News and Events

Jacques Derrida on Pain of Death by Prof. Dutoit

Date: 29 October 2009(Thu)

Time:5:00 pm – 6:30 pm

Venue: Conference Room, Ch’ienMu Library of New Asia College
Speaker: ProfessorThomas Dutoit, University of Lille 3, France
Organezed by Edwin Cheng Foundation Asian Centre forPhenomenology


Over two years, in 20 three-hour lectures, Professorof Philosophy Jacques Derrida pursued a “deconstruction of thegallows,” an attempt to dis-assemble the logic and philosophy of the deathpenalty, covering a range of sources from the Bible and Plato to contemporaryU.S. politics and international law, through the Enlightenment writers (Beccaria,Kant, Rousseau), nineteenth-century abolitionists (especially Hugo), as well aspsychoanalytic and literary texts. Arguing that no philosophy as such has everopposed the death penalty (the death penalty being the “propre del”homme,” the defining feature of the human as such), Derrida analyzes thestandard features found in all discourses about the death penalty. In thistalk, “Jacques Derrida on Pain of Death,” Thomas Dutoit, editor forthe publication of these lectures (January 2011), will try to unknot the bundleof literature, philosophy and legal studies which is Derrida”s particularresponse to the death penalty, in these lectures that formed part of Derrida”stwelve-year long course entitled “Questions of Responsibility.”