The Gift and the meaning-giving subject: A Reading of Given Time
De Ville, Jacques
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In this essay the relation between justice and the gift in Derrida’s thinking is explored. The essay shows that an understanding of the ontological difference or the relation between Being and beings in Heidegger’s thinking as well as Freud’s speculations on the death drive are essential to comprehend the ‘concept’ or ‘notion’ of différance as well as the gift in Derrida’s thinking. The analysis points to the complexity of Derrida’s thinking in his contemplation of the relation between justice and law and the need for a broader investigation to understand what is at stake in this regard. An exploration of the gift shows that Derrida’s thinking on justice is not ‘relativistic’ as is often assumed and that the gift can in a certain way function as a ‘guide’ in questions of constitutional interpretation.