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Interrogating Antigone in Postmodern Philosophy and Criticism$
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S. E. Wilmer and Audrone Zukauskaite

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199559213

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199559213.001.0001

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The Body Politic: The Ethics of Responsibility and the Responsibility of Ethics

The Body Politic: The Ethics of Responsibility and the Responsibility of Ethics

Chapter:
(p.82) 4 The Body Politic: The Ethics of Responsibility and the Responsibility of Ethics
Source:
Interrogating Antigone in Postmodern Philosophy and Criticism
Author(s):

Eugene O'Brien

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199559213.003.0005

This chapter discusses the ethical implications of the choice made by Antigone in terms of loyalty to her family or loyalty to her polis. It does this through the prism of Jacques Derrida's ideas on responsibility and irresponsibility. For Derrida, to be responsible to one is of necessity to be irresponsible to the other, so the choice made by Antigone is a synecdoche of the ethical dilemma of all such choices. Examples are adduced in the chapter to underline this point: the invasion of Iraq and the war in Afghanistan, the Northern Irish IRA hunger striker Francis Hughes, Robert McCartney, murdered by the IRA in Belfast.

Keywords:   Seamus Heaney, responsibility, Jacques Derrida, ethics, Antigone, justice, Jacques Lacan, Northern Ireland, Iraq, Francis Hughes

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