Coursework 4: Notes

I was asked by Micheal Belshaw (MB) to make sure I knew what the term Deconstruction actually meant and so was grateful to come across the following video by Alain de Botton on Derrida. Although short, it is very useful and I think has clarified that when deconstructing something according to Derrida’s sense of the word, one is looking for an alternative, sometimes challenging opposite truth. Some salient points for me from the video below:

  • “dismantling our excessive loyalty to any idea, and learning to see the aspects of the truth that might be buried in its opposite”
  • saw that philosophers valued speech over writing
  • Also – he asks us to challenge our convention that writing is
  • All thinking sees false privileging of one thing over another  – failure to see the merits of the value of the ‘lesser part of equations’ – i.e. male/female, writing/images,  – see the whole binary relationship and value all elements
  • not saying everything is worthless, opposite – some of the less valued things are worthy of respect, love
  • key binary terms  – tensions between important opposing sides of ideas and relationships
  • not attacking traditional values, merely asking us to value the contradictions
  • criticising simplistic neat solutions
  • cure us of our love of crude simplicity
  • deconstruction, aporia, logocentricism
  • hoped that we could live more intelligently
  • when deconstructed ideas are confused and riddled with conflicts – we must keep this in mind
  • osculating nature of wisdom – don’t rush to conclusions
  • fraught and kaleidoscopic nature of reality
  • aporia – confusion and doubt evidence of the adulthood of the mind
  • logocentricism – naive belief in neatness and reason

Ref: Alain de Botton https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0tnHr2dqTs&feature=share

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