Fantastique Phénomène*

Download PDF

The text we present here is representative of the work that Jean-Luc Nancy has been carrying out on concepts and images, philosophy and art. On this occasion he scrutinizes some of the most representative concepts in the philosophy of modernity, phenomenon, the thing in itself and representation, all of which are synthesized in the role that the imagination and schematization play in the above mentioned philosophical movement. Even when the actual production of images is unimaginable, the unimaginable as such has to be inscribed in some way in the imaginable, as something more than merely its negative limit. Thus the dilemma of a philosophy that subsumes the unimaginable in silence and a philosophy whose boundaries are confined to the phenomenogically imaginable would be transcended. This way, what is for both literally unimaginable would become visible. Such is the fate of those images which make readable the opening of meaning preceding the projection of signifieds. This is what Courbet´s “The Origin of the World” shows us in an exemplary way.