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Jacques Derrida - Lectures / Workshops / Seminars

FORGIVENESS: A Critique of Psychoanalysis (4 Credits)

Jacques Derrida, Ph.D.

Description: This seminar given by Jacques Derrida in Paris was a reading focusing on texts from Gilles Deleuze. Drawing from the text On Cosmopolitanism and Forgiveness, Derrida will guide the seminar through forgiving the impossible. The only true act of forgiveness is one that allows for forgiving that which is truly unforgivable. Arguing for an unconditional forgiveness Derrida’s lecture moves deconstruction into the political realm. Dealing with the fundamental paradox’s within such an idea of forgiveness the course deals with essential issues of life and politics in post-modernity.

Objectives: Students will gain the theoretical and philosophical background necessary to read and engage in poststructuralist thought. After unpacking several of the most significant paraconcepts in the Derridean lexicon and studying the most scandalous Derridean deconstructions, students will engage in a careful collaborative reading of (at least) four of Derrida’s many major texts. Through engagement with these texts, students will both witness and engage in the poststructuralist reading practice called deconstruction while critically contemplating the aporetic structure of some of today’s most pressing ethical and political issues.

Learning Outcomes: Students will have developed a grounding in poststructuralist thought and a basic capacity for deconstructive scholarship. Students will leave the course with not only a better understanding of the significance of the work of Jacques Derrida in contemporary philosophy but also with a more sophisticated conception of what is at stake (ethically and politically) in poststructuralist scholarship broadly speaking and deconstructive reading more specifically.

Required Readings:

Derrida, Jacques. On Cosmopolitanism and Forgiveness. Routledge, 2001. ISBN: 0415227127. Buy it at,,, or

Derrida, Jacques. Of Hospitality. Stanford U, 2000. ISBN: 0804734062. Buy it at,,, or

Deleuze, Gilles and Paul Patton (Translator). Difference and Repetition. Continuum. November 12, 2004. Paperback, 374 pages, Language English, ISBN: 0485113600. Buy it at,,, or