Top Derrida Quotes

Browse top 10 famous quotes and sayings about Derrida by most favorite authors.

Favorite Derrida Quotes

1. "The 1980s witnessed radical advances in the theorisation of the study of literature in the universities. It had begun in France in the 1960s and it made a large impact on the higher education establishments of Britain and America. New life was breathed into psychoanalytic and Marxist theory, while structuralism gave way to post-structuralism. The stability of the text as a focus of study was challenged by deconstruction, a theory developed by the French philosopher, Jacques Derrida, which represented a complete fracture with the old liberal-formalist mode of reading. Coherence and unity were seen as illusory and readers were liberated to aim at their own meanings. Hardy's texts were at the centre of these theoretical movements, including one that came to prominence in the 1980s, feminism."
Author: Geoffrey Harvey
2. "I used to teach at Yale, which was at one time a center of postmodernist literary theory. Derrida was there. Paul de Man was there."
Author: Harry Frankfurt
3. "Or, to put it another way, presuppositional apologetics--such as that developed by Francis Schaeffer, but also by Cornelius Van Til and, to a degree, Herman Dooeyeweerd--rejects classical apologetics precisely because presuppositionalism recognizes the truth of Derrida's claim that everything is interpretation (though I am admittedly radicalizing their intuitions)."
Author: James K.A. Smith
4. "Madeline began hearing people saying "Derrida". She heard them saying "Lyotard" and "Foucault" and "Deleuze" and "Baudrillard". That most of these people were those she instinctually disapproved of- upper-middle-class kids who wore Doc Martens and anarchist symbols- made Madeline dubious about the value of their enthusiasm."
Author: Jeffrey Eugenides
5. "With Derrida, you can hardly misread him, because he's so obscure. Every time you say, "He says so and so," he always says, "You misunderstood me." But if you try to figure out the correct interpretation, then that's not so easy. I once said this to Michel Foucault, who was more hostile to Derrida even than I am, and Foucault said that Derrida practiced the method of obscurantisme terroriste (terrorism of obscurantism). We were speaking French. And I said, "What the hell do you mean by that?" And he said, "He writes so obscurely you can't tell what he's saying, that's the obscurantism part, and then when you criticize him, he can always say, 'You didn't understand me; you're an idiot.' That's the terrorism part." And I like that. So I wrote an article about Derrida. I asked Michel if it was OK if I quoted that passage, and he said yes."
Author: John Rogers Searle
6. "Derrida… labels as ‘metaphysical' any such thought system which depends on an unassailable foundation, a first principle or unimpeachable ground upon which a whole hierarchy of meanings may be constructed. It is not that he believes that we can merely rid ourselves of the urge to forge such first principles, for such an impulse is deeply embedded in our history, and cannot — at least as yet — be eradicated or ignored. Derrida would see his own work as inescapably ‘contaminated' by such metaphysical thought, much as he strives to give it the slip. But if you examine such first principles closely, you can see that they may always be ‘deconstructed': they can be shown to be products of a particular system of meaning, rather than what props it up from the outside."
Author: Terry Eagleton
7. "Not all of Derrida's writing is to everyone's taste. He had an irritating habit of overusing the rhetorical question, which lends itself easily to parody: 'What is it, to speak? How can I even speak of this? Who is this "I" who speaks of speaking?"
Author: Terry Eagleton
8. "Certain American uses of deconstruction, Derrida has observed, work to ensure ‘an institutional closure' which serves the dominant political and economic interests of American society. Derrida is clearly out to do more than develop new techniques of reading: deconstruction is for him an ultimately political practice, an attempt to dismantle the logic by which a particular system of thought, and behind that a whole system of political structures and social institutions, maintains its force. He is not seeking, absurdly, to deny the existence of relatively determinate truths, meanings, identities, intentions, historical continuities; he is seeking rather to see such things as the effects of a wider and deeper history of language, of the unconscious, of social institutions and practices."
Author: Terry Eagleton
9. "And cranky old Jacques Derrida notwithstanding, we do love our dichotomies."
Author: Thomas King
10. "Given Loughner's obsession with meaninglessness and language, maybe Foucault & Derrida deserve some fault here, too."
Author: Walter Kirn

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Author: A.A. Milne

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