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Glendinning, Simon

Derrida: A Very Short Introduction

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Jacques Derrida, the French philosopher, wrote such famed works as Writing and Difference, Speech and Phenomena, and On Grammatology, has made important contributions to both post-structuralism and post-modern philosophy, and indeed has challenged some of the unquestioned assumptions of our philosophical tradition. But he is most renowned--or condemned--for his critical technique known as "deconstruction." In this Very Short Introduction, Simon Glendinning explores both the difficulty and significance of the work of Derrida. He argues that Derrida´s challenging ideas make a significant contribution to, and providing a powerful reading of, our philosophical heritage. Defending Derrida against many of the attacks from the analytical philosophical community, he attempts to show why Derrida´s work causes such extreme reactions. The author explains Derrida´s distinctive mode of engagement with our philosophical tradition, and contends that this is not a merely negative thing. By exploring his most famous and influential texts, Glendinning shows how and why Derrida´s work of deconstruction is inspired not by a "critical frenzy," but by a loving respect for philosophy.


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