Derrida, an Egyptian
August 2009, Polity
In this brief but illuminating text, Sloterdijk offers a series of recontextualizations of Derrida's work by exploring the connections between Derrida and seven major thinkers, including Hegel, Freud and Thomas Mann. The leitmotif of this exploration is the role that Egypt and the Egyptian pyramid plays in the philosophical imagination of the West, from the exodus of Moses and the Jews to the conceptualization of the pyramid as the archetype of the cumbersome objects that cannot be taken along by the spirit on its return to itself.
'Egyptian' is the term for all constructs that can be subjected to deconstruction - except for the pyramind, that most Egyptian of edifices, which stands in its place, unshakeable for all time, because its form is the undeconstructible remainder of a construction that is built to look as it would after its own collapse.
1 Luhmann and Derrida
2 Sigmund Freud and Derrida
3 Thomas Mann and Derrida
4 Franz Borkenau and Derrida
5 Régis Debray and Derrida
6 Hegel and Derrida
7 Boris Groys and Derrida
"Peter Sloterdijk has a strong claim to being Germany's foremost public philosopher."
The Philosopher's Magazine
"Derrida's debt to German thought is well-known, and he wrote many elegies. Here a contemporary German thinker returns the compliment. A fitting tribute to an important philosopher and, through a sequence of surprising juxtapositions, a powerful work of theory in its own right."
Stuart Elden, Durham University