Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Deconstruction and Différance

Butterfly on my front porch

Here's a nice little piece on the meaning of "deconstruction," a la Jacques Derrida. It's about différance. Andy Martin writes that deconstruction is about seeing different possibilities simultaneously (seeing the other and the self concurrently). Martin writes:

"The différance lies in not being able to square them or finally make sense of the totality. Deconstruction is the quantum physics of philosophy. Just as Schrödinger's cat is both alive and dead, so Plato's pharmakon is both medicine and poison. Meanings are superposed in an aporia - not 'either/or', but 'and/and'. To be and not to be. Derrida did us the service, in verbal terms, of taking what we thought of as fairly solid tables and chairs and pointing out that, apart from a few stray particles of sense whirling about, they were mainly made up of sheer nothingness. He was bound to annoy the but-hold-on-a-second-I'm-sitting-on-it-aren't-I party (otherwise known as logocentrists)."