Deconstruction and Democracy (Bloomsbury Studies in Continental Philosophy)

Deconstruction and Democracy (Bloomsbury Studies in Continental Philosophy)

Language: English

Pages: 238

ISBN: 0826499899

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

‘No democracy without deconstruction': Deconstruction and Democracy evaluates and substantiates Derrida's provocative claim, assessing the importance of this influential and controversial contemporary philosopher's work for political thought. Derrida addressed political questions more and more explicitly in his writing, yet there is still confusion over the politics of deconstruction. Alex Thomson argues for a fresh understanding of Derrida's work, which acknowledges both the political dimension of deconstruction and its potential contribution to our thinking about politics. The book provides cogent analysis and exegesis of Derrida's political writings; explores the implications for political theory and practice of Derrida's work; and brings Derrida's work into dialogue with other major strands of contemporary political thought. Deconstruction and Democracy is the clearest and most detailed engagement available with the politics of deconstruction, and is a major contribution to scholarship on the later works of Jacques Derrida, most notably his Politics of Friendship.




















more banal thesis of a historical depoliticization. This does not rule out the possibility of speaking about the world, although it might suggest a certain hesitancy about totalizing hypotheses. In Politics of Friendship Derrida insists that what Schmitt cannot acknowledge, having posited the technological as a secondary, and inauthentic neutralization of the purely political, is that the ‘delocalization’ of the territorial drive in modern warfare is not a displacement of an original politics of

Being-in-the-world has always dispersed [zerstreut] itself or even split itself up into definite ways of Being-in’.4 It is announced in the pre-ontological analytic, but cannot be removed from Dasein as existents, as being there in the world. The consequences of the argument are not drawn out at this stage. In ‘Geschlecht II’, however, Derrida begins to fill out the implications of Heidegger’s use of Geschlecht, and in particular in his reading of Trakl, which he has hinted at in ‘Geschlecht I’ –

read and respond to Derrida’s work, and highlights a methodological concern of this book. If we take seriously Derrida’s problematization of the relationship between singularity and the general, we can neither reduce his work to the expression of some fundamental thesis of deconstruction nor consider it to be a set of absolutely heterogeneous and singular operations. It has become common, following Rodolphe Gasché’s influential The Tain of the Mirror, to consider Derrida’s work in terms of a

into account is there any possibility of something like ‘ethics’ in the sense that we usually come across it. Yet this ‘ethical’ relation is founded neither in a neutral ground (a relationship between beings which would be mediated by the relationship of beings with Being) nor in a principle of finite responsibility (based on the equivalence of the same and the other) but on the asymmetry of the relation itself. This asymmetry summons the subject as responsibility. As Levinas puts it, ‘to be

claimed, Derrida goes on to argue that the ‘Greek’ writing of Husserl and Heidegger is already more ‘Jewish’ than Levinas would give them credit for. The material on Husserl largely repeats work published elsewhere: that the notion of horizon signalled by the place of the ‘Idea in the Kantian sense’ in phenomenology, of horizon as both an opening and a limit, makes phenomenology itself already the site of an opening to alterity [WD 120 / 177]; and that the notion of the living present, as the

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