Justice in Eros: Jacques Derrida’s Undeconstructible Weak Force

By Jason Alvis.

Published by The Humanities Collection

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What is the significance of Derrida’s notion of “weak force” in the scope of deconstruction and justice? If, as Derrida hints in his later work, deconstruction’s counterpart, or “other”, is a “weak force”, then this must reshape decades of how we have thought about deconstruction. As I would like to argue in this essay, weak force may best be described within a discourse on the erotic.
Weak force, as dynamis, is more fundamental as undeconstructible, and is a necessary energy within deconstruction, as act. Perhaps this weak force is the groaning, twisting, and tugging of the text that occurs in the act of deconstruction. The force of deconstruction differs from that of the forceful force in that it represents the paradigm in which “the greatest force and the weakest” simply change places. For Derrida, only words, not events, are deconstructible and as I pose in this paper, the most exemplary life event - the erotic, the politics of the erotic, and the inter-relatedness of the two-should be established upon a counter-gaze of weak forces. Since the erotic as inter-relation is necessarily political, I hope to show in this paper that it requires a form of this undeconstructible justice. In suggesting that there must be justice (as undeconstructible) in the erotic relationship, I also hope to reveal some injustice. Because the political in general, and the democratic in particular, are both a part of the erotic inter-relation, then justice must, should, also play a role in this “interplay of faces”. Justice is not a power, it is a weakness. The erotic relation is one then, not of power struggles, but of weakness struggles. In order to gaze and be gazed upon, I must be weak. This requires that I resist a law, a protective measure, a strength.

Keywords: Eros, Erotic, Derrida, Philosophy, Justice, Weakness, Weak Force, Deconstruction, Undeconstructible, Religion

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 9, Issue 9, pp.167-178. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 816.926KB).

Dr. Jason Alvis

Affiliate Professor of Philosophy, Department of Philosophy, The University of Denver, Denver, Colorado, USA

Originally from Boykins, Virginia, US, Jason Wesley Alvis currently resides in Denver, Colorado, where he is Affiliate Professor of Philosophy at Metropolitan State College and a Doctoral Candidate at The University of Denver.


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