Abstract

This brief essay evaluates the late Derrida's reflections on sovereignty and democracy. Especially after the Enlightenment, sovereignty, involving the legitimacy of political rule and its enforcement, is often interrogated by democracy, featuring processes of rational and social accountability. Derrida demonstrates that the philosophical theorizations of force and reason can be better understood through the analysis of literary texts on roguery, such as La Fontaine's fable, "Le loup et l'agneau." Following Derrida's lead, we can further analyze political philosophy through fictional and poetical projections about rationality, freedom, and force. Early modern analysts of roguery, such as Hobbes, Defoe, and Montesquieu, also meditated on the difference between the sovereign and the criminal, as well as the human and the bestial. The call to democracy and heterogeneity by Derrida's philosophy could eventually interrupt the disciplinary self-enclosure of eighteenth-century studies in the manner that Echo awakened Narcissus from his reverie.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-315X
Print ISSN
0013-2586
Pages
pp. 457-465
Launched on MUSE
2007-04-16
Open Access
No
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