Continental Philosophy Review 52 (1):75-90 (2019)

Andrey Gordienko
University of California, Los Angeles
The present essay reconsiders Georges Bataille’s politics of the impossible in light of Jean-Luc Nancy’s and Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe’s collaborative work conducted at the Centre for Philosophical Research on the Political. In particular, my submission critically assesses Nancy’s and Lacoue-Labarthe’s concerted effort to displace the problematic of the subject to make room for a new ground of the political derived from Bataillean conception of community. While Bataille’s philosophy proved to be decisive to Nancy’s and Lacoue-Labarthe’s exploratory research at the Centre, it also constituted a source of profound ambivalence insofar as Bataillean thinking of relation necessarily leads back to the question of the subject. The paper argues that Nancy’s admitted failure to develop the unprecedented Bataillean politics is rooted in persistence of the subject in Bataille’s philosophy. At the same time, it maintains that what Nancy perceived as a failure must be grasped as success since Bataillean determination of the political necessitates not so much an eradication of the problematic of the subject, as its re-elaboration. If, as Nancy and Lacoue-Labarthe suggest, construction of the subject throughout the development of Western metaphysics has determined philosophical thinking of political community, then Bataillean sovereignty allows for a new and non-identitarian conception of community not bound to the destiny of the state.
Keywords Georges Bataille  Jean-Luc Nancy  Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe  Sovereignty  Community  Theory of the subject
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DOI 10.1007/s11007-017-9414-8
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References found in this work BETA

On Populist Reason.Ernesto Laclau - 2006 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 68 (4):832-835.
Lacan and the Political.Yannis Stavrakakis - 2000 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 62 (3):603-604.
The Psychic Life of Power: Theories in Subjection.J. Butler - 1997 - Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 46 (6):1016.

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