Add to Technorati Favorites

Weekly Index
Research Sites

  • Features
  • Categories
  • Resources
  • About

search ctlab

Last 100 Entries
« A Cautionary Note | Main | An Impossible Squaring of the Circle? Normativity and Heterogeneity »

Embracing Impossibility

Antoine, You are right that I am theorising a more thoroughgoing heterogeneity than the plurality advocated by liberal cosmopolitans. Of course the two are related but you would be right to see liberal visions of pluralism as an impoverished, enclavised understanding of heterogeneity. I would, therefore, like to look to a more restless heterogeneity in which all forms of identity are ceaselessly unworked by difference (see in this regard my account of Nancy’s Inoperative Community in Chapter 4 of my book).

In this respect I think you may have unknowingly put your finger on precisely the point I was trying to make. The point is that it is indeed impossible to resolve the question of how to negotiate heterogeneity. That is to say there is no single response to such question. It is thus not possible to compete the circle (to take your phrase).

But this does not mean that we should not act. This is my greatest fear about the direction your comments seem to move in: that because action would necessarily comprise attempting an impossible squaring of the circle we would fail to act.

Instead. perhaps we should see the impossibility of squaring the circle in a positive light. It would be unacceptable to act in ways that disavow the inescapable unworking of our actions. But if we act in a way attentive to the unworking of our actions we may we recognise and begin, in some sense, to care for/about the diversity embodied in such an unworking.

The problem with, ethnic-nationalist regimes is that they are necessarily insensible to the presence of alterity and, instead of recognising the unworking of their urbicidal schemas, instead attempt to eradicate all traces of difference in order to deny the relationality and heterogeneity of existence. It is this that I would hope to contest through a series of contingent (and, of course, impossible) attempts to square the circle…

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>