Deconstruction For Beginners

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Deconstruction For Beginners

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Philosophy (Modern)


by: Jim Powell

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Deconstruction is so labyrinthine that it has become the monster that murdered philosophy. When Jacques Derrida, the father of deconstruction, uses buzzwords such as phallogocentrism and transcendental signified, humanities students and aspiring philosophers may get weak in the knees. Following the success of his For Beginners title Derrida, Jim Powells Deconstruction is an irreverent romp through deconstructive domains. Though Powell offers lucid explanations of the most important deconstructive ideas and texts, he also dives into lesser-known works. One of these, The Right to Look, finds Derrida offering his thoughts on a photo-novella consisting of images of women making love with each other. Powell then goes on to explore how deconstruction has escaped Derrida, especially in the realm of architecture. Then, based on Derridas assertion that deconstruction happens differently in different cultures, Powell examines how -- through Buddhism and Taoism -- deconstruction took place in ancient India, Japan, and China.


...this is the only book that shows how deconstruction has worked in different cultures: notably, China and India. Besides, it is irreverent and hilarious, at one point inserting some Derridean quotes on ethics into an ribald erotic situation. The parallels between Nagarjuna's Madhyamika Buddhism and deconstruction are fascinating.

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