Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

David Ferris

Second Advisor

Patrick Greaney

Third Advisor

Michaele Ferguson


This thesis will address three of Jacques Derrida's later works, which are also some of his more explicitly political texts, in order to delineate what type of political thought or engagement Derrida's work both takes on, and promotes. The three texts are: "Force of Law", Specters of Marx, and Rogues: Two Essays on Reason. Discussions of history are significant in all three of these works and foreground the politics Derrida is concerned with. Derrida's discussion of history seeks to respond to a dominant/traditional understanding of history as teleological or linear. This understanding of history also determines much traditional political thought and theory. Expounding the theory of history which guides Derrida's discussion will serve to differentiate it from teleological trappings, and will foreground a discussion of what type of political thought or engagement is appropriate to such an understanding of history.