Paper Machine / Edition 1

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This book questions the book itself, archivization, machines for writing, and the mechanicity inherent in language, the media, and intellectuals. Derrida questions what takes place between the paper and the machine inscribing it. He examines what becomes of the archive when the world of paper is subsumed in new machines for virtualization, and whether there can be a virtual event or a virtual archive.

Derrida continues his long-standing investigation of these issues, and ties them into the new themes that governed his teaching and thinking in the past few years: the secret, pardon, perjury, state sovereignty, hospitality, the university, animal rights, capital punishment, the question of what sort of mediatized world is replacing the print epoch, and the question of the “wholly other.” Derrida is remarkable at making seemingly occasional pieces into part of a complexly interconnected trajectory of thought.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Derrida (Eyes of the University) may be dead, but new translations of his work keep cropping up; besides these two volumes, there are many more on the way, some from the masses of unpublished manuscripts at the University of California, Irvine. In On Touching, Derrida analyzes fellow philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy's work, and Nancy's brief but moving response to his friend's death is appended. He examines the sense of touch, notoriously subjective and not easily amenable to the scientific measurements that the study of sight allows or the potentiality for abstract thought on which the traditional humanities are based. Nancy, by insisting on the sense's centrality to our experience, tries to undermine metaphysical world-pictures and argues for the primacy of the concrete and the individual. Derrida, who had deep roots in Baruch Spinoza and Nicolas Malebranche, could understand this "deconstruction" while continuing to point out that Nancy is involved in talk about the world-a discourse that, as we reflect on language, leads to infinite complications. This argument is mind-stretching, and the translator struggles to produce intelligible English. Paper Machine is a compilation of loosely connected essays on technology, printing, and libraries that culminates in a reflection on "humanity" and the newspaper L'Humanit , founded by Socialist Party leader Jean Jaur s in 1904. Derrida associates "humanity" with the free exchange of ideas in what became a rallying point for friends and enemies of the newspaper's Communist Party publishers. Touching will have to be relegated to academic libraries, but Paper Machine, a more easygoing text that shows Derrida at his most perceptive, should have a place in public libraries to satisfy the public's curiosity about one of the often quoted enigmas of our time.-Leslie Armour, Dominican Coll. of Philosophy & Theology, Ottawa Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
"A brilliant and succinct formulation of Derrida's position on the topics that have most interested him in recent years. This volume will make a wonderful book because of its timeliness: much in this book helps one to understand 9/11 and its aftermaths, though it was written before the event. Paper Machine will serve as an admirable introduction to Derrida's work." —J. Hillis Miller,University of California, Irvine
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780804746205
  • Publisher: Stanford University Press
  • Publication date: 9/23/2005
  • Series: Cultural Memory in the Present Series
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 1,033,122
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

The late Jacques Derrida was Director of Studies at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales and Professor of Humanities at the University of California, Irvine. Among the most recent of his many books to have been translated into English are Eyes of the University (2003), For What Tomorrow... with Elisabeth Roudinesco (2003), Counterpath with Catherine Malabou (2003), Negotiations (2002), Who's Afraid of Philosophy? (2002), and Without Alibi (2002). All of these have been published by the Stanford University Press.

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Table of Contents

1 Machines and the "undocumented person" 1
2 The book to come 4
3 The word processor 19
4 "But ... no, but ... never ..., and yet ..., as to the media" : intellectuals : attempt at definition by themselves : survey 33
5 Paper or me, you know ... (new speculations on a luxury of the poor) 41
6 The principle of hospitality 66
7 "Sokal and Bricmont aren't serious" 70
8 As if it were possible, "within such limits" 73
9 My Sunday "humanities" 100
10 For Jose Rainha : what I believe and believe I know 109
11 "What does it mean to be a French philosopher today?" 112
12 Not utopia, the im-possible 121
13 "Others are secret because they are other" 136
14 Fichus : Frankfurt address 164
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