At the intersection: Kant, Derrida and the relation between ethics and politics

La Caze, Marguerite (2007) At the intersection: Kant, Derrida and the relation between ethics and politics. Political Theory, 35 6: 781-805. doi:10.1177/0090591707307324

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Author La Caze, Marguerite
Title At the intersection: Kant, Derrida and the relation between ethics and politics
Journal name Political Theory   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0090-5917
Publication date 2007
Year available 2007
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1177/0090591707307324
Volume 35
Issue 6
Start page 781
End page 805
Total pages 25
Editor M. G. Dietz
Place of publication California, U.S.A.
Publisher Sage Publications
Collection year 2008
Language eng
Subject 440103 Ethical Theory
440110 Social Philosophy
360104 Political Theory and Political Philosophy
Abstract To elucidate the tensions in the relation between ethics and politics, I construct a dialogue between Kant, who argues that they can be made compatible, and Derrida, who claims to go beyond Kant and his idea of duty. For Derrida, ethics makes unconditional demands and politics guides our responses to possible effects of our decisions. Derrida argues that in politics there must be a negotiation of the non-negotiable call of ethical responsibility. I argue that Derrida's unconditional ethics cannot be read in precisely Kantian terms because his `impossible reals' can be destructive. Moreover, Derrida expands the reach of ethics beyond Kant by making all ethical demands unconditional or perfect, yet he does not articulate a politics that would enable us to respond to these demands. We need to take account of these difficulties in theorizing how ethics should constrain politics and how politics can provide the conditions for ethics.
Keyword Political Science
Q-Index Code C1

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Created: Tue, 11 Dec 2007, 10:26:00 EST by Laura McTaggart on behalf of School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry