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Derrida and Deconstruction by Hugh J. Silverman (ed.)

By Hugh J. Silverman (ed.)

Quite a few modern philosophers supply an evaluation of Derrida's account of the complete variety of Western notion, from Plato to Foucault. incorporates a accomplished bibliography of books through and on Derrida in English. This booklet may be of curiosity to complex scholars of literature, philosophy and significant conception.

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217; WD, p. 146). Negative theology is engaged in the business of establishing ontic transcendence, that is to say, the super-eminent existence of an entity, of a being whose Being is so pure—Eckhart calls it the puritas essendi, the purity of Being—that it is best affirmed by being denied, that is, affirmed to be beyond Being. And that is why Eckhart was able to write, to the puzzlement of his commentators and to the consternation of the Inquisition, both that God is esse while creatures are a pure nothing (not even a little bit), and that God is an absolute nothing, a naked desert, while being is the first of all creatures.

If madness may appear ‘quite talkative’ (to use again Derridian terminology), that is because it DERRIDA AND DESCARTES 45 speaks excentrically. It cannot be contained by the fiction of a language that escapes it, which exists as its negation or absence, that is to say the fiction of a language that has ceased to be metaphorical. Descartes can no more ‘decide’ to exclude madness as Foucault claims, than he can constitute himself outside language and representation. It suffices to consider this issue in regard to its articulation in the Third Meditation, when Descartes attempts to identify his essence as a subject by feigning a set of impossible conditions.

217; WD, p. ’ This is not because it affirms a super-ontic entity, but because it has an altogether different, non-ontic function. Difference/différance is not itself something ontic, nor does it establish the existence, or higher existence, or non-existence, of anything ontic. Difference/différance does not affirm a hidden God (deferring himself behind the chain of signifiers), but neither does it deny God. What then is its function? ‘Ontological’ anticipation, transcendence towards Being, per- 28 CONTINENTAL PHILOSOPHY II mits, then, an understanding of the word God, for example, even if this understanding is but the ether in which dissonance can resonate.

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