Chapter

Retracing the Political Difference: Jean-Luc Nancy

Oliver Marchart

in Post-Foundational Political Thought

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print July 2007 | ISBN: 9780748624973
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748672066 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748624973.003.0004
Retracing the Political Difference: Jean-Luc Nancy

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Every inquiry into social post-foundationalism and the conceptual difference between politics and the political will have to take into account the work presented and elaborated at the Centre for Philosophical Research on the Political between 1980 and 1984. The Centre, founded by Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe and Jean-Luc Nancy, turned out to be the location for the most intense and influential reelaboration so far of the notion of the political, or of the difference between politics and the political. The way Claude Lefort and Alain Badiou, for instance, frame their own versions of the political difference (oftentimes in contradistinction to Nancy and Lacoue-Labarthe's version) is certainly influenced by the debates at the Centre. Using a ‘comparative’ approach it will be possible to acquire a broader understanding of the way in which the political difference unfolds within a diverse and yet related set of theoretical approaches from ‘post-structuralism’ or ‘left Heideggerianism’. This chapter explores Nancy's thought of community and the political difference, his notion of event, the danger of philosophism and the necessity of a ‘first philosophy’.

Keywords: post-foundationalism; political difference; Jean-Luc Nancy; Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe; politics; political; post-structuralism; left Heideggerianism; community; first philosophy

Chapter.  9742 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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