Déjà Vu and the End of History

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by Paolo Virno

Déjà vu, which doubles and confuses our experience of time, is a psychological phenomenon with peculiar relevance to our contemporary historical circumstances. From this starting point, the acclaimed Italian philosopher Paolo Virno examines the construct of memory, the passage of time, and the “end of history.” Through thinkers such as Bergson, Kojève and Nietzsche, Virno shows how our perception of history can become suspended or paralysed, making the distinction between “before” and “after,” cause and effect, seem derisory. In examining the way the experience of time becomes historical, Virno forms a radical new theory of historical temporality.