Rethinking Facticity

Edited by François Raffoul & Eric S. Nelson

Subjects: Heidegger
Series: SUNY series in Contemporary Continental Philosophy
Paperback : 9780791473665, 391 pages, January 2009
Hardcover : 9780791473658, 391 pages, May 2008

Table of contents


Part I. Phenomenology and Facticity

 1.  From Phenomenological Immortality to Natality
Anthony J. Steinbock

 2.  On the Genesis of Heidegger's Formally Indicative Hermeneutics of Facticity
Theodore Kisiel

 3.  Factical Life and the Need for Philosophy
François Raffoul

Part II. Heidegger and the Hermeneutics of Facticity

 4.  The Passion of Facticity
Giorgio Agamben

 5.  The Being-with of the Being-There
Jean-Luc Nancy

 6.  Heidegger and the Ethics of Facticity
Eric Sean Nelson

 7.  Intransitive Facticity? A Question to Heidegger
Rudi Visker

Part III. Race, Embodiment, and the Unconscious

 8.  Can Race Be Thought in Terms of Facticity?
A Reconsideration of Sartre's and Fanon's Existential Theories of Race
Robert Bernasconi

 9.  Merleau-Ponty on Fact and Essence
Bernard Flynn

10.  The Chiasm and the Remainder (How Does Touching Touch Itself?)
Jacob Rogozinski

11.  The Unconscious Body in the Psychoanalytic Theory of J. D. Nasio: A Lacanian Perspective
David Pettigrew

Part IV. Contemporary Perspectives

12.  Keeping Art to its Edge
Ed Casey

13.  Existence Authoritarian: Compulsion, Facticity, and the Philosophy of Identity
Namita Goswami

14.  Primordial Attunement, Hardening, and Bearing
Patricia Huntington

15.  Re: Thinking Facticity
Gregory Schufreider

Contributors Information

Examines the historical context and contemporary relevance of facticity.


The concept of facticity has undergone crucial transformations over the last century in hermeneutics and phenomenology, but it has not yet received the attention that it warrants. Following a suggestion by Merleau-Ponty that philosophy is not about essences but rather the facticity of existence, prominent philosophers examine the significance of facticity in its historical context and reflect on its contemporary relevance. Focusing on the works of Husserl, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Sartre, Lacan, and Fanon, among others, they trace its significance from life-philosophy to contemporary European thought and explore its philosophical implications. The following questions are addressed: What thoughts of experience, of subjectivity, of finitude, of nature, of the body, of racial and sexual difference does facticity provoke? What thinking of language, of history, of birth and death, of our ethical being-in-the-world does it mobilize? Exploring these questions, the contributors offer new interpretations of facticity.

François Raffoul is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Louisiana State University. His many books include Heidegger and Practical Philosophy (coedited with David Pettigrew), also published by SUNY Press. Eric Sean Nelson is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell and coeditor (with Antje Kapust and Kent Still) of Addressing Levinas.


"Rarely have I read a collection so rich in implicit intersection and contestation, and thus so able to stimulate fresh thought. " — John T. Lysaker, author of You Must Change Your Life: Poetry, Philosophy, and the Birth of Sense

"This fine collection shows that Heidegger's work does open many rich paths for engaging experience. Each essay contributes to a dialogue between today's driving concerns in continental philosophy and Heidegger's thought. Furthermore, the volume shows how facticity can be given new and constructive impulses for today's philosophical work. " — Alejandro A. Vallega, author of Heidegger and the Issue of Space: Thinking on Exilic Grounds

Contributors include Giorgio Agamben, Robert Bernasconi, Ed Casey, Bernard Flynn, Namita Goswami, Patricia Huntington, Theodore Kisiel, Jean-Luc Nancy, Eric Sean Nelson, David Pettigrew, François Raffoul, Jacob Rogozinski, Gregory Schufreider, Anthony J. Steinbock, and Rudi Visker.