Consciousness in Re-Presentation: Towards a Cross-Textual Definition of “Différance”

  • Myles Francis Casey Boston College
Keywords: philosophy, differance, derrida


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).

Author Biography

Myles Francis Casey, Boston College

Myles Casey graduated from Boston College in 2017 with a degree in Philosophy and Political Science. While a senior, he completed a thesis in the Department of Philosophy which focused on theories of identity within the works of Jean Baudrillard and Emmanuel Levinas. He is currently enrolled in the fifth year Master’s program at Boston College in the Department of Philosophy. He hopes to eventually complete a Ph.D. focusing on 20th Century European Philosophy or applied phenomenology. He is a Massachusetts native, having grown up on the South Shore where he currently resides.

How to Cite
Casey, M. F. (2018). Consciousness in Re-Presentation: Towards a Cross-Textual Definition of “Différance”. Elements, 13(2).