nikki moore


In Subjection on March 1, 2009 at 2:50 pm


something about death is at issue in this shift.

the history of subjectivity, or the compilation of works on subjectivity lay bare the hegelian fantasy that I becomes an I only in the encounter with death.  pealing back from this encounter, I, or the slave, becomes aware of the value of life and enters into voluntary subjection as the price to be paid for continuing to live.  of course there has been work before and after hegel, on this ‘subject’ but even religious texts posit the true I as a consequence of death and/or sacrifice.

yet what about we?

for heidegger, das man is precisely the step before the encounter with death.  literally, ‘we’ are not dead yet.

for blanchot, I is spoken in death, as death, and community finds itself only in death.  

for derrida, we is impossible.  even the kantian we without god is still a we without we.

for nancy, we is all there is, yet he stands with blanchot in the community toward death as well.


is heidegger the only way out of this?  if the I can only be spoken after the tango with death, am I philosophically drawn to we, to ‘the they’ because that morbid romanticism isn’t necessary in the originary ‘being-with’…?


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