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Scatter 1 By Geoffrey Bennington

Scatter 1 by Geoffrey Bennington

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Scatter 1 Summary

Scatter 1: The Politics of Politics in Foucault, Heidegger, and Derrida by Geoffrey Bennington

What if political rhetoric is unavoidable, an irreducible part of politics itself? In contrast to the familiar denunciations of political horse-trading, grandstanding, and corporate manipulation from those lamenting the crisis in liberal democracy, this book argues that the politics of politics, usually associated with rhetoric and sophistry, is, like it or not, part of politics from the start.
Denunciations of the sorry state of current politics draw on a dogmatism and moralism that share an essentially metaphysical and Platonic ground. Failure to deconstruct that ground generates a philosophically and politically debilitating selfrighteousness that this book attempts to understand and undermine.
After a detailed analysis of Foucault's influential late concept of parrhesia, which is shown to be both philosophically and politically insufficient, close readings of Heidegger, Kierkegaard, and Derrida trace complex relations between sophistry, rhetoric, and philosophy; truth and untruth; decision; madness and stupidity in an exploration of the possibility of developing an affirmative thinking of politics that is not mortgaged to the metaphysics of presence.
It is suggested that Heidegger's complex accounts of truth and decision must indeed be read in close conjunction with his notorious Nazi commitments but nevertheless contain essential insights that many strident responses to those commitments ignore or repress. Those insights are here developed-via an ambitious account of Derrida's often misunderstood interruption of teleology-into a deconstructive retrieval of the concept of dignity.
This lucid and often witty account of a crucial set of developments in twentieth-century thought prepares the way for a more general re-reading of the possibilities of political philosophy that will be undertaken in Volume 2 of this work, under the sign of an essential scatter that defines the political as such.

Scatter 1 Reviews

Bennington's Scatter 1 is a sophisticated, detailed, and strikingly original demonstration of the political efficacy of deconstruction. As always with Bennington to read him is to undergo an education in reading.----Robert Bernasconi, Pennsylvania State University

In these troubled political times, helping us to think about how to respond to violence and to violation without succumbing to the metaphysical dream of the end of politics in and through the end of rhetoric-as if we will ever
be done with rhetoric, with deception, with violence-may well be Scatter 1's most important achievement.

* Comparative Literature Studies *
Bennington's Scatter 1 is certainly an intense reenactment and reinvention of deconstruction. * Diacritics *

About Geoffrey Bennington

Geoffrey Bennington is Asa G. Candler Professor of Modern French Thought at Emory University.

Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations Introduction: The Politics of Politics 1. Parrhesia 2. Pseudos 3. Kairos 4. Moria 5. Diakrisis 6. Axioma Appendix: Derrida's notes on Dignity Index

Additional information

Scatter 1: The Politics of Politics in Foucault, Heidegger, and Derrida by Geoffrey Bennington
Fordham University Press
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