Jacques Derrida (1930-)

Jacques Derrida is a French philosopher whose critique of western philosophy encompasses literature, linguistics and psychoanalysis. Derrida's thought is based on his disapproval of the search for some ultimate metaphysical certainty or source of meaning, which has characterized most western philosophy. In his works he offers a way of reading texts, called Deconstruction which enables the reader to make explicit the metaphysical and a priori assumptions used even by those philosophers which are most deeply critical of metaphysics. Derrida eschewed the holding of any philosophical doctrine and sought to analyze language in an attempt to provide a radically alternative perspective in which the basic notion of a philosophical thesis is called into question.


Born in Algeria, Derrida studied at the Ecole Normale Superieure (read that with lots of accents) in Paris where he later taught the history of philosophy. From 1960 to 1964 he taught at the Sorbonne.


Deconstructive Criticism


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