Aufheben der Différance: Friendship as a Normative Commitment of Thought

                                                                                                             Lacques Jacan



“Because you are reading this a very long time after I have/ died, you cannot understand what I am writing here, and at/  best it may be possible for you to sound out the words,/ letter by letter, until the next space is reached./ I am dead and am writing this after my death in a/ project I consider normal writing, clearing out loose/ ends, as opposed to an other writing full of originality/ that can only be written, I assume, by someone alive”.

Sondheim, Alan. Important Updates (2013)[1]. § 5-6.


The traditional way of determining the divine origins, or sacrality, of a text was to confirm its unicity of vision, across the contributions of the multitude of its authors, and take stock of its resistance to the influence of each of these contributor’s appeals to their personal courts of reason. What was most important was the organic verbal “[2]…order…”, and its inscrutable autocracy. Furthermore, the constellating force of the “…sequences of words…” that explicated the communicative intent of the text in the actual present of its reading, and mediate comprehension, ought to have invoked the indeterminacy of the inferential threads that bound the propositions of the revelation—even if, by calling to mind the noninferential, oceanic heart of language. The indeterminate, groundless void where the brightnesses of nominal descriptions could not but fail to illuminate the indeterminate ensigns of the expository agency of the present reader; and its subtle mediation of textual immediacy, occluding its emergent, retrocausal entanglements with the enfaltung, or enfolding, of the prophetic future by its occult commitment to a prehistory. To glean in the runes of the moment the prophetic impress of the past one needs to wrestle with the strange forces that keep the abstract conceptions of universal values in check by compelling their capitulation to the actual universal condition.


Now, a sacred text usually possesses multiple authors; is univocal; resists total inferential exhaustion of its discursive possibilities; and, suggests more than it substantiates in the light of the living moment, even as if we were, now, but reading from behind a glass darkly. We who ask no more of a text than its heirophany reveal the store of the hope it seems to bear upon itself are but prophets and heretics of an obscure revelation, which presents itself to us only faintly in the determinate ideals of our age, and the shadows created by their light. These ideals, these texts, which are not merely the irredeemable paper tigers of metaphysics under whose fierce jaws the vellities of an uncritical epoch may test the strength of its subservience to the dead letters which carve out their faux symmetry, are the true shape of the absolute as it rises from the entombment of perceptual embodiment, and assumes its place on the altar of objective self-determination according to reason. The habit of embodiment, “…[3][i]n the classic conception of a durable disposition or second nature generated as the effect of action or experience upon its agent or subject, “…is precisely about what one feels” when one contemplates the expression of life in the spirit of its substance, or Sache. “[4]Having a life, being alive, continues to happen to me through a kind of automatic haptic circuit that fuses power and habit, potentiality and custom, into an active, living-decaying disposal of my being, a losing-becoming of myself among active dispositions”.


[5]The Roman Empire could not have a nominal definition of the concept of a human being because the determinate existence of a slave class in Rome made any such nominal description ring false against the spirit of the age, and its objective expression in the institutions of administration and civic life. Thus does the actual absolve us of the inauthenticity foist upon us by the abstract conceptions which complicate our commitments to reality. Inasmuch as they inflate a present particularity to the moment of a universality abstract concepts, drawn up from immediate experience, serve to mystify any attempt at grasping the vital ethical ideals which humanity demands. The sacred aspirations of society are no more or less than a divine text still in need of completion and exhaustion by understanding. In impelling exposition, and compelling retrospection, whereby the numinous transience of idealities are filiated with the being of humanity as a particular determination these sacred texts take mankind as an idea from vague alliance with the fragmentary disquisitions of human institutions to the univocal narrative ideality which is encapsulated in the nominal register of prophecy. Complying with the nature of reality, guided by philosophical inquiry, the merely nominal notion of mankind comes to signify a covenant with a perpetually amended complementarity of Being that is found to exist substantially in the life of the state[6]. Wherever instances of universals being absolved of their nominal inauthenticity are rendered solid as the sun by the reformation of institutional memory and social habitus that such a concretion of the absolute produces we find that the ideal is in fact the capitulation of the metaphysical to the demands of embodied comprehension in the strong sense of the term: requiring the ability to think through the mists of negativity ad rem. Thus, we see that the metaphysical unicity of the ideals of humanity is absolutely essential to the achievement of a solid ethical horizon in our material culture to which to moor civilisation.


[7]The concrete determination of ethical universalities, or ideals proceeds [a] from the formal adequacy of their description of the facts of bare existence in the state as it stands; this finds its most cogent expression in legal statutes that undergird the metaphysical firmament of values that ultimately align reality with the fragmentary vectors that tax the states’ spiritual stewardship of its people, and its responsibility towards alienated subjects. As for their concrete substance, [b] the forms of this relationship between sovereignty and social infrastructure are determined by [α] the historical consciousness of the state’s citizens and the peculiar formations of national character in their compromise with the demands of reality, [β] defined by the application of universal imperatives on particular instances representative of the act of infringing the metaphysical unicity of the ethical ideals embodied in the historical, and national expression of the state’s consciousness. [γ] The decisions which proceed from this apoditic engagement with the indeterminate contents of the present are fully realised expressions of the substantive reality of universal ethical ideas relevant to the age, and which had appeared to us earlier as but metaphysical vacuities. What seems Other to us is the very impossibility of verifying the primordial, historical desires that have structured our changing demands from reality, and nature. Thus, the demand for egalitarianism to be enshrined in the court of reason as self-evident and universal is a great affront to the human capacity for imagining what such egalitarianism would look like were it actually embodied in institutions; is this not the case in our globalised world, which makes an exportable [8]product out of poverty?


These big words [democracy, fraternity, equality, friendship etc.] engendered by the metaphysical imagination of man are the secret buds which conceal a living heart that stimulates the vigour and immanence of the lion-sleep that precedes the teething pains necessarily entailed by the rational self-actualisation of ideals in actual human society. And, yet what do these ideals mean to us now? When we read the word “democracy”, for instance, what is it that populates the inferential nexus of our conscious intellection? Derrida commits himself to these difficult metaphysical questions: how many does it take to make a sacred text, to make fraternity, to make democracy? What is the principle that regulates the content of these ideals across the length and breadth of history; and, how much of this history is mere confabulation, wishful thinking, forgetfulness, guile? The difficulty of this inquiry is only as magnificent as Derrida’s courage is misplaced.

I argue, in the rest of this essay, that Derrida fails to animate with the light of hermeneutics what social consciousness has deadened in its complicity with signifying regimes obtained from ancient eidolons, haunting the absolution of the actual spirit of humanity in its lived expression with the nugatory militancy of a [n]ontological a priori, raised against it as a savage master: the undead, spectral deity that is the very différance.



The discourse of Derrida’s [9]capitalised [O]ther projects an alterity upon the realm of universal ideas, and, thereby, estranges the foundations of our ethical life from their fixedness in our history, and renders bleak the longevity of its institutions amidst its own autoimmune, and alienating impetus. Rather than, merely, sharpen the conceptions of the absolute in terms of human tragedy, which is the patently anthropomorphic, and, thereby, too abstract and particular thing to do, it would do Derrida much service to have capitulated to the merely historical, but necessary, task of collating memory, arranging the spectres of a forgotten tradition into a footstool to leap from—into the future by admitting of the universality of conceptual individuations in human institutions through differences that are sublated in their engagement with the spectral realm of metaphysics. For though the numerous onerous vacillations between identity and contradictions that have undergirded the human conception of ideals, morality, and the spiritual pose a question of decipherment, we cannot chose to forget the lingua franca which promulgates the desire that structures and conceals itself within the particularities of its historical demands. Everyone knows that laws change to suit the expedience of empires, bureaucracies, and collectives but this only serves to reify the necessity of normative laws in a universal sense, to be a raised as a perpetual referent to the mirror image of mediate consciousness that stands in for contemporary moral and legal judgement. Thus, we are better off in our uprootedness, pursuing the elusive unicity of ideals that occasion our consciousness, rather than eviscerating the being of our social and legal institutions by cavalierly toying with hermeneutic delirium. A properly whole conception of what presents itself as, merely, the fragmentary relay of indeterminate forces is nothing but the complete rational exhaustion of the nexus between forces as individual vectors that determine the totality of experience through their own range of expression in human life. Since the core of this dialectical movement remains nonreferential, i.e. without access to the determinate origins of the historical train of ideas which animate our present ethical life, it also remains noninferential, i.e. irreducible to the present material determinations of sense certainty. What must be understood is that the succession of history to contemporaneity is not a process of recurrence, or departure but rather it is a process of allegorical embodiment of an analogy whose nature will explicate itself in the course of human history. As such it retains its tenuous connection with experience only as the assumed apodicity of a tradition of reading, decoding, and paying witness to the lived experience of those who preceded us; it is the democracy of the dead, as Chesterton explained of tradition[10], and the very existence of experience, and its scrutability is a bigger enigma than the particular deadlocks that plague speculative rational exhaustion from time to time.


It is important, at the very outset, to understand Derrida’s nuanced approach to the [11]noninferential core of experience; a keen reader of Hegel, he mobilises the implosive moment of dialectical comprehension to explicate, or rather, speculate about its decentered, retrocausal relation with the past. This yet to-come of comprehension has already taken into account the inhibitory mechanisms of the written words, the dead letters of signifiers as they are reified, reincarnated in the intellect of man as living substance, and the sum of this experience called human. In this capacity, this communicative nondisclosure of intent communicated in the text prepossesses a “humanity” which exceeds particular instantiations of human Being, and understanding: it is timeless, objective. In this way it is able to elide the usual interpretive gestures of the reader in the last instant, it exceeds the hermeneutic acuity of the reader, and his tribe by ceaselessly multiplying the possibility of endless separate logical worlds while continuing to retain a capacity for being logically parsed in a non-exhaustive way by several such tribes of readers, and several such readers who may partake of its mediate revelation as so many individual linguistic games. It may, for the very same reason, evoke an idea of logically impossible conceptions in human society when there is a great disconnection between the private and public expressions of the spirit of the age; the ineluctability of the Other’s revelation is tied to its demands on the present, for to live with justice is to think justice from beyond the self-evidence of human dignity as a noninferential difference, or différance. Accordingly everyone can imagine in it the body of his most compelling desires, for if his being is authentically aligned to the spiritual expression of the human institutions that give him self-identity his experiences are already crystallised as the living substance of his inquiry: the ego-ideal[12]. Indeed, if “[t]he ideal ego” is “…a projected” meaning “with which the subject identifies, and comparable to the imaginary capitation of the mirror-phase” where the reader reads into the text whatever he imagines to be the case already. “…[T]he ego ideal would be a secondary introjection whereby the” meaning “returns to the subject invested with those new properties which, after the ‘admonitions of others’ and the ‘awakening of his own critical judgement’ are necessary for the subject to be able to retain its narcissism”, or its sense of receiving the revelation properly “while shifting its…” semantic commitments to fulfil its spiritual expression in the functioning of actual human institutions. It occasions a receptivity to the conceptual schemas of the past as they fall apart in the ferment of the present diktats of real human need.


Derrida, in The Politics of Friendship (2005), is paying close attention to the letters which predicate this ego-ideal inasmuch as it emanates from the mediate, or noninferential, order of language which is a preconscious phenomenon. For perception, [13]aided by the blind hand of analytically irreducible premises, provides a trajectory for determinate emergence to be found in the inferential articulations that actually precede the soteriological, or prophetic, time that is alluded to in the text of experience. This allows him to tease out, explicate the influence of the nonidentical entity that cognises the emergence of the future by taking the place of man, who forsaken of his present acuity is thrown into a predetermined system of knowledge, a world that exceeds the scope of his individual, speculative reason, and the most well-intentioned metaphysical bracketings of his speech are merely the play of surfaces waiting for the actual definitions of reality to structure them as social infrastructure. This speech which has preceded him, in any case, is also predestined to outlast him; the prophets who have sounded the contour of this revelatory speech are in possession of the exemplary heritage “[14]…of those who we are speaking of…” (Derrida 2004, p. 3); namely, the nominal, or mediate entities of language that alone have access to our spiritual aspirations in light of a lived reality that encapsulates our existence, our Being in and for metaphysics. How far can we demonstrate once and for all, eternally, Derrida asks, to the court of speculative human reason that the desire of the Other is not a human desire but a sovereign entity that gives contours to the responsibilities of logical operators that structure the shape of human reason, comprehension, and wisdom? He inquires [15]what alterity desires, what difference would mean, what democracy, freedom, equality and law would signify without the irresponsible, sovereign, despotic Prometheanism of the Other concealed in human demands for these ideas as actual institutions articulated through the invocatory institution of language, reading, writing, and what a philosophical comprehension of this heritage would entail.


This Other who explicates my being possesses a prehensile character that is beast, and sovereign, but also it constitutes the human act of reading as merely humanity in relation to its illocution. We may even say, phenomenologically, “[16][i]t constitutes…” the reader of this sacred text, “it dictates even the ipseity of all things to…” this reader, “and also prescribes a monastic solitude for…” him; “as if, even before learning to speak, …” he “had been bound by some vows. This inexhaustible solipsism is” himself  “…before him. Lastingly”. Thus, the text speaking the reader into being is the progenitor of the ‘I’ who comprehends the to-come as a call to listen to the voice of the Other, beyond the dead letters of identification, and representation, to a futurity of understanding in the traditional philosophical sense of [17]seizing the absolute. Derrida is idolatrously gung-ho about the strange metaphysical unicity of the mediate person in language with human morality, and reason; as eternally aware of humanity, and thus standing in for humanity as a Being that is substantively aware of the way humanity conceives of self-evidence, language, and cognition while still, constitutively, two degrees removed from individual experience, and not properly, empirically real.


  1. The first remove is the radical democracy of origin officiated by the preexisting world, which inaugurates the world of language for man, namely, “society”; both as an idea, and an existing condition of human civilisation, and its various artefacts. Here, nobody chooses the station of their own birth, the truth of their own speech, and actions are limited by the causal relations they embody in their common life with the primordial Other, and its nonhuman, abstract systematicity as the mediate concepts which possess logical self-consistency and structure reality. It allows the formulation of logical principles that are then considered eternal, universal and immanent by the traditions of knowledge created by human societies. Its institutions of learning, culture, religion, and arts, and the various ways these institutions carve out spaces where individuals may find their roots, and inclinations organically respond to the emergence of the Other’s inescapable inter-subjectivity, and tend to become crystallised as individual consciences, as human subjects. Or, even as consciousness itself that differs from its referents; and, inasmuch as its reflexive capacity for reason succeeds in unpacking the good news of revelation in a purely contingent way, without the remedy of exhaustion. Ultimately, the only justification that may be offered for this compromise with objectivity proper, which is mediately latent in language, consists in pleading the case for the “nomological…” power “…of a physio-ontological” determination of reason, grounded on “…a conception of what is in nature, revealing itself in truth at birth” ([18]Derrida 2004, P. 99).

Necessity, as a logical operant in which the decisional relata of experience are modified by the conscious intent of the subject, is made nugatory by the inability of logic to substantively realise to the total semantic commitments of the linguistically nominated discursive field of reality when the conscious intent of a human subject is problematised by the hermeneutic indeterminacy of the Cogito[19]. What is this hermeneutic indeterminacy? “[20]It may be” the rudimentary fact “that a general level of interpretation and language are radically indeterminate because every interpretation (decision, specification of meaning) rests on a ground that is itself interpretive and therefore changeable; but since life is lived not at the general level but in local contexts that are stabilised (if only temporarily) by assumptions already and invisibly in place, the indeterminacy of interpretation is without practical consequence…”, also, it may be sectioned off by the experiential impossibility of analytically exhausting the descriptions of reality according to the criteria of physio-ontological sense certainty. The agent who carries out the semantic commitment which makes referential connexions to other entities possible is “[21]…the same relation” that “…ties…” together the “synthetic a priori…” with the “what is” and “what must be,” which “…it obliges…to the emergence of what is regarded” as normatively “…natural…the obligatory process of natural law.” But this obligation is of the order of nature and being noninferentially deduced from experience, it places theoretical and ontological registers versus experiential commitments, such as encapsulated in a “…promise, oath, fidelity to dead ancestors, and so forth”. This veritas transcendentalis structures the very incomprehensible portion of human cognition, itself structured by the agency of the letter in the unconscious, and comes to ennoble nobility, make democracy democratic: “…it founds the social bond, the community, the equality, the friendship of brothers, identification qua fraternisation…the link between the isomorphic and isogonic tie, the natural bond between nómos and phúsis…between political and autochthonous consanguinity” (Derrida 2004, p. 99).


Then, there is the Freudian unconscious which structures the very contours of its perceptual, and speculative notions of reality, about which Derrida doesn’t do very much in terms of mediate engagement: the spirit of his inquiry does not necessitate an engagement with psychoanalysis at this point because it stakes the odds of logical necessity precisely against the phenomenological negativity of experience, which is only the starting point for psychoanalysis rather than its analytic object end which is to be found in [22]the aetiological present. As Lacan famously quipped “[23]I say that the unconscious is structured like a language. But I must dot the i’s and cross the t’s”, because “…while a given culture may well mobilize a host of images…” the rendition of these images as meaningful, as signifying the communicative contents of the revelatory impression, depends on the contingent way that the ‘I’ responds to the Other, the way that you respond to the collective prescience which constitutes culture, and its modes of understanding. But his master, Hegel’s view on the matter of this seeking for the absolute prescience of the Other’s communication, trying to understand it outside of one’s own cognitive awareness of the process of paying attention to it, as vain in and of itself, because such an inquiry could only be sufficiently coherent if its inferential kernel were not always already contained “[24]…in catechisms or popular sayings…” that were available to the reader, and constituted the overall shape of his inquiry in the first place. Again, we confront the predilection of Derrida for bowing down to the numerous bridges the ancients burnt once they had crossed over to the apodicity of their existence the weight of normative reason. Furthermore, his appeal to the dizzying hermeneutic tangles of the past as the representative face of human reason is a totalising move that belies its commitment to the object of repudiating our state of knowledge, and spiritual concretion as so much unconscious production of identity semblants. But, this claim does not stand psychoanalytic scrutiny.


The unconscious, for psychoanalysis, simply lacks temporality[25] while it depends on the present that it embodies as pure negativity, where the mediate order of language, and its symbolic coordinates determined by the imaginary relation of the reader to his own desire colour the shape of what can be called representative of logical consistency proper. But, the vellities of this negativity are still present really in the imaginary relations that mediate the order of experience that language presents to us as the obvious sensibility of everyday communication[26], and thereby contaminates discretion, judgement, and self-reflexion in the measure that it’s causally determined by a lost history of primal emergence[27]. In the ways in which desiring subjects, or readers, read into this mediate realm of language there is only available to them, as to the psychoanalyst[28], a symptomal consciousness that works on a principle of nirvana; the constant charge of libido which animates reason and its correlates is free to organise itself against relata of mediate speculative claims articulated by the repressed traumatic object of experience, including the distortions imposed upon these propositions of desire by psychopathological, and, thereby, logical perversions[29]. The shape of understanding is—foremost—traditional; it is a history shared with the Other who authorises our intention, our willing towards a to-come of philosophical comprehension expressed in the tradition that makes the very production, ciphering, and deciphering of texts, both mystical and mundane, possible. Hegel is particularly opposed to this Derridean piety towards the Other, and its figurative monolingualism, which demands a capitulation to the various signifying regimes of my language in relation to the language of my tradition [taken to be the same thing], which tasks itself with the propagation of this text beyond my capacity of resistance to it by way of custom, indoctrination, ritual, and brute force. I must tarry with an incoherence that taxes my meanings, memories, and origins with the burden of veridical authenticity raised by [o]ther readers, who oppose my interpretation in the name of the mediate, proto-filial Other of language.


  1. The second remove is the epistemological inability to eliminate the historical biases, and predilections, that are part of the revelation as it was produced, preserved, and disseminated through the traditions which remained faithful to its letter, and that perhaps even more so than to its living spirit. This tradition, we know, argues Derrida, bears its history with the revelation as a self-sufficient token of its veridical scope: it is “[t]he contretemporal habitus…” of reason itself “…the éxis that binds together two times in the same time, a duration and an omnitemporality at the same time. Such a contretermpor-animation of this life uniting human spirit (the nous) and animality itself. This unifying feature conjugates man and animal, spirit and life, soul and body. It places them under the same yoke, that of the same liability [passibilité], that of the same aptitude to learn in suffering, to cross, to record and to take account of the ordeal of time, to withhold its trace in the body” (Derrida 2004, P. 16). The power[s] of signifiance always already belong[s] to the text, and its contents as enumerated by tradition, but the significance, or revelation for the reader, that these contents conceal behind their composite form, is that the reification of its communications is a necessary step towards concretely experiencing, and understanding the aleatory gesture of the sacrality it circumscribes by its discourse[30] for the individual reader. But, this unequal race between the revelatory openness of the text and the expository zeal of the reader prefigures not just a sacrality, or infallibility, as communicated in scriptures, but also agreements, disagreements, or even repudiations that can obtain their validity from the very semantic commitments it finds naming in its reader’s body, and mind, as a regime of order words. The primacy of signifiance always already prefigures the irreducibility of the signifiers that bear no hard analytic kernel if consciousness is merely a symptomatic vellity: meaning comes both with the text and after it, interminably as a desire of the Other concealed beyond its symbolic demand through various individual tribes, and readers who embody a historical comprehension of the text as its nomological semantic commitments.

The inaugural moment of sense certainty as it transforms into necessity with the expression of the Other in language is allied with a prehistoric secrecy, and by default to all inquiries into this secrecy. The secrecy native to the verbal ordering of the text preserved across many authors, inasmuch as it remains to be read into, retains its primacy over the revelatory message it brings to bear upon its claims to supernaturality. He who holds a sacred text is held captive by the regard he brings to bear on the secret which the text withholds from his irresolute, totalising curiosity; thus, initiating the dialectical tussle between communal signifiance and personal hermeneutics.


There is no way to objectively separate the prehistory of the word before the ‘I’ speaks it; “[31]…the ‘I’ that speaks or writes ‘I am mortal’ is never purely present to itself as it relies on the possibility of being repeated in the radical absence—death— of that ‘I’: an absence which will complicate the idea of thinking subjects based on ideas of presence”. Thus inasmuch as Derrida explicates the problematical gymnastics required of the dead traditions that have enlivened our epoch he also unravels the foundational apodicity which inaugurates the normativity of différance. But then différance itself is the very dead letter of the laws of the ancients, and demands to be put to trial against our mortality, and against the transience of nominal schemata. When Derrida questions this tradition he remains trapped inside it for the Other is found accountable in his insensitivity to the inquiry, in his ineluctability, and stable inertia in the dead letter that can only be tapped into by reverie, ritual, worship. But this is no failing on Derrida’s part, for history is not a mere skein that will be rend by the blade of the truth; as if there were hidden between the blade’s edge and history’s horizon a confederacy that could be sought out in the fact that they both cannot be grasped without pain. The past is not an eidolon that can be excavated at leisure. The debris of its empire are not a monument, or a minaret, and he who seeks after its raw girth is not lost to the senses in which man, perforce, finds himself again and again, viciously pursued by a sentience greater than the sum of every arraigned chronology. An enigmatic gravity, which draws the inert materials that compose the flesh and blood of history by labour of our body, and compels the weight of this lion-sleep, this mediate inertia of recollection and appropriation, to fall plainly upon the better senses of our wake: history is the ancestor of this moment! And not to be profaned with a séance to reanimate its desire beyond death. Its annals writ in the glib aphoricity of its gad-flies, and megalomaniac bureaucracies, and courtroom stenographers, and under-graduate blogs, are the lingering, immanent spirit of a long deceased complexion of thought, even a Geist that may well descend upon us again; fresh as a long forgotten strain caught in the loopy preconscioning of its evocation; like a thief in the shade of our personal yggdrasils, at the edge of the thicket of forgetfulness, where at last we spot the glimmer of the sword which its bears for a tongue, lighting our way out of its precious blow.


Because I am dead I imagine this writing carries traces of my death but it is not dead writing, and no writing is dead writing./ I think I am a great distance past the entrance of death to the other side of my life and I must look back across/ this expanse to my being alive, and because of this I/ cannot write anything that refuses or annuls this span./ Because I am dead and writing from the other side, I am/ dead and this is not writing or rather this may be/ writing but written by someone who is still alive and/ writing and is therefore not me./ I am dead and I am writing important updates”.

—Sondheim, Alan. Important Updates (2013). §7- 10.























[1] Sondheim, Alan. Important Updates (2013). Personal communication.

[2] Kirk, Jordan. Masciandaro, Nicola & Wilson, Scott. (2011). “What Separates the Birth of Twins”. Glossator 5: On the Love of Commentary. Brooklyn, NY: The City University of New York. P. 1- 18.

[3] Masciandaro, Nicola. Come cosa che cada: Habit and Cataclysm, or, Exploding Plasticity. See < >.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Hegel, George, Friedrich, Wilhelm. Trans. Nisbet, H., B. Wood, Alan, W. Ed. (2011). Elements of the Philosophy of Right. § 1-2. P. 25- 27.

[6] Hegel, George, Friedrich, W. Trans. Nisbet, H., B. Ed. Wood, Allan, W. (2011). Elements of the Philosophy of Right. London, UK: Cambridge University Press. Print.

[7] Ibid. P. § 3. P. 28- 34.

[9] “…[T]hat adversarial moment in the construction of the self and its knowledge of itself which is ‘the insight that fuels Hegel’s entire discussion of the Lord and the Bondsman’ in the Phenomenology” constitutes the subject who poses before reason his case for mastery. It would seem that the Derridean subject in its failure to achieve self-determining expression in actuality to own itself up to the tradition of its nonentity in the hermeneutic trace of its inquiring desire, persisting beyond the demand of its love for itself in the other, is no more than a solipsistic allegiance to an irretrievably lost Kantian object. Thus, “…contrary to the usual methods of dialectic, one should not have to give up love in order to become wise or learned. It…” may just as concretely be “…love that leads to knowledge whether in art or more metaphysical learning”; in the mere posing of the question a paternity and a posterity is implicated. “It is love that both leads the way and is the pathway and is the path” for when the subject speaks he speaks with the authority of the letter animating him, coaxing him into intercourse with the universal enfaltung of man’s mastery over himself. See Milbank, John, Alasdair & Pickstock, Catherine & Ward, Graham Eds. (1999). Moss, David. § 6 “Friendship: St. Anslem, theoria and the convolution of sense*”. Radical Orthodoxy: A New Theology. London, UK: Routledge. PP. 127- 142.

[10] “It is obvious that tradition is only democracy extended through time. It is trusting to a consensus of common human voices rather than to some isolated or arbitrary record. The man who quotes some German historian against the tradition of the Catholic Church, for instance, is strictly appealing to aristocracy. He is appealing to the superiority of one expert against the awful authority of a mob. It is quite easy to see why a legend is treated, and ought to be treated, more respectfully than a book of history. The legend is generally made by the majority of people in the village, who are sane. The book is generally written by the one man in the village who is mad. Those who urge against tradition that men in the past were ignorant may go and urge it at the Carlton Club, along with the statement that voters in the slums are ignorant. It will not do for us. If we attach great importance to the opinion of ordinary men in great unanimity when we are dealing with daily matters, there is no reason why we should disregard it when we are dealing with history or fable. Tradition may be defined as an extension of the franchise. Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about. All democrats object to men being disqualified by the accident of birth; tradition objects to their being disqualified by the accident of death. Democracy tells us not to neglect a good man’s opinion, even if he is our groom; tradition asks us not to neglect a good man’s opinion, even if he is our father. I, at any rate, cannot separate the two ideas of democracy and tradition; it seems evident to me that they are the same idea. We will have the dead at our councils. The ancient Greeks voted by stones; these shall vote by tombstones. It is all quite regular and official, for most tombstones, like most ballot papers, are marked with a cross”. Chesterton, Gilbert, K. The Ethics of Elfland. See < Gilbert_K_ Chesterton/Orthodoxy/The_Ethics_of_Elfland_p2.html >.

[11] Hegel’s notion of perception rests on the forces of theoretical, and real, entities expressing themselves to consciousness; the reason we cannot fully infer the import of a theoretical, or real entity, present to us in current experience is that that these forces are already structured by determinate, or particular forces, that remain invisible and predicate the complexity of the perceptual content available to us as a bunch of disparate stimuli. The immediate grasp of perceptual consciousness mediates the range of inferences we can furnish about the future, inasmuch as it remains irreducible to its determinate content owing to the unobservable forces that are shaping it in the present moment. See Brandom, Robert. (2010). A Spirit of Trust. Notes to Force and Understanding: Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit.

[12] Rose, Jacqueline. Ed. Žižek, Slavoj. (2003). “The Imaginary”. Jacques Lacan: Critical Evaluations in Theory. New York, NY: Routledge. P. 7

[13] Ibid.

[14] Derrida, Jacques. Trans. Collins, George. (2004). “Oligarchies: Naming, Enumerating, Counting”. The Politics of Friendship. London, UK: Verso. P. 1- 25.

[15] Derrida, Jacques. Trans. Collins, George. (2004). “This Mad ‘Truth’: This Just Name of Friendship”. The Politics of Friendship. London, UK: Verso. P. 64- 65.

[16] Derrida, Jacques. Trans. Mensah, Patrick. (1998). Monolingualism of the Other; or, The Prosthesis of Origin. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. §1. P. 1-2.

[17] Limnatis, Nectarios, G. Ed. Wandschneider, Deiter. Trans. Jensen, Anthony. (2010). “§2 Dialectic as the ‘Self-Fulfillment’ of Logic”. The Dimensions of Hegel’s Dialectic. London, UK: Continuum Publishing. P. 48.

[18] Derrida, Jacques. Trans. Collins, George. (2004). “The Phantom Friend Returning (in the name of Democracy)”. The Politics of Friendship. London, UK: Verso. § 4. P. 75- 111. p. 99.

[19] “[T]he subject is nothing more than a puppet of the ‘big Other,’ a mere slave of the symbolic order; subjectivity is effectively eclipsed, overshadowed in being reduced to the epiphenomenal residue of, in Hegelian parlance, a purely objective (and objectifying) Geist” Johnston, Adrian. (2008). “Failure Comes First: Negativity and the Subject”. Žižek’s Ontology: A Transcendentalist Materialist Theory of Subjectivity. Evanston, IL. Northwestern University Press. P. 5-11. p. 6.

[20] Fish, Stanley. Ed. Leyh, Gregory. “Play of Surfaces: Theory and the Law”. Legal Hermeneutics: History, Theory and Practice. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. P. 297- 316. p. 307.

[21] Derrida, Jacques. Trans. Collins, George. (2004). “The Phantom Friend Returning (in the name of Democracy)”. The Politics of Friendship. London, UK: Verso. § 4. P. 75- 111. p. 99.

[22] Jung, Carl, G. Eds. Read, Herbert, Fordham, Michael, & Gerhard Adler. (1961). The Collected Works of C. G. Jung Vol. 4: Freud and Psychoanalysis. “The History of Psychoanalysis: The Aetiological Significance of the Actual Present”. New York, NY: Pantheon Books Inc.

[23] Michel-Rabaté, Jean. Ed. Shepherdson, Charles. “§ 8 Lacan and Philosophy”. The Cambridge Companion to Jacques Lacan. Cambridge, UK: The University of Cambridge Press. P. 116- 152.

[24] Hegel, Georg, Wilhelm, Friederich. Trans. Miller, V., A. (1977). “Preface”. Phenomenology of Spirit. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. § 69. P. 42- 43.

[25] While Johnston argues in favour of Lacan’s idiotic postulate that the point de caption[s] adequately capture[s] the unconscious’ relation with a latent notion of time I argue that this is mistaken in that it ignores the function of the analytic desire, structured by the imaginary relation, as it comes to overdetermine the notion of temporality to a point where any such claim is always already a question about the libidinal investment of the analyst rather than the inferential core of the unconscious grasping at temporal schemas. See Johnston, Adrian. Žižek, Slavoj Ed. (2005). “The splitting of the Drive”. Time Driven: Metapsychology and the Splitting of the Drive. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press. P. 129. Also see < http://lacquesjacan.wordpress. com/2013/04/08/reflections-on-alan-roland-2011/ > & < onnalities-the-a-nalytical-cathexis-through-laruelle/ >.

[26][26] Freud thought that the everyday alone was the measure of the excesses of pathological cognitive detours. See “[T]he conservatism of psychoanalysis” in the domain of sexuality and gender “…is well documented: in theory and in clinical work it has rarely supplied convincing recruits to the radicalisation of gender politics or to the ranks of sexual revolution”. In the light of the fact that sexuality is an ineliminable and still raw part of human consciousness the tendency of psychoanalysis to unduly valorise the contemporary delusions of its time is evidenced as its predilection for conformity, whereby the pathological obtains its actual existence from the nominal order of social convention. Frosh, Stephen. (2012). For and Against Psychoanalysis. § 8 “Psychoanalytic Agendas: Gender, Homosexuality and Racism”. London, UK: Routledge.

[27] “…in so far as it is from him that there emanate the substances,” which one questions about “nothing that is an object is presented except as a darkening relative, in a way, to a pure look, a transparency against a background of transparency, and that this apparition can only be recognised, for the thinking of reflection, as they say, by seeking, by turning back to behind oneself where the original being may well be”. Lacan, Jacques. “19 January (1966). Mirror stage and the Divine Comedy”. Book XIII: The Object of Psychoanalysis. Lacan in Ireland. § VII. P. 95.

[28] Freud borrowed the idea of the nirvana principle from Barbara Low. Human existence reflected, at the deepest core, the struggle of the life instinct, eros or libido, with the death instinct. Mental life reflected the efforts of the libido to fuse with…” the “…death instinct”, or desire for negation in the Other in phenomenological terms. In principle it is possible to extricate the contents of prehistory that are part of the conscious psychism of the analyst/ analysand unless they are dynamically repressed; for this very reason Freud would insist on the pre-consciousness of language as opposed to the obvious imbecility of Lacan’s revised view that language is unconscious. See Erwin, Edwin. Ed. (2002). “Preconscious”. The Freud Encyclopaedia: Theory, Therapy and Culture.  New York, NY: Taylor & Francis Group. p. 423.

[29] “…if we ought to consider that the unconscious is the locus of the subject where it speaks (ça parle) we come now to approach this point where we can say that something, without the subject knowing it, is profoundly altered by the retroactive effects of the signifier implied in the word. It is in so far as and for the least of his words, the subject speaks, that he cannot avoid always, once more, naming himself without knowing it, without knowing with what name… in order to situate the relationships between the unconscious and the preconscious, the border for us is not to situated first of all somewhere inside, as they say, a subject who is simply supposed to be simply the equivalent of what is called in the broad sense, the psychical” Lacan, Jacques. Trans. Gallagher, Cormac. The Seminars of Jacques Lacan: Book IX Identification. From Unedited French Transcripts. §VII P. 63.

[30] Edouard Machery, an analytic philosopher, “…thinks concepts aren’t a natural kind and kind of thinks that studying them is like studying a science of Tuesdays. He’s also brooding on what the folk think and whether experts have judgements that can be trusted, suggesting that philosophy needs to be humble. Everything he does goes to the heart of how we think about ourselves…”. Machery, Edouard. May, 10, 2013. 3 AM. See < >.

[31] Birchall, Clare. (2006). Knowledge Goes Pop: Conspiracy Theory to Gossip. New York, NY: Berg. P. 77.


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