The Impossible Possibility of Community

In: Research in Phenomenology
Jacob Rogozinski Professor, Faculty of Philosophy, Strasbourg University Strasbourg France

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The author analyzes the deconstruction of the community carried out by Jean-Luc Nancy. For Nancy, the aim of the community has been historically accomplished by its self-destruction in the “work of death” of totalitarianism. This does not lead him to renounce the notion of community, like Derrida, but to highlight its paradoxical (im-)possibility. This is why Nancy proposes the concept of a “community without community” which would retain only the cum of the communitas, the with of being-with or being in-common. The author shows that this approach is subject to aporias. Indeed, Nancy wants to base being-with on an ontology of bodily touch. As he considers touching as distancing, displacement, he fails to understand the cum, that is to say the possibility of constituting a community.

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