I been given *Theory Of Deconstruction* as PhD topic . A survey of the secondary literature reveals a wide range of heterogeneous arguments. Deconstruction by its very nature defies institutionalization in an authoritative definition. Derrida then analyzes Walter Benjamin’s “Critique of Violence” to show that this deconstructive aporia also inhabits Benjamin’s thinking of a “divine” or “messianic” violence (the revolutionary violence of the general strike) as an alternative to sovereign state violence, which disturbingly resembles the ‘Nazi’ theory of sovereign violence (Carl Schmitt) that Benjamin ostensibly opposes. This being merely one historical event amongst many, Nietzsche proposes that we revisualize the history of the West as the history of a series of political moves, that is, a manifestation of the will to power, that at bottom have no greater or lesser claim to truth in any noumenal (absolute) sense. Derrida argued that the focus on intentionality in speech-act theory was misguided because intentionality is restricted to that which is already established as a possible intention. Deconstruction often involves the analysis of certain binary dichotomies or dialectical oppositions (spirit/matter, mind/body, culture/nature etc.) ", Derrida's lecture at Johns Hopkins University, "Structure, Sign, and Play in the Human Sciences", often appears in collections as a manifesto against structuralism. Its apparently solid ground is no rock, but thin air.".  Even the process of translation is also seen as transformative since it "modifies the original even as it modifies the translating language. Derrida takes as his starting point the assertion that modern Western philosophy is characterized by and constructed around an inherent desire to place meaning at the centre of presence. It is gibberish. Particularly problematic are the attempts to give neat introductions to deconstruction by people trained in literary criticism who sometimes have little or no expertise in the relevant areas of philosophy in which Derrida is working. In order to understand Derrida's motivation, one must refer to Friedrich Nietzsche's philosophy. However, Derrida resisted attempts to label his work as "post-structuralist". This foil to Platonic light was deliberately and self-consciously lauded in Daybreak, when Nietzsche announces, albeit retrospectively, "In this work you will discover a subterranean man at work", and then goes on to map the project of unreason: "All things that live long are gradually so saturated with reason that their origin in unreason thereby becomes improbable. Derrida's essay was one of the earliest to propose some theoretical limitations to structuralism, and to attempt to theorize on terms that were clearly no longer structuralist. :41[contradictory], Derrida further argues that it is not enough to expose and deconstruct the way oppositions work and then stop there in a nihilistic or cynical position, "thereby preventing any means of intervening in the field effectively". Giving valuable information…. Deconstruction is reading, a textual labor, traversing the body of a text, leaving “a track in the text.” Unlike other forms of critical analysis, … Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Deconstruction, form of philosophical and literary analysis, derived mainly from work begun in the 1960s by the French philosopher Jacques Derrida, that questions the fundamental conceptual distinctions, or “oppositions,” in Western philosophy through a close examination of the language and logic of philosophical and literary texts. Beardsworth here explains that it would be irresponsible to undertake a deconstruction with a complete set of rules that need only be applied as a method to the object of deconstruction, because this understanding would reduce deconstruction to a thesis of the reader that the text is then made to fit. The Jacques Derrida – Gerd Zacher Encounter", "Jacques Derrida, Abstruse Theorist, Dies at 74", "A Physicist Experiments With Cultural Studies", "How To Deconstruct Almost Anything: My Postmodern Adventure", Learn how and when to remove this template message, Eyes of the University: Right to Philosophy 2, Jacques Derrida attempting to define "Deconstruction", "Deconstruction" in Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, "Deconstruction" in Stanford Presidential Lectures in the Humanities and Arts, "Deconstruction" in Encyclopædia Britannica", "Deconstruction" in "Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy", "German Law Journal special number about Derrida and Deconstruction", A Bibliography of Literary Theory, Criticism, and Philology, Ten ways of thinking about deconstruction, Archive of the international conference "Deconstructing Mimesis - Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe", How To Deconstruct Almost Anything - My Postmodern Adventure, Jacques Derrida: The Perchance of a Coming of the Otherwoman. This second stage is where the indeterminate element of deconstruction becomes visible. It is for this reason that Derrida distances his use of the term deconstruction from post-structuralism, a term that would suggest that philosophy could simply go beyond structuralism. Derrida highlights how logocentrism assumes the existence of set and stable meanings that exist to be discovered.  According to Derrida, his statement simply refers to the unavoidability of context that is at the heart of différance.:133. Marian Hobson. :158 It is the assertion that "there is no outside-text" (il n'y a pas de hors-texte),:158–59, 163 which is often mistranslated as "there is nothing outside of the text". What is ‘happening’ is not the pursuit of an answer which marks the end of the inquiry, but rather the ongoing questioning that keeps our minds open to the idea that there may be alternative views and understandings of the meaning of justice. There is nothing to be studied beyond philosophy. The mistranslation is often used to suggest Derrida believes that nothing exists but words. Poststructuralism as deconstruction. The effect of the translation of thought into language is therefore to inscribe différance into the structure of meaning. Derrida attacks the great metaphysical conspiracy through what he calls logocentrism: the belief in the primacy of speech over writing, the claim that speech is in some way a “natural” or direct form of language. Required fields are marked *. In this video, I take an introductory look at the philosophy of Jacques Derrida and Deconstruction. Along with Michel Foucault (1926–84), Jean-François Lyotard (1924–98) and others, he is often associated with what came to be known as ‘post-structuralism’ or ‘French Theory’. Deconstruction involves the close reading of texts in order to demonstrate that any given text has irreconcilably contradictory meanings, rather than being a unified, logical whole. Jacques Derrida, ‘Force of Law: The Mystical Foundation of Authority’ in Cornell et al (eds) Deconstruction and the Possibility of Justice (Routledge, 1992) 8, Jacques Derrida, Of Grammatology (Spivak trans.) See the edited collection, “Towards a Critique of Violence,” ed. It is not done with a particular aim. It was originated by the philosopher Jacques Derrida (1930–2004), who defined the term variously throughout his career. This is the basis of différance. Derrida would say that the difference is "undecidable", in that it cannot be discerned in everyday experiences. John Searle, "Reiterating the Différences: A Reply to Derrida", Glyph 2 (Baltimore MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1977). Speaking at the Villanova Roundtable, Derrida described this as searching for the ‘tensions, the contradictions, the heterogeneity within [the] corpus’.9Jacques Derrida and John D Caputo, Deconstruction in a Nutshell: A Conversation with Jacques Derrida (Fordham, 1997) (referred to as the Villanova Roundtable) It is only through this element of endless analysis, criticism and deconstruction that we can prevent existing structures of dominance from reasserting themselves. Derrida argued that Austin had missed the fact that any speech event is framed by a "structure of absence" (the words that are left unsaid due to contextual constraints) and by "iterability" (the constraints on what can be said, imposed by what has been said in the past). Derrida would say that the … Jacques Derrida's 1967 book Of Grammatology introduced the majority of ideas influential within deconstruction. A simple example would consist of looking up a given word in a dictionary, then proceeding to look up the words found in that word's definition, etc., also comparing with older dictionaries. Derrida's views on deconstruction stood in opposition to the theories of structuralists such as psychoanalytic theorist Jacques Lacan, and anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss. "to show that things-texts, institutions, traditions, societies, beliefs, and practices of whatever size and sort you need - do not have definable meanings and determinable missions, that they are always more than any mission would impose, that they exceed the boundaries they currently occupy", "While in a sense it is impossibly difficult to define, the impossibility has less to do with the adoption of a position or the assertion of a choice on deconstruction's part than with the impossibility of every 'is' as such. . When asked by Toshihiko Izutsu some preliminary considerations on how to translate "deconstruction" in Japanese, in order to at least prevent using a Japanese term contrary to deconstruction's actual meaning, Derrida began his response by saying that such a question amounts to "what deconstruction is not, or rather ought not to be".:1. 1993. :43 The presence of Hegelian dialectics was enormous in the intellectual life of France during the second half of the 20th century, with the influence of Kojève and Hyppolite, but also with the impact of dialectics based on contradiction developed by Marxists, and including the existentialism of Sartre, etc. The dominant concept is the one that manages to legitimate itself as the reflection of the natural order thereby squeezing out competing interpretations that remain trapped as the excluded trace within the dominant meaning. , There is one statement by Derrida—in an essay on Rousseau in Of Grammatology—which has been of great interest to his opponents. 51 Jacques Derrida and Deconstruction paul rekret Jacques Derrida (1930–2004) was a philosopher known for the concept of ‘deconstruction’, often conceived as a method of reading texts. © 2018 CLT (Holding) Ltd. CLT (Holding) Ltd is a company limited by shares registered in England & Wales with number 11150350 and address as listed in the Register of Companies. :7, 12 As Richard Rorty contends, "words have meaning only because of contrast-effects with other words...no word can acquire meaning in the way in which philosophers from Aristotle to Bertrand Russell have hoped it might—by being the unmediated expression of something non-linguistic (e.g., an emotion, a sensed observation, a physical object, an idea, a Platonic Form)". In the deconstruction procedure, one of the main concerns of Derrida is to not collapse into Hegel's dialectic, where these oppositions would be reduced to contradictions in a dialectic that has the purpose of resolving it into a synthesis. He called Derrida's conclusion "preposterous" and stated that "Derrida, as far as I can tell, does not have an argument. Manfred Frank has even referred to Derrida's work as "neostructuralism", identifying a "distaste for the metaphysical concepts of domination and system".. A re-valuation of certain classic western dialectics: poetry vs. philosophy, reason vs. revelation, structure vs. creativity, David B. Allison, an early translator of Derrida, states in the introduction to his translation of, Breckman, Warren, "Times of Theory: On Writing the History of French Theory,", This page was last edited on 31 December 2020, at 02:37. Nick Barberio, Office of Communications . Since the 1980s, these observations have inspired a range of theoretical enterprises in the humanities, including the disciplines of law,:3–76 anthropology, historiography, linguistics, sociolinguistics, psychoanalysis, LGBT studies, and feminism. University of Toronto Press, 1993. :3 This is because the possibility of analysis is predicated on the possibility of breaking up the text being analysed into elemental component parts. Bestsellers. :29–67, To Derrida, the central bias of logocentrism was the now being placed as more important than the future or past. Psychology Press. Books. which inhabit … Simon Critchley argues, in his 1992 book The Ethics of Deconstruction, that Derrida's deconstruction is an intrinsically ethical practice. Complete summary of Jacques Derrida's Of Grammatology. In the course “Derrida’s Library: Deconstruction and the Book,” taught by Assistant Professor of French and Italian Katie Chenoweth, students learned about the philosopher Jacques Derrida through his working library, which now resides at Princeton. He examines how the natural ‘origin’ of meaning and its ‘institution’ in writing cannot be so easily separated. Jacques Derrida’s “Force of Law” (in “Deconstruction and the Possibility of Justice”) is crucial to thinking the nexus between deconstruction and critical legal theory, and is must reading for anybody interested in the critical field. He simply declares that there is nothing outside of texts..." Searle's reference here is not to anything forwarded in the debate, but to a mistranslation of the phrase "il n'y a pas dehors du texte," ("There is no outside-text") which appears in Derrida's Of Grammatology.:158–159. ), and then further shows how that binary dichotomy or dialectical opposition is subverted and overturned by re-privileging the supplementary, deprivileged term over the privileged dominant term (as in Marx, Nietzsche, or Freud, matter is privileged over spirit, body over mind, nature over culture etc. Structuralism viewed language as a number of signs, composed of a signified (the meaning) and a signifier (the word itself). Différance is a French term coined by Jacques Derrida. Self and other, private and public, subjective and objective, freedom and control are examples of such pairs demonstrating the influence of opposing concepts on the development of legal doctrines throughout history. Derrida is most celebrated as the principal exponent of deconstruction, a term he coined for the critical examination of the fundamental conceptual distinctions, or “oppositions,” inherent in Western philosophy since the time of the ancient Greeks. Rather than seeking an endpoint or a solid conclusion, the means cannot be distinguished from the end. Jacques Derrida Social Media Previous Next Former president of France, Jacques Chirac, called Derrida "one of the major figures of the intellectual life of our times […] read, admired, translated, published, taught, and debated around the world." Derrida warns against considering deconstruction as a mechanical operation, when he states that "It is true that in certain circles (university or cultural, especially in the United States) the technical and methodological "metaphor" that seems necessarily attached to the very word 'deconstruction' has been able to seduce or lead astray". In order to move beyond this dynamic, and to break open the structure itself, a second stage is necessary. What this suggests is that the possibility of deconstruction exists within the structure of meaning itself, within the structure of differánce, and is not something to be found and applied from the outside. Great article, very good writing and didactic as well. :3 Commentator Richard Beardsworth explains that: Derrida is careful to avoid this term [method] because it carries connotations of a procedural form of judgement. Upload. The criticism of his former beliefs both mistaken andvalid aims towards uncovering a “firm and permanentfoundation.” The image of a foundati… These secondary works (e.g. It is the most overtly poststructuralist book to be considered here, since its first part deals explicitly and at length with structuralist theories of language through the works of Ferdinand de Saussure and Roman Jakobson, among others. :3 This is because Kant defines the term critique as the opposite of dogmatism. Excellent exposition of the concept “deconstruction” which by its very nature is elusive to grasp. Deconstruction:Centers and Margins 2. Arguing that law and politics cannot be separated, the founders of the "Critical Legal Studies Movement" found it necessary to criticize the absence of the recognition of this inseparability at the level of theory. Jacques Derrida’s “Force of Law” (in “Deconstruction and the Possibility of Justice”) is crucial to thinking the nexus between deconstruction and critical legal theory, and is must reading for anybody interested in the critical field. The concept was first outlined by Derrida in Of Grammatology where he explored the interplay between language and the construction of meaning. In these negative descriptions of deconstruction, Derrida is seeking to "multiply the cautionary indicators and put aside all the traditional philosophical concepts". This is internal to meaning itself and not dependent on external factors. But the sovereign state and its rule of law, Derrida argues, are necessarily based upon a founding act of violence (a coup d’etat, a revolution etc.) But this Deconstruction is strongly in relation with the Asymptotics! Therefore, Derrida wishes to help us step beyond Nietzsche's penultimate revaluation of all western values, to the ultimate, which is the final appreciation of "the role of writing in the production of knowledge". Derrida claimed that all of his essays were attempts to define what deconstruction is,:4 and that deconstruction is necessarily complicated and difficult to explain since it actively criticises the very language needed to explain it. For Derrida the concept of neutrality is suspect and dogmatism is therefore involved in everything to a certain degree. Derrida's method consisted of demonstrating all the forms and varieties of the originary complexity of semiotics, and their multiple consequences in many fields. In structuralism one sees commentaries on the structure from various seminal theorists trying to unveil what lies in, behind and around the structure, but Derrida deconstructs the fundamental assumption that these theorists make to unravel the unknown and his methodology would later become a significant critical theory called ‘deconstruction,’ that has influenced disciplines all around. It takes place everywhere. He also surveys the latest research into the relationship between the past, history, and historical practice, as well as articulating his own theoretical challenges.. Heidegger's term referred to a process of exploring the categories and concepts that tradition has imposed on a word, and the history behind them.. Saussure is considered one of the fathers of structuralism when he explained that terms get their meaning in reciprocal determination with other terms inside language: In language there are only differences. Rather, it is something that happens, something that takes place. Jacques Derrida (/ ˈ d ɛr ɪ d ə /; French: [ʒak dɛʁida]; born Jackie Élie Derrida; July 15, 1930 – October 9, 2004) was an Algerian-born French philosopher best known for developing a form of semiotic analysis known as deconstruction, which he discussed in numerous texts, and developed in the context of phenomenology. 1998. Therefore the sovereign state and its rule of law, instead of opposing the rule of force or violence, necessarily perpetuate it, since they rely upon the sovereign’s ability to exercise superior violence to enforce the rule of law and to censor or repress challenges to the sovereign rule of law. The relevance of the tradition of negative theology to Derrida's preference for negative descriptions of deconstruction is the notion that a positive description of deconstruction would over-determine the idea of deconstruction and would close off the openness that Derrida wishes to preserve for deconstruction. One such person is English philosopher Roger Scruton. Deconstruction perceives that language, especially ideal concepts such as truth and justice, is irreducibly complex, unstable, or impossible to determine. Deconstruction is the term that has been used to describe Derrida’s “method.” If we accept this provisionally as an acceptable usage (we will qualify it later) we must take note of some important features. If deconstruction is limited to the simple inversion of binaries, then inquiry remains trapped ‘within the closed field of these oppositions’.8Positions 41 What this means is that instead of making any real change to structural conditions, what is happening is simply swapping the positions of dominant and subordinate, allowing the same conditions to persist. At the same time, deconstruction is also a "structuralist gesture" because it is concerned with the structure of texts. It is about negotiating the impossible and the undecidable and, in so doing, remaining open to the possibility of justice. In this way writing defines nature, as well as reflecting it. Does not almost every precise history of an origination impress our feelings as paradoxical and wantonly offensive? :3 This does not mean that deconstruction has absolutely nothing in common with an analysis, a critique, or a method, because while Derrida distances deconstruction from these terms, he reaffirms "the necessity of returning to them, at least under erasure". :29 Searle was particularly hostile to Derrida's deconstructionist framework and much later refused to let his response to Derrida be printed along with Derrida's papers in the 1988 collection Limited Inc. Searle did not consider Derrida's approach to be legitimate philosophy, or even intelligible writing, and argued that he did not want to legitimize the deconstructionist point of view by paying any attention to it. Derrida, in his response to Searle ("a b c ..." in Limited Inc), ridiculed Searle's positions. CLT (Holding) Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of Counterpress Limited. In the beginning was the word, and the word was a This is necessary to highlight the ‘conflictual and subordinating structure of opposition’.7Jacques Derrida, Positions (The Athlone Press, 1981) 41 It emphasizes the dominance of one particular way of thinking over others, and belies the idea of fixed meaning, overturning, and therefore exposing, the existence of the binary and destabilizing previously fixed categories of understanding. It simultaneously embodies the desired meaning as intended by the author, and the constraints placed on that meaning through the act of interpretation of the text. He claims the humanities are subject to isolation and genetic drift due to their unaccountability to the world outside academia. Metaphysics of presence is the desire for immediate access to meaning, the privileging of presence over absence. It is not a search for a ‘simple element’ or ‘indissoluble origin’. The exchange was characterized by a degree of mutual hostility between the philosophers, each of whom accused the other of having misunderstood his basic points. Such analysis without logic is not analysis at all. Put simply, what this means is that philosophy is driven by a desire for the certainty associated with the existence of an absolute truth, or an objective meaning that makes sense of our place in the world. The idea or phonic substance that a sign contains is of less importance than the other signs that surround it. Jacques Derrida: opening lines. Rather it is an ongoing process of interrogation concerned with the structure of meaning itself.  Commentators have frequently interpreted the exchange as a prominent example of a confrontation between analytic and continental philosophies. When seen in these terms, it is not a method but simply a way of reading, writing, thinking and acting. Close suggestions. Because deconstruction examines the internal logic of any given text or discourse it has helped many authors to analyse the contradictions inherent in all schools of thought; and, as such, it has proved revolutionary in political analysis, particularly ideology critiques. Its effect is the placing of one particular term or concept, such as justice, at the centre of all efforts at theorizing or interrogating meaning. Consequently, some critics[who? :2 The structural problematic for Derrida is the tension between genesis, that which is "in the essential mode of creation or movement", and structure: "systems, or complexes, or static configurations". The way in which this term—the logos—is made known is language, the translation into words of a concept or a way of thinking. Zu seinen Hauptwerken zählen Die Stimme und das Phänomen 1967, Grammatologie 19… Summary. Derrida states that deconstruction is not an analysis in the traditional sense. Derrida argues that language is inescapably metaphysical because it is made up of signifiers that only refer to that which transcends them—the signified. The American philosopher Walter A. Davis, in Inwardness and Existence: Subjectivity in/and Hegel, Heidegger, Marx and Freud, argues that both deconstruction and structuralism are prematurely arrested moments of a dialectical movement that issues from Hegelian "unhappy consciousness". en Change Language. :25 Derrida published a number of other works directly relevant to the concept of deconstruction, such as Différance, Speech and Phenomena, and Writing and Difference. By calling our attention to the fact that he has assumed the role of Orpheus, the man underground, in dialectical opposition to Plato, Nietzsche hopes to sensitize us to the political and cultural context, and the political influences that impact authorship. The consequence of this is that its value is not linked to any subsequent reconstruction.  Deconstruction generally tries to demonstrate that any text is not a discrete whole but contains several irreconcilable and contradictory meanings; that any text therefore has more than one interpretation; that the text itself links these interpretations inextricably; that the incompatibility of these interpretations is irreducible; and thus that an interpretative reading cannot go beyond a certain point. Derrida's deconstruction strategy is also used by postmodernists to locate meaning in a text rather than discover meaning due to the position that it has multiple readings. But we can get a general sense of what Derridameans with deconstruction by recalling Descartes’s FirstMeditation. [page needed] Like Nietzsche, Derrida suspects Plato of dissimulation in the service of a political project, namely the education, through critical reflections, of a class of citizens more strategically positioned to influence the polis. A concept introduced by Derrida, differance is a pun on “difference” and “deferment”, and is that attribute of language, by which meaning is generated because of a word’s difference from other words in a signifying system, and at the same time, meaning is inevitably and infinitely deferred or postponed, is constantly under erasure and can be glimpsed only through “aporias” or deadlocks in … This point as an on-going process of interrogation concerned with questions of justice that be... General, but rather seeks to work within those structures to reveal new possibilities 64 ], reading. Has tended to employ discernable techniques world outside academia is inescapably metaphysical it... That determines all subsequent knowledge terms it has two mutually exclusive ( and ). The charge that deconstruction is not a critique in the context of language principally... Of scientific writings Berkin Heidelberg one time, deconstruction is an approach to text is influenced by philosopher... 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