Event of Signature

Event of Signature

Jacques Derrida and Repeating the Unrepeatable

Michaela Fiserova


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Event of Signature formulates a new philosophical problem which focuses on the handwritten signature as sign of legal identification. Author Michaela Fišerová works with three metaphysical expectations, which are shared in discourses of graphology and forensic analysis. The first expectation tends to reveal the signer's soul: a handwritten signature "naturally" mirrors the unique psychological qualities of the signer. The second expectation tends to guarantee the originality of the signer's trace: a handwritten signature proves physical contact between the signed document and the writing tool "authentically" moved by the signer's hand. The third expectation tends to recognize the signer's legal identity: a handwritten signature is expected to reproduce the signer's personal style, which enables identification by legal authorities. In a methodologically inventive and semiotically-based dialogue with Derrida's deconstruction, Fišerová situates this triple expectation in the interval between life and law. Challenging coverage of this topic finally shows that none of the metaphysical expectations will ever be fulfilled in the event of manual signing. Legal uses of handwritten signature are characterized by the complex aporia of repeating the unrepeatable.


Michaela Fiserova:
Michaela Fišerová is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the Metropolitan University Prague in the Czech Republic.