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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Table of Contents
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
Index of Names and Topics