The outside of phenomenology: Jean-Luc Nancy on world and sense

  • Patrick Roney


In this essay, I examine Jean-Luc Nancy’s notion of the sense of the world in relation to the phenomenological investigation of the life-world in Husserl and the worldhood of the world in Heidegger. My aim is to address the reasons why Nancy stresses the need for a different thinking that goes beyond the phenomenological gesture in order to approach the sense of the world. What is at stake in this other gesture is the overcoming of the way in which phenomenology privileges seeing as the mode of access to the phenomenon, which is but one sense among many and which, as one sense among many, fails to bring thought into relation with the pluralisation of sense. The second part of the essay interprets the pluralisation of both sense and world in terms of Nancy’s turn to art, which by touching upon the limit of philosophy, turns the latter into the praxis of the exposition of sense. Pluralisation betokens Nancy’s attempt to think the finitude of the world as that which spaces itself out into multiple, singular and shared.

South African Journal of Philosophy 2013, 32(4): 339–347

Author Biography

Patrick Roney
Department of Philosophy, Koç University, Istanbul, Turkey

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 0258-0136