Jacques Derrida's Philosophy of Forgiveness

Filosofia Unisinos 22 (2):1-9 (2021)
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This paper presents social and political dimensions of forgiveness within Jacques Derrida’s philosophy. Derrida’s philosophy of forgiveness is an example of how philosophy can help us understand and resolve contemporary social and political issues. Derrida believes that traditional concept of forgiveness should be broadened beyond the bounds of the rational and the imaginable. According to Derrida, traditional concept of forgiveness needs rethinking because of the phenomenon of proliferation of scenes of forgiveness after the Second World War that produced globalization of forgiveness and trivialized and decharacterized this term. According to Derrida, the act of forgiveness can only be thought beyond the limits of common sense and in the space of the impossible, and that is the forgiveness of something that common sense cannot forgive. Derrida’s philosophy of forgiveness has wide social and political implications as it transcends binary oppositions: present/past, self/other, friend/enemy and so forth. All concepts within Derrida’s philosophy of politics (friendship, enemy, hospitality, forgiveness, justice, and so on) are significant for societies eroded with traumas of wars and ethno-national divisions and conflicts.
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Archival date: 2021-09-06
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