Drawing on a career-long exploration of 1960s French philosophy, Leonard Lawlor seeks a solution to 'the problem of the worst violence'. The worst violence is the reaction of total apocalypse without remainder; it is the reaction of complete negation and death; it is nihilism. Lawlor argues that it is not just transcendental violence that must be minimised: all violence must itself be reduced to its lowest level. He offers new ways of speaking to best achieve the least violence, which he creatively appropriates from Foucault, Derrida and Deleuze and Guattari as 'speaking-freely', 'speaking-distantly' and 'speaking-in-tongues'.
Leonard Lawlor is Edwin Earle Sparks Professor of Philosophy at Pennsylvania State University. He is one of the leading Derrida scholars in the United States today and has written numerous books that deal, either in whole or in part, with the implications of Derrida's philosophy.