Jean-Luc Nancy's Notion of Singularity/ A nocao de singularidade em Jean-Luc Nancy.
The central concern of this article is Nancy's characterization of singularity, but before entering this topic we should ask: why pose the question of singularity? It may seem that singularity is superfluous. It involves commenting on the singular case of existence once a larger notion such as world could provide a better ontological standing point. Yet, this is a misleading conclusion. Nancy's logic of existence is not established without a proper examination of the singular-plural mode of existence. Considering that Nancy's philosophy is centered on the groundless occurrence/event, there is no common ground to all existing things so the configuration of each singular/specific case and its relation to the general truth is crucial to his enterprise.
In my view, the best place to enter Nancy's analysis of existence is the question of being-with. It establishes the central fact concerning existence: there is no existence in isolation. The analysis of singularity is invariably the analysis of the way things exist together rather than the analysis of the individual unrelated object.
Nancy explains that being-with is the invariable condition of existing because being is being-sense. "Sensing" (as acting in direction) is at the same time "sensing" (touching) other "senses" (beings), so presence is never individual but only "singular-plural". Things can only be-with (2), because every-single-thing exists and they all exist together. The "with" is an inherent part of being because the world is the togetherness of all things, therefore there is no neutral place where being happens ("Of Being-in-Common" 1-2). There is no "background field" where all things are and "with" points to the interaction between them. The existing thing does not exist purely, in a neutral and unaffected "place"; rather, beings exist as the world (the finite configuration of every-single-thing together (3) and not the place where things happen).
Nancy uses the concept of comparution [compearance (4)] to describe this aspect of being. The concept refers to the fact that all things, every single one of them, co-appears (compearing, in some translations). Put differently, they take place together. But not because they appear together under one essential motion; there is no force that assembles them into simultaneously existing. Instead, Nancy affirms that the mode of existing (performing the act of being) is to be-with. Or returning to the language of sense: the sensing of sense (acting of being) is invariably sensing (touching) sense (being[s]). He even uses the term "co-essence" and "co-ipseite" to describe this condition:
What is shared is nothing like a unique substance in which each being would participate; what is shared is also what shares, what is structurally constituted by sharing, and what we call "matter". The ontology of being-with can only be "materialist", in the sense that "matter" does not designate a substance or a subject (or an antisubject), but literally designates what is divided of itself, what is only as distinct from itself, partes extra partes, [...]. The ontology of being-with is an ontology of bodies, of every body, whether they be inanimate, animate, sentient, speaking, thinking, having weight, and so on. (Being Singular Plural 83-84) (5)
By definition, all existing things must exist somewhere, since existence is analogous to taking place. It is impossible to conceive of something that does not exist within a context so, in that sense, it is constantly touching something. As mentioned before, existence is always "more than one", so there is invariably a contact within plurality. Considering the previous argument regarding totality, a possible counterargument becomes impossible. It would require arguing that one can find an absolute object that does not touch anything because it is everything (so there would be nothing besides it, i.e., nothing exterior for it to touch). But such an object would not exist, because it would literally be nowhere. In that sense, being/existing is touching: it is being present in the togetherness of every existing thing. In this way, being-with evidences the extensive "nature" of materiality.
Being-with also marks materiality as weight, since existing happens among other existing things. The weight of being marks the invariable "pressure" of being-with. Weight is not a quality of the thing, but something the object is. It is the mark of the objects materiality as its presence, i.e., as the fact that it invariably exists among other things and therefore its occurrence exerts "pressure" in touching.
Considering that the thing is its weight and this weight, so Nancy is clearly arguing, is an invariable "contact" due to the thing's mere occurrence, Existing means being-with. Or to put it through negation, there is no object in a vacuum of zero gravity. There is no materiality in isolation because both extension and weight demand touching:
Here (but where's here? It's not localizable, it's localization taking place, the being's that's coming to bodies), so here it's not a question of rejoining an intact "matter": immanence isn't being opposed to transcendence. In a general way, we don't oppose, bodies neither oppose nor are opposed. They are posed, deposed, weighted. There's no intact matter-or else there'd be nothing. On contrary, there's tact, the pose and deposing, the rhythm of coming-and-going of the bodies in the world. Tact united, divided unto itself. (Corpus 117)
It becomes evident that "touch" plays a crucial role in Nancy's ontology of being-with. In his book On touching, Jean Luc Nancy, Derrida mentions the following phrase by Bergson to describe Nancy's philosophy: "A philosopher worthy of the name has never said more than a single thing: and even then, it is something he has tried to say, rather than actually said" (368). For Derrida, this single thing is "touch".
Derrida mentions the fact that, in Nancy, touching is not exclusive to humans. As it is clearly stated in the chapter "touching" of The Sense of the World, even a stone touches. If even the most "passive" things touch, it must concern an extremely elementary and common quality. Touching does not imply agency or intention. Nancy argues that touching in fact concerns the most basic and common aspect of all things: existing. Touching is existing, because existing is being-with. In that sense, touch occupies a central place in Nancy's ontology, but it is worth showing that it cannot serve as the core around which his whole theory orbits, as Derrida seems to imply. Touch is only a sense among the plural senses on sense, which also include the orientation and meaning of being.
Before any further development on this issue, it is crucial to mention that Nancy is not arguing that touch is the essential sense of being. Existence is not reduced to touching. Nevertheless, it is a central part of Nancy's ontology so the question of its status deserves a careful inspection. If touch is not literally the act of touching (or at least not just the intuitive understanding of it), then what is it? It seems that, for Nancy, touching is simply being in contact (or at least this seems to be the only definition that engulfs both the stone and the human). It seems that the simple fact that two things are in contact already configures touching. Derrida does not provide a definite answer, but he does point at the aporetic nature of the question: one can never really touch anything; at the same time, there is no absolute isolation. Moreover, is touching something we do, or is it something that happens to us? Can one really touch without being touched? It seems like touch enjoys a distinct status from other senses. It is simultaneously the most banal of the senses, i.e., simple contact, and impossible to grasp.
According to Derrida, Nancy argues that one touches only the untouchable: one can only touch the limit of touching and never actually come in contact. No matter how close two objects are, it is always possible to distinguish them, or else they would be the same. The sole fact that one comments on the existence of two things already presupposes their distinction. If two things cannot occupy the same space, then it is quite trivial that there must be something between them that separates them thus making contact impossible.
On the other hand, things never stop touching. There is no-thing in isolation: there is no intact object segregated from all other things. Derrida mention of Husserl's distinction between seeing and touching illustrates this point. One never sees oneself seeing. One can look in the mirror and see one's own eye, but the eye does not see itself seeing. There is a blind spot conditioning vision. Touching, on the other hand, must sense itself sensing. One is constantly touching and being touched; it is a non-mediated sensing. Touching is immediate. It is always already taking place. It is possible to see without being seen, but it is impossible to touch without being touched.
According to Derrida this is the law of tact: "in the sense of knowing how to touch without touching, without touching too much, where touching is already too much" (On Touching, Jean Luc Nancy 67). We are always already touching and every touch is always too much since touching is impossible. The "without" marked here by Derrida plays the same role as Schuback's "without". It is at the same time a touch without completion, i.e., without full contact, and all there is to touching. Moreover, touching as the condition of being implied in being-with means that occurrence is simultaneously singularly distinguished from the world and completely in touch with the world. Being is in-common, so it is singular only inasmuch as it is invariably touching/sharing the world as a distinct/specific thing (i.e., as co-extensive). As Nancy defends, there is no who or what to touch; being is always already touching. Touch is not the action of an absolute subject towards an external world, it does not demand intention--it simply occurs.
Derrida points to the fact that touching always touches the limit, since one only touches the outside of the thing. Even if one penetrates a thing, one does not touch but its surface. One is never really inside (On Touching, Jean Luc Nancy 103). Nancy clearly defends the idea that there is no inside to things. This is in line with his argument that there is no essence to things, that is, there is no hidden factor underneath the thing's occurrence. Returning to the definition of being as taking place, it becomes clear that all existence is invariably external. The extensive "whatness" of existence demands this liminality of being. This is the "ex" (ex-cription, ex-position...) that appears so often in Nancy. It is not a movement from inside to outside; it is the fact that being is always already taking place in the world and hence already touched in its extension. Put differently, the extension of being is a "surface of contact". Being is always at its own threshold (Nancy, Ego Sum 115-116).
Things are never intact yet they are never in contact. In that sense, things are impenetrable (Nancy, The Birth to Presence 189), not because it is impossible to overcome their external layer and access their essential nature, but because there is no essential nature to be revealed. There is nothing to things beyond their taking place, so there is nothing "inside".
This seems reasonably obvious regarding thoughts, since thoughts do not have internal or external parts, and one could hardly argue that it is possible to cut a thought in half or be within a thought. In other words, a thought is always a singular impenetrable thing. We can be fully consumed or focused on a thought or feeling, but never penetrate it. It is always a contemplation from the "exterior": one contemplates something "distinct" from oneself (6).
Still, Nancy's sense-based ontology must account for "physical objects" in order to be relevant. Think, for example, of a ball made of a gel-like substance: I can obviously hold it in my hand and therefore touch its limits, but even if I introduce my finger inside the surface so that my finger is "inside" the ball, I have not penetrated the gel. I am still touching the gel from the outside. Now, my finger in completely engulfed by it, but since they are separate things, there is always a distinction between them. One could argue that I have penetrated the circumference, but this is also not true. I am not inside the ball. I am only touching it from another point. Nor has the circumference incorporated my finger. Its shape changes with my finger, but the ball remains the ball and my finger remains my finger. This is the most basic principle that two things cannot occupy the same space at the same time. At the moment that I introduce my finger, the space previously occupied by the ball is no longer occupied by it. In that way, it is impossible to enter the thing. You might put you hand inside it and still you would just encounter the limit of the thing.
One might argue that this argument is absurd, since everyone has entered a room or placed their hand inside a bag. The experience of accessing something is natural. Intuitively, one comprehends that all things have volume and depth, so it seems absurd to deny that things have an inner side. This is in fact a challenge for Nancy, but I believe his argument concerning black holes overcomes the challenge. Singularities (black holes) are only accessed from the outside. One is always on the exterior of a black hole since it has no inner since: there is only gravity. In that sense, one cannot enter a black hole. If one were to enter a black hole, one would only encounter more "black hole" (i.e., gravity). The same is valid for a room or a bag: even if one enters them, one only encounters "room" or "bag", that is, one only finds the liminal extension of those things. One is never absolutely "in" the bag or the room, even though one is undeniably inside them.
In this sense, touching marks the ontological being-with since it marks the materiality (extension and weight) of existing. Being is taking place so, by existing, each thing is in a spatial/extensive configuration among other things. By the sheer fact of their existing, things are always on the limit of themselves. Even if there is no contact, all things are as close as possible to each other, hence they invariably touch each other.
Touch is always limited to a non-extended point, which is true only in its occurrence. touch is not an intersection or accumulation of points. Things do not cross each other, they remain distinguished. Tangency happens only as a fact of its occurrence, but not as something in itself. This is the meaning of Nancy's argument that "there is no 'the' touch". Touch is not "the" sense of existence so it does not form a field of being. It does not take place, it simply punctuates the fact of things' occurrence as being-with.
Nancy is arguing that undoubtedly there are things, but there is nothing they ultimately are since there is no essence--hence, there is no "the" X. He shows it is impossible to fully touch the sense of X. One can only be-with it (touching it from the outside). In fact, there is nothing more to being (to "thinghood"/"whatness") than this sensing, i.e., the fact that existing is constantly taking place and therefore touching without ever contacting anything. Derrida's formulation, on the other hand, seems to imply that despite its occurrence, something is never completely itself; it lacks something essential, so one wonders "if there is". In Nancy, things undoubtedly are. So, there is touch even if there is no "the" touch, just as there are things even if there is no "the" thing.
With being-with, Nancy's objective is not to reveal the common ground behind all existing things. Sense is not the common principle of all existing things. Such a project would imply the notion of prima materia; a resort to some essence of being. Commenting on all things being-with each other, in this context, would be a research into the principle permeating all individual things, but Nancy opposes individuality. There are only specific beings/senses: unique and singular things in-common but without anything in common: "No doubt, the singular is per se: it singularizes itself only by or through it singularity" and
What then is someone? This is precisely what one cannot ask- even though this is the whole question--because if there is someone, there has already been a response to the question (s/he has already responded). But there is someone, there are numerous someones, indeed, there is nothing else. [...] This is what "makes" up [fait] the world and "make sense" [fait sense]. Someone, some ones, the numerous ones, that is to say, the plural singular "is" the response that answers the question of the "sense of the world". "Someone" ought to be approached from the angle of this response. But this response responds to nothing. No one asked "is anyone there? It has not been possible to pose this question because something is there." (Nancy, The Sense of the World 72-70)
Things are not "created" from their relation with other things. They are invariably present in the world's togetherness, but this does not exhaust the sense of being. "Whatness" is not reduced to being-with. It is not sufficient to argue that things must exist together in order to elucidate what they are; one must also account for how things are as singularities as specific beings. Each sense is one sense (a sense), it is a specific thing. Anything that exists is always already something/someone (7), always already "one" but not in the sense of being "the one"; rather, in the sense of being "this/that one/thing" and not "another". There is no extraordinary quality making it an absolutely incomparable thing. Singularity does not point at the individuality of a thing ("the one thing"). For Nancy, all things are just a thing (ordinary/common): each thing is like all others at the same time that it is this/that specific/singular thing. It is being in the most common and singular aspect of it (8).
For example, each day is one specific day. It is a momentaneous event that is specific in its occurrence. At the same time, days are part of a plural configuration of time organization. Days are not extraordinary events, yet each day is a singular/unique event.
The question of singularity also implies the question of identity: what does it mean to be one thing? The singular being always implies the "more than one", but Nancy still wants to preserve the "oneness" of each thing without turning it into an individual and fulfilled thing (Morin, Jean Luc Nancy 37). Things are not absolutely identical to themselves, yet, they are invariably themselves. This concerns the concepts of ipseity and aseity.
There is no one thing holding all possible senses of the same thing. All possible senses are singular senses of a plural configuration. In fact, there is no absolute referential object, there are only senses: "3+1", "2+2" and "4" are all equal to 4, but the question regarding the "whatness" of 4 remains open. Answering that 4 is "4" is tautological. But again, according to Nancy, one does not need to uphold more than that, as long as one comprehends that there is no essential nature of 4. All there is to 4 is all its occurrences, i.e., all its senses or all the existing things that are "4".
It is possible to challenge the previous argument and state that numbers are just ideas, so they make a convenient case for proving there is no referential object relevant to them; validation would only come from showing that Nancy's configuration is applicable to "actual" objects. Frege's "actual" existing star does not depend on its senses. There is a star and one must be able to comment on this fact using Nancy's ontology if his philosophy is to be relevant. I believe this is precisely Nancy's point: there is a star and it is self-sufficient (i.e., this fact is all there is to the star), so the star's existence is not conditioned on its senses although it is its senses. If one searches for the nature of the star, one will always encounter something, but never an ultimate sense the star essentially is.
For example, one might affirm that the star is essentially composed of element "X", but one has only transformed the original question without answering it, since one still has to comment on the nature of "X" in order to reach the star's ipseity. It is possible to define it as just another element (for example X is Y), but the question will always remain. For every possible answer regarding the nature of X, one can always reach deeper into it and question its composition and nature. There will never be "the" Thing that explains all other things, since such object would have to exist beyond all things (9). This does not mean that the answer is inaccessible or that there is no answer because the thing is essentially composed of nothing. The opposite is true: there is always a thing. One is constantly confronted by materiality despite not finding a prima materia. In fact, one never escapes such materiality. There is always already "access" to the truth of existing since one is always confronted by things taking place, so one is always confronted by what things are: existing. Or in a simple formulation, one is always confronted (10) by the fact that things are existing. Singular sense is the fact that there is no "the" object, since there is nothing the object ultimately is, while at the same time, there is something necessarily.
All there is to the star (or any object) is its occurrences: the physical elements taking place, as well as, the range of its conceptualization. The star is neither just the object separated from our thought nor the result of our thoughts about it. It is both. For Nancy, thoughts are as material as physical things. Things are the self-coincidence of all the senses they are, that is, the star is the morning star, the evening star, Venus, carbon (or any other chemical we find there), protons, [...] without any of those senses being its essential form of existence. That is, without ultimately being any of those senses. There is no privileged stance where the star takes place. All the "places" the star takes place in are equally relevant for Nancy. The thing is the co-extension of all its senses' extension.
There is no ultimate instance or essential occurrence where the star really takes place and based on it one could ground an ontological knowledge of the object. All there is, are things existing as sense: being towards/at [etre-a] the world. That is, being as the activity of being, as the act of taking place, as the sense (orientation) in/at the world (11). In this way, one can comment on the star because there invariably is a star, but it is nothing because there is no one definite thing the star is. Thus, ipseity is aseity because the thing does not rely on anything else (Nancy, The Sense of the World 155-157).
Even though things are nothing, they invariably are; moreover, their existence is not conditioned, so it is self-sufficient. The "whatness" of things already implies their non-conditioned presence. They simply are at the same time that they are not an absolute individual thing. In other words, things are self-sufficient, but not self-grounding. Nancy is not searching for the object that remains regardless of all its relations (since there is none), but for the object that "includes/considers" all its senses without ever becoming an absolute thing (an ultimately grounded existence/sense). Existing is simultaneously always present (being-there) and without any definite grounds for presence, since there is no reason for its taking place. Being(s) is singular plural because there is never "one" sense. Sense is always senses. Always "more than one" even in its singularity.
The thinking/perceiving entity (cogito) also exists as a singular sense since it refers to the oneness in being oneself. Selfhood, for Nancy, concerns the factual occurrence of the singular "subject" (i.e., that the self is oneself (12)). This "subject" (this quality of being an I) is not the unity of an enclosed entity (13) acting in the world. Namely, "subject" is not an agent. Nancy defines selfhood (Nancy and Hanson 10) as a gap of space-time within the self. That is, selfhood means the "more than one" that every one invariably is (Nancy, The Sense of the World 71). It is always already outside itself (different from itself) without ever being beyond itself (more than itself). Some one is always one/singular despite barely being something [sans pourtant].
This argument is evident in Nancy's reflection on the title of the collection "Who comes after the subject?" (Nancy, "Un Sujet" 90; see also Cadava et al. 7) (14). The sole fact that he is not interested in the conditions/causes of the subject but its consequences already shows Nancy is not concerned with foundation: Nancy attests existence, rather than found it on a sub-ject properly (as in a grounded position). It is the constant being, i.e., the constant ejection/abandonment15 of the self among all things:
Presence takes place, that is to say it comes into presence. It is that which comes indefinitely to itself, never stops coming, arriving: the "subject" that is never the subject of itself. The "ipseity" of presence lies in the fact that it engenders itself into presence: presence to itself, in a sense, but where this "self' itself is only the to (the taking place, placing) of presence (Cadava et al. 7).
It is not a question of the subject who knows itself by grounding its truth; rather, it is the question of the subject who is itself merely by exiting (16): "Being is the actuality of existence" (Cadava et al. 6).
Nancy (The Birth to Presence 30) compares oneness to a spasmatic convulsion in the sense that it is not a given object or a state, but it is always "contorting" itself. Being is not moving from one point to another (it has no telos or cause), being/existing [etre a] is moving/acting without "going" anywhere. Hence, it "trembles". Nancy often quotes the Hegelian formulation that the subject is "that which can retain in itself its own contradiction" (Derrida, "Interview with Jean-Luc Nancy" 116; Nancy, Le Poidd'une Pensee 24; and Cadava et al. 6).
So, sense's/being's singularity does not concern absolute identity. For Nancy, identity/ipseity, i.e., being a specific something, concerns self-coincidence: "It is the very incidence, or the accident, or the occasion of the coincidence: [...] The existence of the thing co-incides insofar as, in the incidences, it spaces, opens a continuum (which does not exist) through the discrete quantity of a there, which is its very quality as thing." (The Birth to Presence 187). The thing's oneness regards the fact that all its senses take place (incido, in Latin, which is also the root for incident/event) with themselves. This is the meaning of being singular-plural. It means the occurrence of something is the happening of all it senses. Sense is about being-with/touching itself (Nancy, Ego Sum 83).
Something is all its senses "self-touching you" [se toucher toi] each other. Put differently, something is the fact that all its occurrences/senses take place (co-incide) and therefore are simultaneously the same--hence "self-touching" --and different (but in the most intimate sense)--hence "you". "Se toucher toi" marks the fact that sense is both the most intimate and exterior side of the thing: it exposes sense as the outside of the thing, as sense is never the essential aspect of anything. Self-touching is always from an exterior position (Nancy, Ego Sum 115-116). As existing is always taking place, the most intimate place of being is its exterior, since it the only place there is.
Following this line, in order to properly comment on a sense, I must elucidate how things are distinct from each other. Within the togetherness of the world, each thing is discrete and hence distinct in relation to all other things. In other words, if things are singular-plural, one must make explicit the way things are specific without resorting to a defining essence (without arguing that each one of them has a "special" essence).
Nancy uses the notion of differance to illustrate this point. According to him, differance is not an operation on existence, but the "act of being" itself. Things are differance. To exist is to differ from itself: "Being senses itself deferring and differing" (17) (The Sense of the World 3518); and
[...] meaning is itself the sharing of Being. Meaning begins where presence is not pure presence but where presence comes apart [se disjoint] in order to be itself as such. This "as" presupposes the distancing, spacing, and division of presence. Only the concept of "presence" contains the necessity of this division. Pure unshared presence--presence to nothing, of nothing, for nothing --is neither present nor absent. It is the simple implosion of a being that could never have been--an implosion without any trace. (Being Singular Plural 2)
There is no reason for all things to be discrete, things just necessarily are. This is the basic physical principle that two things cannot occur at the same place at the same time. Each single thing necessarily takes place (since to exist is to exist somewhere) and two things cannot occupy the same space at the same time, hence all existing things are necessarily distinct.
In fact, the relation of equality between two things is absurd. Things are themselves and therefore singular (19) (one specific thing) or they are in a relation of equality and therefore two separate things already. A thing is never completely equal neither to itself nor to something else. In order to argue that two discrete things are equal, one would have to defend the configuration where despite being different, they share the same essence. Equality already assumes difference and yet it argues that despite the difference, things are essentially the same (their manifestation differs but their "nature" is the same). In order to defend equality, one must ground it on a common essence between two things that are differentiated in reality. Since there is not grounding essence, equality between two things makes no sense.
Being-differance means the act of existing is the constant ab-sensing of essence. Ab-sensing from essence does not mean that essence is negated in order to become specific. Ab-sensing from essence means that existence (i.e. the act of existing) happens without any essence. In this way, things do not become differentiated. There is no process of becoming discrete from other things, the thing is not the result of the dialectical interaction with the world--it is just the act of being that necessarily occurs and, by existing, it is necessarily different from every other thing, since there is no essence that could serve as a common ground for comparison. It is not a foundation of the singular existing being; rather, it is an attestation (a response in the sense posed earlier). In existence (i.e. in the act of existing), each singular being is already differentiated forming numerous one(s) that exist-with without any interaction between them. That is the meaning of differentiation.
As Nancy states ("Of Being-in-Common" 7), being-with is a relation without relation. It is the simple fact that things go together without any reason or factor joining them. He even gives the example of passengers on a train who are not a collective at the same time that they are undeniably together. There is nothing joining them since they are merely on the same train. There is no reason for their reunion, and one can even claim that they are barely united. It is, in fact, the absence of any link that makes the relation possible. It preserves the distinction within the plurality. This is the meaning of being-singular plural.
It is impossible to give a definitive categorization of singularity, as there is no ultimate individualizing quality one can ground uniqueness on. At the same time, every-single-thing is always already a thing. One can argue that, for Nancy, the singularity of being means being/existing just as the liminality of its existence (being-with) (20). It is at the same a singular entity, but never an individual/independent being, since its existence (its act of being) demands touching. Being is just the "contact surface" of the untouchable touch. In simple words, there is no "the" thing, but undoubtedly there are things. Singularity/Oneness is the fact that contradictory senses self-coincide, that is, the singular thing is the plurality of senses that coincide in the same thing without ever being equal to themselves (21). This is the configuration of being singular-plural
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(1) "What is a singularity? It is that who does not take place beyond once, in a single point outside time, outside space, in conclusion--that which is an exception. Not a particularity that enters a genre, but a unique property that escapes appropriation, an exclusive touch and, as such, is not even sampled/collected in a common ground and does not oppose itself to it" (my translation).
(2) Nancy refers to Heidegger's mitsein but I will not further elaborate on that.
(3) See The Sense of the World 6-8, 155 and The Creation of the World, Or, Globalization 41-42.
(4) But not in the legal connotation exclusively.
(5) See the quote from The Sense of the World 70. Nancy argues in the same paragraph that both Peter and a rock (in French: Pierre and pierre) answer the question of existence by being.
(6) One is never identical to one's thoughts. This is the configuration of subjectivity I will later explore.
(7) The argument here is the banal statement that to be is to be some-thing in the most general sense of the term.
(8) "There is relation as relation of example: every one, being born, dying, being-there, exemplifies singularity. Each proposes itself as an example, if you like, but it exposes this example, every time, as exemplary, in the sense of a remarkable model. That which is exemplary each time, that which sets an example, is singularity itself, insofar as it is never anything but this or that singularity, inimitable at the very heart of its being-whatever." (Nancy, The Sense of the World 73).
(9) I already made this point earlier on the first part.
(10) This confrontation is related to being-with since there is nothing outside the togetherness of the world. One is always in-touch/confronted with the world. Existence is thrown/abandoned against the world.
(11) "Ecceity opens an areality. But the areality of the area (of being) is not its design, not its configuration. It is its tracing, beginning from the here. The here has no place: at every moment it is here and there, here and now, for here is now. Hic est nunc." (Nancy, The Birth to Presence 47)
(12) "The subject contains its difference from itself. The subject not only has this difference, it is this difference. If the subject did not differ from itself, it would not be what it is: a subject relating itself to itself. A=A signifies that A in itself is its difference from itself, and that it derives its equality, its being-equal to itself, only from this difference." (Nancy, The Birth to Presence 11)
(13) A monad, for example.
(14) His reflection is best understood considering Nancy's comments that he is concerned with the place the subject occupies, i.e., with its taking place in the sense previously mentioned (Cadava et al. 98).
(15) See "Abandoned Being" in The Birth to Presence, especially 46-47.
(16) See Nancy's comments on excogite (Ego Sum 30 and 77).
(17) In the original: "L'etre se sent differant" (56).
(18) See also The Sense of the World 14.
(19) That is, equal to itself by self-coincidence of self-contradictory senses. Since things are always "more than one", they are always already discrete from themselves.
(20) That is, being just as the exposition/presentation of the thing. See the chapter "Expeausition (Skin-Show)" (Corpus 32-37).
(21) In this way, the world is one without being an absolute unity. It is simply the self-coincidence of all senses/things in their self-contradiction/difference. All things are the world but none of them are "the" world. There is no "one" thing the world is because there is no "the" world.
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|Publication:||Ekstasis: Revista de Hermeneutica e Fenomenologia|
|Date:||Dec 1, 2018|
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