Constellations 24 (1):2-14 (2017)

Wolfhart Totschnig
Universidad Diego Portales
In recent European philosophy, and especially in Heidegger, Arendt, Derrida, and Badiou, the distinction between the ordinary and the extraordinary, or between normality and “event,” has played a very prominent role. In the present paper, I raise a challenge to this distinction, a challenge inspired by Deleuze’s conception of repetition and difference. Is it not the case that every occurrence in some ways reproduces and in some ways deviates from the past, such that nothing is entirely extraordinary and nothing completely normal? The purpose of the paper is to examine whether the ordinary/extraordinary distinction—or the notion of event, respectively—can be defended against this challenge, i.e., whether it can be given a rigorous definition. Drawing on and departing from the named philosophers, I show that there are three alternative responses—the route of subjective experience, of transcendence, and of negation—and assess their respective merits.
Keywords event  Heidegger  Arendt  Derrida  Badiou  Deleuze
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/1467-8675.12204
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 58,321
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Ordinary, Extraordinary and Neutral Medical Treatment.Clifton Perry - 1983 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 4 (1).
Events and Event Talk: An Introduction.Fabio Pianesi & Achille C. Varzi - 2000 - In James Higginbotham, Fabio Pianesi & Achille C. Varzi (eds.), Speaking of Events. Oxford University Press. pp. 3–47.


Added to PP index

Total views
41 ( #249,692 of 2,419,768 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #351,015 of 2,419,768 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes