2022-01Thematic Section
Boundaries, Transgression, and Resistance


In this essay I analyze the phenomenon of boundary and the mode(s) of human experiencing of it. I claim that it is essential, or even foundational, to culture. Humans encounter boundaries positively or negatively virtually everywhere, in all forms of experience of reality and of themselves. To experience a boundary is, obviously, not identical with a simple acceptance of our limitations, but is equally constituted by a pursuit to transgress it. There is no boundary without at least possible transgression, and there is no transgression without a boundary. In this sense one cannot be understood without the other. This paradoxical relation is constitutive – as we know from the great narratives of our culture – for culture and humankind in their essential entanglement. But this picture is to be supplemented by a moment of resistance – even if we were able to transgress all boundaries, does that mean we should? It is this question which draws our attention to creative and normative aspects of our experience of boundaries. It is this question which constitutes a challenge to our thinking and acting whenever we encounter a boundary. In my analyses I pay some special attention to boundaries in contemporary art.


boundary, transgression, resistance, culture, humanity

How to cite:

Rosińska, Zofia. “Boundaries, Transgression, and Resistance.” Eidos. A Journal for Philosophy of Culture 6, no. 1 (2022):  7-17. https://doi.org/10.14394/eidos.jpc.2022.0002.


Zofia Rosińska (Professor Emerita)
Faculty of Philosophy, University of Warsaw
Krakowskie Przedmieście 3, 00-927 Warsaw, Poland


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