Conception of a man in Bataille’s anthropology of chance

  • Anastasiia Prushkovska Odessa I.I. Mechnikov National University
Keywords: chance, fortune, negative ontologies, anthropology of chance, communication, community, Bataille, Sartre


The purpose of this article is to present the conceptшщт of G. Bataille’s philosophy (the anthropology of chance) through the analysis of the nature of concept of «chance» and its relation to the conception of a man in the «ontologies of negativity» of M. Heidegger, J.-P. Sartre and A. Kojève. Theoretical basis. The author defines Bataille's anthropology as anthropology of chance based on its comparison with the ontologies of negativity of the twentieth century. Scientific novelty. The author presents the anthropological concept of G. Bataille, in which a person is understood as a "chance". The author introduces the concept of "anthropology of chance" as a replacement for the classical metaphysical concept of a person and as an alternative to understanding a person in the ontologies of negativity of the twentieth century. Results. It has been established that G. Bataille grouds his understanding of a man in contravention of the subject in classic paradigm. On the place of concepts that have been defining a traditional comprehension of human place in the world, like God, rationality or productivity, Bataille places chance. At the same time, the author highlights the difference between Bataille's anthropology and the “ontologies of negativity” of the twentieth century, built around the concepts of impersonal being (M. Heidegger) or nothing (J.-P. Sartre). The essence of the concept of chance are defined to be openness and meeting with the Other (Autrui) and the other (Autre). It is shown that Bataille’s person-chance consists has a contingent nature and defined through the instability of his place in the universe and society. Community has been identified as a key concept in defining the specifics of the “anthropology of chance”. It might be reached by the subject mystical, erotic and poetic experience. Conclusion. The main difference between the human model proposed by Bataille and existentialism is revealed. Man is described by Bataille not as a creative self isolated in himself, but as “imperfection” opened to another. The Other in this paradigm turns out to be a condition, not a limit of freedom. In Bataille's Inner Experience, man appears as a wound through which it is possible to create a message. Thus, Bataille's concept of a person as a chance becomes a springboard for the emergence of an understanding of the heterogeneous contingent subject in modern philosophy.


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How to Cite
Prushkovska, A. (2020). Conception of a man in Bataille’s anthropology of chance . Scientific and Theoretical Almanac Grani, 23(6-7), 75-83.