Consciousness in Re-Presentation: Towards a Cross-Textual Definition of “Différance”
The texts of Jacques Derrida (1930-2004) are known for their meticulously measured language, a quality that leads many readers to pass over his work. it is often relegated to the margins of thought as ‘nonsense’ or elusive in meaning. this short piece attempts to offer a partial elucidation on some key themes of Jacques Derrida’s 1968 essay, “Différance.” This essay first contrasts différance, a French neo-graphism referring to the simultaneous processes of deferral and differentiation , with the prevalent motif of “presence” that has dominated large tracts of Western philosophical discourses. It then moves to discuss the possible structural and methodological ways in which one may read différance, ultimately working to place it into conversation with philosophies of consciousness, understood as a self-presence or a presence-to-oneself (présence à soi), mainly in conversation with the work of Emmanuel Levinas (1906-1995).
Copyright (c) 2018 Myles Francis Casey
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