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21. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Leonard Lawlor “For the Creation Waits with Eager Longing for the Revelation”: From the Deconstruction of Metaphysics to the Deconstruction of Christianity in Derrida
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Blindness has been a pervasive theme throughout Derrida’s career. But Derrida uses the word “blindness” only once in the title of one his works. This text is, ofcourse, Memoirs of the Blind, Mémoires d’aveugle, an essay he wrote for the catalogue for an exhibition he organized at the Louvre in 1990. I argue that Memoirs of the Blind is more than just a phase in Derrida’s deconstruction of the metaphysics of presence. Instead, it opens a larger, more ambitious project that we can call “the deconstruction of Christianity.” The article ends with a consideration of a new form of vitalism.
22. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Gil Anidjar Traité de Tous les Noms (What Is Called Naming)
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What’s in a name after Derrida? What’s in a name after all? What is a name such that it always already remains, after all is said and done? And who or what is itthat one calls name, names, or by name? Is it possible (for anyone or anything) not to have a name of one’s own? Or to have another? The same as another? Is it possible to call and recall, in the name of memory and remembrance, indifference or convention, one name for another, one name for the other? Can the name be, as it were, avoided? Could anyone respond responsibly yet decline or resist, not so much that (or because) names wound, nor to protect oneself from being called names, but instead neither to call nor respond to the name, as it were, to the very same name one is called? To protest against the name, to refuse the name to the point of abandoning this and that name? To invent oneself beyond the name, beyond all names, in the name of the name? “For in order to live oneself truly,” Derrida writes, “it is necessary to elude the law of the name, the familial law made for survival and constantly recalling me to death.” What is called naming? One could say that the name is, to life, at once insult and injury. Or that calling names—mourning.
23. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Geoffrey Bennington The Fall of Sovereignty
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Reflecting on the fall or failure of sovereignty, this essay considers Derrida’s recent work under the heading of auto-immunity, and develops some consequences of that work, first of all in the political sphere (especially around democracy), but also some more general consequences around conceptuality itself.
24. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Thomas Dutoit Dare He Die, Dear Reader: Obligasequence, Obliquence, Oblivisequence, Oblicksequence, Ébloubélierséquence
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The epigraph from Adieu. À Emmanuel Levinas for this issue is here throughout the linchpin, the Triebfeder or the spring, the feather of impulse, of drive or of desire, out of which this paper attempts to formulate the relation, “in Derrida,” of desire and obligation, sexual pleasure and moral law, Emmanuel Levinas and Immanuel Kant, the letters b + l (and thus the words and things called éblouissement [dazzlement], obligation, oblivion, obliquity, bells and cloches, Mallarmean alarms), mourning and melancholy, but and butt, rams (béliers) and rebellion, rebellion and oblivion, good conscience and good unconsciousness, and, ultimately, non-reading and reading.
25. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Simon Critchley Derrida: The Reader
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In this paper, I address the issue of Derrida’s influence on philosophy by focusing on the nature of deconstructive reading as double reading, and tracing thisto the specific reception of Heidegger’s thesis on the history of being. After reviewing some of the dubious and mistaken polemics against Derrida, I go on to describe what I see as the ethical and political richness of Derrida’s work, focusing in particular on the theme of democracy to come.
26. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Peggy Kamuf From Now On
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In the wake of Derrida’s disappearance, this essay asks the question of how to take responsibility, now, for the world one is left to bear. It retraces the path Derrida followed in thinking the event of a coming world and isolates a number of concepts that assumed prominence in his late work: sovereignty, unconditionality, possibility, ipseity. Drawing on the essay “The Reason of the Strongest” in Rogues, it discerns an important distinction made between sovereignty and unconditionality, and situates Derrida’s work as an explicit rethinking of the concept of possibility. It argues that this work offers significant leverage, conceptually and practically, on the legacy of sovereignty as the right of the strongest.
27. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Kas Saghafi The Ghost of Jacques Derrida
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This essay examines the phrase—“here, now, yes, believe me, I believe in ghosts”—a phrase uttered by Derrida in a fi lmed interview. It takes up Derrida’s avowalof belief in ghosts, not simply to explain the signifi cance of “ghosts,” simulacra, doubles, hence images, in Derrida’s work and to show their relation to death and mourning, or to merely draw an analogy between the structure of doubles or simulacra and what we may call “synthetic” images, but also to attend to the alliance between the image, the ghostly, and belief.
28. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Marian Hobson Hostilities and Hostages (to Fortune): On Some Part of Derrida’s Reception
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This piece asks a simple question, one simply obvious after the New York Times obituary of Jacques Derrida: how is it, why is it, that his work has been attacked in act and in words? And why more violently than the other great contemporaries of that period, of whom only Kristeva is still alive: Deleuze, Foucault, Lyotard, Lacan? It tries out various possibilities: envy, power struggles among various intellectual groupings of the same generation, the location of philosophy in the present tree of knowledge, to conclude that the particularizing feature of his work which sparked such aggressivity may be his use of language.
29. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
David Farrell Krell One, Two, Four—Yet Where Is the Third? A Note on Derrida’s Geschlecht Series
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Derrida’s Geschlecht series, along with the books Of Spirit and Aporias, constitutes his most sustained close-reading of Heidegger. Three essays of the four-partGeschlecht series have been published: the first, second, and fourth, these together comprising some 130 book pages. The third Geschlecht exists only as a thirty-three-page typescript prepared sometime before March 1985 and distributed to the speakers at a colloquium in Chicago organized by John Sallis. These thirty-three pages are among the 100 to 130 pages that Derrida by his own account devoted to Heidegger’s Trakl essay of 1953 (“Die Sprache im Gedicht”); however provisional and fragmentary, the typescript tells us much about the themes that “magnetize” the entire Geschlecht series.
30. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Michael Naas Lifelines
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“Prière à desceller d’une ligne de vie”: This is Jacques Derrida’s shortest published work—a one-line poem published back in 1986. In this essay I attempt to read this one-line poem through several texts of Derrida from the same period, including “Shibboleth” and “How to Avoid Speaking: Denials.” The essay is an attempt to bear witness to the extraordinary life and work of Derrida through a reading of this single line about life and work, living speech and the dead letter, life and living on, the destiny inscribed in a lifeline and the future of a lifeline in prayer.
31. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Dennis J. Schmidt Anything But a Series of Footnotes: Some Comments on John Sallis’s Platonic Legacies
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Whitehead’s widely cited and accepted remark that the history of philosophy is but a series of footnotes to Plato has implications for how both Plato and the history of philosophy is to be understood. Such an understanding does an injustice to both Plato and the history of philosophy. A recent book by John Sallis, Platonic Legacies, presents us with a counterview, one that offers a more exciting view of both Plato and the meaning of his legacy for the history of philosophy. The chief purpose of this article is to unpack some of Sallis’s contributions in this regard.
32. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Phil Hopkins Zeno’s Boêtheia Tôi Logôi: Thought Problems about Problems for Thought
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This essay addresses two central issues that continue to trouble interpretation of Zeno’s paradoxes: 1) their solution, and 2) their place in the history of philosophy. I offer an account of Zeno’s work as pointing to an inevitable paradox generated by our ways of thinking and speaking about things, especially about things as existing in the continua of space and time. In so doing, I connect Zeno’s arguments to Parmenides’ critique of “naming” in Fragment 8, an approach that I believe adds considerably to our understanding of both Zeno’s puzzles and this enigmatic aspect of Parmenides’ thought.
33. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Ayon Roy In seinem Anderen bei sich selbst zu sein: Toward a Recuperation of Hegel’s Metaphysics of Agency
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This essay argues for a distinctly post-Kantian understanding of Hegel’s definition of freedom as “being at home with oneself in one’s other.” I first briefly isolate the inadequacies of some dominant interpretations of Hegelian freedom and proceed to develop a more adequate theoretical frame by turning to Theodor Adorno. Then I interpret Hegel’s notion of the freedom of the will in the Philosophy of Right in terms of his speculative metaphysics. Finally, I briefly examine Hegel’s treatment of agency in the Phenomenology of Spirit in order to establish important continuities between the early and late Hegel.
34. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Cynthia D. Coe Contesting the Human: Levinas, the Body, and Racism
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In his 1934 essay “Some Thoughts on the Philosophy of Hitlerism,”Levinas identified two major movements within contemporary culture:liberalism and Hitlerism. At one level, these two movements are in strictopposition, but Levinas’s later work explores the way in which liberalismis implicated in the “hatred of the other” that pervades Hitlerism. In thispaper, I argue that Cartesian dualism underlies two sorts of anxieties, bothof which are expressed as racism. Levinas’s reconception of the body as ethicallysignificant overcomes this dualism, and thus seems to hold promise asa method for undoing contemporary manifestations of racism.
35. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Walter Brogan Letter from the Editor
36. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
William Franke Praising the Unsayable: An Apophatic Defense of Metaphysics on the Basis of the Neoplatonic Parmenides Commentaries
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This essay represents a contribution to rewriting the history metaphysics in terms of what philosophy never said, nor could say. It works from the Neoplatonic commentary tradition on Plato’s Parmenides as the matrix for a distinctively apophatic thinking that takes the truth of metaphysical doctrines as something other than anything that can be logically articulated. The hymn is taken to epitomize the kind of discourse that arises in the wake of apophatic negation and witnesses to what the Logos cannot say. The essay contends that metaphysics as a discourse of the unspeakable may prove more viable than any purely logical system could.
37. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Gordon Hull Hobbes’s Radical Nominalism
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This paper analyzes Hobbes’s understanding of signification, the process whereby words come to have meaning. Most generally, Hobbes develops and extends the nominalist critique of universals as it is found in Ockham and subsequently carried forward by early moderns such as Descartes. Hobbes’s radicality emerges in comparison with Ockham and Descartes, as, unlike them, Hobbes also reduces the intellectual faculty entirely to imagination. According to Hobbes, we have nothing in which a stabilizing, pre-discursive mental language could inhere. Hobbes thus concludes that all thinking is affective and semiotic, and depends on the regulation of conventionally established regimes of signs. Establishing this regulation is one of the central functions of the Hobbesian commonwealth.
38. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Emanuela Bianchi Material Vicissitudes and Technical Wonders: The Ambiguous Figure of Automaton in Aristotle’s Metaphysics of Sexual Difference
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In Aristotle’s physics and biology, matter’s capacity for spontaneous, opaque, chance deviation is named by automaton and marked with a feminine sign, while at the same time these mysterious motions are articulated, rendered knowable and predictable via the figure of ta automata, the automatic puppets. This paper traces how automaton functions in the Aristotelian text as a symptomatic crossing-point, an uncanny and chiasmatic figure in which materiality and logos, phusis, and technē, death and life, masculine and feminine, are intertwined and articulated. Automaton permits a mastery of generative materiality for teleological metaphysics, but also works to unsettle teleology’s systematic and unifying aspirations.
39. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Russell Winslow On the Nature of Epagôgê
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This essay pursues an interpretation of epagôgê in Aristotle in order to challenge the current claims in the scholarship that Aristotle’s method of discovery is, on the one hand, empirical or, on the other hand, a priori. In contrast to these claims, this essay offers a reading of the Analytica in conjunction with the Physics in order to propose the following: if we are to think through Aristotle’s method of discovery, we must first unhinge ourselves from the oppositional paradigm of empirical contra conceptual. Through the example of Aristotle’s inquiry into nature, it is shown that Aristotle’s method of discovery is, at once, one intimately betrothed to “conceptual” (or, more properly, “dialogical”) resources, while also subtended by a comportment itself wakeful and perceptive of the being undergoing inquiry.
40. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Michael Bray The Hedges that Are Set: Hobbes and the Future of Politics
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This essay traces out, in the works of Thomas Hobbes, the theoretical development of what I argue is the essential temporal element of modern thought: anxiety regarding the future. What finds systematic expression in Hobbes’s psychology and politics is the dilemma that modern thinking inherits: the project of social rationalization perpetuates an image of an indeterminate future, to which the only possible response is rational submission to a project of administration over men akin to that which science practices on nature.