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Theses

La blessure ou la brèche : la vulnérabilité comme expérience moderne du politique dans la philosophie de Claude Lefort

Abstract : This work proposes to question the conception of modern politics in Claude Lefort's philosophy, starting with the concept of vulnerability. If it is true that modernity must be understood as a new "experience" of politics, as the philosopher asserts, then we hypothesize that this experience is that of a political body that puts its vulnerability to the test. Unlike pre-modern societies that represent themselves as homogeneous and closed bodies, the shaping of modern societies, as Machiavelli discovers, is based on the principles of social division and historical indetermination. These two symptoms, because they lead to a process of disincorporation of the political, confront societies with their vulnerable bodies and immediately redefine the role of modern power: the role of maintaining the openness and exposure of this body to conflict and event, without it being completely torn apart or closing in on itself; for this modern experience of the vulnerability of the political can be interpreted differently by the societies that experience it. Reading Lefort, we are led to identify two major symbolic reactions to it : through the negation of this experience on the one hand, and its recognition on the other. The denial of the modern experience of politics thus appears as a failure of its work of interpretation, a dysfunction in the operation of its deciphering. According to Lefort, there is a fundamental ambiguity in modernity, the temptation to reverse the very thing it inaugurates. The denial of the vulnerability of politics thus leads modern societies to put in place very real mechanisms of negation of this experience, thereby seeking to overturn the modern principles that constitute it. Claude Lefort thus discovers in Marxism, but also in ideology and bureaucracy, this "attraction for the One" that runs through modernity, the fantastic will to recreate a political body free of conflict and closed to the principle of change. This negation of political vulnerability finds its fulfilment in the totalitarian phenomenon, a true fantasy of an invulnerable society, of a homogeneous and pure body. Conversely, Claude Lefort identifies in democracy the form of a properly modern society that accepts this ordeal and thus recognises its vulnerability. The advent of modern democracy thus appears to be the place where the vulnerability of politics happens, and modern democracy must allow for an implicit recognition of this vulnerability. Because if democracy is the regime that takes on its vulnerability by accepting the test of conflict and the indeterminacy of history, it is at the same time under constant threat of appearing as a truly weak and fragmented regime. Democratic society must therefore symbolically recognize its vulnerability.
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Yaël Gambarotto. La blessure ou la brèche : la vulnérabilité comme expérience moderne du politique dans la philosophie de Claude Lefort. Philosophie. Université Paris-Est, 2020. Français. ⟨NNT : 2020PESC0060⟩. ⟨tel-03547645⟩

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