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Reading Derrida and Ricoeur

Improbable Encounters between Deconstruction and Hermeneutics

Eftichis Pirovolakis

Publication Year: 2010

Offers a constructive new approach to the debate between hermeneutics and deconstruction. Written in the aftermath of the deaths of the French philosophers Jacques Derrida (1930-2004) and Paul Ricoeur (1913-2005), this book is an important and innovative study of the contentious relation between deconstruction and hermeneutics. Offering close readings of Derrida’s and Ricoeur’s writings on phenomenology, psychoanalysis, structuralist linguistics, and Levinasian ethics, Eftichis Pirovolakis introduces the motif of ‘improbable encounters,’ and explicates why the two thinkers may be said to be simultaneously close to each other and separated by an unbridgeable abyss. Pirovolakis complicates any facile distinction between these movements, which are two of the most influential streams of continental thought, and questions a certain pathos with respect to the distance separating them. Pirovolakis also translates Derrida's brief tribute to Ricoeur: "The Word: Giving, Naming, Calling," which appears here in English for the first time. The book is essential reading for anyone immersed in continental philosophy or literary theory.

Published by: State University of New York Press

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Acknowledgments

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p. ix-ix

In the course of writing this book, I have been indebted to the support and friendship of many people. I would like to thank Laura Marcus and Vicky Margree for their help and vital advice; Sean Gaston for his friendship and numerous thought-provoking conversations on Derrida and Ricoeur; the anonymous readers for State University of New York Press for their encouraging and...

List of Abbreviations

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pp. xi-xii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. 10-11

In the course of writing this book, I have been indebted to the support and friendship of many people. I would like to thank Laura Marcus and Vicky Margree for their help and vital advice; Sean Gaston for his friendship and numerous thought-provoking conversations on Derrida and Ricoeur; the anonymous readers for State University of New York Press for their encouraging and ...

List of Abbreviations

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pp. xi-xii

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Introduction

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pp. 1-12

Any account of the contentious relation between Paul Ricoeur and Jacques Derrida cannot fail to be marked, initially at least, by a feeling of melancholy and a certain mournfulness. Not only because the two thinkers, having...

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Chapter 1: Ricoeur on Husserl and Freud: From a Perceptual to a Reflective Present

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pp. 13-41

In his well-informed and instructive Imagination and Chance and, more specifically, in a brief chapter on Husserlian temporalization, Lawlor maintains that “Ricoeur’s reading of Husserl discovers that immediacy and continuity precede spatial separation and discontinuity. Mediation or distanciation, traces...

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Chapter 2: Derrida and Rhythmic Discontinuity

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pp. 43-81

In order to counterbalance Husserl’s conception of the living present in terms of immediacy and transparency, Ricoeur turned to Freudian psychoanalysis, which complicates, he claims, the idea of a self-constituting consciousness. It is worth now going back to Husserl’s text, regarding it this time through the prism of Derrida’s analysis in his highly controversial Speech and Phenomena...

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Chapter 3: Ricoeur’s Hermeneutics of the Self

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pp. 83-117

The discussion of Ricoeur's readings of Husserl and Freud indicated the extent to which his philosophy, while resisting the belief in an immediately available perceptual present, favors the idea of a mediated and reflective self posited as a task rather than as a datum. With a view to displacing and reinterpreting subjectivity, Ricoeur has reflected on the intricate and multifaceted problem of ...

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Chapter 4: Secret Singularities

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pp. 119-160

The thematic organization of this chapter reflects my discussion of Ricoeur’s writings, on the one hand, on the interdependence between singular selfhood, speech, and responsibility, and, on the other, on the ethical relation itself. In the first two sections, I will explore how Derrida’s account of signification and, more specifically, of the personal pronoun goes beyond a dialectics of semiotics and semantics, langue and parole. One of my major concerns here...

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Conclusion

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pp. 161-165

Throughout this study, I have been concerned with exploring the difference between the thought of Ricoeur and Derrida, which, I have suggested, should be regarded through the prism of improbable encounters rather than a dialogue, a debate, or a confrontation. The first chapter demonstrated that, despite following...

Appendix: The Word: Giving, Naming, Calling

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pp. 167-175

Notes

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pp. 177-205

Bibliography

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pp. 207-218

Index

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pp. 219-225


E-ISBN-13: 9781438429519
E-ISBN-10: 1438429517
Print-ISBN-13: 9781438429496
Print-ISBN-10: 1438429495

Page Count: 238
Publication Year: 2010

Edition: 1
Series Title: SUNY series, Insinuations: Philosophy, Psychoanalysis, Literature
Series Editor Byline: Charles Shepherdson

Research Areas

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Subject Headings

  • Deconstruction.
  • Derrida, Jacques.
  • Ricœur, Paul -- Criticism and interpretation.
  • Phenomenology and literature.
  • Hermeneutics.
  • Literature -- Philosophy.
  • Criticism -- History -- 20th century.
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