Deconstruction, Its Force, Its Violence: together with "Have We Done with the Empire of Judgment?"

SUNY Press
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 A reappraisal of deconstruction from one of its leading commentators, focusing on the themes of force and violence.
In this book, Rodolphe Gasché returns to some of the founding texts of deconstruction to propose a new and broader way of understanding it—not as an operation or method to reach an elusive outside, or beyond, of metaphysics, but as something that takes place within it. Rather than unraveling metaphysics, deconstruction loosens its binary and hierarchical conceptual structure. To make this case, Gasché focuses on the concepts of force and violence in the work of Jacques Derrida, looking to his essays “Force and Signification” and “Force of Law,” and his reading on Of Grammatology in Claude Lévi-Strauss’s autobiographical Tristes Tropiques. The concept of force has not drawn extensive scrutiny in Derrida scholarship, but it is crucial to understanding how, by way of spacing and temporizing, philosophical opposition is reinscribed into a differential economy of forces. Gasché concludes with an essay addressing the question of deconstruction and judgment and considers whether deconstruction suspends the possibility of judgment, or whether it is, on the contrary, a hyperbolic demand for judgment.
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About the author

 Rodolphe Gasché is SUNY Distinguished Professor and Eugenio Donato Professor of Comparative Literature at University at Buffalo, State University of New York. His many books include Views and Interviews: On “Deconstruction” in America and Europe, or the Infinite Task: A Study of a Philosophical Concept.

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Additional Information

Publisher
SUNY Press
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Published on
Dec 23, 2015
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Pages
144
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ISBN
9781438460024
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Language
English
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Genres
Philosophy / General
Philosophy / Movements / Deconstruction
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak's original essay "Can the Subaltern Speak?" transformed the analysis of colonialism through an eloquent and uncompromising argument that affirmed the contemporary relevance of Marxism while using deconstructionist methods to explore the international division of labor and capitalism's "worlding" of the world. Spivak's essay hones in on the historical and ideological factors that obstruct the possibility of being heard for those who inhabit the periphery. It is a probing interrogation of what it means to have political subjectivity, to be able to access the state, and to suffer the burden of difference in a capitalist system that promises equality yet withholds it at every turn.

Since its publication, "Can the Subaltern Speak?" has been cited, invoked, imitated, and critiqued. In these phenomenal essays, eight scholars take stock of the effects and response to Spivak's work. They begin by contextualizing the piece within the development of subaltern and postcolonial studies and the quest for human rights. Then, through the lens of Spivak's essay, they rethink historical problems of subalternity, voicing, and death. A final section situates "Can the Subaltern Speak?" within contemporary issues, particularly new international divisions of labor and the politics of silence among indigenous women of Guatemala and Mexico. In an afterword, Spivak herself considers her essay's past interpretations and future incarnations and the questions and histories that remain secreted in the original and revised versions of "Can the Subaltern Speak?" both of which are reprinted in this book.

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