“Heidegger, the Philosopher’s Hell.” In Points: Interviews

Originally published in French in 1992 as Points de suspension, Entretiens by Éditions GalilĂ©e. This is Jacques Derrida interviewed by Didier Eribon, published in Le Nouvel Observateur, November 6-12,1987. The interview was preceded by this note: Victor Farias’s book, Heidegger et le nazisme, published last month by Verdier, has suddenly relaunched the polemic over the … Continue reading “Heidegger, the Philosopher’s Hell.” In Points: Interviews

The inclusion of the other? Habermas and the paradox of tolerance

In his most recent work, JĂŒrgen Habermas has proposed a deliberative account of tolerance where the norms of tolerance—including the threshold of tolerance and the norms regulating the relationship between the tolerating and the tolerated parties—are the outcomes of deliberations among the citizens affected by the norms. He thinks that in this way, the threshold of tolerance can be rationalized and the relationship between tolerating and tolerated will rest on the symmetrical relations of public deliberations. In this essay, and inspired by Jacques Derrida’s work on the concept of hospitality, I propose a deconstructive reading of Habermas’s writings on tolerance. I argue that Habermas is ultimately unable to provide a rational foundation for tolerance and that his conception of tolerance encounters the same problems he is trying to avoid, namely, the contingency of the threshold of tolerance and a paternalistic relation between tolerating and tolerated. Yet, contra Habermas, the deconstruction of tolerance does not result in its destruction and does not force us to give up on the concept and practice of tolerance.

Is the youthful protest premature?

I’ve seen some commentators claim that young people are not warranted in political protesting nor justified in taking strong political positions, because they’re still far too ignorant to be able to offer meaningful solutions. For example, Professor Jordan Peterson makes this argument below: Full exchange here: https://youtu.be/OD-VCRNIp-UAlthough I acknowledge that people are often poorly informed … Continue reading Is the youthful protest premature?

“Nietzsche, Genealogy, History” by Michel Foucault

Foucault, Michel. 1977. “Nietzsche, Genealogy, History.” In Language, counter-memory, practice: Selected essays and interviews, edited by D. F. Bouchard. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. Nietzsche, Genealogy, History Genealogy is gray, meticulous, and patiently documentary. It operates on a field of entangled and confused parchments, on documents that have been scratched over and re-copied many times. On … Continue reading “Nietzsche, Genealogy, History” by Michel Foucault

Why debate is necessary and painful

Do we really need to argue this again? There is a refrain I’ve heard that pleads that we not revisit settled arguments. What those who ask this mean by “settled argument” usually involves a degree of force, since they tend to think war is able to settle arguments in some way. To these, a solution … Continue reading Why debate is necessary and painful

Public familiarity with legal system

In common law, societal expectations (eventually) determine legal expectations. The interpretation of laws and the laws themselves change to reflect changing standards in duty of care. For example, the eighteenth century conception of torture of POW’s was much more limited than it is today. More familiarly, municipalities monitor typical traffic flow and adjust the speed limit (higher … Continue reading Public familiarity with legal system