What if, instead of a scandal, Jacques Derrida had been accepted by the community of analytic philosophers? My prediction is that little-known philosophers would make points like some which I have made: counterexamples to his claims. There is a different reaction to the question which I consider though, according to which these skills do not just transfer from topic to topic and would not be “activated” by Derrida’s philosophy.
The problem of the uneven player is this: we would like a certain level to be the lowest level of acceptable performance in a field and this contributor often goes below this level, while also sometimes reaching or surpassing it, or else giving rewards which are difficult to get from other contributors. I start with a book about reforming economics, and then focus on the case of Jacques Derrida interpreted as “applying” to be an exciting but uneven contributor to analytic (...) philosophy. I point out the solutions of that tradition when faced with such a case. (shrink)
One may locate in Geoffrey Bennington's reading of Derrida a formalization of deconstructive terms reminiscent of Caputo's thematizing of the moment of the sign. In Bennington's hands, Derrida's differance seems to be thought as a conceptual form programmatically configuring subjective, or `actual', events. Bennington reads Derrida's possible-impossible hinge, the `perhaps', as pertaining to definitive events which either conform to convention or break away from those norms. Bennington's quasi-transcendental, in thinking itself via the pure structurality of internal relation, unknowingly succumbs to (...) a deconstructive destabilization before it can even think the first instance of its own `contingently realized' form. An internally unitary principle or form, even if thought only in the instant of its contingent application to an empirical event, cannot justify its momentary identicality, and so the supposed determinativeness of the event as the `as such' of its internal structure is revealed as a phantasm repressing a more intimate effect. (shrink)
A prevalent interpretation of Heidegger today is what I will call for the sake of convenience, the Levinasian reading. According to this perspective, Heidegger's Being as Ontological Difference grapples with the contradiction between the subjectivism of representationality and the absolute other to representation. But the concept of Being as Ontological difference risks risks being mistaken for a Kantian unconditioned ground of possibility. Derrida argues that the Levinas reading mistakes the ontic for the ontological. Being is not a concept, the ontological (...) difference is not the difference between the subjective and the empirical, but difference WITHIN the subjective and the empirical. (shrink)
It has been said that we can't look the other in the eye in guilt. We don't have to be accused by another to feel we have failed her or him. The other need not be disappointed in us, nor even be aware of our failure at all. Guilt as self-blame would be the realization of our failure to behave in the way we expected of ourself, the hurt and disappointment we feel when we are not quite what we thought (...) we were. It would originate in a being-other-than what we expected, the sense of missed opportunity, of a mourning of a better fork in the road not taken. Guilt would register a sense of seeming self-regression or decadence in the momentum of one's experience. What, preliminarily, might we comment concerning the structure we've just sketched of a `twinge' of guilt, the feeling of ìetting oneself down? Let us at first locate the peculiar edge of guilt, as we have described it above, as its`I ought to have, should have, could have' way of thinking, our awareness that we failed to do what we were capable of, what we assumed we would. The proximity between that which one expected of oneself and one's apparent failure to live up to that standard would mark guilt as a gnawing, teasing puzzlement or surprise. Our falling away from another we care for could then be spoken of as an alienation of oneself from oneself. When we feel we have failed another, we mourn our mysterious dislocation from a competence or value which we associated ourselves with. It follows from this that any thinking of guilt as a `should have, could have' blamefulness deals in a notion of dislocation and distance, of a mysterious discrepancy within intended meaning, separating who we were from who we are in its teasing gnawing abyss. Guilt and sadness would seem to represent a plunge into the darkness of separation. As we have seen, for Derrida there would be guilt as an always implied within-trace effect determined by the origin of every event as other than itself in the instant of being itself. This within-trace sense of mourning would be an irreducible quasi-transcendental condition of experience. One disturbs and disappoints oneself in a certain sense at every moment. Then there would also be for Derrida the possibility of guilt, sadness and mourning as a momentum of between-trace relation marking our stumbling into experience marked by a sparse density of change. (shrink)
Jean-Luc Nancy would appear to have avoided the aura of conceptual determinativeness plaguing John Caputo's reading of Derrida. His rendering of the interweaving of experience is vigilant at depriving us of the ability to capture and possess a temporary presence in the event itself. In 'Elliptical Sense' (Research in Phenomenology,pp.175-190) and `Differance' (Sense of the World, pp.34-36) he thinks Derrida's quasi-transcendental as a being-singular-plural. But is Nancy's differential communication of events understanding itself as Derridean differance? Nancy himself reminds (Ellipsis34) that (...) while there is a great proximity between his work and Derrida, it is not a complicity. What might Nancy not be apprehending of Derrida's thought? (shrink)
Proper attention to the theme of corporeality is crucial for understanding Derrida’s analysis of Hegel in “The Pit and the Pyramid.” This article argues that Derrida’s essay compels us to face the impossibility of giving a wholly coherent account of embodiment. The _Aufhebung_ supposedly unites the exteriority of the corporeal with interiority in a higher unity that cancels and preserves them both; Hegel’s own text reveals, however, that meaning is primordially absent from the body that was thought to incarnate it. (...) And it is this absence of ideal meaning that is originary: Differance conditions the body as it conditions speech, rendering the body other than itself such that it is not categorizable as flesh that is the self or as an object that is not the self. I am and am not my body because the dichotomy between interiority and exteriority breaks down even at the level of the body. Indeed, I am and am not my self; the embodied self is disrupted from the start, never self-contained. Thus embodiment always already testifies to the other. (shrink)
“El hecho material de escribir (…) es uno de los fenómenos mas enigmáticos y preciosos que puedan concebirse. Es el punto de convergencia entre lo invisible y lo visible, entre el mundo de la temporalidad y el de la espacialidad”. (J.R. Ribeyro) -/- ¿Cual es la relación entre la materialidad física de la escritura y el carácter ideal de los conceptos? Una forma asequible de acercarse al pensamiento de Jacques Derrida es a través de esta pregunta. Usándola como hilo conductor, (...) el presente libro Escritura y objetividad ideal en el pensamiento de Jacques Derrida busca ser una introducción al pensamiento del filósofo francés durante el periodo entre 1962 y 1972. -/- De acuerdo a Derrida, la tradición filosófica occidental ha rebajado la escritura a una mera representación de la voz y ha considerado a esta ultima como el significante privilegiado del concepto. Asimismo, ha concebido al concepto como objetividad ideal y trascendental inmediatamente presente a la conciencia. Contra estas tendencias –“fonocentrismo” y “logocentrismo”– Derrida enfatiza que la escritura es constituyente de la idealidad y que todo lenguaje es, en cierto modo, una escritura. Así, mediante un concepto “ampliado” de escritura, Derrida deconstruye la comprensión representacional de la escritura, la distinción entre “pensamiento” y “lenguaje” y los presupuestos ontológicos que las fundamentan. -/- Escritura y objetividad ideal en el pensamiento de Jacques Derrida plantea un camino a través de las idiosincráticas y creativas lecturas que Derrida hace de Platón, Rousseau, Hegel y Husserl para introducirnos a su concepto de escritura y para comprender las implicancias que este puede tener en nuestras lecturas y escrituras filosóficas. (shrink)
My essay will take as its point of departure the paragraph from Gershom Scholem’s “Reflections on Jewish Theology,” in which he depicts the modern religious experience as the one of the "void of God" or as "pious atheism". I will first argue that the "void of God" cannot be reduced to atheistic non-belief in the presence of God. Then, I will demonstrate the further development of the Scholemian notion of the ‘pious atheism’ in Derrida, especially in his Lurianic treatment of (...) Angelus Silesius, whose modern mysticism emerges in Derrida’s reading as the ‘almost-atheism’. The interesting feature of this development is that, while for Scholem, the ‘void of God’ is a predominantly negative experience, for Derrida, it becomes an affirmative model of modern – not just Jewish, but more generally, Abrahamic – religiosity which, on the one hand, touches upon atheistic non-belief in the divine presence here and now, yet, on the other, still insists on commemorating the ‘withdrawn God’ through his ‘traces.’ What, therefore, for Scholem, constitutes the ultimate cry of despair, best embodied in Kafka’s work – for Derrida, reveals the more positive face of the modern predicament in which God has absented himself in order to make room for the creaturely reality. And while Scholem envisages redemption as the full restoration of the divine presence – Derrida redefines redemption as the ‘pious’ work of deconstruction to be undertaken in the ‘almost-atheistic’ condition of irreversible separation between God and the world. (shrink)
This text was prompted by a forum discussing the legacy of Jacques Derrida’s Specters of Marx, twenty-five years after its publication. In this short essay, I explore the book’s influence on the fields of Marxism, post-Marxism, and beyond. With the problematic of heritage and legacy in mind, I raise the questions of sexual difference and dissemination as that which comes to interrupt the genealogical logic of inheritance understood as filiation and reproduction. I show that Derrida’s book, besides questioning reception and (...) influence, yet remains to be read, especially in light of ongoing archival research on Derrida’s numerous engagements with Marx and Marxist thought in a series of unpublished seminars from the 1970s. This is done more specifically through a reading of an unpublished seminar from 1974-1975, dealing with the Marxian concepts of ideology and division of labor – which Derrida interrogates more particularly in relation to sex, sexuality, and sexual differences. This text was published in the section "Ambivalent Promises—Reproductions of the Subject: A Forum on Jacques Derrida’s Specters of Marx after 25 Years, Part IV", Contexto Internacional, 42 (1), pp. 125-148. (shrink)
This article interrogates a certain philosophical scene – one which constitutes itself through the position of what Jacques Derrida calls “the ethical instance of violence.” This scene supposes a certain “style” of writing or doing philosophy, and perhaps even a certain philosophical “genre” or “subgenre”: the philosophical discourse on violence. In the course of the essay, I analyze this quasi-juridical scene through readings of Aristotle, Walter Benjamin, Giorgio Agamben, Judith Butler, Slavoj Žižek, Werner Hamacher, Rodolphe Gasché, and Martin Hägglund among (...) others. The scene, built on texts on texts on violence, demands a logic of purity; it is wary of contaminations and equivocations. And yet it thrives on them. In analyzing the implications of text, writing, and trace for the philosophical discourse on violence, I follow Derrida “just to see” what could make the scene tremble. (shrink)
This is an essay on Kant's neglected late tract On a Recently Adopted Prominent Tone in Philosophy (RTP) and Derrida's oblique commentary on this work in his D'un ton apocalyptique adopté naguère en philosophie. The theme of the essay is metaphilosophical and considers issues concerning the nature of critical philosophy, fanaticism (Schwärmerei), and the use of religious tropes in philosophy. I am primarily interested in the ways in which RTP thematises the legitimacy of speaking in an exalted, quasi-religious tone apropos (...) of the authority of Reason as a self-legitimising capacity in philosophical speech. An important additional reason for taking a closer look at this text is because the late Jacques Derrida (1930–2004) took a great interest in this work of Kant’s and, indeed, emphasised, rightly I think, that despite its prima facie rhetorically charged, polemical nature this work—which might at first be taken to be merely a lampoon—is anything but insignificant in Kant’s œuvre. Derrida’s On a Recently Adopted Apocalyptic Tone in Philosophy, originally published in 1983, is an oblique commentary on Kant’s RTP, and aims to expose to view the alleged hidden underpinnings of Kant’s polemic against exaltation or fanaticism (Schwärmerei) in philosophy. Derrida tries to show that Kant’s appeal for tonal moderation in philosophy, for a measured speech, which should rein in exalted modes of speech, is itself not neutral and rather fundamentally biased against an exalted, quasi-religious, manner of thought. It is evident that, as he himself notes early on in RTP, Kant is predisposed towards a more Aristotelian, academic kind of philosophy, which adopts a “proper” tone or pitch in philosophical debate, but Derrida claims that Kant himself raises his voice precisely in lampooning exalted thinkers. I am particularly interested in the extent to which Derrida’s critique manifests a fundamental misapprehension of the Kantian mode of moderating critique. By expounding this misapprehension, Kant’s own reasons for his philippic against religious or quasi-religious talk in philosophy are foregrounded, thus showing the nature of properly critical thought. At the same time, I shall show how Derrida underestimates the self-reflexivity, and hence properly critical, self-authorising mode of thinking, underlying his own oblique references to the adieu as a trope for quasi-transcendental intentionality towards the so-called ‘Other’. (shrink)
Este ensayo presenta una descripción de los escritos inéditos de Jacques Derrida sobre Marx y Louis Althusser en la década de 1970, y un estudio de conceptos como ideología, diferencia sexual, reproducción, violencia, dominación o hegemonía en perspectiva deconstructiva. Se trata de pensar en una otra economía, más allá de la economía del cuerpo propio. El artículo fue publicado en el Volumen 7 de la Revista Demarcaciones, "a 25 años de Espectros de Marx.".
In this 2004 interview — translated into English and published in its entirety for the first time — Jacques Derrida reflects upon his practices of writing and teaching, about the community of his readers, and explores questions related to corporeity and textuality, sexual difference, desire, politics, Marxism, violence, truth, interpretation, and translation. In the course of the interview, Derrida discusses the work of Martin Heidegger, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Maurice Blanchot, Hélène Cixous, Jean Genet, Paul Celan, and many others.
Is justice (merely) an expression of particular values or is it to be understood as a (universal) cross-cultural standard of validity? Following the ideas of Jacques Derrida, this book provides a new answer to this question: Justice is to be explained as a process of deconstruction. To arrive at this conclusion, I proceed from a critical discussion of Martin Heidegger's approach to social philosophy in Being and Time which I connect with a detailed analysis of the implications of Derrida's writings (...) on practical philosophy aspiring to provide a variety of insights, both critical and constructive, into the cultural and normative foundations of democracy. Thematically, the book bridges the frontiers between the philosophy of law, cultural and social philosophy, ethics and political theory, focusing on fundamental questions of the constitution of normativity, responsibility and justification. In this way, my reading of Heidegger and Derrida aims to shed light on the nature of the political problems that concern our societies today. The file contains the table of contents and the first two (introductory) chapters, the introductions of the remaining chapters, as well as the concluding remarks (in German). (shrink)
Misreadings of Derrida's Of Grammatology were prevalent from the time of its debut, up to the present day. For fifty years, Derrida's generalised textuality has been misread as though he meant there was nothing outside text in the traditional sense. This misreading always serves to re-institute notions of linear temporal progress, either among self-styled avant-garde authors who would like to break with past traditions, or among self-styled conservatives who hope to repeat them. If the binaries that divide these works from (...) past texts are undecidable, the ground for such temporal progress disappears, along with the divisions by which we create linear narratives of history. The misreading of Derrida is an attempt to exorcise this undecidability and regain the intellectual and market value of novelty or repetition. (shrink)
During the last ten years of his life, Antonin Artaud shows more and more intensively a multi-faceted and caustic refusal for traditional literature and the ordinary practice of writing. But above all, he shows a stylistic impatience for the alphabetic use of the word and the language. By the intention of creating an inhuman language, which could be understood also by the illiterate people, Artaud wants to undermine the significant use of the word, so that he can achieve a non-representative (...) language, a language that could make real. In this perspective, the aim of our work consists in an inquiry of the expressive forms through which Artaud’s last literary production shows the refusal of canonical literature: especially, we attempt to work about the use of glossolalias, drawings and pictograms included in several Cahiers which Artaud draws up during his confinement in the Rodez’s madhouse, as well as in some of the letters that he writes since 1943. (shrink)
This collection in the area of continental philosophy of language, aesthetics, and semiotics includes articles and book selections from Derrida, Ricouer, McCumber, Oliver, Sheshradi-Krooks, Lacan, and Kristeva. This collection is available in the University of Guelph bookstore.
Habermas’s exchange with Jacques Derrida is situated within the debate about modernity and postmodernity. When he was awarded the Adorno Prize in 1980, Habermas defended the “unfinished project of modernity” in his acceptance speech; the opponents of modernity he identified included — in addition to old conservatives and neoconservatives of the recognizable variety — a group of “Young Conservatives,” among whom he numbered Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida (“Modernity,” 53). The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity (1985) devotes two chapters to Derrida, (...) in which Habermas details, at greater length, what prompted this judgment. In his estimation, Derrida’s philosophy represents a radicalized critique of reason (Vernunftkritik), which amounts to an inadequate response to the diremptions and dualisms of modernity. This account — as well as the debate in Germany, France, and the United States that followed — was marked by polemical intensity and political vehemence; the effect on institutional and theoretical-political lines of allegiance was far-reaching. There is good reason to doubt whether Habermas portrayed Derrida’s writings accurately and whether he situated them in the appropriate cultural and political contexts. Instead of tracing, point for point, the specific problems within Habermas’s account and the critical responses they elicited, it is more illuminating to remain at a certain remove from the debate. This will allow us to identify the common points of departure that Habermas’s and Derrida’s projects share and to indicate the way in which they challenge each other in systematically fruitful ways. (shrink)
Khurana distinguishes different ways in which Derrida’s deconstruction can be understood as an attempt at transforming the transcendental question. Derrida’s essay “Cogito and the History of Madness” might lead us to the assumption that Derrida’s primary interest lies in a move of radicalization: in identifying conditions that are even more fundamental or basic than the conditions of the acts of our theoretical and practical cognition that transcendental philosophy has highlighted. He suggests, however, that instead of a mere radicalization, Derrida’s decisive (...) move in the transformation of the transcendental question resides rather in complicating the way we understand these conditions of possibility: (i) in an attempt to reveal conditions of the possibility of a certain type of act as being simultaneously the conditions of the impossibility of the purity of this act (a project that is sometimes termed “quasi-transcendental”); and (ii) an attempt to complicate the distinction between empirical and transcendental conditions (an investigation that is sometimes called “ultra-transcendental”). (shrink)
This article presents Derrida as a philosopher of history by reinterpreting his De la Grammatologie. In particular, it provides a schematic reconstruction of Part II of that book from the perspective of the problem of history. My account extends work on historicity in Derrida by privileging the themes of ‘history’ and ‘diagram’ in the Rousseau part. I thereby establish a Derridean concept of history which aims at accounting for the continuities and discontinuities of the past. This is in contrast to (...) some criticism that Derrida leaves behind, or inadequately accounts for history. Derrida describes a necessarily contorted condition of relating any historical event or development to itself or to another. This historicity informs other well-known aspects of Derrida's work, like the ‘quasi-transcendental’ terms he developed. I conclude that ‘history’ is a critical element in any understanding of deconstruction, and that deconstruction entails new kinds of history, but that some axioms of current historical thought require reformation. (shrink)
The contention of this chapter is that Derrida's writings about the “dessins” (drawings) of Artaud and the “tableaux” (paintings) of Atlan remain trapped within the problems posed by ekphrasis. In addition to any attempt to identify both the place of ekphrasis and its legacy, what also needs to be established, as part of that opening move, is the limit of ekphrasis. Philostratus’ Imagines provide a way into the question of ekphrasis. As has been intimated, ekphrasis understood in the chapter not (...) only as the equation of the work of art with a form of description that depends upon the literary and the rhetorical, but also we must understand that the equation of art and description entails the privilege of meaning – with the result that work and meaning coincide. Derrida's text is extraordinary. It begins with “the dreamer” held by a work, held by its “trait de couleur”. (shrink)
While Heidegger's earlier phenomenological writings inform much contemporary discourse in the continental philosophy of religion, his 1927 essay on ‘Phenomenology and Theology’ offers a largely uncontested distinction between philosophy and theology on the basis of their possibilities as sciences following ontological difference. This paper reconsiders Heidegger's distinction by invoking spirit and wonder, concepts Jacques Derrida and Mary-Jane Rubenstein have more recently emphasized as central to thought that is open to that which ruptures metaphysical schemas. I contend Heidegger's use of ontological (...) difference as a formal distinction between philosophy and theology distances us from the wonder, spirit, and truth (alētheia) that undoes the binaries behind which we take shelter. However, I temper this critique with the recognition that Heidegger, Derrida, and Rubenstein equally recognize an inescapable repetition of metaphysical thinking in the philosophy of religion. (shrink)
Derrida’s deconstruction of Marx works upon the insistence on the presence of the ghost of Marx that continues to haunt the present time of capitalism. When Marx unleashed “the specter of communism” that was to haunt Europe in 1848, a common holy alliance was forged to conjure away this specter, the ghost of communism. By summoning all the powers of the capital, the specter must be put to death and all its effects exorcised so as to preserve the hegemony of (...) the holy capitalist alliance — the symbol of old Europe. It is the exorcism of this ghost of Marx and of communism that was to characterize the struggles within the last century (the 20th) as the century of Marxism. (shrink)
Over the past decade 'singularity' has been a prominent term in a broad range of fields, ranging from philosophy to literary and cultural studies to science and technology studies. This volume intervenes in this broad discussion of singularity and its various implications, proposing to explore the term for its specific potential in the study of literature. Singularity and Transnational Poetics brings together scholars working in the fields of literary and cultural studies, translation studies, and transnational literatures. The volume's central concern (...) is to explore singularity as a conceptual tool for the comparative study of contemporary literatures beyond national frameworks, and by implication, as a tool to analyze human existence. Contributors explore how singularity might move our conceptions of cultural identity from prevailing frameworks of self/other toward the premises of being as 'singular plural'. Through a close reading of transnational literatures from Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands, France, and South Africa, this collection offers a new approach to reading literature that will challenge a reader's established notions of identity, individuality, communicability, and social cohesion. (shrink)
In Plasticity at the Dusk of Writing (Malabou 2010), Catherine Malabou looks back over her earlier intellectual trajectory and attempts to clarify the precise relationship between her own philosophical investigations and the crucial sources on which she has principally drawn, namely Hegelian dialectic, Heidegger’s ‘destruction’ of the history of ontology, and Derrida’s project of deconstruction. In this process, she also undertakes to take a step beyond the complex constellation of these three sources, arguing for a philosophy of plasticity which can (...) at once take up and transform the practices of dialectic, destruction, and deconstruction in what she describes as a ‘plastic reading’. (shrink)
The line drawn in this paper is a long one, even far-fetched. It goes all the way from a phenomenology of touch beginning with Aristotle, and from there it will not be finished before it arrives at our present technological condition—a condition for which the French philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy has given us the word ecotechnie. The title of this drawing will be ‘responsiveness and technology’ as it connects exactly these two phenomena. Not in such a way, however, that the paper (...) begins with responsiveness and ends with technology. Rather, the line will begin with their intricate and intimate connection and then unfold until this connection is wholly exposed. And so the paper begins with a technical responsiveness to be found in touch; and it ‘ends’ with a worldwide responsive technology—which will in a sense prove to be without end. (shrink)
My aim in this paper is to expose a misrepresentation of Jean-Luc Nancy’s ideas on community in the secondary literature. I argue that discussions of Nancy’s work have failed to recognize a transformation that has occurred in his later thought, which distances him from Jacques Derrida. I propose that Nancy’s later work points the way beyond the “persistence of unhappy consciousness” in deconstruction through allowing for the possibility of the creation of a world alternative to globalization. Recognition of this transformation (...) is suggestive for how Nancy’s theoretical framework might be employed in analyses of recent resistance movements. (shrink)
The reflection elaborated in these pages, fleeing all submission to the now abused rhetoric of the prevailing economism, traces in the works of René Girard - the most serious pretender to the legacy of the masters of suspicion - and Jacques Derrida - the last great philosopher of the twentieth century - the constituent elements of a critical paradigm with which to interpret the present time. The volume investigates the multiple correspondences between the different legacies of deconstruction and the most (...) recent developments of mimetic theory through the articulated reconstruction of the reflections, still little known in Italy, of some of the most brilliant contemporary exponents of those traditions. Formulating the features of an ontology of actuality hinged on the notions of mimesis and trace, the author proposes a philosophical diagnosis that recognizes in our time an age in the grip of panic. (shrink)
In this article I seek to address the way that Jean-Luc Nancy's project of the ‘deconstruction of Christianity’ relates to the understanding of what might be meant by ‘Christian art’. In the process of looking at Nancy's treatment of some signal ‘Christian’ scenes I describe some ways in which the motif of ‘touching’ arises as significant for how Nancy addresses the possibility of ‘alienation from the world’, a possibility that he takes to be central to the self-deconstructive potential of ‘Christianity’. (...) Subsequently the topic of the distinction between ‘faith’ and ‘belief’ is related to how Derrida understands the notion of the ‘messianic’ and I conclude with a suggestion concerning how the plurality of ‘deconstructions’ might complicate the question of what is meant by the view that the ‘deconstruction of Christianity’ is itself a ‘Christian’ project. (shrink)
I revisit the Derrida-Gadamer debate in order to analyze more closely the problem of the foundation of reason and of interpretation. I explore the theme of play as a metaphor of non-foundation in both philosophers and analyze how both extract this quality from their readings of Plato’s Phaedrus . Does Derrida not essentialize the game by declaring that the playful experience of a Gadamerian dialogue must produce a metaphysical presence in the form of a hermeneutic intention? I find that the (...) circular structure of understanding permits – for both philosophers – no clear signifiant either in speech or in writing. The game of interpretation produces – in changing endlessly between reading and rhetoric – an endless chain from one signifier to the next signifier without ever imitating a divine logos. (shrink)
(First paragraph.) Different views on the relation between phenomenal reality, the world as we consciously experience it, and noumenal reality, the world as it is independent from an experiencing subject, have different implications for a collection of interrelated issues of meaning and reality including aspects of metaphysics, the philosophy of language, and philosophical methodology. Exploring some of these implications, this paper compares and brings together analytic, continental, and Buddhist approaches, focusing on relevant aspects of the philosophy of Donald Davidson, Jacques (...) Derrida, Dharmakīrti, and Dōgen. Prima facie, these philosophers have little in common, and indeed the differences are vast. Even in case of the two Western thinkers there is a fundamental difference between Davidson’s anti-dualist identification of phenomenal, experienced reality with the noumenal, real, external world on the one hand, and the bracketing or elimination of noumenal reality at the base of Derrida’s thought on the other, which lead to radically different ideas with regards to (the possibility and nature of) objectivity and our linguistic access to the real/external/noumenal world. Nevertheless, there are important similarities between Dharmakīrti’s theory of apoha and Davidson’s and Derrida’s theories of triangulation and différance respectively, and these similarities can be exploited to bridge some of the differences and attempt a constructive engagement. (shrink)
This book starts from this simple premise: thinking the activity of curating. To do that, it distinguishes between 'curating' and 'the curatorial'. If 'curating' is a gamut of professional practices for setting up exhibitions, then 'the curatorial' explores what takes place on the stage set up, both intentionally and unintentionally, by the curator. It therefore refers not to the staging of an event, but to the event of knowledge itself. -/- In order to start thinking about curating, this book takes (...) a new approach to the topic. Instead of relying on conventional art historical narratives (for example, identifying the moments when artistic and curatorial practices merged or when the global curator-author was first identified), this book puts forward a multiplicity of perspectives that go from the anecdotal to the theoretical and from the personal to the philosophical. These perspectives allow for a fresh reflection on curating, one in which, suddenly, curating becomes an activity that implicates us all (artists, curators, and viewers), not just as passive recipients, but as active members. As such, the Curatorial is a book without compromise: it asks us to think again, fight against sweeping art historical generalizations, the sedimentation of ideas and the draw of the sound bite. Curating will not stop, but at least with this book it can begin to allow itself to be challenged by some of the most complex and ethics-driven thought of our times. (shrink)
This essay sounds out Derrida's plurivocal term of frequencies as well as Nancy's understanding of resonance to argue that ghosts live in the ear. Heeding how the different nuances of this term bear on Derrida's reading of Hamlet, it not only seeks to understand the significance of the ghost's rhythmic appearance:disappearance in Shakespeare's play, but indeed, how it comes to frequent Derrida's Specters of Marx.
In his seminars on the death penalty, Derrida consistently describes Kant's arguments in favor of capital punishment as “rigorous” and explicitly relates that rigor to the mechanisms of execution and the subsequent rigor mortis of the corpse. ‘Rigor’ has also often been a contested term in descriptions of deconstruction: different commentators have either deplored or celebrated the presence or the absence of rigor in Derrida's work. Derrida himself uses the term a good deal throughout his career, usually in a positive (...) sense, although he also at least once, in passing, suggests the need to question the rigor of the concept of rigor itself. In this paper, I will outline the place of Kant in the Death Penalty Seminars and suggest that it is the very rigor attributed to Kant that makes him (rather than some other writers—whether supporters or opponents of the death penalty—whose arguments seem less rigorous to Derrida) an exemplary object for deconstructive attention, not for the first time in Derrida's work. Broadening the focus beyond the texts Derrida explicitly analyzes, I suggest that this kind of attention can also be fruitfully brought to bear on some more general arguments in Kant about right and justice. In conclusion, I suggest some implications of this situation for the still difficult issue of the more general relation between deconstruction and critique in the Kantian sense. (shrink)
This article analyzes the role played by Immanuel Kant's defense of the death penalty, in the first and the second years of Jacques Derrida's Death Penalty Seminars, delivered from 1999 to 2001. Regarding the first year, the initial part of this article charts how Derrida introduces Kant's writings that purport to elaborate the categorical imperative of the death penalty, not by Kant's primary arguments but rather precisely through Kant's concession of an exception to this categorical imperative, concerning the impunity of (...) a mother's infanticide. Derrida's lectures juxtapose Kant's philosophy of the death penalty with Victor Hugo's claim for the inviolability of life, and in doing so, the sessions introduce other examples of the applicability of the death penalty to mothers who have killed their children. What is at stake is the status of philosophy relative to the death penalty. Concerning the second year, the latter part of this article isolates the logic of Kant's categorical imperative, as deconstructed by Derrida, through recourse to the additions that Kant was obliged to append to his initial argument—those involving precisely sex crimes. The article follows how Derrida thoroughly takes apart both the simplicity of Kant's categorical imperative of the death penalty by means of the complications that are its abyssal foundation and the phallogocentrism of Freud's sexual oppositions through the extraction of insights into another thinking of sexual difference that Freud's categories foreclosed. (shrink)
This article explores the question of truth in the work of Jacques Derrida and Alain Badiou. Specifically, it investigates Badiou’s claim that deconstruction is a form of sophistry. Badiou positions himself against Derrida in preference for a philosophy committed to Truth, Being and the event. The sophist, in contrast to the philosopher, denies the existence of truths and the category of truth. Despite this hostility, Badiou argues that the two must coexist. Badiou also explores the relationship between existence and inexistence (...) insofar as différence represents what Badiou labels the passion of Inexistance. The article concludes with how the two philosophers envision the place of truth in the future of philosophy: the flash of an event which punctures a hole in knowledge (Badiou) or the necessity of embracing the deconstructive nature of truth, language and knowledge (Derrida). (shrink)
Part I. Phenomenology -- Phenomenology and the return to beginnings -- Delimitations: phenomenology and the end of metaphysics -- Part II. Sallis's Plato interpretation -- Being and logos: reading the Platonic dialogues -- Chorology: on beginning in Plato's Timaeus -- Platonic legacies -- Part III. Art/Sallis -- Stone -- Shades-of painting at the limit -- Topographies -- Part IV. Sallis and other thinkers -- The gathering of reason -- Spacings-of reason and imagination in texts of Kant, Fichte, Hegel -- Echoes: (...) after Heidegger -- Crossings: Nietzsche and the space of tragedy -- Part V. Sallis speaks directly -- Double truth -- Force of imagination: the sense of the elemental -- On translation -- The Sallis/Derrida dialogue -- Derrida's "Tense" and Sallis's The verge of philosophy. (shrink)