The European Legacy 21 (2):184-204 (2016)

Jean-Luc Nancy identifies Rousseau as the first to conceive community as a lost state of immediacy and transparency. Rousseau’s conception has allegedly shaped the western ideal of an immanent community. Nancy deconstructs that ideal, arguing that immanence would suppress community; its oneness would block the being-with which enables our ontological being-in-common. This article argues that Rousseau never posits a lost community but actually explores, like Nancy, the political closure of immanence. Man’s distinguishing trait of perfectibility, which renders him finite, always open to change for better or worse, rejects the self-enclosure of immanence as does the constant willing of the general will which defines a community’s political life. If citizens could form an immanent whole, they would have nothing left to will, reaching an inhuman situation without liberty, reflection and responsibility. A community’s vitality, as Rousseau’s discussion of Poland suggests, does not come from closure to th..
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DOI 10.1080/10848770.2015.1126999
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Jean‐Luc Nancy and the Myth of the Common.Andrew Norris - 2000 - Constellations 7 (2):272-295.
The Force of Freedom.Steven G. Affeldt - 1999 - Political Theory 27 (3):299-333.

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