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The post to come: An outline of a post-metaphysical ethics

Mummery, Jane Cordelia (2001) The post to come: An outline of a post-metaphysical ethics. PhD thesis, Murdoch University.

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Given both the problematic nature and status of the 'post-', and the irrecusability of many of its effects and implications, one of the pressing questions of contemporary - albeit predominantly continental - philosophy concerns the possibility of retrieving and affirming some sort of ethical discourse, despite the impossibility of its being grounded through either transcendental ideals or grand narratives. As pursued through and instantiated as the 'post-', such possibilities have come into question with regards not only to their often paradoxical self-constitution as an 'answer' to a delimitative metaphysics, but also concerning their potential utility within the broader socio-political domain.

In the context of such questions and potentialities, this thesis considers a possibility for and implications of what I call a post-metaphysical ethics. Concerned with rectifying dismissals of the 'post-' and with critically developing a 'new' fonnula for ethics, the thesis argues for an ethics which is not only 'post-' to a particular conception of metaphysics but which is able also to withstand charges of paradox and inefficacy in the face of the socio-political domain.

The thesis argues that such a post-metaphysical ethics can be developed from Heidegger's projection of a thinking which is able to 'overcome' metaphysics. It is also argued that such a possibility can be traced through to the work of Derrida and Caputo, specifically to their entwined projections of a 'jewgreek' justice. Divided into two main sections, each of four chapters, and culminating with a coda, the first of these sections outlines the trajectory of the 'post-' as instantiated within the horizon of Heidegger's work, concentrating on his projection of interpretation as a thinking able to 'overcome' metaphysics. This section also discusses various reconfigurations of this thinking which comprise the 'post-', delineating them with regards to the impasse of the 'post-'. The second section aims to develop a 'way' out of the impasses outlined earlier, arguing that such a 'way' - in the form of a post-metaphysical ethics - is instantiated and developed by the 'jewgreek' thinking projected by Derrida and Caputo.

In the coda, consideration is given to certain of the possible trajectories and implications such a delineation of jewgreek justice might open and result in, especially with reference to the socio-political domain.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Division of Social Sciences, Humanities and Education
Notes: Note to author: if you would like to make your thesis openly available on Murdoch University Library’s Research Repository, please contact: Thank you.
Supervisor(s): Lucy, Niall
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