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The Rigor of a Certain Inhumanity

Toward a Wider Suffrage

John Llewelyn

Publication Year: 2012

Focusing on the idea of universal suffrage, John Llewelyn accepts the challenge of Derrida's later thought to renew his focus on the ethical, political, and religious dimensions of what makes us uniquely human. Llewelyn builds this concern on issues of representation, language, meaning, and logic with reflections on the phenomenological figures who informed Derrida's concept of deconstruction. By entering into dialogue with these philosophical traditions, Llewelyn demonstrates the range and depth of his own original thinking. The Rigor of a Certain Inhumanity is a rich and passionate, playful and perceptive work of philosophical analysis.

Published by: Indiana University Press

Series: Studies in Continental Thought

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication, Frontispiece

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pp. i-viii


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pp. ix-x

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pp. xi-xiv

Chapters 1 and 2 are based on “Representation in Language,” in Ananta Sukla, ed., Art and Representation (Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 2001), pp. 29–59; chapter 3 on “Close Reading, Distant Writing, and the Experience of Language,” in Ananta Sukla...

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pp. 1-6

How wide is our usual conception of what we call universal suffrage? The aim of this book is to show that that usual conception is not wide enough and that it is not wide enough because it does not do justice to what the book’s title and one of its epigraphs...

Part One: Phenomenology of Language

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One: Ideologies

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pp. 9-27

Order may be conferred upon the following unchronologically arranged reminders of the history of thinking about linguistic representation if they are prefaced by the reminder that the word Gegenstand, so frequently used by Wittgenstein in the...

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Two: Worldviews

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pp. 28-48

Presented by Wittgenstein in the Philosophical Investigations is the idea that nominal, referential, and predicative representation presupposes a non-representational purpose or point (Witz).1 Can the same be said of the closely related if not identical idea defended by...

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Three: The Experience of Language

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pp. 49-75

How close does the experience of language let reading get? How close is close reading? Taking close reading as its point of departure, this chapter will then widen its focus in order to consider the experience of language with some reference to art, interpretation, and...

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Four: Phenomenology as Rigorous Science

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pp. 76-93

As a student of mathematics at Berlin, Husserl became acquainted with Karl Weierstrass and his project for founding mathematical analysis on the concept of number. Not without finding Weierstrass guilty of a certain naïve empiricism, Husserl himself aimed to...

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Five: Pure Grammar

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pp. 94-113

What is the idea of pure grammar to which the title of Husserl’s fourth Investigation refers? What is the idea of a grammar of pure logic to which §14 of that Investigation refers? What is the logic of this grammar? What is the grammar of this logic? And what...

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Six: Meanings and Translations

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pp. 114-137

In Speech and Phenomena one reads that “Bedeutung is reserved [by Husserl] for the content in the ideal sense of verbal expression, spoken language. . . .”1 This may not mean, as it is taken to mean by J. Claude Evans in Strategies, that “Bedeutung is used to characterize...

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pp. 138-142

So far we have been considering chiefly the case where representation is semantic. But consider now more closely the case where representation is, for instance, ethical. Consider first such a case on analogy with legal representation. Advocates represent their...

Part Two: Table Talk

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Seven: Approaches to Quasi-theology cia Appresentation

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pp. 145-165

The strictness of a conception may be measured in two ways. A conception will be more strict than another if it requires the fulfilment of a larger number of possible criteria than the other. Alternatively, it may be more strict than another if it insists on the fulfilment...

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Eight: Who Is My Neighbor?

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pp. 166-183

Who is my neighbor? The discussion of this question throughout the ages has ranged from asking whether my neighbor is the Jew and the friend, through asking whether my neighbor is any and every other human being including the stranger and my...

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Nine: Who or What or Whot

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pp. 184-198

Kierkegaard’s statement “The metaphysical, the ontological, is [er], but it does not exist [er ikke til]” draws the line that separates him from Hegel and both of them from Levinas.1 His Danish does this distinctly. On the one hand, the preposition “til,” “to,” indicates...

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Ten: Ecosophy, Sophophily, and Philotheria

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pp. 199-221

Once upon a time I took part in a trek along a network of valleys to the base camp of the 1970 British expedition to the south summit of Annapurna in the Himalayas. Although our final destination was merely the edge of the Hiunchuli glacier, our sirdar...

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Eleven: Barbarism, Humanism, and Democratic Ecology

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pp. 222-239

In the final sentence of his book The New Ecological Order Luc Ferry writes: “Between barbarism and humanism, it is now up to democratic ecology to decide.”1 He means by this that democratic ecology, as that has been described in his book, must decide between...

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Twelve: Where to Cut: Boucherie and Delikatessen

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pp. 240-264

Referring in The Animal That Therefore I Am to The Middle Voice of Ecological Conscience, Derrida says that he wishes to recommend the latter book especially because, sharing the author’s concern, he will perhaps proceed a little...

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Thirteen: Passover

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pp. 265-280

Ce sacré pas du repas, this blessèd and blasted pastoverness of the repast, was something that made Derrida and me smile. The occasion was the colloquium “Victor Cousin, the Ideologists, and their Relations with Scottish Philosophy” that took place at the...

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Fourteen: The Rigor of a Certain Inhumanity

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pp. 281-294

A passing bell sounds in the word “rigor” used in the phrase borrowed from Derrida in the title of this book to perform a double service. On the one hand the title refers to the...


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pp. 295-320


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pp. 321-328

About the Author

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pp. 329

E-ISBN-13: 9780253005861
E-ISBN-10: 0253005868
Print-ISBN-13: 9780253003263

Page Count: 344
Publication Year: 2012

Series Title: Studies in Continental Thought