The Aporias of Justice and the Virtue of Un-inheritance

Philosophia 41 (2):373-382 (2013)
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This paper contends that Ananda Abeysekara’s notion of un-inheritance, developed via a Derridean analysis of contemporary Sri Lankan politics and society, can act as a helpful supplement to the concept of justice. What one finds in Abeysekara’s analysis is an interpretation of justice as ultimately aporetic: justice both opens up to the possibility of its ever greater concrete realization and continually defers its completion. This paper begins by examining the aporetic character of justice as articulated by Derrida. It then proceeds to Abeysekara’s account, situated as it is within a largely political consideration of Sri Lanka’s multicultural heritage and the recent conflicts that have arisen there. Abeysekara offers the notion of un-heritance as a way of thinking the possibility of justice precisely when political—and also religious—traditions come to an impasse, thus recognizing the inescapably aporetic structure of justice itself
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