David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophy and Social Criticism 27 (5):35-58 (2001)
This article attempts to respond to Simon Critchley's claim in a recent debate with Richard Rorty, that the latter, by not fully recognizing its indebtedness to Levinas, misunderstands the political import of the work of Jacques Derrida. I maintain, pace Critchley, that trying to push the Derrida-Levinas connection too far will not only further compound Rorty's view of Derrida as a thinker devoid of political efficacy, but that it will moreover serve to obscure the significant differences which exist between Levinas and Derrida - differences which cannot be overlooked in any serious discussion of the two thinkers in question. In the second half, I try to convince Critchley that what separates Derrida from Levinas is precisely what hooks him up with Rorty at a political level. Both, I argue, are committed to a civic religion of social hope. In so doing, I try to convince Rorty that his caricature of Derrida as a private writer without political consequence, ought now to be seriously reconsidered. Key Words: community Critchley democracy Derrida ethics justice law Levinas politics religion Rorty sentiment singularity social hope.
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Citations of this work BETA
Elizabeth Wijaya (2012). To Learn to Live with Spectral Justice: Derrida–Levinas. Derrida Today 5 (2):232-247.
Bob Plant (2006). The Confessing Animal in Foucault and Wittgenstein. Journal of Religious Ethics 34 (4):533 - 559.
Madeleine Fagan (2009). The Inseparability of Ethics and Politics: Rethinking the Third in Emmanuel Levinas. Contemporary Political Theory 8 (1):5.
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