Did Trump or people in his campaign collude with the Russians in that effort? Did Trump, once in the White House, try to obstruct justice by firing FBI Director James Comey and trying to short-circuit the investigation into possible campaign collusion? Since we don’t actually know the answers to those questions, even if we think we do — and since that’s driving us all crazy — the questions have become symbols or ciphers or, yeah, signifiers. But for what? Maybe this is a case for Detective Derrida after all! Like Nietzsche and Heidegger and Edmund Husserl before him, Derrida was always concerned with the persistence of “metaphysics” in human thought, meaning that we all operate with bedrock assumptions we do not challenge, forgetting that they too are products of human thought. (Or can only be perceived by way of human thought, anyway.) In that sense, the questions surrounding the dangerous liaison between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin that either did or didn’t happen stop being yes-or-no factual questions and become metaphysical questions. We answer them based on faith rather than evidence.
Saturday, July 01, 2017
Salon on metaphysics in the news.