Seminar - September 13, 2004
CLT 601 :
:Deconstruction and Criticism
1962 Derrida¹s first published work was a translation of Husserl¹s Origin of Geometry.
1967 Published 3 books: Speech and Phenomena, Of Grammatology, and Writing and Difference
1972 Published 3 more books
³Introduction to The Origin of Geometry²
Derrida distinguishes ³origin² from ³beginning²:
beginning = historical, temporal moment
origin = moment at which history connects to eternal ideas, historicity, eternal
Which aspect of origin is temporal and atemporal is indecideable.
In 1962, the strategy of deconstruction is in place but without the title ³deconstruction.²
2. Husserl, Essences, and Phenomenology
Multiple Sense/sinn/sens and singular reference/eidoi
e.g. 2 senses: ³Morning Star² and ³Evening Star² but 1 reference, the planet Venus
What is Phenomenology?
-from Greek phainomena = appearance, and logos God¹s word, word, language, logic,
-search for essences
In Husserl¹s Phenomenology, the phenomenologist performs 2 reductions:
1. eidetic- find a phenomena¹s essence/meaning/sinn
e.g. what makes this object essentially and eraser and not something else?
-Can also perform an eidetic variation to determine essential aspects.
2. transcendental bracketing and leave aside presuppositions. Possible without object.
Transcendent the particularity that allows a phenomena to transcend everything else
Transcendental - when experienced by a subject as an essence
Husserl¹s essences differ from Platonic ideas in that Husserl¹s essences are given in an experiential act while the Platonic forms are independent of experience.
All consciousness is consciousness of something.
The Ego can direct itself at the world or direct itself at consciousness; the latter leads to descriptive reflection on a transcendental level
4 Transcendental Objects:
1. Transcendental Ego ego in the transcendental realm of consciousness that directs itself outside itself
2. Meaning /Essence/Noema = meaning given in act of directed consciousness
3. Noesis the meaning giving act of directing consciousness
4. Hylé /hyletic data material elements of an object that show through at transcendental level
3. Phenomenologies: Merleau-Ponty, Heidegger and Sartre
Husserl 1859 1938 Transcendetal philosophy
Merleau-Ponty 1908- 61 Existential philosophies
E.g. of differences among these phenomenologists:
- Husserl might have wondered what happened to the transcendental reduction in Heidegger
- Heidegger could not ignore the existence of phenomena in order to reflect on them.
- Sartre claimed that existence precedes essence; there is an undifferentiated existence and differentiated essences. We become nauseous while contemplating existence.
4. Difference in Heidegger¹s ontology influences Derrida
In Being and Time, Heidegger differentiates
-³beings² that which is from, Seiende ontic
- ³Being² ³to be,² l¹etre, Sein ontological
relation between the two B/beings = the ontico-ontological difference
The being that can inquire into the relation between beings and Being, the difference, is Dasein.
- this an impersonal category, differing from other phenomenologies which were philosophies of consciousness
5. Derrida and Différance
Derrida takes from Heidegger the idea of différance.
Q: ³What is the difference between différence and différance?²
-Many ³beings² differ from each other but are also Different from Being/Sein
- Similarly, the difference between the words ³différence² and ³différance² is different from the difference between speaking and writing
Strategy of deconstruction:
Start with a binary pair. Begin with the priority, conventional area and move to the marginal, less common and re-prioritize, naming the difference after the margin.
E.g. move from speech to writing and re-name it ³writing².
E.g. go from host to parasite and inquire into difference
SEE L¹Ecriture et La différance
hear L¹Ecriture est La différance