This special issue contains papers first presented at a conference that was held 14–16 May 2008 at the Centre for Philosophy and Political Economy at the University of Leicester. Each of the papers takes up ideas from the works of Jacques Derrida and seeks to apply these to questions of business, ethics and business ethics. The papers take up quite different parts of Derrida's works, from his work on the animal, narrative and story, the violence of codification and the limits of responsibility to the aporias of decision. As a whole, the papers offer a dangerous gift to business ethics, of which the stakes are here laid bare – if business ethics is to shrug off its philosophical immaturity and take seriously the work of major European thinkers such as Derrida, then many of its assumed categories, concepts and practices will be shown to shudder and tremble, as it becomes possible to demonstrate how they, one by one, unhinge themselves.