Summary and Info
This text questions whether deconstruction's devotees, whose traffic in the terms of "difference" signals privileged access to the most radically chic of intellectual circles, really know their Derrida. A deconstruction of the criticism that goes by deconstruction's name, this book reveals the true philosophical nature of Derrida's thought, its debt to the tradition it engages, and its misuse by some of his most fervent admirers. Gasche's "Inventions of Difference" dispels the current myth of Derrida's singularity and sets in its place a finely informed sense of the philosopher's genuine accomplishment. Derrida's recent turn from philosophical concerns to matters literary, historical and political has misled many of his self-styled followers, Gasche contends. Though less overtly philosophical, Derrida's later writings can be properly understood only in relation to a certain philosophical tradition, which this text cogently traces. Gasche shows that terms like "difference" and "other" are devoid of meaning outside the context of identity, a context that draws not only on Husserl's phenomenology and Heidegger's writings but also on the work of Hegel. By setting forth this affinity with Hegel, Gasche clarifies the philosophical weight and direction of Derrida's recent work and the philosophical engagement of his larger project. His book puts a stop to the loose talk of deconstruction and points to the real rigours and pleasures of knowing Derrida.
More About the Author
Rodolphe Gasché (born 1938, Luxembourg) holds the Eugenio Donato Chair of Comparative Literature at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York.
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