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Derrida, Jacques (1930–2004)


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DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405168908.2010.x


French philosopher. Educated at the Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris, Derrida is best known in the anglophone world for forging the critical practice of D econstruction . His earliest philosophical influences came from the tradition of P henomenology as represented by H egel, Husserl , and H eidegger , with a book-length introduction to Husserl's Origin of Geometry (1962) marking Derrida's first published work. Derrida's broad defense of Husserlian phenomenology in his earliest writing placed him outside the dominant theoretical S tructuralism which hegemonized French intellectual C ulture during the 1960s. However, the first glimmerings of Derrida's deconstructive method and structuralist sympathies, later to accord him widespread acclaim, are evident in his reading of Husserl's philosophical idealism. Derrida's critique of Husserl demonstrates how any notion of an immanent consciousness, able to glean an objective knowledge of ideal objects, breaks down at those points in Husserl's argument where language and W riting are recognized as unavoidable means of communication and knowledge. The ideal of a pure and immanent perception becomes problematized when the tools of such a consciousness must come from a social, historical, and conventional language produced independently of both the object and the S ubject . The intervention of the structural sign as a necessary medium of ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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