This paper offers a contextually inflected discussion of the extensive investment Paul Valéry makes in going beyond formal understandings of time. To this end it takes the processual work Cahiers
as both a repository of insights, and a practical motor of conceptual creation for new time concepts through its very writing and production. In a speculative engagement with Valérian concepts such as phase, prolongation as well as reconfigured relations between central categorical pairings such as quality-quantity and succession-simultaneity, the paper situates Valéry’s writings on time with regard to their ambiguously critical attitude to a given image of philosophy as a form of verbal exercise ungrounded in empirical observation of local systems.
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