Dialectic and différance: The place of singularity in Hegel and Derrida

Philosophy and Social Criticism 33 (6):667-690 (2007)
This article examines Derrida's critique of Hegel. It argues that there are two key issues that Derrida misunderstands in Hegel's thought: first, Hegel's response to the concept-intuition dichotomy that plagued Kant's critical thought; second, that Hegel's notions of reason and the dialectic, when they are conceived non-metaphysically, are not tools employed to subsume differences but are, like Derrida's différance , fundamentally concerned with thought's instability. The article shows the way in which Derrida develops the notion of singularity by an examination of the discussion of responsibility in his later writings. It is argued that the way that Hegel and Derrida consider the notion of singularity is a much better marker for distinguishing these two thinkers than Derrida's own interpretation of Hegel. Key Words: Jacques Derrida • dialectic • differance • G. W. F. Hegel • normativity • reason • responsibility • singularity.
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DOI 10.1177/0191453707080580
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