Heidegger's Concept of Experience: Derrida's Interpretation of Hegel in Heidegger: The Question of Being and History

Hegel Bulletin 43 (2):194-219 (2022)
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Abstract

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’ (Destruktion) of the history of ontology. But what does Derrida's reading of Hegel owe to Heidegger exactly? In this paper, I investigate this question and the genesis of Derrida's reading of Hegel more generally by looking into the interpretation which can be found in the 1964–65 lectures about Heidegger: The Question of Being and History. In the process of interpreting Heidegger, Derrida produces extensive comments about Hegel which document the early elaboration of his perception of the author of the Phenomenology of Spirit. Here, I focus on Hegel's conception of experience, which Derrida compares to Heidegger's understanding of the historicity of Dasein. As will become clear, however, this question involves the way Derrida presents the relationship between the two thinkers throughout these lectures. Specifically, I show that Derrida significantly bases his account of Heidegger's ‘destruction’ of Hegel's philosophy on the former's interpretation of the latter's concept of experience. By examining such an interpretation, I intend to challenge the way Derrida portrays Hegel and I argue as a result that it is questionable whether Heidegger's departure from Hegel can be taken to be as ‘radical’ as Derrida makes it seem.

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References found in this work

Of Grammatology.Jacques Derrida - 1982 - Philosophy and Rhetoric 15 (1):66-70.
Discourse on Thinking.Martin Heidegger, John M. Anderson & E. Hans Freund - 1966 - Philosophy and Rhetoric 1 (1):53-59.
Hegel's Phenomenological Method.Kenley R. Dove - 1970 - Review of Metaphysics 23 (4):615 - 641.
The Privilege of the Present: Time and the Trace from Heidegger to Derrida.Christophe Bouton - 2020 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 28 (3):370-389.

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