Critical Proximity

Stefan Herbrechter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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This article explores the relationship between critical distance and the idea of proximity. In times that are often described as ‘global’, ‘24/7’, ‘connected’, ‘networked’ and ‘immersive’, distance seems ever reduced and proximity omnipresent. The contemporary impression of ubiquitous proximity might constitute a threat to the survival of critical distance understood either as a cornerstone of enlightened and humanist critical practice or as a key metaphysical ‘technology’. The resulting ‘crisis of critical distance’ produces the question of how to position oneself with regard to the ‘other’ in a time that lacks distance and privileges proximity? In tracking the ambiguity (or the ‘aporia’) that surrounds proximity – the desire to be near and the need to maintain a distance – this article rereads some key Heideggerian and Derridean texts in order to attempt a deconstruction of the opposition of distance and proximity at work in the ‘metaphysics of presence’.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-336
Number of pages14
JournalJournal for Cultural Research
Issue number4
Early online date30 Aug 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal for Cultural Research on 30/08/2018 available online: 10.1080/14797585.2017.1370485

Copyright © and Moral Rights are retained by the author(s) and/ or other copyright owners. A copy can be downloaded for personal non-commercial research or study, without prior permission or charge. This item cannot be reproduced or quoted extensively from without first obtaining permission in writing from the copyright holder(s). The content must not be changed in any way or sold commercially in any format or medium without the formal permission of the copyright holders.


  • Aporia
  • Cixous
  • Deconstruction
  • Derrida
  • Distance
  • Heidegger
  • Metaphysics proximity
  • The uncanny


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