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The London Graduate School Seminar Series 2013

Posted: Wednesday 25 Sep 2013
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The London Graduate School seminar series for 2013 will be held at Kingston University, London and is open to all who wish to attend.

Part 1: Andrew Benjamin


Arendt’s supposition advanced in The Human Condition is that the inscription of the pardon and the promise into a concern with the ethical has a transformative effect on any understanding of the relationship between activity and judgement via the introduction of time. Once read in relation to both Kant’s engagement with what he calls ‘radical evil’ in his Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason and a more general consideration of what he means by the ‘unconditioned’ this introduction of time creates the setting for a detailed engagement with the ethical and political commitments of Derrida’s text ‘To Forgive: The Unforgivable and the Imprescriptible’. The aim of seminar will be to work through Arendt and Kant and then to engage with Derrida.

Tuesday October 1: Arendt on the Pardon and the Promise

Tuesday October 8: Kant on Radical Evil

Tuesday October 15: Kant on the Unconditioned

Monday October 21: Derrida on the Pardon 1.

Tuesday October 29: Derrida on the Pardon 2.


Hannah Arendt. The Human Condition. The University of Chicago Press. 1999.

Jacques Derrida. Given Time. The University of Chicago Press. 1994

Jacques Derrida. To Forgive: The Unforgivable and the Imprescriptible. In Questioning God. Edited by John D. Caputo, Mark Dooley, and Michael J. Scanlon Indiana University Press. 2001.

Immanuel Kant. Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason. In Religion and Rational Theology. The Cambridge Edition of the works of Immanuel Kant. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge. 2012

Part 2: Samuel Weber

Life, Death and Surviving: Deconstructing the Death Penalty

From their earliest publication until their last, Jacques Derrida’s writing and thinking turned around the relation of life and death. His effort to rethink their relationship in a manner that would not be simply oppositional culminates, chronologically at least, in his lectures on “The Death Penalty”, to which he devoted two years of “seminars” in 2001-2003. The question of the Death Penalty emerged out of the lectures of the two previous years on “Perjury and Pardon”, so that this seminar constitutes a coherent continuation of the seminar of Andrew Benjamin in the previous five weeks. The seminar will begin by discussing how the question of life and death first emerges in Derrida’s deconstruction of Husserl’s notion of the “living present” in Speech an Phenomenon, and how it then develops into the quasi-concept of “iterability” (in Limited Inc). It will then go on to investigate some of Derrida’s later writings on the Death Penalty, in which what was formerly exposed as a philosophical and epistemological problem with respect to Husserlian phenomenology, gradually revealed itself to be also a political and legal one: first in connection with Speech Act theory (Austin, Searle), and then, later, with regard to the question of political “sovereignty”.


Tuesday, November 5: Repetition, “Ideality”, Identity: J. Derrida, Speech and Phenomenon

Tuesday, November 12: Iterability and Context: J. Derrida, Limited Inc

Tuesday, November 19: “Death Penalties”, in: J. Derrida, E. Roudinesco, For What Tomorrow, A Dialogue

Tuesday, November 26: Death Penalty (Seminar), I: J. Derrida, Seminar on the Death Penalty, vol. I: pp. 1-46

Tuesday, December 3: Death as Penalty: Genesis 1, 1-11; S. Weber, Targets of Opportunity, 22-62.



All seminars will be held from 4 to 6PM at Kingston University, Penrhyn Road campus, in the following rooms:

Tuesday October 1: JG1004

Tuesday October 8: JG1004

Tuesday October 15: JG3012

Monday October 21: JG1001

Tuesday October 29: EM3003 (Dean’s Office)

Tuesday, November 5: JG2012

Tuesday, November 12: JG 2012

Tuesday, November 19: JG3012

Tuesday, November 26: JG0003

Tuesday, December 3: TH9

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