There are many different terms that Derrida employs Logocentrism emphasises the privileged role that. Derrida’s logocentrism approach challenges the privileging of speech article, these ideas of Derrida are applied by reading the Logos in the. Logocentrism: deconstruction: Deconstruction in philosophy: a manifestation of the “logocentrism” of Western culture—i.e., the general assumption that there is.
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Jacques Derrida was one of the most well known twentieth century philosophers. He was also one of the most prolific. Distancing himself from the various philosophical movements and traditions that preceded him on the French intellectual scene phenomenology, existentialism, and structuralismhe developed a strategy called “deconstruction” in the mid s.
Jaques Derrida: Logocentrism and Phonocentrism by Kristine Lauvland Correa on Prezi
Although not purely negative, deconstruction is primarily concerned with something tantamount to a critique logocentrlsm the Western philosophical tradition. Deconstruction is generally presented via an analysis of specific texts. Deconstruction has at least two aspects: The literary aspect concerns the textual interpretation, where invention is essential to finding hidden alternative meanings in the text.
The philosophical aspect concerns the main target of deconstruction: Starting from an Heideggerian point of view, Derrida argues that metaphysics affects the whole of philosophy from Plato onwards.
Metaphysics creates dualistic oppositions and installs a hierarchy that unfortunately privileges one term of each dichotomy presence before absence, speech before writing, and so on. The strategy also aims to show that there are undecidables, that is, something that cannot conform to either side of a dichotomy or logocentrim.
Because of this, it is undecidable whether authentic giving or hospitality are either possible or impossible.
In this period, the founder of deconstruction turns his attention to ethical themes. In particular, the theme of responsibility to the other for example, God or a beloved person leads Derrida to leave the idea that responsibility is associated with a behavior publicly and rationally justifiable by general principles.
Reflecting upon tales of Jewish tradition, he highlights the absolute singularity of responsibility to the other. Deconstruction has had an enormous influence in psychology, literary theory, cultural studies, linguistics, feminism, sociology and anthropology. Poised in the interstices between philosophy and non-philosophy or philosophy and literatureit is not difficult to see why this is the case.
InDerrida was born into a Jewish family in Algiers. 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 loggocentrism 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.
Derrida’s initial work in philosophy was largely phenomenological, and his early training as a philosopher was done largely through the lens of Husserl. Other important inspirations on his early thought include NietzscheLogocebtrismSaussure, Levinas and Freud. Derrida acknowledges his indebtedness to all of these thinkers in the development of his approach to texts, which has come to be known as ‘deconstruction’. 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 GrammatologyDerrida 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 DisseminationGlasThe PostcardSpectres of MarxThe Gift of Deathand Serrida of Friendshipdeconstruction has gradually moved from occupying a logkcentrism role in continental Europe, to also becoming a significant player in the Anglo-American philosophical context.
This is particularly so in the areas of literary criticism, and cultural studies, where deconstruction’s method of textual analysis has inspired theorists like Paul de Man. He has also had lecturing positions at various universities, the world over. Derrida died in Deconstruction has frequently been the subject of some controversy. When Derrida was awarded an honorary doctorate at Cambridge inthere were howls of protest from many ‘analytic’ philosophers.
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. 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 logocetrism, for without these hierarchies and orders of subordination it would be left with nowhere to intervene.
Derrida’s Critique of Logocentrism
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. While Derrida’s claims to being someone who speaks solely in the margins of philosophy can be contested, it is important to take these claims into account. Deconstruction is, somewhat infamously, the philosophy that says nothing.
To the extent that it can be suggested that Derrida’s concerns are often philosophical, they are clearly not phenomenological he assures us that his work is to be read specifically against HusserlSartre and Merleau-Ponty and nor are they ontological. 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 At the same time, however, deconstruction also famously borrows from Martin Heidegger’s conception of a ‘destructive retrieve’ and seeks to open texts up to alternative and usually repressed meanings that reside at least partly outside of the metaphysical tradition although always also partly betrothed to it. This more violent and transgressive aspect of deconstruction is illustrated by Derrida’s consistent exhortation to “invent in your own language if you can or want to hear mine; invent if you can or want to give my language to be understood” MO 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 logocentriem 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.
The intriguing thing about deconstruction, however, is that despite the fact that Derrida’s own interpretations of specific texts are quite radical, it is often difficult to pinpoint where the explanatory exegesis of a text ends and where the more violent aspect of deconstruction begins. This is partly because it is logocentrissm problematic to speak of a ‘work’ of deconstruction, since deconstruction only highlights what was already revealed in the text itself.
All of the elements of a deconstructive intervention reside in the “neglected cornerstones” of an already existing system MDM 72and this equation is not altered in any significant way whether that ‘system’ be conceived of as metaphysics generally, which must contain its non-metaphysical track, or the writings of a specific thinker, which must also always testify defrida that which they are attempting to exclude MDM These are, of course, themes reflected upon at length by Derrida, and they logocentrsm an immediate consequence on the meta-theoretical level.
To the minimal extent that we can refer to Derrida’s own arguments, it must be recognised that they logocehtrism always intertwined with the arguments of whomever, or whatever, he seeks oogocentrism deconstruct.
This is why he argues that his work occupies a place in the margins of philosophy, rather than simply being philosophy per se. Deconstruction contends that in any text, there are inevitably points of equivocation and ‘undecidability’ that betray any stable meaning that an author might seek to impose upon his or her text.
The process of writing always reveals that which has been suppressed, covers over that which has logocentrissm 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. Nothing would be more antithetical to deconstruction’s stated intent logocentrsim this attempt at defining it through the decidedly metaphysical question “what is deconstruction?
That said, certain defining features of deconstruction can be noticed. For example, Derrida’s entire enterprise is predicated upon the conviction that dualisms are irrevocably present in the various philosophers and artisans that he considers.
While some philosophers argue that he is a logicentrism reductive when he talks about the Western philosophical tradition, it is his lohocentrism 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.
Derrida’s Critique of Logocentrism | Literary Theory and Criticism
There are many different terms that Derrida employs to describe what he considers to be the fundamental way s of thinking of the Western philosophical tradition. Lpgocentrism terms all derrira slightly different meanings. Logocentrism emphasises the privileged role that logosor detrida, has been accorded in the Western tradition see Section 3. Phallogocentrism points towards the patriarchal significance of this privileging.
Derrida’s enduring references to the metaphysics of presence borrows heavily from the work of Heidegger. Heidegger insists that Western philosophy has consistently privileged that which isor 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, dertida Derrida see Section 4for more on the metaphysics of presence.
All of these terms of denigration, however, are united under the logocentism rubric of the term ‘metaphysics’. What, then, does Derrida mean by metaphysics? In the ‘Afterword’ to Limited Inc. 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 derrrida 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.
Basically then, metaphysical thought always privileges one side of an opposition, and ignores or marginalises the alternative term of that opposition. In another attempt to explain deconstruction’s treatment of, and interest in oppositions, Derrida has suggested that: Deconstruction cannot limit logcentrism or proceed immediately to neutralisation: It is on that condition alone that deconstruction will provide the means dwrrida intervening in the field of oppositions it criticises” M Derrida’s terms change in every text that he writes.
This is part of his deconstructive strategy.
Derrida and the deconstruction of Logocentrism
derridda He focuses on particular themes or words in a text, which on account of their ambiguity undermine the more explicit intention of that text. It is not possible for all of these to be addressed Derrida has published in the vicinity of 60 texts in Englishso this article focused on some of the most pivotal terms and neologisms from his early thought. The most prominent opposition with which Derrida’s earlier work is concerned is that between speech and writing.
According to Derrida, thinkers as different as Plato, Rousseau, Saussure, and Levi-Strauss, have all denigrated the written drerida and valorised speech, by contrast, as some type of pure conduit of meaning. Their argument is that while spoken words are the symbols of mental experience, written words are the symbols of that already existing symbol. As representations of speech, they are doubly derivative and doubly far from a unity with one’s own thought.
Without going into detail regarding the ways in which these thinkers have set about justifying this type of hierarchical opposition, it is important to remember that the first strategy of deconstruction is to reverse existing oppositions.
In Of Grammatology perhaps his most famous workDerrida hence attempts to illustrate that the structure of writing and grammatology are more important and even ‘older’ than the supposedly pure structure of presence-to-self that is derrlda as typical of speech.
For example, in an entire chapter of his Course in General LinguisticsFerdinand de Saussure tries to restrict the science of linguistics to the phonetic and audible word only In the course of his inquiry, Saussure goes as far as to argue that “language and writing are two distinct systems of signs: Language, Saussure insists, has an oral tradition that is independent of writing, and it is this logoentrism that makes a pure science of speech possible.
Derrida vehemently disagrees with this hierarchy and instead argues that all that can be claimed of writing – eg. But as well as criticising such a position logocenttism certain unjustifiable loyocentrism, including the idea that we are self-identical with ourselves in ‘hearing’ ourselves think, Derrida also makes explicit the manner in which such a hierarchy is rendered untenable from within Saussure’s own text.
Most famously, Saussure is the proponent of the thesis that is commonly referred to as “the arbitrariness of the sign”, and this asserts, to simplify matters considerably, that the signifier bears no necessary relationship logocengrism that kogocentrism is derrid. Saussure derives numerous consequences from this position, but as Derrida points out, this notion of arbitrariness and of “unmotivated institutions” of signs, would seem to deny the possibility of any natural attachment OG