Friendship's Future: Derrida's Promising Thought

Derrida Today 2 (2):210-221 (2009)

Abstract

This paper will address the political and ethical ramifications of Derrida's concern for friendship in relation to his concerns with the future of democracy, rights of hospitality and cosmopolitics. The questions addressed read as follows: Is there a way we can get beyond this stance which not only consolidates a friendship of the ‘perhaps’ with a friendship of the promise, but also implicates their consolidation with the very future of what we today call democracy? Is there a way in which we can substantiate something more than a romanticized call for a future integration of friendship and democracy while avoiding the pitfalls of on one hand, substantiating a model of friendship for politics or, on the other, offering a disguised and naïve return to a metaphysics of friendship as the saving grace of social unity? Through a close reading of the conclusion to Politics of Friendship as well as his concerns with friendship in Spectres of Marx and Rogues: Two Essays on Reason it will be argued that Derrida's insistence on the future of friendship is bound up with the notion of an ethical promise to the thought of friendship as the condition for its political and ethical relevance

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B. P. McDonald
Western Washington University

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