- Introduction: Critchley’s Crew
Levinas, Derrida, Beckett, Deleuze, Cavell, Blanchot, Lacan, Kristeva, Foucault, Rorty, Nancy, Laclau. Simon Critchley’s recent work, as represented in the volumes Very Little, Almost Nothing: Death, Philosophy, Literature (1997) and Ethics, Politics, Subjectivity (1999), shows a philosopher passing from the apprenticeship of some of these others to the development of a distinctive voice in the larger philosophical conversation they all may variously be said to be a part of. Those whom he imagines as both interlocutors of the deepest concerns of contemporary thought, and those whom he discerns as worthwhile protagonists in political and ethical discussions of the limits of modern thinking (sometimes they are one and the same) are hailed in his work, that is, called across an irreducible distance to an imagined common. Are they also called to account? In Critchley’s patient exegeses they are, and in his responsible engagements they are invited — we are invited — to think together about the connections and disconnections among the meanings of experience, the ethical responsibilities involving recognition and intelligibility, and the politics engendered in seeking to be true, faithful, to the time of our lives.
In this issue we are delighted to share Simon Critchley’s engagements with three thinkers — Heidegger, Levinas, and Badiou — who share in his (and our) movements from the first step of philosophical discipline to the fuller range of imaginative thinking that comes with a certain kind of non-Kantian maturity.