Death’s Presents

Derrida – Haunting Hegel


  • Laurence Paul Hemming


This paper examines the ontological question that persists in Derrida's conception of a "hauntology", proposing that it is the last echo of the very "metaphysics of presence" that Derrida himself proposes to leave behind. The paper suggests that in the phrase "metaphysics of presence", Derrida had presumed that what was to be overcome was "presence", whereas for Heidegger all thinking is in fact an overcoming of "metaphysics" that allows presence (Anwesenheit) to be understood in both its most originary (as the "truth of beyng" or Wahrheit des Seyns) and its most futural (as the Da of Da-sein) senses. The paper re-examines two phrases central to Derrida's reading of Heidegger: one is the meaning of Sein zum Tode (being towards death), the other is Heidegger's "striking through" of beXyng, and proposes that, through our being unable to evade the most extreme moment of having to face death as the ineluctability of being-no-longer present, we are able finally to unveil the meaning presence for itself.



2020-12-21 — Uppdaterad 2021-06-28