The Gift of Mourning

Journal of French and Francophone Philosophy 31 (1/2):85-105 (2023)
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Abstract

This paper explores the relationship of mourning and the gift in the work of Jacques Derrida. I argue that mourning is not a Derridean gift, but mourning does open us to the gift. Reading the works of Aristotle, Cicero, and Kierkegaard on friendship and love to the dead in the wake of Derrida’s Politics of Friendship makes this relation among mourning and the gift apparent for he presents mourning as the opening to a democracy to-come whose logic is the gift. Through these accounts, I maintain that in preparing us for the gift, mourning the dead other can help us to relate better with the living other in ethical, political, and ontological terms.

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Harris Bechtol
Texas A&M University - San Antonio

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