DERRIDA AND THE POLITICS OF RELATIONSHIPS
FALL SEMESTER 2008
SEMINAR HELD ON THE STONY BROOK UNIVERSITY – MAIN CAMPUS
Hugh J. Silverman
OFFICE HOURS: Tues 3:30 - 5:00 and by app't
[office: Harriman 203; tel: 631-632-7592]
Jacques Derrida, in the later years, turned his attention to ethical, social and political considerations -- taking up themes such as the force of “law,” the politics of “friendship,” and the indecidability of “hospitality,” “cosmopolitanism,” and “forgiveness.” In order to set the frame for our study of Derrida’s later writings, we shall begin with Margins of Philosophy (1972) and some of its formative essays demonstrating how deconstructive strategies work and how to think deconstructively. We shall then shift to the 1990 essay “Force of Law” as it leads into Politics of Friendship (1994), Adieu (1997) and Of Hospitality (1997). We will conclude with On Cosmopolitanism and Forgiveness (2001) . Our task will be to understand how deconstructive strategies highlight critical, ethical, social, and political considerations by exploring and unraveling the key concepts that mark their articulation and deployment.