Bibliographic Information

    Perjury and pardon

    Jacques Derrida ; edited by Ginette Michaud and Nicholas Cotton ; translated by David Wills

    (The seminars of Jacques Derrida / edited by Geoffrey Bennington & Peggy Kamuf)

    University of Chicago Press, 2022

    • v. 1 : cloth

    Other Title

    Le parjure et le pardon

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    Includes bibliographical references and index

    Description and Table of Contents


    An inquiry into the problematic of perjury, or lying, and forgiveness from one of the most influential philosophers of the twentieth century. "One only ever asks forgiveness for what is unforgivable." From this contradiction begins Perjury and Pardon, a two-year series of seminars given by Jacques Derrida at the Ecole des hautes etudes en sciences sociales in Paris in 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. Although forgiveness is a notion inherited from multiple traditions, the process of forgiveness eludes those traditions, disturbing the categories of knowledge, sense, history, and law that attempt to circumscribe it. Derrida insists on the unconditionality of forgiveness and shows how its complex temporality destabilizes all ideas of presence and even of subjecthood. For Derrida, forgiveness cannot be reduced to repentance, punishment, retribution, or salvation, and it is inseparable from, and haunted by, the notion of perjury. Through close readings of Kant, Kierkegaard, Shakespeare, Plato, Jankelevitch, Baudelaire, and Kafka, as well as biblical texts, Derrida explores diverse notions of the "evil" or malignancy of lying while developing a complex account of forgiveness across different traditions.

    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, Fifth Session-Discussion Session Sixth Session Appendix 1, Sixth Session Appendix 2, Sixth Session Seventh Session Eighth Session Ninth Session Tenth Session Appendix, Tenth Session-Restricted Session Notes Index of Proper Names

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