Kantian Journal

2016 Issue №3(57)

Playing with spectres


This article analyses the science of spectres addressed in J. Derrida’s book Spectres of Marx. The methodological approach employed is Julia Kristeva’s ‘semiological adventure’, which is based on considering language as a heterogeneous structure in the realm of interactions between the ‘semiotic’ understood as a pre-linguistic condition of instinctive drives and the ‘symbolic’ manifested in socially oriented identification and discursive practices. The problem of play at the interface of its interactions is examined in the context of a danger of an ‘offensive of spectres’ against the reality, which can turn the latter in a ‘simulated hyperreality’. The author stresses Kant’s moral rigour in the context of game theory, which is interpreted as an indirect warning against ‘chimeras of imagination’ capable of transporting ‘spectres’ into actual ontology. It is stated that such transportation is reflected in the characteristics of artistic imagination and its poetic keys opening the ‘doors of perception’ that are closed to the other forms of social consciousness/unconsciousness. The article analyses E. T. A. Hoffmann’s novel The Sandman, which is interpreted as a romantic warning against symbolic plays with spectres generated by the mechanisation of thinking and being.

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