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Nancy and the Political$
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Sanja Dejanovic

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780748683178

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748683178.001.0001

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(p.245) 10 Precarity/Abandonment
Nancy and the Political

Philip Armstrong

Edinburgh University Press

Nancy refers with some frequency in his writings to abandonment, a condition of being abandoned that comes to characterize many of the larger concepts for which his writings are better known. While the term spans all of Nancy's writings to the present, it comes to a focus in “Abandoned Being” from 1981, a text in which Nancy claims that “abandoned being has already begun to constitute an inevitable condition for our thought,” and that “the ontology that summons us will be an ontology in which abandonment remains the sole predicament of being.” This essay turns on series of ten theses for thinking through the rapport between abandonment and contemporary issues of precarity, a more recent term that has played a decisive role in mass demonstrations against forms of inequality and injustice, the recomposition of capital, transformations in the nature of work and labor, and contemporary forms of social existence. In this sense, the paper addresses the different ways in which Nancy's references to abandonment reconfigure precarity from the historical, political, and sociological frameworks in which it is situated, just as precarity reframes Nancy's references to abandonment from the philosophical lineages in which it is largely understood.

Keywords:   Abandonment, Precarity, Capitalism, Ontology, Inequality, Heidegger

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