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Khōra – plus de métaphore

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • Alex Hope
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2015
<mark>Journal</mark>Textual Practice
Number of pages20
Pages (from-to)611-630
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date16/10/14
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Plato's Timaeus is a creation story that has baffled and intrigued numerous generations of philosophers. The central section, dubbed by John Sallis the ‘chorology’, deals with the triton genos, a third kind that comes somewhere in between the intelligible eidos and the sensible world. In Jacques Derrida's elaboration, this inbetweenness knits together Platonic metaphysics and also presents its most radical challenge. For this paper, the most interesting thing about the challenge presented by khōra to Platonic metaphysics is the way in which it makes metaphor a ‘bad’ concept in Derrida's terms, but also in the same moment this inscribes something that can only be articulated by the ‘failure’ of a form of catachretic or apophatic rhetoric as this intermediary keystone. Some recent commentators have argued that Derrida failed to fully work through how muthos and logos are related to rhetoric and logic in the Timaeus; this article shows through a careful reading of the ‘chorology’ that this criticism is problematic in the context of Derrida's wider corpus and then goes on to elucidate the challenges presented for the opposition between logic and rhetoric by the odd textual scene of the Timaeus. It argues that this analysis provides a basis to reinterrogate questions of rhetoric and epistemology, and reinvigorate textual and rhetorical analysis in the face of the challenges presented by speculative realism and the idealisation of mathematics.

Bibliographic note

Author no longer at Lancaster