AbstractDuring the seminar 'Time and Death penalty', which took place on November 14th 2000 in Triest's Department of Philosophy, Jacques Derrida presented a summary of his lectures of Paris and Irvine: 'Responsibility Problems. Forgiveness, Perjury and Death Penalty'. In Derrida's opinion the philosophical thought has never been - historically - against death penalty. Philosophy has either shown agreement towards its principle or it has remained silent. The aim of deconstruction is to confute the philosophical principles in favour of death penalty (in partucular the concept of sovereignity), therefore producing a philosophically relevant thought capable of facing such a complex and delicate ethical-political situation. For this purpose Derrida relates the issue of reason to the issue of a 'supernatural world', in which the philosophical responsibility of a different form of reasoning is located. The obvious and immediate comparison is with Kant's position, whose inner contradictions are closely analysed by Derrida. The second reference is the psychoanalytical tradition, which Derrida profusely uses in order to show the equivocal nature of concepts such as 'cruelty' and 'exception' that characterise the juridical and political discourse on death penalty; opaque concepts which constitute its hidden foundation.
Jacques Derrida, "Tempo e pena di morte. Un seminario triestino", in: Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics, III (2001) 1