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Jean-Luc Nancy’s Insurrectionary Insistence: to Start from Nothing

23 August 2021

Jean-Luc Nancy’s Insurrectionary Insistence: to Start from Nothing

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Remembering Jean-Luc Nancy

"There is indeed a question of meaning: but it is before us, to come and to be thought" (1)

Once again, Jean-Luc Nancy holds this single ridge line: he seeks what seeks him, waits for what waits for him (the unexpected first) while knowing perfectly well what he wants: an excessive truth of meaning, a meaning to be born, a meaning supposed to exceed meaning and to be in agreement, not without reason, with this excess.

The risk is there in this passion of the exhaustion of the sense, of the exhaustion where it is the sense which finally prevails. Hence this need to mix prudence and imprudence, relevance and many forms of impertinence, philosophical discipline and its indiscipline, but always situating itself on the side of the human; hence this way of recreating from within the essential questions, weighing on the limits, touching the absolute (given without being, he thinks, finding there – who knows? – a remnant of Christianity...).

However, we must be careful not to forget the man behind the thinker's commitment. Jean-Luc Nancy holds on to his own history. When he expresses the fierce will to 'transform the world' – to put it back into the world – one feels the impetus of the first days, all the energy drawn from the shadow of another faith...

One will retain first of all a relentless lesson of life in his intact desire to start from nothing, in this art of choosing to be only to be better, better than being. One will then admire this insurrectionary insistence on living the adventure, to live simply with his other heart, not without philosophy. By approaching the abyss...



1. Jean-Luc Nancy, "L'oubli de la philosophie", Paris, 1986.

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