Unconditional Forgiveness in Derrida

Hossein Moradi


Jacques Derrida's ethics generates a vision of what the community of nations, states, people is and should be beyond a separation made by what he calls "interest" by which he means that the human interiorizes everything outside himself in order to configure a self. For Derrida, forgiveness must not be in the service of any finality such as spiritual (atonement, redemption, salvation), social, national, psychological, and political orientation, since these are reconciliation for the sake of other goals rather than forgiveness. The "unconditional forgiveness" is against the "normalization" by which I argue, in the first section, that Derrida means "interest." In the second section, through the notion of aporia, without (a-) a way out, it is argued that one is situated in the state of "difference" by which Derrida means that an individual is not individual because of difference in identity with another individual, since the identity closes one to the other. Rather, one individual is different from another one by being open to itself and another one. In the forgiveness, this ?difference? entails abandoning oneself to the "other" by which one is "forgiven for existing." The third section discusses Abraham?s sacrifice of his son to illustrate the absolute res?ponsibility for the "other" by which we can rethink morality.


Forgiveness; unconditional; interest; aporia; difference; normalization; ethical responsibility; Levinas.

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