Structure Sign And Play In The Discourse Of The Human Sciences Pdf

structure sign and play in the discourse of the human sciences pdf

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Jacques Derrida.

Structure, Sign, and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences

Logo centrism is the tendency for seeking centre and presence. Derrida says that centre-seeking tendency began to be questioned from Nietzsche who declared the 'Death of God' and replaced god with superman. Another figure to challenge the logocentrism is Freud, who questions the authority of consciousness and claims that we are guided by unconscious. Heidegger also challenges the notion of metaphysics of presence. Derrida, therefore, primarily attacks structuralism. He views that the concept of centre does work but it is not essential; hence center is under eraser.

Yesterday I started trying to record a "Close Reading" on the Derrida essay we read for the podcast , and I just couldn't get more than a few sentences into it before losing patience, so I thought I'd either as a substitution for that effort or possibly a warm-up do a few posts dissecting the essay here. I want this to be group effort, so you folks should comment here to help out my interpretations. Perhaps something has occurred in the history of the concept of structure that could be called an "event," if this loaded word did not entail a meaning which it is precisely the function of structural-or structuralist-thought to reduce or to suspect. But let me use the term "event" anyway, employing it with caution and as if in quotation marks. In this sense, this event will have the exterior form of a rupture and a redoubling. It would be easy enough to show that the concept of structure and even the word "structure" itself are as old as the episteme -that is to say, as old as western science and western philosophy-and that their roots thrust deep into the soil of ordinary language, into whose deepest recesses the episteme plunges to gather them together once more, making them part of itself in a metaphorical displacement.

Derrida’s “Structure, Sign, and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences” Dissection, Part I

The event which the essay documents is that of a definitive epistemological break with structuralist thought, of the ushering in of post-structuralism as a movement critically engaging with structuralism and also with traditional humanism and empiricism. Derrida starts this essay by putting into question the basic metaphysical assumptions of Western philosophy since Plato which has always principally positioned itself with a fixed immutable centre, a static presence. The notion of structure, even in structuralist theory has always presupposed a centre of meaning of sorts. A structure assumes a centre which orders the structure and gives meanings to its components, and the permissible interactions between them, i. Derrida in his critique looks at structures diachronically, i. The history of human sciences has thereby been a process of substitution, replacement and transformation of this centre through which all meaning is to be sought — God, the Idea, the World Spirit, the Renaissance Man, the Self, substance, matter, Family, Democracy, Independence, Authority and so on.

Perhaps something has occurred in the history of the concept of structure that could be called an "event," if this loaded word did not entail a meaning which it is precisely the function of structural-or structuralist-thought to reduce or to suspect. But let me use the term "event" anyway, employing it with caution and as if in quotation marks. In this sense, this event will have the exterior form of a rupture and a redoubling. It would be easy enough to show that the concept of structure and even the word "structure" itself are as old as the episteme - that is to say, as old as western science and western philosophy-and that their roots thrust deep into the soil of ordinary language, into whose deepest recesses the episteme plunges to gather them together once more, making them part of itself in a metaphorical displacement. Nevertheless, up until the event which I wish to mark out and define, structure-or rather the structurality of structure-although it has always been involved, has always been neutralized or reduced, and this by a process of giving it a center or referring it to a point of presence, a fixed origin.

Access options available:. According to Derrida:. Structure—or rather the structurality of structure—although it has always been at work, has always been neutralized or reduced, by a process of giving it a center or of referring to a point of presence, a fixed origin. The function of this center is not only to orient, balance, and organize the structure—one cannot in fact conceive of an unorganized structure—but above all to make sure that the organizing principle of the structure would limit what we might call the play of the structure. By orienting and organizing the coherence of the system, the center of the structure permits the play of its elements inside the total form. And even today the notion of a structure lacking any center represents the unthinkable [ l'impensable ] itself. Both the French " impensable " and the English "unthinkable" may refer to something only previously unthinkable, also as something terrifying or monstrous, invoked in Derrida in closing Derrida Writing and Difference

Deconstructing Derrida: Review of "Structure, Sign and Discourse in the Human Sciences"

This illustrates that we are already familiar with Derrida. Reading is breathing in whereas writing is breathing out. Alan Bass, a translator of Derrida, suggests that the difficulty to read Derrida is not a question of his style of writing but rather Derrida challenges the way we are used to read. Besides, Alan Bass compares the translator of Derrida to a psychoanalyst in the sense that the translator must understand the syntax and lexicon of the original text in order to transform it through his own language. This is quite analogous with the attempt of the psychoanalyst to translate the language of dreams into a latent language.

Structure, Sign, and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences French : La structure, le signe et le jeu dans le discours des sciences humaines was a lecture presented at Johns Hopkins University on 21 October by philosopher Jacques Derrida. Although presented at a conference intended to popularize structuralism, the lecture is widely cited as the starting point for post-structuralism in the United States. Along with Derrida's longer text Of Grammatology , it is also programmatic for the process of deconstruction. Many attendees came from France, and spoke French during the event; French lectures were translated into English and distributed in print. Lacan was one of the few French attendees to lecture in English; Lacan makes a point of this gesture at the beginning of the lecture, titled "Of Structure as the Inmixing of an Otherness Prerequisite to Any Subject Whatever".

Structure Sign and Play in the Discourse of the Human Science

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