Read e-book online Deconstruction: A Critique PDF

By Rajnath (eds.)

ISBN-10: 1349103357

ISBN-13: 9781349103355

ISBN-10: 1349103373

ISBN-13: 9781349103379

This selection of essays examines a variety of issues in terms of deconstruction, which emerged in France as a response to structuralism yet has came upon its maximum reaction in the USA, the place literary critics have outfitted on its easy assumptions to create a brand new serious movement.

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In doing so he fmds himself involved in 'manifest absurdities' and 'manifold contradictions', including the absurdity that his sceptical argument has no recourse except to use reason itself in order 'to prove the fallaciousness and imbecility of reason'. Hence 'the understanding . . entirely subverts itself, and leaves not the lowest degree of evidence in anl proposition, either in [sceptical] philosophy or common life'. 1 As the only reasonable way to cope with the diverse illogicalities of his philosophical and his social life, Hume recommends that we replace 'the force of reason and conviction' by an attitude of insouciance- 'a serious good-humor'd disposition', and a 'careless' (that is, carefree) conduct of philosophy, and a diffidence about the conclusions reached by that philosophy.

In consequence, one of his characteristic procedures, often misunderstood, is to overcome Western 'phonocentrism' (the reliance on the speaking voice as the linguistic mode) by positing an admittedly non-existing 'arche-ecriture', 'writing-in-general'. By asserting the 'priority' of writing (in the sense of writing-in-general) both to speech and to writing (in the ordinary sense of putting words on paper), Derrida is not claiming that the invention of writing preceded speech in history; he is deploying a device designed to get us to substitute for the philosophical idiom of speaking the alternative idiom of writing, in which we are less prone to the illusion, as he conceives it, that a speaker in the presence of a listener knows what he means independently of the words in which he expresses it, or that he establishes the meaning of what he says to the listener by comm~cating his unmediated intention in uttering it.

In addition, as Derrida says, his own deconstructive 'production is necessarily a text'. 20 Hence in his writing about writing, Derrida has no option except to 'communicate' his views in language intended to be understood determinately by his readers, knowing that, to the extent that his own text is understood, it becomes a victim of the dissemination it asserts. The 'work of deconstruction', then - since it is forced to use linguistic tools which are themselves deconstructed by the work they perform, in a play of illogicalities which cannot be named except by the logic it undermines- cannot escape the 'closure' of logocentrism; it can only provide the 'crevice through which the yet unnamable glimmer beyond the crevice can be glimpsed'.

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Deconstruction: A Critique by Rajnath (eds.)


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