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Archive for October, 2007

“Politics exists because those who have no right to be counted as speaking beings makes themselves of some account, setting up a community by placing in common a wrong that is nothing more than this very confrontation, the contradiction of two worlds in a single world: the world where they are and the world where they are not, the world where there is something ‘between’ and those who do not acknowledge them as speaking beings who count and the world where there is nothing…(this quote stuck out for me for the past two weeks in our class discussions….why politics? (more…)

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I wanted to write a short summary of our concluding conversation from 17 October. We concluded with a brief treatment of the motifs in the “Absolute Hostility” chapter from The Politics of Friendship, many of which concern a recurring issue in Derrida’s work: the relation of the transcendental and the empirical. As a matter of Derrida’s development as a thinker, one cannot underestimate the importance of this relation. It is there at the very inception of deconstruction, in his earliest readings of Husserl, Heidegger, and Levinas. (more…)

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Reprinted, reposted from The Public Humanist (blog of the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities)

I’ve been teaching about friendship for the past couple of weeks – Jacques Derrida’s utterly enigmatic Politics of Friendship, to be specific – so I was thrilled to read a reflection by my cross-campus colleague Robert Meagher on where friendship might lead us. There is much to say about friendship. Most of it, if we read the canonical texts on friendship in the Western tradition, places an insanely high standard on “true” friendship. So much so that we hardly think it possible to have such a friend. Or, maybe wonder if, as a student of mine once did after reading Montaigne’s account of his friendship with Etienne de la Boetie, “you really want that much f@#!ing human in your life. We gotta live, man!” No doubt. (more…)

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If the past couple of classes has been confusing to some of you guys and the Schmitt and Derrida connection is not quite clear. I put together an alternative connection to understand the disharmonies and relationship to Derrida and Carl Schmitt.The logical move of Schmitt’s “Concept of the Political”, I still contend Derrida has over looked, locates itself in the remainder of politics, which grounds his concept of the political. (more…)

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Read the interview here…

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Can there be a politics without a horizon? Does opening to the “Other” bring to bear the possibility of engaging or imagining politics without boundaries? Before we answer this layered question concerning the political can we take a step back in ask what is a ‘horizon’ in politics? Is a political horizon defined or understood as merely a program, a series of tactics, which energies are directed towards achieving a goal or stability? Or can we see (more…)

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Hopefully this isn’t too off-topic, but I thought this might be an interesting point of discussion.  I wanted to re-visit a question that was brought up last week…someone had asked whether or not we could be friends with animals (more…)

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