Jeff CollinsKirja-arvosteluja

Teoksen Introducing Derrida tekijä

8 teosta 788 jäsentä 8 arvostelua


I haven't had much success in reading Derrida himself, although I was more or less familiar with his ideas. This guide help clarify my thinking and left me more confident I understand his main concepts.
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poirotketchup | 6 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Mar 18, 2021 |
I have a copy of Jacques Derrida's Writing and Difference sitting on my bookshelf waiting for me to get to it. I also had this introductory text laying around. I am glad I went for the easy option first, as this text saved me from learning the hard way. I am not ready for Derrida - I have to start with Hegel and work my way through to Heidegger first.

I am not averse to reading introductory texts, but this one is a little different, in that it is more like a comic book. Or, indeed, it is very similar to the style Alain de Botton has adopted for The School of Life (but this book predates the YouTube series).

But the book is not too basic. Even after reading this introductory text, I am little the wiser.

I see Derrida's idea of "deconstruction" as an attempt to critique logo-centrism, where Western philosophy tends to privilege one thing over another in a binary either/or paradigm. For example, speech tends to be privileged over writing; philosophy over literature, men over women (traditionally), and so on.

Deconstruction is helpfully explained using the example of a zombie. Zombies are neither dead nor alive - their status is "undecidable" (see also the pharmakon (p. 73):
To embrace the curious logic of this writing, we have to be willing to sign up to it, to subscribe to it the task it takes on: the creation of destabilizing movements in metaphysical thinking.
Had I set out to read Writing and Difference, I would have been lost in Derrida's writing, which this text suggests can be "puzzling, infuriating, and exasperating", p. 73). It would be better to tackle his three major works on "structuralism and phenomenology" in order: Speech and Phenomena, Writing and Difference, then Of Grammatology.

However, the reading list at the end of the text sets out a reading plan to ease into Derrida's work gradually, beginning with Peggy Kamuf's Derrida Reader: Between the Lines. Sound advice.

It would seem that I must also go right back to Plato for a closer reading of his work so I can engage with Derrida's Plato's Pharmacy.

What all this means is that I am completely out of my depth! Whereas with Albert Camus and even Nietzsche I was able to struggle through, with Derrida I will have to tackle post-modernism (Derrida didn't necessarily think of his work as "post-modern"). I suppose it is time.

This text was a good place to start. I also found the School of Life's video (see the video "Jacques Derrida") useful. I must admit to being pleased to find an area of my knowledge that is so completely lacking as to require considerable thought - especially in approaching Derrida. At the same time, the task is quite daunting and it may have to wait until some time later next year if I am to do it any justice.
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madepercy | 6 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Dec 26, 2018 |
Formerly "Derrida for Beginners"
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LanternLibrary | 6 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Nov 2, 2017 |
This is a really accessible introduction to Derrida and his Deconstructivist approach to philosophy, literature, art, and politics. Deconstruction is explained at a basic level here, with the amount of quirky illustration outweighing the text.
It would be necessary to read some of the original texts by Derrida to be able to fairly assess whether his ideas have the significance that some people claim for them in philosophy, though I got the impression that he has just put a name on something that has been going on in the side lines for years - challenging the underpinnings of Western thought. However he doesn't seek to do so on the same terms (using a thorough logical philosophical approach), so to some extent what he does falls outside of Philosophy. This is perhaps the reason why he has been better received in English departments compared to Philosophy departments.
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P_S_Patrick | 6 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Oct 23, 2015 |
Derrida may be brilliant, however, his writing is incomprehensible. This book helped me understand what the hell he was talking about. Now I get to throw Deconstruction around like a ridiculously good hand of poker.
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RubyA | 6 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Mar 30, 2013 |
Guides for the Perplexed gave me one winner and two resounding duds, so I'm switching over to this series for all my intro-level theory needs. This volume is on Heidegger, and it is great and totally clear and piled up all the kindling and laid the larger logs by and popped the cap off the gas can and got everything set up just so for the man himself to light my fire, except that I'm freaked out about the whole Nazi thing. The pictures could have added more (LOTS of talking philosopher heads), but overall this is a good egg.
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MeditationesMartini | Feb 4, 2010 |
It made Derrida intelligible... of course, that may not really be a good thing!
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mbattenberg | 6 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jun 20, 2008 |
I had to read this twice. And it's the comic book! But the second time I started to get it.

"Between life and death--it's an uncertain space. The zombie might be EITHER alive OR dead. But it cuts across these categories, it's BOTH alive AND dead. Equally it is NEITHER alive NOR dead, since it cannot take on the "full" senses of these terms. True life must preclude true death. The zombie short-circuits the usual logic of distinction. Having both states, it belongs to a different order of things: in terms of life and death, it cannot be decided.

Undecidables are threatening. They poison the comforting sense that we inhabit a world governed by decidable categories. . . .

What if the comfort of order is not to be restored? What if we insist on undecidability? The ceaseless play of EITHER/OR . . .NEITHER/NOR . . .BOTH?"
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Roboberto | 6 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Nov 6, 2007 |