Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952453 | Print ISBN: 9780761930297 | Online ISBN: 9781412952453| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Derrida, Jacques (1930–2004)
Derrida has become a figure of extreme fame and extreme notoriety, neither of which phenomena has aided the evaluation of his work. Despite a later reputation for purposeless obscurity or creatively going beyond conceptual truth, depending on the point of view taken, Derrida started off as a scholar of the very formal and rigorous phenomenological philosopher, Edmund Husserl. His first notable publication was a long commentary on Husserl's short essay “Origin of Geometry.” Derrida claimed that a close study of Husserl was bound to show contradictions between elements that emphasized the historical origin of geometry and the abstract structures of geometry as a discipline. For Derrida, the contradictions cannot be removed without destroying Husserl's position. This is not something unique to Husserl; all philosophy and all thought rest on contraction. Everything I say is an attempt to communicate the contents of my consciousness to another individual, who cannot grasp the ...