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Death, Community, Mourning – about Voice and Listening in Philosophy

Bernard Harbaš orcid id ; Sveučilište u Zenici, Filozofski fakultet, Zmaja od Bosne 56, BA–72000 Zenica

Puni tekst: engleski pdf 316 Kb

str. 159-169

preuzimanja: 316


Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 316 Kb

str. 168-168

preuzimanja: 195


Puni tekst: njemački pdf 316 Kb

str. 168-169

preuzimanja: 180


Puni tekst: francuski pdf 316 Kb

str. 169-169

preuzimanja: 206



This paper deals with various philosophical aspects of the notion of listening correlated with forming and disabling of totalitarian communities. Traditional philosophy is mainly critical towards sensual knowledge, whereas contemporary thought is concentrated on listening as a significant and complex phenomenon that can be observed as a cognitive category and through various philosophical perspectives (politics, ethics). For Heidegger, listening has existential status and represents one of Dasein’s characteristics. According to him, listening is understanding the one who is close to us (whom we bear in ourselves) – a friend. In Heidegger’s philosophy of listening, Derrida recognises the possibility of forming a community of same and close. It alludes to homogenisation and enmity. Abandoning Heidegger’s thesis about listening to a friend, Derrida writes about the possibility of listening to the spectre representing an affirmation of the existence of absolute otherness. Listening to the spectre is the only correct ethics by which distance is made and totalitarian community avoided. Like Derrida, Nancy sees the danger of forming a totalitarian community in the sameness and closeness of society’s members. The way of avoiding the possibility of forming such a community Nancy sees in immediate (sensual) contact with the world. For Nancy, listening is a contact with the world not mediated by significations and understandings. Listening represents a metaphor of resistance towards aspirations of representative political systems in forming complete and closed communities. By presenting several contemporary philosophical concepts, this paper tries to demonstrate that listening, apart from creating closeness, can maintain an impossible community characterised by irrepresentability and heterogeneity and, more importantly, can function as the resistance toward totalitarian systems.

Ključne riječi

listening; voice; community; spectre; mourning; friendship; death; intimacy; Dasein; irrepresentability

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