Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Derrida, Again

Some discussions won't go away. Here is one of them.

See Peter, Chris, and Eric.

Look, if one needed to resist Derrida in order to speak and think, I am on record as having nothing against that. There was certainly a time in my own philosophical life where that was true. Where a certain Derridaism prevented a certain set of philosophical questions that I was involved in, and I needed to reject Derrida (personally, if nowhere else) in order to think them.

But still, this idea that Derrida was never invested in creating his own philosophical positions seem to either come from too narrow of a reading of Derrida, or too narrow of an idea of philosophy, or both. If you look at the 'late' Derrida, he is clearly trying to work out ideas of cosmopolitanism, friendship/fraternity, and hospitality. Frequently in a non-anthropocentric register. He did so both through recourse to other texts, but also through a profound number of insights of his own that were not mere textual glosses. And these are far from his only philosophical productions in his some 40 odd year career as a philosopher.

Also, none of this should be taken as an attack on Laurelle, on whom I know relatively little. Just wanted to clarify.