The Broken Middle

Kate Schick

in Gillian Rose

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780748639847
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780748676675 | DOI:
The Broken Middle

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This chapter brings Rose's philosophical position into closer contact with the concrete concerns of social and political thought through an exegesis of The Broken Middle. Rose's notion of the broken middle operates both at the level of theory and practice and it is this brokenness (between universal and particular, law and ethics, actuality and potentiality) that speculative philosophy is centrally concerned with negotiating. Rose's critique of liberal and postmodern thought is that they privilege one half of these binary oppositions, rather than doing the work of negotiating their diremption. So what might this negotiation look like? In her later work, particularly Mourning Becomes the Law, Rose argues for an aporetic and struggle-filled response: one that works toward comprehension of dirempted thought and actuality, but not in order to effect premature closure or to ‘fix’ what is broken. Instead, Rose advocates a work of inaugurated mourning that sits with the anxiety of the middle in order to examine the contours of suffering and loss but that also insists on the need to take the risk of political action in pursuit of a ‘good enough justice’.

Keywords: Speculative philosophy; Broken middle; Mourning; Political risk; Good enough justice; Binary oppositions

Chapter.  6742 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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