McAfee SECURE sites help keep you safe from identity theft, credit card fraud, spyware, spam, viruses and online scams

What for Derrida is the role of philosophy in responding to traumatic political events?

The political theory informing the policies of governments articulates the relations of morality and ethicality, private and public autonomy, substantive and procedural justice, liberalism and democracy. These notions have developed from the construction of various conceptual schemes and the interpretations of private deliberation and public discourse within a long tradition of western analytical philosophy. As globalisation intensifies similar values appear to inform variations of such political stability as universally desirable. In contrast, such globalisation also issues the shock waves of extreme destabilisation. The terrorism perpetrated by outlaw states or stateless militant organisations constitutes the notion of a traumatic political event. Political theorists may respond by drawing on analytical tradition in attempting to gauge their impressions and better understand the structure of each event but the latter methodology has been criticised by poststructural understanding. An example of such understanding is the deconstructional methods of Jacque Derrida.

This essay is concerned with Derrida's response to the political trauma of terrorist attack. To contextualise his findings I will first note the general issues of analytical political theory with the notion of political trauma in the first section. The second section reports on Derrida's response. The third section constitutes a conclusion to the essay as it reports upon Derrida's desconstructive methods, which at the same time points to the role of philosophy for Derrida.

The complexity of the notion of receiving an impression of an event has uncovered the moral responsibility we might choose to adopt in separating authentic and inauthentic reception of information. It has been articulated that the Humean notion that engages our experience of the world must be separated from the experience that a techno-scientic media interprets on our behalf or on behalf of a government.
We have confronted the language behind the non-language 9/11 in naming an event. Using its monumental and distancing properties to assuage our trauma. It has been revealed to us how the boundaries that define the national 'organism' are illusive when it comes to the motors of terror and that through political machinations can be produced a suicidal self destructive ideology that attacks from within. The globalisation and the digital networks of unseen wars compound such autoimmunity.

All of the above revelations stem from the analysis of language that deconstructive method applies.Therefore, it can be said that for Derrida, the role of philosophy in responding to traumatic political events entails questioning the "most fundamental" grounds of established philosophical discourse and thereby the received locution that shrouds the true meaning of such events.

Related Links
To Top