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Archive for the ‘trace’ Category

E. Jeffrey Popke advocates that poststructuralist ethics needs to be taken more seriously in human geography. He believes that poststructuralist theory “offers the potential to break down existing categories of power and knowledge, and thereby to foster alternative narratives, which have the potential to widen the scope and scale of our geographical imaginations.” (298) In the recent explosion of moral considerations among human geographical writings, he believes that there has been a lack of engagement with poststructuralism, at least in part because it is associated with “relativism, or nihilism, which would render ethical accounts impossible.” (299) His essay, then, has the theses. First, and most explicitly, to articulate a theory of poststructuralist ethics that “suggests alternative understandings of spatiality with implications for the practice and performance of human geography.” (ibid.) Second and third, more implicitly, to adequately demonstrate why poststructuralist ethics is not relativistic or nihilistic and to prove why poststructuralist ethics successfully critique traditionalist conceptions of ethics. (The latter two points deserve to be stated formally, because Popke really intends to do more than simply show an alternative vision of spatiality. Instead, he means to use that alternative to ethically criticize the traditional notion of spatiality.) (more…)

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Leonard Lawlor’s “From the Trace to the Law: Derridean Politics,” aims to situate Derrida’s later political engagements in terms of his earlier work on language, namely how Derrida’s work in political theory is informed by his critique of metaphysics. By focusing on Derrida’s insistence on the irreducible metaphoricity of language, as well as his concepts of the trace and iterability, Lawlor provides such a background. It is the practice of deconstruction, says Lawlor, that aims to free this irreducible metaphoricity of language that has been trapped by metaphysics within the “identity of concepts.” (more…)

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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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