Talk:Jacques Derrida

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 Definition (July 15 1930–October 8 2004) An Algerian-born French philosopher. [d] [e]

"on this space - the reference - from sign to sign." This statement IMHO is semantically or meaningless or relies un explained allusions. As the topic is famously obscure, surely we can do better? David Tribe 14:49, 14 February 2007 (CST)

I've clarified that line some. I wish I had more time to write. I really just wanted to get an article for Derrida started. The concept of Differánce is intense, to say the least. With out Writing and Difference in front of me when I wrote these very very brief paragraphs, I am hesitant to put words into Derrida's mouth. - John Dayton

It might be easier to write about Derrida without actually consulting him.  ;-) Seriously, you're going to have to be a hell of a lot clearer than Derrida is if you want to make a readable encyclopedia article about him. --Larry Sanger 13:00, 15 February 2007 (CST)

I've done what I can for today. There are people that get paid to understand Derrida and could do this more justice. But, I figure something is better than nothing for now. Please post any other comments and I'll do what I can. I am making it a point not to copy from wikipedia. --John Dayton 13:33, 15 February 2007 (CST)

Again, what people are going to be coming to CZ for is to read what people mean when they say such completely cryptic things as: "Differánce relies on the space, the difference, between every sign. This space exists in the referral between signs." What does that mean? There are spaces between words, white space y'know, and that's the only idea that this language begins to suggest to my commonsense brain. --Larry Sanger 14:01, 15 February 2007 (CST)

Well, that is right in a way I think. That "white" space between words give each word its distinction from the one beside it. Without that whitespace these words would be meaningless. I'm not sure if I can do any better than what is there without creating example after example. In that case, reading his books might be more appropriate. --John Dayton 14:16, 15 February 2007 (CST)

Well, John, instead of an encyclopedia article, perhaps we should say, "We cannot sum up Derrida. Reading his books is more appropriate."  :-) --Larry Sanger 14:48, 15 February 2007 (CST)

Well, maybe. Thanks for the comments. I understand what your saying but I don't think I have the time to condense such an intense topic. Delete the article if you want. I do appreciate the comments, though. --John Dayton 07:45, 16 February 2007 (CST)

Current state of the article

As it stands the article is about deconstructionism, not about Derrida at all. I've added bare biographical details to the lead, but that's about all I can do; my disdain for the man (to put it mildly) is a matter of public record, and that ill-suits me to write anything about him. Someone, though, needs to turn this into an article about him. The stuff on deconstructionism might stay, though it's surely more suitable to an article on deconstructionism. (I agree wholeheartedly with Larry on the content, mind you.) --Peter J. King  Talk  10:15, 3 March 2007 (CST)

Please, let's have an article on deconstruction but not deconstructionism... the latter turns a reading strategy into a political philosophy. I realize the word is sometimes used, but the word deconstruction is far more common and, imho, more appropriate. Bernardo Attias 19:28, 9 April 2007 (CDT)
...hehehe... it appears we already do have an article on deconstruction - I guess I should have checked that first. Bernardo Attias 19:28, 9 April 2007 (CDT)
Yes, but the deconstruction article could use substantial work, if not a total rewrite. Nathaniel Dektor 12:59, 10 April 2007 (CDT)

total rewrite to summarize his philosophical insight

Because I did such a radical rewrite, I thought I should explain. I think the best thing to do, regarding Derrida's philosophy, is to succinctly capture his "one big thought," which I tried to do for his early career. I'm not sure he ever did much else (it was indeed a Big Thought), but I haven't studied his works after 1980. Before that his genius is to repeat his important philosophical idea by showing how several other biggies before him unwittingly articulate the same idea, via their own shortsightedness which Derrida goes to great pains to explicate. I think getting into specifics as to what he does with Husserl, or how he reads Hegel, etc. is too much detail, so John's attempt to choose even such an exemplary notion as differance is much more ambitious than it appears to be, and ends up requiring more explanation than the article currently provides or that we'd ever want to provide on the Derrida page, which will certainly end up containing lots more historical and biographical stuff about him. I attempted merely to summarize the work that made Derrida so influential.

I think it's misleading to call him the founder and leader of a movement. Anglo-Americans took his work and ran with it starting 10-15 years later, doing many things with it his texts sometimes do and sometimes arguably don't support. He also had intellectual peers who were equally seminal for poststructuralist thought. I avoided the term "poststructuralist" in the article because that would take a world of explanation, and I think the terms related to "deconstruction" require the same, so should also be left out. Nathaniel Dektor 20:54, 10 March 2007 (CST)

I'd agree with concerning the article with his biography and less about the specifics of some of his works. As I stated at the start, I just wanted something to be written about Derrida on Citizendium. --John Dayton 10:02, 20 March 2007 (CDT)

Personally, I think this is a well written and perceptive introduction to the theme and an enthusiastic starting point. That the concept of "the metaphor" is given pride of place seems, to me at least, exactly correct. I hope that in days to come this article will be enriched with more input, especially about Derrida's remarkable later works such as Archive Fever, On the Name, Aporias, and, especially, from my point of view at least, The Gift of Death. It seems to me that most of the Internet hasn't yet "caught up with" Derrida. However, if people think I should back off, I shall.Jeffrey Scott Bernstein 21:44, 6 October 2007 (CDT)

If done succinctly and accessibly to the non-specialist, it sounds like a good idea to me. I just think we should keep in mind the impact on other thinkers and disciplines of the pre-1980 work vs. the post-1980 work. We also eventually need to emphasize, probably mostly, Derrida's biography. Nathaniel Dektor 10:15, 7 October 2007 (CDT)
Sure thing, it's up to you. But if you ever need someone to talk about any of the books I mentioned, I can do it, if no one else is up for it. Maybe someday each book can be a separate link? Best of luck with Derrida (whom I had the honor of meeting and speaking to in York in the late-90s); I'm sure you'll continue on swimmingly with your sterling work (mixing my metaphors?). However, something just occurred to me. Just a question: why focus on the "impact" on other thinkers rather than simply describing Derrida-in-himself, as it were? (Maybe I'm missing some integral thought here.)Jeffrey Scott Bernstein 10:22, 7 October 2007 (CDT)