Volume 48, Issue 1, Spring/Summer 2019
Lisa Landoe Hedrick
Thinking with Whitehead on Transcendence and Its Failures
A Challenge to Stengers and Derrida
The ability to recognize failures presupposes the ability to recognize achievements. By the same logic, ethical failures are identifiable only to the extent to which ethical achievements are identifiable. This article examines the possibility of cultural criticism in Whitehead’s metaphysics. The first part of this article challenges Isabelle Stenger’s nonnormative reading of Whitehead, while the second part employs my alternative reading in order to critique two different (albeit nonexhaustive) accounts of the nature of (primarily ethical) ideals. The main focus of this critique is Derrida’s account of the autoimmunity of democracy and the aporetic structure of justice.