Chapter

Those Weeping Eyes, Those Seeing Tears

Edith Wyschogrod

in Styles of Piety

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print December 2006 | ISBN: 9780823225002
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823237081 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fso/9780823225002.003.0013

Series: Perspectives in Continental Philosophy

Those Weeping Eyes, Those Seeing               Tears

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Following upon the refutation of Caputo's analysis of Derrida, this chapter comes to Caputo's defense, though most of the chapter defends his assertion of authoritative ethics in general, and only in the conclusion directly defends and explains The Prayers and Tears of Jacques Derrida. Regarding Prayers and Tears, Wyschogrod lists four key observations: Firstly, Derrida indeed believed in faith, specifically as a passion for the impossible, and as such was not a nihilist; Secondly, as a non-nihilist, Derrida uses deconstruction not to undermine philosophical pursuits, but to clarify the source of their very possibility; Thirdly, Derrida sees alterity not as creating insurmountable chasms between wholly dissimilar beings, but as the context for exploring the interface of language, which finds commonality despite the differences; Finally, Derrida's use of apophatics assumes an a priori existence, such that his negative theology does not devolve into pure atheism.

Keywords: Derrida; Caputo; Levinas; Deleuze; ethics; alterity; deconstruction; deconstructionism; religion; faith

Chapter.  4085 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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