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Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry

Volume 7, Issue 18, Fall 2012

Chris Hughes
Pages 13-26
DOI: 10.5840/jphilnepal201271813

Dialogue Between Fukuyama’s Account of the End of History and Derrida’s Hauntology

This paper explores the relationship between Fukuyama’s account of history and Derrida’s theory of hauntology. Initially, I use Derrida’s idea of hauntology to critique Fukuyama’s account of an end of history. I argue that Derrida’s idea of a hauntology is a valuable theoretical tool for theorising about politics, since Derrida shows that the death of a particular social/political system (e.g. Communism) does not entail the death/devaluing of the thinker(s) who inspired that system, since critics of the contemporary social and political order may have something valuable to offer contemporary political thought. However, I do not endorse the view that history cannot reach an end point just because there are specters waiting to return. Instead, I argue that it is possible to bridge the apparent dualistic binary between Derrida’s hauntology and Fukuyama’s end of history, since the specter is something which must be recognised and realised at the end of history.