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November 21, 2013 / compassioninpolitics

How to answer Hauntology or the Derrida Critique

I started a thread here and offered 3 other possible responses later in the thread.

1) It would seem that a defense of inexactness and intuition might work.
It seems to call for an exactness…we have to get this perfectly right for anything to work.

2) It also seems to cultivate a certain perfectionism….that it inherits from modernity.

3) Also, we’re not socialism, we’re not even metaphorically socialism. (also a risk of a link turn if you stand against the policies of socialism–that should be a transformative ontology–the aff embodies that kind of transformative disruption).

4) Also, unconditional hospitality wouldn’t reject any act with the intent to do good toward the other OR it would link to itself, which turns the K.

5) Empiricism. Historical solvency of the state trumps your pomo and psychobabble.

6) Option: And enemies are good. Schmidt

7) There seems to be some kind of fiat abuse if they can magically get rid of these kinds of historical ghosts. You can’t just sever a previous identity–you can’t make it stop on a dime and you can’t literally cut it out. The idea that they magically get rid of unconcious or even concious thoughts–without having a means or mechnanism to do so is the most egregious and unpredictable form of fiat abuse I can imagine. Voting issue for fairness & some semblance of education and real world.

8) Derrida indicts & takeouts

9) Our stuff comes first.

10) Perm and infinite deconstruction bad judge.

11) Even derrida, who claims we need to get past out ghosts…..must have been haunted by ghosts of the past……because he’s constantly talking about them. Re-inventing the future doesn’t require a total and absolute break with the past.

12) And there is no case turn….at best its a muted cooption argument–one thats non-unique and empirically denied. (what gets coopted, we get coopted by capitalism? by democracy? by history? by unconscious?)

13) Also, what does it even mean to exist beyond time?

14) There is no impact to the trace.

15) I don’t know much about Derrida….but I never realized he was an “expert in psychology”, specifically an expert in the psychology of individuals he has never met. Its like that psycho-babble on Fox that tries to analyze & put Obama on the couch from a thousand miles away. Absurd. Derrida doesn’t know what my ghosts are, what my parents ghosts are, or what your ghosts are….or how they are different or the same.

* After reading it, #3 seems to be somewhat non-responsive.

We embrace this–at least as much as the K does.
Johnson 2007, CURRICULUM VITA LEIGH M. JOHNSON Assistant Professor of Philosophy Rhodes College 2000 North Parkway Memphis, TN 38104 johnsonl@rhodes.edu EDUCATION B.A., Philosophy, University of Memphis, 2000 M.A., Philosophy, Villanova University, 2003 Ph.D., Philosophy, The Pennsylvania State University, 2007 Doctoral Minor, African and African-American Studies, The Pennsylvania State University The Graduate School College of the Liberal Arts HAUNTED DEMOCRACIES AND THE POLITICS OF POSSIBILITY: A DECONSTRUCTIVE ANALYSIS OF TRUTH COMMISSIONS A Thesis in Philosophy by Leigh M. Johnson © 2007,

“Learning to live finally” means learning to live with this unmasterable, uncategorizable, and irreducible character of the past’s bearing on the present, and hence with the unmasterable and 125 irreducible
character of the present as well. Learning to live means learning to live without systematization, without conceits of coherence, without a consistent and complete picture, and without a clear delineation between past and present.

If they never become part of the present, why do we need to worry about them?

Johnson 2007, CURRICULUM VITA LEIGH M. JOHNSON Assistant Professor of Philosophy Rhodes College 2000 North Parkway Memphis, TN 38104 johnsonl@rhodes.edu EDUCATION B.A., Philosophy, University of Memphis, 2000 M.A., Philosophy, Villanova University, 2003 Ph.D., Philosophy, The Pennsylvania State University, 2007 Doctoral Minor, African and African-American Studies, The Pennsylvania State University The Graduate School College of the Liberal Arts HAUNTED DEMOCRACIES AND THE POLITICS OF POSSIBILITY: A DECONSTRUCTIVE ANALYSIS OF TRUTH COMMISSIONS A Thesis in Philosophy by Leigh M. Johnson © 2007,

We are haunted by their present-which-is-not-present, that is to say, also by their absence-which- is-not-absent. Their guarded anonymity, their origin and their status is never certain. They are fundamentally anachronistic (“out of time”)—anachrony is the “law” of the specter. Because, in the specter, we cannot clearly distinguish the difference between the thing itself and its simulacrum—that opposition does not hold up—Derrida suggests that the specter or ghost forces us to replace metaphysics/ontology with what he calls a hauntology.164 Like the trace, it is in the nature of ghosts to appear in those places which, according to Adorno, “do not fit properly into the laws of historical movement.”165 That is to say, they “haunt” the present, that to which we so desperately attach ourselves both existentially and intellectually, without ever wholly becoming a part of that present.

What would work the best?

Five other options for answering Derrida and the Hauntology Critique:

• To me it seems like there is a DA to killing past identities…that that is a form of otherization and . Do we live with ghosts and history and memories and talk about them.

• Memory good. Memory transformative (not sure what the alt does, but this kinda seems like offense).

• Modernity good. Stuff is massively improving–stats prove (card)

• Empirically false. I don’t know how Hitler functionally effects Germany now. Sure there are ghosts there….but there are historical lessons as well–lessons which pushed the Germans forward. Lessons of what to avoid in the future. Same goes for slavery in the US. Erasing the bad–or trying to just forget it–isnt a solution, it makes things worse.

• The values of our forefathers in the Constitution is a good ghost to have. There is such a thing as a good historical ghost which serves as a hero or beacon.

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One Comment

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  1. nn / Apr 22 2014 7:47 pm

    Completely incorrect in all responses. I don’t understand how hauntology would be brought into debate in the first place, but the responses all completely mischaracterize Derrida’s argument. Derrida’s point about nostalgia and past-facing is not strictly negative. He is saying it is a negative thing only when the end of history arrives which is always already impossible. Modernity being “good” is irrelevant to this discussion. Ghosts also do not strictly exist in the past. If you read even a few paragraphs of the essay it would be clear that ghosts are, in the Nietzschean sense, untimely.

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