Reconsidering Difference: Nancy, Derrida, Levinas, and Deleuze

Synopsis

French philosophy since World War II has been preoccupied with the issue of difference. For some thinkers, especially Jean-Luc Nancy, Jacques Derrida, Emmanuel Levinas, and Gilles Deleuze, this preoccupation has led to a mode of philosophizing that privileges difference as a philosophical category. Reconsidering Difference has a twofold task, the primary one critical and the secondary one reconstructive. The critical task is to show that these various privilegings are philosophical failures. They wind up, for reasons unique to each position, endorsing positions that are either incoherent or implausible. Todd May considers the incoherencies of each position and offers an alternative approach. His reconstructive task, which he calls "contingent holism", takes the phenomena under investigationcommunity, language, ethics, and ontology - and sketches a way of reconceiving them that preserves the motivations of the rejected positions without falling into the problems that beset them.

Additional information

Contributors:
Includes content by:
  • Jacques Derrida
  • Emmanuel Levinas
  • Gilles Deleuze
Publisher: Place of publication:
  • University Park, PA
Publication year:
  • 1997