Derrida and the Future of the Liberal Arts: Professions of Faith (Bloomsbury Studies in Continental Philosophy)

Derrida and the Future of the Liberal Arts: Professions of Faith (Bloomsbury Studies in Continental Philosophy)

Language: English

Pages: 288

ISBN: 1472589289

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Derrida and the Future of the Liberal Arts highlights the Derridean assertion that the university must exist 'without condition' - as a bastion of intellectual freedom and oppositional activity whose job it is to question mainstream society. Derrida argued that only if the life of the mind is kept free from excessive corporate influence and political control can we be certain that the basic tenets of democracy are being respected within the very societies that claim to defend democratic principles.

This collection contains eleven essays drawn from international scholars working in both the humanities and social sciences, and makes a well-grounded and comprehensive case for the importance of Derridean thought within the liberal arts today. Written by specialists in the fields of philosophy, literature, history, sociology, geography, political science, animal studies, and gender studies, each essay traces deconstruction's contribution to their discipline, explaining how it helps keep alive the 'unconditional', contrapuntal mission of the university. The book offers a forceful and persuasive corrective to the current assault on the liberal arts.

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theorists and activists who are working in the field of animal studies? While Derrida himself offers no concrete answers to such questions, there can be little doubt that it is precisely these kinds of critical and disruptive encounters with issues surrounding animals and other nonhuman beings that he sought to foment.11 But rather than end on this open question about the possible impacts of the question of the animal for the Humanities, I should like to explore a bit more this critical challenge

relation to the other is not a universal ethical principle. It is rather the dehiscence or destabilization or deconstruction, which already occurs in “the things themselves.” Thus Laclau’s disagreement with an ethical interpretation of deconstruction slightly misses the mark. Next, Derrida responds to Laclau’s comments on the subject and the decision. In contrast to Laclau’s idea that the subject becomes a subject in the process of identifying itself as someone or something, and making a

not that being and Being are distinct (for, in a very important sense, they cannot be and yet still they must be), but that there is a difference that perpetually keeps Being and being together and apart. This différance is a crucial intervention because, while making a decision about the truth of ontological concepts forces the thinker to a position outside of those concepts, their difference is installed within them, within the system, a decisive differentiator (as much as it can be) even of

projects. Notes 1 Jacques Derrida, Without Alibi, trans. Peggy Kamuf (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2002), 237. 2 Derrida, 205. 3 Derrida, 204. 4 Derrida, Rogues: Two Essays on Reason, trans. Pascale-Anne Brault and Michael Naas (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2005), 157. 5 J. D. Caputo, “A Commentary: Deconstruction in a Nutshell,” in Deconstruction in a Nutshell: A Conversation with Jacques Derrida, edited by J. Caputo (New York: Fordham University Press,

readings of Austin, Rousseau, and others. For it then becomes apparent that he, like early Davidson, places more emphasis on the logical components of linguistic understanding—the connectives, quantifiers, devices for cross-reference, etc.—as opposed to the kinds of primarily semantic consideration that lead thinkers like Quine, Kuhn, and Whorf to raise large problems about interlingual translation or cross-paradigm understanding. To be sure, Derrida’s “logic of supplementarity” is one that might

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