An impossible demand: Deconstructive ethics and Zen Buddhist discourse
The aim of this thesis is to situate Derridian deconstruction along side Zen Buddhism in order to accomplish two things. The first is to illuminate a sense of the ethical in Derridian discourse. The sense of the ethical found in Derrida marks a radical departure from the conventional conception of normative ethics found in Kant and others. Understood in light of Levinas' work on ethics, Derrida's deconstructive ethics offers a new way of engaging in relations with the other. Second, by situating the "methodology" of Derridian deconstruction, now understood as a deconstructive ethics, with Zen encounter dialogues, Derrida's notion of "democracy to come" is relocated in a more global context, freeing his "promise of democracy" from its Eurocentric place in Derrida's work.