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What's These Worlds Coming To?

What's These Worlds Coming To?

Jean-Luc Nancy
Aurélien Barrau
Travis Holloway
Flor Méchain
Copyright Date: 2015
Published by: Fordham University Press
Pages: 144
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  • Book Info
    What's These Worlds Coming To?
    Book Description:

    Our contemporary challenge, according to Jean-Luc Nancy and Aurelien Barrau, is that a new world has stolen up on us. We no longer live in a world, but in worlds. We do not live in a universe anymore, but rather in a multiverse. We no longer create; we appropriate and montage. And we no longer build sovereign, hierarchical political institutions; we form local assemblies and networks of cross-national assemblages and we do this at the same time as we form multinational corporations that no longer pay taxes to the state. In such a time, one of the world's most eminent philosophers and an emerging astrophysicist return to the ancient art of cosmology. Nancy and Barrau's work is a study of life, plural worlds, and what the authors call the struction or rebuilding of these worlds. Nancy and Barrau invite us on an uncharted walk into barely known worlds when an everyday French idiom, "What's this world coming to?," is used to question our conventional thinking about the world. We soon find ourselves living among heaps of odd bits and pieces that are amassing without any unifying force or center, living not only in a time of ruin and fragmentation but in one of rebuilding. Astrophysicist Aurelien Barrau articulates a major shift in the paradigm of contemporary physics from a universe to a multiverse. Meanwhile, Jean-Luc Nancy's essay "Of Struction" is a contemporary comment on the project of deconstruction and French poststructuralist thought. Together Barrau and Nancy argue that contemporary thought has shifted from deconstruction to what they carefully call the struction of dis-order.

    eISBN: 978-0-8232-6337-0
    Subjects: Philosophy

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. FOREWORD: To Inhabit a World
    (pp. ix-xvi)
    David Pettigrew

    One is able to discern a certain trajectory in the work of Jean-Luc Nancy, from a thinking ofcommunityto a thinking ofworld, a trajectory that can be said to begin with his textThe Inoperative Community,¹ which first appeared in French in 1986, and which culminates in this new book,What’s These Worlds Coming To?[Dans quels mondes vivons-nous?].² Significantly, in the movement of his thought from community to world, Nancy has nonetheless remained concerned with the theme ofbeing-with, which he has drawn from Heidegger’s existential analysis ofMitsein.³ InThe Inoperative Community, Nancy cautions that that...

    (pp. xvii-xxiv)
    Travis Holloway and Flor Méchain
  5. Preamble
    (pp. 1-7)

    The world—this term so broad and imprecise, while also polysemous—is undergoing three transformations of far-reaching importance. It can no longer be represented today as a “cosmos” (the ordering of a well-composed set or ensemble). It is now devoid of any manageable and definite order (both on a “universal” scale and on every level of “nature” and “culture”). And finally, it has been diversified and pluralized like never before, both in the complexity of our interactions with the given (matter, life, space, and time) and in the upheavals that affect all forms of civilization (knowledge, power, and values)....

  6. 1. More than One
    (pp. 8-20)
    J.-L. Nancy

    One, two, and the resumption of this division and this addition. This resumption counts for one more, which makes three. The two divides the one and supplants and supplements it: the one has not taken place; it has only taken place by redoubling and repeating itself.

    The “abyss of representation” is the nonpresence that is performed again with each new offer of signification: a sign, as soon as it signifies, refers back to another sign, and their connection connects or refers to nothing (to nothing as a “thing,” a “presence,” a “given”). Sign and sign and nothing—such is the...

  7. 2. Less Than One, Then
    (pp. 21-41)
    A. Barrau

    The one as a pure singular, an ontic unicity, a primary principle, a decreed edict, an identity unto itself, or an incorruptible [imprescriptible] archē or timeless principle has therefore not taken place. It has never even begun to take place. It must be that the knell [glas] rings for the one’s fantasy (its phantasm, its phantom or ghost). Or rather: The echo of the mallot on the cast iron must be heard as merging with its own repetition, so as to place oneself in the stretch of time in-between the strikes that ring the bell. This stretch of time or...

  8. 3. Of Struction
    (pp. 42-58)
    J.-L. Nancy

    Technology¹ supplants and supplements nature. It comes to supplant or take the place of nature wherever nature does not provide certain ends (such as a house or a bed), and it comes to supplement nature when it adds itself onto nature’s ends and means. This twofold value is what Derrida inscribes into the “logic of the supplement,” and one could say that this logic itself has no other source or medium than precisely this relationship between technology and nature. The supplement and its twofold concept always fall under the category of technology, artifice, or art, three words that are nearly...

  9. 4. . . . And of Unistruction
    (pp. 59-88)
    A. Barrau

    What is revealed upon uncovering these architectural and then structural paradigms is first and foremost the great Western passion for order.² The worship of the assemblage, the adoration of the organized, the cult of classification. Of course, it is always possible to read and reread the tradition through any lens whatsoever and to pick up on a certain theme in it: the domination of logocentrism, the omnipotence of ontology, the forgetting of Being, the regime of the speculative, the primacy of representation, the supremacy of the ethical, and so on. It would also be just as pointless and presumptuous to...

  10. NOTES
    (pp. 89-104)
  11. Back Matter
    (pp. 105-106)