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Michael Naas engages Derrida’s notion of hospitality and inheritance by looking at Derrida’s writings and reflecting on his own personal encounters with Derrida. The central question “Alors qui êtes-vous?”or ‘who are you?’ marked the beginning of Naas’ first interaction with Derrida. Naas views this question as an invitation, not ‘who are you’ as in ‘what are you doing here’, but rather, ‘what is your name’ and ‘tell me more’. (more…)

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In “Saying ‘Yes” to Africa.” Wise critiques Derrida from an African perspective while critiquing the conference “Whither Marx?” at which he spoke. He speaks of the haunting of the conference by the absence of black African Marxist voices, at this “international” conference.According to Christopher Wise, Derrida deconstructs the form of the book itself with Spectres of Marx, because he is Judeo-African, and thus inherits a different logic that undermines the Western literacy of academia and of the book. He views Derrida’s position as a critique of “white European ethnocentrism”. However, he feels that his perspective is somehow too idiosyncratic for Africans and Jews alike. (more…)

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Delacampagne writes a bird’s eye view of Derrida the political figure, through which his philosophy seems subject to a deconstruction similar to the one he practiced himself. The essay proclaims itself a check of Derrida’s politically active coherence, but the lens through which Delacampagne connotes judgment on his political character seems to violate the solidarity of the text while dismissing Derrida’s own textual explorations on the ethics of political action. (more…)

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Julie Candler Hayes’s Unconditional Translation: Derrida’s Enlightenment-to-Come focuses on the role of lumieres (enlightenment) in Derrida’s “metapolitical” thought. The a-venir (to-come) quality of Derrida’s democracy is, in his later work, extended to his concept of Enlightenment. The aporetic structure (or stricture) of lumieres and democracy is then applied to the practice of translation. (more…)

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In his essay Derrida and the Promise of Community Lawrence Burns describes Derrida’s early work on the speech act in relationship to his later work on the function of the promise. Burns places this writing within a system of ethics and points out that Derrida’s deconstruction of the promise of writing is that it will inevitably be placed and approached in different contexts, thus opening its answerablity to an incalculable community of readers. Burns, however, takes issue with Derrida’s emphasis on the expansion of this community to come, by drawing from the writing of Paul Ricoeur, who’s philosophy of ethics sees the promise as existing within the “pragmatic context of face to face dialogue.” (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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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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