Phenomenology 2005

Volume 1, Issue Part 2, 2007

Selected Essays from Asia Part 2

Kwok-ying Lau
Pages 417-440

Non-Familiarity and Otherness
Derrida’s Hermeneutics of Friendship and its Political Implications

This essay retraces the essentials of Derrida’s hermeneutics of friendship. It concerns a conception of friendship which is oriented towards the future, something which is to come. It requires us not to understand friendship from the model of brotherhood, a mode of relation which priorities blood and kinship, i.e. a relation which is always already familiar and familial, even androcentric. At the time of globalization we should prepare ourselves for the encounter of foreigners and strangers who, different from us, incarnate figures of the unforeseen and the unexpected. This novel conception of friendship promises to provide the basis for a new politics of international relations.