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Reticulations: Jean-Luc Nancy and the Networks of the Political

Philip Armstrong
Volume: 27
Copyright Date: 2009
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 328
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  • Book Info
    Book Description:

    Philip Armstrong proposes a rethinking of political public space that specifically separates networks from the current popular discussion of globalization and information technology. Analyzing a wide range of Jean-Luc Nancy’s works, Reticulations shows how his project of articulating the political in terms of singularities, pluralities, and multiplicities can deepen our understanding of networks and how they influence community and politics.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-6811-3
    Subjects: Philosophy

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. xi-xxiv)

    Readers and translators of Aristotle’sPoliticsencounter an extreme paradox, even aporia, in the opening sections of the text. Given the ways in which this preliminary reading of thePoliticsinforms the central argument ofReticulationsand the pages that follow, drawing us toward the question of theessenceof the political that remains the center of the book’s own displacement, some initial measure in which this paradox or aporia comes into relief is first necessary.

    In the opening lines of thePolitics(1252a), Aristotle starts from the “general observation” that everypolis(city, city-state, “historical site”) is akoinonia,...

  5. 1 The Deposition of the Political
    (pp. 1-66)

    In their opening proposal for a series of lectures and discussions to be held in Paris at the Center for Philosophical Research on the Political, Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe and Jean-Luc Nancy outline the “regulative statement” organizing the Center’s work for the 1981–82 year: “Taken as a philosophical question, and from the point of view of what we have provisionally calledthe essence of the political, the question of the political discloses [fait apparaître] the necessity of interrogating what makes the socialrelationpossible as such; and that is also to say on what does not constitute it as a single...

  6. 2 From Paradox to Partage On Citizenship and Teletechnologies
    (pp. 67-116)

    Devoted to the concept of citizenship as its annual theme, the opening protocol to a recent Humanities and Social Science Congress offers a representative overview of the challenges confronting citizenship at the beginning of the twenty-first century, notably as the concept is affected by the various transformations and tendencies defining contemporary globalization. Opening with the claim that citizenship is itself a “paradoxical concept,” the protocol then outlines the terms in which citizenship can be thought today:

    Underlying [citizenship’s] apparent meaning of belonging are the conflicting notions we attach to it—rights versus duties, freedom versus responsibility, local allegiance versus global...

  7. 3 The Disposition of Being
    (pp. 117-160)

    In a passage fromBeing Singular Plural, Nancy detaches the concept of networks both from its various technological determinations as well as from the histories and theories of communication in which networks today find much of their contemporary relevance:

    If “communication” is for us, today, such an affair—in every sense of the word…—if its theories are flourishing, if its technologies are being proliferated, if the “mediatization” of the “media” brings along with it an auto-communicational vertigo, if one plays around with the theme of the indistinctness between the “message” and the “medium” out of either a disenchanted or...

  8. 4 Being Communist
    (pp. 161-184)

    The closing lines of Hardt and Negri’sEmpireare marked by a transition from the “joy of being” to the “joy of being communist.”¹ The authors do not comment on this shift in emphasis, simply allowing the passage, exchange, or modulation from “being” to “being communist” frame their refusal of the “misery of power” and their affirmation of “biopower and communism, cooperation and revolution” (E, 413). The reference to “joy” shared by both “being” and “being communist” is clearly recognizable as part of a politico-philosophical lineage that passes through Spinoza and Nietzsche to Deleuze and Guattari, and so gives us...

  9. 5 Seattle and the Space of Exposure
    (pp. 185-244)

    In a short essay commissioned forRetreating the Political—the volume of translations of Lacoue-Labarthe and Nancy’s writings on the relation between the political and philosophical that was the focus of the first chapter—Nancy rethinks the presuppositions informing one of the most potent political questions, the question taken up and reposed by Lenin: “What is to be done?” And Nancy assumes this question from the outset by asking a supplementary question that already displaces thetensein which the “to be done” is posed—“how to make a world for which all is not already done (played out, finished,...

  10. Notes
    (pp. 245-298)
  11. Index
    (pp. 299-308)
  12. Back Matter
    (pp. 309-312)