Jacques derrida essays

André Green objected that "when you read Freud, it is obvious that this proposition doesn't work for a minute. Freud very clearly opposes the unconscious (which he says is constituted by thing-presentations and nothing else) to the pre-conscious. What is related to language can only belong to the pre-conscious". [34] Freud certainly contrasted "the presentation of the word and the presentation of the thing ... the unconscious presentation is the presentation of the thing alone" [35] in his metapsychology. However Dylan Evans, in his Dictionary of Lacanian Psychoanalysis, "... takes issue with those who, like André Green, question the linguistic aspect of the unconscious, emphasizing Lacan's distinction between das Ding and die Sache in Freud's account of thing-presentation". [36] Green's criticism of Lacan also included accusations of intellectual dishonesty, he said, "[He] cheated everybody… the return to Freud was an excuse, it just meant going to Lacan." [37]

Let us now persist in using this opposition of nature and institution, of physis and nomos (which also means, of course, a distribution and division regulated in fact by law) which a meditation on writing should disturb although it functions everywhere as self-evident, particularly in the discourse of linguistics. We must then conclude that only the signs called natural, those that Hegel and Saussure call “symbols,” escape semiology as grammatology. But they fall a fortiori outside the field of linguistics as the region of general semiology. The thesis of the arbitrariness of the sign thus indirectly but irrevocably contests Saussure's declared proposition when he chases writing to the outer darkness of language. This thesis successfully accounts for a conventional relationship between the phoneme and the grapheme (in phonetic writing, between the phoneme, signifier-signified, and the grapheme, pure signifier), but by the same token it forbids that the latter be an “image” of the former. Now it was indispensable to the exclusion of writing as “external system,” that it come to impose an “image,” a “representation,” or a “figuration,” an exterior reflection of the reality of language.

One notable fact about the reception of deconstruction in the United States was its relatively early acceptance by departments of literature compared to departments of philosophy.  Undoubtedly , there are several reasons for this, but one may be that, as Geoffrey Hartman notes, “Deconstructive criticism does not present itself as a novel enterprise” because the ambiguity and contextuality, the interplay of the spoken and written word, that deconstruction emphasizes in philosophical texts are both more obvious and more acknowledged in literary ones.  At the same time, deconstruction, by foregrounding the fact that “Everything we thought of as spirit, or meaning separable from the letter of the text, remains within an ‘intertextual’ sphere” (DC viii), opened important channels of communication between philosophy and literary studies.

Jacques derrida essays

jacques derrida essays


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