The Derrida Dictionary is a comprehensive and accessible guide to the world of Jacques Derrida, the founder of deconstruction and one of the most important and influential European thinkers of the twentieth century. Meticulously researched and extensively cross-referenced, this unique book covers all his major works, ideas and influences and provides a firm grounding in the central themes of Derrida's thought. Students will discover a wealth of useful information, analysis and criticism. A-Z entries include clear definitions of all the key (...) terms used in Derrida's writings and detailed synopses of his key works. The Dictionary also includes entries on Derrida's major philosophical influences and those he engaged with, such as Kant, Hegel, Husserl, Freud, Heidegger, Foucault, Lacan and Levinas. It covers everything that is essential to a sound understanding of Derrida's philosophy, offering clear and accessible explanations of often complex terminology. The Derrida Dictionary is the ideal resource for anyone reading or studying Derrida, deconstruction or modern European philosophy more generally. (shrink)
Through an attentive reading of his essay, “Psychoanalysis Searches the States of Its Soul,” it is possible to pursue Derrida's thinking about psychoanalysis and cruelty in terms of the distinction he makes between Nietzsche and Freud, whereby the latter maintains an “opposable term” to cruelty. This article explores the status and significance of such an “opposable term” as one possible source of a Freudian future beyond Freud, and in a postscript carries its reading into the question of the “side of (...) life” and of death in Derrida's H.C. for Life. (shrink)
This essay explores Étienne Balibar’s treatment of the conceptual development of a notion of the super-ego in Freud as crucial to Balibar’s own thinking of the connection between politics and psychoanalysis. Via Balibar’s writing, however, it traces the antinomic forces at work in the question of a psychoanalytic supplement of politics, in the process examining not only the psychic conditions of the "political" but also the "politics" of different forms of psychological discourse and debate.
In L'Arrêt de mort, as Derrida suggests, an ‘epochal suspension’ manifests itself, compulsively pulsating so as to conjure a certain spectrality beyond all consciousness, perception, or ordinary attentiveness. Re-reading Blanchot's text, I argue that it is on the borderlines of sleep that the ‘arrythmic pulsation’ of the arrêt de mort happens as impossible event – ‘the state of suspension in which it's over – and over again, and you'll never have done with that suspension itself’, to quote Derrida once more. (...) While ‘Living On’ makes little of sleep, however, I take this cue to follow a pathway which leads from Blanchot to Levinas. Blanchot's writing exposes the sleep of reason which occurs in the very promise of perfect day, a promise which mutates in the dream he associates with the ‘other night’, a dream which harbours the irrepressible return of ‘time's absence’, and which opens on to the very ‘outside’ which the world – and the self – lacks or wants (as much as ‘world’ or ‘self’ seek to overcome this ‘outside’ as such). Levinas, meanwhile, wants to think irremissible pure existing (il y a) in terms of insomnia; in contrast, consciousness seeks to assert itself over the unremitting presence of the ‘there is’ through its capacity for unconsciousness or sleep. This essay seeks to attend to the complexities of a certain ‘fatality of being’ that threatens to sweep away the ‘ego’ as consciousness's capacity to sleep is confronted by the radical vigilance of insomnia and the deep anonymity of the night (Existence and Existents). (shrink)
This article recalls Derrida's reading of Levinasian ethics as a discourse of the other, particularly in ‘Violence and Metaphysics’, in order to re-elaborate Derrida's own account of the other's heterogeneity, notably in light of critiques of deconstruction's thinking of difference, alterity, and the unconditional. At stake here is the precise meaning of what may be termed wholly other; or, better still, the specific nature of the arguments about the question of the other from among Derrida's earlier texts, which must be (...) recalled amidst any appeal to absolute alterity, especially of the kind frequently found in Derrida commentary today. The article suggests that, in the process of Derrida reading Levinas, the radical alterity of the other is sustained in ‘Violence and Metaphysics’ principally in terms of the legitimacy (or ‘discipline’) of a question that arises only on the hither side of a phenomenology of the other – a phenomenology that emerges, nonetheless, as its unacknowledged ground. Thus, in contrast to Levinasian thought (and yet also in deeper affinity with what we might term, for Derrida, its still obscured originality), deconstruction's discourse of the other opens onto the wholly other not simply as the ‘beyond’ or the ‘outside’ of phenomenology's limits, but only at the point where the phenomenological gives way in something like a double sense. (shrink)
For Lyotard, “Auschwitz” is named only as the terrible sign of a differend. However, this paper argues that the dissymmetrical address alluded to in a 1993 lecture given by Lyotard for Amnesty, “The Other’s Rights,” makes possible an alternative legacy found in the very formation of civil politics which might itself “rephrase” this differend otherwise, transforming what may be termed “distress” into “rights” without recourse to the type of contractuality that would risk both repressing and compounding a “wrong” by seeking (...) to litigate it. (shrink)