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Women, Consumption and Popular Culture (Vol. 4 No. 1); Life, Community, and Ethics (Vol. 4. No. 2)

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Responding to ghosts as a belief, a promise and a passage (of justice from indecision to decision) illustrates the main examination of this paper—what happens when Derrida’s political specters encounter Levinas’s ethical face. Do ghosts exist? How can we deal with ghosts if we have already found it difficult to deal with human beings? What kinds of attitudes should we take to face ghosts? In the postmodern condition, the re-turning phenomenon of the repressed others as imminence indicates the haunting of the discursive specters cloaked in the crisis of contemporary politics, history, ecology, race, culture, gender, class, literature and so on. Accordingly, there is a growing trend of responding to ghosts nowadays. It not only reveals a political desire to communicate with the dead but also expresses an ethical interrogation for the unsaid justice. And yet how can we link Derrida’s hauntology of spectropolitics to Levinas’s face of the Other to shoulder these urgent responsibilities in the 21st century? To respond to the contemporary re-turning phenomenon of ghosts, the aim of this paper attempts to draw this link by reading Levinasian ethical philosophy alongside Derrida’s Specters of Marx. This main task will be undertaken in three sections: 1) the ghost as the imminent threatening of the dead; 2) the ghost as the saying of the ethical language; 3) the ghosts as a promise of messianic hope.

KEYWORDS: Derrida, Levinas, Marx, ghosts, politics, ethics 

摘 要

回應鬼魂作為一種信念、一種應承、一種從無法決斷通 往決斷的正義途徑,揭櫫了本文的主旨──當政治幽靈遇見 倫理臉龐。未能事人,焉能事鬼?面對亡魂,我們該如何對 待:冷漠、躲避、尊敬、超渡、驅除或迎接?後現代情境中, 受壓迫的「他者」全面地控訴各種霸權壓迫的現象,造成一 種全球化的「幽靈性」,以纏繞之姿,委身於當代政治、歷 史、生態、種族、文化、性別、階級、文學的各式危機中, 要求對被壓迫與消音的「他者」負責。因此,當今回應甚至 召喚鬼魂的趨勢,不僅是表達一種與亡魂溝通的政治欲望, 更是一種對不義現象的倫理質問。質言之,從幽靈的隱喻, 德希達得以發現並繼承了馬克思作品中,一種決斷的救世主 政治,不但拯救了早期解構無法決斷性的困境,更進一步引 進與回應列維納斯(無法)決斷的救世主倫理。然而,如何 以列維納斯倫理臉龐的幽靈性具體連結德希達政治幽靈的 臉龐性,使當今全球化霸權下須被應承的急迫「責任」,得 以化成一種「回應鬼魂」的決斷性能力?思考與回應此問 題,成為本文之宗旨──試圖以列維納斯的他者哲學,開展 與檢視德希達在《馬克思的幽靈》(Specters of Marx)中,幽 靈政治學(spectropolitics)的三項倫理面向:一、幽靈作為 死亡威脅的逼近;二、幽靈作為倫理語言的言說;三、幽靈 作為救世主的應承。