Derrida sive Hegel –– Dash to the Absolute!

Emilio E. Feijoo


The last page Phenomenology of Spirit (PhS) ends with one curious, minute, and seemingly trivial syntactical mark [omitted in the Miller translation]: the dash (––) qua a catachrestic (mis)quotation from Schiller’s Die Fruendschaft (1782). Derrida sive Hegel –– Dash to the Absolute! explores reading PhS through a rhetorical and tropological lens from the perspective of the dash; its wager is that the dash [Gedankenstrich] is the speculative syntactical (re)mark par excellence. I turn to Derrida’s early account of the Hegelian economy to find the conceptual resources needed to read with and against the PhS in order to critically analyze the operative speculative metaphorics that buttress the Abgeschlossenheit. Moreover, the movement of Hegelian dialectics are captured by the turns and re-turns of the labour of the negative only if they are troped (sic), figured, and disfigured in a tropological economy. I argue that Hegel’s ‘dash to the absolute’ reveals ontological ambiguities and locate the heart of these ambiguities in the (non)trope catachresis.

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Theoria & Praxis: International Journal of Interdisciplinary Thought | ISSN: 2291-1286