Jacques Derrida

Richard Kearney

in Debates in Continental Philosophy

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print August 2004 | ISBN: 9780823223176
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823235155 | DOI:

Series: Perspectives in Continental Philosophy

Jacques Derrida

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The most characteristic feature of Jacques Derrida's work has been its determination to “deconstruct” the Western philosophy of presence. While he considers it essential to think through this copulative synthesis of Greek and Jew, he considers his own thought, paradoxically, as neither Greek nor Jewish. He often feels that the questions he attempts to formulate on the fringes of the Greek philosophical tradition have as their other the model of the Jew, that is, the Jew-as-other. However, the paradox is that he has never actually invoked the Jewish tradition in any “rooted” or direct manner. Undoubtedly, he was fascinated and attracted by the intellectual journey of Emmanuel Levinas but that was not because he was Jewish. The Levinas who most interested him at the outset was the philosopher working in phenomenology and posing the question of the other to phenomenology; the Judaic dimension remained at that stage a discrete rather than a decisive reference.

Keywords: Jacques Derrida; philosophy; presence; Emmanuel Levinas; phenomenology; deconstruction; other

Chapter.  7437 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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