By Jacques Derrida
This quantity includes the speech given by way of Derrida at Emmanuel Levinas's funeral on December 27, 1995, and his contribution to a colloquium prepared to mark the 1st anniversary of Levinas's dying. For either thinkers, the note adieu names a basic attribute of man or woman: the salutation or benediction sooner than all constative language (in yes conditions, possible say adieu for the time being of assembly) and that given in the meanwhile of separation, occasionally eternally, as in the intervening time of dying, it's also the a-dieu, for God or to God ahead of and in any relation to the opposite.
In this ebook, Derrida extends his paintings on Levinas in formerly unexplored instructions through a thorough rereading of Totality and Infinity and different texts, together with the lesser-known talmudic readings. He argues that Levinas, particularly in Totality and Infinity, bequeaths to us an "immense treatise of hospitality," a meditation at the welcome provided to the opposite. The conjunction of an ethics of natural prescription with the belief of an unlimited and absolute hospitality confronts us with the main urgent political, juridical, and institutional issues of our time. What, then, is an ethics and what's a politics of hospitality? And what, if it ever is, will be a hospitality surpassing any ethics and any politics we know?
As consistently, Derrida increases those questions within the such a lot specific of phrases, relocating backward and forward among philosophical argument and the political dialogue of immigration legislation, peace, the country of Israel, xenophobia—reminding us with each stream that pondering isn't really an issue of neutralizing abstraction, yet a gesture of hospitality for what occurs and nonetheless could take place.
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Extra resources for Adieu to Emmanuel Levinas
Reason in a position to receive: what can this hospitality of reason give, this reason as the capacity to receive [pou voir recevoir] ("in a position to receive") , this reason under the law of hospitality? This reason as the law of hospital ity? Levinas underscores, for a second time in the same paragraph, the word "receive. " In this vein, as we know, he will undertake the most daring analyses of receptivity, of a A u;ord of welcome passivity before passivity, analyses whose stakes will be come more and more decisive precisely where the words seem to get carried away and become disidentified in a discourse that opens each signification to its other (rela tion without relation, passivity without passivity, "passiv ity .
One might then say that the welcome to come is what makes possible the recollection of the at home with oneself, even though the - relations of conditionality appear impossible to straighten out. They defy chronology as much as logic. The welcome also, of course, supposes recollection, that is, the intimacy of the at home with oneselfand the figure of woman, feminine alterity. " l l The possibility o f the welcome would thus come-so as to open them up-before recollection, even before collecting, before the act from which everything nonetheless seems to be derived.
But this "as soon as" does not mark the moment or threshold of a beginning, of an arche, since infinity will already have been pre-originarily welcomed. Welcomed in anarchy. This responsible response is surely a yes, but a yes to pre ceded by the yes ofthe other. " 7 (If one were to pursue these consequences with the nec essary temerity and rigor, they would perhaps lead to an other way of thinking the responsible decision. Levinas would probably not say it in this way, but could it not be argued that, without exonerating myself in the least, deci sion and responsibility are always ofthe other?