The Sense of Being(-)With Jean-Luc Nancy – Ignaas Devisch

The ‘passivity’ of language or thought is an act; it forms an active power that requires strength, work; effort and rigor. But because it does not pass over the limit, since there is nothing to pass into, and since everything happens, on the contrary, on the limit, on this edge without an outside, which is nothing but the miniscule opening of sense — because it only passes right at the limit, this power retains within itself all the passivity that consists in being passible to sense

Jean-Luc Nancy, The Gravity of Thought

I. Thinking sense is thinking community

In two of his recent books, La pensée
(2001) and La création du monde ou la mondialisation (2002), Jean-Luc Nancy continues writing about the major themes of his work up until now: community and sense, or Being as Being-with, or singular plural being. These themes come together in a witnessing of the world ‘as such’: that is to say, the world here and now in which we are living in common.
This makes Nancy a thinker of a global community, albeit in a very specific way, one concerned with the question of the worldwide, with the way in which we are world.

For Nancy, sense is there, like the world, ‘just like that’, as he puts it. This ‘just like that’ means that existence is ungrounded, that we are ‘just’ open to existence and to the world. The ‘just’ is of course the whole problem. At a time when every ‘us’ is under suspicion and we allegedly live in a ‘crisis of sense’, the evidence of ‘we’ and/or ‘sense’ is so to speak no ‘common sense’. For Nancy, this so-called crisis makes clear that we are, that existence is nothing but sense: ‘One must think against the times, or despite the times, since it is still the time of the crisis’ (Nancy, 1997a: 15). In other words, that there is sense and that we are there is the radical consequence of the unfolded space that the ‘global’ world is to us today.

Being in the world is the sense of our coexistence and this sense is the challenge of our Being-with today. Insofar as the world stands in a relation with a creator outside the world, it can have sense. As soon as this relation to a creator disappears, it has no sense any longer. It is sense. The question is thus how to be sensible for the sense that we are. Thinking this question necessarily determines philosophy as a praxis of sense. Thinking sense is thinking how to be passible for existence and thus for coexistence and Being-in-common. Thinking sense is … thinking community.

II. Thinking the sense…

‘Sense’ is not a new theme in Nancy’s oeuvre. On the contrary, already in 1993 he published Le sens du monde, The Sense of the World. And as we have learnt from the opening quote, thinking sense and thus thinking community means responding to the demands of our times, with or against the times. Nancy asks what it means today that we are living in a world, in a global community. Becoming-worldwide is in a radical way being exposed to sense, to the world as such. The sense of the world is no longer given by a creator. What remains as a horizon is that the world, and only the world, is there and this constitutes the sense of the world. Sense is not so much something that ‘we the secularised’, as successors to God, ascribe to the world. This would only confirm the idea that the world stands for a lack of sense, or for an ‘object’ to which sense is given from the outside by a ‘subject’.

Becoming-worldwide is in a radical way being exposed to sense, to the  world as such, Nancy says. The process of this becoming-worldwide is for Nancy a very long one. It has accompanied the West for centuries. Generally speaking, it has brought with it an expansion and a reduction of the world. An expansion, because the phenomenon of the world or worlds applies not only to planet Earth, but also to ever-continuing discoveries in space. A reduction, because the world has literally become mondaine.1It is only about this world, which is no longer grounded in something over-worldwide.

In this respect, Nancy seems to affirm the classic thesis of secularisation: in a society based on religion, the sense of the world is situated above the world, or has an over-worldwide status. In a secular society, sense would finally be immanent in the world. The truth is that Nancy questions nothing but this thought with his project of the deconstruction of Christianity. It is his thesis that Christian thinking, or onto-theology in a more general way — thinking of the world as derived from a first Cause, a Supreme God, etc. — itself lies at the basis of a thinking of the world and nothing but the world. Onto-theology, Nancy tries to show in La création du monde and more recently in La déclosion (2005), has dismantled or ‘autodeconstructed’ itself and has become more and more a thinking of the world.

A deconstruction of Christianity is different from the plea for a criticism of Christianity. The former raises the question as to whether atheism is the very antipode of religion or if religion performs a sort of auto-critical gesture towards itself. We love to say that we moderns are no longer Christians, but perhaps the Christian aspects of our existence are so evident that we are no longer conscious of them. Take for example the question of whether we can attribute any meaning to our existence. The idea/notion that our existence has a meaning and that this very meaning is attached to existence by some self-constitutive instance — whether it is a God or a subject — is present in both Christianity and atheism. Furthermore, the nihilistic claim that existence is meaningless begins from this very premise. Nancy therefore tries to think the sense of the world out of the Kantian transcendental conditions of our existence. An atheist world is one in which sense is no longer attached to the world, but is rather the condition of our Being-in-the-world as such. The world does not have sense, it is sense, and this naked existence means that we have to exist in the sense that we are and can no longer hide behind someone or some presupposed meaning of life.

We are exposed to the world and to ourselves, and this is the sense of existence, the (only) sense of our being-together, of our community. This ‘simple’ truth is, in its simplicity, one of the most stubborn questions today. If we speak of our being- together and its sense, of the sense of our world, the’sense of the world’ is ultimately a tautology. The world is structured as sense and sense is structured as world:

If we are toward the world, if there is a being-toward-the-world in general, that is, if there is world, there is sense. The there is makes sense by itself and as such. We no longer have to do with the question ‘why is there something in general”, but with the answer ‘there is something and that alone makes sense’. (Nancy, 1997b: 7)

‘World’ is Nancy’s concept for the sense of the (Heideggerian) there is (es gibt) which is always already being-with. If the world is and if existence is sense and no longer has a sense, then there is no senselessness in whose name existence can be declared void. Nihilism and idealism cancel themselves out:

But this means neither that we have to orient ourselves in a state of complete blindness, nor that it is a matter of indifference that we are disoriented, and that there is no difference between the best and the worst. On the contrary, it means that there is no sense given anywhere that could make us tolerate the intolerable, no more than there is non-sense in virtue of which we could disqualify or annul existence. In other words, this means that ‘nihilism’ dissolves every bit as much as any ‘idealism’ (or ‘metaphysics’ in this sense) because it, too, remains in the final analysis submitted to the regime of supposition. It dissolves at the touch of the absolute point of existence. (Nancy, 1997b: 79)

Thus the bankruptcy of the concept of the world based on the first Cause or an Idea does not throw us into an abyss or mean a complete lack of control over our lives. It is not because the world no longer allows itself to be represented in a unified interpretation that existence or community have become senseless and abysmal. The world can only be sense and conversely when it has no sense (to lose). Sense is there like the world, just like that.

This ‘just like that’ means that existence is ungrounded, that we are ‘just’  opened to existence and to the world. This ‘just’ encompasses the entire problem. That we are sense, that there is sense and that we are there in-common, is the radical consequence of the unfolded space that the world is to us.2Being-in-the-world, being singular plural, is the sense of our existence. As far as the world stands in a relation with a creator outside the world, it can have sense. As soon as this relation disappears, it is sense. Hence Nancy can write:

If the world is not the work of a God, this is not because there is no God, as if this were an annoying circumstance, a privative condition to which one had to accommodate oneself as best as one could. (As if, in the final analysis, the world were not complete, as if the causal or final part of the totality had been simply amputated. Often, atheism has not known  how to communicate anything other than this.) But there is no God   because there is the world, and because the world is neither a work nor  an operation, but the space of the ‘there is’, its configuration without a  face. There is no God because God does not belong to the ‘there is’: his name names precisely the category of that which would be subtracted from the ‘there is’. (Nancy, 1997b: 156).3

So, out of the deconstruction of Christianity, Nancy tends towards a renewed thinking of the world, of sense, and of community. An interesting starting point for this is his attitude towards Wittgenstein’s thesis that the sense of the world must be outside it:

As long as we do not take into account, without reserve, the worldly as such, we have not gotten rid of demiurges and creators. In other words, we are not yet atheists. Being an atheist is no longer a matter of denying a divine instance that has reabsorbed into itself (and this can perhaps no longer be called ‘atheism’). It means: opening the sense of the world. (Nancy, 1997b: 158)

Nothing else but the question of sense, Nancy keeps telling us, is the matter from which we must think about community and worldliness. The difficulty about thinking the world is that ‘world’ can never be before me. I am always already involved in the world I am thinking of. That is the way to get to a finite thinking of the world and of our being-in-common: the place from which I’m asking the question of the world is necessarily implicated in that very world.

Thus, following Heidegger’s footsteps, Nancy states that we are always thrown into sense, and that sense puts us into an opened Being, a Being-to. Sense is always Being-to and this constitutes existence, our Being-to-the-world as such. Every understanding of sense happens already from the opened horizon, which the world is for us, and to which we are always exposed [être exposé]. Hence, the world is more than a given immanent
facticity. The coming of this facticity is what Nancy calls the origin of sense or of the world. Sense is the fact that the world is, the espacement of taking place as such:

As soon as the appearance of a beyond of the world has dissipated, the  out-of-place instance of sense opens itself up within the world (to the extent that it would still make sense to talk of a ‘within’). Sense belongs to the structure of the world, hollows out therein what it would be necessary to name better than by calling it the ‘transcendence’ of its ‘immanence’ — its ‘transimmanence’, or more simply and strongly, its existence and its exposition. The out-of-place term of sense can thus be determined neither as a property brought from elsewhere into relation with the world, nor as supplementary (and problematic or hypothetical) predicate, nor as an evanescent character ‘floating somewhere’, but as the constitutive ‘signifyingness’ or ‘significance’ of the world itself. That is, as the constitutive sense of the fact that there is world. (Nancy, 1997b: 55; 1990: 223).4

As Nancy tends to deconstruct the sense of the world, he does the same with the notion of creation, the Christian idea of the origin of the world. That there is something means that the world comes into being, Nancy stresses. The ‘origin’ of the world takes place always and everywhere, time and time again, in every singular act of no matter which being, always momentous and local. World is thus always a multitude of worlds, an endless ‘passage’ of phenomena. World is always structured as Being-to, as a relation to the largest possible diversity of the world. This plural singular origin of the world is, according to Nancy, what constitutes our co-existence, one of the many concepts he uses to think community today in the most radical meaning of the word. Community today, or what is left of it, is the naked structure of our we are in a world that is no more than world. Like the transimmanent structure of sense, this origin of the world is not outside the world; rather, every coming into being of the world has
the structure of exposure, a transcendence inside the world.

III. … of the world…

We have to think ‘world’ as beings who are always already in the world. This is not a new idea, and yet, Nancy does not stop reminding us of this. Though it seems so evident to us, almost banal, this very banality is what counts today. There is no longer anything hidden behind the question of the world. We need to confront this nothing, this ex nihilo of the world. Nancy wants us to deal with this ontology, this logic of the ontos. He wants to deal with the evidence of the world and out of this, to develop a renewed thinking of community. Therefore he keeps on asking questions such as: what do we mean when we say that we are living in a world, or in one world? Or: what do we mean when we say that the sense of the world is no longer situated above, but within the world? Since Le sens du monde in 1993, these have been central questions in Nancy’s oeuvre.

Oftentimes, it is possible to find answers in Nancy’s work that result from his wondering about the world. The world as ours, the naked existence is also our radical responsibility, he says. By this he does not mean that we are always responsible for everything and everyone. He wants to make it clear that the political, juridical, or moral responsibility in concrete situations is based upon an ontological responsibility that precedes these very situations. From the moment that the measure of our responsibility is no longer given by a metaphysical or divine order, we are living in a world where we are exposed to a naked existence, without the possibility of falling back upon an originary fundament or telos of the world. For Nancy, the contingency of our naked existence is not primarily a moral problem; it is an ontological question. Whereas in an ancient or feudal society the meaning and destination of life were clear and fixed, existence in today’s world can no longer be referred to a general metaphysical framework. Nothing other than this contingency is the challenge for our world, our begin-in-common today.

Nancy’s thinking of sense is a praxis. He calls for a being passible for the world as sense. Thinking, he says, means being sensible or passible for sense, being capable of the shock of sense. To be passible is not just to be passive, but to act, to wonder, to be more precise. It is to wonder before that which presents itself, Nancy says in The Forgetting of Philosophy (1986: 67). It is not the case that wonder defines a philosophy. It only describes the philosophical attitude and act. Every act of thinking is a welcoming of what presents itself before us, according to Nancy. To wonder is a strange event in Nancy’s work. You wonder before something, he says. The event of wondering, of being passible, becomes even stranger if one, together with Nancy, wonders at the world itself. A world is never a unity of an objective or extrinsic order, he writes in La création du monde: ‘A world is never before me or it is another world than mine’ (2002: 34). To think world is to welcome the fact that there is only being, that there is something and only that: there is world, there is sense, we are. To wonder, to stand before what presents itself. What is real and true is that we wonder over what is presented and that we ourselves are presented. We are: being exposed, being abandoned, being interrupted, being singular plural.

In the name of Heidegger, Nancy wonders about our Being there, our Being-in-the-world. How could or should Heidegger wonder? There is wonder, Heidegger could have said, and I have to partake in what I am wondering about. I cannot represent something before me and then wonder about that. This is what a Cartesian philosophy would do: I wonder about what stands before me as an object and that is the reason I can wonder over it. Heidegger would wonder in another way. He would think the being of the wonder, in casu, the inter or the zwischen out of which subject and object rise up; the inter thanks to which we are.

Does Nancy wonder in this way? In other words: how is he passible? How does he make himself ready for the shock of sense? Can he wonder about the world? In Heidegger’s footsteps, he says that a world is never before us. We have to abandon thinking the world as a representation, the world as Bild, as Heidegger explains in Die Zeit des Weltbildes. The world as Bild is, according to the German philosopher, the result of a modern, Cartesian subject trying to represent the world as an object, as a representation of the consciousness. According to Heidegger, the Zeit des Weltbildes, this time itself forgets the fundamental question out of which ‘subject’ and ‘object’ can evolve, the question of being. It is not the subject who grounds all being. The subject is always already in the world, even before it can articulate the question of the world. That is why for Heidegger the question of being prevails.

Nancy is very near to this thinking). Being there, Being-in-the-world, means that the world is not an object I can represent, he says. World is only world for he who inhabits it. Or similarly: as soon as the world appears to me, I take part in it and experience its internal resonances, he utters recently in La création du monde (Nancy, 2002, 34-35). What takes place, takes place in a world and because of this world. A world is a place of possibilities of taking place.

Earlier in his work, Nancy calls for a being passible and a thinking of this — our — world. Thinking, as he describes it in The Forgetting of Philosophy (1986), is to wonder before that which presents itself. Does Nancy’s wondering of 1986 then really inhabit the world he speaks of in 2002? Nancy certainly walks at the limit. He must. We have to walk right at the limit, on the edge, being passible for the minuscule opening of sense.

IV. … is thinking community

So, what is the challenge for the question of community today, thought out of Nancy’s work? Once again, Nancy’s answer is a remarkable one that is difficult to grasp, just because of its apparent simplicity: The world is and we are, opened in a radical way to it. Being is being opened, Being-to. The to, that is what it is all about for Nancy. This to has nothing to do with tolerance, being morally receptive for diversity, etc. To be is being-to: being exposed, being abandoned, before any will, intention, or open-mindedness of a subject can arise. I am always already amidst the things that constitute my world, a part of them, so to be as Being-to is no being before. Is there wonder here?

Being-to is what Nancy calls Being-in-common, coexistence, compearance, being singular plural or Being-together. If world or sense is Being-to, then coexistence is sense. That the world is sense means that we are, inter or
in-common. Being-in-common is no third. There is no Me and You and a Third. Being-in-common stands for the fact that there is no inter. We are inter, the inter is our in-common but is not as such. There is only inter as coexistence, as Being-in-common and that is the sense of our coexistence.

So, sense and in-common, sense and community are strongly intertwined in Nancy’s thinking. Already in 1982, he elaborated (Heidegger’s) question of being or the question of sense as the question of community. In ‘Sharing voices’, the treatment of the hermeneutic circle and its disclosure makes clear that the sense of being is not a matter of a subjective invention of an enclosed individual, as Heidegger already said. We cannot posit the sense of the world, nor of our existence, because we are always already thrown into sense and that is the inter we are. There is no absolute sense, such as a posited common destiny, once arisen from a single original but lost source. Sense stays in the singular multiplicity of shared voices. We do not own sense. It is given to us, in a multiple and each time singular way. In other words, sense is not common to us but we are in-common and that is sense. We share the sense in which we exist, but we do not own it. Thus sense is not the pre-existing common substance of our existence or community. The multiple origin of sense  presupposes a plurality of expression, and of voices. It thrives in the plurality of its each time singular expression, of its always divided
interpretation. We exist in multiplying voices, and that is the sharing, the inter we are: sharing as plurality and Being-in-common. We — or sense — can only exist in a community, a sharing of a multiplicity of singular expressions.

Of course, the question of sense and our coexistence can only arise fully at the moment that the politics which claimed to be the incarnation or the production of a Being-with as a We has been withdrawn. Therefore, one also has to unwork [désoeuvrer] the (metaphysical) horizon of our thinking of community. The horizon is that of twentieth century totalitarianism, described as immanentism by Nancy, in which community is understood as a totality in which all voices or expressions are equated or like-minded. To deconstruct this horizon, to show that this totality is crossed beforehand by the plural structure and open character of sense, or in other words, by the yet multiplied way we are already in common, Nancy also resorts to a difference between hermeneutics (which ends in a static anticipation of sense) and the Greek verb hermeneuein (which creates the ‘annunciative’ structure of a sense itself; see Devisch, 2000a and 2000b).

Sense gives itself, it abandons itself. The hermeneuein makes it clear to us that every speaking (of truth, of sense, …) is a divided speaking, a sharing of voices. This fundamentally plural character also accounts for the way in which we come into being as in-common, by virtue of the ontological
condition of our Being-in-the-world: the structure in which we co-appear is always a plural or multiplied structure. Even a so-called self-enclosed subject is not alone: to be alone, one has to be alone in being-alone.

Although Nancy’s reasoning about sense or coexistence seems quite abstract, the consequences of it are most concrete. For Nancy, thinking sense and coexistence is a praxis, a resistance to any fusional being-together, and at the same time the unworking of the metaphysical horizon in which community has hitherto been thought. Community is not a question of owning or possessing a common substance. What is left over to us of community is only a naked with, a cum deprived of all substance and subjectivity and this is what ‘makes sense’. Before we can own or possess an immanent identity, we are already thrown into the world, into Being-in-common. Just as we cannot signify ourselves totally — full consciousness or complete presence is nothing but death — we can’t exist as an exhaustively realised common-being. A fusional and thus complete  being-together is nothing but the suicidal endpoint of an immanent search for an original community.

When we look now at the totalitarian aspiration for one single and  absolute sense or community, we will see that the way it posits this  absoluteness or this closure unworks its own claim. The posing itself of an absolute sense of identity, as the closing principle of a community, already shows the unworking of the enclosure. I refer here to Derrida’s way of describing how even a community that tries to protect itself from the outside, a community that tries to sustain its organic integrity, refers to a transcendent value that opens the enclosure or affects its integrity or immunity. The testimonial way in which a community is referred to an Identity or a Sense delivers this community to a Sense or Identity functioning as something that transcends and thus unworks the closed community itself.5

In every singular expression or interpretation, Nancy hears a multiplying of voices. The voice is always shared and is itself a sharing. There is a polyphony at the heart of each voice. Every voice is in itself opened, plural, exposing itself to the outside world. It addresses itself to another, an outside. To exist, to communicate, I need to address myself to another. Community or communication is a gift of the word without ever being assured of reception by the other, while, at the same time, only the other renders the request for speaking possible. This is comparable to Derrida’s description of communication in his text on religion (see Derrida and Vattimo, 1996: 84).6 What Derrida calls the testimonial or iduciary source of religion also forms the condition for communication: the belief that my word will be accepted by the other. We can only communicate if we believe that others can receive (and thus possibly neglect) our word. To exist is to be abandoned. We address ourselves ecstatically. In existence, in communication, each being refers to another, each voice trembles onto another voice. This is what sense means: to be exposed to each other, to be inter.

The challenge for a radical community of finitude and sense is to think through the bare in of our Being-in-common, this naked relationality of our being together as such. The in as ‘differantial’ — from Derrida’s notion of ‘la différance’ — spacing, as the act of sense, of community in which no single singularity exists without being plural. Being-in-common is the irreducible alteration, the movement of exposing, before any subject or community can be produced. The in makes of community a verb, not a substance as the work of a pre-existing communal essence. Due to this differential movement—which always differs but does not lead back to  an original difference that is–the in also functions as the ontological unworking of the idea of a fusional being-together. It is only because Being as Being-with withdraws itself in its giving – this is the movement of generosity, or liberty, as Nancy would say — it is because the in differs from itself, we are in the possibility to come into being. It is only due to the ‘original’ differantial structure of the in that we can exist. Only due to this movement of withdrawal, the movement of alétheia as Heidegger described the ontico-ontological difference, is there being. Thanks to the différance of the in, there is in-common, inter.

As is the case for inter, in as such does not exist. We cannot appropriate the in. It is sociation, the spatiality of our Being-in-the-world, of our Being-exposed-to. The in-common is not a mere modification of our being. It means that we cannot exist without being exposed to others, without  coexisting. We are as Being-in-common. So inter, Being-in-common does not mean that we have to develop an ideal structure as the framework in which we coexist. Inter is the material, finite structure of the logos or language itself, as a multiple sharing of voices, that makes our Being-in-common a finite being, being as a community of finitude. Our ontological condition is that of a co-appearance: we co-appear as an in or an in-between, an inter. This spaciosity [spaciosité] out of which we come into Being-in-the-world is nothing but the movement and the act of our community of finite sense.

So finally, thinking sense as being-in-common is a sort of sensibility. Nancy pleads for being sensible, being passible for the fact that the inter happens to us. It happens to us, that means also to Nancy, to Jean-Luc, to Jean and Luc, to Luc and Jean, always already plural in its singularity.


All translations from French are mine unless otherwise indicated.

1 In Le sens du monde and La création du monde, Nancy makes a distinction between mondanéité and mondialité (1993 : 240). ‘Mondanéité’ in French means being someone of the world and ‘mondialité’ means worldliness.

2 Compare with the quote from an earlier work of Nancy called Corpus: ‘Mais «Dieu est mort» veut dire: Dieu n’a plus de corps. Le monde n’est plus l’espacement de Dieu, ni l’espacement en Dieu: il devient le monde des corps’ (1992 : 53). As for ‘there is’ or ‘ il y a’ from the foregoing quote in the main text, this notion is particularly known from Emmanuel Levinas’s work. The il y a in Nancy’s work is, in opposition to Levinas, not a central concept. It is one of the multiples with which he wants to describe singular plural being, his description of our common being in the world. A separate inquiry would be needed to compare Nancy’s and Levinas’s notions of il y a, and their relations to Heidegger’s work, as well as Maurice Blanchot’s notion of le neutre.

3 Compare this with the beginning of La pensée dérobée:

Ce qui, aujourd’hui, déferle sur nous comme un autre monde qui n’est plus l’autre du monde, mais seulement, exactement le monde lui-même altéré dans son être-monde, ne s’y retrouvant plus et ne s’y reconnaissant plus ni cosmos ni «terre des hommes», c’est quelque chose qui n’est plus de l’ordre de la présence, et ce n’est pourtant pas non plus l’absence comme envers simple ou comme le négatif d’une présence. C’est ce monde-ci et rien d’autre, ce monde-ci sans là-bas ou au-delà, mais de telle façon que toute l’évidence et la prégnance d’un «ci», d’un ici-et-maintenant sont à gagner à nouveaux frais, selon une toute nouvelle disposition et un tout nouvel abord de la présence. (Nancy, 2001 : 16-17)

Also compare with Être singulier pluriel: ‘Il ne s’agit pas d’un Autre (inévitablement «grand Autre») que le monde, il s’agit de l’altérité, ou de l’altération, du monde’ (Nancy, 1996 : 29).

4 ‘ Floating somewhere’ is a quote from Heidegger’s Being and Time, section 32.

5 See Derrida’s ‘Foi et savoir. Les deux sources de la «religion›› aux limites de la simple raison’ :

Communauté comme com-mune auto-immunité: nulle communauté qui n’entretienne sa propre auto-immunité, un principe d’autodestruction sacrificiel ruinant le principe de protection de soi (du maintien de l’intégrité intacte de soi), et cela en vue de quelque sur-vie invisible et spectrale. Cette attestation autocontestatrice tient la communauté auto-immune en vie, c’est-à-dire ouverte à autre chose et plus qu’elle-même: l’autre, l’avenir, la mort, la liberté, la venue ou l’amour de l’autre, l’espace et le temps d’une messianité spectralisante au-delà de tout messianisme. (Derrida and Vattimo, 1996 : 69).

This is analogous to what Nancy calls transimmanence: something in immanence itself transcends immanence, not as an opposition to immanence, but as an unworking, a disclosure of immanence.

6 In that text, Derrida describes the social bond in a way very similar to Nancy’s.


Derrida J. & Vattimo G. (1996) La Religion. Paris: Seuil.

Derrida, J. (2000) Le Toucher, Jean-Luc Nancy. Paris: Galilée.

Devisch, I. (2000a) ‘A Trembling Voice in the Desert. Jean-Luc Nancy’s Re-Thinking of the Space of the Political’. Cultural Values, 4(2): 239-55

Devisch, I. (2000b) ‘La «négativité sans emploi».’ Symposium, IV(2): 167-87.

Heidegger, M. (1962) Being and Time. Trans. J. Macquarrie and E. Robinson. New York: Harper and Row.

Heidegger, M. (1977) ‘Die Zeit des Weltbildes’ in M. Heidegger, Holzwege, Gesamtausgabe 5. Frankfurt: Klostermann.

Nancy, J.-L. (1990) ‘Sharing Voices’, in Transforming the Hermeneutic Context: From Nietzsche to Nancy (eds), G. L. Ormiston and A. D. Schrift. New York: State University of New York Press, 211-59

Nancy, J.-L. (1991) The Inoperative Community. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Nancy, J.-L. (1993) Le Sens du Monde. Paris: Galilée.

Nancy, J.-L.(1995) ‘L’Insuffisance des “Valeurs” et la Nécessité du “Sens”‘, Interfaces: 54-58.

Nancy, J.-L. (1996) Être Singulier Pluriel. Paris: Galilée.

Nancy, J.-L. (1997a) The Gravity of Thought. Trans. F. Raffoul and G. Recco. New Jersey: Humanities Press.

Nancy, J.-L. (1997b) The Sense of the World. Trans. J. S. Librett. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Nancy, J.-L. (1998) ‘La déconstruction du christianisme’, Les Études Philosophiques 4: 503-19.

Nancy, J.-L. (1999) ‘Responding for Existence’, Studies in Practical Philosophy 1: 1-11.

Nancy, J.-L. (2001) La Pensée Dérobée. Paris: Galilée.

Nancy, J.-L.(2002) La Création du Monde ou la Mondialisation. Paris: Galilée.

Nancy, J.-L. (2005) La déclosion. Paris: Galilée.

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