The Institute of Philosophy at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, in collaboration with the Institute of Humanities at the Universidad Diego Portales, wishes to invite contributions to a discussion of the political implications of deconstruction.

As Jacques Derrida says in Force of Low, with a statement that sounds like a call to consider his inescapable political vocation, “deconstruction is justice.” The three notions that we have placed at the center of our interrogation (responsibility, forgiveness and justice), far from being the only notions that engage the political dimension of deconstruction, are those that best allow one to question the specificity of the aporetic gesture and the call for the impossible: one can never be responsible without assuming the fundament of irresponsibility of any decision; only the unforgivable can be forgiven, since everything “forgivable” (explicable, understandable) does not need a real forgiveness; likewise, the promise of justice is effected only if it is associated with the messianic temporal structure of a future that remains separate from the present. At the same time, these aporias, far from indicating points of blockade or passivity without exit, try to open to the necessity of an excess, taking a step towards the impossible. Derridean reflection, at all levels, tries to remove the certainty of the present, the law and economy, opening the historical situation to a vertiginous restlessness, with a path whose boundaries are not defined by a prior knowledge or orientation, a path that seeks to question in depth all aspects of the exercise of sovereignty and the call for justice.

We want to open a discussion of these issues, considering all the possible intersections that can be built with different political contexts. Derrida’s political thought exceeds in fact pure theoretical matters. This happens when Derrida shows that the commitment of responsibility becomes inseparable from sovereignty understood as the extra-legal, superhuman (or infra-human) moment from which power is given. Or when Derrida discusses with Jankélévitch the axiom of an impossible forgiveness in the face of the extermination camps, with arguments that could also be transposed onto other historical conjunctures, such as dictatorship, genocide or torture, and that make visible the impossibility of any kind of economy of memory and forgetfulness. Something similar happens in relation to justice and historical memory, both of which only maintain meaning when they are thought on the basis of a messianic dimension.

Eminent interpreters and researchers participating in the seminar include Geoffrey Bennington (USA), David E. Johnson (USA), Serge Margel (Switzerland), Jean-Luc Nancy (France), Fernanda Bernardo (Portugal), Ginette Michaud (Canada), Jérôme Lébre (France) and Manola Antonioli (Francia).




versión en castellano

Call for papers

We invite proposals that engage primarily the question of performativity in deconstruction, the dimension of aporia, the problem of democratic sovereignty, the ethical/political possibility of forgiveness and the messianic dimension of justice.

The languages of the conference are Spanish, French and English (most presentations will be translated simultaneously).

Presentations will be allocated 20 minutes in panels of three presentations each, with 20 minutes for questions per panel.

Please send an abstract (250 words) and a brief biographical note (150 words) to:

All proposals should include a title, your name, contact details and, if relevant, institutional affiliation.
The deadline for proposal submissions is 30 September 2017. Notifications of acceptance or rejection will be sent on 10 October 2017.