Derrida / Edition 1

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Overview


Jacques Derrida (born 1930) is undoubtedly the single most influential figure in current Anglo-American literary theory. Yet many scholars and students, not to mention general readers, would be hard put to give an account of Derrida's own writings. In this admirably clear and intelligent introduction, Christopher Norris demonstrates that Derrida's texts should be understood as belonging more to philosophy than to literature. Norris explains the significance of Derrida's writing on texts in the Western philosophical tradition, from Plato to Kant, liegel, and tiusserl, placing him squarely within that tradition. He also discusses some of the reasons for the massive institutional resistance that has so far prevented philosophers from engaging seriously with Derrida's work. This book will be welcomed by readers in search of an introduction to Derrida's work that neither underrates its difficulties nor invests his ideas with a kind of protective mystique.
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Editorial Reviews

Choice
Excellent...Norris displays a command of philosophy from Kant to the present...[and is] a major contemporary interpreter of deconstruction...Norris has succeeded admirably in presenting a careful, reliable, and very readable general introduction to the thought of Derrida.
Christian Science Monitor

Norris organizes his book around Derrida's writings on Plato, Hegel, Saussure, Rousseau, Kant, Austin, Freud, and Foucault. He shows how Derrida reads the philosophers not as voices in historical time but as writers whose texts interact both in their own historical time and in the vertical time frame of reason and the dictionary...Norris has done what not even Derrida has been able to do very well; explain Derrida.
— Thomas D'Evelyn

New Leader

Derrida should continue to be read. And whether one initially classifies Derrida's work as 'literature' or as 'philosophy' is less important than that he be appreciated as the sort of writer whose originality forces us to throw away old taxonomies and come up with new ones. Norris' thoughtful book will help people appreciate that originality.
— Richard Rorty

Christian Science Monitor - Thomas D'evelyn
Norris organizes his book around Derrida's writings on Plato, Hegel, Saussure, Rousseau, Kant, Austin, Freud, and Foucault. He shows how Derrida reads the philosophers not as voices in historical time but as writers whose texts interact both in their own historical time and in the vertical time frame of reason and the dictionary...Norris has done what not even Derrida has been able to do very well; explain Derrida.
New Leader - Richard Rorty
Derrida should continue to be read. And whether one initially classifies Derrida's work as 'literature' or as 'philosophy' is less important than that he be appreciated as the sort of writer whose originality forces us to throw away old taxonomies and come up with new ones. Norris' thoughtful book will help people appreciate that originality.
David Hoy
A really fine account of Derrida's philosophical project...The prose is clear and jargon-free, unlike so many other books on Derrida...The book will be extremely useful to a wide range of readers.
Gregory Ulmer
Norris writes a study that is at once a general introduction and an original contribution to a debate among specialists...Norris's discussion of Derrida's political and ethical dimension, setting the record straight in the face of the most damaging case against Derrida, is perhaps the most important contribution made to the international debate surrounding poststructuralism in any of Norris's published works.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674198241
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/1987
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 0.61 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 8.50 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction

Philosophy/Literature

Derrida on Plato: Writing as Poison and Cure

Versions of mimesis: Plato and Mallarme

Speech, Presence, Origins: from Hegel to Saussure

Linguistics or grammatology?

Rousseau: Writing as Necessary Evil

Myths of origin: music and speech

Psychoanalysis and the 'logic of the supplement'

Nature, culture and the politics of writing

Dreams of origin: 'The Writing Lesson'

Derrida and Kant: the Enlightenment Tradition

Philosophical scepticism: claims and counter-claims

Against pragmatism: Derrida, Rorty, Lyotard

Politics and the principle of reason

Logic and rhetoric: 'nuclear criticism'

Letters Home: Derrida, Austin and the Oxford Connection

'A Socrates who writes...'

Nietzsche, Freud, Levinas: on the Ethics of Deconstruction

Foucault, Descartes and the 'crisis of reason'

Epistemology and ethics: Husserl, Levinas

Chronology

Notes

Bibliography

Index of Names and Topics

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