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On Touching: Jean-Luc Nancy (Meridian: Crossing Aesthetics) Paperback – 31 Aug 2005

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Stanford University Press (31 Aug. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804742448
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804742443
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.8 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 316,607 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


"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

About 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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A brilliant response to the philosophy of the tactile from Derrida. Enjoyable reading, too.
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Amazon.com: HASH(0x8ed0b0c0) out of 5 stars 2 reviews
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8efa56fc) out of 5 stars DERRIDA MASTERS NANCY'S LANGUAGE: 29 Dec. 2013
By barryb - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

this book has been in circulation in the United States for 8 years and this is the "first" review on Amazon. What's wrong here? America is generally behind Europe in philosophical thinking; but not that far behind. We should have already realized that Jean-Luc Nancy is the pinnacle of post-modern thinking in the world today. Derrida, a notable post-modern, in his own right, offers this book-of-praise for the jean-Luc Nancy he truly admires. Perhaps Derrida is a little difficult to read and that's why the slow appreciation for this manuscript. I do not know for certain, but I know it is brilliant and should be read by anyone seeking an understanding of post-modern thought.

This book could be understood as a series of "word-studies", where Derrida lifts Nancy's metaphors out of their signification and gives them conceptual articulation, while mentioning the need to keep them alive and dynamic. Therefore, it is a manuscript of "lifting", lifting up Nancy's language into the work of consciousness.

The reader will find that the dialectical-circle of "turning" toward the "other", also contains; nested within it, the "TRIAD-OF-TOUCH". Which passes from "incommensurability" to "thought-picture" to "exscription". This will include the evaluative work of "weighing", which takes up the latent promise of "event". The opening and closing of the mouth in lip-sync is also tied to the circle of "standing-in" and "stepping-back" at the composition threshold of spirit.

There are so many metaphors that are precisely explained, that this manuscript fulfills the Wittgenstein-type-wish for all Nancy-fans. Even those metaphors of "throwing" and "fold" are addressed concerning the motivational conditioning that must assist cognitive work when transferring from unconsciousness to consciousness.

I feel that Derrida has succeeded in "touching" the "otherness" of Nancy's philosophy, without disfiguring that same otherness-type-appearance.

This is grad-level material and demands a careful and unrushed reading. The benefit from such a reading will outweigh the energy spent. For a "first" review I will add that American scholars need to catch- up and get on with appropriating this material. Jean-Luc Nancy will demand American evaluative dialogue as well.

PART II: this book is split into two parts: I. "ORIGINARY-INSCRIPTION". Pp. 1-92; and II. "REFLEXIVE-RE-INSCRIPTION". Pp. 135-216. Total pages = 173.


In this second part Derrida enters into the Praxis-side of "exscribing", and the reflexive simultaneous moment of returning for a new "inscription" within the self's unconscious. He takes the reader systematically through: the "hand-of-touching" in exscribing; the "hand-of-being-touched" in reflexive return; and finally, the "hand-of-writing" the new inscription after passing through the triad of: God, Death, and Flesh. "Flesh" here refers to "carnal-subjectivity".

I felt the second section was superb and so systematically presented that the reader comes away with a beautiful thought-picture of Nancy's system all the way through the full circle of Inscribing-Exscribing- Re-inscribing. Do not neglect tangents 1-3. They are jewels of insight. Of course; I've already mentioned how profound the work was in the first section on the Psyche. What a superb work. This second section was equally, if not more, "amazing". 5-stars.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8e650d44) out of 5 stars No compain 2 Feb. 2014
By Hidekazu - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It arrived in a perfect condition just yesterday.
I will read it shortly. So at present I cannot write
any commnents on the contents.
H. Utsunomiya
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