Derrida: The Father of Deconstruction

This blog is solely dedicated to Jacques Derrida: The Father of Deconstruction.  Deconstruction is one of the several doctrines in contemporary philosophy often loosely held under the umbrella terms post-structuralism and post-modernism. Jacques Derrida coined the term in the 1960s, and proved more forthcoming with negative, rather than a pined-for positive, analyzes of the school.

Derrida says, deconstruction is a word whose fortunes have disagreeably surprised me. Defining deconstruction is an activity that goes against the whole thrust of Derrida’s thought. Derrida has said that any statement such as “deconstruction is X” or “deconstruction is not-X” automatically misses the point.  Not only is the definition and meaning of deconstruction in dispute between advocates and critics, but also among proponents.

Derrida’s disclaimers present a major obstacle to any attempt, to encapsulate his thoughts. He tells that deconstruction is neither an analytical nor a critical tool, neither a method, nor an operation, nor an act performed on text by a subject; that is, rather a term that resists both definition and translation. To make matters worse, he adds that ‘all sentence of the type “deconstruction is X” or “deconstruction is not X” miss the point. Which is to say that they are at least false.

Here an attempt is made to understand the term in a way, so as to simplify it, and give its philosophical significance.  Your  comments  are most welcome…


Jayant Prasad, Research Student, Dept. of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay-400076

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16 thoughts on “Derrida: The Father of Deconstruction

  1. This is a pretty nice blog. Well written, properly put across, which is very important when you’re dealing with Derrida. Well done.

  2. Wonderful blog.Thank you. To respond to your question about deconstruction,the question of what deconstruction is or isn’t reflects Derrida’s aversion to binaries, So that deconstruction as a concept refuses to be reduced in that way. So that one might say : its this AND this, or it’s not this AND it isn’t this. Obviously that is too simplistic, but the point he stresses is that binary oppositions are exclusionary and reiterate occidental hegemonic thought, so that something (and more importantly someone) is always left out. For example: I’m white therefore everyone else (of a different color) isn’t, or I’m a straight, if you are different then you are other-ed, you must be gay. So while this doesn’t directly address the process of deconstruction, it might help understand his anxiety about “fixing” something that he wants to remain unbounded. This was my reading at least.

  3. If you say Derrida is “the Father of Deconstruction” then you r believing in centrality. Father/God= i.e Centre. Both Deconstruction and Post-structuralism focuses on the notion of anti-centrality. Then how could be Derrida be something (i.e. Father/centre) which he primarily opposes?

    • Not exactly “anti-centrality” either–since such a term is still a vassal to the language of (“priveleged binary opposite”) “centrality.” And it might be a bit of a stretch to say he “primarily opposes” the sense of a center–but we might provisionally remark that he sees the center as no less a center–just that it is de-centered.

    • derrida can “be” something over which he has no control or say. that “something” can be a variable based on how the other thinks or feels or cares

  4. I never thought Derrida could be as simplified as Jayant prasad did..It is an amazing one .Thanks to him.Now I am more confident about my idea of what Dereeda has said.Thanks to him.

  5. I do understand that Man’s unstability and mortality on earth leads all his sayings and contribution to the world in the form of writing as uncertain and falsification. But it is for sure that one can not escape from such things. It is said that one man’s food becomes another man’s poison. So, according to me, Deconstruction is a tool in the hands of every single reader to make what he wants out of his readings…..

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