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Archive for May, 2007

Summary post by David Tomlinson : An example of Derridian dogmatism par excellence (which I think would be enough to make Derrida cringe, with Hägglund’s adherence to what he paradoxically describes as ‘deconstructive logic’), “The Necessity of Discrimination” aims to break apart Derrida and Levinas entirely by pointing to the violence Derrida understands as constitutive of every relation. By reading an ethical motivation into his method of deconstruction – understanding it as an aspiration to a non-violent relation, or an effort to preserve or restore a respect for alterity – one misses Derrida’s rethinking of time as fundamentally disjointed. In his writings on the trace, Derrida elaborates: every event is split between being no longer and being not yet. (more…)

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Summary post by Anderson Mackenzie : This essay is a chapter taken from Critchley’s book, The Ethics of Deconstruction. The major project for the book as a whole is to illustrate Critchley’s contention that deconstruction, as a method of reading philosophy, necessarily involves an ethical demand. In an earlier chapter of the book Critchley makes clear that the notion of ethics which the deconstructive method correlates to is not that of philosophical tradition but rather that of Levinas. “Clotural Readings II” is the fourth chapter in the book; it engages Levinas’s readings of Derrida’s work in order to follow Levinas as he attempts to discern and describe the ethical position of the deconstructive method. (more…)

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Summary post by Dan Cooper : Key to the continental philosophy of the 1960’s for Lawlor is the need to “motivate thought.” The figures, who for Lawlor articulate the strongest or most poignant attempts to take on this task are Derrida and Deleuze (Foucault comes up from time to time in the essay but generally not as philosophically substantive). Key to the development of contemporary continental philosophy is the “point of diffraction,” the point from which both Deleuze and Derrida develop along different trajectories. This point is the paradox of repetition (more…)

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Summary post by Dustin Cloues : In “Magnetic Animal: Derrida, Wildlife, Animetaphor,” Akira Mizuta Lippit explores animal themes in the work of Derrida and other philosophers. Animals are not foreign to philosophy: it has long grappled with our similarities to, but deep differences from, other creatures. Freud and Heidegger both describe the philosophical nature of animals, in ways that enhance their descriptions of human subjectivity (Lippit 1112-3). For both Freud and Heidegger, animals can serve as a metaphor for the unconscious (Lippit 1114). But, as Derrida points out, (more…)

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