Jacques Derrida was a French philosopher born in 1930 in the French Algeria. He was the third child in a family consisting of five children. He spent his childhood and youth in El-Biar in Algiers. At adolescence, he found some works of the ancient writers and philosophers such as Gide, Rousseau and Nietzsche. Their work formed an instrumental background on Derrida’s philosophy. His source material also included the works of Sartre and Camus. He met Louis Althusser on the first day at the Ecole Normale Superieure who became one of his friends from then. He completed his philosophy Aggregation in Belgium. He married a psychoanalyst Marguerite Aucouturier when they met in Boston. When the Algeria war was being fought, he was requested to teach the soldiers’ kids English and French which was from 1957- 1959.
In 1960, he taught philosophy as an assistant of Suzanne Bachelard at Sorbonne. He got a permanent teaching job in the Ecole Normale Superieure where he had previously studied. He worked there until 1984. From there he joined a group of literature and philosophical theorists known as Tel Quel which only lasted for seven years.
He is recognized for the development of a post modern philosophy which was well known as deconstruction. His work is found in a collection of more than 40 published books as well as essays of his public speaking. One of his most popular assertions appears in an essay of Rousseau in his book about Grammatology.
His contribution to a colloquium on structuralism in 1966 at Hopkins University was attributed to previous studies and turned him into an icon of international prominence. His book These d’Etat was completed in 1980 (Silverman, 1989). He introduced the books he had previously published together with his intellectual project as defense.
His mostly recognized philosophy of the modern times is Deconstruction. This philosophy has been related with the attempts to undermine and expose the paradoxes and oppositions on which particular texts were founded. His strategies include explicating the historical extraction on which the philosophical ideas were based. It involves the process of questioning the metaphysical presence that dominates philosophy from the Ancient Greeks (Derrida & Engelmann, 2005). It begins with a careful contextual analysis that attempts to subvert and undermine the core reasoning of those paradoxes.
His work has had a myriad of implications in a number of fields including literature, sociology, architecture and some details of cultural studies. In most of his latest writings, he frequently addressed political and ethical themes, while his work influenced some political movements and various activists. He was recognized as one of the most renowned political figure because of his approach to philosophy which many viewed as the difficulty in his work which developed some figures of controversy.
Derrida’s Deconstruction of Heidegger
While acknowledging the importance for radicalizing the concept of truth for the western philosophy, Derrida established some differences between his and Heidegger’s metaphysical thinking. Although Heidegger had attempted to conquer the representational thinking in Aletheia, he retained some semblance of the same representational thinking. The assumption that dominated the platonic thing in itself is an implicit feature in the hidden entity. This is because Heidegger betrayed a twofold ontological structure that bore a plain resemblance to metaphysics.
While Heidegger’s attempts to go beyond the metaphysical were appreciated by Derrida, he also argued that an effortless metaphysical negation may remain repetitious. Derrida’s reading is still significant today, because it is one of the post modern thoughts. He notified that a reversal of metaphysics would remain repetitious if he had applied post modern refutations which do not succeed in escaping metaphysics at all. The importance of the Heidegger’s deconstruction to literature is needed for post modern philosophers to remain bound to metaphysical structures.
Derrida moves on to discuss the extended essay ‘of spirit’ which was one of his latest works. He attempts to make sense of Heidegger’s use of the word spirit. But the original German word Geist appears to have resisted translation of either French or English. He begins the essay by talking about a ghost which is translated in the literary as to come again. Derrida condemns the argument of Heidegger of never being a way of avoiding a life of theology.
According to Derrida, those texts that seek to attempt to overcome the principles of metaphysics, usually find themselves repeating the ontological vocabularies. Derrida had thoughts that addressed the aporia that ties the modern and the post modern literature. That is to say, contrary to popular conception, post modern writing is more of a repetition rather than a divergence from the modern thoughts.
Derrida locates the foundation of metaphysics as the one which structures the possibility of Heidegger’s Being or Husserl’s transcendental as presently called differance. Differance is a term that is used in metaphysical philosophy. It enables the thought of the two concepts and grounds the possibility of structure and structurality. By tracing the roots of Heidegger and Husserl’s philosophy, Derrida sought reference to a non- origin of metaphysics.
Transidental and empirical idealism which was advocated by Husserl and Heidegger’s ideas failed to acknowledge differance as the Meta condition that enabled the structurality of these philosophies. This makes Derrida to verify the impossibilities of univocal responsibility and truth. According to Derrida, the need of iteration and the division of the mark from the self diminishes the possibilities of absolute presence and truth (Silverman, 1989). Thus, truth is rather constituted by difference between the aporia and impasse, the post-representational and representational and is at the same time implicated by both.
The sense that makes the reader to see that Heidegger’s insistence with more tranquil childhood is whether he will be able to revert to the new Geschlecht. The problem is whether the reader can understand the reversion other than the latency period. The second drive the concordant twofold sister and brother into unchained isolation and individualism.
From the foregoing, truth is aporia or a difference between the empirical and the Transidental. The deconstruction is presented in Derrida’s readings. As we examine the problematic connection between the metaphysics and the destruction in Spurs, the truth that is depicted in painting and the spirit in order to illustrate those non-metaphysics is just a repetition. The Heidegger’s readings through difference grammatology and writing, openly shows that that non-presence and difference are the most important in the determination of the presence (Derrida & Engelmann, 2005).
Derrida advances to the theme of disessencing and corruption which is very prevalent in geschlecht of mankind to the new geschlecht that was summoned by the lunar voices. Ostensibly, this is the brother-sister childhood which has not yet struck by a second blow. This is the deleterious blow of discord and dissention.
In grammatology, Derrida, uses similar approaches to pronounce the ending of certain philosophical epoch but afterwards distances himself from Heidegger’s destruction. He describes the onto-theology of Heidegger as a system of presence, phonocentrism and logo-centrism and the one philosophy of which should be thought afresh by reconstruction. This is done by reconsidering the roots of such thoughts between the Transidental and the empirical.
By the time Derrida comes to the end of Heidegger’s introduction to language of the poem, what's left of Derrida’s transcript is what moved to the first part of the essay. From the onset of the Geschlecht series Derrida has magnetized when he wrote in the opening pages that everything has been decided. The brother-sister theme should not at all be underestimated as argued by Derrida and the Geschlecht are the lasting characters to the end (Silverman, 1989).
Derrida selects Freud, Heidegger and Nietzsche to think of decentering and concedes that these names were chosen arbitrary because they have structurally been formulated in radical terms. Structure is a thing that has been either deviated or affirmed form, or is constantly being re-inscribed for disclosure. Discourse escapes neither the metaphysical nor the structural constraints where their centers are either negated or affirmed. Derrida made it necessary for us to even believe that there is no center and cannot be thought in the form of present being. This is because the center is said to have no natural site, but that is not for a fixed functional locus but a section of non-locus towards the infinite sign numbers whose substitution comes to play.