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Archive for the ‘Politics of Friendship’ Category

This article is useful for any of you seeking to bring dimensions of gender into Derrida’s discussions of political community, specifically the impasse between universality and singularity, and the undecidability of justice. For Diane Perpich, critical engagement with the notion of sexual difference in relation to political desire opens up possibilities to move beyond (if not fully overcome) the conceptual impossibility of justice, and to resolve the impasse between universality and singularity in relation to political belonging. Despite the author’s intentions, I personally felt the article served as a compelling illustration of the difficulty of getting beyond these aporias. However, it is smart and incisive, and worth reading for anyone interested in engaging these questions. (more…)

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“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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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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Okay, so I was really confused in class today about the first essay in The Politics of Friendship. I was wondering if people could try to help clarify what was said (or say new things) in response to my queries. (more…)

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