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The Transcendental Empiricism of Georges Bataille: The Incommensurable Object

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The frequently assumed premise that Georges Bataille engaged solely in a primarily subject‐centred critique is not here disputed; rather, our contention is that in spite of this, we may look beyond and push Bataille to his own limits to ground a kind of object‐centred critique. If this textual experiment is successful, we come to see a nascent version of transcendental empiricism at work in Bataille's work, effectively functioning as an unacknowledged precursor to the more sophisticated and explicit version of transcendental empiricism that Gilles Deleuze engages. Our aim is to focus on Bataille's Inner Experience as a pivotal moment wherein his critique of transcendence could go either way, and to determine whether a ‘Bataillean transcendental empiricism' would result in different outcomes than Deleuze's version.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2005-01-01

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