Analysis of structure sign and play in the discourse of human sciences by jacques derrida

Shall we have to abandon any epistemologica; requirement which permits us to distinguish between several qualities of discourse on the myth? But if it is legitimate to suspect this concept of history, there is a risk, if it is reduced without an express statement of the problem I am indicating here, of falling back into an anhistoricism of a classical type, that is to say, in a determinate moment of the history of metaphysics.

Free play is always interplay of presence and absence. These binaries are not true representations of external reality, rather are simply constructions.

In doing so, they ignore, repress or marginalize others which become the Other. Phenomenology rejects metaphysical truths in the favor of phenomena and appearance, only to insist for truth to be discovered in human consciousness and lived experience.

Here there is a sort of question, call it historical, of which we are only glimpsing today the conception, theformation, the gestation, the labor. Only Nietzsche could interpret the absence of a center as the presence of a non-center, rather than be concerned with the loss of the center.

All we can do is refuse to allow either pole in a system to become the center and guarantor of presence. But Derrida says that such hierarchy is constructed and the idea to understand one in reference to other is purely haphazard, inhuman and unnecessary.

In beginning his work with the factum of the incest-prohibition, Levi-Strauss thus puts himself in a position entailing that this difference, which has always been assumed to be self-evident, becomes obliterated or disputed.

This circle is unique. There are thus two interpretations of interpretation, of structure, of sign, of freeplay.

History has always been conceived as the movement of a resumption of history, a diversion between two presences. Successively, and in a regulated fashion, the center receives different forms or names.

The history of metaphysics, like the history of the West, is the history of these metaphors and metonymies. Each myth is unique and can add more to the study of mythology, whereas all the sentences in a language use the same grammar, so only a sample of sentences is needed for the study of grammar.

The opposition is part of the system, along with the reduction. There are more than enough indications today to suggest we might perceive that these two interpretations of interpretation-which are absolutely irreconcilable even if we live them simultaneously and reconcile them in an obscure economy-together share the field which we call, in such a problematic fashion, the human sciences.

The ugly face of Deconstruction finally shows itself. The bricoleur, says Levi-Strauss, is someone who uses "the means at hand," that is, the instruments he finds at his disposition around him, those which are already there, which had not been especially conceived with an eye to the operation for which they are to be used and to which one tries by trial and error to adapt them, not hesitating to change them whenever it appears necessary, or to try several of them at once, even if their form and their origin are heterogenous -- and so forth.

Saussure says that meaning comes in terms of difference. In this sense, this event will have the exterior form of a rupture and a redoubling. It was within concepts inherited from metaphysics that Nietzsche, Freud, and Heidegger worked, for example.

Let us turn once again to the "Overture" of The Raw and the Cooked, where it seems clear that if this postulation is double, it is because it is a guestion here of a language on language: Provided that this people does not become physically or morally extinct, this totality is never closed. Play is disruption of presence.

Derrida in his critique looks at structures diachronically, i. Instead of a structure of concepts, philosophy, there was only a collection of signs, language. But, unlike philosophical reflection, which claims to go all the way back to its source, the reflections in question here concern rays without any other than a virtual focus.

It is these differences which explain the multiplicity of destructive discourses and the disagreement between those who make them.

Structure Sign and Play in the Discourse of the Human Science

I have dealt too cursorily with this example, only one among so many others, but the example nevertheless reveals that language bears within itself the necessity of its own critique. No doubt that by orienting and organizing the coherence of the system, the center of a structure permits the freeplay of its elements inside the total form.

It can now be understood why the concept of freeplay is important in Levi-Strauss. The center is not the center. At this point, Derrida proceeds to search for the origin, or originator, of language. Qua center, it is the point at which the substitution of contents, elements, or terms is no longer possible.

When we think we have disentiangled them from each other and can hold them separate, it is only to realize that they are joining together again, in response to the attraction of unforeseen affinities.

There is no sense in doing without the concepts of metaphysics in order to attack metaphysics. But from the moment anyone wishes this to show, as I suggested a moment ago, that there is no transcendental or privileged signified and that the domain or the interplay of signification has, henceforth, no limit, he ought to extend his refusal to the concept and to the word sign itself-which is precisely what cannot be done.

As soon as language is written down, a distance between the subject and his words is created, causing meaning to become unanchored. He describes mythology as a structure with no center, that is, no origin or cause.

This affirmation then determines the non-center otherwise than as loss of the center. The absence of a center is here the absence of a subject and the absence of an author: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.

Back to Jacques Derrida, "Cogito and the History of Madness" and "Structure, Sign and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences" > Return to the parent page for this online CyberSeminar, "The Continental Origins of Postmodernism.".

Derrida, “Structure, Sign and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences” Derrida’s essay divides into two parts: 1. “The structurality of structure”: An examination of the shifting relationships between.

Derrida writes that there are two ways to interpret “the interpretation” of “structure, sign, and play." “The one seeks to decipher, dreams of deciphering a truth or an origin which.

Jacques Derrida first read his paper “Structure, Sign and Play in the Discourse of Human Sciences ()” at the John Hopkins International Colloquium on “The Language of Criticism and the Sciences of Man” in October articulating for the first time a post structuralist theoretical paradigm.

"Structure, Sign, and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences" Jacques Derrida, Writing and Difference, trans. Alan Routledge, pp 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.

Analysis of structure sign and play in the discourse of human sciences by jacques derrida
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