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Deconstruction and Ethics

  • Geoffrey Bennington
Chapter

Abstract

Deconstruction cannot propose an ethics. If the concept — all the concepts — of ethics come to us, as they do, as they cannot fail to, from the tradition it has become commonplace to call ‘Western metaphysics’, and if, as Derrida announces from the start, deconstruction aims to deconstruct ‘the greatest totality’,1 the interrelated network of concepts bequeathed to us by and as that metaphysics, then ‘ethics’ cannot fail to be a theme and an object of deconstruction, to be deconstructed, rather than a subject of its admiration or affirmation. Ethics is metaphysical through and through and can therefore never simply be assumed or affirmed in deconstruction. The demand or desire for a ‘deconstructive ethics’ is in this sense doomed to be disappointed.

Keywords

Positive Condition Ethical Relation Continental Philosophy Creative Mind Archive Fever 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Geoffrey Bennington 2000

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  • Geoffrey Bennington

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