Death Penalty

ISBN-10: 0226144321
ISBN-13: 9780226144320
Edition: 2013
List price: $38.00 Buy it from $18.86
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Description: In this newest installment in Chicago’s series of Jacques Derrida’s seminars, the renowned philosopher attempts one of his most ambitious goals: the first truly philosophical argument against the death penalty. While much has been written against  More...

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Book details

List price: $38.00
Copyright year: 2013
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 12/4/2013
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 312
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.232
Language: English

In this newest installment in Chicago’s series of Jacques Derrida’s seminars, the renowned philosopher attempts one of his most ambitious goals: the first truly philosophical argument against the death penalty. While much has been written against the death penalty, Derrida contends that Western philosophy is massively, if not always obviously, complicit with a logic in which a sovereign state has the right to take a life. Haunted by this notion, he turns to the key places where such logic has been established—and to the place it has been most effectively challenged: literature.With his signature genius and patient yet dazzling readings of an impressive breadth of texts, Derrida examines everything from the Bible to Plato to Camus to Jean Genet, with special attention to Kant and post–World War II juridical texts, to draw the landscape of death penalty discourses. Keeping clearly in view the death rows and execution chambers of the United States, he shows how arguments surrounding cruel and unusual punishment depend on what he calls an “anaesthesial logic,” which has also driven the development of death penalty technology from the French guillotine to lethal injection. Confronting a demand for philosophical rigor, he pursues provocative analyses of the shortcomings of abolitionist discourse. Above all he argues that the death penalty and its attendant technologies are products of a desire to put an end to one of the most fundamental qualities of our finite existence: the radical uncertainty of when we will die.           Arriving at a critical juncture in history—especially in the United States, one of the last Christian-inspired democracies to resist abolition—The Death Penalty is both a timely response to an important ethical debate and a timeless addition to Derrida’s esteemed body of work. 

Jacques Derrida was born in El-Biar, Algeria on July 15, 1930. He graduated from the �cole Normal Sup�rieure in 1956. He taught philosophy and logic at both the University of Paris and the �cole Normal Sup�rieure for around 30 years. His works of philosophy and linguistics form the basis of the school of criticism known as deconstruction. This theory states that language is an inadequate method to give an unambiguous definition of a work, as the meaning of text can differ depending on reader, time, and context. During his lifetime, he wrote more than 40 books on various aspects of deconstruction including Of Grammatology, Glas, The Postcard: From Socrates to Freud and Beyond, and Ulysses Gramophone: Hear Say Yes in Joyce. He died of pancreatic cancer on October 9, 2004 at the age of 74.

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