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Erich Hörl: The Break In and With History
The Break In and With History
(p. 185 – 200)

Erich Hörl

The Break In and With History
Nancy’s Thinking of History in Light of the Disruptive Condition

PDF, 16 pages


The chapter reconstructs a far-reaching reflection of Nancy’s on the theory of history that lays bare the signature of our present: the suspension of history. “Getting out of history,” the break of and in history, and the stepping into something other than history come into view as the fundamental movement that has been happening to us for at least half a century. The determination of our epochality as the time of suspended history is traced by the mutations of sense, of community, and the world that this philosophical oeuvre works through so powerfully. Nancy’s thinking of suspension, as it may be called against this background, ultimately testifies to a new socio-historical experience by which, to a certain extent, it seems itself to be written: the disruption. Shock, break, interruption, discontinuity without any sublation in a modern history of progress, improvement, emancipation are the structural characteristics of this now dominant experience that can be summarized as the pure immanence of the interruptive, at whose bidding we live today. Being-now means Being-in-the-disruption.

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

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Erich Hörl

Erich Hörl

holds the Chair of Media Culture and Media Philosophy at Leuphana University Lüneburg. He works on the conceptualization of a general ecology and publishes internationally on the history, the problems and challenges of the contemporary technological condition. Among his publications are General Ecology. The New Ecological Paradigm (ed., London 2017); Die technologische Bedingung (ed., Berlin 2011); Sacred Channels: On the Archaic Illusion of Communication (Amsterdam 2018); Gérard Granel: Die totale Produktion, ed. and with an introduction by Erich Hörl (Vienna 2020).

Other texts by Erich Hörl 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.