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63 famous phrases of the philosopher Jacques Derrida

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Father of Deconstructivism, Jacques Derrida is surely the most controversial and influential philosopher and writer of the 20th century. Born in Algeria in 1930, he went into exile in Paris to begin his academic studies.

This author revolutionized all the foundations of Western grammatical architecture and structuralism, giving rise to various neologisms and terminologies that would give him worldwide recognition.

Derrida was also an academic and political activist, he opposed any kind of war and was positioned in favor of human rights (he he himself had to go into exile because of his status as a Sephardic Jew) and made notorious appearances against the Vietnam War and the Iraq War of the 2003.

  • Related article: "75 philosophical phrases pronounced by great thinkers"

Jacques Derrida phrases to ponder

In this article we are going to guide you on the thinking of the Algerian author with some of his most famous phrases.

1. Politics is the dirty game of discrimination between friend and foe

This is how the author described his way of seeing politics. He lived that discrimination in his own flesh.

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2. The translation itself is writing. It is a productive writing inspired by the original text

For Derrida, translation was not literally copying into another language, but rather enriching the original text.

3. We must forget the Manichean logic of truth and lies, and focus them on the intentionality of those who lie

This phrase supposed a conceptual revolution between the art of the lie and the goodness of the truth.

4. Increasingly, the uniqueness of the other who is being challenged is being betrayed

Thus, he denounced the interpretation and manipulation of people when analyzing their ideas.

5. I have verified that frontal criticism always ends up being appropriate for the discourse it is intended to combat

Sometimes people are that incoherent and cynical, criticizing what we often stand for.

6. The method is a technique, a procedure to gain control of the road and make it workable

Every structure needs guidelines and guidelines to follow, if it wants to be well understood.

7. Each book is a pedagogy destined to train its reader

Books are not just entertainment, they are also a way of learning.

8. The question of architecture is in fact the problem of place, of taking place in space.

Space is limited and architecture is the technique to organize and redistribute it.

9. We know that the political space is that of lies par excellence

Derrida always saw politics as an implacable tool of manipulation and contrary to the truth.

10. Deconstruction is not only the technique of a "upset construction", since it conceives the idea of ​​construction

This is how the author defended his terminology, which many misinterpreted for his critical spirit.

11. If the translator does not copy or restore an original, it is because it survives and is transformed

A reflection on literature.

12. What is relevant in the lie is never its content, but the purpose of the liar

Jacques always emphasized the ultimate goal of the lie.

13. The lie is not something that is opposed to the truth, but is situated in its purpose

Once again, with this phrase he justified the use of the lie according to his intentionality.

14. The translation will actually be a moment of his own growth, he will complete himself in it growing

The translation technique is not only based on literally copying the original into another language, it is also used to enrich it.

15. What is decisive is the damage it causes in the other, without which there is no lie

Derrida was a thinker and analyst between relationships with each other, and how they are affected.

16. It could be said that there is nothing more architectural and at the same time nothing less architectural than deconstruction

Deconstruction was a controversial and controversial concept. It was not defined in just one way. He sinned from what he criticized equally.

17. The establishment of a place that until then had not existed and that is in accordance with what will happen there one day: that is the place

The place as a phenomenon invented by the hand of man, and agreed at the same time.

18. When the original of a translation demands a complement, it is that originally it was not there without deficiencies, full, complete, total

Original texts are often poorly translated due to poor grammatical or linguistic expression.

19. The modern political lie no longer hides anything behind it, but is based on what everyone else

Political lies reflect the lies of fellow citizens.

20. Mass productions do not train readers, but phantasmally presuppose an already programmed reader

With this phrase Jacques Derrida criticized the structure and hierarchy of book publishers, as an indoctrinating tool.

21. The path is not a method; this should be clear

The way forward is not a method, the technique that follows the path, yes.

22. Every architectural space, every living space, starts from a premise: that the building is on a path

This is the relationship that Jacques makes between the road and the architectural, as a technique to achieve it

23. The difficulty in defining the word deconstruction stems from the fact that all the syntactic articulations that seem to lend themselves to that definition are also deconstructable.

Even the very concept of deconstructing can be easily dismantled and invalidated.

24. There is no building without roads leading to it, nor are there buildings without interior paths, without corridors, stairs, corridors or doors.

Every building has multiple paths, whether they are for entry, exit, or orientation.

25. Deconstruction is neither an analysis nor a criticism, and the translation should take this into account

Derrida insisted on the little confrontation that his theory intended, and thus many adherents misinterpreted it.

26. It is not enough to say that deconstruction cannot be reduced to a mere methodological instrumentality, to a set of rules

So diffuse and complex was the very definition of the term deconstruction

27. It should also be noted that deconstruction is not even an act or an operation

This is how Derrida tried to define his deconstructivism, as something abstract.

28. The very instance of the crisis (decision, choice, judgment, discernment) is one of the essential objects of deconstruction

Once again, the author highlighted the critical sense of his thesis

29. The desire for a new place, for galleries, corridors, for a new way of living, of thinking. It is a promise

The physical place is a set of wishes and promises that, until they are fulfilled, are not effective.

30. The places are that desire can recognize itself, in which it can dwell

As has been said repeatedly, a place is something agreed upon and agreed between a certain community in order to live together.

31. All deconstruction takes place; it is an event that does not wait for deliberation, the organization of the subject, not even of modernity

More than a technique, Derrida referred to deconstruction as a literary event.

32. A community must assume and achieve architectural thinking

Architecture as a technique of social construction.

33. There is nothing that is present to itself independently of the other in the constitution of the world

Human interdependence was another of the themes that the philosopher was passionate about.

34. I am at war with myself

Derrida was the first to recognize and accept contradictions, and he often criticized himself.

35. I cried when it was time to go back to school shortly after I was old enough to be ashamed of such behavior

Jacques Derrida did not always like going to school and learning.

36. I wrote some bad poetry that I have published in North African magazines, but as I was retiring on this reading, it also took me the life of a young hooligan type

He always maintained an attitude of self-criticism in everything he did, and he recognized it.

37. I dreamed of writing and models were already instructing the dream, a certain language governs

Derrida thus affirmed that everyone, since we begin to dream, is told how we have to do it.

38. Everything is arranged to be this way, this is what is called culture

Culture and values ​​as something imposed, something that we must accept in order to survive.

39. If they ask me what I believe in, I don't believe in anything

He was often fuzzy and unenlightening.

40. I do everything possible or acceptable to escape this trap

Jacques was no illusionist. He did nothing that could not be empirically proven or refuted.

41. I never do things for the mere fact of complicating them, that would be ridiculous

He always had an end when it came to analyzing things. Like a path that guides us to a certain place.

42. The problem with the media is that they do not publish things as they are, but rather conform to what is politically acceptable

Jacques was also a detractor of the language used by the media, always adapting it according to his interests.

43. It doesn't matter how the photo comes out. It is the gaze of the other that will give you value

Interpretation, even of an image, is purely subjective. It all depends on how you look at it.

44. If a job is threatening, it is good, competent and full of conviction

Thus highlighted the reaction of when a work of his was vetoed and / or strongly criticized.

45. My critics organize an obsessive cult series about my personality

Some of Derrida's academic colleagues focused more on his person than on his works.

46. All discourse, poetic or oracular, carries with it a system of rules that define a methodology

Everything is ready and predisposed for us to say it in a concrete way.

47. I don't believe in the purity of languages

For this author, languages ​​were a communication tool, not an identity symbol.

48. My most staunch opponents believe that I am too visible, too alive and too present in the texts

Sometimes Derrida would rile his critics, as he took many of his works apart from them.

49. Nobody gets mad at a mathematician or a physicist they don't understand. You only get angry when you are insulted in your own language

A curiosity that the Algerian author saw and that few of us highlight.

50. We are all mediators, translators

We always interpret what we are told, what we want to say or what is explained to us.

51. As long as there is a language, the generalities will enter the picture

It was the great criticism that Jacques made as a linguist.

52. Who says we were born only once?

He often blurted out phrases that went beyond logic.

53. Some authors are offended with me because they stop recognizing their field, their institution

This is how he explains the behavior of some colleagues who criticized him so much.

54. I've always had trouble recognizing myself in institutionalized political language

Perhaps the best time to mention it: Derrida was a politically incorrect man, always running away from what others expected of him.

55. To this day, I continue teaching without having passed the physical barrier. My stomach, my eyes, and my anxiety all play a role. I haven't left school yet

For Derrida, the physical also counts. Apart from an emotional being, he took into account the physical part to explain human behavior

56. My years at the Ecole Normale were dictatorial. Nothing was left to me

He again denounces how systematic and hierarchical everything is, especially teaching.

57. The internship years were a tough time for me. He was always nervous and with problems of all kinds

He was unfairly treated for being Jewish and for his Arab origins.

58. What I cannot see of myself, the Other may see

The other is everything else after the self, what is ours, and we cannot get rid of it.

59. Everything that I miss about myself, I am able to observe in others

He was always a humanist philosopher, and had as a reference to others when looking for his shortcomings.

60. We must wait for the Other to come as justice and if we want to be able to negotiate with him, we must do so with justice as a guide.

Jacques Derrida was, above all else, a just and equitable man.

61. God does not give the law but only gives a meaning to justice

This is how the author interprets the divine commandments

62. Those who are entrusted with power, we have to frame ourselves within a responsible justice

Social justice is one of the basic principles for a cohesive society.

63. Philosophy today is in grave danger of being forgotten

A phrase that is still valid.

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