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Derrida's Secret

Perjury, Testimony, Oath

Charles Barbour

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A new philosophical reflection on the secret and its importance to our contemporary political experience

The Snowden Affair, Wikileaks, the ‘lone wolf’ terrorist, Clinton’s private email account – the secret is arguably the central element of our contemporary political experience. Now, Charles Barbour looks at the basic ontological question ‘what is a secret?’

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Contents

Acknowledgments
List of Abbreviations
Introduction: Cauernosis Anfractibus

  1. Under Oath: Secrecy, Perjury, and the Social Bond
  2. Open Secrets: Literature, Politics, and Testimonial Truth
  3. Between Two Solitudes: Self-Deception, Consciousness, and the Other Mind
  4. Being Alone: Death, Solitude, and the End of the World

Conclusion: Secretions
Bibliography
Index

About the Author

Charles Barbour is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at Western Sydney University. He is the author of The Marx Machine: Politics, Polemics, Ideology (Lexington Books, 2012). He is co-editor of Action and Appearance: Ethics and the Politics of Writing in Hannah Arendt (Continuum, 2011) and After Sovereignty (Routledge, 2009). He has written numerous book chapters and journal articles on social and political theory, with a special emphasis on Karl Marx.

Reviews

Derrida’s Secret is a major and critical innovation. It shows how Derrida’s concerns are both explicitly political as well as how they are central and vital for thinking about agency, subjectivity and the relationship to truth. What emerges in this reading is a Derrida who is concerned with the everyday, with the ordinary and with the very human dilemmas about truth and life and death.

- James Martel, San Francisco State University

Derrida’s Secret is a tour de force, extraordinarily clear, interesting and lucid.

- David Wills, Brown University

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