Analytic’ reading, ‘continental’ text: The case of Derrida’s ‘on forgiveness

Abstract
This paper seeks to apply some of the tools of analytic philosophy to a text written by a 'continental' philosopher, in order to evaluate the quality of its arguments. In 'On Forgiveness', Jacques Derrida seems to be making two different claims about forgiveness. First, he claims that an act of forgiveness is only truly meaningful as forgiveness when one is forgiving the unforgivable. Second, he is also recommending that we change our understanding of the concept of forgiveness for ethical reasons. I examine three lines of argument used in the essay to support the first claim. I find each of these lines of argument problematic. Since these arguments are unconvincing, I argue that this leaves only the second claim for Derrida to defend.
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DOI 10.1080/09672550500080413
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References found in this work BETA

Zettel.Ludwig Wittgenstein - 1967 - Blackwell.
Totality and Infinity.Emmanuel Levinas - 1961/1969 - Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press.
Limited Inc.Jacques Derrida - 1988 - Northwestern University Press.
Articulating an Uncompromising Forgiveness.Pamela Hieronymi - 2001 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 62 (3):529-555.

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