By Jacques Derrida
"Judaic mythos, Freudian psychoanalysis, and email all get fused into one other staggeringly dense, tremendous slab of scholarship and suggestion."—The Guardian
"[Derrida] convincingly argues that, even if the archive is a public entity, it however is the repository of the non-public and private, together with even intimate details."—Choice
"Beautifully written and clear."—Jeremy Barris, Philosophy in Review
"Translator Prenowitz has controlled valiantly to carry into English a tricky yet inspiring textual content that is determined by Greek, German, and their translations into French."—Library Journal
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Additional resources for Archive fever : a Freudian impression
In this, and related arguments, the abstract justification of retributive justice begs the question of its inevitable particularity, and the fact that it is always also a local, highly interested matter. 71 Thus, and where Hegel at least distinguishes between local punitive practice and the universal justifications for it, many retributivists appeal directly to intuitions about ‘desert’ or to ‘common sense’ (in a crude approximation of his logic) offering them up as something generalizable, universal, or true.
So we find that vengeance is exacted in different pains and privations through the ages – in the agony of the criminal who waits for a blow to come, in imprisonment, or time deprived of liberty, in bodily inflictions, whip strokes, scars, or inscriptions that aim to deliver a message, which have all been ‘justified’ means of punishment (on utilitarian, retributive or other grounds) at one time or another. If all of this makes the distinction between vengeance and justice seem less certain, however, liberalism itself has another, most ingenious means of sustaining it.
Brubaker’s critique of liberalism, then, would seem to affirm what we have noticed: Liberalism, as such, “cannot punish,” as he says, or at least it cannot justify punishment of this morally constitutive sort. ” The hope then is that the virtues might be rejoined to moral feeling in retributive acts of punishment, to compensate (quite usefully) for the deficiencies of liberal justice. Curiously, this retributive critique of liberalism and its moral vacancy boasts of a certain social utility. It offers anger or moral indignation as a counterweight to that liberal deficiency in the same way that it accuses liberalism of doing, and it is rather more a symptom of than a solution to the same problem.