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Derrida and Antiquity$
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Miriam Leonard

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199545544

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199545544.001.0001

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Possible Returns

Possible Returns

Deconstruction and the Placing of Greek Philosophy

(p.207) 7 Possible Returns
Derrida and Antiquity

Andrew Benjamin

Oxford University Press

This chapter offers a critical engagement with Derrida's interpretation of Sophocles' Oedipus at Colonus. Derrida's work is positioned initially in relation to Heidegger. By focusing on the topics of hospitality, law, and justice the chapter argues that Derrida has misconstrued the way in which the state of being ‘outside the law’ or ‘lawless’ (‘anomos’) works in Sophocles' play. By extension this necessitates returning to the way in which the figure of the ‘stranger’ works within the play and therefore with those philosophical positions—such as Deconstruction—in which concepts such as ‘alterity’ are fundamental. This will allow not just for a critique of Derrida but for the subsequent development of the ways in which place and commonality figure within the play and equally within the larger philosophical project delimited by a concern with justice.

Keywords:   Derrida, Heidegger, Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, hospitality, justice, law, commonality, place

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