On Touching - Jean-Luc Nancy

Overview


“The translation of On Touching: Jean-Luc Nancy is a momentous event, for this is one of the greatest, most important works in Derrida’s immense oeuvre. It undertakes nothing less than a deconstruction of the phenomenological principle of principles, intuitionism, and the touchstone experience called touching. In a circulation through the history of philosophy since Aristotle up to the work of his contemporary and beloved friend Jean-Luc Nancy, the epochal thinker of touch, ...
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Overview


“The translation of On Touching: Jean-Luc Nancy is a momentous event, for this is one of the greatest, most important works in Derrida’s immense oeuvre. It undertakes nothing less than a deconstruction of the phenomenological principle of principles, intuitionism, and the touchstone experience called touching. In a circulation through the history of philosophy since Aristotle up to the work of his contemporary and beloved friend Jean-Luc Nancy, the epochal thinker of touch, this book comes from and goes to the very heart of Derrida’s thought.”
—Peggy Kamuf,
University of Southern California
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Derrida (Eyes of the University) may be dead, but new translations of his work keep cropping up; besides these two volumes, there are many more on the way, some from the masses of unpublished manuscripts at the University of California, Irvine. In On Touching, Derrida analyzes fellow philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy's work, and Nancy's brief but moving response to his friend's death is appended. He examines the sense of touch, notoriously subjective and not easily amenable to the scientific measurements that the study of sight allows or the potentiality for abstract thought on which the traditional humanities are based. Nancy, by insisting on the sense's centrality to our experience, tries to undermine metaphysical world-pictures and argues for the primacy of the concrete and the individual. Derrida, who had deep roots in Baruch Spinoza and Nicolas Malebranche, could understand this "deconstruction" while continuing to point out that Nancy is involved in talk about the world-a discourse that, as we reflect on language, leads to infinite complications. This argument is mind-stretching, and the translator struggles to produce intelligible English. Paper Machine is a compilation of loosely connected essays on technology, printing, and libraries that culminates in a reflection on "humanity" and the newspaper L'Humanit , founded by Socialist Party leader Jean Jaur s in 1904. Derrida associates "humanity" with the free exchange of ideas in what became a rallying point for friends and enemies of the newspaper's Communist Party publishers. Touching will have to be relegated to academic libraries, but Paper Machine, a more easygoing text that shows Derrida at his most perceptive, should have a place in public libraries to satisfy the public's curiosity about one of the often quoted enigmas of our time.-Leslie Armour, Dominican Coll. of Philosophy & Theology, Ottawa Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher

"The translation of On Touching: Jean-Luc Nancy is a momentous event, for this is one of the greatest, most important works in Derrida's immense oeuvre. It undertakes nothing less than a deconstruction of the phenomenological principle of principles, intuitionism, and the touchstone experience called touching. In a circulation through the history of philosophy since Aristotle up to the work of his contemporary and beloved friend Jean-Luc Nancy, the epochal thinker of touch, this book comes from and goes to the very heart of Derrida's thought."
—Peggy Kamuf,
University of Southern California
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780804742436
  • Publisher: Stanford University Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/2005
  • Series: Meridian: Crossing Aesthetics Series
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author


Jacques Derrida (1930-2004) was Director of Studies at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales and Professor of Humanities at the University of California, Irvine. Among the most recent of his many books to have been translated into English are Rogues (2005), Eyes of the University (2004), For What Tomorrow... with Elisabeth Roudinesco (2004), Counterpath with Catherine Malabou (2004), Negotiations (2002), Who's Afraid of Philosophy? (2002), and Without Alibi (2002). All of these have been published by the Stanford University Press.
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Table of Contents

"When our eyes touch ..." : signing a question - for Aristotle 1
1 Psyche : "around her, with such exact and cruel knowledge" 11
2 Spacing : the incommensurable, syncope, and words beginning with 'ex-' 20
3 This is my body : points already : counterpoint, mourning Psyche, and the hand of ... 36
4 The untouchable, or the vow of abstinence : the exorbitant, I - tact "beyond the possible" - stroking striking, thinking, weighing : mourning Eros and the other hand of ... 66
5 Tender : this is my heart, "the heart of another" 92
6 Nothing to do in sight : "there's no 'the' sense of touch" : haptics, 'techne,' or body ecotechnics 111
Exemplary stories of the "flesh"
7 Tangent I : hand of man, hand of God 135
8 Tangent II : "for example, my hand" - "the hand itself" - "for example, the finger" - "for example, 'I feel my heart" 159
9 Tangent III : the exorbitant, 2, "crystallization of the impossible" : "flesh," and, again, "for example, my hand" 183
10 Tangent IV : tangency and contingency 1 : the "question of technics" and the "aporias" of flesh, "(contact, at bottom)" 216
11 Tangent V : tangency and contingency, 2 : "the 'merciful hand of the father,' with which he thus touches us, is the son. ... the word that is 'the touch that touches the soul' (toque de la Divinidad ... el toque que toca al alma)" 244
12 "To self-touch you" : touching - language and the heart 265
13 "And to you," : the incalculable : exactitude, punctuality, punctuation 281
Salve : untimely postscript, for want of a final retouch 300
[Chaire]
Salut to you, salut to the blind we become 313
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