmarks of contemporary continental philosophy. Jean-Luc Nancy and the Future of Philosophy is the first genuine introduction to Nancy's ideas and a clear and succinct appraisal of a burgeoning reputation. The book summarises (...) topically the primary conceptual areas of Nancy's thought and explores its relevance for contemporary issues like nationalism, racism and media rights. Nancy's indebtedness to Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Bataille is examined as well as how his ideas compare to those of his contemporary continental thinkers. Three major areas of Nancy's work are emphasised: freedom and morality; community and politics; and arts and the media. The reader is guided through a chosen theme without being lost in a welter of allusive language, jargon is avoided where possible and when unavoidable it is clearly explained. The book concludes with a new interview with Nancy, which discusses the future of philosophy. The book will be an important addition to the readings lists for courses on contemporary continental thought and political philosophy. (shrink)
This book is a profound and eagerly anticipated investigation into what is left of a monotheistic religious spirit—notably, a minimalist faith that is neither confessional nor credulous. Articulating this faith as works and as an objectless hope, Nancy deconstructs Christianity in search of the historical and reflective conditions that provided its initial energy. Working through Blanchot and Nietzsche, re-reading Heidegger and Derrida, Nancy turns to the Epistle of Saint James rather than those of Saint Paul, discerning in it the primitive (...) essence of Christianity as hope. -/- The “religion that provided the exit from religion,” as he terms Christianity, consists in the announcement of an end. It is the announcement that counts, however, rather than any finality. In this announcement there is a proximity to others and to what was once called parousia. But parousia is no longer presence; it is no longer the return of the Messiah. Rather, it is what is near us and does not cease to open and to close, a presence deferred yet imminent. -/- In a demystified age where we are left with a vision of a self-enclosed world—in which humans are no longer mortals facing an immortal being, but entities whose lives are accompanied by the time of their own decline—parousia stands as a question. Can we venture the risk of a decentered perspective, such that the meaning of the world can be found both inside and outside, within and without our so-immanent world? -/- The deconstruction of Christianity that Nancy proposes is neither a game nor a strategy. It is an invitation to imagine a strange faith that enacts the inadequation of life to itself. Our lives overflow the self-contained boundaries of their biological and sociological interpretations. Out of this excess, wells up a fragile, overlooked meaning that is beyond both confessionalism and humanism. (shrink)
Jean-Luc Nancy is one of the leading contemporary thinkers in France today. Through an inventive reappropriation of the major figures in the continental tradition, Nancy has developed an original ontology that impacts the way we think about religion, politics, community, embodiment, and art. Drawing from a wide range of his writing, Marie-Eve Morin provides the first comprehensive and systematic account of Nancy’s thinking, all the way up to his most recent work on the deconstruction of Christianity. Without losing sight (...) of the heterogeneity of Nancy’s work, Morin presents a concise articulation of the organizing concepts, which structure Nancy’s body of work. The guiding thread is that of an essential rift at the heart of any “self” by which this self is exposed and relates to itself and other selves. Nancy’s ontology undercuts dichotomies between individual and community, interior and exterior, matter and spirit, thing and thought, not in the name of mere deconstruction, but in seeking to open a thinking of the “limit” or the “edge” as the locus of sense. While Nancy’s work has often been presented in relation to Heidegger or Derrida, Morin demonstrates the originality of Nancy’s work and argues that, despite the variety of its preoccupations and topics, it possesses its own rigorous internal logic. This book will be of interest to students and scholars of philosophy and related fields who seek a systematic and critical understanding of one of the most original contemporary thinkers. (shrink)
Christian parables have retained their force well beyond the sphere of religion; indeed, they share with much of modern literature their status as a form of address: "Who hath ears to hear, let him hear." There is no message without there first being--or, more subtly, without there also being in the message itself--an address to a capacity or an aptitude for listening. This is not an exhortation of the kind "Pay attention!" Rather, it is a warning: if you do not (...) understand, the message will go away.The scene in the Gospel of John in which the newly risen Christ enjoins the Magdalene, "Noli me tangere," a key moment in the general parable made up of his life, is a particularly good example of this sudden appearance in which a vanishing plays itself out. Resurrected, he speaks, makes an appeal, and leaves."Do not touch me." Beyond the Christ story, this everyday phrase says something important about touching in general. It points to the place where touching must not touch in order to carry out its touch (its art, its tact, its grace). The title essay of this volume is both a contribution to Nancy's project of a "deconstruction of Christianity" and an exemplum of his remarkable writings on art, in analyses of "Noli me tangere" paintings by such painters as Rembrandt, Dürer, Titian, Pontormo, Bronzino, and Correggio. It is also in tacit dialogue with Jacques Derrida's monumental tribute to Nancy's work in Le toucher--Jean-Luc Nancy.For the English-language edition, Nancy has added an unpublished essay on the Magdalene and the English translation of "In Heaven and on the Earth," a remarkable lecture he gave in a series designed to address children between six and twelve years of age. Closely aligned with his entire project of "the deconstruction of Christianity,'" this lecture may give the most accesible account of his ideas about God. (shrink)
In this lyrical meditation on listening, Jean-Luc Nancy examines sound in relation to the human body. How is listening different from hearing? What does listening entail? How does what is heard differ from what is seen? Can philosophy even address listening, écouter, as opposed to entendre, which means both hearing and understanding? Unlike the visual arts, sound produces effects that persist long after it has stopped. The body, Nancy says, is itself like an echo chamber, responding to music by (...) inner vibrations as well as outer attentiveness. Since “the ear has no eyelid” (Quignard), sound cannot be blocked out or ignored: our whole being is involved in listening, just as it is involved in interpreting what it hears. The mystery of music and of its effects on the listener is subtly examined. Nancy’s skill as a philosopher is to bring the reader companionably along with him as he examines these fresh and vital questions; by the end of the book the reader feels as if listening very carefully to a person talking quietly, close to the ear. (shrink)
Adoration is the second volume of the Deconstruction of Christianity, following Dis-Enclosure. The first volume attempted to demonstrate why it is necessary to open reason up not to a religious dimension but to one transcending reason as we have been accustomed to understanding it; the term "adoration" attempts to name the gesture of this dis-enclosed reason. -/- Adoration causes us to receive ignorance as truth: not a feigned ignorance, perhaps not even a "nonknowledge," nothing that would attempt to justify the (...) negative again, but the simple, naked truth that there is nothing in the place of God, because there is no place for God. The outside of the world opens us in the midst of the world, and there is no first or final place. Each one of us is at once the first and the last. Each one, each name. And our ignorance is made worse by the fact that we do not know whether we ought to name this common and singular property of all names. We must remain in this suspense, hesitating between and stammering in various possible languages, ultimately learning to speak anew. -/- In this book, Jean-Luc Nancy goes beyond his earlier historical and philosophical thought and tries to think-or at least crack open a little to thinking-a stance or bearing that might be suitable to the retreat of God that results from the self-deconstruction of Christianity. Adoration may be a manner, a style of spirit for our time, a time when the "spiritual" seems to have become so absent, so dry, so adulterated. -/- The book is a major contribution to the important strand of attempts to think a "post-secular" situation of religion. (shrink)
At once an introduction to Hegel and a radically new vision of his thought, this work penetrates the entirety of the Hegelian field with brevity and precision, while compromising neither rigour nor depth.
Through careful analysis of phenomenological texts by Husserl and Heidegger, Marion argues for the necessity of a third phenomenological reduction that concerns what is fully implied but left largely unthought by the phenomenologies of both ...
Written in a direct and accessible, almost manifesto-like style, The Truth of Democracy presents a forceful plea that we rethink democracy not as one political regime or form among others but as that which opens up the very experience of ...
Noli me tangere - Ne me touche pas : c'est une scène singulière de l'évangile de Jean, et c'est une parole emblématique pour des situations de violence ou de désir. C'est aussi, et d'abord, le rappel lapidaire d'un tabou majeur de toutes les cultures : celui du toucher. Or Marie-Madeleine, à qui cette parole est adressée par Jésus, a connu dans l'hagiographie un destin bien particulier : amante tantôt physique et tantôt mystique du Christ, double féminin et sensuel de (...) l'incarnation que son Seigneur est censé représenter, pécheresse dont le repentir poursuit la volupté, son personnage est fait pour troubler aux deux sens du mot la légende religieuse. Comment donc interpréter la scène, et la " résurrection " qu'elle veut annoncer ? Comment les peintres l'ont-ils interprétée ? Que nous font-ils voir entre ces deux corps levés l'un vers l'autre, qui se frôlent et qui s'écartent ? (shrink)
Comment une formation politique répond-elle, au XXIème siècle, à son électorat? Comment faire face aux défis futurs autrement que par le biais d'un débat politique bipolarisé? Cela passe nécessairement par la mise en avant d'un discours résolument démocrate... et toujours écologiste! A chaque instant, la recherche du positionnement juste doit être notre fil conducteur. Sur l'équité, la solidarité et l'engagement en faveur d'une transformation réelle de notre société, nous avons tous notre mot à dire afin de préparer l'avenir! Tel est (...) l'enjeu! Aux niveaux européen, national, régional et local, nous sommes invités à réagir. Parfois pour saluer certaines avancées courageuses, souvent pour rappeler l'existence de certaines lignes rouges déjà allègrement franchies et dénoncer les égarements des responsables politiques en place. Doucement mais sûrement, une autre voie se dessine! Cet ouvrage se propose de mettre en lumière les thèmes sur lesquels les démocrates français et européens doivent désormais avancer de manière significative. Sans avoir la prétention d'apporter toutes les réponses, Jean-Luc Bennahmias contribue au débat à travers des textes, réflexions et entretiens récents faisant sens dans son parcours politique. Il rappelle un certain nombre de ses prises de position historiques sur des questions essentielles, telles que l'action à mener envers les jeunes, les libertés, les minorités ou bien encore l'Union européenne. Et il réaffirme la vigueur de son combat pour une écologie omniprésente dans nos politiques publiques. (shrink)
This book is a close reading of Jacques Lacan's seminal essay, "The Agency of the Letter in the Unconscious or Reason Since Freud," selected for the particular light it casts on Lacan's complex relation to linguistics, psychoanalysis, and philosophy. It clarifies the way Lacan renews or transforms the psychoanalytic field, through his diversion of Saussure's theory of the sign, his radicalization of Freud's fundamental concepts, and his subversion of dominant philosophical values. The authors argue, however, that Lacan's discourse is marked (...) by a deep ambiguity: while he invents a new "language," he nonetheless maintains the traditional metaphysical motifs of systemacity, foundation, and truth. (shrink)
The work of French philosopher and theologian Jean-Luc Marion has been recognized as among the most suggestive and productive in the philosophy of religion today. In Reading Marion, Christina M. Gschwandtner provides the first comprehensive introduction to Marion's large and conceptually dense corpus. Gschwandtner gives particular attention to Marion's early work on Descartes and follows thematic threads through to his most recent publications on charity and eroticism. She explores in detail three prominent topics in Marion's thought: the desire to (...) overcome metaphysics, his reflections on the divine, and his reconsideration of the relation of the self to the other in love. Gschwandtner reveals Marion's thought as a unified whole and provides context for his theological and phenomenological writings. Readers at all levels will find insight into the work of one of the world's most provocative thinkers. (shrink)
One of the strongest strands in Nancy's philosophy is an attempt to rethink community and the very idea of the social in a way that does not ground these ideas in some individual subject or subjectivity. The fundamental argument of this book is that being is always 'being with', that 'I' is not prior to 'we', that existence is essentially co-existence. He thinks this being together, not as a comfortable enclosure in a pre-existing group, but as a mutual abandonment and (...) exposure to each other, one that would preserve the 'I' and its freedom in a mode of imagining community as neither a 'society of spectacle' nor via some form of 'authenticity'. (shrink)
Lip reading is the ability to partially understand speech by looking at the speaker's lips. It improves the intelligibility of speech in noise when audio-visual perception is compared with audio-only perception. A recent set of experiments showed that seeing the speaker's lips also enhances sensitivity to acoustic information, decreasing the auditory detection threshold of speech embedded in noise [J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 109 (2001) 2272; J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 108 (2000) 1197]. However, detection is different from comprehension, and it remains (...) to be seen whether improved sensitivity also results in an intelligibility gain in audio-visual speech perception. In this work, we use an original paradigm to show that seeing the speaker's lips enables the listener to hear better and hence to understand better. The audio-visual stimuli used here could not be differentiated by lip reading per se since they contained exactly the same lip gesture matched with different compatible speech sounds. Nevertheless, the noise-masked stimuli were more intelligible in the audio-visual condition than in the audio-only condition due to the contribution of visual information to the extraction of acoustic cues. Replacing the lip gesture by a non-speech visual input with exactly the same time course, providing the same temporal cues for extraction, removed the intelligibility benefit. This early contribution to audio-visual speech identification is discussed in relationships with recent neurophysiological data on audio-visual perception. (shrink)
A meditation on the changing role of philosophy in a postmodernist context, the two essays gathered here—The Forgetting of Philosophy and The Weight of a Thought—represent some of the themes that have recently occupied Nancy's thought.
Jean-Luc Marion advances a controversial argument for a God free of all categories of Being. Taking a characteristically postmodern stance, Marion challenges a fundamental premise of both metaphysics and neo-Thomist theology: that God, before all else, must be. Rather, he locates a "God without Being" in the realm of agape, of Christian charity or love. This volume, the first translation into English of the work of this leading Catholic philosopher, offers a contemporary perspective on the nature of God. "An (...) immensely thoughtful book. . . . It promises a rich harvest. Marion's highly original treatment of the idol and the icon, the Eucharist, boredom and vanity, conversion and prayer takes theological and philosophical discussions to a new level."--Norman Wirzba, Christian Century. (shrink)
Taking his critique of totalitarianizing conceptions of community as a starting point, this text examines Jean-Luc Nancy's work of an ‘ontology of plural singular being’ for its political implications. It argues that while at first this ontology seems to advocate a negative or an anti-politics only, it can also be read as a ‘theory of communicative praxis’ that suggests a certain ethos – in the form of a certain use of symbols that would render the ontological plurality of singulars (...) perceptible and practically effective. Finally, some recent texts by Nancy even sidestep the ontology of being-with and face the question of what politics, faced with demands of justice, could be and what a democratic politics could provide. Both of these aspects in Nancy's work, however, still remain to be spelled out more politically. (shrink)
In Being and Time, Heidegger affirms that being-with or Mitsein is an essential constitution of Dasein but he does not submit this existential to the same rigorous analyses as other existentials. In this essay, Jean-Luc Nancy points to the different places where Heidegger erased the possibility of thinking an essential with that he himself opened. This erasure is due, according to Nancy, to the subordination of Mitsein to a thinking of the proper and the improper. The polarization of Being-with (...) between an improper face, the Anyone, and a proper one, the people, which is also, as Nancy shows, a polarization between everydayness and historicity, between a being-together in exteriority (indifference and anonymity) and a being-together in interiority (union through destiny), between a solitary dying and the sacrificial death in combat, leaves the essential with unthought. This essay shows not only the tensions that arise out of Heidegger’s own analyses of Mitsein and affect the whole of Being and Time but also underlines in the end a “shortfall in thinking” inherent not only to Heidegger’s work but, as Nancy claims, to our Western tradition, a shortfall which Nancy has attempted to remedy in his Being Singular Plural. (shrink)
"Besides the impact of their content, the clarity and reach of these essays force one to consider foundational questions concerning philosophy and its history."—Richard Watson, Journal of the History of Philosophy.
La phrase de Lacan " il n'y a pas de rapport sexuel " a acquis la notoriété que méritait son caractère provocateur. Mais que signifie cette provocation en tant que telle? Une invitation à dissocier entièrement le rapport effectif d'une " impasse " fondamentale dans l'ordre symbolique - ou bien une incitation à penser plus radicalement ce " non-être ", non-savoir et non-rapport par lequel le rapport s'ouvre proprement, dans l'effectivité autant que dans le symbolique et dans l'imaginaire? A une (...) logique du " manque " constitutif on oppose ou plutôt on appose ici une éthique de la " brûlure du sens ". Il ne s'agit pas de " libération sexuelle ", mais de sexuation de la liberté, de l'égalité et de l'être-avec : comment l'amour, le désir et la finitude, le rapport en général, sont noués ensemble. (shrink)
Les phénomènes apparaissent-ils toujours selon la calme adéquation en eux de l'intuition avec la signification, voire, plus souvent, avec un déficit d'intuition ? Ou bien certains - les phénomènes saturés - n'apparaissent-ils pas plutôt grâce au surcroît irrépressible de l'intuition sur tous les concepts et toutes les significations que l'on voudrait leur assigner ? Cette question avait surgi du principe " Autant de réduction, autant de donation " (dans Réduction et donation. Recherches sur Husserl, Heidegger et la phénoménologie, 1989) et (...) conduit à dégager la donation, telle qu'elle déplie ce qui se donne et ce qui se montre (avec Etant donné. Essai d'une phénoménologie de la donation, 1997). Reste, une fois ces acquis répétés, à étudier en eux-mêmes chacun des quatre types de phénomènes saturés : l'événement (saturé selon la quantité), l'idole ou tableau (saturé selon la qualité), la chair (saturée selon la relation) et enfin l'icône ou visage d'autrui (saturée selon la modalité). Il devient alors pensable d'étudier leur combinaison dans ce qu'on doit thématiser comme saturé à la puissance, un paradoxe des paradoxes - le phénomène de révélation. En l'occurrence, il s'agit de comprendre (contre une féconde critique de J. Derrida) les trois moments de la théologie mystique (affirmation, négation, hyperbole) non seulement comme l'accomplissement d'un phénomène saturé exemplaire, mais encore comme la répétition de toute phénoménalité de l'excès. De surcroît donc. Parce qu'il s'agit de l'excès du donné qui se montre. Parce qu'il s'agit aussi de l'exposer une nouvelle fois. J.-L.M. (shrink)
Dignity, according to some recent arguments, is a useless concept, giving vague expression to moral intuitions that are better captured by other, better defined concepts. In this paper, I defend the concept of dignity against such skeptical arguments. I begin with a description of the defining features of the Kantian conception of dignity. I then examine one of the strongest arguments against that conception, advanced by Arthur Schopenhauer in On the Basis of Morality. After considering some standard accounts of dignity, (...) showing how they fail adequately to address Schopenhauer’s concern, I propose and defend a new account of dignity, drawing on the ontology of Jean-Luc Nancy. (shrink)
L'autore espone un confronto tra Jean-Luc Nancy, forse il filosofo francese vivente di maggior successo della sua generazione (è nato nel 1940), e alcune figure del pensiero contemporaneo: Merleau-Ponty, Agamben, Sartre, Bataille, Lévinas. Questo esame aiuta a meglio comprendere il significato di novità, recupero e contestazione dei maggiori temi della filosofia del XX secolo che la riflessione di Nancy rappresenta. Il concetto-guida della comunicazione serve per presentare in modo organico una speculazione che la maggior parte degli studi critici finora (...) comparsi si accontenta di passare in rassegna e di ridurre a un cumulo più o meno interessante di motivi "postmoderni". (shrink)
If anything marks the image, it is a deep ambivalence. Denounced as superficial, illusory, and groundless, images are at the same time attributed with exorbitant power and assigned a privileged relation to truth. Mistrusted by philosophy, forbidden and embraced by religions, manipulated as “spectacle” and proliferated in the media, images never cease to present their multiple aspects, their paradoxes, their flat but receding spaces.What is this power that lies in the depths and recesses of an image—which is always only an (...) impenetrable surface? What secrets are concealed in the ground or in the figures of an image—which never does anything but show just exactly what it is and nothing else? How does the immanence of images open onto their unimaginable others, their imageless origin?In this collection of writings on images and visual art, Jean-Luc Nancy explores such questions through an extraordinary range of references. From Renaissance painting and landscape to photography and video, from the image of Roman death masks to the language of silent film, from Cleopatra to Kant and Heidegger, Nancy pursues a reflection on visuality that goes far beyond the many disciplines with which it intersects. He offers insights into the religious, cultural, political, art historical, and philosophical aspects of the visual relation, treating such vexed problems as the connection between image and violence, the sacred status of images, and, in a profound and important essay, the forbidden representation of the Shoah. In the background of all these investigations lies a preoccupation with finitude, the unsettling forces envisaged by the images that confront us, the limits that bind us to them, the death that stares back at us from their frozen traits and distant intimacies.In these vibrant and complex essays, a central figure in European philosophy continues to work through some of the most important questions of our time. Jean-Luc Nancy is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the Université Marc Bloch, Strasbourg. The most recent of his many books to be published in English are A Finite Thinking and Multiple Arts. Jeff Fort has translated works by authors such as Jean Genet, Maurice Blanchot, and Jacques Derrida. He is currently a lecturer in the Department of Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley. (shrink)