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Deconstructing Deconstructionism. Thoughts of Jacques Derrida. Question: What do you get when you cross Jacques Derrida with a member of the Mafia? Answer: Someone making you an offer you can\'t understand, or refuse! Pimm 1991. Who is Jacques Derrida?

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deconstructing deconstructionism

Deconstructing Deconstructionism

Thoughts of Jacques Derrida

slide2
Question: What do you get when you cross Jacques Derrida with a member of the Mafia?
  • Answer: Someone making you an offer you can\'t understand, or refuse!
          • Pimm 1991
slide4
Who is Jacques Derrida?
    • French Philosopher of the 20th Century
    • Born July 15, 1930, El Biar, Algeria
    • Died October 8, 2004, Paris, France
what is deconstruction
What is Deconstruction?
  • A word coined by Derrida
    • Refers to critical examination of fundamentals of distinctions or oppositions in Western Philosophy
    • Oppositions characteristically “binary”
      • One member of the pair is primary or fundamental
      • Other member is secondary or derivative
what is truth
What is Truth?
  • It depends on where you seek it
according to jacques
According to Jacques….
  • “Truth is supposed to be plain, totally transparent, common, and obvious to everyone – a clear-cut and unarguable claim to knowledge made with no possibility of opposition or exemption to the moral rule of law.”
slide8
Derrida addresses the idea of opposites and proposes that neither member of a pair is superior to the other, since each depends on the other for its validity.
slide9
Which is more authentic – speech or writing?
    • Ideas in speech are “immediate” and “present”
    • Ideas in writing are “remote” and “absent”
slide10
But, speech is language only when it shares characteristics of writing, such as the possibility of being misunderstood.
  • This must be true since Derrida wrote about it.
what is differance
What is Differance?
  • Another Derridean word
    • Means a “difference”
      • Distinct, discernable
    • Means “act of deferring”
      • Present while being omitted
slide12
But then again, since words depend on the meaning of other words for their meaning, the meaning of a word is never really present – it is deferred
slide13
What was that he said about truth?
    • “Truth is supposed to be plain, totally transparent, common, and obvious to everyone..”
slide14
When I choose a word, it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less…”
    • Humpty Dumpty to Alice in Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass
now that you are thoroughly confused
Now that you are thoroughly confused…..
  • Your mission is to investigate the impact of Derrida on late Twentieth Century thought as well as the impact of the Twentieth Century on Derrida’s thought.
slide16
Is Derrida a product of his times or an architect of his times?
  • Are his ideas valid or is he enjoying an inside joke?
  • Can these ideas be applied to a high school classroom?
slide17
Design a webquest for high school freshmen in which they seek the path to truth, as defined by Jacques Derrida
  • Include biographical information and links to his works, and those of the philosophers who most influenced him
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