Matthew 6:3–4 Jesus counsels: “when you do some act of charity, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing; your good deed must be in secret”. In the following essay we will use this passage as our conceptual touchstone to explore Jacques Derrida's reflections on the “madness” of giving, and how the gift (of Levinasian “hospitality”, for example) hinges on a certain vulnerability and the manifold risks of narcissism. In order to negotiate these themes, we will also draw on Ludwig Wittgenstein's On Certainty, Martin Heidegger's reflections on the “hand”, and the psychological-neurological literature on “phantom limbs”.
|Number of pages||19|
|Publication status||Published - Oct 2004|