This misspelling highlights the fact that its written form is not heard, and serves to further subvert the traditional privileging of speech over writing see archi-writing and logocentrismas well as the distinction between the sensible and the intelligible. The first relating to deferral is the notion that words and signs can never fully summon forth what they mean, but can only be defined through appeal to additional words, from which they differ. Thus, meaning is forever "deferred" or postponed through an endless chain of signifiers. The second relating to differencesometimes referred to as espacement or "spacing" concerns the force that differentiates elements from one another, and in so doing engenders binary oppositions and hierarchies that underpin meaning itself.
He was also born into an environment of some discrimination. In fact, he either withdrew from, or was forced out of at least two schools during his childhood simply on account of being Jewish.
While Derrida would resist any reductive understanding of his work based upon his biographical life, it could be argued that these kind of experiences played a large role in his insistence upon the importance of the marginal, and the other, in his later thought.
Derrida was twice refused a position in the prestigious Ecole Normale Superieure where Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir and the majority of French intellectuals and academics began their careersbut he was eventually accepted to the institution at the age of He hence moved from Algiers to France, and soon after he also began to play a major role in the leftist journal Tel Quel.
Other important inspirations on his early thought include NietzscheHeideggerSaussure, Levinas and Freud. It was in that Derrida really arrived as a philosopher of world importance.
All of these works have been influential for different reasons, but it is Of Grammatology that remains his most famous work it is analysed in some detail in this article.
In Of Grammatology, Derrida reveals and then undermines the speech-writing opposition that he argues has been such an influential factor in Western thought. His preoccupation with language in this text is typical of much of his early work, and since the publication of these and other major texts including Dissemination, Glas, The Postcard, Spectres of Marx, The Gift of Death, and Politics of Friendshipdeconstruction has gradually moved from occupying a major role in continental Europe, to also becoming a significant player in the Anglo-American philosophical context.
He has also had lecturing positions at various universities, the world over. Derrida died in Deconstruction has frequently been the subject of some controversy. However, what is clear from the antipathy of such thinkers is that deconstruction challenges traditional philosophy in several important ways, and the remainder of this article will highlight why this is so.
Deconstructive Strategy Derrida, like many other contemporary European theorists, is preoccupied with undermining the oppositional tendencies that have befallen much of the Western philosophical tradition.
In fact, dualisms are the staple diet of deconstruction, for without these hierarchies and orders of subordination it would be left with nowhere to intervene. Deconstruction is parasitic in that rather than espousing yet another grand narrative, or theory about the nature of the world in which we partake, it restricts itself to distorting already existing narratives, and to revealing the dualistic hierarchies they conceal.
Deconstruction is, somewhat infamously, the philosophy that says nothing. Deconstruction, and particularly early deconstruction, functions by engaging in sustained analyses of particular texts. It is committed to the rigorous analysis of the literal meaning of a text, and yet also to finding within that meaning, perhaps in the neglected corners of the text including the footnotesinternal problems that actually point towards alternative meanings.
Deconstruction must hence establish a methodology that pays close attention to these apparently contradictory imperatives sameness and difference and a reading of any Derridean text can only reaffirm this dual aspect.
Derrida speaks of the first aspect of this deconstructive strategy as being akin to a fidelity and a "desire to be faithful to the themes and audacities of a thinking" WD In suggesting that a faithful interpretation of him is one that goes beyond him, Derrida installs invention as a vitally important aspect of any deconstructive reading.
He is prone to making enigmatic suggestions like "go there where you cannot go, to the impossible, it is indeed the only way of coming or going" ON 75and ultimately, the merit of a deconstructive reading consists in this creative contact with another text that cannot be characterised as either mere fidelity or as an absolute transgression, but rather which oscillates between these dual demands.
These are, of course, themes reflected upon at length by Derrida, and they have an immediate consequence on the meta-theoretical level. This is why he argues that his work occupies a place in the margins of philosophy, rather than simply being philosophy per se. The process of writing always reveals that which has been suppressed, covers over that which has been disclosed, and more generally breaches the very oppositions that are thought to sustain it.
This also ensures that any attempt to describe what deconstruction is, must be careful. That said, certain defining features of deconstruction can be noticed.
While some philosophers argue that he is a little reductive when he talks about the Western philosophical tradition, it is his understanding of this tradition that informs and provides the tools for a deconstructive response. Because of this, it is worth briefly considering the target of Derridean deconstruction - the metaphysics of presence, or somewhat synonymously, logocentrism.
These terms all have slightly different meanings. Logocentrism emphasises the privileged role that logos, or speech, has been accorded in the Western tradition see Section 3. Phallogocentrism points towards the patriarchal significance of this privileging.
Heidegger insists that Western philosophy has consistently privileged that which is, or that which appears, and has forgotten to pay any attention to the condition for that appearance.
In other words, presence itself is privileged, rather than that which allows presence to be possible at all - and also impossible, for Derrida see Section 4for more on the metaphysics of presence.
What, then, does Derrida mean by metaphysics? All metaphysicians, from Plato to Rousseau, Descartes to Husserl, have proceeded in this way, conceiving good to be before evil, the positive before the negative, the pure before the impure, the simple before the complex, the essential before the accidental, the imitated before the imitation, etc.
And this is not just one metaphysical gesture among others, it is the metaphysical exigency, that which has been the most constant, most profound and most potent" LI According to Derrida then, metaphysics involves installing hierarchies and orders of subordination in the various dualisms that it encounters M Moreover, metaphysical thought prioritises presence and purity at the expense of the contingent and the complicated, which are considered to be merely aberrations that are not important for philosophical analysis.Writing and Difference.
Jacques Derrida Writing and Difference Translated, with an introduction and additional notes, by Alan Bass London and New York.
First published by Éditions du Seuil This translation ﬁrst published in Great Britain by Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd. Derrida thus explicitly refers the term différance to life, and in particular to life as the history of inscription and retention, whether this is genetic or technological (from writing to "electronic card indexes").
And thus grammatology is not a science of man because it deconstructs any anthropocentrism, in the sense that the inscription in question falls on both sides of the divide human/non-human.
Deconstruction and Différance: The arche-writing that Derrida is talking about is in fact a broader notion of DERRIDA, Jacques, Writing and Difference.
Scribd is the world's largest social reading and publishing site. "Cogito and the History of Madness." In Derrida, Writing and Difference. Trans. Alan Bass. Contingency.
(): "Metaphor and Metaphysics: The End of Philosophy and Derrida. Contemporary Literature 20 ()." In Postmodern Apocalype." Boundary 2 4. "Philosophy as a Kind . Writing and Difference (French: L'écriture et la différence) is a book by French philosopher Jacques Derrida, collecting some of the early lectures and essays that established his international urbanagricultureinitiative.comher: Éditions du Seuil.