Friday, December 01, 2006


Nancy writes:

The very meaning of the word "together," just like the meaning of the word "with," seems to oscillate indefinitely between two meanings, without ever coming to a point of equilibrium: it is either the "together" of juxtaposition partes extra partes, isolated and unrelated parts, or the "together" of gathering totum intra totum, a unified totality where the relation surpasses itself in being pure. But it is clear from this that the resources found in the term are situated precisely on the point of equilibrium between the two meanings: "together" is neither extra nor intra. In fact, the pure outside, like the pure inside, renders all sorts of togetherness impossible. They both suppose a unique and isolated pure substance, but pure in such a way that one cannot even say "isolated," exactly because one would be deprived of relation with it.

(Being Singular Plural, pp. 59-60)

Here's a question then for anybody who's read Victor Turner's "Betwixt and Between: The Liminal Period in Rites of Passage": How do you reckon with the philosopher's play with liminalities in ordinary language? I see two possibilities (not mutually exclusive): (1) philosophy is a kind of ritual, or (2) what's true of symbols in rites of passage is true of symbols in general. Just curious.

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posted by Fido the Yak at 9:24 AM.


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