In this concentrated and detailed look at questions surrounding the act of sacrifice, Dennis King Keenan discusses both the role and the meaning of sacrifice in our lives. Building on recent philosophical discussions on the gift and transcendence, Keenan covers new ground with this exploration of the religious, psychological, and ethical issues that sacrifice entails. According to Keenan, sacrifice is paradoxically called to sacrifice itself. But what does this necessary, yet impossible condition mean for living an ethical life? Along the (...) way to an answer, Keenan considers the views of Hegel, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Bataille, Lacan, Levinas, Blanchot, Irigaray, Derrida, Kristeva, Nancy, and Zizek. This thoughtful and provocative work affords a sophisticated philosophical treatment of the question of sacrifice. (shrink)
_ Source: _Volume 48, Issue 2, pp 155 - 174 What does it mean to say “Yes” to life? What does it mean to affirm life? What does it mean to _not_ be nihilistic? One possible answer is the appropriation of finitude. But Klossowski argues that this amounts to a “voluntarist” fatalism. Though Klossowski draws attention to the temptation of “voluntarist” fatalism on the part of Nietzsche and readers of Nietzsche, he himself is tempted by redemption, i.e., by being redeemed (...) from the weight of responsibility. Using the very “logic” of Klossowski’s own reading of the eternal return, Blanchot will call this possibility of redemption into question. Blanchot’s reading of Nietzsche’s eternal return draws attention to that moment when death as possibility _turns into_ death as impossibility. This _weakening_ of the negative brings, according to Blanchot, _not_ redemption from the burden of responsibility, but infinite responsibility. (shrink)
Richly informed by readings of Heidegger, Derrida, and Blanchot, the author argues that the notion of responsibility at the heart of Levinas's notion of ethics is intimately dependent upon his account of death.
In the work of Nietzsche, sacrifice can only sacrifice itself over and over because what it seeks to overcome makes this sacrifice of itself both necessary and useless . The truth is eternally postponed in a necessary sacrificial gesture that can only sacrifice itself, thereby rendering itself useless . In the attempt to step beyond nihilism, that is, in the attempt to negate nihilism, one repeats the negation characteristic of nihilism. One becomes inextricably implicated in the move of nihilistic sacrifice. (...) The sacrifice of the sacrifice characteristic of nihilism , that is, the sacrifice of sacrifice, can only take place as the impossibility of its realization. One, therefore, produces or performs an interminable step/not beyond, an incessant step beyond that eternally returns. (shrink)
: One of the problems with a superficial reading of "Belief Itself" and "Women, the Sacred, Money" is that Irigaray is too easily understood as merely saying that woman is the hidden victim of sacrifice and that one is called to reveal this hidden victim. While this is an important aspect of Irigaray's work, a more radical interpretation is opened up when it is read alongside the work of Lacan and Žižek. Irigaray's work disturbs the traditional discourses on revelation, sacrifice, (...) and woman on one level while at the same time reinforcing their most extreme ramifications. (shrink)
One of the problems with a superficial reading of “Belief Itself” and “Women, the Sacred, Money” is that Irigaray is too easily understood as merely saying that woman is the hidden victim of sacrifice and that one is called to reveal this hidden victim. While this is an important aspect of Irigaray's work, a more radical interpretation is opened up when it is read alongside the work of Lacan and Žižek. Irigaray's work disturbs the traditional discourses on revelation, sacrifice, and (...) woman on one level while at the same time reinforcing their most extreme ramifications. (shrink)