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What about the Billeter-Jullien Debate? And What Was It about? A Response to Thorsten Botz-Bornstein

What about the Billeter-Jullien Debate? And What Was It about? A Response to Thorsten Botz-Bornstein Willamowitz-Moellendorf, Ulrich von. 1969. "Zukunftsphilologie! Zweites Stück: EineErwiderungaufdieRettungsversuchefürFr.NietzschesGeburt der Tragödie" (1873).InK.Gruender,ed.,Der Streit um Nietzsches "Geburt der Tragödie": Die Schriften von E. Rohde, R. Wagner, U. v. Mill Moe,pp.115­135.Hildesheim: Olms. Wu,Pei-yi1981."ReviewofJeanFrançoisBilleter,Li Zhi: Philosophe maudit (1527­ 1602): Contribution à une sociologie du mandarinat chinois de la fin des Ming." Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies41,no.1:304­317. Zhao, Henry. 2007. "Contesting Confucius." New Left Review 44 (March­April). http://newleftreview.org II/44/henry-zhao-contesting-confucius. / Ralph Weber UniversityofZurich ralph.weber@access.uzh.ch NodoubtThorstenBotz-Bornsteinisrighttohighlightthatthedebateof2006and 2007(ifindeeditcanbecalledadebate1)betweenJeanFrançoisBilleterandFrançoisJullienwasparticularlyheated.Itwastosomeextentapersonalaffairinthat both protagonists overstepped the scholarly bounds set for an exchange of arguments, the heat at times reaching the boiling point. Billeter reproached Jullien for no less than instrumentalizing China, fashioned as the absolute Other and instrumentalizedforalmostnootherpurposethantocontinueaphilosophicaldiscourse establishedbyJullienhimself,adiscoursethatbecameevermoreauto-referential, furthering only the most dubious of ideological interests. In one passage, Billeter goessofarastoclaimthat,ratherthanallowingthe"Chineseauthors"theirown voiceandlettingthemdeveloptheirownarguments,intheend"itisalwayshim[i.e. Jullien]whotalks"(Billeter2006a,p.45).RegardlessofjusthowpersonalBilleter's opposition to Jullien was meant to be nd at least one commentator claims that --a beyondthepolemicaltitlethetextoffersa"rigorousargumentation"(Danjou2006; cf.alsoZufferey2006) ulliencertainlytookitpersonally,askinghimselfinhisri--J poste,Chemin faisant,justwhyBilleterwassoangryathim(ullien2007,p.137). J His riposte is marketed on the title page in big letters as a "Réplique à ***," whichisexplainedbytheserieseditors,AlainBadiouandBarbaraCassin,interms ofthereactiontoasplinterthatmoreoftenthannotswiftlyremovedisquicklyforgottenbutthatoccasionallyprovokesaconsiderablereflexivegesture,ofjustthekind thatJullienoffers,thanksto***.AquotebyFoucaultprecedesthetextitself,reading: "Therearecritiquestowhichonerespondsandotherstowhichonegivesariposte. Volume64,Number1January2014228­237 ©2014byUniversityofHawai`iPress Perhapswronglyso,forwhynotsimilarlylendanearthatisattentivetoincomprehension,tobanality,toignoranceortoinsincerity?"Onlyonce,attheverybeginning ofthetext,isBilleter'sname(byimplicationthesubjecteitherofincomprehension, banality,ignorance,insincerity,oracombinationofallfour)fullymentioned;thereafteronlyhisinitials,JFB,areused.Evenuntilrecentlythepracticeofgivingthesilent treatmenthaspersisted,aswhenJullienintheinterviewwithMartinandSpiresimply observes"thatthesinologistswhocriticizeme...havethemselvesproducednoth--d ( ingsincethatcritique oyouneednames?"MartinandSpire2011,p.209;italics in original), before referring the reader to the many books he has written since Chemin faisant.Needlesstoadd,thispointispremisedonquantitytrumpingquality, whichisatleastslightlydisconcertinggiventhatJullien'sworkshavebeenfoundas earlyas1996tobemarkedby"agreatdealofoverlappingifnotoutrightrepetition (oratleastrewriting)"(Reding1996,p.162) omethingthatapparentlystillisthe --s caseinhismanybooks"produced"sincethen. From one http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Philosophy East and West University of Hawai'I Press

What about the Billeter-Jullien Debate? And What Was It about? A Response to Thorsten Botz-Bornstein

Philosophy East and West , Volume 64 (1) – Jan 24, 2014

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Abstract

Willamowitz-Moellendorf, Ulrich von. 1969. "Zukunftsphilologie! Zweites Stück: EineErwiderungaufdieRettungsversuchefürFr.NietzschesGeburt der Tragödie" (1873).InK.Gruender,ed.,Der Streit um Nietzsches "Geburt der Tragödie": Die Schriften von E. Rohde, R. Wagner, U. v. Mill Moe,pp.115­135.Hildesheim: Olms. Wu,Pei-yi1981."ReviewofJeanFrançoisBilleter,Li Zhi: Philosophe maudit (1527­ 1602): Contribution à une sociologie du mandarinat chinois de la fin des Ming." Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies41,no.1:304­317. Zhao, Henry. 2007. "Contesting Confucius." New Left Review 44 (March­April). http://newleftreview.org II/44/henry-zhao-contesting-confucius. / Ralph Weber UniversityofZurich ralph.weber@access.uzh.ch NodoubtThorstenBotz-Bornsteinisrighttohighlightthatthedebateof2006and 2007(ifindeeditcanbecalledadebate1)betweenJeanFrançoisBilleterandFrançoisJullienwasparticularlyheated.Itwastosomeextentapersonalaffairinthat both protagonists overstepped the scholarly bounds set for an exchange of arguments, the heat at times reaching the boiling point. Billeter reproached Jullien for no less than instrumentalizing China, fashioned as the absolute Other and instrumentalizedforalmostnootherpurposethantocontinueaphilosophicaldiscourse establishedbyJullienhimself,adiscoursethatbecameevermoreauto-referential, furthering only the most dubious of ideological interests. In one passage, Billeter goessofarastoclaimthat,ratherthanallowingthe"Chineseauthors"theirown voiceandlettingthemdeveloptheirownarguments,intheend"itisalwayshim[i.e. Jullien]whotalks"(Billeter2006a,p.45).RegardlessofjusthowpersonalBilleter's opposition to Jullien was meant to be nd at least one commentator claims that --a beyondthepolemicaltitlethetextoffersa"rigorousargumentation"(Danjou2006; cf.alsoZufferey2006) ulliencertainlytookitpersonally,askinghimselfinhisri--J poste,Chemin faisant,justwhyBilleterwassoangryathim(ullien2007,p.137). J His riposte is marketed on the title page in big letters as a "Réplique à ***," whichisexplainedbytheserieseditors,AlainBadiouandBarbaraCassin,interms ofthereactiontoasplinterthatmoreoftenthannotswiftlyremovedisquicklyforgottenbutthatoccasionallyprovokesaconsiderablereflexivegesture,ofjustthekind thatJullienoffers,thanksto***.AquotebyFoucaultprecedesthetextitself,reading: "Therearecritiquestowhichonerespondsandotherstowhichonegivesariposte. Volume64,Number1January2014228­237 ©2014byUniversityofHawai`iPress Perhapswronglyso,forwhynotsimilarlylendanearthatisattentivetoincomprehension,tobanality,toignoranceortoinsincerity?"Onlyonce,attheverybeginning ofthetext,isBilleter'sname(byimplicationthesubjecteitherofincomprehension, banality,ignorance,insincerity,oracombinationofallfour)fullymentioned;thereafteronlyhisinitials,JFB,areused.Evenuntilrecentlythepracticeofgivingthesilent treatmenthaspersisted,aswhenJullienintheinterviewwithMartinandSpiresimply observes"thatthesinologistswhocriticizeme...havethemselvesproducednoth--d ( ingsincethatcritique oyouneednames?"MartinandSpire2011,p.209;italics in original), before referring the reader to the many books he has written since Chemin faisant.Needlesstoadd,thispointispremisedonquantitytrumpingquality, whichisatleastslightlydisconcertinggiventhatJullien'sworkshavebeenfoundas earlyas1996tobemarkedby"agreatdealofoverlappingifnotoutrightrepetition (oratleastrewriting)"(Reding1996,p.162) omethingthatapparentlystillisthe --s caseinhismanybooks"produced"sincethen. From one

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Philosophy East and WestUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Jan 24, 2014

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