David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Derrida Today 1 (2):266-290 (2008)
This article considers Derrida's reading of Walter Benjamin's ‘Critique of Violence’ in ‘Force of Law’ with particular reference to the claims Derrida makes in his controversial ‘Post-Scriptum’. The article focuses in particular on Derrida's claim – a claim situated within the context of a discourse on the ‘final solution’ – that the ‘Critique of Violence’ is too Heideggerian. This claim is explored in the article mainly through reading Heidegger's ‘Anaximander's Saying’ with the purpose of showing some affinities between his and Benjamin's notions of justice and also with respect to the importance both thinkers bestow on the purity of the name. Particular attention is paid to the notion of ‘divine violence’ and its ‘complicity’ with the ‘worst’ also in relation to the questions of the witness and the animal in Benjamin and Heidegger. The article insists on the importance of the theme of the singular witness in the thinking of justice and divine violence and opens up possible avenues for exploring Derrida's relation to Benjamin
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