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Deconstructing DignityA Critique of the Right-to-Die Debate$
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Scott Cutler Shershow

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780226088129

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226088266.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 20 September 2019

A Debate Deconstructed

A Debate Deconstructed

Chapter:
(p.163) Chapter Eight A Debate Deconstructed
Source:
Deconstructing Dignity
Author(s):

Scott Cutler Shershow

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226088266.003.0008

This chapter restates in a different way the relation of unconditional principle and rational calculation that the book has shown to be always central in debates about a right to die. As a preliminary example, the chapter considers Derrida’s remarks about cloning from Rogues. It goes on to argue that the calculation necessarily involved in choosing death would be something like what Bataille called the “restricted economy” of singular beings, who are necessarily bound to economic scarcity. The unconditioned principle to which such calculation finally opens would correspondingly be something like Bataille’s “general economy” of expenditure without return: the joyous affirmation with which one might embrace death as absolute negativity. The irruptive new quasi-concept that emerges from the deconstruction of the relation of calculation and the incalculable at the heart of this debate can thus be called a just care. Only by ensuring that all necessary medical attention is absolutely guaranteed to all, can one bring a practical rationality to the principle of “always care,” and make it possible to choose death in the radical absence of any other conditions.

Keywords:   Jacques Derrida, Deconstruction, Cloning, Georges Bataille, Death with Dignity, Assisted Suicide, euthanasia

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