For more than forty years Jacques Derrida unsettled and challenged the presumptions underlying our most fundamental philosophical, political, and ethical conventions. In The Philosophy of Derrida, Mark Dooley and Liam Kavanagh provide a succinct overview of his core philosophical ideas and a balanced appraisal of their lasting impact. The authors' analysis of Derrida's writings, especially the objectives of deconstruction, make his work clearly accessible. Dooley and Kavanagh also situate Derrida within historicist, hermeneutic, and linguistic thought. From his early work on Husserl, Hegel, and de Saussure to his final writings on justice, hospitality, and cosmopolitanism, Derrida is shown to have been grappling with the question of national, cultural, and personal identity and the notion of whether a "pure" identity has any real efficacy. Rather than an iconoclast for whom deconstruction equalled destruction, the Derrida that emerges in this study sheds light on our historical constructions to reveal that there is much about ourselves that we do not know.
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