Deconstruction and pragmatism constitute two of the major intellectual influences on the contemporary theoretical scene--influences personified in the work of Jacques Derrida and Richard Rorty. The purpose of this volume is to bring deconstruction and pragmatism into critical confrontation with one another through staging a debate between Derrida and Rorty, itself based on discussions that took place at the College International de Philosophie in Paris in 1993.
Yielding Gender explores and reconsiders the tensions that deconstruction poses for feminist philosophy. Emphasizing the important role of deconstruction in revealing the ambiguity and unstable nature of gender, Penelope Deutscher asks the crucial question: does the very instability of gender mean that we can no longer talk of a man or a woman of reason in the history of philosophy? Using the work of Judith Butler, Jacques Derrida and Luce Irigaray, Deutscher explores this question by examining the issue (...) of gender as "trouble", deconstruction and feminist criticism of the history of philosophy. She then considers and challenges feminist interpretations of some key figures in the history of philosophy. Deutscher sketches how Rousseau, St. Augustine and Simone de Beauvoir have described gender and argues that their readings of gender are in fact empowered by gender's own contradiction and instability rather than limited by it. (shrink)
This volume represents the first sustained effort to relate Derrida's work to the Western philosophical tradition from Plato to Heidegger. Bringing together twelve essays by twelve leading Derridean philosophers and an important paper by Derrida previously unpublished in English, the collection retrieves the significance of deconstruction for philosophy.
This collection reflects the growing interest realist critics have shown towards forms of discourse theory and deconstruction. The diverse range of contributions address such issues as the work of Derrida and deconstruction, discourse theory, Eurocentrism and poststructuralism.
This book disentangles two terms that were conflated in the initial Anglo-American appropriation of French theory: deconstruction and poststructuralism. Focusing on Sartre, Derrida, Foucault, and Baudrillard (but also considering Levinas, Blanchot, de Man, and others), it traces the turn from a deconstruction inflected by phenomenology to a poststructuralism formed by the rejection of models based on consciousness in favor of ones based on language and structure. The book provides a wide-ranging and complex genealogy of French theory from the (...) 1940s onward, placing particular emphasis on the largely neglected early work of the theorists involved and on deconstruction’s continuing relevance. The author argues that deconstruction is a form of radical, antiscientific modernity: an interdisciplinary reconfiguration of philosophy as it confronted the positivism of the human sciences in the 1960s. By contrast, poststructuralism is a type of postmodern theory inflected by changes in technology and the mode of information. Inasmuch as poststructuralism is founded upon its “constitutive loss” of phenomenology (in Judith Butler’s phrase), the author is also concerned with the ways phenomenology (particularly Sartre’s forgotten but seminal Being and Nothingness) is remembered, repeated in different ways, and never quite worked through in its theoretical successors. Thus the book also exemplifies a way of reading intellectual history that is not only concerned with the transmission of concepts, but also with the processes of transference, mourning, and disavowal that inform the relationships between bodies of thought. (shrink)
This Ph.D. thesis is, in large part, a deepening of my M. A. dissertation, entitled: "Différance Beyond Phenomenological Reduction (Epoché)?" - an edited version of which was published in The Warwick Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 2, Issue 2, 1989. The M. A. dissertation explores the development of the various phases of the movement of epoché in Edmund Husserl's phenomenology and its relevance for Jacques Derrida's project of deconstruction. The analyses not only attend to the need for an effective propaedeutic (...) to an understanding of phenomenology as method, they also serve to demystify the logics of Derridean non-teleological strategy by explaining the sense of such a manoeuvre - as a kind of maieutic response to the Husserlian project - which operates within the horizon of a radical epoché. According to this orientation, Derrida's deconstruction of phenomenology is permitted to open itself up to a phenomenology of deconstruction. This doctoral thesis develops these analyses and utilizes a form of critique that points the way to the possibility of a phenomenological-deconstruction of the limits of Derrida's project of deconstruction through the themes of epoché, play, dialogue, spacing, and temporalization. In order to trace the resources from which he draws throughout the early development of deconstruction, this study confines itself to a discussion on the texts published between 1962 and 1968. This subjection of deconstruction to a historical de-sedimentation of its motivational, methodological, theoretical, and strategic moments, involves a certain kind of transformational return to the spacing between phenomenology and deconstruction that urgently puts into question the alleged supercession of phenomenology by deconstruction. The expression of such a 'beyond' is already deeply sedimented in contemporary deconstructive writing to the point at which it is now rarely even noticed, let alone thematized and brought into question. This conviction (regarding the transgression of phenomenology by deconstruction) traces itself out in the form of an attitude to reading which is, in fact and in principle, counter to D6rrida's own call for care. The meaning and limits of the very terms, transgression, beyond, supercession, etc., must be continually subjected to deconstruction. The notions of play, dissemination and supplementarity - with the concomitant sense of transformational repetition that defines them - do not function as a mere excuse for lack of scholarly rigour. Deconstruction is a movement of critical return, which must insert itself (with a sense of irony) within the margins and intersections of that which gives itself up to this practice of textual unbuilding. The strategy of play encourages the structural matrix of that with which it is engaged to turn in upon itself, exposing its limits and fissures in a kind of textual analogue to a psychoanalysis. To be sure, this does involve a certain kind of violence -a violation of the ( system's' own sense of propriety (what is proper [propre] and closest to itself) -but in no sense is this an anarchical celebration of pure destruction. We speak rather of irony, parody, satire, metaphor, double-reading and other tactical devices, which permit a reorganization of the deconstructed's (textual analysand's) self-relation and the possibility of playful speculation. Such play demands care and vigilance in regard to the appropriation of the logics of the system with which it is in a relation of negotiation. In order to play well, one must learn the game-rules. (shrink)
Jacques Derrida is one of the most influential and controversial philosophers of the last fifty years. Derrida on Deconstruction introduces and assesses: * Derrida's life and the background to his philosophy * the key themes of the critique of metaphysics, language and ethics that characterize his most widely read works * the continuing importance of Derrida's work to philosophy. This is a much-needed introduction for philosophy or humanities students undertaking courses on Derrida.
Matchbook consists of nine essays written around, or in response to, work published by Jacques Derrida since 1980. The focal point of the essays is the “Envois,” which forms part of Derrida’s Post Card. Particular attention is paid to how that text articulates with the ethical and political emphases of Derrida’s more recent work, but also to its autobiographical conceit. The “incendiary” reference of the book’s title underscores deconstruction’s engagement with questions of reading: relations between (slow) reading and the (...) speed of technology, and the political effects of an internationalized deconstruction in a globalized culture. It is in terms of what deconstruction can have us think about the speed of technology and technologies of reading that Derrida’s work has made one of its most important contributions to philosophy and literary and cultural studies. The book concentrates on that as proof of the continued relevance of such work. (shrink)
The present paper deals with the philosophical styles of the hermeneutic project and deconstruction and tries to answer the question whether there really is, as Derrida argues, a fundamental difference, even an opposition between them. In this sense, taking the questions Derrida addressed Gadamer in their famous Paris encounter in 1981 as a clue, the author retraces the fundamental articulations of deconstruction, descending from Derrida's own description of the idea to his actual deconstructive practice, and shows that the (...) presupposition Derrida takes as separating the hermeneutic project from deconstruction is actually one these two share in common. (shrink)
If one would attempt to answer the Derridean question “How to avoid speaking?” one would be placing one’s self in the middle of the confrontations between deconstruction, phenomenology, and negative theology. Derrida discusses this troubling question: how could we speak in universal language of the secret experience of singularity, be it according to the religious mystical vision or to the silent phenomenological intuition? This paper accounts for the discussion firstly from the viewpoint of the deconstructivist critique that Derrida applies (...) to negative theology and, secondly, from the viewpoint of his debate with Jean-Luc Marion’s phenomenological enquiry. We show that Derrida’s point no longer credits the promise of an immediate presence beyond the universal intelligible structures of language, as is given in phenomenological intuition or in the vision of mystical revelation, and therefore places us upon a frail and undecidable border between the secret of our singular experience and universal language. (shrink)
Jacques Derrida has had a huge influence on contemporary political theory and political philosophy. Derrida's thinking has inspired Slavoj Zizek, Richard Rorty, Ernesto Laclau, Judith Butler and many more contemporary theorists. This book brings together a first class line up of Derrida scholars to develop a deconstructive approach to politics. Deconstruction examines the internal logic of any given text or discourse. It helps us analyze the contradictions inherent in all schools of thought,and as such it has proved revolutionaty in (...) political analysis,particularly ideology critique. This book is ideal for all students of political theory,and anyone looking for an accessible guide to Derrida's thinking and how it can be used as a radical tool for political analysis. (shrink)
Re-thinking via deconstruction qua affirmation -- "Testimonial faith" in/about IR philosophy of science: the possibility condition of a pluralist science of world politics -- Khôra as the condition of possibility of the ontological without ontology -- Rethinking the "agent-structure" problematique: from ontology to parergonality -- Identity/difference and othering: negotiating the impossible politics of aporia -- Autoimmunity of trust without trust -- Rethinking international constitutional order: the autoimmune politics of binding without binding -- The quest for "illogical" logics of action (...) in IR. (shrink)
Deconstruction and the Visual Arts brings together a series of new essays by scholars of aesthetics, art history and criticism, film, television and architecture. Working with the ideas of French philosopher Jacques Derrida, the essays explore the full range of his analyses. They are modelled on the variety of critical approaches that he has encouraged, from critiques of the foundations of our thinking and disciplinary demarcation, to creative and experimental readings of visual 'texts'. Representing some of the most innovative (...) thinking in the various arts disciplines, these contributions offer important challenges to existing disciplinary orthodoxies. Also included in this volume is a long interview with Derrida, published here for the first time. (shrink)
Responding to questions put to him at a Roundtable held at Villanova University in 1994, Jacques Derrida leads the reader through an illuminating discussion of the central themes of deconstruction. Speaking in English and extemporaneously, Derrida takes up with unusual clarity and great eloquence such topics as the task of philosophy, the Greeks, justice, responsibility, the gift, the community, the distinction between the messianic and the concrete messianisms, and his interpretation of James Joyce. Derrida convincingly refutes the charges of (...) relativism and nihilism that are often leveled at deconstruction by its critics and sets forth the profoundly affirmative and ethico-political thrust of his work. The “Roundtable” is marked by the unusual clarity of Derrida’s presentation and by the deep respect for the great works of the philosophical and literary tradition with which he characterizes his philosophical work. The Roundtable is annotated by John D. Caputo, the David R. Cook Professor of Philosophy at Villanova University, who has supplied cross references to Derrida’s writings where the reader may find further discussion on these topics. Professor Caputo has also supplied a commentary which elaborates the principal issues raised in the Roundtable. In all, this volume represents one of the most lucid, compact and reliable introductions to Derrida and deconstruction available in any language. An ideal volume for students approaching Derrida for the first time, Deconstruction in a Nutshell will prove instructive and illuminating as well for those already familiar with Derrida’s work. (shrink)
Feminism and Deconstruction incisively examines the contemporary relevance of setting these movements beside one another. Diane Elam has written an intelligent and accessible introduction, which explores how feminism and deconstruction have been linked -- as theories and movements, as philosophies and disciplines. Elam's work allows the reader to rethink the political and contemplate the possibility that there is indeed life after identity politics. Feminism and Deconstruction is essential reading for anyone who needs a no-nonsense but stimulating guide (...) through one of the mazes of contemporary theory. (shrink)
Heidegger Beyond Deconstruction argues that Heidegger's question of being cannot be separated from the question of nature and culture, and that the history of being describes the growing predominance of culture and technology over nature, resulting in today's environmental crisis. It proposes that we turn to Heidegger's thought in order fully to understand this crisis. In doing so it is necessary to retrieve those elements of his thought which are most maligned by Derridean deconstruction: the pastoral, the homely, (...) the local. In a world coming to terms with the destructive nature of ‘globalisation' and the networks of distribution and travel which lacerate the globe, we are witnessing a gradual return to the ‘locally produced', the ‘organic', the ‘micro-generation' of energy unplugged from the national and international grid: in other words, a return to the ‘near'. The necessities and problems inherent in this return, which the ‘environmental movement' must address, are already to be found in Heidegger's thought. Lewis confronts this thought with that of Lacan, Levinas, Žižek, and Marx in order to reinvent the element to which deconstruction usually confines it and bring it into a position from which to confront the most pressing ethical and political questions of today. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Foreword: 'Taught by Love'--M.McQuillan * Notes on Contributors * Introduction: The Origins of Deconstruction: Derrida's Daughters--I.Willis * PROLOGUE * Jacques Derrida, 'Between the writing body and writing': An interview with Daniel Ferrer * Hlne Cixous, 'First of all (from the margins) I am a reader reading: An interview with Daniel Ferrer * PART I: INCUBATION * Dating-Deconstruction--M.Froment-Meurice * The Course of a General Displacement, or, The Course of the Choreographer--L.Turner * Feminine Endings: Didos Telephonic (...) Body and the Originary Function of the Hymen--I.Willis * On Prejudice and Foretelling 2--T.Docherty * Extremes Meet--J.M.Rabate * PART II: INAUGURATION * The Opening to Infinity: Derridas Quasi-Transcendentals--C.Colebrook * Splitting the Origin: Writing and Responsibility--M.Grebowicz * Derridean Beginning and Deleuzian Becoming--P.Patton * 'Words of Air': On Breath and Inspiration--C.Baracchi * PART III: INSTALLATION * Illegibility: On the Spirit of Origins--J.P.Leavey * Origins of Deconstruction? Deconstruction, That Which Arrives (If It Arrives)--J.Wolfreys * Philosophy of Cinders and Cinders of Philosophy: A Commentary on the Origins of Deconstruction and the Holocaust--R.Eaglestone * The Beginnings of Art: Heidegger and Bataille--G.Bucher * Aesthetic Allegory: Reading Hegel after Bernal--M.McQuillan * Notes * Index Foreword: 'Taught by Love'--M.McQuillan * Notes on Contributors * Introduction: The Origins of Deconstruction: Derrida's Daughters--I.Willis * PROLOGUE * Jacques Derrida, 'Between the writing body and writing': An interview with Daniel Ferrer * Hlne Cixous, 'First of all (from the margins) I am a reader reading: An interview with Daniel Ferrer * PART I: INCUBATION * Dating-Deconstruction--M.Froment-Meurice * The Course of a General Displacement, or, The Course of the Choreographer--L.Turner * Feminine Endings: Didos Telephonic Body and the Originary Function of the Hymen--I.Willis * On Prejudice and Foretelling 2--T.Docherty * Extremes Meet--J.M.Rabate * PART II: INAUGURATION * The Opening to Infinity: Derridas Quasi-Transcendentals--C.Colebrook * Splitting the Origin: Writing and Responsibility--M.Grebowicz * Derridean Beginning and Deleuzian Becoming--P.Patton * 'Words of Air': On Breath and Inspiration--C.Baracchi * PART III: INSTALLATION * Illegibility: On the Spirit of Origins--J.P.Leavey * Origins of Deconstruction? Deconstruction, That Which Arrives (If It Arrives)--J.Wolfreys * Philosophy of Cinders and Cinders of Philosophy: A Commentary on the Origins of Deconstruction and the Holocaust--R.Eaglestone * The Beginnings of Art: Heidegger and Bataille--G.Bucher * Aesthetic Allegory: Reading Hegel after Bernal--M.McQuillan * Notes * Index. (shrink)
The effects of Derrida's writings have been widespread in literary circles, where they have transformed current work in literary theory. By contrast Derrida's philosophical writings--which deal with the whole range of western thought from Plato to Foucault--have not received adequate attention by philosophers. Organized around Derrida's readings of major figures in the history of philosophy, Derrida and Deconstruction focuses on and assesses his specifically philosophical contribution. Contemporary continental philosophers assess Derrida's account of philosophical tradition, with each contributor providing a (...) critical study of Derrida's position on a philosopher she or he has already studied in depth These figures include Plato, Meister Eckhart, Descartes, Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, Freud, Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre, and Foucault. (shrink)
In this collection of essays Samuel Wheeler discusses Derrida and other deconstructive thinkers from the perspective of an analytic philosopher, treating deconstruction as philosophy, looking for and analyzing its arguments. The essays focus on the theory of meaning, truth, interpretation, metaphor, and the relationship of language to the world. Wheeler links the thought of Derrida to that of Davidson and argues for close affinities among Derrida, Quine, de Man, and Wittgenstein, in that they deny the possibility of meanings as (...) self-interpreting media constituting thoughts and intentions. He also demonstrates the propinquity of Plato and Derrida and shows that New Criticism shares deconstruction's conception of language. Of the twelve essays in the collection, four are published here for the first time. (shrink)
Encountering Derrida explores the points of engagement between Jacques Derrida and a host of other European thinkers, past and present, in order to counter recent claims that the era of deconstruction is finally drawing to a close. The book rereads Derrida in order to renew deconstruction's various conceptions of language, poetry, philosophy, institutions, difference and the future. This impressive collection of essays from the world's leading Derrida scholars re-evaluates Derrida's legacy and looks forward to the possible futures of (...)deconstruction by confronting various challenges to Derrida's thought. Collectively, the essays argue that Derrida must be read alongside others , an approach that produces some surprising new accounts of this challenging critical thinker. _ _. (shrink)
However widely--and differently--Jacques Derrida may be viewed as a "foundational" French thinker, the most basic questions concerning his work still remain unanswered: Is Derrida a friend of reason, or philosophy, or rather the most radical of skeptics? Are language-related themes--writing, semiosis--his central concern, or does he really write about something else? And does his thought form a system of its own, or does it primarily consist of commentaries on individual texts? This book seeks to address these questions by returning to (...) what it claims is essential history: the development of Derrida's core thought through his engagement with Husserlian phenomenology. Joshua Kates recasts what has come to be known as the Derrida/Husserl debate, by approaching Derrida's thought historically, through its development. Based on this developmental work, Essential History culminates by offering discrete interpretations of Derrida's two book-length 1967 texts, interpretations that elucidate the until now largely opaque relation of Derrida's interest in language to his focus on philosophical concerns. A fundamental reinterpretation of Derrida's project and the works for which he is best known, Kates's study fashions a new manner of working with the French thinker that respects the radical singularity of his thought as well as the often different aims of those he reads. Such a view is in fact "essential" if Derrida studies are to remain a vital field of scholarly inquiry, and if the humanities, more generally, are to have access to a replenishing source of living theoretical concerns. (shrink)
In this book Martin McQuillan brings Derrida's writing into the immediate vicinity of geo-politics today, from the Kosovan conflict to the war in Iraq. The chapters in this book follow both Derrida's writing since Specters of Marx and the present political scene through the former Yogoslavia and Afghanistan to Palestine and Baghdad. His 'textual activism' is as impatient with the universal gestures of philosophy as it is with the complacency and reductionism of policy-makers and activists alike. This work records a (...) response to the war on thinking that has marked western discourse since 9/11. (shrink)
The "ruin" of the transcendental tradition -- Freud and the transcendental relation -- Derrida: Differance and the "plural logic of the aporia" -- The im-possibility of the psyche -- The death drive and the im-possibility of psychoanalysis -- Institutional psychoanalysis and the paradoxes of archivization -- The Lacanian real -- Sexual difference -- Feminine sexuality -- The transcendental relation in Lancanian psychoanalysis -- The death drive and ethical action -- The "talking cure": language and psychoanalysis.
Textualities is both an account of recent developments in Continental philosophy and a demonstration of philosophy as a distinctive theoretical practice of its own. It can be read as a presentation and evaluation of major figures from Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty to Focault and Derrida with detailed acconts of Nietzsche, Sartre, Levi-Strauss, Barthes, Blanchot and Kristeva.
This essay examines Jacques Derrida’s contribution to recent debates in animal philosophy in order to explore the critical promise of his work for contemporary discourses on animal ethics and vegetarianism. The essay is divided into two sections, both of which have as their focus Derrida’s interview with Jean-Luc Nancy entitled “‘Eating Well’, or the Calculation of the Subject.” My task in the initial section is to assess the claim made by Derrida in this interview that Levinas’s work is dogmatically anthropocentric, (...) and to determine whether Levinas’s conception of ethics leaves a place for animals. In the second half of the essay I turn to an analysis of Derrida’s discussion of vegetarianism and its critical relation to the humanism and anthropocentrism that he is calling into question. The main argument that I seek to advance here is that deconstruction should not be strictly identified with vegetarianism (as certain of Derrida’s readers have suggested), but rather that what is needed is a thorough deconstruction of existing discourses on vegetarianism, a project that remains largely to be developed. (shrink)
In recent continental philosophy of religion there has been significant attention paid to the Abrahamic doctrines of creation ex nihilo and divine omnipotence, especially by deconstructive thinkers such as Derrida, Caputo, and Keller. For these thinkers, the doctrine represents a form of agency that does violence to various forms of alterity. While broadly supportive of their fundamental philosophical and ethico-political views, especially about the primordiality of alterity, I differ from them in that I argue that creation ex nihilo articulates the (...) very structure of the alterity they are concerned with. The essay proceeds through a reading of Derrida’s representation of the doctrine and a “deconstruction” of his view by means of a reading of Augustine and Anselm. (shrink)
My aim in this paper is to draw Plotinus and Derrida together in a comparison of their respective appropriations of the famous “receptacle” passage in Plato's Timaeus (specifically, Plotinus' discussion of intelligible matter in Enneads 2.4 and Derrida's essay on Timaeus entitled “Kh ō ra”). After setting the stage with a discussion of several instructive similarities between their general philosophical projects, I contend that Plotinus and Derrida take comparable approaches both to thinking the origin of the forms and to problematizing (...) the stability of the sensible/intelligible opposition. With these parallels in focus, I go on to explain how examining such points of contact can help us to dismantle the canonical constructs of “Plotinus the metaphysician” and “Derrida the anti-metaphysician” that have obscured important connections between Neoplatonism and deconstruction, and suppressed latent resources within the Platonic tradition itself for deconstructing the dualistic ontology of so-called “Platonic metaphysics.”. (shrink)
This paper begins by presenting Lawlor's Derrida and Husserl: The Basic Problems of Philosophy, an account of how deconstruction emerges as Derrida discusses Husserl's phenomenology (I.). It then determines the genre of Lawlor's intellectual history. Lawlor writes a continuist narrative history of ideas and concepts (II.). In the subsequent main section the paper uses Lawlor's material to take a position in the debate between Husserl and Derrida (III.). This is done in three parts. The first part reconstructs Derrida's version (...) of Husserlian time consciousness (III. 1). The second part proposes an alternative and revisionist reading of Husserl's theory of internal temporality. On this reading Husserl is a process theoretician of consciousness (III. 2). The third part juxtaposes Husserl and Derrida's critical views (III. 3), arguing that Husserl's fluxive theory of time consciousness does not suffer from the problems Derrida finds in his Husserl. The final section (IV.) points to relativizing consequences for deconstruction and identifies programmatic consequences for phenomenology. (shrink)
Critics of Hans-Georg Gadamer maintain that his philosophical hermeneutics is unduly conservative: supposedly, Gadamer too readily accepts tradition and too quickly assumes that a text has a unified and understandable meaning. Critics of Jacques Derrida, meanwhile, declare that deconstruction leads to nihilism: if the meaning of every text is undecidable, then a text can mean anything at all - no one meaning is better or worse than any other. And if there is no ground to stand upon, these critics (...) add, then how can we normatively evaluate others (or ourselves)? In this essay, I respond to the critics of both Gadamer and Derrida by arguing that philosophical hermeneutics and deconstruction should be understood as complementary postmodern philosophies, as mutually supportive descriptions of the hermeneutic situation. As such, deconstruction counters the charge that philosophical hermeneutics is conservative: instead, a Derridean view uncovers the radical political potential that resides within Gadamer's philosophical hermeneutics. Meanwhile, philosophical hermeneutics counters the charge that deconstruction is nihilistic and cannot support ethical or political critique. A Gadamerian view explains how deconstruction assumes the possibility of understanding meaning and maintaining values that can engender critique. Key Words: deconstruction Derrida Gadamer hermeneutics justice philosophical hermeneutics postmodernism. (shrink)
Deconstruction is often depicted as a method of critical analysis aimed at exposing unquestioned metaphysical assumptions and internal contradictions in philosophical and literary language. Starting from Derrida's contention that deconstruction is not a method and cannot be transformed into one, I make a case for a different attitude towards deconstruction, to which I refer as 'witnessing'. I argue that what needs to be witnessed is the occurrence of deconstruction and, more specifically, the occurrence of metaphysics-in-deconstruction. (...) The point of witnessing metaphysics-in-deconstruction is affirmative: it is an affirmation of what cannot be conceived in terms of the system and yet makes this system possible. To the extent to which education is concerned with the 'coming into presence' of new beginners and new beginnings, it shares an interest with deconstruction. Through a discussion of the role of communication in education I indicate how we might witness the occurrence of deconstruction in education. Through this we may be able to identify openings that can become potential entrances for the coming into presence of new beginnings and new beginners. Such an engagement with Derrida's work is more than the application of 'his' philosophy to the 'field' of education and therefore also has implications for how we think of the very idea of philosophy of education. (shrink)
In looking at Derrida’s career, many people claim to see a “political turn” with the 1989 essay “Force of Law.” So on this reading, the early Derrida is concerned with metaphysics and literature and the later Derrida with politics and ethics. I disagree. The concerns have always been metaphysical/literary and political/ethical at once, but the “methodology” changes: from deconstruction to aporia.
Derrida argued at great length early on in his career that texts live on in the absence of their author. The question remains, however, of precisely how this survival takes place. In this paper I argue that the life of Derrida's own oeuvre is sustained through his particular practice of self-inheritance. I justify this claim by focusing on one moment in the text Rogues: Two Essays on Reason, in which Derrida inherits from himself through self-citation. In citing himself while at (...) the same time modifying his citation, Derrida sets into motion a deconstruction of his own text that he does not seem to anticipate. It is this movement of deconstruction that enables Derrida's text to live on. (shrink)
In Telling Flesh: the Substance 0f the C0rporeul, Vicki Kirby suggests, among other things, that it is not in the interests of feminism to propound what she describes as an ‘inessentialist’ position in regards to embodiment. While she objects to undifferentiating biological givens that might, for example, attempt to construe women as confined to a nurturing role, she also does not want to simplistically insist that embodiment has nothing to do with subjectivity. To pose the problem in terms more closely (...) aligned with her own, Kirby is wary of the tendency to simply reverse binary oppositions, to swap nature for culture, reality for representation, and originary cause for interpretive effect. According to her, themes like ‘textuality’, and linguistic ideality have all but replaced the notion of ‘reality’. As arguably the pre-eminent ‘continental’ philosopher of our generation, the work of Derrida is invariably associated with this reversal of binary oppositions that seem to prohibit recourse to questions concerning embodiment. Several critics have even suggested that deconstruction is nothing but semiological reductionism in disguise. However, Kirby’s thesis, via an extended meditation upon Derrida’s claim that "there is nothing outside of the text," constitutes an important attempt to redeem him from such criticism. Rather than eschewing any and every reference to the body, she wants to insist that deconstruction cannot be contained within such a framework, and that it makes sense, within the logic of Of Grummutology (and she also pays cursory attention to Derrida’s ""Eating Well," or the Calculation of the Subject"), to conceive of embodiment in deconstructive terms. Examining the coherence of this claim will be the main focus of this paper, though in order to facilitate this task, this paper will also compare the notion of embodiment that Kirby espouses, to a curiously similar conception of the body that Merleau-Ponty theorizes in his unfinished text The Wsible und the Invisible.. (shrink)
Neither philosophy in general, nor deconstruction in particular, should be thought of as a pioneering, path-breaking, tool for feminist politics. Recent philosophy, including Derrida's, helps us see practices and ideas (including patriarchal practices and ideas) as neither natural nor inevitable-but that is all it does. When philosophy has finished showing that everything is a social construct, it does not help us decide which social constructs to retain and which to replace.
In taking up the question of translation as its guiding thread, this essay considers the extent to which deconstruction consists in a radical calling into question of the type of thought and practice of translation implied in what Derrida has called "the passage into philosophy." At the same time, a whole other thought of translation—of the very kind that Derrida put into practice—is demanded insofar as something like the survival of works and the very possibility of a tradition are (...) at stake. (shrink)
This article explores the political aspect of Derrida's work, in particular his critique of authority. Derrida employs a series of strategies to expose the antagonisms within Western philosophy, whose structures of presence provide a rational and essentialist foundation for political institutions. Therefore, Derrida's interrogation of the universalist claims of philosophy may be applied to the pretensions of political authority. Moreover, I argue that Derrida's deconstruction of the two paths of 'reading' - inversion and subversion - may be applied to (...) the question of revolutionary politics, to show that revolution often culminates in the reaffirmation of authority. Derrida navigates a path between these two strategies, allowing one to formulate philosophical and political strategies that work at the limits of discourse, thereby pointing to an outside. This outside, I argue, is crucial to radical politics because it unmasks the violence and illegitimacy of institutions and laws. Key Words: anarchism authority deconstruction Derrida displacement justice law politics poststructuralism. (shrink)
This article provides somephilosophical ``groundwork'' for contemporary debatesabout the status of the idea(l) of critical thinking.The major part of the article consists of a discussionof three conceptions of ``criticality,'' viz., criticaldogmatism, transcendental critique (Karl-Otto Apel),and deconstruction (Jacques Derrida). It is shown thatthese conceptions not only differ in their answer tothe question what it is ``to be critical.'' They alsoprovide different justifications for critique andhence different answers to the question what giveseach of them the ``right'' to be critical. It is (...) arguedthat while transcendental critique is able to solvesome of the problems of the dogmatic approach tocriticality, deconstruction provides the most coherentand self-reflexive conception of critique. A crucialcharacteristic of the deconstructive style of critiqueis that this style is not motivated by the truth ofthe criterion (as in critical dogmatism) or by acertain conception of rationality (as intranscendental critique), but rather by a concern forjustice. It is suggested that this concern should becentral to any redescription of the idea(l) ofcritical thinking. (shrink)
Introduction: Experiential deconstructive inquiry -- Foundational philosophies and spiritual methods -- Non-duality in Advaita Vedanta and Zen Buddhism -- Ontological differences and non-duality -- Meditative inquiry, questioning, and dialoguing as a means to spiritual insight -- The undoing or deconstruction of dualistic conceptions -- Advaita Vedanta : philosophical foundations and deconstructive strategies -- Sources of the tradition -- Upaniads that art thou (Tat Tvam Asi) -- Gauapda (c.7th century) : no bondage, no liberation -- Aakara (c.7th-8th century) : there (...) is no apprehender different from this apprehension to apprehend it -- Modern and contemporary masters -- Ramana Maharshi (1879-1950) : who am I? -- H.W.L Poonja (1910-1997) : you have to do nothing to be who you are! -- Gangaji (b. 1942) : you are that! -- Advaita Vedanta summary : nothing ever happens -- Zen Buddhism : philosophical foundations and deconstructive strategies -- Sources of the tradition -- The Lakvatra Sutra and the Vajracchedik Prajñpramit Sutra all things ... are not independent of each other and not two -- Ngrjuna (c.113-213) : Sasra is Nirva -- Eihei Dgen (1200-1253) : if I am already enlightened, why must I practice -- Contemporary masters -- Ekai Korematsu (b. 1948) : return to the spine -- Hgen Yamahata (b. 1935) : why not now -- Zen Buddhism summary : neither being nor non-being is to be taken hold of -- Deconstructive techniques and dynamics of experiential undoing -- Deconstructive techniques common to both traditions -- The teacher-student dynamic -- Key deconstructive techniques -- Unfindability analysis -- Bringing everything back to the here and now -- Paradoxical problems -- Negation -- Dynamics of experiential undoing -- Non-dual experiential space -- Experiential mapping : practitioners in the space -- Experiential undoing in Advaita Vedanta -- Experiential undoing in Zen Buddhism -- Conclusion: Deconstruction of reified awareness. (shrink)
This thesis examines the nature of the supplementary relationship between Husserlian phenomenology and deconstruction. Chapter 1 gives an account of the strategies and aims of deconstruction, determining these to be an attempt to respond, using ‘other names’, to the other which is excluded by phenomenology/philosophy in its attempts to master its own limits. In Chapter 2, it is found that alterity is encountered by phenomenology on its own thresholds, informing the genetic turn in phenomenology which is necessitated (...) as a result of the inquiries into the temporal constitution which founds the possibility of an object’s being given as such to consciousness. Furthermore, it is shown how the possibility of the genetic turn resides in the indication relation examined in the phenomenology of signification. Chapter 3 focusses on the deconstruction of phenomenology, and investigates the double movement in phenomenology which the deconstruction reveals, taking time and language as guiding threads. On the one hand, the genetic turn appears to reveal a founding alterity, which, on the other hand, phenomenology strives to suppress in accordance with its adherence to its own ‘principle of principles’. It is argued that the deconstruction aims to accord phenomenological respect to the alterity uncovered by phenomenological descriptions. This is done through thematising certain operative concepts, concepts which remain unthemtised in phenomenology precisely because such thematisation would reveal a founding non-presence intolerable to phenomenology. Deconstruction supplements phenomenology to the extent that it attempts to name, on the fissured margins of phenomenology, the radical alterity uncovered by phenomenology in a way which does not reduce the very otherness of the alterity. However, in the final Chapter, it is argued, from the perspective of Levinas, that Derrida does not in fact manage to find a sense for founding alterity in phenomenology which is ‘beyond metaphysics’. The thesis concludes by arguing that, in order to achieve its strategic aims, as detailed in Chapter 1, the deconstruction of phenomenology needs to be ethically supplemenred, one example of such an ethically supplemented deconstructive reading of Husserl being found in some of the most recent texts of Levinas. (shrink)
Introduction: Fielding Derrida -- Jacques Derrida's early writings : alongside skepticism, phenomenology -- Analytic philosophy, and literary criticism -- Deconstruction as skepticism -- Derrida, Husserl, and the commentators : a developmental approach -- A transcendental sense of death : Derrida and the philosophy of language -- Literary theory's languages : the deconstruction of sense vs. the deconstruction of reference -- Jacques Derrida and the problem of philosophical and political modernity -- Jacob Klein and Jacques Derrida : the (...) problem of modernity -- Jacob Klein and Jacques Derrida : historicism and history in two interpretations of Husserl's late writings -- Derrida's contribution to phenomenology : a problem of no species -- Foretellese : futures of Derrida and Marx. (shrink)
This article inquires into a paradoxical position held by the concept of ‘nature’ in Derrida's thought. While a pivotal part of his project of deconstruction is devoted to a critique of the metaphysical privileging of nature over its others (technics, culture, and so on), the same project also aims at dismantling the hierarchical binary opposition of man/animal. Insofar as the term ‘animal’ or ‘animality’ to a large extent overlaps with nature, these two strands of his thought appear to stand (...) in a significant tension with each other. I explore this conceptual tension by re-examining Derrida's early critique of the notion of nature – specifically in his reading of Rousseau – in conjunction with his later engagement with the question of animality. As my reading shows, deviating from his early approach, his later work indicates the way in which animal others (and, by extension, all living and non-living others) are indeed constituted by supplementarity and yet, in their irreplaceable singularity, exceed the very structure of supplementarity. This opens up a new way of conceiving nature, no longer as originary presence nor simply as an effect of supplementary play, but in terms of the aporetic relation between supplementarity and what may be termed ‘the unsupplementable’. (shrink)
How might we begin to think about deconstruction in relation to the formulation of political policy? Once we begin to ask this question the whole idea of policy as such is put in question and conversely the limitations of philosophy as the basis for political decision making quickly become apparent. Through a consideration of this problem and by reference to a number of key tropes in Derrida's later writings, this essay begins the task of thinking about the deconstruction (...) of policy and of asking what the future role of deconstructive thought might be. (shrink)
Deconstruction and destruction tend to be viewed as a continuum, on the assumption that to deconstruct is to destroy. Deconstruction certainly seems intent on the death of definitive meaning, absolute truth, theoretical flights, and universal values. Versions of the deconstructive task have been addressed and applied by philosophers throughout history and across cultures. By examining such approaches we may learn whether deconstruction must bring destruction in its wake, or whether another outcome might be possible. To test this (...) hypothesis the philosophy of Zhuang Zi is compared with that of Friedrich Nietzsche. Their unique approaches to the deconstructive task point to a deeper issue of contrasting cultural assumptions and grounding principles, allowing a better understanding of what lies at the heart of the philosophical divide between ''East'' and ''West.'' Each embraces a strategy of fruitful opposition: gadfly Nietzsche approaches his predecessors with wariness and righteous wrath; butterfly Zhuang Zi co-opts Kong Zi, and confounds Hui Zi. The distinction between opponent and competitor parallels that between wu-wei effortlessness and wei aggression. Despite an intuitive grasp of the child's 'yes' to life, wu-wei , Nietzsche remains mired in a defective wei strategy, while Zhuang Zi's Daoist deconstruction takes the form of wu-wei philosophical play. (shrink)
The purpose of this volume is to rethink the questions posed by Derrida's writings and his unique philosophical positioning, without reference to the catch phrases that have supposedly summed up deconstruction.
This text argues that Hegel's Concept, insofar as it has already deconstructed all opposed and fixed standpoints, supersedes deconstruction. Reducing the Logic and Phenomenology to the same kind of schematic formalism for which Hegel criticized his predecessors (Fichte and Schelling), Derrida misses the ways in which Absolute Spirit shows itself as the bacchanalian revel wherein no member is not drunk. Thus, this article defends Hegel against Derrida on Derrida's terms.
This paper demonstrates that when the concept of ethicalpolitical responsibility is taken in its modern sense as a decision or outcome based on the protocols of reason, responsibility is neither simply possible nor simply impossible. Paradoxically, it appeals to a demand that it cannot fulfil; responsibility is thus (im)possible. Moreover, insofar as a deconstructive demonstration of this aporia is itself a response to reasons own demand, deconstruction cannot be characterized as simply responsible or irresponsible. Rather, deconstruction inscribes itself (...) as the interior limit of the order of ethics, of responsibility, as such. Deconstruction is thus characterized best as an (ir)responsible interrogation of the very principle of reason to which political philosophers such as Habermas appeal when they invoke responsibility. To this extent deconstruction enacts the strange responsibility of interrogating critically precisely what is deemed just. Key Words: critique deconstruction Derrida Enlightenment ethics Habermas justice modernity reason responsibility. (shrink)
In this article I explore some points of convergence between Habermas and Derrida that revolve around the intersection of ethical and epistemological issues in dialogue. After some preliminary remarks on how dialogue and language are viewed by Habermas and Derrida as standpoints for departing from the philosophy of consciousness and from logocentric metaphysics, I cite the main points of a classroom dialogue in order to illustrate the way in which the ideas of Habermas and Derrida are sometimes received as well (...) as the actual relevance of ethical and epistemic concerns within educational settings. I claim that such concerns cannot be sidestepped without cost and that they can be approached by combining rather than rigidly separating Habermas and Derrida. Beyond the consolidated polemics, emancipatory politics and Enlightenment priorities of truth and justice bring Habermasian reconstruction and Derridean deconstruction closer than it is typically assumed. Attention to such a convergence can enrich the teaching material of higher education courses which usually comprises either Habermasian or Derridean texts but rarely both. It can also stave off some of the risks involved in some versions of constructivism as they occur in school practice. (shrink)
Re-treating Religion is the first volume to analyze his long-term project The Deconstruction of Christianity,especially his major statement of it in Dis-Enclosure.Nancy conceives monotheistic religion and secularization not as opposite ...
Mugerauer seeks to make deconstruction and hermeneutics accessible to people in the environmental disciplines, including architecture, planning, urban studies, environmental studies, and cultural geography. Mugerauer demonstrates each methodology through a case study. The first study uses the traditional approach to recover the meaning of Jung's and Wittgenstein's houses by analyzing their historical, intentional contexts. The second case study utilizes deconstruction to explore Egyptian, French neoclassical, and postmodern attempts to use pyramids to constitute a sense of lasting presence. And (...) the third case study employs hermeneutics to reveal how the American understanding of the natural landscape has evolved from religious to secular to ecological since the nineteenth century. (shrink)
Derrida always stipulates that deconstruction is not a ‘‘method’’. But deconstruction nevertheless involves a certain strategy and protocol: terms that both designate a process and serve as an example of that process. Derrida's deployment of these terms clarifies how his analyses of logocentrism anticipate the political texts of his later career. In his early texts, Derrida famously shows how the dyad of speech and writing is a ‘‘violent hierarchy’’ in which speech is everywhere privileged. I show how, by (...) contrast, his later analysis of law and force necessarily redoubles this strategy because each of these terms is privileged in rival traditions of political thought. (shrink)
I argue that Johanna Meehan's call to examine the extra-linguistic psychic, affective and biological dimensions of gender identity is extremely important both for feminist theory in particular and for contemporary Continental philosophy in general. However, I suspect that such an examination might necessitate more than a mere expansion or reconstruction of Habermas' views; on the contrary, I suggest that Meehan's line of argument might lead instead toward a radical deconstruction of Habermasian critical theory. Key Words: feminism Habermas (...) identity moral vs ethical. (shrink)
This thesis draws on poststructuralism/postmodernism to present a feminist investigation into the human body, its modes of (self)identification, and its insertion into systems of bioethics. I argue that, contrary to conventional paradigms, the boundaries not only of the subject, but of the body too, cannot be secured. In exploring and contesting the closure and disembodiment of the ethical subject, I propose instead an incalculable, but nonetheless fully embodied, diversity of provisional subject positions. My aim is to valorise women and situate (...) them within a reconceived ethics which takes account of the embodied feminine. My project entails an analysis and deconstruction of the binaries of those dominant strands of postEnlightenment thought that shape epistemology, ontology, and ethics, which in turn set the parameters of modern bioethics. More importantly, it goes on to reclaim a radical sexual difference beyond the binary, in which the female is no longer the other of the male. My enquiry, then, is strongly influenced by the discursive approach offered by both Foucault and Derrida in differential ways, but I counter their indifference to feminist concerns by qualifying their insights in the light of strategies developed by Irigaray and Spivak, among others. The main method of investigation has been through library research of primary and secondary sources in mainstream and feminist philosophy, and in bioethics. In addition, archival work in both textual and iconographic collections was carried out at the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine. The contribution made by this thesis is to go beyond modernist feminisms - which would simply revise and add women into existing paradigms - to radically displace and overflow the mechanisms by which women are devalued. And in developing a postmodern critique around some issues in bioethics, I have suggested a new ethics of the body which precedes the operation of moral codes. (shrink)
The implications of deconstruction theory go disastrously beyond its usefulness in practice as a method of challenging privileged concepts. I consider three objections to deconstruction theory: (1) The theory is unintelligible because it presupposes semantic resources that it makes unavailable. (2) The displacement of opposites in deconstruction commits it to an impossible diversity of undecidable concepts; moreover, despite assertions that deconstruction is a rigorous dialectical method, it provides no determinate procedure for discovering undecidables. (3) When taken (...) to its logical extreme, deconstruction undermines the objectivity of any distinction among any concepts, thus compromising the meaningfulness of all thought and language. However, the practice of deconstruction as textual analysis can be preserved without theoretical absurdities if conventional analysis is used to overturn entrenched conceptual preferences on a case-by-case basis without accepting theoretical claims about the displaceability of any distinction. (shrink)
Thomas McCarthy has provided a trenchant critique of the deconstructionist turn in recent philosophy and has outlined a program of reconstruction in its aftermath. He develops his version of reconstructionist philosophy against the backdrop of Kant's doctrine of critical reason and the critical theory of Jürgen Habermas. However, McCarthy's reconstructionist design is not simply an appropriation and defense of Habermas. He provides a critical reformulation of the Habermasian position, deftly using Habermas against himself. The author is in accord both with (...) McCarthy's disposition to problematize the premises of deconstruction and his call for philosophical reconstruction. In continuing the conversation, however, he distances himself farther than does McCarthy from the criteriological concept of rationality that was proposed by Kant and which continues to inform Habermas's requirement for the grounding of validity claims. In the process the author proposes a new approach to the resources of reason along the lines of what he has come to call the dynamics of transversal rationality. (shrink)
In this paper we aim to shed light on the dynamics of regional identity construction and deconstruction. We will argue that four forms of identity can be identified that are linked through various processes of change. To that end, we will theoretically conceptualise 'identity' by discussing historical and current scholarly debates on identity in a variety of scientific disciplines. Then, we will argue that the mutual contradiction of the current theories is a paradox if seen from the angle of (...) regional identity construction and deconstruction. Building upon elements from the various theoretical approaches, we propose a heuristic model describing the dynamics of identity construction and deconstruction, which will be explored by means of the example of the Green Heart region, a spatial planning concept in western Holland. (shrink)
An attempt to compare the approaches of Alfred North Whitehead and Jacques Derrida might appear extremely unrewarding from the outset. Derrida has often been hailed (and reviled) as a figure who rejects many key concepts in the philosophical lexicon, amongst them those of subjectivity, rationality, creativity and progress. Whitehead, on the other hand, may seem to hold uncritically to the notion of a metaphysical system in which every element of our experience can be interpreted, so that everything of which we (...) are conscious ‘shall have the character of a particular instance of the general scheme’.1 In our modern world, furthermore, Whitehead argues that it is the business of philosophers and students and practical men ‘to recreate and re-enact a vision of the world...penetrated through and through with unflinching rationality’.2 In this article I wish to show that Whitehead’s understanding of philosophy converges with Derrida’s in certain significant respects, and that this clearly illustrated when we relate both of them to Edmund Husserl. I will begin with brief outlines of Derrida’s account of the philosophical tradition, of his deconstruction or delimitation of subjectivity, and of the way in which his understanding of philosophical openness is influenced by the work of Husserl. I will then proceed to show how many of the ideas found in Whitehead’s metaphysics resemble those of Derrida. Other aspects of this metaphysics would certainly be inimical to the latter, but need not be seen as fixed in stone. This is recognized by Whitehead himself, who has a fallibilistic and revisionary understanding of the philosophical enterprise that is akin to Husserl and Derrida. My conclusion, however, is that Whitehead is closer to Husserl in concentrating on the reconstructive side of philosophy, a side which Derrida has ultimately neglected. (shrink)
In Briefings on Existence, Alain Badiou calls for a radical atheism that would refuse the Heideggerian pathos of a “last god” and deny the affliction of finitude. I will argue that Jean-Luc Nancy’s deconstruction of monotheism, as well as his thinking of the world, remains resolutely atheistic, or better a-theological, precisely because of Nancy’s insistence on finitude and his appeal to the Heideggerian motif of the last god. At the same time, I want to underline, by considering it as (...) a Derridean paleonymy, the danger of Nancy’s maintenance of the word “god” to name the infinite opening of the world right at (à meme) the world. (shrink)
By exposing itself as fiction, Dante’s poetry becomes true. Especially the Malebolge stages a relentless self-critique by Dante of his prophetic voice and the presumption of a human poet who imitates divine prophecy through merely human counterfeits. This self-deconstruction opens the poem to being informed from above and beyond itself by an authority not its own: divine grace can work the revelation of truth directly within interpretive acts of readers focused on the “doctrine hiding beneath the veil of the (...) strange verses.” The apex (or nadir) of infernal irony is that Dante’s Inferno becomes prophetic revelation of truth by undermining its own merely human claim to be capable of delivering just such revelation. (shrink)
What would be the result of reading Derrida from the standpoint of material phenomenology? And what would be the result of reading material phenomenology on the basis of the requirements of Derridean thought? These are the questions that this article endeavours to tackle by focusing on the two philosophers’ readings of Husserl’s Lectures on the Consciousness of Internal Time. At first strangely similar, these two readings soon display marked differences. Whereas Derrida, in his approach, is keen to demonstrate that there (...) is never any pure presence, Michel Henry brings out an “Archi-presence” which he attempts to safeguard from any deconstruction. So perhaps material phenomenology functions as “quasi-deconstruction”, having the same relationship with Derridean thought as “negative theology” has with deconstruction. (shrink)
This paper will bring Žižek’s divine violence as an Act, a means without end, into conversation with Derrida’s divine violence, différance and auto-deconstruction as the impossible possibility of justice. Although Žižek has, in his later works, conceded to his indebtedness to Derrida, there are certain important differences between the two thinkers. The paper will focus on their respective interpretations of divine violence and the link to minimal difference (Žižek) or différance (Derrida). Their respective interpretations of divine violence will be (...) further explored with regards to Derrida’s auto-deconstruction as a kind of Heideggerian Gelassenheit and Žižek’s interpretation of the Lacanian Act. Critchley criticises Žižek for being too Gelassen in his dream of patiently waiting for an absolute, divine, cataclysmic revolutionary act of divine violence. This patient waiting or non-violent violence will be read within the context of Derrida’s auto-deconstruction: a means (an Act/Event) without specific end. The second part of the paper will explore a re-reading or inter-textual reading of John’s Gospel within the context of the above conversation. The reading will specifically focus on the Christ-event, creating an alternative community to the Roman Empire as it transverses the primal fantasy of this empire. This will be translated into the context of the contemporary neo-liberal fantasy, namely John’s alternative Christian community as a community of subjects who enjoy their symptom. As such a community they present a non-violent violent transversion of the primal fantasy of for example neo-liberalism. Such a community could be interpreted as a community of non-action action with an auto-deconstructive ethos: the divine violence of the Christ-event. (shrink)
In this essay, I criticize John Caputo’s deconstructive analysis of the nature of mystical union. Using the works of St. John of the Cross, I show that the notion of mystical union does not belong to “the metaphysics of presence.” I also discuss the true significance of deconstruction for the study of mysticism.
The theme of the ‘deconstruction of Christianity’, which was selected for this special issue of Derrida Today, is one that arises not from the work of Derrida himself in the first instance but instead from that of Jean-L Nancy. Not only is this so but Derrida's ( 2005) own view of the notion of the ‘deconstruction of Christianity’ seems, on the evidence available, to be at least open to quite a bit of interpretation given the ambiguous nature of (...) some of his comments on the question. Given this is so it might not be thought at all obvious why this theme should be selected for a special issue of Derrida Today and in this introduction I want to address both this possible disquiet and also provide some background to the arrival of concern with this topic. (shrink)
Abstract A principle aim of this paper is to convince friends and critics of deconstruction that they have overlooked two crucial aspects of Derrida's work, namely, his rearticulation of the concept of experience and his account of the experience of undecidability as an ordeal. This is important because sensitivity to Derrida's emphasis on the ordeal of undecidability and his rearticulation of the concept of experience-a rearticulation that is already under way in his early engagement with Husserl and continued in (...) later work-necessitates a rethinking of what the `experience of undecidability' entails. Rather than signaling a withdrawal from politics or a normatively impotent ethics of `mere openness to the other,' Derrida's account of the experience of undecidability not only points to a fundamental aspect of our basic ethical experience but also leads to a number of ethico-political demands, which I summarize as the demand to maintain an ethos of interruption. (shrink)
Derrida is typically taken to be the thinker most antithetical to Hegel, and deconstruction to be the philosophical antithesis to Hegel’s systematic rationality.While I do not dispute the accuracy of this perception, I argue in this paper that it does not offer an adequate or a complete picture. Specifically, much aboutDerrida and about deconstruction is more similar to Hegel than is typically realized. I argue that Derrida’s deconstruction shares a great affinity to the method ofHegel’s Phenomenology of (...) Spirit, so much so that we could identify and articulate a latent Hegelianism in Derrida’s approach. I begin with a description of Derrida’s own project, then offer something of an apologia for his work. Finally, I describe Hegel’s method of exposition [Darstellung] and compare it to deconstruction, pointing out the fundamental similarities between the two thinkers. (shrink)
The last few years have seen the emergence of a more political, ‘post-Derridean’ generation, critical of the impotent messianism of the politics of deconstruction. As Žižek would have it: ‘Derrida's notion of ‘deconstruction as ethics’ seems to rely on a utopian hope which sustains the spectre of ‘infinite justice’, forever postponed, always to come’ (Žižek 2008: 225). The promise of redemption, it follows, would reside in an insubstantial promissory value, in the writing of irredeemable cheques that, if cashed (...) in, could only ever lead to default. With its ethos of play and over-investment in an empty promise, deconstruction starts to look symptomatic of the now-bankrupt age of excess. Does the current financial crisis not entail a crisis of Derrida? This reading contrives to elide what is genuinely political in Derrida, and thereby fails to recognise the deconstruction of economic theodicy implicit in his work. Jean-Luc Nancy has argued that the concept of sacrifice is irreducibly linked to the short-circuiting of the political. We see in Derrida, however, that sacrifice is at the heart of politics, a response to undecidability that is precisely opposed to the fantasy of economics without sacrifice. Furthermore, sacrificial politics is the condition of possibility of the promise, which is constructed and contingent, rather than a priori. If there is a problem with this, it is that Derrida does not sufficiently entertain the prospect of the promise becoming so distant as to be effectively meaningless. Drawing on Bernard Stiegler, this article argues for an expansion of Derrida's account, to show not only that politics is sacrifice, but moreover that the promise of redemption cannot live on in the absence of sacrifice. (shrink)
Jacques Derrida est l’un des philosophes qui a continué à remettre en cause sérieusement les rapports théoriques et pratiques entre la philosophie et l’éducation, tout en restant hors des institutions universitaires traditionnelles en France. Dans les années 1970, il organise le GREPH (Groupe de recherches surl’enseignement philosophique) avec des enseignants et des étudiants contre la réduction de l’enseignment philosophique au lycée par le gouvernement français, et pour faire les recherches théoriques sur le lien essentiel de la philosophie à l’enseignement en (...) général. Puis, en 1983, Derrida a déployé tous ses efforts pour créer le Collège internatinal de Philosophie, institution tendant à ouvrir la nouvelle possibilité de la philosophie. Enfin, dans ses dernières années, ilintérroge l’avenir de l’université ou des Humanités à cette époque de mondialisation dans les textes comme L’Université sans condition, etc. Pour Derrida qui n’a cessé de donner ses séminaires depuis 1964, la question de l’éducation est important pour l’élaboration de sa propre philosophie. Selon lui, « je n’imagine pas de philosophie ni de recherche dissociée de son enseignement. J’ai essayé d’introduire dans cet enseignemtn de nouvelles pédagogie, de nouvelles mises en scènes, de changer la politique de l’enseignement et son rapport à la société » (Sur parole : instantanés philosophiques, Aube, 1999, p. 36). L’enseignement n’est pas un thème secondaire, mais plutôt un des questions centrales pour ses recherches philosophiques. Dans cette communication, nous allons mettre en lumière la théorie et la pratique de Derrida sur la philosphie et l’éducation, comme l’exemple le plus effectif et concret de sa conception de déconstruction. (shrink)
This book examines a series of common metaphors in the works of Derrida and the Sufism of Muhyddin Ibn 'Arabi, considered to be of the most influential figures in Islamic thought. The author addresses the significant absence of attention on the relationship between Islam and Derrida and also provides a deconstructive perspective on Ibn 'Arabi.
Over the last two decades, debates over the viability of commonsense psychology have been center stage in both cognitive science and the philosophy of mind. Eliminativists have argued that advances in cognitive science and neuroscience will ultimately justify a rejection of our "folk" theory of the mind, and of its ontology. In the first half of this book Stich, who was at one time a leading advocate of eliminativism, maintains that even if the sciences develop in the ways that eliminativists (...) foresee, none of the arguments for ontological elimination are tenable. Rather than being resolved by science, he contends, these ontological disputes will be settled by a pragmatic process in which social and political considerations have a major role to play. In later chapters, Stich argues that the widespread worry about "naturalizing" psychological properties is deeply confused, since there is no plausible account of what naturalizing requires on which the failure of the naturalization project would lead to eliminativism. He also offers a detailed analysis of the many different notions of folk psychology to be found in philosophy and psychology, and argues that simulation theory, which purports to be an alternative to folk psychology, is not supported by recent experimental findings. (shrink)
In this essay I set out to place Derrida's work – especially his earlier (pre-1980) books and essays – in the context of related or contrasting developments in analytic philosophy of science over the past half-century. Along the way I challenge the various misconceptions that have grown up around that work, not only amongst its routine detractors in the analytic camp but also amongst some of its less philosophically informed disciples. In particular I focus on the interlinked issues of realism (...) versus anti-realism and the scope and limits of classical (bivalent) logic, both of which receive a detailed, rigorous and sustained treatment in his deconstructive readings of Husserl, Austin and others. Contrary to Derrida's reputation as a exponent of anti-realism in its far-gone ‘textualist’ form and as one who merely plays perverse though ingenious games with logic I show that those readings presuppose both a basically realist conception of their subject-matter and a strong commitment to the protocols of bivalent logic. These he applies with the utmost care and precision right up to the point – unreachable except by way of that procedure – where they encounter certain problems or anomalies that cannot be resolved except by switching to a different (non-bivalent, deviant, paraconsistent, ‘supplementary’, or ‘parergonal’) logic. Philosophy of science in the analytic mainstream might benefit greatly from a closer acquaintance with Derrida's thinking on these topics, as it might from a knowledge of his likewise rigorous thinking-through of the antinomy between structure and genesis as it bears upon issues in the history of scientific thought. (shrink)
I distinguish the ethics of transhumanism from a related metaphysical position which I refer to as “speculative posthumanism.” Speculative posthumanism holds that posthumans might be radically non-human and thus unintelligible in human terms. I claim that this transcendence can be viewed as analogous to that of the thing-in-itself in Kantian and post-Kantian European philosophy. This schema implies an impasse for transhumanism because, while the radically non-human or posthuman would elude evaluation according to transhumanist principles such as personal autonomy or liberal (...) freedom, it is morally unacceptable for transhumanists to discount the possible outcomes of their favoured policies. I then consider whether the insights of critical posthumanists, who employ a cyborg perspective on human-technology couplings, can dissolve this impasse by “deconstructing” the opposition between the human and its prospective posthuman successors. By exhibiting its logical basis in the postructuralist philosophies of Derrida and Deleuze, I show that the cyborg perspective is consistent with both cyborg humanism and a modified speculative posthumanism. This modified account treats the alterity of the posthuman as a historically emergent feature of human and posthuman multiplicities that must be understood through their technical or imaginative synthesis, not in relation to a transcendental conception of the human. (shrink)
In his later philosophy, Wittgenstein unlike Russell offers no theories, because he believes that philosophical theories are never explanatory. They try to imitate scientific theories, but they lack the empirical basis that gives science its explanatory power. Two examples of his deconstructive work are discussed. One is his critique of the theory that the direct objects of perception are always sense-data, describable in a radically private language. Austin too criticized the theory of sense-data, but Wittgenstein's critique, unlike Austin's, included an (...) attempt to show what had made it so attractive to its supporters: it presented a picture of the human predicament that appealed to their imaginations. The second example is his critique of the theory of the pure ego, which tended to collapse into solipsism. This critique was developed in his first book, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus , and his later deconstructive work was modelled on it. (shrink)