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In Jacques Derrida: Opening Lines, Marian Hobson gives us a thorough and elegant analysis of this controversial and seminal contemporary thinker. Looking closely at the language and the construction of some of Derrida's philosophy, Hobson suggests the way he writes, indeed the fact he writes in another language, affects how he can be understood by English speakers. This In Jacques Derrida: Opening Lines, Marian Hobson gives us a thorough and elegant analysis of this controversial and seminal contemporary thinker.

This superb study on the question of language will make illuminating reading for anyone studying or engaged with Derrida's philosophy. Get A Copy. Hardcover , pages.

More Details Original Title. Derrida's work so significant is the way he brought insights of major philosophers, writers, artists and theologians to bear on problems of urgent contemporary interest. Most of his infamously demanding texts consist of careful interpretations of canonical writers in the Western philosophical, literary and artistic traditions -- from Plato to Joyce. By reading familiar works against the grain, he disclosed concealed meanings that created new possibilities for imaginative expression.

Derrida's name is most closely associated with the often cited but rarely understood term "deconstruction.

Jacques Derrida - Wikipedia

The guiding insight of deconstruction is that every structure -- be it literary, psychological, social, economic, political or religious -- that organizes our experience is constituted and maintained through acts of exclusion. In the process of creating something, something else inevitably gets left out. These exclusive structures can become repressive -- and that repression comes with consequences.

In a manner reminiscent of Freud, Mr. Derrida insists that what is repressed does not disappear but always returns to unsettle every construction, no matter how secure it seems. As an Algerian Jew writing in France during the postwar years in the wake of totalitarianism on the right fascism as well as the left Stalinism , Mr.

Derrida understood all too well the danger of beliefs and ideologies that divide the world into diametrical opposites: right or left, red or blue, good or evil, for us or against us.

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He showed how these repressive structures, which grew directly out of the Western intellectual and cultural tradition, threatened to return with devastating consequences. By struggling to find ways to overcome patterns that exclude the differences that make life worth living, he developed a vision that is consistently ethical.

And yet, supporters on the left and critics on the right have misunderstood this vision. Many of Mr. Derrida's most influential followers appropriated his analyses of marginal writers, works and cultures as well as his emphasis on the importance of preserving differences and respecting others to forge an identity politics that divides the world between the very oppositions that it was Mr.

Derrida's mission to undo: black and white, men and women, gay and straight. Betraying Mr. Derrida's insights by creating a culture of political correctness, his self-styled supporters fueled the culture wars that have been raging for more than two decades and continue to frame political debate. To his critics, Mr. Derrida appeared to be a pernicious nihilist who threatened the very foundation of Western society and culture.

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By insisting that truth and absolute value cannot be known with certainty, his detractors argue, he undercut the very possibility of moral judgment. To follow Mr. It asserts that words can only refer to other words , and attempts to demonstrate how statements about any text subvert their own meanings. Derrida's particular methods of textual criticism involved discovering, recognizing and understanding the underlying assumptions unspoken and implicit , ideas and frameworks that form the basis for thought and belief. Derrida himself denied that it was a method or school or doctrine of philosophy or indeed anything outside of reading the text itself.


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  6. In the mids, Derrida began teaching on the relationship between philosophy and Nationalism , and published "Of Spirit: Heidegger and the Question" on Heidegger 's Nationalism in His work took an even more "political turn" around , heralded by the publication of "Spectres of Marx" professing his faith in a deconstructed Marxism , and arguably an "ethical turn" with works such as "The Gift of Death" of Derrida's work was always highly cerebral and "difficult". Proponents of Analytic philosophy , such as W.

    Chapter 5.4: Jacques Derrida, no one ever gets to clarity

    Quine , J. Austin - and John Searle - , repeatedly accused Derrida of pseudophilosophy and sophistry , and even his French contemporary Michel Foucault accused him of "obscurantisme terroriste" "terrorist obscurantism". No less an intellectual and linguist than Noam Chomsky - admitted to not understanding Derrida's work, and denounced his "pretentious rhetoric" and "intentional obfuscation".

    Other accusations are of an extreme Skepticism and Solipsism , verging on Nihilism , that effectively denies the possibility of knowledge and meaning.

    Jacques Derrida: Opening Lines (Critics of the Twentieth Century)

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