Rethinking the Gift I

Robyn Horner

in Rethinking God as Gift

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print July 2001 | ISBN: 9780823221219
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823235599 | DOI:

Series: Perspectives in Continental Philosophy

Rethinking the Gift I

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This chapter considers how Derrida thinks the impossible. The two works of Derrida that deal most thoroughly with the question of the gift are Given Time: 1. Counterfeit Money, and The gift of Death. Derrida's thinking of the impossibility of the gift proceeds with reference to time and to the potential that lies in the idea that there might be a gift where no gift appears as such. Playing on the double meaning of the word “present”, Derrida explores the relationship between time and the impossibility of the gift. According to the common understanding, only what is in time can be given. On the other hand, wherever time predominates or the conditions are general, the gift is impossible. For there to be gift, it must interrupt time and interrupt economy. The chapter also examines Derrida's view of absolute forgetting.

Keywords: The gift of Death; present; impossibility; absolute forgetting

Chapter.  6035 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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