Deconstruction and Democracy (Continuum Studies in by Alex Thomson

By Alex Thomson

'No democracy with out deconstruction': Deconstruction and Democracy evaluates and substantiates Derrida's provocative declare, assessing the significance of this influential and debatable modern philosopher's paintings for political inspiration. Derrida addressed political questions a growing number of explicitly in his writing, but there's nonetheless confusion over the politics of deconstruction. Alex Thomson argues for a clean realizing of Derrida's paintings, which recognizes either the political size of deconstruction and its power contribution to our brooding about politics. The booklet presents cogent research and exegesis of Derrida's political writings; explores the results for political conception and perform of Derrida's paintings; and brings Derrida's paintings into discussion with different significant strands of up to date political suggestion. Deconstruction and Democracy is the clearest and such a lot exact engagement to be had with the politics of deconstruction, and is an enormous contribution to scholarship at the later works of Jacques Derrida, such a lot particularly his Politics of Friendship.

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Extra info for Deconstruction and Democracy (Continuum Studies in Continental Philosophy)

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The second set of problems, on which Derrida focuses at some length, can be seen at work within the assertion in the Menexenus that ‘the basis of this our government is equality of birth. [. ] we and our citizens are brethren, the children all of one mother’ [POF 95 / 117]. In this referral of democratic equality to a principle of birth, Derrida sees the same suspension of decision that was at work in the fraternization of friendship: ‘Everything seems to be decided where the decision does not take place, precisely in that place where the decision does not take place qua decision, where it will have been carried away in what has always-already taken place: at birth’ [POF 99 / 121].

Like friendship, Derrida argues, democracy is to be thought in terms of a double movement. On the side of its appeal to equality and to the rule of the many, rather than the few, democracy has an emancipatory value: but there can be no democratic state or democratic theory which will not limit this appeal by grounding it in an association of citizens organized around a naturalizing principle which locks up and neutralizes the possibility of political responsibility. The very structure of the concept of democracy implies that there can be no full democracy in the terms of the ideal which determines the concept, there will be no democracy which does not sustain an anti-democratic current, no democracy worthy of the name.

This is Derrida’s peculiar twist on conditions of possibility: the condition of being a singularity depends on not being purely or absolutely singular, its possibility on its impossibility. Were there to ever be anything absolutely singular it would be unrecognizable. Thus there can only be non-singular singularities and non-absolute difference. If each difference is even minimally distinguished from every other difference, they might all be said to be nothing but the traces of all the other differences.

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