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Jacques Derrida (1930-2004) Jacques Derrida fue uno de los más conocidos filósofos del siglo XX. También fue uno de los más prolíficos. Distanciándose de los diversos movimientos filosóficos y tradiciones que lo precedieron en la escena intelectual francesa (fenomenología, existencialismo y estructuralismo), desarrolló una estrategia llamada deconstrucción a mediados de los años sesenta. Aunque no puramente negativa, la desconstrucción se ocupa principalmente de algo que equivale a una crítica de la tradición filosófica occidental. La desconstrucción se presenta generalmente a través de un análisis de textos específicos. Busca exponer y luego subvertir las diversas oposiciones binarias que subyacen a nuestras formas dominantes de pensar presencia / ausencia, habla / escritura, etc. La deconstrucción tiene al menos dos aspectos: literario y filosófico. El aspecto literario se refiere a la interpretación textual, donde la invención es esencial para encontrar significados alternativos ocultos en el texto. El aspecto filosófico se refiere al objetivo principal de la deconstrucción: la metafísica de la presencia, o simplemente la metafísica. Partiendo de un punto de vista heideggeriano, Derrida argumenta que la metafísica afecta a toda la filosofía a partir de Platón. La metafísica crea oposiciones dualistas e instala una jerarquía que desafortunadamente privilegia un término de cada dicotomía (presencia antes de ausencia, discurso antes de escribir, etc.). La estrategia deconstructiva es desenmascarar estas formas demasiado sedimentadas de pensamiento, y opera sobre ellas especialmente a través de dos pasos, revolviendo las dicotomías e intentando corromper las dicotomías mismas. La estrategia también pretende mostrar que hay undecidables, es decir, algo que no puede conformarse a cualquiera de los dos lados de una dicotomía o oposición. La indecidibilidad vuelve en el período posterior de la reflexión de Derridas, cuando se aplica para revelar paradojas implicadas en nociones como donación o hospitalidad, cuyas condiciones de posibilidad son al mismo tiempo sus condiciones de imposibilidad. Debido a esto, es indecidible si la entrega auténtica o la hospitalidad son posibles o imposibles. En este período, el fundador de la deconstrucción centra su atención en los temas éticos. En particular, el tema de la responsabilidad hacia el otro (por ejemplo, Dios o una persona amada) conduce a Derrida a dejar la idea de que la responsabilidad está asociada con un comportamiento públicamente y racionalmente justificable por principios generales. Reflexionando sobre los cuentos de la tradición judía, destaca la singularidad absoluta de la responsabilidad hacia el otro. La desconstrucción ha tenido una enorme influencia en la psicología, la teoría literaria, los estudios culturales, la lingüística, el feminismo, la sociología y la antropología. Ubicado en los intersticios entre filosofía y no-filosofía (o filosofía y literatura), no es difícil ver por qué este es el caso. Lo que sigue en este artículo, sin embargo, es un intento de resaltar el significado filosófico del pensamiento de Derridas. 1. Vida y Obras En 1930, Derrida nació en una familia judía en Argel. También nació en un ambiente de cierta discriminación. De hecho, se retiró o se vio obligado a salir de al menos dos escuelas durante su infancia simplemente por ser judío. Fue expulsado de una escuela porque había un límite en la población judía, y más tarde se retiró de otra escuela a causa del antisemitismo. Mientras que Derrida se resistiría a cualquier comprensión reductiva de su obra basada en su vida biográfica, podría argumentarse que este tipo de experiencias desempeñó un papel importante en su insistencia en la importancia de lo marginal y el otro en su pensamiento posterior. Derrida se negó dos veces a una posición en la prestigiosa Escuela Normal Superieure (donde Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir y la mayoría de los intelectuales y académicos franceses comenzaron sus carreras), pero finalmente fue aceptado a la institución a la edad de 19 años. Argel a Francia, y poco después también comenzó a desempeñar un papel importante en la revista de izquierda Tel Quel. El primer trabajo de Derridas en filosofía fue en gran medida fenomenológico, y su formación temprana como filósofo se hizo en gran parte a través de la lente de Husserl. Otras inspiraciones importantes en su pensamiento temprano incluyen Nietzsche. Heidegger. Saussure, Levinas y Freud. Derrida reconoce su endeudamiento con todos estos pensadores en el desarrollo de su acercamiento a los textos, que ha llegado a ser conocido como deconstrucción. Fue en 1967 que Derrida llegó realmente como un filósofo de importancia mundial. Publicó tres textos trascendentales (De Grammatología, Escritura y Diferencia, Habla y Fenómenos). Todas estas obras han sido influyentes por diferentes razones, pero es de Grammatología que sigue siendo su obra más famosa (se analiza con algún detalle en este artículo). En De Grammatología. Derrida revela y luego socava la oposición de escritura del habla que él argumenta ha sido un factor tan influyente en el pensamiento occidental. Su preocupación por el lenguaje en este texto es típica de gran parte de sus primeros trabajos y desde la publicación de estos y otros textos importantes (incluida la difusión, la postal, los espectros de Marx, el regalo de la muerte y la política de la amistad) La deconstrucción ha ido pasando gradualmente de ocupar un papel importante en Europa continental, a convertirse también en un actor significativo en el contexto filosófico angloamericano. Esto es particularmente cierto en las áreas de la crítica literaria, y los estudios culturales, donde el método deconstrucciones de análisis textual ha inspirado a teóricos como Paul de Man. También ha tenido conferencias en varias universidades, en todo el mundo. Derrida murió en 2004. La deconstrucción ha sido frecuentemente el tema de alguna controversia. Cuando Derrida recibió un doctorado honorario en Cambridge en 1992, hubo aullidos de protesta de muchos filósofos analíticos. Desde entonces, Derrida también ha tenido muchos diálogos con filósofos como John Searle (ver Limited Inc.), en el que la deconstrucción ha sido rotundamente criticada, aunque tal vez injustamente a veces. Sin embargo, lo que queda claro de la antipatía de estos pensadores es que la deconstrucción desafía a la filosofía tradicional de varias maneras importantes, y el resto de este artículo resaltará por qué esto es así. 2. Estrategia Deconstructiva Derrida, al igual que muchos otros teóricos europeos contemporáneos, se preocupa de socavar las tendencias de oposición que han afectado gran parte de la tradición filosófica occidental. De hecho, los dualismos son la dieta básica de la deconstrucción, pues sin estas jerarquías y órdenes de subordinación no habría lugar para intervenir. La deconstrucción es parasitaria en el sentido de que, en lugar de abrazar otra gran narración o teoría sobre la naturaleza del mundo en el que participamos, se restringe a distorsionar las narrativas ya existentes ya revelar las jerarquías dualistas que ocultan. Mientras que Derridas afirma ser alguien que habla únicamente en los márgenes de la filosofía puede ser impugnada, es importante tener en cuenta estas afirmaciones. La desconstrucción es, algo infame, la filosofía que no dice nada. En la medida en que se puede sugerir que las preocupaciones de Derridas son a menudo filosóficas, no son claramente fenomenológicas (él nos asegura que su obra debe leerse específicamente contra Husserl, Sartre y Merleau-Ponty) y tampoco son ontológicas. La deconstrucción, y particularmente la deconstrucción temprana, funciona mediante el análisis sostenido de textos particulares. Está comprometido con el análisis riguroso del significado literal de un texto y, sin embargo, también para encontrar dentro de ese significado, tal vez en los rincones olvidados del texto (incluyendo las notas a pie de página), los problemas internos que en realidad apuntan a significados alternativos. La desconstrucción debe por lo tanto establecer una metodología que preste mucha atención a estos imperativos aparentemente contradictorios (igualdad y diferencia) y la lectura de cualquier texto derridiano sólo puede reafirmar este aspecto dual. Derrida habla del primer aspecto de esta estrategia deconstructiva como si estuviera relacionado con una fidelidad y un deseo de ser fiel a los temas y las audacias de un pensamiento (WD 84). Al mismo tiempo, sin embargo, la deconstrucción también se aprovecha de la concepción de Martin Heideggers de una recuperación destructiva y busca abrir los textos a los significados alternativos y usualmente reprimidos que residen al menos parcialmente fuera de la tradición metafísica (aunque siempre parcialmente comprometidos con ella) . Este aspecto más violento y transgresivo de la deconstrucción es ilustrado por la constante exhortación de Derridas a inventar en tu propio idioma si puedes o quieres oír a mi inventar si puedes o quieres dar a entender mi lenguaje (MO 57). Al sugerir que una interpretación fiel de él es una que va más allá de él, Derrida instala la invención como un aspecto de vital importancia de cualquier lectura deconstructiva. Él es propenso a hacer sugerencias enigmáticas como ir allí donde no se puede ir, a lo imposible, es de hecho la única manera de ir o venir (ON 75), y en última instancia, el mérito de una lectura deconstructiva consiste en este contacto creativo con otro Texto que no puede ser caracterizado como mera fidelidad o como transgresión absoluta, sino que oscila entre estas demandas duales. Lo intrigante de la deconstrucción, sin embargo, es que a pesar de que las interpretaciones propias de Derridas de textos específicos son bastante radicales, a menudo es difícil determinar dónde termina la exégesis explicativa de un texto y dónde empieza el aspecto más violento de la deconstrucción. Derrida es siempre reacio a imponer mi texto, sus designaciones de texto demasiado llamativo en sus textos. Esto se debe en parte a que es incluso problemático hablar de una obra de deconstrucción, ya que la deconstrucción sólo pone de relieve lo que ya estaba revelado en el propio texto. Todos los elementos de una intervención deconstructiva residen en las piedras angulares descuidadas de un sistema ya existente (MDM 72), y esta ecuación no se altera de manera significativa si ese sistema se concibe como metafísica en general, que debe contener su no metafísica La pista o los escritos de un pensador específico, que también debe atestiguar siempre lo que están intentando excluir (MDM 73). Estos son, por supuesto, temas reflejados en profundidad por Derrida, y tienen una consecuencia inmediata en el nivel meta-teórico. En la medida en que podemos referirnos a los propios argumentos de Derridas, debe reconocerse que siempre están entrelazados con los argumentos de quienquiera, o lo que sea, que intenta deconstruir. Por ejemplo, Derrida argumenta que su crítica del momento actual husserliano se basa realmente en los recursos dentro del propio texto de Husserls que eliminan la presencia de sí mismo que estaba tratando de obtener (SP 64-66). Si el punto de Derridas es simplemente que la fenomenología de Husserls contiene en sí conclusiones que Husserl no reconoció, Derrida parece ser capaz de desautorizar cualquier posición trascendental o ontológica. Por eso argumenta que su trabajo ocupa un lugar en los márgenes de la filosofía, en lugar de ser simplemente la filosofía per se. La deconstrucción sostiene que en cualquier texto hay inevitablemente puntos de equivocación e indecidibilidad que traicionan cualquier significado estable que un autor pueda tratar de imponer a su texto. El proceso de escritura revela siempre lo que ha sido suprimido, cubre lo que ha sido revelado y, más generalmente, viola las mismas oposiciones que se cree que la sostienen. Esta es la razón por la cual la filosofía de Derridas es tan textualmente basada y es también por eso que sus términos claves están siempre cambiando, porque dependiendo de quién o qué él está intentando deconstruir, ese punto del equívoco estará siempre localizado en un diverso lugar. Esto también asegura que cualquier intento de describir lo que es la deconstrucción, debe tener cuidado. Nada sería más antitético de la intención declarada de las deconstrucciones que este intento de definirla a través de la cuestión decididamente metafísica lo que es la deconstrucción Hay una paradoja que implica tratar de restringir la deconstrucción a un propósito particular y general (OG 19) cuando se basa en el deseo Para exponernos a lo que es completamente otro (tout autre) y para abrirnos a posibilidades alternativas. A veces, esta exégesis correrá el riesgo de ignorar los muchos significados de la deconstrucción derridiana, y la diferencia ampliamente reconocida entre el trabajo temprano y tardío de Derridas es simplemente el ejemplo más obvio de las dificultades que implica sugerir la deconstrucción dice esto, o la deconstrucción lo prohíbe. Dicho esto, se pueden observar ciertas características definitorias de la deconstrucción. Por ejemplo, toda la empresa de Derridas se basa en la convicción de que los dualismos están irrevocablemente presentes en los diversos filósofos y artesanos que él considera. Mientras algunos filósofos sostienen que es un poco reductor cuando habla de la tradición filosófica occidental, es su comprensión de esta tradición la que informa y proporciona las herramientas para una respuesta deconstructiva. Debido a esto, vale la pena considerar brevemente el objetivo de la deconstrucción derridiana - la metafísica de la presencia, o algo sinónimo, del logocentrismo. a. Metafísica de la Presencia / Logocentrismo Hay muchos términos diferentes que Derrida emplea para describir lo que él considera ser la (s) forma (s) fundamental (es) de pensar la tradición filosófica occidental. Estos incluyen: el logocentrismo, el falogocentrismo, y quizás el más famoso, la metafísica de la presencia, pero también a menudo simplemente la metafísica. Todos estos términos tienen significados ligeramente diferentes. El logocentrismo hace hincapié en el papel privilegiado que los logos. O el habla, se ha concedido en la tradición occidental (véase la sección 3). El falogocentrismo apunta hacia el significado patriarcal de este privilegio. Las referencias duraderas de Derridas a la metafísica de la presencia toman mucho de la obra de Heidegger. Heidegger insiste en que la filosofía occidental siempre ha privilegiado lo que es. O lo que aparece, y ha olvidado prestar atención a la condición de esa apariencia. En otras palabras, la presencia en sí es privilegiada, más que aquella que permite que la presencia sea posible en absoluto, y también imposible, para Derrida (véase la Sección 4) sobre la metafísica de la presencia. Todos estos términos de la denigración, sin embargo, se unen bajo la amplia rúbrica del término metafísica. ¿Qué, entonces, Derrida quiere decir con metafísica? Derrida sugiere que la metafísica puede definirse como: La empresa de regresar estratégicamente, idealmente, a un origen oa una prioridad considerada simple, intacta, normal, pura, estándar, auto-idéntica, para entonces pensar en términos de derivación Etc. Todos los metafísicos, desde Platón hasta Rousseau, Descartes hasta Husserl, han procedido de esta manera, concebiendo el bien ante el mal, lo positivo ante lo negativo, lo puro ante lo impuro, lo simple antes de lo impuro Y esto no es sólo un gesto metafísico entre otros, sino la exigencia metafísica, la que ha sido la más constante, la más profunda y la más potente (LI 236) . Según Derrida entonces, la metafísica consiste en instalar jerarquías y órdenes de subordinación en los diversos dualismos que encuentra (M 195). Además, el pensamiento metafísico prioriza la presencia y la pureza a expensas de lo contingente y lo complicado, que se consideran meras aberraciones que no son importantes para el análisis filosófico. Básicamente entonces, el pensamiento metafísico siempre privilegia un lado de una oposición, e ignora o marginaliza el término alternativo de esa oposición. En otro intento de explicar el tratamiento de las deconstrucciones y el interés por las oposiciones, Derrida ha sugerido que: La oposición de los conceptos metafísicos (habla / escritura, presencia / ausencia, etc.) nunca es el cara a cara de dos términos, Jerarquía y orden de subordinación. La deconstrucción no puede limitarse ni proceder inmediatamente a la neutralización: debe, por medio de un doble gesto, una ciencia doble, una doble escritura, practicar un vuelco de la oposición clásica y un desplazamiento general del sistema. Sólo bajo esta condición la deconstrucción proveerá los medios de intervenir en el campo de las oposiciones que critica (M 195). Para comprender mejor esta doble metodología -que es también la deconstrucción de la noción de metodología porque ya no cree en la posibilidad de que un observador sea absolutamente exterior al objeto / texto que se está examinando- es útil considerar un ejemplo de Esta deconstrucción en el trabajo (Ver Discurso / Escritura abajo). 3. Términos clave de los primeros trabajos Los términos Derridas cambian en cada texto que él escribe. Esto es parte de su estrategia deconstructiva. Se centra en temas o palabras particulares en un texto que, debido a su ambigüedad, socava la intención más explícita de ese texto. No es posible para todos ellos (Derrida ha publicado cerca de 60 textos en inglés), por lo que este artículo se centró en algunos de los términos más fundamentales y neologismos de su pensamiento inicial. Aborda aspectos de su pensamiento posterior, más temático, en las secciones 6 amp 7. a. Discurso / Escritura La oposición más prominente con la que se ocupa Derridas antes es la del habla y la escritura. Según Derrida, pensadores tan diferentes como Platón, Rousseau, Saussure y Levi-Strauss, han denigrado la palabra escrita y valorizado el discurso, por el contrario, como algún tipo de puro conducto de significado. Su argumento es que mientras que las palabras habladas son los símbolos de la experiencia mental, las palabras escritas son los símbolos de ese símbolo ya existente. Como representaciones del habla, son doblemente derivadas y doblemente alejadas de una unidad con su propio pensamiento. Sin entrar en detalles sobre la forma en que estos pensadores se han puesto a justificar este tipo de oposición jerárquica, es importante recordar que la primera estrategia de la deconstrucción es revertir las oposiciones existentes. Derrida, por lo tanto, intenta ilustrar que la estructura de la escritura y la gramatología son más importantes e incluso más antiguas que la estructura supuestamente pura de la presencia a sí mismo que se caracteriza como típica del habla. Por ejemplo, en un capítulo completo de su Curso de Lingüística General. Ferdinand de Saussure trata de restringir la ciencia de la lingüística a la palabra fonética y audible solamente (24). En el curso de su investigación, Saussure llega a afirmar que el lenguaje y la escritura son dos sistemas distintos de signos: el segundo existe con el único propósito de representar el primero. El lenguaje, insiste Saussure, tiene una tradición oral independiente de la escritura, y es esta independencia la que hace posible una ciencia pura del habla. Derrida vehementemente no está de acuerdo con esta jerarquía y en su lugar argumenta que todo lo que se puede reclamar de la escritura - por ejemplo. Que es derivada y se refiere simplemente a otros signos - es igualmente cierto del habla. Pero además de criticar tal posición por ciertas presuposiciones injustificables, incluida la idea de que somos nosotros mismos idénticos a nosotros mismos al oírnos pensar, Derrida también hace explícita la manera en que tal jerarquía se hace insostenible dentro del propio texto de Saussures. Lo más célebre es que Saussure es el defensor de la tesis que comúnmente se denomina arbitrariedad del signo, y esto afirma, para simplificar considerablemente, que el significante no tiene relación necesaria con lo que se significa. Saussure deriva numerosas consecuencias de esta posición, pero como señala Derrida, esta noción de arbitrariedad y de instituciones desmotivadas de signos, parecería negar la posibilidad de cualquier apego natural (OG 44). Después de todo, si el signo es arbitrario y evita cualquier referencia fundacional a la realidad, parecería que cierto tipo de signo (es decir, el hablado) no podría ser más natural que otro (es decir, el escrito). Sin embargo, es precisamente esta idea de apego natural en la que Saussure se apoya para defender nuestro lazo natural con el sonido (25), y su sugerencia de que los sonidos están más íntimamente relacionados con nuestros pensamientos que la palabra escrita, por lo tanto, va en contra de su principio fundamental Con respecto a la arbitrariedad del signo. segundo. En la Gramatología y en otros lugares, Derrida argumenta que la significación, concebida ampliamente, siempre se refiere a otros signos, y que nunca se puede llegar a un signo que se refiere sólo a sí mismo. Sugiere que la escritura no es un signo de un signo, excepto si se lo dice de todos los signos, lo cual sería más profundamente verdadero (OG 43), y este proceso de referencia infinita, de no llegar nunca al significado mismo, es la noción de Escritura que quiere enfatizar. Esto no es una escritura estrechamente concebida, como en una inscripción literal en una página, sino lo que él llama arche-writing. Arche-writing se refiere a una noción más generalizada de la escritura que insiste en que la brecha que introduce el escrito entre lo que se pretende transmitir y lo que realmente se transmite, es típico de una violación originaria que afecta todo lo que se desea guardar sacrosanto, La noción de auto-presencia. Esta brecha originaria a la que se refiere la arche-escritura puede separarse para revelar dos afirmaciones relativas a la diferenciación espacial y el aplazamiento temporal. Para explicar la primera de estas afirmaciones, el énfasis de Derridas en cómo la escritura difiere de sí mismo es simplemente sugerir que la escritura, y por extensión toda la repetición, es dividida (diferenciada) por la ausencia que lo hace necesario. Un ejemplo de esto podría ser que escribimos algo porque podemos olvidarlo pronto, o para comunicar algo a alguien que no está con nosotros. Según Derrida, toda escritura, para ser lo que es, debe poder funcionar en ausencia de todo destinatario determinado empíricamente (M 375). Derrida también considera que el aplazamiento es típico de lo escrito y esto es para reforzar que el significado de un cierto texto nunca está presente, nunca totalmente capturado por un intento crítico de fijarlo. El significado de un texto está constantemente sujeto a los caprichos del futuro, pero cuando ese supuesto futuro está presente en sí mismo (si tratamos de circunscribir el futuro por referencia a una fecha o un evento específico), su significado tampoco se realiza, pero Sujeto a otro futuro que tampoco puede estar presente. La llave de un texto ni siquiera está presente al propio autor, pues el escrito siempre difiere su significado. Como consecuencia, no podemos simplemente pedirle a Derrida que explique exactamente lo que quiso decir al proponer ese sentimiento enigmático que se ha traducido, ya que no hay nada fuera del texto (OG 158). Cualquier explicación que Derrida pudiera ofrecer, requeriría una explicación más detallada. Dicho esto, hay que subrayar que el punto de Derridas no es tanto que todo sea simplemente semiótico o lingüístico -como es algo que él niega explícitamente- sino que los procesos de diferenciación y diferimiento encontrados dentro de la representación lingüística son sintomáticos de un enfoque más general Situación que aflige todo, incluyendo el cuerpo y lo perceptivo. Así, la noción más generalizada de Derridas de escritura, arche-escritura, se refiere a la manera en que lo escrito es posible sólo a causa de este aplazamiento originario de significado que asegura que el significado nunca puede estar definitivamente presente. Junto con el aspecto distinto que ya le hemos visto asociar, y luego extenderse más allá de los confines tradicionales de la escritura, vendrá a describir estos dos procesos superpuestos a través de ese más famoso de los neologismos: diffrance. do. Diffrance Diffrance es un intento de conjugar los aspectos diferenciados y diferidos de la arche-escritura en un término que por sí mismo juega en la distinción entre lo audible y lo escrito. Después de todo, lo que diferencia diffrance y diffrence es inaudible, y esto significa que distinguir entre ellos realmente requiere lo escrito. Esto problematiza esfuerzos como Saussures, que además de tratar de mantener el habla y la escritura separados, también sugieren que la escritura es una adición casi innecesaria al habla. En respuesta a tal afirmación, Derrida simplemente puede señalar que hay a menudo, y tal vez incluso siempre, este tipo de ambigüedad en la palabra hablada - diffrence en comparación con diffrance - que exige referencia a lo escrito. Si la palabra hablada requiere que el escrito funcione correctamente, entonces lo hablado está siempre a una distancia de cualquier supuesta claridad de conciencia. Es esta brecha originaria la que Derrida asocia con los términos arche-writing y diffrance. Por supuesto, diffrance no puede ser definido exhaustivamente, y esto es en gran parte debido a la insistencia de Derridas que no es ni una palabra, ni un concepto, así como el hecho de que el significado del término cambia dependiendo del contexto particular en el cual está siendo Empleado Por el momento, sin embargo, basta con sugerir que, según Derrida, diffrance es típico de lo que está involucrado en la arque-escritura y esta noción generalizada de escritura que rompe toda la lógica del signo (OG 7). La convicción generalizada de que el signo representa literalmente algo que, aunque no presente, pudiera estar potencialmente presente, se hace imposible por medio de la arqueo-escritura, que insiste en que los signos siempre se refieren a más signos ad infinitum. Y que no hay ningún referente u fundamento último. Esta reversión del término subordinado de una oposición logra la primera deconstrucciones doble intentos estratégicos. En lugar de ser criticado por ser derivado o secundario, para Derrida, la escritura, o por lo menos los procesos que caracterizan a la escritura (es decir, diffrance y arche-writing), son omnipresentes. Así como una escritura no tiene ningún sujeto presente para explicar lo que significa cada palabra en particular (y esto asegura que lo que está escrito debe eludir parcialmente a cualquier individuo intentarlo), esto es igualmente típico de lo hablado. Utilizando la misma estructura de repetición, nada garantiza que otra persona diera las palabras que utilizo con el significado particular que les atribuyo. Incluso la concepción de un monólogo interno y la idea de que podemos oír nuestros propios pensamientos de manera no contingente está equivocada, ya que ignora la manera en que la escritura arquetípica privilegia la diferencia y la no coincidencia consigo mismo (SP 60-70 ). re. A este respecto, hay que señalar que todas las inversiones deconstrucciones (arche-escritura incluidas) son capturadas en parte por el edificio que tratan de derrocar. Para Derrida, uno siempre habita, y aún más cuando uno no lo sospecha (OG 24), y es importante reconocer que la mera inversión de una oposición metafísica existente no podría también desafiar el marco de gobierno y las presuposiciones que están tratando de Invertido (WD 280). La deconstrucción, por tanto, no puede contentarse con meramente dar prioridad a la escritura sobre el habla, sino también debe cumplir el segundo aspecto principal de las destrucciones de las estrategias duales, es decir, corromper y contaminar a la propia oposición. Derrida debe destacar que las categorías que sustentan y salvaguardan cualquier dualismo siempre están ya interrumpidas y desplazadas. Para efectuar este segundo aspecto de las intenciones estratégicas de la desconstrucción, Derrida suele acuñar un nuevo término, o reelaborar uno antiguo, para interrumpir permanentemente la estructura en la que ha intervenido - ejemplos de esto incluyen su discusión del pharmakon en Platón (droga o tintura, Saludable o maléfica), y el suplemento de Rousseau, que será considerado al final de esta sección. Para enunciar el problema en términos ligeramente diferentes, el argumento de Derridas es que al examinar una oposición binaria, la deconstrucción logra exponer un rastro. Esto no es un rastro de las oposiciones que desde entonces han sido desconstruidas; por el contrario, el rastro es una ruptura dentro de la metafísica, un patrón de incongruencias donde el metafísico se frota contra lo no metafísico, que es un trabajo deconstrucciones para yuxtaponer lo mejor Como puede. La traza no aparece como tal (OG 65), pero la lógica de su trayectoria en un texto puede ser mimetizada por una intervención deconstructiva y, por tanto, puesta de manifiesto. mi. Suplemento La lógica del suplemento es también un aspecto importante de la Gramatología. Un suplemento es algo que, supuestamente secundariamente, viene a servir como una ayuda a algo original o natural. La escritura es en sí misma un ejemplo de esta estructura, pues como señala Derrida, si la complementariedad es un proceso necesariamente indefinido, la escritura es el suplemento por excelencia, ya que se propone como suplemento del suplemento, signo de un signo, tomando el lugar de un Discurso ya significativo (OG 281). Otro ejemplo del suplemento podría ser la masturbación, como sugiere Derrida (OG 153), o incluso el uso de precauciones anticonceptivas. Lo que es notable en ambos ejemplos es una ambigüedad que asegura que lo que es complementario siempre se puede interpretar de dos maneras. Por ejemplo, el uso de nuestras precauciones de control de la natalidad por parte de la sociedad podría interpretarse como una sugerencia de que nuestra forma natural está ausente y que la píldora anticonceptiva, o condón, etc. reemplaza una falla en la naturaleza. Por otra parte, también podría argumentarse que tales precauciones simplemente se suman a, y enriquecen nuestra forma natural. Es siempre ambiguo, o más exactamente indecidible, si el suplemento se suma y es una plenitud que enriquece otra plenitud, la medida más completa de la presencia, o si el complemento complementa sólo a sustituir representa y hace que una imagen se le asigne su lugar en la estructura Por la marca de un vacío (OG 144). En última instancia, Derrida sugiere que el suplemento es ambos de estas cosas, la acumulación y la sustitución (OG 200), lo que significa que el suplemento no es un significante más que un significante, un representante de una presencia, una escritura que un discurso (OG 315) . Se trata antes de todas esas modalidades. Esto no es sólo una sugerencia retórica que no tiene significado concreto en la deconstrucción. De hecho, mientras Rousseau lamenta constantemente la frecuencia de su masturbación en su libro, The Confessions. Derrida sostiene que nunca se ha podido desear la presencia en persona, antes de este juego de sustitución y de la experiencia simbólica del auto-afecto (OG 154). Derrida significa que esta masturbación suplementaria que juega entre presencia y ausencia (por ejemplo, la imagen de la ausente Teresa evocada por Rousseau) es aquella que nos permite concebir estar presente y cumplido en las relaciones sexuales con otra en absoluto. En cierto sentido, la masturbación es originaria, y según Derrida, esta situación se aplica a todas las relaciones sexuales. All erotic relations have their own supplementary aspect in which we are never present to some ephemeral meaning of sexual relations, but always involved in some form of representation. Even if this does not literally take the form of imagining another in the place of, or supplementing the presence that is currently with us, and even if we are not always acting out a certain role, or faking certain pleasures, for Derrida, such representations and images are the very conditions of desire and of enjoyment (OG 156). 4. Time and Phenomenology Derrida has had a long and complicated association with phenomenology for his entire career, including ambiguous relationships with Husserl and Heidegger, and something closer to a sustained allegiance with Lvinas. Despite this complexity, two main aspects of Derridas thinking regarding phenomenology remain clear. Firstly, he thinks that the phenomenological emphasis upon the immediacy of experience is the new transcendental illusion, and secondly, he argues that despite its best intents, phenomenology cannot be anything other than a metaphysics (SP 75, 104). In this context, Derrida defines metaphysics as the science of presence, as for him (as for Heidegger), all metaphysics privileges presence, or that which is . While they are presented schematically here, these inter-related claims constitute Derridas major arguments against phenomenology. According to Derrida, phenomenology is a metaphysics of presence because it unwittingly relies upon the notion of an indivisible self-presence, or in the case of Husserl, the possibility of an exact internal adequation with oneself (SP 66-8). In various texts, Derrida contests this valorisation of an undivided subjectivity, as well as the primacy that such a position accords to the now, or to some other kind of temporal immediacy. For instance, in Speech and Phenomena . Derrida argues that if a now moment is conceived of as exhausting itself in that experience, it could not actually be experienced, for there would be nothing to juxtapose itself against in order to illuminate that very now. Instead, Derrida wants to reveal that every so-called present, or now point, is always already compromised by a trace, or a residue of a previous experience, that precludes us ever being in a self-contained now moment (SP 68). Phenomenology is hence envisaged as nostalgically seeking the impossible: that is, coinciding with oneself in an immediate and pre-reflective spontaneity. Following this refutation of Husserlian temporality, Derrida remarks that in the last analysis, what is at stake is. the privilege of the actual present, the now (SP 62-3). Instead of emphasising the presence of a subject to themselves (ie. the so-called living-present), Derrida strategically utilises a conception of time that emphasises deferral. John Caputo expresses Derridas point succinctly when he claims that Derridas criticisms of Husserlian temporality in Speech and Phenomena involve an attempt to convey that: What is really going on in things, what is really happening, is always to come. Every time you try to stabilise the meaning of a thing, try to fix it in its missionary position, the thing itself, if there is anything at all to it, slips away (cf. SP 104, Caputo DN 31). To put Derridas point simplistically, it might be suggested that the meaning of a particular object, or a particular word, is never stable, but always in the process of change (eg. the dissemination of meaning for which deconstruction has become notorious). Moreover, the significance of that past change can only be appreciated from the future and, of course, that future is itself implicated in a similar process of transformation were it ever to be capable of becoming present. The future that Derrida is referring to is hence not just a future that will become present, but the future that makes all presence possible and also impossible. For Derrida, there can be no presence-to-self, or self-contained identity, because the nature of our temporal existence is for this type of experience to elude us. Our predominant mode of being is what he will eventually term the messianic (see Section 6 ), in that experience is about the wait, or more aptly, experience is only when it is deferred. Derridas work offers many important temporal contributions of this quasi-transcendental variety. 5. Undecidability In its first and most famous instantiation, undecidability is one of Derridas most important attempts to trouble dualisms, or more accurately, to reveal how they are always already troubled. An undecidable, and there are many of them in deconstruction (eg. ghost, pharmakon, hymen, etc.), is something that cannot conform to either polarity of a dichotomy (eg. present/absent, cure/poison, and inside/outside in the above examples). For example, the figure of a ghost seems to neither present or absent, or alternatively it is both present and absent at the same time (SM). However, Derrida has a recurring tendency to resuscitate terms in different contexts, and the term undecidability also returns in later deconstruction. Indeed, to complicate matters, undecidability returns in two discernible forms. In his recent work, Derrida often insists that the condition of the possibility of mourning, giving, forgiving, and hospitality, to cite some of his most famous examples, is at once also the condition of their impossibility (see section 7 ). In his explorations of these possible-impossible aporias, it becomes undecidable whether genuine giving, for example, is either a possible or an impossible ideal. a. Decision Derridas later philosophy is also united by his analysis of a similar type of undecidability that is involved in the concept of the decision itself. In this respect, Derrida regularly suggests that a decision cannot be wise, or posed even more provocatively, that the instant of the decision must actually be mad (DPJ 26, GD 65). Drawing on Kierkegaard, Derrida tells us that a decision requires an undecidable leap beyond all prior preparations for that decision (GD 77), and according to him, this applies to all decisions and not just those regarding the conversion to religious faith that preoccupies Kierkegaard. To pose the problem in inverse fashion, it might be suggested that for Derrida, all decisions are a faith and a tenuous faith at that, since were faith and the decision not tenuous, they would cease to be a faith or a decision at all (cf. GD 80). This description of the decision as a moment of madness that must move beyond rationality and calculative reasoning may seem paradoxical, but it might nevertheless be agreed that a decision requires a leap of faith beyond the sum total of the facts. Many of us are undoubtedly stifled by the difficulty of decision-making, and this psychological fact aids and, for his detractors, also abets Derridas discussion of the decision as it appears in texts like The Gift of Death . Deconstruction and the Possibility of Justice . Adieu to Emmanuel Lvinas . and Politics of Friendship . In Adieu to Emmanuel Lvinas . Derrida argues that a decision must always come back to the other, even if it is the other inside the subject, and he disputes that an initiative which remained purely and simply mine would still be a decision (AEL 23-4). A theory of the subject is incapable of accounting for the slightest decision (PF 68-9), because, as he rhetorically asks, would we not be justified in seeing here the unfolding of an egological immanence, the autonomic and automatic deployment of predicates or possibilities proper to a subject, without the tearing rupture that should occur in every decision we call free (AEL 24). In other words, if a decision is envisaged as simply following from certain character attributes, then it would not genuinely be a decision. Derrida is hence once more insisting upon the necessity of a leap beyond calculative reasoning, and beyond the resources of some self-contained subject reflecting upon the matter at hand. A decision must invoke that which is outside of the subjects control. If a decision is an example of a concept that is simultaneously impossible within its own internal logic and yet nevertheless necessary, then not only is our reticence to decide rendered philosophically cogent, but it is perhaps even privileged. Indeed, Derridas work has been described as a philosophy of hesitation, and his most famous neologism, diffrance . explicitly emphasises deferring, with all of the procrastination that this term implies. Moreover, in his early essay Violence and Metaphysics, Derrida also suggests that a successful deconstructive reading is conditional upon the suspension of choice: on hesitating between the ethical opening and the logocentric totality (WD 84). Even though Derrida has suggested that he is reluctant to use the term ethics because of logocentric associations, one is led to conclude that ethical behaviour (for want of a better word) is a product of deferring, and of being forever open to possibilities rather than taking a definitive position. The problem of undecidability is also evident in more recent texts including The Gift of Death . In this text, Derrida seems to support the sacrificing of a certain notion of ethics and universality for a conception of radical singularity not unlike that evinced by the hyper-ethical sacrifice that Abraham makes of his son upon Mt Moriah, according to both the Judaic and Christian religions alike (GD 71). To represent Derridas position more precisely, true responsibility consists in oscillating between the demands of that which is wholly other (in Abrahams case, God, but also any particular other) and the more general demands of a community (see Section 6 ). Responsibility is enduring this trial of the undecidable decision, where attending to the call of a particular other will inevitably demand an estrangement from the other others and their communal needs. Whatever decision one may take, according to Derrida, it can never be wholly justified (GD 70). Of course, Derridas emphasis upon the undecidability inherent in all decision-making does not want to convey inactivity or a quietism of despair, and he has insisted that the madness of the decision also demands urgency and precipitation (DPJ 25-8). Nevertheless, what is undergone is described as the trial of undecidability (LI 210) and what is involved in enduring this trial would seem to be a relatively anguished being. In an interview with Richard Beardsworth, Derrida characterises the problem of undecidability as follows: However careful one is in the theoretical preparation of a decision, the instant of the decision, if there is to be a decision, must be heterogeneous to the accumulation of knowledge. Otherwise, there is no responsibility. In this sense not only must the person taking the decision not know everything. the decision, if there is to be one, must advance towards a future which is not known, which cannot be anticipated (NM 37). This suggestion that the decision cannot anticipate the future is undoubtedly somewhat counter-intuitive, but Derridas rejection of anticipation is not only a rejection of the traditional idea of deciding on the basis of weighing-up and internally representing certain options. By suggesting that anticipation is not possible, he means to make the more general point that no matter how we may anticipate any decision must always rupture those anticipatory frameworks. A decision must be fundamentally different from any prior preparations for it. As Derrida suggests in Politics of Friendship . the decision must surprise the very subjectivity of the subject (PF 68), and it is in making this leap away from calculative reasoning that Derrida argues that responsibility consists (PF 69). 6. The Other a. Responsibility to the Other Perhaps the most obvious aspect of Derridas later philosophy is his advocation of the tout autre . the wholly other, and The Gift of Death will be our main focus in explaining what this exaltation of the wholly other might mean. Any attempt to sum up this short but difficult text would have to involve the recognition of a certain incommensurability between the particular and the universal, and the dual demands placed upon anybody intending to behave responsibly. For Derrida, the paradox of responsible behaviour means that there is always a question of being responsible before a singular other (eg. a loved one, God, etc.), and yet we are also always referred to our responsibility towards others generally and to what we share with them. Derrida insists that this type of aporia, or problem, is too often ignored by the knights of responsibility who presume that accountability and responsibility in all aspects of life - whether that be guilt before the human law, or even before the divine will of God - is quite easily established (GD 85). These are the same people who insist that concrete ethical guidelines should be provided by any philosopher worth his or her salt (GD 67) and who ignore the difficulties involved in a notion like responsibility, which demands something importantly different from merely behaving dutifully (GD 63). Derridas exploration of Abrahams strange and paradoxical responsibility before the demands of God, which consists in sacrificing his only son Isaac, but also in betraying the ethical order through his silence about this act (GD 57-60), is designed to problematise this type of ethical concern that exclusively locates responsibility in the realm of generality. In places, Derrida even verges on suggesting that this more common notion of responsibility, which insists that one should behave according to a general principle that is capable of being rationally validated and justified in the public realm (GD 60), should be replaced with something closer to an Abrahamian individuality where the demands of a singular other (eg. God) are importantly distinct from the ethical demands of our society (GD 61, 66). Derrida equivocates regarding just how far he wants to endorse such a conception of responsibility, and also on the entire issue of whether Abrahams willingness to murder is an act of faith, or simply an unforgivable transgression. As he says, Abraham is at the same time, the most moral and the most immoral, the most responsible and the most irresponsible (GD 72). This equivocation is, of course, a defining trait of deconstruction, which has been variously pilloried and praised for this refusal to propound anything that the tradition could deem to be a thesis. Nevertheless, it is relatively clear that in The Gift of Death . Derrida intends to free us from the common assumption that responsibility is to be associated with behaviour that accords with general principles capable of justification in the public realm (ie. liberalism). In opposition to such an account, he emphasises the radical singularity of the demands placed upon Abraham by God (GD 60, 68, 79) and those that might be placed on us by our own loved ones. Ethics, with its dependence upon generality, must be continually sacrificed as an inevitable aspect of the human condition and its aporetic demand to decide (GD 70). As Derrida points out, in writing about one particular cause rather than another, in pursuing one profession over another, in spending time with ones family rather than at work, one inevitably ignores the other others (GD 69), and this is a condition of any and every existence. He argues that: I cannot respond to the call, the request, the obligation, or even the love of another, without sacrificing the other other, the other others (GD 68). For Derrida, it seems that the Buddhist desire to have attachment to nobody and equal compassion for everybody is an unattainable ideal. He does, in fact, suggest that a universal community that excludes no one is a contradiction in terms. According to him, this is because: I am responsible to anyone (that is to say, to any other) only by failing in my responsibility to all the others, to the ethical or political generality. And I can never justify this sacrifice I must always hold my peace about it. What binds me to this one or that one, remains finally unjustifiable (GD 70). Derrida hence implies that responsibility to any particular individual is only possible by being irresponsible to the other others, that is, to the other people and possibilities that haunt any and every existence. segundo. Wholly Other/Messianic This brings us to a term that Derrida has resuscitated from its association with Walter Benjamin and the Judaic tradition more generally. That term is the messianic and it relies upon a distinction with messianism. According to Derrida, the term messianism refers predominantly to the religions of the Messiahs - ie. the Muslim, Judaic and Christian religions. These religions proffer a Messiah of known characteristics, and often one who is expected to arrive at a particular time or place. The Messiah is inscribed in their respective religious texts and in an oral tradition that dictates that only if the other conforms to such and such a description is that person actually the Messiah. The most obvious of numerous necessary characteristics for the Messiah, it seems, is that they must invariably be male. Sexuality might seem to be a strange prerequisite to tether to that which is beyond this world, wholly other, but it is only one of many. Now, Derrida is not simplistically disparaging religion and the messianisms they propound. In an important respect, the messianic depends upon the various messianisms and Derrida admits that he cannot say which is the more originary. The messianism of Abraham in his singular responsibility before God, for Derrida, reveals the messianic structure of existence more generally, in that we all share a similar relationship to alterity even if we have not named and circumscribed that experience according to the template provided by a particular religion. However, Derridas call to the wholly other, his invocation for the wholly other to come, is not a call for a fixed or identifiable other of known characteristics, as is arguably the case in the average religious experience. His wholly other is indeterminable and can never actually arrive. Derrida more than once recounts a story of Maurice Blanchots where the Messiah was actually at the gates to a city, disguised in rags. After some time, the Messiah was finally recognised by a beggar, but the beggar could think of nothing more relevant to ask than: when will you come(DN 24). Even when the Messiah is there, he or she must still be yet to come, and this brings us back to the distinction between the messianic and the various historical messianisms. The messianic structure of existence is open to the coming of an entirely ungraspable and unknown other, but the concrete, historical messianisms are open to the coming of a specific other of known characteristics. The messianic refers predominantly to a structure of our existence that involves waiting - waiting even in activity and a ceaseless openness towards a future that can never be circumscribed by the horizons of significance that we inevitably bring to bear upon that possible future. In other words, Derrida is not referring to a future that will one day become present (or a particular conception of the saviour who will arrive), but to an openness towards an unknown futurity that is necessarily involved in what we take to be presence and hence also renders it impossible. A deconstruction that entertained any type of grand prophetic narrative, like a Marxist story about the movement of history toward a pre-determined future which, once attained, would make notions like history and progress obsolete, would be yet another vestige of logocentrism and susceptible to deconstruction (SM). Precisely in order to avoid the problems that such messianisms engender - eg. killing in the name of progress, mutilating on account of knowing the will of God better than others, etc. - Derrida suggests that: I am careful to say let it come because if the other is precisely what is not invented, the initiative or deconstructive inventiveness can consist only in opening, in uncloseting, in destabilising foreclusionary structures, so as to allow for the passage toward the other (RDR 60). 7. Possible and Impossible Aporias Derrida has recently become more and more preoccupied with what has come to be termed possible-impossible aporias - aporia was originally a Greek term meaning puzzle, but it has come to mean something more like an impasse or paradox. In particular, Derrida has described the paradoxes that afflict notions like giving, hospitality, forgiving and mourning. He argues that the condition of their possibility is also, and at once, the condition of their impossibility. In this section, I will attempt to reveal the shared logic upon which these aporias rely. a. The Gift The aporia that surrounds the gift revolves around the paradoxical thought that a genuine gift cannot actually be understood to be a gift. In his text, Given Time . Derrida suggests that the notion of the gift contains an implicit demand that the genuine gift must reside outside of the oppositional demands of giving and taking, and beyond any mere self-interest or calculative reasoning (GT 30). According to him, however, a gift is also something that cannot appear as such (GD 29), as it is destroyed by anything that proposes equivalence or recompense, as well as by anything that even proposes to know of, or acknowledge it. This may sound counter-intuitive, but even a simple thank-you for instance, which both acknowledges the presence of a gift and also proposes some form of equivalence with that gift, can be seen to annul the gift (cf. MDM 149). By politely responding with a thank-you, there is often, and perhaps even always, a presumption that because of this acknowledgement one is no longer indebted to the other who has given, and that nothing more can be expected of an individual who has so responded. Significantly, the gift is hence drawn into the cycle of giving and taking, where a good deed must be accompanied by a suitably just response. As the gift is associated with a command to respond, it becomes an imposition for the receiver, and it even becomes an opportunity to take for the giver, who might give just to receive the acknowledgement from the other that they have in fact given. There are undoubtedly many other examples of how the gift can be deployed, and not necessarily deliberately, to gain advantage. Of course, it might be objected that even if it is psychologically difficult to give without also receiving (and in a manner that is tantamount to taking) this does not in-itself constitute a refutation of the logic of genuine giving. According to Derrida, however, his discussion does not amount merely to an empirical or psychological claim about the difficulty of transcending an immature and egocentric conception of giving. On the contrary, he wants to problematise the very possibility of a giving that can be unequivocally disassociated from receiving and taking. The important point is that, for Derrida, a genuine gift requires an anonymity of the giver, such that there is no accrued benefit in giving. The giver cannot even recognise that they are giving, for that would be to reabsorb their gift to the other person as some kind of testimony to the worth of the self - ie. the kind of self-congratulatory logic that rhetorically poses the question how wonderful I am to give this person that which they have always desired, and without even letting them know that I am responsible. This is an extreme example, but Derrida claims that such a predicament afflicts all giving in more or less obvious ways. For him, the logic of a genuine gift actually requires that self and other be radically disparate, and have no obligations or claims upon each other of any kind. He argues that a genuine gift must involve neither an apprehension of a good deed done, nor the recognition by the other party that they have received, and this seems to render the actuality of any gift an impossibility. Significantly, however, according to Derrida, the existential force of this demand for an absolute altruism can never be assuaged, and yet equally clearly it can also never be fulfilled, and this ensures that the condition of the possibility of the gift is inextricably associated with its impossibility. For Derrida, there is no solution to this type of problem, and no hint of a dialectic that might unify the apparent incommensurability in which possibility implies impossibility and vice versa. At the same time, however, he does not intend simply to vacillate in hyperbolic and self-referential paradoxes. There is a sense in which deconstruction actually seeks genuine giving, hospitality, forgiving and mourning, even where it acknowledges that these concepts are forever elusive and can never actually be fulfilled. segundo. Hospitality It is also worth considering the aporia that Derrida associates with hospitality. According to Derrida, genuine hospitality before any number of unknown others is not, strictly speaking, a possible scenario (OH 135, GD 70, AEL 50, OCF 16). If we contemplate giving up everything that we seek to possess and call our own, then most of us can empathise with just how difficult enacting any absolute hospitality would be. Despite this, however, Derrida insists that the whole idea of hospitality depends upon such an altruistic concept and is inconceivable without it (OCF 22). In fact, he argues that it is this internal tension that keeps the concept alive. As Derrida makes explicit, there is a more existential example of this tension, in that the notion of hospitality requires one to be the master of the house, country or nation (and hence controlling). His point is relatively simple here to be hospitable, it is first necessary that one must have the power to host. Hospitality hence makes claims to property ownership and it also partakes in the desire to establish a form of self-identity. Secondly, there is the further point that in order to be hospitable, the host must also have some kind of control over the people who are being hosted. This is because if the guests take over a house through force, then the host is no longer being hospitable towards them precisely because they are no longer in control of the situation. This means, for Derrida, that any attempt to behave hospitably is also always partly betrothed to the keeping of guests under control, to the closing of boundaries, to nationalism, and even to the exclusion of particular groups or ethnicities (OH 151-5). This is Derridas possible conception of hospitality, in which our most well-intentioned conceptions of hospitality render the other others as strangers and refugees (cf. OH 135, GD 68). Whether one invokes the current international preoccupation with border control, or simply the ubiquitous suburban fence and alarm system, it seems that hospitality always posits some kind of limit upon where the other can trespass, and hence has a tendency to be rather inhospitable. On the other hand, as well as demanding some kind of mastery of house, country or nation, there is a sense in which the notion of hospitality demands a welcoming of whomever, or whatever, may be in need of that hospitality. It follows from this that unconditional hospitality, or we might say impossible hospitality, hence involves a relinquishing of judgement and control in regard to who will receive that hospitality. In other words, hospitality also requires non-mastery, and the abandoning of all claims to property, or ownership. If that is the case, however, the ongoing possibility of hospitality thereby becomes circumvented, as there is no longer the possibility of hosting anyone, as again, there is no ownership or control. do. Forgiveness Derrida discerns another aporia in regard to whether or not to forgive somebody who has caused us significant suffering or pain. This particular paradox revolves around the premise that if one forgives something that is actually forgivable, then one simply engages in calculative reasoning and hence does not really forgive. Most commonly in interviews, but also in his recent text On Cosmopolitanism and Forgiveness . Derrida argues that according to its own internal logic, genuine forgiving must involve the impossible: that is, the forgiving of an unforgivable transgression - eg. a mortal sin (OCF 32, cf. OH 39). There is hence a sense in which forgiving must be mad and unconscious (OCF 39, 49), and it must also remain outside of, or heterogenous to, political and juridical rationality. This unconditional forgiveness explicitly precludes the necessity of an apology or repentance by the guilty party, although Derrida acknowledges that this pure notion of forgiveness must always exist in tension with a more conditional forgiveness where apologies are actually demanded. However, he argues that this conditional forgiveness amounts more to amnesty and reconciliation than to genuine forgiveness (OCF 51). The pattern of this discussion is undoubtedly beginning to become familiar. Derridas discussions of forgiving are orientated around revealing a fundamental paradox that ensures that forgiving can never be finished or concluded - it must always be open, like a permanent rupture, or a wound that refuses to heal. This forgiveness paradox depends, in one of its dual aspects, upon a radical disjunction between self and other. Derrida explicitly states that genuine forgiveness must engage two singularities: the guilty and the victim. As soon as a third party intervenes, one can again speak of amnesty, reconciliation, reparation, etc. but certainly not of forgiveness in the strict sense (OCF 42). Given that he also acknowledges that it is difficult to conceive of any such face-to-face encounter without a third party - as language itself must serve such a mediating function (OCF 48) forgiveness is caught in an aporia that ensures that its empirical actuality looks to be decidedly unlikely. To recapitulate, the reason that Derridas notion of forgiveness is caught in such an inextricable paradox is because absolute forgiveness requires a radically singular confrontation between self and other, while conditional forgiveness requires the breaching of categories such as self and other, either by a mediating party, or simply by the recognition of the ways in which we are always already intertwined with the other. Indeed, Derrida explicitly argues that when we know anything of the other, or even understand their motivation in however minimal a way, this absolute forgiveness can no longer take place (OCF 49). Derrida can offer no resolution in regard to the impasse that obtains between these two notions (between possible and impossible forgiving, between an amnesty where apologies are asked for and a more absolute forgiveness). He will only insist that an oscillation between both sides of the aporia is necessary for responsibility (OCF 51). re. Mourning In Memoires: for Paul de Man . which was written almost immediately following de Mans death in 1983, Derrida reflects upon the political significance of his colleagues apparent Nazi affiliation in his youth, and he also discusses the pain of losing his friend. Derridas argument about mourning adheres to a similarly paradoxical logic to that which has been associated with him throughout this article. He suggests that the so-called successful mourning of the deceased other actually fails - or at least is an unfaithful fidelity because the other person becomes a part of us, and in this interiorisation their genuine alterity is no longer respected. On the other hand, failure to mourn the others death paradoxically appears to succeed, because the presence of the other person in their exteriority is prolonged (MDM 6). As Derrida suggests, there is a sense in which an aborted interiorisation is at the same time a respect for the other as other (MDM 35). Hence the possibility of an impossible bereavement, where the only possible way to mourn, is to be unable to do so. However, even though this is how he initially presents the problem, Derrida also problematises this success fails, failure succeeds formulation (MDM 35). In his essay Fors: The Anglish Words of Nicolas Abraham and Maria Torok, Derrida again considers two models of the type of encroachment between self and other that is regularly associated with mourning. Borrowing from post-Freudian theories of mourning, he posits (although later undermines) a difference between introjection, which is love for the other in me, and incorporation, which involves retaining the other as a pocket, or a foreign body within ones own body. For Freud, as well as for the psychologists Abraham and Torok whose work Derrida considers, successful mourning is primarily about the introjection of the other. The preservation of a discrete and separate other person inside the self (psychologically speaking), as is the case in incorporation, is considered to be where mourning ceases to be a normal response and instead becomes pathological. Typically, Derrida reverses this hierarchy by highlighting that there is a sense in which the supposedly pathological condition of incorporation is actually more respectful of the other persons alterity. After all, incorporation means that one has not totally assimilated the other, as there is still a difference and a heterogeneity (EO 57). On the other hand, Abraham and Toroks so-called normal mourning can be accused of interiorising the other person to such a degree that they have become assimilated and even metaphorically cannibalised. Derrida considers this introjection to be an infidelity to the other. However, Derridas account is not so simple as to unreservedly valorise the incorporation of the other person, even if he emphasises this paradigm in an effort to refute the canonical interpretation of successful mourning. He also acknowledges that the more the self keeps the foreign element inside itself, the more it excludes it (Fors xvii). If we refuse to engage with the dead other, we also exclude their foreignness from ourselves and hence prevent any transformative interaction with them. When fetishised in their externality in such a manner, the dead other really is lifeless and it is significant that Derrida describes the death of de Man in terms of the loss of exchange and of the transformational opportunities that he presented (MDM xvi, cf WM). Derridas point hence seems to be that in mourning, the otherness of the other person resists both the process of incorporation as well as the process of introjection. The other can neither be preserved as a foreign entity, nor introjected fully within. Towards the end of Memoires: for Paul de Man . Derrida suggests that responsibility towards the other is about respecting and even emphasising this resistance (MDM 160, 238). 8. References and Further Reading a. Derridas Texts (and Their Abbreviations) Acts of Literature . Ed. Attridge, New York: Routledge, 1992 (AL). Adieu to Emmanuel Lvinas . trans. Brault amp Naas, Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 1999 (AEL). Circumfessions: Fifty Nine Periphrases . in Bennington, G. Jacques Derrida . Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993 (Circ). On Cosmopolitanism and Forgiveness . London: Routledge, 2001 (OCF). Deconstruction and the Possibility of Justice . (inc. Force of the Law), eds. Cornell, Carlson, amp Benjamin, New York: Routledge, 1992 (DPJ). Dissemination . trans. Johnson, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981 (D). Eating Well or the Calculation of the Subject: An Interview with Jacques Derrida in Who Comes After the Subject eds. Cadava, Connor, amp Nancy, New York: Routledge, 1991, p 96-119. The Ear of the Other: Otobiography, Transference, Translation . trans. Kamuf, ed. McDonald, New York: Schocken Books, 1985 (EO). Edmund Husserls Origin of Geometry: An Introduction . trans. Leavey, Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press, 1978 (1962) (HOG). Fors: The Anglish Words of Nicolas Abraham and Maria Torok, trans. Johnson, in The Wolfmans Magic Word: A Cryptonomy . Abraham, N. amp Torok, M. trans. Rand, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1986 (Fors). The Gift of Death . trans. Wills, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995 (1991) (GD). Given Time: i. Counterfeit Money . trans. Kamuf, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992 (GT). Hostipitality in Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities . Vol. 5, Number 3, Dec 2000. Le Toucher: Jean-Luc Nancy . Paris: Galile, 2000 (T). Le Toucher . Touch/to touch him, in Paragraph . trans. Kamuf, 16:2, 1993, p 122-57. Limited Inc. (inc. Afterword), ed. Graff, trans. Weber, Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1998 edition (LI). Margins of Philosophy . trans. Bass, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982 (M). Memoires: for Paul de Man . trans. Lindsay, Culler, Cadava, amp Kamuf, New York: Columbia University Press, 1989 (MDM). Memoirs of the Blind: The Self-Portrait and Other Ruins . trans. Brault amp Naas, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993 (1991) (MB). Monolingualism of the Other or the Prosthesis of Origin . trans. Mensh, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1996 (MO). Nietzsche and the Machine: Interview with Jacques Derrida (interviewer Beardsworth) in Journal of Nietzsche Studies . Issue 7, Spring 1994 (NM). Of Grammatology . trans. Spivak, Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1976 (OG). Derrida, J. amp Dufourmantelle, A. Of Hospitality . trans. Bowlby, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2000 (OH). On the Name (inc. Passions), ed. Dutoit, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1995 (ON). Ousia and Gramme: A Note to a Footnote in Being and Time trans. Casey in Phenomenology in Perspective . Ed. Smith, The Hague: Nijhoff, 1970. Parages . Paris: Galile, 1986. Points. Interviews, 1974-1995 . Ed. Weber, trans. Kamuf et al, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1995 (P). Politics of Friendship . trans. Collins, New York: Verso, 1997 (PF). Positions . trans. Bass, London: Athlone Press, 1981 (1972) (PO). Psyche: Inventions of the Other in Reading De Man Reading . eds. Waters amp Godzich, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1989 (RDR). Spectres of Marx: The State of the Debt, the Work of Mourning and the New International . trans. Kamuf, New York: Routledge, 1994 (SM). Speech and Phenomena and Other Essays on Husserls Theory of Signs . trans. Allison, Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1973 (1967) (SP). The Work of Mourning . eds. Brault amp Naas, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001 (WM). Writing and Difference . trans. Bass, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1978 (1967) (WD). segundo. Selected Commentaries Bennington, G. Interrupting Derrida . Warwick Studies in European Philosophy, London: Routledge, 2000. Bennington, G. Jacques Derrida . Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993. Caputo, J. Deconstruction in a Nutshell . New York: Fordham University Press, 1997. Caputo, J. The Prayers and Tears of Jacques Derrida . Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1997. Critchley, S. The Ethics of Deconstruction: Derrida and Lvinas . Oxford, UK: Blackwell, 1992. Culler, J. On Deconstruction: Theory and Criticism after Structuralism . London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1983. Gasch, R. Inventions of Difference: On Jacques Derrida . Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1994. Gasch, R. The Tain of the Mirror: Derrida and the Philosophy of Reflection . Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1986. Hart, K. The Trespass of the Sign: Deconstruction, Theology and Philosophy . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989. Harvey, I. Derrida and the Economy of Diffrance . Studies in Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1986. Howells, C. Derrida: Deconstruction from Phenomenology to Ethics . Cambridge: Polity Press, 1999. Krell, D. The Purest of Bastards: Works of Art, Affirmation and Mourning in the Thought of Jacques Derrida . Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania University Press, 2000. Norris, C. Derrida . Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1987. Patrick, M. Derrida, Responsibility and Politics . Avebury Series in Philosophy, Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing, 1997. Silverman, H. ed. Derrida and Deconstruction . New York: Routledge, 1989. Wood, D. The Deconstruction of Time . Contemporary Studies in Philosophy and the Human Sciences, Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey: Humanities Press, 1989. Wood, D. ed. Derrida: A Critical Reader . Oxford: Blackwell, 1992. Wood, D. amp Bernasconi, R. eds. Derrida and Diffrance . Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1988. Author Information An encyclopedia of philosophy articles written by professional philosophers. Stay Connected Browse by Topic Recent ArticlesThe Impotence of Pseudo-Antagonism: A Derridean Response to Zizekx27s Charge of Practical Irrelevance Show abstract Hide abstract ABSTRACT: Derrida was increasingly overt in later years that he employed a kind of logic, in which the classical tools of reasoning have their place. This article thus enquires into whether Derrida can be approached logically to seek this logic through the foil of Andrea Hurstx27s1 work. Hurst suggests Derrida proceeds via one plural logic, arising from the nonpresence of any concept, contamination and refusal of choice from binary options. These interact to arrive at aporia. Derridax27s system thus works via one internal/external binary which proceeds in constructive and destructive moments. However, this article suggests that despite arguing for consistency, Hurst elides contradiction as a tool, thus cannot distinguish error from aporia. A critical criterion which utilises noncontradiction is developed, which suggests some ways by which seeking Derridax27s logic could proceed, then points to the importance of suspension of logic in Derridax27s work. The immediate practical application is to the question of whether Derrida is politically relevant, and it is hoped the outcome will justify the use of this method in reading Derrida. Article Sep 2010 Dino R. GalettiLooking for a Logic in Derrida: Assessing Hurst8217s 8220Plural Logic of the a Logic in Derrida: Assessing Hurst8217s 8220Plural Logic of of choice from binary options. 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