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Derrida
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Jacques Derrida, the French philosopher, developed his critical technique known as 'deconstruction'. His work is associated with ideas surrounding both post-structuralism and post-modern philosophy, and he was known to have challenged some of the unquestioned assumptions of our philosophical tradition. In this Very Short Introduction, Simon Glendinning explores both the difficulty and significance of the work of Derrida. He presents Derrida's challenging ideas as making a significant contribution to, and providing a powerful reading of, our philosophical heritage. Defending Derrida against many of the charges that were placed against him, he attempts to show why Derrrida's work causes such extreme reactions. Glendinning explains Derrida's distinctive mode of engagement with our philosophical tradition, and shows that this is not a merely negative thing. By exploring his most famous and influential texts, Glendinning shows how and why Derrida's work of deconstruction is inspired not by a 'critical frenzy', but by a loving respect for philosophy. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
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Table of Contents

1. A picture of Derrida ; 2. Misunderestimating Derrida ; 3. Reading the logocentric heritage ; 4. The rehabiliation of writing ; 5. Law and justice ; 6. Politics and friendship ; 7. The ends of man ; 8. Starting over ; References ; Further Reading ; Index

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About the Author

Simon Glendinning is a Reader in European Philosophy in the European Institute at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He is the author of On Being with Others: Heidegger-Derrida-Wittgenstein (Routledge, 1998), The Idea of Continental Philosophy (EUP, 2006) and In the Name of Phenomenology (Routledge, 2007). He is also the editor of The Edinburgh Encyclopedia of Continental Philosophy (EUP, 1999), Arguing with Derrida (Blackwells, 2001), and (with Robert Eaglestone) Derrida's Legacies: Literature and Philosophy (Routledge, 2008). He has contributed essays to numerous books and journals and is currently working on topics in the philosophy of Europe.

Reviews

Glendinnings book is dense and fast-paced; although extensive philosophical knowledge is not assumed, its readers are required to assimilate complex ideas at quite some speed and this in itself will be enough to deter some. However, Glendinnings implied reader is perhaps not the philosophical novice, rather the curious student or scholar made wary by Derridas reputation and the hostility of the tradition. In this case, Glendinnings clarity and rigour, his commitment to careful reading, and his skilful mediation between Derridas voluminous back-catalogue and the inexperienced reader will be sufficient to engage and stimulate new readers and new readings of Derridas work. it's very short, and certainly worth reading * New Statesman * Glendinning's overview is accurate and informed * Times Literary Supplement *

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