Cloth $45.00 ISBN: 9780226699516 Published September 2020
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Life Death

Jacques Derrida

Life Death

Jacques Derrida

328 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2020
Cloth $45.00 ISBN: 9780226699516 Published September 2020
E-book $10.00 to $45.00 About E-books ISBN: 9780226701141 Will Publish October 2020
One of Jacques Derrida’s richest and most provocative works, Life Death challenges and deconstructs one of the most deeply rooted dichotomies of Western thought: life and death. Here Derrida rethinks the traditional philosophical understanding of the relationship between life and death, undertaking multidisciplinary analyses of a range of topics, including philosophy, linguistics, and the life sciences. In seeking to understand the relationship between life and death, he engages in close readings of Freudian psychoanalysis, the philosophy of Nietzsche and Heidegger, French geneticist François Jacob, and epistemologist Georges Canguilhem.
     Derrida gave his “Life Death” seminar over fourteen sessions between 1975 and 1976 at the École normale supérieure in Paris as part of the preparation for students studying for the agrégation, a notoriously competitive qualifying exam. The theme for the exam that year was “Life and Death,” but Derrida made a critical modification to the title by dropping the coordinating conjunction. The resulting title of Life Death poses a philosophical question about the close relationship between life and death. Derrida argues that death must be considered neither as the opposite of life nor as the truth or fulfillment of it, but rather as that which both limits life and makes it possible. Through these captivating sessions, Derrida thus not only questions traditional understandings of the relationship between life and death, but also ultimately develops a new way of thinking about what he calls “life death.”
Contents
Foreword to the English Edition
General Introduction to the French Edition
Editorial Note
Translators’ Note

First Session: Programs

Second Session: Logic of the Living (She the Living)

Third Session: Transition (Oedipus’s Faux Pas)

Fourth Session: The Logic of the Supplement: The Supplement of the Other, of Death, of Meaning, of Life

Fifth Session: The Indefatigable

Sixth Session: The “Limping” Model: The Story of the Colossus

Seventh Session

Eighth Session: Cause (“Nietzsche”)

Ninth Session: Of Interpretation

Tenth Session: Thinking the Division of Labor—and the Contagion of the Proper Name

Eleventh Session: The Escalade—of the Devil in Person

Twelfth Session: Freud’s Leg(acies)

Thirteenth Session: Sidestep Detour: Thesis, Hypothesis, Prosthesis

Fourteenth Session: Tightenings
 
Index of Proper Names
Review Quotes
David Farrell Krell, author of The Sea: A Philosophical Encounter
“Derrida’s 1975-76 seminar, Life Death, is surely one of his greatest achievements. It begins with a deconstructive reading of François Jacob’s Logic of the Living, advancing to a critique of scientific ‘models’ in general. It then takes up Nietzsche’s notions of life and the living in terms of both biography and biology. Finally, it reads Freud’s Beyond the Pleasure Principle in an exciting and challenging way. The translation by Pascale-Anne Brault and Michael Naas is reliable and eminently readable.”
Dawne McCance, author of The Reproduction of Life Death: Derrida's La Vie la Mort
“This is a splendid translation of one of Derrida’s most challenging seminars, one that relates, in unprecedented ways, the vocabulary and concepts of historical and contemporary biology and genetics with selected and relevant works of Marx, Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Freud.”
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