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Summary

Jacques Derrida (1930-2004) was born in Algeria, and held positions at the École Normale Supériere (1964-1983) and the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (1983-2004) in France, and, among other visiting appointments, at Yale University (1975-1986) and the University of California at Irvine (1986-2004) in the United States. Derrida published on an enormous range of thinkers and topics across his career. After an initial focus on Husserl's phenomenology, in the 1960s he engaged work in the human sciences, avant-garde literature, and the history of philosophy to challenge fundamental philosophical conceptions of time, presence, language, identity, and difference. In the 1970s he deepened his engagement with psychoanalysis, literature, and aesthetics, and from the mid-1980s on focused more explicitly on ethical, political, and religious issues. There is an large quantity of Anglophone scholarship on Derrida's work, covering almost all aspects of his work, and from disciplinary perspectives that include but extend far beyond philosophy as it is institutionally defined.

Key works

Derrida's most influential work was published early in his career: Of Grammatology, Voice and Phenomenon, and Writing and Difference, all appearing in 1967, and 1972's Margins of Philosophy  and Dissemination. After this time Derrida continued to publish at a steady rate on an ever-expanding number of thinkers and themes, making it hard to single out texts as particularly prominent. But the most widely read of his later works include "Force of Law", The Gift of Death, and Specters of Marx.

Introductions Gasché's The Tain of the Mirror and Bennington's "Derridabase" provide comprehensive introductions to Derrida's work prior to 1990, and have been very influential in the secondary literature. For an accessible introduction to Derrida's later engagements with ethical, social and political issues, see his book length conversation with Elizabeth Roudinesco, For What Tomorrow.
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  1. Democracy, Community and the Supplemental Plus Un: Derrida’s Reading of Blanchot’s The Unavowable Community.Cillian Ó Fathaigh - forthcoming - Sage Journals.
    Philosophy & Social Criticism, Ahead of Print. This article argues that Jacques Derrida’s Politics of Friendship presents an implicit but significant critique of Maurice Blanchot’s The Unavowable Community. In Blanchot’s text, the Other disrupts any sense of fusional or essentialist community. But Derrida criticises Blanchot for neglecting the need to negotiate my responsibility to infinite others. Derrida proposes a logic of the plus un, playing on this double meaning in French, where a need to count singularities disrupts the unity of (...)
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  2. Democracy, Community and the Supplemental Plus Un: Derrida’s Reading of Blanchot’s The Unavowable Community.Cillian Ó Fathaigh - forthcoming - Sage Publications Ltd: Philosophy and Social Criticism.
    Philosophy & Social Criticism, Ahead of Print. This article argues that Jacques Derrida’s Politics of Friendship presents an implicit but significant critique of Maurice Blanchot’s The Unavowable Community. In Blanchot’s text, the Other disrupts any sense of fusional or essentialist community. But Derrida criticises Blanchot for neglecting the need to negotiate my responsibility to infinite others. Derrida proposes a logic of the plus un, playing on this double meaning in French, where a need to count singularities disrupts the unity of (...)
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  3. Democracy, Community and the Supplemental Plus Un: Derrida’s Reading of Blanchot’s The Unavowable Community.Cillian Ó Fathaigh - forthcoming - Philosophy and Social Criticism:019145372211149.
    This article argues that Jacques Derrida’s Politics of Friendship presents an implicit but significant critique of Maurice Blanchot’s The Unavowable Community. In Blanchot’s text, the Other disrupts any sense of fusional or essentialist community. But Derrida criticises Blanchot for neglecting the need to negotiate my responsibility to infinite others. Derrida proposes a logic of the plus un, playing on this double meaning in French, where a need to count singularities disrupts the unity of community. For Derrida, this offers a greater (...)
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  4. Heidegger's Concept of Experience: Derrida's Interpretation of Hegel in Heidegger: The Question of Being and History.Simon Gissinger - 2022 - Hegel Bulletin 43 (2):194-219.
    In 1971, answering a question concerning one of the main motifs of his works, Derrida declared that ‘if there were a definition of différance, it would be precisely the limit, the interruption, the destruction of the Hegelian “relève” [i.e. Aufhebung] wherever it operates’. It is apparent that such an approach to Hegel is indebted to Heidegger's program of a ‘destruction’ of the history of ontology. But what does Derrida's reading of Hegel owe to Heidegger exactly? In this paper, I investigate (...)
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  5. Derrida’s Jewish Question.Rajesh Sampath - 2022 - Journal of World Philosophies 7 (1):1-12.
    This paper will pose the question of the future minoritization of the white, gentile, Christian European and EuroAmerican identity, which has dominated world history from colonization through the post-Cold War historical present. The question is not how this is coming to an end in the near future as empirical fact and in what manner, but an attempt to imagine another future, another identity than what has been proscribed in the past. In order to move into this alterity, we will engage (...)
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  6. Jacques Derrida: Heidegger: The Question of Being and History (Trans. Geoffrey Bennington). [REVIEW]George Webster - 2016 - Phenomenological Reviews 2:81.
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  7. Between Blindness and Touching. Jacques Derrida and Jean-Luc Nancy on the Self-Portrait.Julia Meer - 2021 - Labyrinth: An International Journal for Philosophy, Value Theory and Sociocultural Hermeneutics 22 (2):60.
    The paper analyzes Jacques Derrida’s and Jean-Luc Nancy’s concept of the self-portrait. It is argued that Nancy builds on Derrida’s approach but introduces two decisive modifications. Firstly, he develops the emergence of the painter on the canvas as constitution of the self – an aspect Derrida does not consider. Secondly, Nancy understands portraying – and thus images – on the basis of touching. In contrast, Derrida conceives portraying as coming from the invisible and two forms of blindness. In doing so, (...)
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  8. Phänomenologie Als Antwort Und Verantwortung. Von Husserl Bis Derrida.Yvanka B. Raynova - 2016 - Labyrinth: An International Journal for Philosophy, Value Theory and Sociocultural Hermeneutics 18 (1):5.
    Responsibility was always a key theme of Husserl and post-husserlian Phenomenology. This theme is related to Husserl's effort to give an answer, i.e. to offer a solution to the crisis of philosophy and the sciences. The article reconstructs the genesis and the successive development of the concept of responsibility in Husserl's work and its reinterpretation in the post-husserlian phenomenologies, especially those of Martin Heidegger, Jean-Paul Sartre, Hannah Arendt, Jan Patočka, Hans Jonas, Emmanuel Levinas, and Jacques Derrida.
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  9. An Ethics of Needs: Deconstructing Neoliberal Biopolitics and Care Ethics with Derrida and Spivak.Tiina Vaittinen - 2022 - Philosophies 7 (4):73.
    The body in need of care is the subaltern of the neoliberal epistemic order: it is that which cannot be heard, and that which is muted, partially so even in care ethics. In order to read the writing by which the needy body writes the world, a new ethics must be articulated. Building on Jacques Derrida’s philosophy of deconstruction, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak’s notions of subalternity and epistemic violence, critical disability scholarship, and corporeal care theories, in this article I develop an (...)
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  10. Deconstruction and Nothingness: Deliberation, Daoism, and Derrida on Decision.Paul Patton - 2022 - Kritike 16 (1):1-21.
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  11. Francesco Vitale, Biodeconstruction: Jacques Derrida and the Life Sciences.Eszter Timár - 2022 - Oxford Literary Review 44 (1):143-150.
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  12. From Darwin to Derrida: Selfish Genes, Social Selves, and the Meanings of Life,: By David Haig, Cambridge, MA, MIT Press, 2020, 464 Pp., $39.95T/£32.00.Stanley Shostak - 2021 - The European Legacy 27 (5):523-526.
    David Haig’s From Darwin to Derrida scrutinizes a wide range of historical and contemporary issues embedded in the theory and practice of genetics—from genes to multilevel selection, from prokaryot...
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  13. Rhetorik Als Literaturtheoretische Praxis (Zu Derrida, de Man Und Barthes)Rhetoric as Practice of Literary Theory.Carsten Zelle - 2022 - Deutsche Vierteljahrsschrift für Literaturwissenschaft Und Geistesgeschichte 96 (2):209-233.
    ZusammenfassungDer Aufsatz überprüft die These, daß die Moderne kein Zeitalter der Rhetorik, sondern ein Zeitalter der Rhetorizität sei, an drei einschlägigen Texten von Jacques Derrida, Paul de Man und Roland Barthes. Dabei erweist sich die genannte These als einseitig, da sie zwar auf die restringierten elocutio-Rhetoriken Derridas und de Mans zutreffen mag, nicht jedoch auf Barthes. Seine Rückkehr in die Rhetorik zielt auf die Rekonstruktion eines umfassenden Rederegimes, die zu einer seinerzeit noch ausstehenden Diskurslinguistik, die Benvenistes späte Schriften nahegelegt hatten, (...)
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  14. Ricœur et Derrida à Montréal.Philippe Plante-Gonthier - 2022 - Ithaque 30:1-23.
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  15. Seeing Animals After Derrida.James Tink and Sarah Bezan (ed.) - 2018
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  16. The Wolves of the World: Derrida on the Political Symbolism of the Beast and the Sovereign.Gavin Rae - 2018 - In James Tink and Sarah Bezan (ed.), Seeing Animals after Derrida. Lanham: pp. 3-19.
  17. Immunity and Community in Esposito, Derrida and Agamben.Mar Rosàs Tosas - forthcoming - Revista de Filosofía:1-20.
    Roberto Esposito examines how immunological apparatuses originally designed to protect communities end up undermining communities. This paper explores comparatively his view on the interplay between community and immunity with Giorgio Agamben’s and Jacques Derrida’s, although in their works these notions appear under other labels. Beyond pointing out their similarities, the paper concludes by analyzing what, in our view, constitute the raison d’être of their ultimate and irreconcilable differences: Agamben’s approach is antinomic, while Derrida’s is aporetic and Esposito’s is rather dialectical.
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  18. On the Genesis of Monkey Trouble: The Scandal of Posthumanism.Christopher Peterson - 2022 - Derrida Today 15 (1):85-87.
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  19. Erin Graff Zivin, Anarchaeologies: Reading as Misreading.Steven Marsh - 2022 - Derrida Today 15 (1):115-118.
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  20. The Detour of Metaphor: Metaphor, Concept, and Strategy in Althusser and Derrida.Vicente Montenegro Bralic - 2022 - Derrida Today 15 (1):48-66.
    Following some of the main arguments Derrida develops in ‘White Mythology’, in this article I propose an unexplored dialogue between Derrida and Althusser considering the use and the place that each of them gives to metaphor in their philosophical strategies. I give special attention to some rather isolated passages of ‘Elements of Self-Criticism’ and ‘Lenin and Philosophy’, where Althusser, against all evidence, seems to be quite aware of the importance of metaphor and mataphorization in every philosophical practice. As Balibar has (...)
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  21. Coviderrida: The Pandemic in Deconstructive Philosophy.Areej Al-Khafaji - 2022 - Derrida Today 15 (1):67-84.
    Because the pandemic has kept the world busy in the last two years, a revival of Derrida's writings on biology is an urgent prerequisite today. The tsunamic invasion of the Coronavirus or Covid-19 pandemic took more than two million lives and thousands are still being tested positive as I write. The speed of the virus and the seeming human inability to stop its spread necessitates a study on the relationship between Covid-19 and Derrida's deconstructive philosophy. Hence the portmanteau Coviderrida – (...)
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  22. Samuel Weber, Singularity: Politics and Poetics.Kir Kuiken - 2022 - Derrida Today 15 (1):118-125.
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  23. ‘Who’ is Turning?Vicki Kirby - 2022 - Derrida Today 15 (1):98-105.
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  24. ‘Rideaux Rouges’: The Scene of Ideology and the Closure of Representation.Thomas Clément Mercier - 2022 - Derrida Today 15 (1):5-30.
    As they make their way through Louis Althusser’s and Jacques Derrida’s texts, readers will cross innumerable curtains – ‘the words and things’, as Derrida says, as many fabrics of traces. These curtains open onto a multiplicity of scenes and mises en scène, performances, roles, rituals, actors, plays – thus unfolding the space of a certain theatricality. This essay traces Althusser’s and Derrida’s respective deployments of the theatrical motif. In his theoretical writings, Althusser’s theatrical dispositive aims to designate the practical and (...)
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  25. Posthumanisms.Christopher Peterson - 2022 - Derrida Today 15 (1):105-114.
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  26. Althusser and Derrida at the Limits of Transcendental Philosophy.David Maruzzella - 2022 - Derrida Today 15 (1):31-47.
    In this paper I address Jacques Derrida's consistent phenomenological critique of his colleague Louis Althusser. Over the course of many decades, Derrida explicitly draws attention to what he takes to be Althusser's problematic pre-critical scientism, which is the direct result of the latter's failure to engage with Husserl and Heidegger. However, as I attempt to show, Althusser sought to reveal deeper problems associated with transcendental-critical questions in post-Kantian philosophy. For Althusser, questions concerning the ‘conditions of possibility’ of knowledge and experience (...)
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  27. Earthbound in the Anthropocene.Chris Danta - 2022 - Derrida Today 15 (1):87-92.
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  28. General Editor's Note.Nicole Anderson - 2022 - Derrida Today 15 (1):v-v.
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  29. The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Speculativism.Chris Fleming - 2022 - Derrida Today 15 (1):92-98.
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  30. Introduction.Francesco Vitale - 2022 - Derrida Today 15 (1):1-4.
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  31. Welcome Friends: Reading Derrida’s Politics of Friendship.Luke Collison, Cillian Ó Fathaigh & Georgios Tsagdis - 2021 - In Derrida's Politics of Friendship: Amity and Enmity. Edinburgh University Press. pp. 1-30.
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  32. 13 The Apparition of Feminine Alterity in Derrida’s Politics of Friendship.David Ventura - 2021 - In Luke Collison (ed.), Derrida's Politics of Friendship: Amity and Enmity. Edinburgh University Press. pp. 173-186.
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  33. 3 Is There a Politics to Friendship? Derrida’s Critique of the Couple in Montaigne, Kant and Levinas.Cillian Ó Fathaigh - 2021 - In Luke Collison (ed.), Derrida's Politics of Friendship: Amity and Enmity. Edinburgh University Press. pp. 58-67.
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  34. 17 Derrida, Democracy and the State of Education: Learning, by Design, Perchance.Allan Parsons - 2021 - In Luke Collison (ed.), Derrida's Politics of Friendship: Amity and Enmity. Edinburgh University Press. pp. 223-233.
    When Derrida admits the example of the Clipper chip into the book version of Politics of Friendship, he intends only to recall that a reflection on the politics of friendship should be indistinguishable from a meditation on the meaning, history and techniques of the secret. However, in doing so, he also admits a discussion of how ‘tele-technologies’ disturb the conditions of the Kantian 'secret', as that which one thinks must remain secret because an engagement has been entered upon and a (...)
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  35. 23 Modal Aporias: Derrida on the Reale Möglichkeit of Friends and Enemies in Schmitt.Luke Collison - 2021 - In Derrida's Politics of Friendship: Amity and Enmity. Edinburgh University Press. pp. 293-304.
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  36. 22 The Phantasmatic Fiction: Derrida on the Ground of Politics.Gavin Rae - 2021 - In Luke Collison (ed.), Derrida's Politics of Friendship: Amity and Enmity. Edinburgh University Press. pp. 281-292.
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  37. 9 Friendship and Fission: Personal Identity in Derrida and Parfit.Kit Barton - 2021 - In Luke Collison (ed.), Derrida's Politics of Friendship: Amity and Enmity. Edinburgh University Press. pp. 127-136.
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  38. 2 Derrida, Montaigne and the Time of Friendship.Jennifer Rushworth - 2021 - In Luke Collison (ed.), Derrida's Politics of Friendship: Amity and Enmity. Edinburgh University Press. pp. 47-57.
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  39. 21 Interruption and Responsibility: Derrida’s Passive Decision.Mauro Senatore - 2021 - In Luke Collison (ed.), Derrida's Politics of Friendship: Amity and Enmity. Edinburgh University Press. pp. 270-280.
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  40. 4 Beyond Presence: Derrida’s Fidelity to Husserl in Politics of Friendship.Giovanni Menegalle - 2021 - In Luke Collison (ed.), Derrida's Politics of Friendship: Amity and Enmity. Edinburgh University Press. pp. 68-78.
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  41. Derrida's Wheel – The Circularity of Political (R)Evolutions.Elia R. G. Pusterla & Francesca Pusterla - forthcoming - Philosophy and Social Criticism.
    This article investigates the relationship between political revolutions and the evolution of politics. It discusses the circularity within the concept of revolution through Jacques Derrida’s theor...
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  42. The Aporetic Humanism of Early Derrida.Michael Williams - forthcoming - Philosophy and Social Criticism.
    This article focuses on the French philosopher Jacques Derrida’s thought in the 1960s. Though the discourse of the ‘death of man’ was regnant among French avant-garde intellectuals, this article ar...
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  43. Foucault/Derrida Fifty Years Later: The Futures of Genealogy, Deconstruction, and Politics.Samir Haddad, Penelope Deutscher & Olivia Custer (eds.) - 2016 - Columbia University Press.
    Table of Contents -- Acknowledgments -- Abbreviations -- Introduction, by Olivia Custer, Penelope Deutscher, and Samir Haddad -- Part I: Openings -- 1. The Foucault-Derrida Debate on the Argument Concerning Madness and Dreams, by Pierre Macherey -- 2. Looking Back at History of Madness, by Lynne Huffer -- 3. Violence and Hyperbole: From "Cogito and the History of Madness" to The Death Penalty, by Michael Naas -- Part II: Surviving the Philosophical Problem: History Crosses Transcendental Analysis.
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  44. “Power and the ‘Drive for Mastery’: Derrida’s Freud and the Debate with Foucault.”.Robert Trumbull - 2016 - In Samir Haddad, Penelope Deutscher & Olivia Custer (eds.), Foucault/Derrida Fifty Years Later: The Futures of Genealogy, Deconstruction, and Politics. New York: Columbia University Press. pp. 151-165.
  45. Sismografias: A, de Derrida.Hugo Monteiro - 2022 - Trans/Form/Ação 45 (2):147-168.
    Resumo: Este texto parte da letra A, da sua importância e da sua centralidade na Desconstrução de Derrida. Em função dessa letra iniciática, indício da “ironia muda” da différance como sincategorema do pensamento de Derrida, tentar-se-á acompanhar o modo como se apresenta à Filosofia Contemporânea como uma espécie de sismo, de abalo e de nova propulsão. Sismografias tenta então reconhecer, na postura e no desenvolvimento dessa letra “A”, a forma como o trabalho de Derrida abala pela base o território dos (...)
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  46. Derrida's Wheel – The Circularity of Political (R)Evolutions.Elia R. G. Pusterla & Francesca Pusterla - forthcoming - Sage Publications Ltd: Philosophy and Social Criticism.
    Philosophy & Social Criticism, Ahead of Print. This article investigates the relationship between political revolutions and the evolution of politics. It discusses the circularity within the concept of revolution through Jacques Derrida’s theory of sovereignty as particularly per Rogues – Two Essays on Reason and The Beast and the Sovereign. Derrida’s notions of wheel and ipseity display ontological prerogatives and evolutionary limits of political revolutions possibly coinciding with reversals hard to turn into linear evolutions, excluding rather than reaffirming circularity. Political (...)
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  47. The Aporetic Humanism of Early Derrida.Michael Williams - forthcoming - Sage Publications Ltd: Philosophy and Social Criticism.
    Philosophy & Social Criticism, Ahead of Print. This article focuses on the French philosopher Jacques Derrida’s thought in the 1960s. Though the discourse of the ‘death of man’ was regnant among French avant-garde intellectuals, this article argues that Derrida himself has to be described as a humanist at this stage in his career, even if a reluctant one. The case is made through close textual analysis of three of Derrida’s early and seminal works: ‘Cogito and the History of Madness’, ‘Violence (...)
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  48. A Strange Proximity: On the Notion of Walten in Derrida and Heidegger.Daniela Vallega-Neu - 2022 - Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy 26 (2):369-387.
    This article juxtaposes Derrida’s last seminar, The Beast and the Sovereign with Heidegger’s The Event in order to question Derrida’s reading of the notion of Walten in Heidegger’s texts in relation to the themes of sov­ereignty and death. It draws out different senses of Walten depending on whether Heidegger thinks Greek φύσις or the other beginning and it points out the importance of constancy for the notion of Walten. In each case Walten shatters in relation to death or to the (...)
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  49. Calibrating Western Philosophy for India: Rousseau, Derrida, Deleuze, Guattari, Bergson and Vaddera Chandidas.A. Raghuramaraju - 2019 - Routledge India.
    This book proposes a new way of reading modern Western philosophers in the Indian context. It questions the colonial methodology, or the practice of importing theories of Western philosophy, and shows how its unmediated applications are often incongruent, irrelevant, and unproductive in local frameworks. The author shows an alternative route to approaching philosophers from the West - Rousseau, Derrida, Deleuze, Guattari, and Bergson - by bending and reassembling aspects of their ideas and theories to relate with the diversity and complexity (...)
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  50. Democracy and Justice: Reading Derrida in Istanbul.Agnes Czajka - 2016 - Routledge.
    Philosophy and politics and theory and practice are neither separate nor separable for Derrida. The relationship between democracy and justice seems of unquestionable importance, with democracy and justice held in tension by deconstruction. This book explores the possibilities offered by Derrida's work on democracy, in particular his reflections on the autoimmunity and aporetic structure of democracy for interpreting contemporary struggles over democracy in Turkey. If recent political upheavals in Turkey were as much about democracy as they were about justice, then (...)
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