Oxford Literary Review 43 (2):268-289 (2021)

Benjamin Brewer
University of Oregon
Despite his wide-ranging and incisive engagement with Heidegger's thought across his career, Derrida seems to have written very little about Heidegger's Ereignis manuscripts, which, according to many commentators, constitute the place where Heidegger's thinking comes closest to Derridean deconstruction. Taking up Derrida's comments in Hospitality 1 on the figure of ‘selfhood’ in Heidegger's Contributions to Philosophy, this essay argues that this dense but important moment of engagement with the Ereignis manuscripts reveals the extent to which Heidegger's thinking of selfhood, in spite of its fundamentally relational character, remains thoroughly determined by ipseity, the philosopheme that links selfhood, possibility, and sovereignty within the metaphysics of presence. Beginning with a reconstruction of the link between power and selfhood in Derrida's thinking of ipseity and a close-reading of the key passage in Hospitality 1, the essay then turns to Heidegger's engagement with Hölderlin to show both the depth of Heidegger's commitment to a relational thinking of selfhood and the philosophical and rhetorical safeguards by which he ensures that the relations of difference that constitute the self continue to function in the name of the ipseity, understood as the very Ur-form of sovereign power.
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DOI 10.3366/olr.2021.0364
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