The Staging of Play: Jean-Luc Nancy on the Poetic Logic of Philosophy

Nikolaas Deketelaere


In this essay, I discuss how Jean-Luc Nancy understands the

nature or logic of philosophy in relation to literature by drawing on his

early readings of Plato. Through an analysis of the notions of interpretation

and dialogue , Nancy comes to understand this relationship in terms of

shared difference, or partage . I argue that philosophy therefore operates

according to a poetic logic that allows it to move between being and nonbeing.

This movement, which Derrida calls play and Nancy understands

as the act of being, is the object of philosophy. Its task is then the staging of

play : showing how logos , meaning or being, displaces itself in establishing

itself. Insofar as Nancy articulates this through readings of Plato, he is

part of a larger trend within contemporary French thought that performs

an overturning of Platonism by means of Plato. For Nancy, this first and

foremost means welcoming back the poets after Socrates banished them.


Jean-Luc Nancy; Plato; Philosophy; Literature; Logos

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Metodo. International Studies in Phenomenology and Philosophy
Published by sdvig press, Genève-Lausanne
ISSN  2281-9177

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