Of Plural Neutrality and Utopia

  • Louis Marin
Part of the Contemporary Studies in Philosophy and the Human Sciences book series (MIP)


Two circumstances gave birth to this book. They are seemingly unrelated, and their import is unequal: May 1968 and a colloquium organized two years later by the University of Montreal devoted to neutrality in higher education and in the student-teacher relationship. The former event, it has been said repeatedly, is directly linked to the question of utopia, if not in the specific demands that surfaced, at least in its more universal nature as a revolutionary festival. For a few weeks historical time was suspended, all institutions and laws were again challenged in and by discourse, and networks of communication were opened among those immersed in one way or another in the experience. May 1968 was not only a liberating explosion and an extratemporal moment of overthrow; it was also the seizure of every opportunity to speak.1 Subjects and objects were exchanged so that suddenly discourse seemed to conjure up its referent. It appeared to make manifest, through its verbal expression and by its images, desires. Both roaming in reality and fixated in words, these desires could not have been accomplished by discourse itself. Rather, it brought those who spoke to such a point of excess that they could do nothing but misjudge the discourse that animated them. They consequently found themselves beyond themselves, beyond what they thought or believed.


Critical Force Neutral Term Reciprocal Negation Transcendental Logic Negative Predicate 
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© Humanities Press Inc. 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Louis Marin

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