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Jacques Derrida – The Father of Deconstruction

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In recent French intellectual history Jacques Derrida was among the most popular, controversial but also knowledgeable figures. He pioneered a way of philosophy to which he called Deconstruction, that radically changed our comprehension of several academic disciplines, particularly literary studies. 

Derrida was born in El Biar, an Algiers suburb, what used to be French colonial Algeria, in 1930. At school he was initially sluggish and harboured aspirations to become a professional football player. As all other Jewish children, Derrida was unfairly excluded from his Lycée and spent much of his time with his mother at home. He was tremendously affected from the anti-Semitism of the majority Muslim community in Algeria, and it was highly influenced by the experience by being in a weaker position in the fulcrum of three distinct religions: Judaism, Christianity, all of which pretend to speak the reality of the situation that neither of them understood how to treat everyone with specific regard. Derrida at the age of 19 moved to Paris in 1949, to take a seat at the reputable École Normale Supérieure. He was a bright student but was in a strange position. Extremely advantaged in regards to education, but absolutely on the edges in Urban France in his social standing as that of an Algerian Jew. While Derrida wasn’t an autobiographical author, it is difficult not to read his writings as an abstract reply to his understanding of bigotry and exclusion. 

Derrida started developing the ideas which started his career from later 1960s onward. Over time he became an intellectual figure in America and Europe. He was absolutely stunning. A fine looking guy with nice choice in haircuts and raincoats. He had a love life which was beautiful, varied and complex. He was convicted on a wholly complete drug smuggling charge in 1980, but was assisted by both the French president and left-wing politicians. He enjoyed playing billiards and spent much of the afternoons at the game which he was exceptionally good at. He passed away at the age of 74 in 2004 due to pancreatic cancer. Derrida has published 40 books which are all esoteric and discreet. The most widely used term associated to Derrida is deconstruction. He used it to explain how he thought, and when others began to use this word he frequently felt as if they had misinterpreted what he implied by it. Deconstruction basically means removing our unnecessary allegiance to some notion, and trying to see facets of the reality that might lie hidden in the contrary. Derrida wrote his first significant book in 1967: ‘Of Grammatology”. Derrida was sure that because Socrates and other Western philosophers have consistently preferred speech, which has been viewed as genuine communication and not writing, which has been perceived as a pure interpretation as to what others may say, a second-hand account devoid of the engagement and veracity that comes with the speech. But Derrida’s ultimate goal was to pursue a huge, perplexing proposition. However once it is investigated closely, most of our thoughts becomes filled with a hoax, unjust and unhelpful, privileging one aspect over another.

Speech is preferred over text, logic over feelings, men, for long time, women, literature over pictorials , vision over touching. The disregarded opponents and even some of the main counterparts are deserving of love and affection, he insisted. Rationale versus skepticism, masculinity and femininity, benefit versus charity, etc. He hoped that we could learn to deal with a few of the disagreements that lie under these terms more intelligently, that we could begin to see that there are two sides to everything, that both are a little wrong, that both required each other, and that the conflict between them would inevitably always be irrevocable. It might sound like Derrida was just using Deconstruction to criticise tradition and the capitalist system and push an egalitarian agenda for the left, but it was far more cryptic than that. For instance, in the Deconstruction of concept of equality, Derrida suggested that the claim that equality is often better than inequality, while this may be a contemporary liberal maxim, is unreliable and vague, and he figured out that some of best human scenario we encounter is clearly not representations of equality in practice. 

To deconstruct any notion is to prove that it’s really uncertain and loaded with fallacies, and we must always bear in mind its mundanity. Derrida criticised a tendency to assume that a nice and tidy answer lies somewhere behind every situation. He stated, for example, that we can reasonably be puzzled about the benefits of socialism and capitalism, or the relation between sex and love, but we must not jump to conclusions on these subjects. For both sides of such equations, there are interesting things to be said. To infer that capitalism would either be wonderful or perverse, or whether sex and love are closely connected or have little to do with each other, is to avoid confrontation with reality’s deception and surrealistic existence. This is not symbolic of weakness or foolishness to be puzzled and unsure about these definitions. It’s the key symbol of maturity for Derrida.

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