Deconstruction Deconstruction is a method of reading which is based on the assumption that language is unreliable. The goal of a deconstructionist reading is to seek out the contradictions in the text to prove that the text lacks unity and coherence. The point isn't really to show that the text means the opposite of what it is supposed to mean, but that there can be no actual interpretation of the text. Although deconstruction is primarily applied to the written word, some practitioners use deconstructive techniques to analyze concepts, systems and institutions.
People of the Movement
The French philosopher Jaques Derrida
invented both the term Deconstruction and the method in the 1960's.
According to Derrida, deconstruction is an outgrowth of the recognition
by Friedrich Nietzsche and Martin Heidegger
that the writer's and the reader's desire for the certainty of meaning
results in the repression of other possible meanings. Deconstruction
also reflects the Structuralists', notably
de Saussure's, characterization of
language as a collection of signs in which meaning is transient and
arbitrary and therefore uncertain. Deconstruction is central to Post-Structuralism.
Return to Home Base