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Fielding Derrida

Philosophy, Literary Criticism, History, and the Work of Deconstruction

Joshua Kates

Publication Year: 2008

How to interpret Derrida's work now after so much commentary has been devoted to his thought, and his own astonishing productivity has come to an end? In this groundbreaking collection, Joshua Kates argues that we must begin from a different frame than Derrida himself provides, by inserting his work into already existing fields, by "fielding Derrida." Is Derrida a skeptic? Does he subscribe to a death of meaning (and the "I") at the hands of a sign? Is his thought at all proximate to contemporary Marxian/post-Marxist thinking? Thanks to placing Derrida's texts in broader fields (such as Husserlian phenomenology and analytic philosophy of language) and subsequently nuancing what such comparisons yield, Kates's work capture Derrida's stances on these and other questions with a new concreteness and an unprecedented scope, forging links to vital debates across the humanities today.; "Offers creative and well-defended new interpretations of Derrida's familiar texts."

Published by: Fordham University Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. ii-ix


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pp. x-xi


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pp. xii-xv

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pp. 1-8

Jacques Derrida’s death, now several years past, brought to the surface a question that had already been stirring concerning the fate of his own work and of Derrida studies generally: will Derrida’s thought continue to be central to intellectual life across the globe in the absence of Derrida himself ? Will his works continue...


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pp. 9-10

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Deconstruction as Skepticism

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pp. 11-25

The Development of Derrida’s thought spans his earliest writings, from The Problem of Genesis and his ‘‘Introduction’’ to Husserl’s Origin of Geometry through his trio of books published in 1967: L’e´criture et la diffe´rence, De la grammatologie, and...

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Derrida, Husserl, and the Commentators

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pp. 26-48

This chapter begins where the previous one left off, by attempting to establish what Derrida inherited from Husserl. Apart from the specific motivation brought forward in Chapter 1—the unstable character of the part played by skepticism in early deconstruction—the need to plumb Derrida’s engagement...

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A Transcendental Sense of Death?

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pp. 49-74

One advantage of standing on the cusp of a new century is that the considerable intellectual achievements of the previous one can be approached in a new way. Today sufficient distance exists from the projects of the last century to render commentators less dependent on which side of various divides they happen to find...

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Literary Theory’s Languages

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pp. 75-106

Near the conclusion of her influential essay on Henry James, ‘‘The Beast in the Closet,’’ Eve Sedgwick, the noted literary critic, speaks of meaning. Addressing the ‘‘totalizing insidiously symmetrical view that the...


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pp. 107-108

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Jacob Klein and Jacques Derrida

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pp. 109-123

To bring together the work of Jacob Klein and Jacques Derrida may well seem unexpected. Jacob Klein was a friend of both Leo Strauss and Alexander Koje´ve`, and his philosophical sympathies clearly lay more with the former. Klein published a pioneering work in the history of mathematics in the 1930s, which is still largely...

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Jacob Klein and Jacques Derrida

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pp. 124-152

As I began to suggest in Chapter 5, modernity as a problem—a philosophical problem or a problem for thought—has still not been fully plumbed. This is so perhaps in an especially vexed fashion when it comes to the project of Jacob Klein. Klein, as earlier indicated, was at once a working historian and a proponent...

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Derrida’s Contribution to Phenomenology

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pp. 153-186

Edmund Husserl, in some tentative, exploratory pages, now an appendix to Ideas II, already looking toward the last phase of his work, avers that his own research furnishes the ‘‘absolute human science.’’1 And phenomenology indeed does aim at such a science. In the midst of a world and a nature undergoing radical revision...

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pp. 187-216

The near-term context of Jacques Derrida’s engagement with Marxism in Specters of Marx is provided by Francis Fukuyama’s The Ends of History. This strange, yet provocative book declares—in part on the basis of what was then called the collapse of the Soviet experiment—that the end of history in a Hegelian sense...


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pp. 217-266


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pp. 267-280

Perspectives inContinental Philosophy Series

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pp. 281-284

E-ISBN-13: 9780823247820
Print-ISBN-13: 9780823229468
Print-ISBN-10: 0823229467

Page Count: 300
Publication Year: 2008