“The Irrational-Rational Dialectic: Derrida”

exhibit A.

[Note: The untimely death of Jonathan Cullings is an unfortunate reminder of the brevity of human existence, a theme all too often reflected upon by Dr. Futon.1 We wish to send the Cullings estate our warmest condolences. Mr. Cullings’ work will remain among the finest in the history of photographical transcriptionism, a field virtually unheard of until his work with Sir Francis Elliot M.Radcliffe (as is well known!). To our readers, we covet your goodwill and patience as we endeavor to find a transcriptionist with even a fraction of Mr. Cullings’ skill.

Most appropriately,

Msr. C.F. Tremonte]

[E.N: The following article was rescued from a collection of Herald Times newspapers Dr. Futon had apparently intended to use for his daily bonfire-side meetings with other such notable theologians and philosophers as MH, DD, ML, and SLW. It is a small reflection on the nature of deconstructive criticism of literature, espoused by Mr. Derrida.]

The Irrational-Rational Dialectic: Derrida

Given Derrida’s hairsplitting logical criticisms of philosophical models native to “Western Civilization,” it is rather ironic that his deconstructive procedure aims to show logical incoherence in all texts. On could say that Deconstruction is a “procedure” that concerns itself, so to speak, with logically proving that all texts, at their core, are the arborescent offspring of illogical concepts. Yet, on what basis does the project of deconstruction proceed if not that of logic?

Assume, for instance, that a given author W composes a text seeking to overtly valorize a given concept x. The deconstructionist then comes along, poking at the text in search of some contradiction. He “finds” it. Then he proceeds to show that concept x is not what author W thinks it is; additionally, he asserts that x cannot do what author W wants it to do. Following this is an explanation as to why this is the case: “The text simultaneously asserts x and y by presupposing the necessity of y in order for x to arise as its binary rival.”What catches the observant reader’s attention, then, is not the “deconstruction” of the binary opposition, but the postulation of a new, higher order binary opposition. One may say there is an Hegelian synthesis of sorts at work here (cf. Glas), but this is not entirely the case. For in this consumptive dialectic, it is not the binarily opposed concepts that change, but the interpretation of their relationship to one another. The consumptive dialectic, as I shall hereafter refer to it in this article, proceeds as follows:


Consumptive Resolution 1:

text { x (explicit concept/s)

        +y (implicit concept/s)

Binaries are not original

to text and reality.}

Consumptive Resolution 2:

text { x (explicit concept/s)

        +y (implicit concept/s)

Binaries are original

to text and reality.

Deconstruction posits a different interpretation of the relation of binaries to one another in text and reality. It does not, however, truly resolve them in any way that is destructive of their existence as binaries. Rather, deconstructionism perpetuates binary oppositionalism. It consider a binary opposition’s function and ontology, but it cannot remove the opposition. Binaries exist; they are real and, even given the deconstructionist’s project, necessary. At the root of all this, ironically, is deconstruction’s exploitation of the law of identity and its inferable correlate, the law of non-contradiction.


1See, for instance, fragments P65 and Q11.