Thinking the Event

Thinking the Event

François Raffoul
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 06/02/2020
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 978-0-253-04513-3
Bookmark and Share

Other formats available:

Buy from Amazon


This title is not yet available. You may pre-order this item and it will be shipped to you when it is available.

What happens when something happens? In Thinking the Event, senior continental philosophy scholar François Raffoul undertakes a philosophical inquiry into what constitutes an event as event, its very eventfulness: not what happens or why it happens, but that it happens, and what "happening" means. If, as Leibniz posited, it is true that nothing happens without a reason, does this principle of reason have a reason? For Raffoul, the event always breaks the demands of rational thought. Bringing together philosophical insights from Heidegger, Derrida, Nancy, and Marion, Raffoul shows how the event, in its disruptive unpredictability, always exceeds causality, subjectivity, and reason. It is that "pure event," each time happening outside or without reason, which remains to be thought, and which is the focus of this work. In the final movement of the book, Raffoul takes on questions about the inappropriability of the event and the implications this carries for ethical and political considerations when thinking the event. In the wake of the exhaustion of traditional metaphysics, the notion of the event comes to the fore in an unprecedented way, with key implications for philosophy, ontology, ethics, and theories of selfhood.

Author Bio

François Raffoul is Professor of Philosophy and French Studies at Louisiana State University. He is author of The Origins of Responsibility and translator (with David Pettigrew) of Dominique Janicaud's Heidegger in France.



Timely, provocative, carefully reasoned and argued, and astonishing in its scope. It is a hugely ambitious book that sets out to show how the notion of event in contemporary continental philosophy has utterly transformed not only our thinking of the "event" but also our thinking of "thinking," that is to say, philosophy, ontology, ethics, and theories of human subjectivity.


 (Elizabeth Rottenberg, author of Inheriting the Future: Legacies of Kant, Freud, and Flaubert)


This is a major contribution to philosophical scholarship on a topic that has become increasingly important in recent decades. It caps the existing scholarship on events – both drawing on it extensively while criticizing it effectively – by offering a book that is at once cognizant of all the most important descriptions and theories of the very idea of the event, while offering its own unique take on it.


 (Edward S. Casey, author of The World on Edge)

Customer Reviews

There are currently no reviews
Write a review on this title.

Table of Contents

<P>Table of Contents



1. The Event Outside of Thought

2. The Event without Ground

3. Event and Phenomenology

4. Things as Events

5. Historical Happening and the Motion of Life

6. The Event of Being

7. Event, World, Democracy

8. The Secret of the Event

Conclusion: The Ethics of the Event