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Derrida and Antiquity$
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Miriam Leonard

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199545544

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199545544.001.0001

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The Platonic Remainder

The Platonic Remainder

Derrida's Khôra and the Corpus Platonicum

(p.321) 11 The Platonic Remainder
Derrida and Antiquity

Paul Allen Miller

Oxford University Press

Derrida's reading of the Timaeus in Khôra is critical to our understanding first of Derrida, then Plato, and finally to the constitution of philosophy per se. The reading of the khôra in the Timaeus is critical to our understanding of Derrida because it contains certain clear homologies with his earlier readings of Plato as evidenced in ‘La Pharmacie de Platon’ and La Carte postale, among other texts. Second, to the same degree that Khôra reveals the centrality of the Platonic corpus to the Derridean project it also reveals the centrality of corpus/corpse in Plato. It discloses the presence of a constitutive otherness in the Platonic text that can neither be subsumed into the purely intelligible nor reduced to the unintelligible. Third, Khôra as such names that place that both exceeds philosophy and makes it possible. The place, which is no place, that is the khôra is in fact the space of irony, understood as a perpetual hinge point between a given statement's denotative content and its figurative undermining. Khôra names the non‐space that makes the joining of these two levels of signification possible and hence creates the space necessary for the construction and deployment of philosophical concepts.

Keywords:   Derrida, Timaeus, khôra, place, irony, philosophy, otherness

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