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1 JACQUES RANCIÈRE: KEY CONCEPTS The years leading to the conflagration were years of political radicalization. In , at the age of 25, Rancière.
Table of contents

Jean-Philippe Deranty Macquarie University. Although relatively unknown a decade ago, the work of Jacques Ranciere is fast becoming a central reference in the humanities and social sciences. His thinking brings a fresh, innovative approach to many fields, notably the study of work, education, politics, literature, film, art, as well as philosophy. This is the first, full-length introduction to Ranciere's work and covers the full range of his contribution to contemporary thought, presenting in clear, succinct chapters the key concepts Ranciere has developed in his writings over the last forty years.

Students new to Ranciere will find this work accessible and comprehensive, an ideal introduction to this major thinker. For readers already familiar with Ranciere, the in-depth analysis of each key concept, written by leading scholars, should provide an ideal reference. Edit this record.

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Expressivity, Literarity, Mute Speech. Alison Ross. Duncan P. Mercieca - - Studies in Philosophy and Education 31 4 Political Resistance and the Constitution of Equality. Adam Benjamin Burgos - unknown. Joseph Tanke - - Bloomsbury Academic. Adam Burgos - - PhaenEx 8 1 Samuel A. I refer to Plato and Aristotle because they are in fact the most modern theorists of the political. In terms of the political, they are the basic thinkers, and they are therefore the most modern thinkers.

I wanted to stress that line of descent. It so happens that the only philosophical texts to address directly the subject-matter of my nineteenth-century texts were by Plato and Aristotle. In comparison, the writings of Kant or Hegel are, in this context, no more than a pale imitation, even though Hegel does in fact rework the idea of the world and of need. Hegel is a modern political economist. In that sense, he comes close to the world that produced my working-class texts. At the same time, I would say that what Hegel has to say about it takes us back to a symbolic structure that was inscribed or written by Plato and Aristotle, and that was perpetuated by what might be termed a vulgarized Ciceronianism.

And in that sense it may prove to be one of the basic structures of any theory of the political. We have to think in terms of disparities because if we think in terms of a continuity we inevitably trivialize the object we are thinking about. We explain the familiar in terms of the familiar and, ultimately, we fail to establish any difference between the familiar and the totally unfamiliar.

There was, for instance, a time when we explained every strike or every working-class text in terms of the overall relations of the world imperialist system. Then there is the sociological tautology that states that a fact can be explained in terms of its conditions of existence. That may well be perfectly true, but it is not very interesting. If we wish to grasp the singularity of an experience, we have to create disparities.

In the present case, when I refer to Plato and Aristotle, I am creating the greatest possible disparity. On the other hand, there obviously is an element of continuity, a very slender thread running through the great expanses of silence. That is what I was trying to analyse when I looked, for example, at the fate of a word like proletarius.

Inteview with Jacques Rancière

When I read Attic Nights by Aulu-Gelle I was obviously struck by the fact that, by the second century of our era, no one knew what the word meant any more. And it so happens that the scholarly answer corresponds precisely to what the word means within the lived historical experience of the proletarians of the nineteenth century. Basically, the disparity introduced by looking at the classics allows us to glimpse a very different line of descent.

What I was really trying to do was to react against a certain modern tendency to think democracy, socialism and Marxism in terms of a dominant problematic. I wanted to distance myself from that kind of historical argument, and to say that it is possible to think the categories of democracy, socialism and our political state by bracketing out that sequence. It is not a basic explanatory sequence; it simply became the dominant sequence at a given moment, and there were obvious circumstantial reasons why that should have been the case.

Going back to the great concepts of the people — disparate concepts of labourers, proletarians, citizens, and the people — I therefore began to explore the idea that any political subject is the mark of a disparity and not an identity. That is why I began to re-examine the concept of the demos in classical thought.

Aristotle explains the situation of the poor by saying that they had no share in the polis. In a sense, one can say that politics begins when those who have no share begin to have one. Thinking about consensus in this way led me to realize that the demos was, right from the start, a very singular object. Politics begins with the existence of a paradoxical object that is at once a part and a whole.

Which implies the existence of a still more paradoxical object because the part that is counted as a whole basically consists of those who have no share in anything. There is a remainder that has not been counted and cannot be counted. It seems to me that politics begins when the uncounted are not only counted, but when counting the uncounted comes to be seen as the very principle, the very element, of politics.

I therefore tried to develop this logic.

It might obviously be argued that I am drawing a hasty comparison between the Greek demos and the modern proletariat. In other words, the subject is always a problematic subject, either because it appears to have been double-counted, as was the case with the Greek demos , or because it seems not to have been counted at all, as is the case with the modern proletarian.

Politics does not revolve around partners who represent actual groups. It centres on the statistical notion of a subject that is in excess of all social statistics. I think that the homeless are simply marked by their deprivation. A concept such as that of the proletarian is a concept that relates to a symbolic count of community. That lack is both something that can be made good and something that cannot be made good. And that implies that it cannot be subjectivated as the subject of a universal wrong.

We are now seeing an attempt to replace the statistical subjectivation of the uncounted with a grand census of particular rights and of the particular groups which enjoy those rights. The concept of memory is an ambivalent one. There have been periods when it was thought that memory was a property of social bodies. There have also been periods when it was thought that memory was something that could be injected, and that people therefore had to have a history if they were to be aware of their identity, their past and where they were coming from.

I believe that memory does not function like that. Just as there are singular forms of subjectivation, there are, I think, singular operators of memorization. And that mode of inclusion was inscribed within the after-effects of mobilization against the Algerian war. The Third Worldist ideology of the s projected the negative universal power of the proletariat on to the rebellion of the colonized.

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I am trying to look at the notions that make politics possible. How politics becomes concretely possible is another matter.

In the absence of subjects capable of realizing equality — which is the ultimate and absent foundation of politics — in the form of an active freedom, the question of equality is laid bare. Fragmentary political scenes are taking shape around the issue of whether society should be structured around an egalitarian or a non-egalitarian rule. In France, until the strikes of Autumn , politics usually centred around the youth issue, around the school and university question.

Free Read: ‘Hatred of Democracy’ by Jacques Ranciere | nenepacess.tk

They therefore supposedly allow society to be equal to itself, to be a body in which every function has its place. More so than ever before, they are a metaphor for society itself, the site where its egalitarian or non-egalitarian meaning can be stated, and where the logic of consensus must break down. We have therefore reached the point where those who govern us are obliged to declare inequality. But the problem is that it was the only thing that was grasped.

The question is whether or not these mixed situations allow us to imagine a politics in which a declaration of equality or non-equality can polarize everything. I have no answer to that question. What, precisely, is an intellectual? The word has, I think, two meanings. The intellectual then takes on a number of functions at the same time. The intellectual tells the statesman what state society is in, and what social trends he has to deal with.