This article begins with some common or well-known sentiments about the present pandemic era and our experience of it, and moves by way of these toward discussion of the concepts of human existence and the “world” in the broadest sense of both terms. Departing from but also radicalizing the notion that “everything changed” in this pandemic time, I discuss certain logical difficulties that pertain to conceiving of or coherently talking about strict totalities which would include our own selves. This will have significant consequences for our conception of the world (when taken in its absolute or broadest sense), and in what sense there are or could be multiple such immersive wholes of experience. Ultimately, I will suggest that in being able to name such pervasive or all-encompassing phenomena, phenomena which are “always more” than what it is possible for us to indicate, that human existence is fundamentally liminal, or essentially between and borderline. Being essential or fundamental, this liminality or betweenness will form the basis which precedes and makes possible the apparently simple activities of, for instance, counting time or comparing and contrasting ordinary things, activities which would otherwise seem to require no outside support or conditions.
Turner, Paul. "Pandemic Experience and the Concept of World." Critical Humanities 1, 1 (2022). https://mds.marshall.edu/criticalhumanities/vol1/iss1/4