What Is Postmodernism? Part II: Derrida

The Metaphysics Of Presence

To start, consider the following quotation from Derrida:


Derrida’s mentioning of writing in the quotation above has a two-fold significance for us. For one, he was interested in writing because it seems like a paradigm example of a phenomenon that in some sense involves absence. Writing, one might think, is a record of former but now absent verbal speech, or something you resort to when you can’t be face-to-face with someone.

Derrida likes cats, the internet likes cats, therefore the internet ought to like Derrida. The key point of this essay is that for all his flaws, his philosophising isn’t as bad as that evinced in the first section of this caption.


Deconstruction is a way of reading and engaging with texts and thinkers that attempts, perhaps by harnessing the idea of différance according to which what a writer means always slips away from them, to show up internal inconsistencies in those texts and thinkers.



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