What Is Deconstruction, What Does It Mean?June 27, 2021
To understand why Derrida emerged with a strategy such as deconstruction, it is necessary to consider his relationship with Heidegger. Heidegger’s determinations on the history of existence, his emphasis on the closure of metaphysics in the 1930s, his mention of the need to destruct metaphysics, and his hope that we can enter a new era in which thought can thus be freed from metaphysical assumptions, inspired Derrida’s invention of deconstruction.
But what is this metaphysics that needs to be deconstructed? It is not a metaphysical museum of intellectual objects, a history of philosophy as a cultural equipment. If this history did not dominate our thinking today, it is difficult to understand why it should have been taken so seriously. The structures of metaphysics, the hierarchical oppositional relations it contains (presence/absence, word/writing, spirit/body, mind/emotion, woman/man, light/dark, sensible/perceivable, inside/outside etc.), naive, questionable assumptions it makes. today it also determines our way of thinking, the decisions we make, and our lifestyle. These both make it difficult to face the truth and eliminate the possibility of making new evaluations by supporting some values. Deconstruction exposes and questions the hidden assumptions of metaphysics. In doing so, it points to the very movement that produces meaning that these assumptions are trying to control and stop. The movement in question is dynamic, not teleological, nor dialectical.
Derrida considers this movement a play of differences, calling it différance. It is this game that establishes not only the meaning of speech, but also the meaning of the world. It is prior to both the subject and the object. Both the constitution of the object and subjectivity point to this baseless foundation. Here, then, “play” is a quasi-transcendental concept, prioritizing presence and absence, subject and object. That is why Derrida establishes the proposition “There is no outside of the text”. This phrase has been used to describe what is referred to in popular culture by the term “post-modernism”. Some avant-garde artistic approaches find attractive, while conservative approaches criticize them as relativism and nihilism. generalization is based on this.
In his Fundamental Problems of Phenomenology, Heidegger based the unity of metaphysics on the interpretation of being as Vorhandensein. According to this understanding of being, which Heidegger calls Vorhandensein, the existent exists, it is before us here and now. We first approach it with the intention of knowing, we watch its existence with a disinterested gaze.
According to Derrida, metaphysics understands being as “presence” (présence). Metaphysical arguments and constructs are ultimately based on an experience or assertion of existence. Derrida’s use of the expression “metaphysique of presence” (métaphysique de présence) can be associated with Heidegger’s determination that a certain interpretation of being dominates Western metaphysics.
This interpretation of being comprehends being as a presence (presence) that can be watched, in front of man, here and now. This understanding has historically determined our way of understanding the existence of all beings. As a result of this totalization, the differences between the beings of different beings have also disappeared. This understanding of being goes through the history of the oblivion of being: the ontological difference between being and existents has been covered up since the research of being in Ancient Greece, and the question of being in the Middle Ages is about God – God is the supreme being, the creator of other beings It was thought of as existing – it became a discussion. Derrida inherits this problematic from Heidegger and deals with the paradoxes inherent in the establishment of presence by looking at how what is called “experience of presence” is constructed first in phenomenology and then in other texts. The fact that something exists is that it is here, ubiquitous, or given to our consciousness as it is. Consciousness, too, is understood in Western metaphysics as always present to itself, immediately given. From a phenomenological point of view, presence is intuition. The metaphysical opposition between subject and object, then, is an opposition in which both the subject and the object are conceived as presence.
In Derrida’s works published in 1967, the metaphysics of presence is described as a closed system. In this system, the sign (language in general) is treated as a derivative, a modification of presence. This means that the function of language is to speak, to reflect, to show, to represent presence. Metaphysics considers what is peculiar to existence as an object of knowledge. What Derrida emphasizes in On Grammatology is that the desire of metaphysics to know being always returns to the logos. According to metaphysics, both language and writing represent presence. However, from this point of view, there is an important difference between writing and speech. The presence of the word fulfills the function of gathering and showing, that is, representing, much more perfectly than writing.