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By Samir Haddad

Derrida and the Inheritance of Democracy presents a theoretically wealthy and obtainable account of Derrida's political philosophy. Demonstrating the most important position inheritance performs in Derrida’s considering, Samir Haddad develops a normal thought of inheritance and indicates the way it is vital to democratic motion. He transforms Derrida’s famous suggestion of "democracy to come back" into lively engagement with democratic traditions. Haddad makes a speciality of matters equivalent to hospitality, justice, normativity, violence, friendship, start, and the character of democracy as he reads those deeply political writings.

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Extra info for Derrida and the Inheritance of Democracy

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In his thinking, pure life and pure death, understood in opposition to or in isolation from one another, are out of the question, always, as the outcome of a subject’s choice. 11 Legacies partake in this very structure. To inherit, which is never chosen, is thus automatically to keep a legacy living on, which is to say to keep it alive. Refusing this is beyond the power of the heir. But although the fact of keeping a legacy alive is not something that can be chosen, it is not the case that choice has disappeared altogether from the scene of inheritance.

In some way others are to be judged inferior or in error in the heir’s reception of a legacy. The semantic field of relancer thus further clarifies what occurs in the action of inheritance. In his description of the reaffirmation of a legacy as “relaunching it otherwise,” Derrida presents the heir as one who plays an active role in receiving a legacy, which is to say in transforming it, while he at the same time acknowledges the irreducible dimension of alterity involved that is distributed across time.

SOM, 54/SDM, 94) Derrida’s strong claim here is that inheritance lies at the very center of one’s being. Legacies are received before any choice to do so is made. This reinforces the qualification of the choice in inheritance as a reaffirmation—one is always already inheriting, and one’s response to this in the sorting and filtering reaffirms this fact. But again, even while acknowledging this, Derrida at the same time resists characterizing inheritance as a purely passive enterprise in which whatever comes is simply accepted, for the form of this response is left undetermined.

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