Archive for the ‘John D. Caputo’ Category

John D. Caputo “Instants, Secrets, and Singularities”

Caputo, John D. 1995. Instants, Secrets, and Singularities: Dealing Death in Kierkegaard and Derrida. – Matuštik, Martin J.; Westphal, Merold (eds). Kierkegaard in Post/Modernity. Indiana University Press: 216-238.

[…] undecidability does not mean aesthetic indecision but supplies instead the condition of possibility of deciding, i.e., of taking a risk. (216)

So there are two levels of secrecy at work in the story: the secret that God keeps from Abraham, who does not know what God’s pleasure is; and the secret that Abraham keeps from Isaac and Sarah, from the servants who accompany him to Moriah, from family and friends, from anyone who would ask what he is doing, who do not know what the patriarh is up to, because he does not know himself. (220)

The sphere of absolute responsibility is beyond duty, because in doing one’s duty one is related to the universal, not God. So Abraham is beyond ethics, beyond duty qua duty, transcending Kantianism in favor of the religious, which is absolute duty, which means to be related to God. (221)

[…] „ethics“ […] means the calculability of obligation, allowing the power of the rationem reddere to hold sway over the question of obligation. (225)

Kierkegaard and Derrida, on the other hand, are willing to make the sacrifice of ethics; they think that obligation is an abyss, that any attempt to formulate such a wisdom of love, or of obligation, is caught up in aporia, scandal and paradox, that our duties clash in irreconcilable conflicts, awash in incommensurability. (225)

[…] if every other is infinitely other it would not be possible to distinguish the ethical as an order of generality that would then have to be sacrificed to the religious as an order of singularity. (228)

The Pauline-Christian economy culminates in the idea of an infinite, unpayable debt, of a state of guilt/indebtedness (Schuldigkeit) that is so vast and deep that only God Himself can pay Himself back. (232)

With the „kingdom of heaven“ the kingdom of God is given just the economic twist that Derrida exposes, even as Mathhew has also redacted „the poor“ (hoi ptochoi) into „poor spirit“ (pneumeati). (233)