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).

References in periodicals archive ?
9) Jacques Derrida, "To Forgive: The Unforgivable and the Imprescriptible," in Questioning God, ed.
76) As Jacques Derrida, himself an incessant traveller, equips one with a theory of the trace and of the ghost, of differance and of the double bind, of the dissolution of the transcendental, he makes it possible for the comparativist-at-law to attend to urgent instances of concrete comparation away from the (conservative) politics of sameness and towards an otherness which, while occult and inexhaustible, motivates, calls, and indeed summons him.
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?
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.
Literature as Conduct is a contribution to Miller's work that explores the relation of literary language to life in, for example, The Ethics of Reading (1987), Speech Acts in Literature (2001), and articles adapted for these and other books, such as his "Derrida and Literature" in Jacques Derrida and the Humanities (2001).
In their introduction to the published version of the public seminars and discussions that Jacques Derrida presented at the Sydney Town Hall on his visit to Australia in August 1999, Patton and Smith emphasized that Derrida's statements during his antipodean sojourn "falsify the widespread misrepresentation of his philosophy as a form of textual idealism according to which the text is all there is" (Patton and Smith 2001, p.
El pensamiento de Jacques Derrida, sigue vigente, es el punto central para las diversas manifestaciones del arte y la ciencia.
But "experience," as Jacques Derrida pointed out, "lives and proclaims itself as the exclusion of writing, that is to say of the invoking of an 'exterior,' 'sensible,' 'spatial' signifier interrupting self-presence.
We had to wonder when one of their new titles, Portrait of Jacques Derrida as a Young Jewish Saint, crossed our desk.
The editors extracted the passage from my dialogue with Jacques Derrida on the meaning of global terrorism and 9/11, and selectively eliminated 335 words.
Retornos', arrepentimiento y reconciliacion", de Jacques Derrida, "'Los avisadores del fuego': Franz Rosenzweig, Walter Benjamin y Franz Kafka", de Reyes Mate y Juan Mayorga; "Despues de Auschwitz: La persistencia de la barbarie", de Ricardo Forster; "Totalitarismo y filosofia", de Agustin Serrano de Haro; "Del silencio en Auschwitz a los silencios de la filosofia.
THOSE WHO MANAGED to avoid the Deconstructionist theorizing of French philosopher Jacques Derrida in college can now take an 85-minute brush-up course with the documentary ``Derrida.