“Drawing Life: Freedom and Form in Jean-Luc Nancy” pursues Nancy’s sustained rehabilitation of freedom, its perplexity and promise, as untimely and urgent today, as ever. The essay begins with a summary of Nancy’s threefold confrontation with Kant’s determination of freedom that stamps the latter’s subsequent reception. Freedom emerges accordingly not as Idea, but as fact, co-extensive with subjectivity, a fact that undercuts the logic of causality. In turn, Nancy’s engagement with Heidegger wrests freedom from the domain of praxis, thinking it instead as the originary exposure of and to the an-archy of being. In this exposure, understood as the nothingness of an absolute intensity, being is formed and this formation constitutes life, as incessant beginning and as originary auto-affection. At the same time, this intensity coalesces in experience, the passage in which a subject is constituted through an exposure to its limit. The essay pauses to consider Nancy’s thematization of freedom in terms of subjectivity and thought, his hesitation before ultimately opening up freedom’s formative and vital potential to all that is.
With this book, we would like to resume the passionate conversation that Jean-Luc Nancy was engaged in throughout his life, with philosophers and artists from all over the world. Now that he has passed away, it is not enough for us to simply reflect on his work: we would like to stay true to the stance to which his thought invites us, in a pluralistic and communal way. Jean-Luc Nancy takes up the old philosophical question of truth as a praxis of a with — understanding truth without any given measure or comparison as an articulation of a with. It is a thinking responsible for the world from within the world, a language that seeks to respond to the ongoing mutation of our civilization.
With contributions by Jean-Christophe Bailly, Rodolphe Burger, Marcia Sá Calvacante Schuback, Marcus Coelen, Alexander García Düttmann, Juan-Manuel Garrido, Martta Heikkilä, Erich Hörl, Valentin Husson, Sandrine Israel-Jost, Ian James, Apostolos Lampropoulos, Nidesh Lawtoo, Jérôme Lèbre, Susanna Lindberg, Michael Marder, Artemy Magun, Boyan Manchev, Dieter Mersch, Hélène Nancy, Jean-Luc Nancy, Aïcha Liviana Messina, Ginette Michaud, Helen Petrovsky, Jacob Rogozinski, Philipp Stoellger, Peter Szendy, Georgios Tsagdis, Marita Tatari, Gert-Jan van der Heiden, Aukje van Rooden.