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Perjury and Pardon, Volume II

An exploration of the political dimensions of forgiveness and repentance from Jacques Derrida.
Perjury and Pardon is a two-year seminar series given by Jacques Derrida at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales in Paris during the late 1990s. In these sessions, Derrida focuses on the philosophical, ethical, juridical, and political stakes of the concept of responsibility. His primary goal is to develop what he calls a “problematic of lying” by studying diverse forms of betrayal: infidelity, denial, false testimony, perjury, unkept promises, desecration, sacrilege, and blasphemy.

This volume covers the seminar’s second year when Derrida explores the political dimensions of forgiveness and repentance. Over eight sessions, he discusses Hegel, Augustine, Levinas, Arendt, and Benjamin as well as Bill Clinton’s impeachment and Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu’s testimonies before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The seminars conclude with an extended reading of Henri Thomas’s 1964 novel Le Parjure.

Table of Contents

Foreword to the English Edition
General Introduction to the French Edition
Editors’ Note
Translator’s Note
First Session
Second Session
Third Session
Fourth Session
Fifth Session
Appendix 1—Discussion Session
Sixth Session
Appendix 2
Seventh Session
Appendix 3—Discussion Session
Eighth Session
Index of Proper Names

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