Jacques Derrida

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Derrida, Jacques

(zhäk` dĕr'rēdä`), 1930–2004, French philosopher, b. El Biar, Algeria. A graduate of the École Normale Supérieure in Paris, he taught there and at the Sorbonne, the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris, and a number of American universities. In his famously dense and complex writings he refuted the theory of structuralismstructuralism,
theory that uses culturally interconnected signs to reconstruct systems of relationships rather than studying isolated, material things in themselves. This method found wide use from the early 20th cent.
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 and attempted to take apart, or "deconstruct," the edifice of Western metaphysics and reveal what he deemed its incompatible foundations. In Of Grammatology (1967, tr. 1976), for example, Derrida contended that Western metaphysics (e.g., the work of SaussureSaussure, Ferdinand de
, 1857–1913, Swiss linguist. One of the founders of modern linguistics, he established the structural study of language, emphasizing the arbitrary relationship of the linguistic sign to that which it signifies.
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, whose theories he rejected) had judged writing to be inferior to speech, not comprehending that the features of writing that supposedly render it inferior to speech are actually essential features of both. He argued that language only refers to other language, thereby negating the idea of a single, valid "meaning" of a text as intended by the author. Rather, the author's intentions are subverted by the free play of language, giving rise to many meanings the author never intended.

Derrida had a major influence on literary critics, particularly in American universities and especially on those of the "Yale school," including Paul de Man, Geoffrey Hartman, and J. Hillis Miller. These deconstructionists, along with Derrida, dominated the field of literary criticism in the 1970s and early 1980s. Influential in other fields as well, the philosophy and methodology of deconstructiondeconstruction,
in linguistics, philosophy, and literary theory, the exposure and undermining of the metaphysical assumptions involved in systematic attempts to ground knowledge, especially in academic disciplines such as structuralism and semiotics.
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 was subsequently expanded to apply to a variety of arts and social sciences including such disciplines as linguistics, anthropology, and political science. Derrida's writings include Writing and Difference (1967, tr. 1978), Margins of Philosophy (1972, tr. 1982), Limited Inc. (1977), The Post Card (1980, tr. 1987), Aporias (tr. 1993), and The Gift of Death (tr. 1995).


See biography by B. Peeters (2012); study by C. Norris (1987); A. Z. Kofman, dir., Derrida (documentary, 2002).

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References in periodicals archive ?
Jacques Derrida (1992), Acts of Literature, Attridge, D.
Deve-se tomar de forma cuidadosa a leitura de Jacques Derrida, a fim de que nao se cometa equivocos e esclareca como se trata a desconstrucao em uma perspectiva nao apenas gramatical, pretendendo a desconstrucao para alem da escritura enquanto texto.
(9) Jacques Derrida, "To Forgive: The Unforgivable and the Imprescriptible," in Questioning God, ed.
Jacques Derrida. Paris: Editions du Seuil, 1991: 38).
Jacques Derrida died in October 2004 having taught in Paris for more than forty years, acted repeatedly as visiting professor at a substantial number of distinguished U.S.
Seldom has any name in the history of intellectual endeavour polarised and provoked to the degree that Jacques Derrida has.
The book is a tribute to the friendship and professional relationship that Sallis enjoyed with Jacques Derrida over many years.
Jacques Derrida died, following a long struggle with cancer, on October 9, 2004.
Returning to the question 'How does one avoid the monu-memorialisation of Jacques Derrida?' Gaston continues: 'How does one write a narrative or a story even (un recit), of the work of Jacques Derrida after 8-9 October 2004?' (74), which remarks on the literary structure (in the widest sense) of all text(s) (fiction and non-fiction) and the spectral effects of writing in general ('As if I could avoid getting too close to spectres' [75]).
A raiz de los sucesos del 11 de septiembre del 2001, Borradori entrevista de manera separada a dos de los filosofos mas importantes de nuestra epoca: Jurgen Habennas y Jacques Derrida (quien murio en octubre 8 de 2004), cuyas respuestas demuestran que ambos tenian pensamientos similares con respecto a lo acontecido en Nueva York aquel 11 de septiembre, y sus consecuencias.
In 1990 French philosopher Jacques Derrida wrote to Eisenman to follow up some points from an earlier discussion, and Eisenman wrote him a short reply.
Hillis Miller opens Literature as Conduct with a dedication to Jacques Derrida, "a gesture not only toward the relation of this book to Derrida's books and seminars, but also toward the memory of my almost forty years of unclouded friendship" with him (11).