Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Derrida's Deconstruction: Basic Concepts and Intro

Derrida's programmatic text on deconstruction was his 1967 work On Grammatology. Derrida sees his main task as overcoming the entire European philosophy. In this book, Derrida first used such "words-concepts" as: "presence", "logocentrism", "metaphysics", "grammatology", "deconstruction", "writing", " arche-letter "," trace "," difference " and " distinction". Derrida rarly provided clear definitions of these concepts so we'll try our best to explain them here. 

Presence according to Derrida is a way of being, a fundamental concept of all Western philosophy.. Presence implies completeness, self-identity, given, self-sufficiency. Presence always refers to the base, root cause or center and can manifest itself in such forms as essence, existence, substance, subject, transcendence, consciousness, God , man, etc. 

Logocentrism according to Derrida is a given in Western philosophy. The Logos is not so much a mind as a word or a voice. Centering implies a way of pulling together any concepts around a pivot center, which leads to a hierarchy. Logocentrism can take the forms of "phonocentrism", "phallocentrism" and "ethnocentrism".

Metaphysics (Derrida's term borrows from Heidegger) is the space of philosophy, which is based on logocentrism. Metaphysics is limited by systems of binary oppositions (sensory - intelligible, truth - falsehood, good - evil, body - soul, speech - writing, culture - nature, etc.). One of the oppositions always strives to dominate. Revealing these concepts is the main goal of Derrida's deconstruction. This should be facilitated by a new discipline - "grammatology" (which later became deconstruction) . Deconstruction reveals the primary attitudes of philosophy (and European culture in general), on which all other postulates and boundaries are based, which shows their relativity.