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Philosophy Mind & Body

Ego Sum

Corpus, Anima, Fabula

by (author) Jean-Luc Nancy

translated by Marie-Eve Morin

Fordham University Press
Initial publish date
May 2016
Mind & Body, Semiotics & Theory, Psychoanalysis
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    May 2016
    List Price
    $95.00 USD
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2016
    List Price
    $28.00 USD

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First published in 1979 but never available in English until now, Ego Sum challenges, through a careful and unprecedented reading of Descartes’s writings, the picture of Descartes as the father of modern philosophy: the thinker who founded the edifice of knowledge on the absolute self-certainty of a Subject fully transparent to itself. While other theoretical discourses, such as psychoanalysis, have also attempted to subvert this Subject, Nancy shows how they always inadvertently reconstituted the Subject they were trying to leave behind.
Nancy’s wager is that, at the moment of modern subjectivity’s founding, a foundation that always already included all the possibilities of its own exhaustion, another thought of “the subject” is possible. By paying attention to the mode of presentation of Descartes’s subject, to the masks, portraits, feints, and fables that
populate his writings, Jean-Luc Nancy shows how Descartes’s ego is not the Subject of metaphysics but a mouth that spaces itself out and distinguishes itself.

About the authors

Jean-Luc Nancy (1940–2021) was a French philosopher and Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Strasbourg. He is especially known for works such as The Inoperative Community, The Experience of Freedom, Being Singular Plural, The Sense of the World, and The Creation of the World or Globalization. Translations of his later important works such as the two volumes of The Deconstruction of Christianity, The Disavowed Community, and Sexistence have been published by Fordham University Press.

Jean-Luc Nancy's profile page

Marie-Eve Morin is Professor and Chair of Philosophy at the University of Alberta in Canada. She is the author of many articles on Derrida, Nancy, Merleau-Ponty, Heidegger, Sartre, Latour, and Sloterdijk. She is also the author of Merleau-Ponty and Nancy on Sense and Being: At the Limits of Phenomenology (Edinburgh University Press, 2022) and Jean-Luc Nancy (Polity, 2012); editor of Continental Realism and Its Discontents (Edinburgh University Press, 2017); as well as the coeditor, with Peter Gratton, of The Nancy Dictionary (Edinburgh University Press, 2015) and of Jean-Luc Nancy and Plural Thinking: Expositions of World, Politics, Art, and Sense (SUNY Press, 2012). She has also translated some of Nancy’s works into English, including Ego Sum (Fordham University Press, 2016).

Marie-Eve Morin's profile page

Editorial Reviews

Ego Sum is the most risky, and therefore most philosophically interesting, book concerning Descartes in the last forty years. Like Descartes’s own philosophy, it remains contemporary.

Derrida Today

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Other titles by Marie-Eve Morin