Givenness frequently forecloses the future; however, the term has a complex legacy through both economic accounts of the gift and phenomenological explorations of the given. Jean-Luc Marion, Jacques Derrida, and Jean-Luc Nancy all invoke both gift and given; however, their formulations of givenness differ strikingly with regard to temporality. Marion conceives the given as revelation, a vision summoning (and thus preceding) the givee. Derrida thinks of the given as an inheritance received from the future and thus responsible to what is to come. Nancy locates the given in the present but finds givenness to be the mutual relation and imbrication of beings, a web of entanglement that spaces but does not determine those beings.
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© 2016 by Porter Institute for Poetics and Semiotics