Deconstructionism (or sometimes just Deconstruction) is a 20th Century school in philosophy initiated by Jacques Derrida in the 1960s. Deconstruction theory questions the fundamental conceptual distinctions, or “oppositions,” in Western philosophy through a close examination of the language and logic of philosophical and literary texts. In the 1970s the term was applied to work by Derrida, Paul de Man, J. Hillis Miller, and Barbara Johnson, among other scholars. As Derrida argues, however, spoken words function as linguistic signs only to the extent that they can be repeated in different contexts, in the absence of the speaker who originally utters them. The problem with Nietzsche, as Derrida sees it, is that he did not go far enough. The idea or phonic substance that a sign contains is of less importance than the other signs that surround it. He simply declares that there is nothing outside of texts..." Searle's reference here is not to anything forwarded in the debate, but to a mistranslation of the phrase "il n'y a pas dehors du texte," ("There is no outside-text") which appears in Derrida's Of Grammatology.:158–159. ISBN 978-0-8014-1322-3. [Deconstruction] signifies a project of critical thought whose task is to locate and 'take apart' those concepts which serve as the axioms or rules for a period of thought, those concepts which command the unfolding of an entire epoch of metaphysics. :3 This does not mean that deconstruction has absolutely nothing in common with an analysis, a critique, or a method, because while Derrida distances deconstruction from these terms, he reaffirms "the necessity of returning to them, at least under erasure". Arguing that law and politics cannot be separated, the founders of the "Critical Legal Studies Movement" found it necessary to criticize the absence of the recognition of this inseparability at the level of theory. ", An approach to understanding the relationship between text and meaning, Derrida, "Structure, Sign, and Play" (1966), as printed/translated by Macksey & Donato (1970), Gregor Campbell. Deconstruction, form of philosophical and literary analysis, derived mainly from work begun in the 1960s by the French philosopher Jacques Derrida, that questions the fundamental conceptual distinctions, or “oppositions,” in Western philosophy through a close examination of the language and logic of philosophical and literary texts. 56, No. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Derrida has raised one term called deconstruction. The paper argues and concludes that most classical and ancient works of literature like, Hamlet, Othello, The Merchant of Sometimes under its own steam, but also in part owing to Derrida’s shifting interests, deconstruction became, and in part remains, a working approach in fields such as architecture, religious studies, law, feminist and political theory, as well as others. An assertion that texts outlive their authors, and become part of a set of cultural habits equal to, if not surpassing, the importance of authorial intent. That he missed the fact that this will to power is itself but a manifestation of the operation of writing. Derrida states that his use of the word deconstruction first took place in a context in which "structuralism was dominant" and deconstruction's meaning is within this context. An example of structure would be a binary opposition such as good and evil where the meaning of each element is established, at least partly, through its relationship to the other element. Theory Benefit: Deconstruction creates individual questioning of the traditional assumptions and prejudices, especially in how the lesser binary has shaped society. One indication of this fact, according to Derrida, is that descriptions of speech in Western philosophy often rely on examples and metaphors related to writing. 1998. Deconstruction is an apparent revolution against all the literary theories before itself which vouch for a unity in the literary texts. Barbara Johnson: The Wake of Deconstruction. Understanding language, according to Derrida, requires an understanding of both viewpoints of linguistic analysis. A thinker with a method has already decided how to proceed, is unable to give him or herself up to the matter of thought in hand, is a functionary of the criteria which structure his or her conceptual gestures. Saussure is considered one of the fathers of structuralism when he explained that terms get their meaning in reciprocal determination with other terms inside language: In language there are only differences. :3 This is because the possibility of analysis is predicated on the possibility of breaking up the text being analysed into elemental component parts. “Structure, Sign and Play in the Discourse of Human Sciences.” Modern Criticism and Theory: A Reader. The relevance of the tradition of negative theology to Derrida's preference for negative descriptions of deconstruction is the notion that a positive description of deconstruction would over-determine the idea of deconstruction and would close off the openness that Derrida wishes to preserve for deconstruction. Twitter Facebook. Because the meaning of a word is always a function of contrasts with the meanings of other words, and because the meanings of those words are in turn dependent on contrasts with the meanings of still other words (and so on), it follows that the meaning of a word is not something that is fully present to us; it is endlessly deferred in an infinitely long chain of meanings, each of which contains the “traces” of the meanings on which it depends. :7, 12 As Richard Rorty contends, "words have meaning only because of contrast-effects with other words...no word can acquire meaning in the way in which philosophers from Aristotle to Bertrand Russell have hoped it might—by being the unmediated expression of something non-linguistic (e.g., an emotion, a sensed observation, a physical object, an idea, a Platonic Form)". To effectively use deconstruction theory and apply it to language or the human sciences, one would have to create a new language. However, ‘deconstruction’ became popular in literary criticism largely due to the literary theorists and scholars associated with the Yale School like Paul de Man, Geoffrey Hartman, J. Hillis Miller, and Harold Bloom.  As a consequence, meaning is never present, but rather is deferred to other signs. The criticism of his former beliefs both mistaken andvalid aims towards uncovering a “firm and permanentfoundation.” The image of a foundati… :2 The structural problematic for Derrida is the tension between genesis, that which is "in the essential mode of creation or movement", and structure: "systems, or complexes, or static configurations". The debate began in 1972, when, in his paper "Signature Event Context", Derrida analyzed J. L. Austin's theory of the illocutionary act. 4, November 2012 PR PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by … The Deconstruction of Phallogocentrism from Duel to Duo, Ellen Lupton on deconstruction in Graphic Design, Deconstruction of fashion; La moda en la posmodernidad, Derrida: Deconstrucción, différance y diseminación; una historia de parásitos, huellas y espectros, The Problem of Genesis in Husserl's Philosophy, Introduction to Husserl's The Origin of Geometry, Of an Apocalyptic Tone Recently Adopted in Philosophy, Ethics, Institutions, and the Right to Philosophy, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Deconstruction&oldid=994081198, Short description is different from Wikidata, Wikipedia articles needing clarification from October 2020, Wikipedia articles that are too technical from October 2020, Articles needing expert attention from October 2020, Articles with unsourced statements from December 2013, Wikipedia articles needing page number citations from September 2017, Articles with unsourced statements from April 2015, Articles with unsourced statements from February 2020, Wikipedia articles needing page number citations from November 2013, Articles with unsourced statements from April 2007, Articles with unsourced statements from September 2012, All articles with specifically marked weasel-worded phrases, Articles with specifically marked weasel-worded phrases from October 2020, Wikipedia articles needing page number citations from May 2013, Wikipedia external links cleanup from September 2016, Wikipedia spam cleanup from September 2016, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, A desire to contribute to the re-evaluation of all Western values, a re-evaluation built on the 18th-century. Derrida’s critique of the speech/writing opposition developed out of his reading of Ferdinand de Saussure’s Course in General Linguistics, a foundational text for modern linguistics, semiotics, and anthropology. :29–67, To Derrida, the central bias of logocentrism was the now being placed as more important than the future or past. The point of the deconstructive analysis is to restructure, or “displace,” the opposition, not simply to reverse it. :29 Searle was particularly hostile to Derrida's deconstructionist framework and much later refused to let his response to Derrida be printed along with Derrida's papers in the 1988 collection Limited Inc. Searle did not consider Derrida's approach to be legitimate philosophy, or even intelligible writing, and argued that he did not want to legitimize the deconstructionist point of view by paying any attention to it. Many debates in continental philosophy surrounding ontology, epistemology, ethics, aesthetics, hermeneutics, and philosophy of language refer to Derrida's observations. Derrida's theories on deconstruction were themselves influenced by the work of linguists such as Ferdinand de Saussure (whose writings on semiotics also became a cornerstone of structuralist theory in the mid-20th century) and literary theorists such as Roland Barthes (whose works were an investigation of the logical ends of structuralist thought). Deconstructionism (or sometimes just Deconstruction) is a 20th Century school in philosophy initiated by Jacques Derrida in the 1960s. Derrida contends that the opposition between speech and writing is a manifestation of the “logocentrism” of Western culture—i.e., the general assumption that there is a realm of “truth” existing prior to and independent of its representation by linguistic signs. Deconstruction is a constant reminder of the etymological link between ‘crisis’ and ‘criticism’. Learn more. He also surveys the latest research into the relationship between the past, history, and historical practice, as well as articulating his own theoretical challenges.. , There is one statement by Derrida—in an essay on Rousseau in Of Grammatology—which has been of great interest to his opponents. Define deconstruction. It is a theory of literary criticism that questions traditional assumptions about certainty, identity, and truth; asserts that words can only refer to other words; and attempts to demonstrate how statements about any text subvert their own meanings. Derrida warns against considering deconstruction as a mechanical operation, when he states that "It is true that in certain circles (university or cultural, especially in the United States) the technical and methodological "metaphor" that seems necessarily attached to the very word 'deconstruction' has been able to seduce or lead astray". However, we should understand how the mechanism it affects our design and its final product, which includes the semantic, physical … It is an approach that may be deployed in philosophy, in literary analysis, and even in the analysis of scientific writings. :26, Further, Derrida contends that "in a classical philosophical opposition we are not dealing with the peaceful coexistence of a vis-a-vis, but rather with a violent hierarchy. For Rousseau, then, nature is prior to culture. PDF “The nature vs. nurture debate on whether biology or environment causes human beings to choose certain roles and lifestyles is a perennial controversy in sociobiology, but since the seventies the debate has been extended to whether nurture, i.e. The workshop will introduce participants to relevant theories and expose them to radical design practices shaping … Following a brief biographical résumé, the chapter provides an overview of some of the central ideas running through Derrida’s philosophy of Derrida refers to this—in his view, mistaken—belief there is a self-sufficient, non-deferred meaning as metaphysics of presence. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your subscription. Derrida's views on deconstruction stood in opposition to the theories of structuralists such as psychoanalytic theorist Jacques Lacan, and anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss.  Some critics[who? Encyclopedia of contemporary literary theory: approaches, scholars, terms. However, Derrida resisted attempts to label his work as "post-structuralist". Derrida's deconstruction strategy is also used by postmodernists to locate meaning in a text rather than discover meaning due to the position that it has multiple readings. Deconstruction - Deconstruction - Deconstruction in literary studies: Deconstruction’s reception was coloured by its intellectual predecessors, most notably structuralism and New Criticism. Derrida begins to define deconstruction. His way of achieving this was by conducting thorough, careful, sensitive, and yet transformational readings of philosophical and literary texts, with an ear to what in those texts runs counter to their apparent systematicity (structural unity) or intended sense (authorial genesis). Structuralism • Structuralism argues that • “there must be a structure in every text, which explains why it is easier for experienced readers than for non-experienced readers to interpret a text. In effect, these texts describe speech as a form of writing, even in cases where writing is explicitly claimed to be secondary to speech. The project of deconstruction, then, is not to destroy but to unpick or dismantle such illusory systems, often by showing how their major categories are unstable or contaminated by their supposed opposites. The theory and criticism of recent years is discussed focusing on deconstruction as the principal source of energy and innovation. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. ] have considered the exchange to be a series of elaborate misunderstandings rather than a debate, while others[who? Deconstruction, Secularism, and Islam By Andresen, Joshua Philosophy Today, Vol. This being merely one historical event amongst many, Nietzsche proposes that we revisualize the history of the West as the history of a series of political moves, that is, a manifestation of the will to power, that at bottom have no greater or lesser claim to truth in any noumenal (absolute) sense. He further argues that the future of deconstruction faces a perhaps undecidable choice between a theological approach and a technological approach, represented first of all by the work of Bernard Stiegler. Jacques Derrida: opening lines. pp. Omissions?  Deconstruction instead places the emphasis on appearance, or suggests, at least, that essence is to be found in appearance. Derrida describes the task of deconstruction as the identification of metaphysics of presence, or logocentrism in western philosophy. As we said at the beginning, “deconstruction” is themost famous of Derrida’s terms. , Between the late 1960s and the early 1980s, many thinkers were influenced by deconstruction, including Paul de Man, Geoffrey Hartman, and J. Hillis Miller. A re-valuation of certain classic western dialectics: poetry vs. philosophy, reason vs. revelation, structure vs. creativity, David B. Allison, an early translator of Derrida, states in the introduction to his translation of, Breckman, Warren, "Times of Theory: On Writing the History of French Theory,", This page was last edited on 14 December 2020, at 00:51. Derrida argued that the focus on intentionality in speech-act theory was misguided because intentionality is restricted to that which is already established as a possible intention. 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