Summary and Info
As the spell of Jacques Derrida grows stronger, with more translations and analyses appearing every season, it is possible--and necessary--to determine what in his work is truly new and what continues philosophical and literary traditions. Although Martin Heidegger ahs been mentioned before as a precursor of deconstruction, Herman Rapaport is the first to develop the connections between the writings of the German philosopher and Derrida. Heidegger and Derrida discusses the French philosopher's adoption of certain Heideggerean themes and his extension or overturning of them. But Rapaport does more than show how deconstruction builds on the philosophical foundations laid by Heidegger (and also by Hegel, Nietzsche, and Freud). In the most comprehensive study of Derrida's works to date, he tackles the problem of writing an intellectual history about a figure who has put into question the possibility of such a construction and acknowledges Derrida's concerns with Jewish history in relation to Western thought.
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