New Book: Apparitions–Of Derrida’s Other (Perspectives in Continental Philosophy)

Apparitions—Of Derrida’s Other, by Kas Saghafi

Perspectives in Continental Philosophy
Fordham University Press
200 pages
July 2010

“In a series of wonderful readings, Saghafi clarifies the way Derrida understands the relation of self and other, of why the relation between Moses and God, for example, is the paradigm for the law of the relation to the other.”
—Rodolph Gasché, University at Buffalo, State University of New York

“A lucid, subtle, and thought-provoking study of the work of Jacques Derrida that provides a fine critical account of the importance of spectrality and haunting.”
—Nicholas Royle, University of Sussex

How does Derrida write of and on the other? Apparitions examines exemplary instances of the relation to the other—the relation of Moses to God, Derrida’s friendship with Jean-Luc Nancy, Derrida’s relation to a recently departed actress caught on video—to demonstrate how Derrida forces us to reconceive who or what the other may be. For Derrida, the singularity of the other includes not only the formal or logical sense of alterity, the otherness of the human other, but also the otherness of the nonliving, the no longer living, or the not yet alive.

Addressing Derrida’s readings of Husserl, Levinas, Barthes, Blanchot, and Nancy, this book explores the apparitions of the other by attending to the mode of appearing, the phenomenality and visibility of the other. The book also demonstrates that video and photography display an intimate relation to “spectrality,” as well as a structural relation to the absolute singularity of the other.

KAS SAGHAFI is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Memphis

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