Eine Einführung in die Philosophie Jacques Derridas (German Edition)

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Even a passing familiarity with the 'deconstruction' in Derrida's work reveals that 'dissolution' and 'play' are not privileged as new metaphysical concepts. Deconstruction and Critical Theory consists of seven chapters, including material on Deleuze and feminism that cannot be found in the German original. Zima emphasises that he is not trying to reduce or limit Derrida's thought to other historical figures 11 ; nor is he trying to find historically prior forms of Deconstruction.

Yet, equivocal statements that appear throughout the text lead to confusion if not outright suspicion. For example, having stated that the 'Romanticism of the Schlegels is not "Deconstruction avant la lettre "' 11 , this remark is qualified: 'nonetheless, the Romantic critique of rationalism and Hegelian dialectics contains elements which recur in Derrida and his American followers' The constant attempt to relate Derrida to the history of thought reduces Derrida's own work, whether intentionally or not, to past figures, while losing the very elements of Derrida's thought which are new, challenging and thought-provoking -- in short, those very elements that produce a demand for such a book as Zima's to be written in the first place.

This kind of reduction -- the reduction of relation, and thus the reduction of dialogue to an oppressive monologue -- was seen above in relation to Nietzsche. It recurs throughout Zima's text as a strategy that prevents a priori Derrida's thought from speaking for itself. This silent homogenisation occurs not only with Derrida.

How does Performance Philosophy Act? Ethos, Ethics, Ethnography

Despite also having a post at Marburg, Heidegger is reduced to the 'Freiburg philosopher' 25 and, despite the distance Heidegger draws between himself and Sartre in his 'Letter on Humanism' to Jean Beaufret Heidegger, , Zima considers him to be wholeheartedly concerned with 'existential philosophy' On the basis of this positioning, Zima can uncritically follow Adorno's arguments from The Jargon of Authenticity in suggesting that 'Heidegger succumbs to a mystification later criticized by Adorno' The violence of this homogenisation becomes manifest when one considers that those for whom this text is written - namely, students not versed in the history of philosophy - can do nothing but presume the good intentions of the author.

The second chapter presents a more philosophically oriented exploration of Derrida's work, taking heed of his debates with Austin and Searle. While Zima clearly and succinctly explicates the arguments concerning the status of constative and performative speech acts 47 , he nevertheless fails to step into that territory which is peculiarly Derridean. In doing so, the very point of miscommunication which fuelled the debate in the first place continues to be mystified or ignored. As with Ellis' Against Deconstruction Ellis, , which is cited further on in Deconstruction and Critical Theory , Zima fails to realise that Deconstruction is not simply about reversing hierarchies.

Derrida's Points. This quotation should be considered alongside the following statement by Zima: 'Derrida hardly succeeds in deconstructing the metaphysical hierarchy of main and marginal, central and peripheral elements. He merely reverses it' It is noteworthy that immediately proceeding this claim, Zima attempts another reduction, this time to that very thinker of dialogue to whom he constantly appeals: 'This reversal might have a carnivalesque and critical effect in the Bakhtinian sense, yet it does not destroy the hierarchical order.

Like most revolutions it merely produces a new one' This occurs even after having presented a quotation in his own text that reveals the originality of Derrida's thought in a nutshell.

James Joyce and Jaques Derrida (german)

Zima cites The Post-Card: From Socrates to Freud and Beyond : 'YHWH simultaneously demands and forbids, in his deconstructive gesture, that one understands his proper name within language; he mandates and crosses out the translation, he dooms us to impossible and necessary translation' qtd in Zima, Yet when Zima suggests that Derrida 'merely reverses' hierarchies 47 , this 'mere' is another sign of the reduction of Derrida's thought to something which it manifestly is not.

Zima fails to connect the notion of 'necessity' and 'impossibility' with the notion of translation that appears in the same quotation, let alone to appreciate the role it plays for constitution in general cf. Derrida would absolutely agree with Zima that 'Deconstruction as a theory could neither be represented nor criticized' if it lacked a 'stable semantic taxonomy' This is not to suggest that Derrida's conflation of necessity with impossibility necessarily constitutes the ground of thought in general.

In critiquing Zima's reading of Derrida, it is less a question of examining the truth of the arguments of Deconstruction than of examining the manners in which Derrida's philosophy is consistently overlooked, ignored, or put to the side. The misrepresentations against which Derrida's arguments have constantly had to battle for nearly half a century -- often not helped by Derrida's own practice of dialogue 4 -- have made it incredibly difficult for a proper debate or dialogue to emerge between Deconstruction and any other 'school of thought'.

The call for a dialogue between Deconstruction and Critical Theory, then, would surely have to take heed of this fact if this call was to be taken seriously. Throughout the second chapter, Zima continues to challenge the apparent philosophical presuppositions of Derrida's argument. These arguments are too detailed and concerted to go into in the current context. It must be said, in praise of Zima, that several criticisms are raised against Derrida which invite critical discussion.

Yet in most if not all of the places in which he makes his case, Zima shies away from a critique on universal grounds. For example, ' most gifts are accompanied by good intentions' 68, my emphasis and '[Derrida] tends to transform' 71, my emphasis. Even when defending the French philosopher, Zima cannot bring himself to say anything more than 'Derrida is probably right' 49, my emphasis.

The chapter concludes with a call for 'translation theory' to engage with the arguments of Deconstruction. Unfortunately, the suggestion that 'a more thorough engagement with Benjamin's and Derrida's linguistic theories of the "untranslatable remainder" would be desirable' 76 is overshadowed by the claim, immediately following, that 'Derrida and de Man's global assessment of translation as aporia, however, appears as a Deconstructionist extremism which contributes to a better understanding of their own concepts of language and text, but not to an advance in translation studies' As has already been seen, this 'extremism' is not to be found in Deconstruction itself but in Zima's unsatisfactory account of it.


For Zima, 'the question is precisely when and why the translator is confronted with the problem of untranslatability' But where the possibility is presented of developing a sophisticated and sensitive account of the act of translation, which is to say, of every act of reading, Zima quickly closes it off with misguided name-calling.

Chapters three through to six engage with the Yale school of Deconstruction, including the 'critic' Harold Bloom. Throughout these chapters, Zima's encounter is not only coloured by his treatment of Derrida who is described as having provided the original theoretical ground for the approach to literature by each respective Yale scholar, but Zima's misreadings remain apparent without any need to consider the texts to which he refers. The conflation of 'aporia' with the exclusion of 'all forms of truth content' in his reading of Paul de Man simply shows his misunderstanding of the role that aporia plays in philosophising, whether Platonic or Derridean.

While a vice for Plato see Plato, c , 'aporia' certainly does not refer to the 'dissolution of meaning' , nor is it like 'undecidability', which, as Zima oddly suggests in the concluding pages of his book, is 'an aspect of exchangeability, of indifference: the two meanings outbalance each other, are "of equal value," and we do not know which is valid' Whether possible or not, aporia relates to a demand for resolution.

Undecidability is nothing like indifference, as though one could ever remain pacified by the inability to choose. Again, as it turns out, de Man's understanding of aporia is intended to be played off against Adorno, the thinker to whose views Zima most vocally subscribes: 'in contrast to de Man, whose aporia destroys the concepts of meaning and truth by extreme ambivalence, Adorno conceives ambivalence dialectically, as the unity of opposites, and not as a loss of meaning' As with Paul de Man, Zima's reading of J. Hillis Miller makes the same criticism, namely, that 'their neglect of the crucial question concerning the construction of objects in the context of a metalanguage prevents the Deconstructionists from recognizing the historical character of literature and from reflecting on the historicity and contingency of their own discourses' Zima begins the sixth chapter by acknowledging the irreducibility of the thought of Harold Bloom to the 'Yale Deconstructionists' on the basis of the recognition by the former of 'psychological' and 'sociological questions' Despite the comparatively greater emphasis given to Bloom's own ideas in relation to de Man, Miller and Hartman, he is still criticised by Zima for his suppression of the possibility of dialogue: 'what must be denied is its potential of dialogue with respect to theories of literature and its ability to connect with present discussions in the social sciences' By the end of the chapter, Zima has reduced the 'distance' between the Deconstructionists and Bloom: 'in the context of Bloom's work scientificity counts for nothing.

This verdict is also applicable to the theories of the Deconstructionists' Zima's final chapter opens by emphasising the 'heterogeneity of Deconstruction -- Derrida's, de Man's, Hillis Miller's, Hartman's' , only to proceed to annul their differences in a successive series of reductions. In the space of a paragraph, these heterogeneous figures are reduced again to the label 'Deconstruction,' or, at best, to 'Derrida and his followers' The violence of Zima's presentation again becomes manifest in the apparent tentativeness to enact his reductive account of Deconstruction: the Deconstructionists 'seem to observe' and 'tend to overlook' Zima asserts that 'they contribute, without intending it, to the consolidation of absolutist and monological tendencies in philosophy' Given his record so far, one can be no less than skeptical of everything Zima puts forward in the subsequent contextualisation of Deconstruction among its 'critics.

Propositions such as 'Derrida, de Man and Hartman frequently sacrifice formal propositional logic in favour of a rhetoric of subjective association. Finally, things could not get much worse, when, in comparing Deconstruction's conception of truth with that of analytic philosophy, Derrida's definition of truth is simply not put forward.

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What may as well be a simple assertion is hidden behind a quotation from analytic philosopher Samuel C. Wheeler's Deconstruction as Analytic Philosophy , which itself rarely, if ever, quotes from Derrida's own texts Wheeler, 7 : '"Derrida. Again, we are asked for nothing less than to trust in the good intentions of the author. Deleuze, Nietzsche and Philosophy Well, bring it on! Gibt es eine Perspektive in der Misslingen etwas Positives sein kann? Kann die heutige Gesellschaft etwas mit dieser Perspektive anfangen?

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Menschliches Allzumenschliches. Maurice Blanchot. It is used, in different ways and with differing significance according to the respective context, to describe a the impersonal, self-giving materiality of the world, b an anonymous dimension of language and in particular of writing, and c the facticity of Dasein. With regard to the affects that it provokes, nothing could be less neutral than the neutral.

Whilst some authors yearn for it e. Barthes , others react to it in horror and disgust e. In all cases, it seems to play a significant role in respective conceptions of what constitutes personhood and being. It is thus of central ethical significance. Das Neutrum dient — mit jeweils unterschiedlicher Signifikanz je nach Kontext bzw.

In Bezug auf die Affekte die das Neutrum provoziert ist es alles andere als neutral.

Roy Sellars

Es ist also von zentraler ethischer Bedeutung. Der Vortrag beschreibt und vergleicht den Status des Neutrums in einigen der genannten Kontexten. Programm- soundcheck philosophie 2. All Lectures Conferences Seminars. And if so, what does it have to do with performance? Sound und Performance.

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