DERRIDA CIRCUMFESSION PDF

He argues that the meaning of a sign is never revealed in the sign but deferred indefinitely and that a sign only means something by virtue of its difference from something else. It is a extraordinary book. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Buy the selected items together This item: Derrida was the third of five children. He simply declares that there is nothing outside of texts Columbia University Press subsequently refused to offer reprints or new editions. And perhaps that was the intended point.

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Caputo With the death of Jacques Derrida on October 8, , some thirty-seven years after he first burst upon the scene in with three explosive books of philosophy, the world lost one of its deepest, most original and most provocative figures. Born of an assimilated French speaking Jewish family in Algeria on July 15, , he emigrated to France to study philosophy in and in made his first visit to the United States, to which he would be linked by the stars.

His death was greeted with both an outpouring of moving eulogies from his admirers and several sharp attacks on his legacy from both liberal and conservative media.

On what passes for an American left these days, the New York Times obituary was so mean-spirited and unfair that it elicited a letter of protest that ended up going on line, and collected the signatures of thousands of academics, architects, writers, artists and other intellectuals, while the Wall Street Journal, on the other hand, simply put a right wing hit man on the job. Because the genius of Derrida lay in brushing against the grain.

He showed the left that Enlightenment "reason" was to a great extent an historical construction, a more scrupulous account of which would have to include a lot more about faith, contingency and context.

He showed the right that "tradition" was also a construction that was a far more complex and polyvalent mix, a more scrupulous study of which would turn up a lot more than family values and proof that God was on your side.

Those who knew Derrida know that he always had the devil in his eyes. Pursuing a program calculated to madden everyone, his care for more scrupulous renderings of reason and of tradition was greeted with unscrupulous attack.

This is not without precedent. The same of course could have been said for Socrates, who had the same fatal genius for stirring up the great sleeping Athenian steed, for St. Paul, who was run out of more towns than he could count, and for Kierkegaard, at whose burial there was actually a riot. The fuss was about something Derrida called "deconstruction," a word that has actually made it into high-popular culture and shows signs of making it into the common vocabulary.

What everyone has more or less picked up about deconstruction, even if they have never read a word of it, is its destabilizing effect on our favorite texts and institutions. Derrida exposes a certain coefficient of uncertainty in all of them, which causes all of us, right and left, religious and non-religious, male and female, considerable discomfort.

Without reading very closely, it all looked like a joyous nihilism. But what his critics missed and here not reading him makes a difference! The undeconstructible is the stuff of a desire beyond desire, of a desire to affirm that goes beyond a desire to possess, the desire of something for which we can live without reserve.

It was not surprising that in the last fifteen years Derrida would start talking about religion, telling us about his "religion without religion ," about his "prayers and tears," and about the Messiah. He would even write a kind of Jewish Confessions called "Circumfession," a haunting and enigmatic journal he kept while his beloved mother lay dying in Nice, a diary cum dialogue with St.

Augustine, his equally weepy "compatriot. This side of Derrida even makes some admirers nervous, for they would prefer their Derrida straight up, not on what seems to them religious rocks.

For after all, by the standards of the local rabbi or pastor, Derrida "rightly passes for an atheist," which gives secular deconstructors much comfort but giving comfort is not what deconstruction was sent into the world to do. So the best he can do is to rightly pass for this or that and he is very sorry that he cannot do better. Rightly passing for this or that, a Christian, say, really is the best we can do. We make use of such materials as have been available to us, forged in the fires of time and circumstance.

We do not in some deep way know who we are or what the world is. That is not nihilism but a quasi-religious confession, the beginning of wisdom, the onset of faith and compassion. Derrida exposes the doubt that does not merely insinuate itself into faith but that in fact constitutes faith, for faith is faith precisely in the face of doubt and uncertainty, the passion of non-knowing.

Violence on the other hand arises from having a low tolerance for uncertainty so that Derrida shows us why religious violence is bad faith. That means leading a just life comes down to coping with such non-knowing, negotiating among the several competing names that fluctuate undecidably before us, each pretending to name what we are praying for.

For we pray and weep for something that is coming, something I know not what, something nameless that in always slipping away also draws us in its train. Notes 1. Peggy Kamuf New York: Routledge, 4. This content is intended solely for the use of the individual user. Source: Cross Currents, Winter , Vol.

DERRIDA CIRCUMFESSION PDF

DERRIDA CIRCUMFESSION PDF

Caputo With the death of Jacques Derrida on October 8, , some thirty-seven years after he first burst upon the scene in with three explosive books of philosophy, the world lost one of its deepest, most original and most provocative figures. Born of an assimilated French speaking Jewish family in Algeria on July 15, , he emigrated to France to study philosophy in and in made his first visit to the United States, to which he would be linked by the stars. His death was greeted with both an outpouring of moving eulogies from his admirers and several sharp attacks on his legacy from both liberal and conservative media. On what passes for an American left these days, the New York Times obituary was so mean-spirited and unfair that it elicited a letter of protest that ended up going on line, and collected the signatures of thousands of academics, architects, writers, artists and other intellectuals, while the Wall Street Journal, on the other hand, simply put a right wing hit man on the job. Because the genius of Derrida lay in brushing against the grain. He showed the left that Enlightenment "reason" was to a great extent an historical construction, a more scrupulous account of which would have to include a lot more about faith, contingency and context.

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In this adolescent period, Derrida found in the works of philosophers and writers such as Rousseau , Nietzsche , and Gide an instrument of revolt against family and society. At the same colloquium Derrida would meet Jacques Lacan and Paul de Man , the latter an important interlocutor in the years to come. Derrida appears in the film as himself and also contributed to the script. Derrida traveled widely and held a series of visiting and permanent positions. He was elected as its first president. His papers were filed in the university archives.

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