Deconstruction in a Nutshell: A Conversation with Jacques Derrida (Perspectives in Continental Philosophy)

Deconstruction in a Nutshell: A Conversation with Jacques Derrida (Perspectives in Continental Philosophy)

John D. Caputo

Language: English

Pages: 215

ISBN: 0823217558

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Responding to questions put to him at a Roundtable held at Villanova University in 1994, Jacques Derrida leads the reader through an illuminating discussion of the central themes of deconstruction. Speaking in English and extemporaneously, Derrida takes up with unusual clarity and great eloquence such topics as the task of philosophy, the Greeks, justice, responsibility, the gift, the community, the distinction between the messianic and the concrete messianisms, and his interpretation of James Joyce. Derrida convincingly refutes the charges of relativism and nihilism that are often leveled at deconstruction by its critics and sets forth the profoundly affirmative and ethico-political thrust of his work. The Roundtableis marked by the unusual clarity of Derrida's presentation and by the deep respect for the great works of the philosophical and literary tradition with which he characterizes his philosophical work. The Roundtable is annotated by John D. Caputo, the David R. Cook Professor of Philosophy at Villanova University, who has supplied cross references to Derrida's writings where the reader may find further discussion on these topics. Professor Caputo has also supplied a commentary which elaborates the principal issues raised in the Roundtable. In all, this volume represents one of the most lucid, compact and reliable introductions to Derrida and deconstruction available in any language. An ideal volume for students approaching Derrida for the first time, Deconstruction in a Nutshell will prove instructive and illuminating as well for those already familiar with Derrida's work.

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than ever. For today the mother is also a legal fiction from that point of view. Motherhood is something which is interpreted, the theme -26- of a reconstruction from experience. What one calls today surrogate mothers, for instance, and all the enormous problems that you are familiar with, attest to the fact that we do not know who the mother is. Who is the mother in the case of surrogate mothers? And when we realize that motherhood is not simply a matter of perception, we realize that it has

There is no pure non-violence, but only degrees and economies of violence, some of which are more fruitful than others. (That is a Derridean way of saying that nobody ever said life is easy.) NUTSHELLS, SIX OF THEM I have tried in the present commentary to present Derrida as straightforwardly as the twists and turns of deconstruction permit. In another work, The Prayers and Tears of Jacques Derrida: Religion Without Religion, to which I commend the reader as a follow-up to the present

pensée déconstructice, DDP28) which, taken in its broadest sense, means the unfettered freedom to think, the right to ask any question. As he says in a 1989 interview: The only attitude (the only politics--judicial, medical, pedagogical and so forth) I would absolutely condemn is one which, directly or indirectly, cuts off the possibility of an essentially interminable questioning, that is, an effective and thus transforming questioning [ PdS, 252/ Points239]. ____________________ 7 See European

atemporality. Because it belongs neither to the intelligible nor to the sensible world, Plato says it is "hardly real." Moreover, while it cannot be perceived by the senses but only by the mind, still it is not an intelligible object of the mind, like the forms. Hence, Plato says it is not a legitimate son of reason but is apprehended by a spurious or corrupted logos, a hybrid or bastard reasoning. Khôra is neither intelligible being nor sensible becoming, but a little like both, the subject

to a formal indication is that it does not subsume or enclose particulars within or under it, does not precontain them, but simply points an indicative finger at "singularities" that are beyond its ken, kind, genus, and generic appetite. The facticity or singularity, on the other hand, is not "conceived" or "grasped" but entered into, given in -177- to, by a certain practical or praxical engagement, which means that you can never "get" it from the outside and you can never "get into" it except

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