How is bêtise possible?
“Some twelve years earlier, in 1968, in Difference and Repetition, De leuze opens a long paragraph, more than a page long, with the following proposition: “Bêtise is not animality. The animal is guaranteed by specific forms that prevent it from being ‘bête.’ ”15 (“Bête” is in quotation marks, to mark clearly that the point, once more, is to mention a quite particular use in a certain language: the animal is not what one calls “bête,” the animal cannot be called bête, qualified or described as what one calls “bête.”) And the same paragraph, more than a page long, concludes with a question, this time. The question is “How is bêtise possible?” or, more precisely, for it’s better to read this whole final sequence now, even if we need to come back to it later:
It would have sufficed that philosophy take up this problem [of bêtise] again with its own means and with all necessary modesty, considering that bêtise is never that of the other, but the object of a properly transcendental question: how is bêtise (and not error) possible?”
Excerpt From: Derrida, Jacques. “The Beast and the Sovereign, Volume I.” The University of Chicago Press, 2009. iBooks.
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