Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy

Volume 10, Issue 2, Spring 2006

An Entrusted Responsibility: Reading and Remembering Jacques Derrida

Peggy Kamuf
Pages 203-220

From Now On

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.