A little dip into ‘the distribution of the sensible’

I thought I would write a short post about the relevance for my project of Rancière’s notion of ‘the distribution of the sensible’, sometimes called/ translated as ‘the partition of the sensible’. That idea came to me mid morning on Friday but it is now late afternoon on Monday, so I better get something down.

‘The distribution of the sensible’, according to my still flimsy understanding, is not a highly unusual concept; it is Rancière’s way of talking about what it is possible to do or think. It is significant that he talks of distribution/ partition, because division between things is rather big in Rancière’s thinking. It is not so much that he likes to divide up the world, but rather he is very critical of those philosophers or theorists who do and he is rather interested in what such divisions achieve (or often how they prevent the realisation of equality).

Anyway, I could have hammered all of this out on Friday. Instead I decided that I did not know enough. I started off revisiting some blogs on Rancière, moved into more general searches and then discovered it is common for articles in the journal ‘Environment and Planning D: Society and Space‘ to include at least a reference to Rancière (and many draw on Mouffe’s work). So if anybody else is doing a place based project and has an interest in Rancière’s work, recent issues of ‘Environment and Planning D’ are the spot to go.


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