The suspension of suspension: settling for the improbable

Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos, Andreas (2003) The suspension of suspension: settling for the improbable. Law and Literature, 15 (3). pp. 345-370. ISSN 1535-685X

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Using Amélie Nothomb's Stupeur et Tremblements, a novel that appeared in 1999 and shook the waters of the francophone literary world, this article analyzes the relation between love and law in Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling. In order to "fulfill" love, which is defined here more in the form of caritas and justice than erotic love, one has to suspend the legal, since the relation is one of mutually exclusive circularity. For this, the author engages in a critique of Derrida's "Force of Law," pointing to the omission of the circular and the internal from Derrida's analysis of the relation between justice and law. To address this, inspiration is drawn from Luhmann's ideas on love and law and the notion of suspension of suspension is introduced, which is defined as the perpetual possibility of internalized ignorance of the external other, whether the dyad refers to ethics and faith, law and love, or self and amorous subject.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: University of Westminster > Westminster Law School
Depositing User: Miss Nina Watts
Date Deposited: 23 May 2007
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2009 11:56

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