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selfhood, embodiment, materiality
1. Symposium: Volume > 23 > Issue: 2
Christine Daigle Introduction: Selfhood, Embodiment, Materiality
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2. Symposium: Volume > 23 > Issue: 2
Christopher Cohoon Extravagant Generosity: Plotinus, Nietzsche, Levinas
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This paper proposes a heterodox reading of Levinas’s Otherwise Than Being by means of a hitherto unacknowledged lineage run-ning from Plotinus through Nietzsche to Levinas. Its claim is two-fold. (1) Throughout Nietzsche’s Zarathustra, and especially in its important speech on the “gift-giving virtue,” Nietzsche corporealiz-es and ethicizes Plotinian emanationist metaphysics, borrowing from it the notion of an auto-generosity that is extravagant and non-substantial. (2) Levinas’s late conception of embodied ethical giving in Otherwise Than Being borrows from this borrowing, al-beit in a way that draws more deeply on the logic of emanationism than Zarathustra does. Interpreting Levinas through Plotinus and Nietzsche in this way provides access to a version of his late ac-count of embodied ethical giving that is much stranger than the ul-tra-humanist version typically foregrounded both in the literature and in his self-presentation.
3. Symposium: Volume > 23 > Issue: 2
Morganna Lambeth Heidegger, Technology, and the Body
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While the human body is not a point of focus in Heidegger’s later philosophy of technology, I argue that considering our contempo-rary relationship to our own bodies provides crucial support to Heidegger’s account. Heidegger suggests that, in our contemporary age of technology, humans are taken to be “human resources”: like natural resources and technological devices, humans should be available for efficient and flexible incorporation into any number of projects. I argue that the contemporary attitude toward the human body provides evidence confirming this suggestion. Moreover, I identify the body as a unique site of resistance to the age of tech-nology, an anomaly to the technological paradigm, as the body con-stantly resists our attempts to transform it into a resource.
4. Symposium: Volume > 23 > Issue: 2
Corinne Lajoie A Critical Phenomenology of Sickness
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This paper takes Porochista Khakpour’s personal narrative of chronic illness, disability, and addiction in Sick: A Memoir (2018) as a starting point to reflect on social and material features of sick bodily subjectivity. In ways heretofore largely unexplored by tradi-tional phenomenologies of illness, I ask what different modalities of the body come to light if we move beyond the privatization of dis-ease as a biological dysfunction and instead bring into focus its re-lation with conditions of existence that make and keep some of us sick.
5. Symposium: Volume > 23 > Issue: 2
Ada S. Jaarsma, Suze G. Berkhout Nocebos and the Psychic Life of Biopower
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“Nocebo,” a term coined in the mid-twentieth century, refers to the onset of negative side effects in individuals who anticipate harm from biomedical treatment. Sylvia Wynter invokes nocebo effects as racializing phenomena that demonstrate the injurious impact of colonial practices. By soliciting insights from Nocebo Studies, as well as Wynter and Achille Mbembe, this article explores decolonial philosophies of selfhood, especially in terms of the meaning-making expressivity of selves. This conversation between Nocebo Studies and Wynter proffers ways to engage with nocebo effects as mani-festations of the structures of colonial violence, while undercutting biomedical accounts of nocebos that presuppose an overly generic human body.
6. Symposium: Volume > 23 > Issue: 2
Émilie Dionne The Pluri-Person: A Feminist New Materialist Figure for a Precarious World
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Precarious times have material consequences. Yet, feminist new materialist approaches demonstrate that the concepts of the “ma-terial” and of “matter” are radically different than what is com-monly held in the Western tradition. This article argues that femi-nist new materialism provides practical, essential, and ethical tools for political action in dynamic and entangled worlds. In such worlds (e.g., the Anthropocene), it is critically needed to establish an ethics of responsiveness, a culture of ethical living and dying with others. Yet, this ethic must respond to and acknowledge our relational, entangled, dynamic, and agentic ontology. In response to this, this article proposes the “pluri-person,” a political figure that mobilizes contributions of feminist new materialism to produce an ethical, ontology-making, everyday practice/response to “Precari-ous Times.”
7. Symposium: Volume > 23 > Issue: 2
Emile Fromet De Rosnay Agamben’s Posthuman Mediality: Ethics, History, and Language
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Posthumanism’s abandonment of language and embrace of natural sciences can impede thinking about “selfhood, embodiment, mate-riality.” The role of language in a posthuman context involves a tri-ple consideration: ethics, history, and enunciation. The ethical di-mension works through the biopolitical risk of determinism. Any ethical “situatedness” must account for history. Finally, working through Agamben’s thought via Benvenistian linguistics (which in-fluence Agamben), I examine the interplay of ethics and history with respect to enunciation as an alternative to the legacy of de-construction. The claim here is that the gaps between embodiment and materiality, and the singularities of experience and ethics, in-volve history and language as “pure means.”
regular articles/articles variés
8. Symposium: Volume > 23 > Issue: 2
Mauro Senatore “Who is Nietzsche?”: Derrida, Heidegger, and the Autobiographical Question
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This article focuses on the constellation of texts in which Derrida engages with the autobiographical question raised by Heidegger in his lectures on Nietzsche. It argues that Derrida takes this question (“Who is Nietzsche?”) as the point of departure not only of two di-verging approaches to the problem of the signature of the philoso-pher, but also of the two texts that he devotes to the exploration of these approaches. In these texts, distancing himself from Heidegger, Derrida interprets Nietzsche’s treatment of his proper name as a new logic of the living and a new thought of self-reference.
9. Symposium: Volume > 23 > Issue: 2
Dylan Shaul Recognition and Hospitality: Hegel and Derrida
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This article imagines an alternative outcome to Hegel’s life-and-death struggle for recognition, one commensurate with Derrida’s critique of Hegel’s allegedly reserved negativity. Rather than pro-ducing lord and bondsman, the struggle is shown to be capable of producing a host and a guest, operating under the relation of hos-pitality. Pitt-Rivers’s reinterpretation of Boas’s classic ethnographic account of Inuit hospitality provides a model for the emergence of the alternative outcome. Derrida’s equation of deconstruction with hospitality illustrates its fundamental differences from Hegelian dialectics, expanding the significance of the struggle and its out-comes to the meaning of Hegel’s philosophy as a whole.
10. Symposium: Volume > 23 > Issue: 2
Yue Jennifer Wang The Division of Labour and Its Alien Effects
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For Marx, capitalism’s division of labour between mental and mate-rial labour is the condition of possibility for the creation of its alien, out of control, and contradictory effects. This paper will analyze the proletarian class, the capitalist class, and the world market qua ef-fects of the division of labour. The division of labour conceptualized fundamentally as a dynamic division between activity and passivity informs the analysis of these contradictory effects. This conceptual-ization of the division of labour provides the framework for under-standing the striving toward activity and self-determination, de-scribed by Marx, of that which falls on the side of material labour.
11. Symposium: Volume > 23 > Issue: 2
Jean-François Houle Estime de soi et reconnaissance chez Paul Ricoeur: La « petite éthique » comme éthique de la reconnaissance
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Les études sept à neuf de Soi-même comme un autre, dans les-quelles Paul Ricoeur développe sa « petite éthique » souvent quali-fiée d’éthique de la sollicitude, s’achèvent sur une suggestion d’après laquelle la « catégorie de la reconnaissance » exprime adé-quatement la « dialectique du même et de l’autre » au coeur de cette éthique. Jean Greisch y a vu « la cellule germinale du Parcours de la reconnaissance » et a qualifié ce bloc d’études de « premier “travail de reconnaissance” ». Radicalisant ces remarques, nous soutenons que la petite éthique peut être qualifiée d’éthique de la reconnais-sance. Nous fournissons à cette thèse une première assise en clari-fiant le rapport qu’entretient la notion d’estime de soi – fondamen-tale dans la petite éthique, où elle est définie comme la capacité d’une personne à évaluer la cohérence de ses actions avec sa con-ception de la vie bonne, – avec celle de reconnaissance (de soi).
selfhood, embodiment, materiality
12. Symposium: Volume > 23 > Issue: 2
List of Book Reviews/Liste des comptes rendus
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13. Symposium: Volume > 23 > Issue: 1
Jean Matthys, Delia Popa Avant-propos: L’obscur capital de nos subjectivations. Subjectivité et pouvoir à l’âge du capitalisme tardif
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14. Symposium: Volume > 23 > Issue: 1
Saulius Jurga How Can a Subject Be Reified?: The Role of “Thinglikeness” in Georg Lukács’s Account of Subjectivity in Capitalism
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This paper examines Georg Lukács’s conception of rei􀏔ied subjectivity under capitalism. I claim that Lukács’s transition from his ethical pre-Marxist notion of the reified subject, to his early-Marxist understanding of capitalist reification of the subject contains the elements of a potential Lukácsian anti-critique of any epistemic or normative reinterpretation of his theory of reification. In particular, the shift in Lukács’s conceptualization of the thinglikeness of objects implied in his dialectical social theory points to a historically precise interpretation of the subject’s reification. The paper also suggests that Lukács’s project of dereification is rooted in the affective experience of reified subjects.Cet article examine la conception lukacsienne de la subjectivité réifiée en régime capitaliste. Mon propos est de montrer que le passage de la notion éthique pré-marxiste du sujet réifié à une compréhension marxiste précoce de la réification capitaliste du sujet chez Lukács contient des éléments d’une critique lukacsienne potentielle de toute réinterprétation normative de sa théorie de la réification. Le tournant dans la conceptualisation lukacsienne de l’apparente « choiséité » (Dinghaftigkeit) des objets, implicite dans la dialectique de sa théorie sociale, fait signe vers une interprétation historiquement précise de la réification du sujet. L’article suggère également que le projet lukacsien de la dé-réification est enraciné dans l’expérience affective des sujets réifiés.
15. Symposium: Volume > 23 > Issue: 1
Thomas Telios Resisting the Creativity Narrative: Cornelius Castoriadis on the Fundaments of Capitalist Subjectivity
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After its proliferation as a primarily psychological term in the literature of the late 1960s, creativity has since advanced to a core notion also for sociology. The first part of the paper tackles “the creativity narrative” according to three paradigmatic readings brought forward by Luc Boltanski and Ève Chiapello, Maurizio Lazzarato, and most recently Andreas Reckwitz. Despite the insightful accounts that those readings provide concerning the entanglement of creativity to capitalist ways of production, the practical consequences they offer regarding how to contest this entanglement are debatable. Therefore, in the second part of the article a fourth understanding of creativity is invoked that was proposed by Cornelius Castoriadis. As argued, the radicality of this concept lies in defining creativity as a mode of production of the subject’s psyche as a collective co-existence from which broader, necessarily collective practices can be derived.Après sa prolifération en tant que notion psychologique dans la littérature des années 1960, la créativité est aussi devenue une notion fondamentale pour la sociologie. La première partie de l’article aborde le « récit de la créativité » à partir des trois lectures paradigmatiques proposées par Luc Boltanski et Ève Chiapello, Maurizio Lazzarato et, plus récemment, par Andreas Reckwitz. Malgré le fait qu’elles éclairent de manière signi􀏔icative l’enchevêtrement de la créativité aux modes capitalistes de production, les conséquences pratiques que ces lectures tirent sur les contestations possibles de cet enchevêtrement sont sujettes au débat. C’est pourquoi, dans la deuxième partie de ce texte, une quatrième compréhension de la créativité est proposée à partir de Cornelius Castoriadis. La radicalité de ce concept repose sur sa dé􀏔inition en tant que mode de production du psychisme du sujet compris en tant que co-existence collective, à partir de laquelle des pratiques plus larges et nécessairement collectives peuvent découler.
16. Symposium: Volume > 23 > Issue: 1
Marion Bernard La subjectivation dominée/dominante: Essai de traduction des phénoménologies de Simone de Beauvoir et Frantz Fanon
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La pleine reconnaissance de l’existence du problème de la subjectivation sexuée ou colonisée conduit nécessairement à rendre relatif celui de la subjectivation dite « neutre ». Pourtant, le propre de la conscience dominante est de masquer son propre caractère de domination. Comment forcer la subjectivité dominante à se dévoiler? Nous proposons d’associer la description phénoménologique à une méthode de traduction depuis les expériences des dominé-e-s vers la reconstruction des expériences des dominant-e-s en tant que tel-les. Pour cela, nous partirons, dans une perspective intersectionnelle, des travaux phénoménologiques de Simone de Beauvoir et de Frantz Fanon.The full recognition of the problem of sexual or colonized subjectivation necessarily leads to question the neutrality of “normal subjectivity.” Yet the dominant consciousness tends to mask its own character of domination. How to force dominant subjectivity to reveal itself? We propose to associate the phenomenological description with a method of translation from the experiences of the dominated-ones to the reconstruction of the experiences of the dominants as such. For that, we will rely, in an intersectional perspective, on the phenomenological work of Simone de Beauvoir and Frantz Fanon.
17. Symposium: Volume > 23 > Issue: 1
Nicolas Marion, Gábor Tverdota Hobo Sacer ou l’hypothèse de l’oppression nécropolitique des sans-abris
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Cet article introduit l’hypothèse de l’oppression nécropolitique des sans-abris. Nous partons d’une analyse métaphorologique de propos tenus par les sans-abris sur leurs conditions d’existence, souvent décrites comme impliquant l’expérience vécue paradoxale d’une indifférenciation tendancielle entre la vie et la mort. Nous essayons de conceptualiser le contenu de ces descriptions en faisant appel au concept de nécropolitique développé par Norman Ajari dans le contexte des études critiques de la race. La nécropolitique sera comprise ici comme un idéal-type de gouvernance de la vie ne se réduisant ni à la biopolitique (soin de la vie de certaines populations), ni à la thanatopolitique (l’extermination de populations jugées indésirables), mais visant plutôt à brouiller les frontières qui séparent la mort de la vie. La nécropolitique est ce qui rend la vie quotidienne des sans-abris proprement invivable, aboutissant à cette vie vécue sous forme-de-mort dont font état les témoignages de certaines personnes sans-abri.This article introduces the hypothesis of the necropolitical oppression of the homeless. We begin with a metaphorological analysis of the discourses held by certain homeless persons regarding their conditions of existence, often described as involving the paradoxical experience of a tendential undifferentiation of life and death. We then build on the concept of necropolitics elaborated by Norman Ajari in the context of critical race theory. Necropolitics will be understood here as an ideal-type of the governance of life reducible neither to biopolitics (caring for the life of certain populations) nor to thanatopolitics (extermination of undesirable populations). Instead, the rationality of necropolitics as a form of oppression consists in constantly blurring the frontiers of life and death. In the case of the homeless, necropolitics is rendering their everyday life literally unlivable, an experience reflected in the analyzed testimonies of homeless persons.
18. Symposium: Volume > 23 > Issue: 1
Dave Mesing From Structuralism to Points of Rupture: George Jackson and the Tactics of the Subject
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This paper considers the ontological and political implications of the concept of the subject within structuralism. I turn first to Balibar in order to articulate structuralism as a tendency or movement rather than fixed set of positions, using some indications he has provided in order to demonstrate how thoroughly embedded the subject is as a problem within this tendency. I argue that Laclau and Mouffe’s work on hegemony deepens the political stakes of this problem while also introducing the grammar of strategy in an ambivalent and underdefined manner. Considering some possible options for understanding strategy within a structuralist framework, I contend that a stronger theoretical account of strategy is necessary. In order to provide some outlines for such a project, I conclude the analysis by emphasizing the contribution that George Jackson’s writings can provide to this framework, suggesting that the role of the subject should be assigned to tactics.Cet article analyse les implications ontologiques et politiques du concept structuraliste de sujet. En me tournant dans un premier temps vers les indications de Balibar concernant l’intrication profonde du problème du sujet au sein du structuralisme, je montre que ce dernier devrait être compris comme une tendance ou un mouvement plutôt que comme une position philosophique définitive. Je montre ensuite que le travail de Laclau et Mouffe sur l’hégémonie permet d’approfondir les enjeux politiques de ce problème, tout en introduisant de manière ambivalente et prédéfinie la grammaire de la stratégie. En considérant quelques options possibles pour comprendre la stratégie dans une perspective structuraliste, je soutiens la nécessité de l’approcher théoriquement de manière plus puissante. En guise d’esquisse d’un tel projet, je conclus mon analyse avec la contribution qu’y apportent les écrits de George Jackson, en suggérant que le rôle du sujet devrait revenir à la tactique.
19. Symposium: Volume > 23 > Issue: 1
Fabio Bruschi Racist Subjectivation, Capitalism, and Colonialism: Decolonizing Thought Beyond Education
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This article highlights the impasses of anti-racist struggles that understand racism as an opinion or a prejudice and use education as their only means for addressing it. Racism should rather be understood as a socio-historical subjective structure rooted in the process of constitution of the division of labour on a global scale through colonialism, a process that was crucial to the institution of capitalism. This is why we will put forth the importance of rejecting the narrations that camouflage colonization with the idea of civilization, and the necessity to produce decolonial counter-histories. We will thus claim that such an endeavor should start from the struggles of racialized peoples against the different forms of coloniality—that is, from the refusal by racialized peoples of the representations that are imposed on them, and from their repositioning on the basis of their alterity. Only the position of a powerful alterity can in fact make possible a real equality.Cet article met en évidence les impasses des luttes antiracistes qui conçoivent le racisme comme une opinion ou un préjugé et utilisent l’éducation comme le seul moyen d’y remédier. Le racisme devrait plutôt être compris comme une structure socio-historique subjective qui s’enracine dans le procès de constitution de la division mondiale du travail par le colonialisme, un procès qui a été décisif pour l’institution du capitalisme. C’est pourquoi nous mettrons en avant le caractère problématique des récits qui recouvrent la colonisation de l’idée de civilisation et la nécessité de produire des contre-histoires décoloniales. Il s’agira alors de montrer que, pour ce faire, il faut partir des luttes des racisés contre les différentes formes de colonialité—c’est-à-dire du refus par les racisés des représentations qui leur sont adressées et de leur repositionnement à partir de leur altérité. Seule la position d’une altérité puissante peut, en effet, rendre possible une égalité réelle.
20. Symposium: Volume > 23 > Issue: 1
Andrea Cavazzini, Jean Matthys Sujet, narcissisme et infini: Notes sur les subjectivations capitalistes
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Cet article discute, à travers le parcours critique d’un récent ouvrage d’Anselm Jappe, la thèse d’une illimitation « narcissique » constitutive de la forme subjective propre aux rapports de production capitalistes contemporains. Montrant que cette perspective est fondée sur une conception monolithique et unilatérale de l’histoire du capital et de ses sujets, ainsi que sur une réduction illégitime de toute forme d’in􀏔inité au « mauvais in􀏔ini » de l’illimitation, nous soutenons la nécessité de penser un infini positif irréductible tant à l’illimitation abstraite de la valorisation qu’aux dispositifs capitalistes qui limitent les puissances d’autodétermination et d’autoactivation des individus.This article critically discusses the thesis, recently developed by Anselm Jappe, of a “narcissistic” illimitation constitutive of the subjective form typical of contemporary capitalist relations of production. By showing that this perspective is grounded on a monolithic and one-sided conception of the history of capital and its subjects, as well as on an illegitimate reduction of every form of infinity to the “bad infinity” of illimitation, we defend the necessity to conceive a positive form of infinity, irreducible to both the abstract illimitation of valorization and the capitalist apparatuses that limit the individual power of self-determination and self-activity.