Deconstruction


Deconstruction is an approach to understanding the relationship between text and meaning. It was originated by the philosopher Jacques Derrida (1930–2004), who defined the term variously throughout his career. In its simplest form it can be regarded as a criticism of Platonism and the idea of true forms, or essences, which take precedence over appearances. Deconstruction instead places the emphasis on appearance, or suggests, at least, that essence is to be found in appearance. Derrida would say that the difference is ‘undecidable’, in that it cannot be discerned in everyday experiences. Deconstruction argues that language, especially in ideal concepts such as truth and justice, is irreducibly complex, unstable, or impossible to determine. Many debates in continental philosophy surrounding ontology, epistemology, ethics, aesthetics, hermeneutics, and philosophy of language refer to Derrida’s beliefs. Since the 1980s, these beliefs have inspired a range of theoretical enterprises in the humanities, including the disciplines of law, anthropology, historiography, linguistics, sociolinguistics, psychoanalysis, LGBT studies, and feminism. Deconstruction also inspired deconstructivism in architecture and remains important within art, music, and literary criticism. … 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 structuralism in the mid-20th century) and literary theorists such as Roland Barthes (whose works were an investigation of the logical ends of structuralist thought). Derrida’s views on deconstruction stood in opposition to the theories of structuralists such as psychoanalytic theorist Jacques Lacan, and anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss. However, Derrida resisted attempts to label his work as ‘post-structuralist‘. … Différance is the observation that the meanings of words come from their synchrony with other words within the language and their diachrony between contemporary and historical definitions of a word. … The mistranslation is often used to suggest Derrida believes that nothing exists but words. Michel Foucault, for instance, famously misattributed to Derrida the very different phrase ‘Il n’y a rien en dehors du texte’ for this purpose. …”
Wikipedia
W – Différance
Jacques Derrida: Deconstruction
Open Culture: An Animated Introduction to French Philosopher Jacques Derrida (Video)
YouTube: Understanding Derrida, Deconstruction & Of Grammatology

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