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Dieter Mersch: Cum grano singularis. Jean-Luc Nancys ›negative‹ koinonia
Cum grano singularis. Jean-Luc Nancys ›negative‹ koinonia
(p. 63 – 76)

Dieter Mersch

Cum grano singularis. Jean-Luc Nancys ›negative‹ koinonia

PDF, 14 pages

“The most significant and arguably the most painful thing to which the modern world bears witness [...] is the testimony to the dissolution, disintegration or shattering of community”—thus begins Jean-Luc Nancy’s arguably most important study La communauté désœuvrée (1986), which responds to the catastrophe of communism, to the emerging digital world, as well as to the crisis of social science and its lack of an adequate analysis of society. Nancy deals with these questions by decisively making thematic the “cum” or “with” and their possible composites, through which the possibility of community is constituted in the first place. Nancy’s analysis can be read as founding the very core of a social philosophy as  grounded in relations, which the essay relates to the ancient concept of koinōnia, but to which Nancy gives his own twist in that it can neither be manufactured, created nor enforced: Community is neither the product of labor, nor of conviction, nor of law, but rather of the always unfinished and unfinishable.

  • democracy
  • post-structuralism
  • ethics
  • community
  • deconstruction

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Dieter Mersch

Dieter Mersch

studied mathematics and philosophy in Cologne, Bochum, Darmstadt. In 2004 he became Professor for Media Theory and Media Science at the University of Potsdam. Since 2013 he is Head of the Institute for Theory at ZHdK Zurich and visiting professor at University Potsdam, where he is one of the chairs of the DFG Research Training Centre 'Visibility and Visualization – Hybrid Forms of pictorial Knowledge'. Dieter Mersch was a visiting professor in Chicago, Budapest and Luzern, and Fellow at IKKM Weimar and at ZHdK Zurich. His work focuses on media philosophy, aesthetics and art theory, semiotics, hermeneutics, post-structuralism and philosophy of the image and language.

Other texts by Dieter Mersch for DIAPHANES
Susanna Lindberg (ed.), Artemy Magun (ed.), ...: Thinking With—Jean-Luc Nancy

With this book, we would like to resume the passionate conversation that Jean-Luc Nancy was engaged in throughout his life, with philosophers and artists from all over the world. Now that he has passed away, it is not enough for us to simply reflect on his work: we would like to stay true to the stance to which his thought invites us, in a pluralistic and communal way. Jean-Luc Nancy takes up the old philosophical question of truth as a praxis of a with — understanding truth without any given measure or comparison as an articulation of a with. It is a thinking responsible for the world from within the world, a language that seeks to respond to the ongoing mutation of our civilization.

 

With contributions by Jean-Christophe Bailly, Rodolphe Burger, Marcia Sá Calvacante Schuback, Marcus Coelen, Alexander García Düttmann, Juan-Manuel Garrido, Martta Heikkilä, Erich Hörl, Valentin Husson, Sandrine Israel-Jost, Ian James, Apostolos Lampropoulos, Nidesh Lawtoo, Jérôme Lèbre, Susanna Lindberg, Michael Marder, Artemy Magun, Boyan Manchev, Dieter Mersch, Hélène Nancy, Jean-Luc Nancy, Aïcha Liviana Messina, Ginette Michaud, Helen Petrovsky, Jacob Rogozinski, Philipp Stoellger, Peter Szendy, Georgios Tsagdis, Marita Tatari, Gert-Jan van der Heiden, Aukje van Rooden.

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