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Derrida 1962 1989 - Introduction to Husserl's Origin of Geometry

Derrida 1962 1989 - Introduction to Husserl's Origin of Geometry

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Derrida's earliest published book shows the key themes of undecidability, difference, etc while invoking Joyce, Godel, and Husserl.
Derrida's earliest published book shows the key themes of undecidability, difference, etc while invoking Joyce, Godel, and Husserl.

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Edmund Husserl's

Orgin of Geometr:
An Introduction
Jacques Derrida
TRANSLATED, WITH A PREFACE AND AFTERWORD,
BY JOHN P. LEAVEY, JR.
University of Nebraska Press
Lincoln and London
Copyright © 1962 by the Presses Universitaires de France
Translation copyright © 1978 by John P. Leavey, Jr.
Afterword copyright © 1989 by the University of Nebraska Press
All rights reserved
Manufactured in the United States of America
First Bison Book printing: 1989
Most recent printing indicated by the frst digit below:
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Derrida, Jacques.
Edmund Husserl 's Origin of geometry: an introduction / Jacques Derrida;
translated, with a preface and afterword, by John P. Leavey, Jr.
p. cm.
"First Bison Book printing"-T.p. verso.
Reprint. Originally published: Stony Brook, N.Y.: N. Hays, 1978.
Includes index.
ISBN 0-8032-6580-8 (alk. paper)
1 . Husserl, Edmund, 1859-1938. Die Frage nach dem Ursprung der Geo­
metrie als intentional-historisches Problem. 2. Phenomenology. I. Title.
QA447.D4713 1989
142' . 7-dc 19 CIP 88-38638
Reprinted by arrangement with Presses Universitaires de France and John P.
Leavey, Jr. Translated from the revised edition of Introduction a "L'Origine
de la geomerrie" de Husserl.
The paper in this book meets the minimum requirements of American National
Standard for Information Services-Permanence of Paper for Printed Library
Materials, ANSI Z39.48-1984.
Contents
Acknowledgments
Preface: Undecidables and Old Names, by John P. Leavey
Undecidables and Deconstruction
Derrida's Introduction to The Origin oj Geometry
Deconstruction and the Science of Old Names
Translator's Note
Introduction to The Origin of Geometr
*1. The Sense of Sense-Investigation: Responsibility.
Consciousness. and Existence
I. The Historical Reduction and the Necessity for
Return Inquiry (RiickJrage) in Reactivation
III. The Ego as Fundament and the Reduction of
Factuality
IV. Objectivity. Historicity. and Intentionality
V. Language, the Possibility of Transcendental
Historicity
VI. The How of Ideality: the Earth and the Living
Present
VII. The How of Ideality: Writing and Unil'ocity as
the Telos of Reactivation
.
VIII. Horizon: the Absolute of History. and Imaginar
Variation
IX. The Suspension of Ideality: Scient(fc Study of
the Life- World (Lebenswel)
X. Geography, Injnitization, and the Idea in the
Kantian Sense
XI. The Historicity of the Idea: Diff erence, Delay,
Origins. and the Transcendental
Appendix: The Origin of Geometry, by Edmund Husserl,
trans. David Carr
Coda: contrpunctus and translation, by John P. Leavey
Index of Passages Cited from Husserl
Index
v
1
7
18
20
23
27
34
51
62
66
76
87
107
117
122
141
155
181
193
197
* These headings, added for the convenience of the reader, do not appear in the
French edition.
Copyright © 1962 by the Presses Universitaires de France
Translation copyright © 1978 by John P. Leavey, Jr.
Afterword copyright © 1989 by the University of Nebraska Press
All rights reserved
Manufactured in the United States of America
First Bison Book printing: 1989
Most recent printing indicated by the frst digit below:
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Derrida, Jacques.
Edmund Husserl 's Origin of geometry: an introduction / Jacques Derrida;
translated, with a preface and afterword, by John P. Leavey, Jr.
p. cm.
"First Bison Book printing"-T.p. verso.
Reprint. Originally published: Stony Brook, N.Y.: N. Hays, 1978.
Includes index.
ISBN 0-8032-6580-8 (alk. paper)
1 . Husserl, Edmund, 1859-1938. Die Frage nach dem Ursprung der Geo­
metrie als intentional-historisches Problem. 2. Phenomenology. I. Title.
QA447.D4713 1989
142' . 7-dc 19 CIP 88-38638
Reprinted by arrangement with Presses Universitaires de France and John P.
Leavey, Jr. Translated from the revised edition of Introduction a "L'Origine
de la geomerrie" de Husserl.
The paper in this book meets the minimum requirements of American National
Standard for Information Services-Permanence of Paper for Printed Library
Materials, ANSI Z39.48-1984.
Contents
Acknowledgments
Preface: Undecidables and Old Names, by John P. Leavey
Undecidables and Deconstruction
Derrida's Introduction to The Origin oj Geometry
Deconstruction and the Science of Old Names
Translator's Note
Introduction to The Origin of Geometr
*1. The Sense of Sense-Investigation: Responsibility.
Consciousness. and Existence
I. The Historical Reduction and the Necessity for
Return Inquiry (RiickJrage) in Reactivation
III. The Ego as Fundament and the Reduction of
Factuality
IV. Objectivity. Historicity. and Intentionality
V. Language, the Possibility of Transcendental
Historicity
VI. The How of Ideality: the Earth and the Living
Present
VII. The How of Ideality: Writing and Unil'ocity as
the Telos of Reactivation
.
VIII. Horizon: the Absolute of History. and Imaginar
Variation
IX. The Suspension of Ideality: Scient(fc Study of
the Life- World (Lebenswel)
X. Geography, Injnitization, and the Idea in the
Kantian Sense
XI. The Historicity of the Idea: Diff erence, Delay,
Origins. and the Transcendental
Appendix: The Origin of Geometry, by Edmund Husserl,
trans. David Carr
Coda: contrpunctus and translation, by John P. Leavey
Index of Passages Cited from Husserl
Index
v
1
7
18
20
23
27
34
51
62
66
76
87
107
117
122
141
155
181
193
197
* These headings, added for the convenience of the reader, do not appear in the
French edition.
Acknowledgments
The 1 974 second, revised French edition of EDMUND HUSSERL'S
L'ORIGINE DE LA GEOMETRIE. traduction et introduction par JAC­
QUES DERRIDA, in Epimethee, Essais Philosophiques, Collection
fondee par Jean Hyppolite, copyright © 1 962 by Presses U niversitaires
de France, 1 08, Boulevard Saint-Germain, Paris, is the source of this
English translation.
We are grateful to the PRESSES UNIVERSITAIRES DE FRANCE
for their authorization to present this text in English.
HUSSERL'S ORIGIN OF GEOMETRY is here reprinted from THE
CRISIS OF EUROPEAN SCIENCES AND TRANSCENDENTAL
PHENOMENOLOGY by EDMUND HUSSERL, translated by David
Carr. Copyright © 1 970 by Northwestern University Press, Evanston.
Pp. 353-78.
We are also grateful to NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY PRESS
for their authorization to reprint Husserl's text in full.
Acknowledgments
The 1 974 second, revised French edition of EDMUND HUSSERL'S
L'ORIGINE DE LA GEOMETRIE. traduction et introduction par JAC­
QUES DERRIDA, in Epimethee, Essais Philosophiques, Collection
fondee par Jean Hyppolite, copyright © 1 962 by Presses U niversitaires
de France, 1 08, Boulevard Saint-Germain, Paris, is the source of this
English translation.
We are grateful to the PRESSES UNIVERSITAIRES DE FRANCE
for their authorization to present this text in English.
HUSSERL'S ORIGIN OF GEOMETRY is here reprinted from THE
CRISIS OF EUROPEAN SCIENCES AND TRANSCENDENTAL
PHENOMENOLOGY by EDMUND HUSSERL, translated by David
Carr. Copyright © 1 970 by Northwestern University Press, Evanston.
Pp. 353-78.
We are also grateful to NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY PRESS
for their authorization to reprint Husserl's text in full.
Preface
Undecidables and Old Names
UNDECIDABLES AND DECONSTRUCTION
Tympaniser-la philosophie.
Marges
On the present French i ntellectual scene, the advent and demise of
structural i sm have accompanied what has been called the book' s super­
sedure by the text. I The French philosopher and critic Jacques Derrida
is situated at the j uncture of the two, the book and the text; he writes
about the ori gi ns , delays, and diferent paths at their crossroads
.
Hi s
" method" i s the " deconstruction" of the very i dea of writing.
Texts occur for Derrida only in writing, a writing understood not in
the ordinary sense, but as the place of rture-the always incomplete
erasure or scratching out of Western metaphysics.: The book as an
1
See, for exampl e, Eugenio Donato, "Structuralism: The Afermath, " Sub-Stance,
NO. 7 (Fall 1 973) , 9-26; Phillippe Sollers, "Programme, " in his Logiques (Paris: Seuil ,
1 968), pp. 9-1 4; or Julia Kristeva, Semei6tike: Recherches pour une semanalyse (Paris:
Seuil , 1 969); as well as any number of works by Roland Barthes or Derrida hi mself
.
� "Like all the notions I am using, it belongs to the history of metaphysics and we can
onl y use it under erasure [sous rature ( added by tr. ) ] , " Jacques Derri da, Of
Grammatology, tf. Gayatri Spi vak (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press,
1 977) , p. 6. Since this translation, with an excellent preface by the translator, appeared
afer the present work was completed, I was unable to compare translations for consis­
tency of terminology (a I did with Allison' s translation of Speech and Phenomena), nor
was I able to comment on Mrs. Spi vak' s Preface. However, I have added references in
the notes to relevant sections of her preface. Her discussion of rature occurs on pp.
xi i i-xx. I t forms the backdrop for her lengthy discussion of Drrida' s " acknowledged
' precursors' -Nietzsche, Freud, Heidegger, Husserl , " pp. xxi-liv. I n his translation of
" La ' differance, ' ' ' contained in Derrida' s Speech and Phenomena: And Other Essays on
Husserl ' s Theor of Signs (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1 973) , p. 1 43,
David Allison notes : "Derrida ofen brackets or ' crosses out ' certain key terms taken
from metaphysics and logic, and in doing this, he follows Heidegger' s usage in Zur
Seinsfrage. The terms in question no longer have their ful l meaning, they no longer have
the status of a purely signifed content of expression-no longer, that is, after the decon­
struction of metaphysics. Generated out of the play of diference, they still retain a
vestigial trace of sense, however, a trace that cannot simply be gotten around
(incontourable) . "
1
Preface
Undecidables and Old Names
UNDECIDABLES AND DECONSTRUCTION
Tympaniser-la philosophie.
Marges
On the present French i ntellectual scene, the advent and demise of
structural i sm have accompanied what has been called the book' s super­
sedure by the text. I The French philosopher and critic Jacques Derrida
is situated at the j uncture of the two, the book and the text; he writes
about the ori gi ns , delays, and diferent paths at their crossroads
.
Hi s
" method" i s the " deconstruction" of the very i dea of writing.
Texts occur for Derrida only in writing, a writing understood not in
the ordinary sense, but as the place of rture-the always incomplete
erasure or scratching out of Western metaphysics.: The book as an
1
See, for exampl e, Eugenio Donato, "Structuralism: The Afermath, " Sub-Stance,
NO. 7 (Fall 1 973) , 9-26; Phillippe Sollers, "Programme, " in his Logiques (Paris: Seuil ,
1 968), pp. 9-1 4; or Julia Kristeva, Semei6tike: Recherches pour une semanalyse (Paris:
Seuil , 1 969); as well as any number of works by Roland Barthes or Derrida hi mself
.
� "Like all the notions I am using, it belongs to the history of metaphysics and we can
onl y use it under erasure [sous rature ( added by tr. ) ] , " Jacques Derri da, Of
Grammatology, tf. Gayatri Spi vak (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press,
1 977) , p. 6. Since this translation, with an excellent preface by the translator, appeared
afer the present work was completed, I was unable to compare translations for consis­
tency of terminology (a I did with Allison' s translation of Speech and Phenomena), nor
was I able to comment on Mrs. Spi vak' s Preface. However, I have added references in
the notes to relevant sections of her preface. Her discussion of rature occurs on pp.
xi i i-xx. I t forms the backdrop for her lengthy discussion of Drrida' s " acknowledged
' precursors' -Nietzsche, Freud, Heidegger, Husserl , " pp. xxi-liv. I n his translation of
" La ' differance, ' ' ' contained in Derrida' s Speech and Phenomena: And Other Essays on
Husserl ' s Theor of Signs (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1 973) , p. 1 43,
David Allison notes : "Derrida ofen brackets or ' crosses out ' certain key terms taken
from metaphysics and logic, and in doing this, he follows Heidegger' s usage in Zur
Seinsfrage. The terms in question no longer have their ful l meaning, they no longer have
the status of a purely signifed content of expression-no longer, that is, after the decon­
struction of metaphysics. Generated out of the play of diference, they still retain a
vestigial trace of sense, however, a trace that cannot simply be gotten around
(incontourable) . "
1
2
Preface
archives of metaphysical inscriptions, as the encyclopedia of knowl­
edg� or the complete presence of the signifed (transcendental or not), is
foreIgn to Derrida's new "concept" of writing, l'ecriture. Derrida ex­
plains: "If I distinguish the text from the book, I shall be saying that the
destruction of the book, as it is now under way in all domains, denudes
the surface of the text. That necessary violence responds to a violence
that was no less necessary." The book's own violence, its "protection
of �heol
.
ogy and
.
o
.
f logocentrism against the disruption of writing,
agamst Its aphonstic energy, and . . . against diference in general,"3
forces the present-day violent distinction of the book and the text, in
order for "writing" to be understood.
Rature and the text ofDerrida wherein it occurs are themselves crossed
out or somehow suspended in his thought,- a thought seemingly too
abstract. His method of criticism, deconstruction, could be seen, as
Ricoeur says, as "consisting in laying waste to metaphysical discourse
by aporia"5-i.e., as a kind of mental gymnastics. This common, but
important, criticism of Derrida actually strikes at the heart of his enter­
prise. His continual insistence on the failure of metaphysics as onto­
theo-Iogy seems to support Ricoeur's criticism. Derrida still writes
"book�" in the ordinary sense, and all the words of his text are, by
necesSIty, not erased. In fact, deconstruction seems to be the violent
misinterpretation of Wester thought. However, the above criticism
also misses the point, or preferably, the non-point, of Derrida's work,
all of which could be considered as outside of books, hors-livre, as
:l Of Grammatology. p. 1 8 .
� " If there were only perception, pure permeability to frayi ng [facilitation, Bahnung J.
there would be no frayi ng. We would be written but nothing would be recorded; no
writing would be produced, retai ned, repeated as readability. But pure perception does
not exist [my emphasis] : we are written only by writing . . . by the i nstance wi thi n us
which always already governs perception, be i t i nternal or external. The ' subj ect' of
writing does not exist if we mean by that some sovereig solitude of the author. The
subject of wri ti ng is a system of relations between strata: of the Mystic Pad, of the
psyche, of society, of the world. Withi n that scene the punctual simplicity of the classical
subject is not to be found. In order to describe that structure, it is not enough to recall that
one always writes for someone; and the oppositions sender- recei ver, code-message, etc . ,
remain extremely coarse i nstruments. We would search the 'public' i n vai n for the frst
reader: i . e . , the frst author of a work. And the ' sociology of literature' i s blind to the war
and ruses-whose stakes are the origin of the work-between the author who reads and
the frst reader who dictates. The sociality of writing as drama requires an entirely
diferent discipli ne" (Jacques Derrida, "Freud et la sd:ne de I ' ecriture, " in his L' Ecriture
et la diff erence [Paris: Seuil, 1 967] , p. 335; ET: "Freud and the Scene of Writi ng, " tr.
Jefrey Mehlman, i n Yale French Studies, No. 48: French Freud [ 1972] , 1 1 3- 1 4) .
5 La Meraphore vive (Paris: Seui l, 1 975) , p. 365.
3
Preface
prefaces, as marginal comments written in the margins of other books
or texts."
The preface, Derrida says, is "a fourth text. Simulating the postface,
the recapitulation. and the recurrent anticipation, the auto-moveme�t of
the concept, it is an entirely other, diferent text, but �t the sam:
,
tIme,
as 'discourse of assistance,' it is the 'double' of what It exceeds. 7 Th
.
e
fourth text, as text, is "the beyond everything [which] insofar
.
a� It
withstands all ontology . . . is not a primum movens. However, It Im­
parts [imprime] to everything . .. a movement of fction. ".8 Derridafc­
tionalizes Western tradition, an action, in part, of teanng down or
apart, deconstructing or demolishing.9
. .
How does Derrida fctionalize? In other words, what IS the fctIonal
motion that his prefaces impress on everything? As the fourth text, it is
dissemination, 10 deconstruction, II diferance: I:
H "All these texts . . . no doubt are the i nterminable preface to another text that I
would one day like to have the strength to write , or again the epigraph to anoth�r [te�t] ?f
which I would never have had the audacity to write . . . " (Positions [Pans: MlnUl t,
1 972] , p. 1 4) . On margi nality, see David Allison, "Derrid�' s C�itique of Husserl : The
Philosophy of Presence, " Diss. The Pennsyl vani a State Umverslty, 1 974, p. 1 77
.
7
Jacques Derrida, La Dissemination (Paris : Seuil , 1 972) , pp. 33-35.
� Ibid., p. 65: my emphasis onfction.
�) This unbuilding at times seems close to the negative moment often assigned to the
creati ve imagination. See Ray Hart, Unfnished Man and the Imagination (New York:
Herder, 1 968) , pp. 247-49.
1
0
"
Dissemination ulti mately has no meaning and cannot be channeled i nto a defnition.
. . . If it is not possible to summarize dissemi nation, the seminal diferance, in i ts conce�­
tual tenor, it is because the force and form of its di sruption break through the
.
semantIc
horizon . . . . Dissemination . . . by produci ng a non-fnite number of semantIc efects,
does not allow itself to be reduced ei ther to a present of simple origin (La Dissemination,
La Double Seance. La Mythologie Blanche are practical re-stagings of all the false starts,
beginnings, i nci pits, titles , exergues, fctitious pretexts , etc. : decap�ta�i�ns) or to an e�­
chatological presence. It marks an irreducible and generative mul tJp!tclty. The s
.
lIpple­
men! and the turbulence of a certain lack break down the li mit of the text, exempt It fr�m
exhaustive and enclosing formal i zation or at least prohibit a saturating taxonomy of I ts
themes, of i ts signifed, of i ts i ntended meani ng ( vouloir-dire).
"Here we are playing, of course , upon the fortui tious resemblance, upon the purely
si mulative ki nshi p between seme and semen. They are in no way interconnected by
meaning. And yet, i n this skiddi ng and this purely exteral collusion, �he �ccident d
.
oes
produce a sort of semantic mirage: the deviance of the i ntended meant��, I ts refl ectlve­
efect (efet-refet) in wri ti ng sets a process i n motion. " Taken from �OSI!/Ons, pp. 6
.
1 -62:
ET: "Positions, " Diacritics, 2, No. 4 (Winter 1 972) , 37. See SPI Vak s Preface I n Of
Grammatology, pp. lxv-l xvi .
11 Alli son in hi s Translator' s Introduction to Speech and Phenomena notes: "The term
' deconstruction' (deconstruction), while perhaps unusual , should present no difculties
2
Preface
archives of metaphysical inscriptions, as the encyclopedia of knowl­
edg� or the complete presence of the signifed (transcendental or not), is
foreIgn to Derrida's new "concept" of writing, l'ecriture. Derrida ex­
plains: "If I distinguish the text from the book, I shall be saying that the
destruction of the book, as it is now under way in all domains, denudes
the surface of the text. That necessary violence responds to a violence
that was no less necessary." The book's own violence, its "protection
of �heol
.
ogy and
.
o
.
f logocentrism against the disruption of writing,
agamst Its aphonstic energy, and . . . against diference in general,"3
forces the present-day violent distinction of the book and the text, in
order for "writing" to be understood.
Rature and the text ofDerrida wherein it occurs are themselves crossed
out or somehow suspended in his thought,- a thought seemingly too
abstract. His method of criticism, deconstruction, could be seen, as
Ricoeur says, as "consisting in laying waste to metaphysical discourse
by aporia"5-i.e., as a kind of mental gymnastics. This common, but
important, criticism of Derrida actually strikes at the heart of his enter­
prise. His continual insistence on the failure of metaphysics as onto­
theo-Iogy seems to support Ricoeur's criticism. Derrida still writes
"book�" in the ordinary sense, and all the words of his text are, by
necesSIty, not erased. In fact, deconstruction seems to be the violent
misinterpretation of Wester thought. However, the above criticism
also misses the point, or preferably, the non-point, of Derrida's work,
all of which could be considered as outside of books, hors-livre, as
:l Of Grammatology. p. 1 8 .
� " If there were only perception, pure permeability to frayi ng [facilitation, Bahnung J.
there would be no frayi ng. We would be written but nothing would be recorded; no
writing would be produced, retai ned, repeated as readability. But pure perception does
not exist [my emphasis] : we are written only by writing . . . by the i nstance wi thi n us
which always already governs perception, be i t i nternal or external. The ' subj ect' of
writing does not exist if we mean by that some sovereig solitude of the author. The
subject of wri ti ng is a system of relations between strata: of the Mystic Pad, of the
psyche, of society, of the world. Withi n that scene the punctual simplicity of the classical
subject is not to be found. In order to describe that structure, it is not enough to recall that
one always writes for someone; and the oppositions sender- recei ver, code-message, etc . ,
remain extremely coarse i nstruments. We would search the 'public' i n vai n for the frst
reader: i . e . , the frst author of a work. And the ' sociology of literature' i s blind to the war
and ruses-whose stakes are the origin of the work-between the author who reads and
the frst reader who dictates. The sociality of writing as drama requires an entirely
diferent discipli ne" (Jacques Derrida, "Freud et la sd:ne de I ' ecriture, " in his L' Ecriture
et la diff erence [Paris: Seuil, 1 967] , p. 335; ET: "Freud and the Scene of Writi ng, " tr.
Jefrey Mehlman, i n Yale French Studies, No. 48: French Freud [ 1972] , 1 1 3- 1 4) .
5 La Meraphore vive (Paris: Seui l, 1 975) , p. 365.
3
Preface
prefaces, as marginal comments written in the margins of other books
or texts."
The preface, Derrida says, is "a fourth text. Simulating the postface,
the recapitulation. and the recurrent anticipation, the auto-moveme�t of
the concept, it is an entirely other, diferent text, but �t the sam:
,
tIme,
as 'discourse of assistance,' it is the 'double' of what It exceeds. 7 Th
.
e
fourth text, as text, is "the beyond everything [which] insofar
.
a� It
withstands all ontology . . . is not a primum movens. However, It Im­
parts [imprime] to everything . .. a movement of fction. ".8 Derridafc­
tionalizes Western tradition, an action, in part, of teanng down or
apart, deconstructing or demolishing.9
. .
How does Derrida fctionalize? In other words, what IS the fctIonal
motion that his prefaces impress on everything? As the fourth text, it is
dissemination, 10 deconstruction, II diferance: I:
H "All these texts . . . no doubt are the i nterminable preface to another text that I
would one day like to have the strength to write , or again the epigraph to anoth�r [te�t] ?f
which I would never have had the audacity to write . . . " (Positions [Pans: MlnUl t,
1 972] , p. 1 4) . On margi nality, see David Allison, "Derrid�' s C�itique of Husserl : The
Philosophy of Presence, " Diss. The Pennsyl vani a State Umverslty, 1 974, p. 1 77
.
7
Jacques Derrida, La Dissemination (Paris : Seuil , 1 972) , pp. 33-35.
� Ibid., p. 65: my emphasis onfction.
�) This unbuilding at times seems close to the negative moment often assigned to the
creati ve imagination. See Ray Hart, Unfnished Man and the Imagination (New York:
Herder, 1 968) , pp. 247-49.
1
0
"
Dissemination ulti mately has no meaning and cannot be channeled i nto a defnition.
. . . If it is not possible to summarize dissemi nation, the seminal diferance, in i ts conce�­
tual tenor, it is because the force and form of its di sruption break through the
.
semantIc
horizon . . . . Dissemination . . . by produci ng a non-fnite number of semantIc efects,
does not allow itself to be reduced ei ther to a present of simple origin (La Dissemination,
La Double Seance. La Mythologie Blanche are practical re-stagings of all the false starts,
beginnings, i nci pits, titles , exergues, fctitious pretexts , etc. : decap�ta�i�ns) or to an e�­
chatological presence. It marks an irreducible and generative mul tJp!tclty. The s
.
lIpple­
men! and the turbulence of a certain lack break down the li mit of the text, exempt It fr�m
exhaustive and enclosing formal i zation or at least prohibit a saturating taxonomy of I ts
themes, of i ts signifed, of i ts i ntended meani ng ( vouloir-dire).
"Here we are playing, of course , upon the fortui tious resemblance, upon the purely
si mulative ki nshi p between seme and semen. They are in no way interconnected by
meaning. And yet, i n this skiddi ng and this purely exteral collusion, �he �ccident d
.
oes
produce a sort of semantic mirage: the deviance of the i ntended meant��, I ts refl ectlve­
efect (efet-refet) in wri ti ng sets a process i n motion. " Taken from �OSI!/Ons, pp. 6
.
1 -62:
ET: "Positions, " Diacritics, 2, No. 4 (Winter 1 972) , 37. See SPI Vak s Preface I n Of
Grammatology, pp. lxv-l xvi .
11 Alli son in hi s Translator' s Introduction to Speech and Phenomena notes: "The term
' deconstruction' (deconstruction), while perhaps unusual , should present no difculties
4
Preface
Dissemination diplces the three of onto-theo-logy according to an
angle of a certain bending-back. A crisi of versus: these marks no
longer allow themselves to be resumed or 'decided' in the two of the
binar opposition nor sublated [relever] in the three of speculative
dialectics . . . they destroy the trinitarian horizon. They textually
destroy it: they are the marks of dissemination (and not of polysemy)
because they do not allow themselves at any point to be pinned down
by the concept or content of a signifed. They 'add' there the more or
less of a fourth term. 1:l
here. It signifes a project of critical thought whose task is to locate and ' take apart' those
concepts which serve as the axioms or rules for a period of thought, those concepts which
command the unfolding of an entire epoch of metaphysics. ' Deconstruction' is somewhat
less negative than the Heideggerian or Nietzschean terms ' destruction' or ' reversal' ; it
suggests that certain foundational concepts of metaphysics will never be entirely elimi­
nated, even if thei r i mportance may seem to be efectively diminished. There is no simple
' overcoming' of metaphysics or the language of metaphysics. Derrida recognizes,
nonetheless, that the system of Wester thought is fnite; it has a fnite number of axioms
and a fnite number of permutations that will continue to work themselves out in a gi ven
period of time as particular moments within this tradition, e . g. , as particular schools or
movements of philosophy. I n this sense, Derrida also speaks of the ' completion' of
metaphysics, the terminal point of ' closure' (cloture) for the system. But the work of
deconstruction does not consist in simply pointing out the structural limits of
metaphysics . Rather, in breaking down and disassembling the ground of this tradition, its
task is both to exhibit the source of paradox and contradiction within the system, within
the very axioms themsel ves, and to set forth the possibilities for a new kind of meditation,
one no longer founded on the metaphysics of presence" ( pp. xxxii -xxxi ii ) .
I � The a of diferance inscribes the at onceness of difering and deferring i n diferance
(the French verb diferer has both signifcations: to difer, to defer or delay ; etymologi­
cally the English words "difer" and "defer" stem from the same root) . Derrida explains
in "La diferance, " translated in Speech and Phenomena, p. 1 37: "the word ' diference'
(with an e) could never refer to difering as temporalizing or to diference as polemos [to
diference as di vision or spacing] . It is this loss of sense that the word diferance (with an
a) will have to schematically compensate for. Diferance . . . refers to [its] whole com­
plex of meanings not only when i t is supported by a language or interpreti ve context (like
any signifcation) , but it already does s somehow of itself. Or at least i t does so more
easily by itself than dos any other word: here the a comes more immediately from the
present participle [diferant (added by tr. )] and brings us closer to the action of ' di fering'
that is in progress . . . . But while bringing us closer to the infni tive and active core of
difering, 'diferance' with an a neutralizes what the infniti ve denotes as simply acti ve, in
the same way that ' parlance
'
does not signify the simple fact of speaking, of speaking to
or bing spoken to . . . . Here in the usage of our language we must consider that the
ending -ance is undecided between active and passive. And we shall see why what is
designated by ' diferance' is neither simply active nor simply passive, that i t announces or
rather recalls something like the middle voice, that it spaks of an operation which is not
an operation, which cannot be thought of ei ther as a passion or as an action of a subject
upon an object, as starting from an agent or from a patient, or on the basis of, or in vi ew
of, any of these terms. "
1:1
La Dissemination, p. 32.
5
Preface
This textual crisi (a crisis of the line, of the l ine of writing) , this addi ti on
of the fourth term-that of fction-"must be conceived of in terms
other than as a calculus or mechanics of choice. "14 I n other words, a
new calculus , that of diferance or di ssemination, is needed, since the
crisis of the text is not brought about by polysemy or the overabun­
dance of meaning, but rather by the very i nabi lity to decide meaning.
Non-choice runs throughout Derri da' s texts. I n " Structure, Sign,
and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences," concerning the
"two interpretations of i nterpretation," that which "dreams of de­
ciphering" the truth or origin and that which " afrms freeplay and tri es
to pass beyond man and humani sm," Derrida says he does not believe
"that today there i s any question of choosing. "15 Or agai n, i n "The
Ends of Man," there i s no "si mple and unique" choi ce between two
forms of deconstruction, either Heidegger' s deconstruction of onto­
theo-Iogy by means of its own language or the structural ist way-by
"afrming absolute rupture and diference. " "A new writing must
weave and i ntertwine the two motifs. "16 Thi s logic of non-choice is the
very foundation, if there is one, of Derrida' s enterprise. It is the notion
of the undecidable-that which, by analogy, Derrida says-cannot be
decided. By analogy because, as Sarah Kofman notes, undecidabi lity
has a reference to decidabi lity, a reference that must be "crossed
out
.
"1 7
The undecidable!H takes into i tself thi s non-choice, as well as the
fgure of the elli psi s. Derrida says i n "Form and Meani ng":
There is, then, probably no choice to be made between two lines of
thought; our task is rather to refect on the circularit which makes the
1
4 "Freud et la scene de l ' ecriture, " p. 302; ET p. 81 .
I" I n L'Ecriture e t fa diference, pp. 427-28; ET: i n The Structuralist Controversy: The
Languages of Criticism and the Sciences of Man ( Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press,
1 970) , pp. 265-66.
IH
"The Ends of Man, " Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 30, No. 1 ( 1 969) ,
56. A French version of this article was published in Derrida' s Marges de la phiLosophie
(Paris: Mi nui t, 1 972) . The above ci tations occur on pp. 1 62-63.
17
Sarah Kofman, " Un philosophe ' unheimlich, ' ' ' in Ecarts: Quatre Essais a propos
de Jacques Derrida (Paris: Fayard, 1 973) , p. 1 48, n. 1 . The whole essay of Kofman is
i nvaluable for "understanding" Derrida.
IH
" It was necessary to analyze, to put to work, in the text of the history of philosophy
as well as in the so-called 'li terary' text . . . certain marks . . . which I called by analogy
(I emphasize this) undecidables, i . e . , simulative units, ' false' verbal, nominal or semantic
properties, which escape from inclusion in the philosophical (binary) opposition and
which nonetheless inhabit it, resist and disorganize it, but without ever constituting a third
term, without ever occasioning a solution in the form of speculative dialectics" (Po­
sitions, p. 58: ET p. 36).
4
Preface
Dissemination diplces the three of onto-theo-logy according to an
angle of a certain bending-back. A crisi of versus: these marks no
longer allow themselves to be resumed or 'decided' in the two of the
binar opposition nor sublated [relever] in the three of speculative
dialectics . . . they destroy the trinitarian horizon. They textually
destroy it: they are the marks of dissemination (and not of polysemy)
because they do not allow themselves at any point to be pinned down
by the concept or content of a signifed. They 'add' there the more or
less of a fourth term. 1:l
here. It signifes a project of critical thought whose task is to locate and ' take apart' those
concepts which serve as the axioms or rules for a period of thought, those concepts which
command the unfolding of an entire epoch of metaphysics. ' Deconstruction' is somewhat
less negative than the Heideggerian or Nietzschean terms ' destruction' or ' reversal' ; it
suggests that certain foundational concepts of metaphysics will never be entirely elimi­
nated, even if thei r i mportance may seem to be efectively diminished. There is no simple
' overcoming' of metaphysics or the language of metaphysics. Derrida recognizes,
nonetheless, that the system of Wester thought is fnite; it has a fnite number of axioms
and a fnite number of permutations that will continue to work themselves out in a gi ven
period of time as particular moments within this tradition, e . g. , as particular schools or
movements of philosophy. I n this sense, Derrida also speaks of the ' completion' of
metaphysics, the terminal point of ' closure' (cloture) for the system. But the work of
deconstruction does not consist in simply pointing out the structural limits of
metaphysics . Rather, in breaking down and disassembling the ground of this tradition, its
task is both to exhibit the source of paradox and contradiction within the system, within
the very axioms themsel ves, and to set forth the possibilities for a new kind of meditation,
one no longer founded on the metaphysics of presence" ( pp. xxxii -xxxi ii ) .
I � The a of diferance inscribes the at onceness of difering and deferring i n diferance
(the French verb diferer has both signifcations: to difer, to defer or delay ; etymologi­
cally the English words "difer" and "defer" stem from the same root) . Derrida explains
in "La diferance, " translated in Speech and Phenomena, p. 1 37: "the word ' diference'
(with an e) could never refer to difering as temporalizing or to diference as polemos [to
diference as di vision or spacing] . It is this loss of sense that the word diferance (with an
a) will have to schematically compensate for. Diferance . . . refers to [its] whole com­
plex of meanings not only when i t is supported by a language or interpreti ve context (like
any signifcation) , but it already does s somehow of itself. Or at least i t does so more
easily by itself than dos any other word: here the a comes more immediately from the
present participle [diferant (added by tr. )] and brings us closer to the action of ' di fering'
that is in progress . . . . But while bringing us closer to the infni tive and active core of
difering, 'diferance' with an a neutralizes what the infniti ve denotes as simply acti ve, in
the same way that ' parlance
'
does not signify the simple fact of speaking, of speaking to
or bing spoken to . . . . Here in the usage of our language we must consider that the
ending -ance is undecided between active and passive. And we shall see why what is
designated by ' diferance' is neither simply active nor simply passive, that i t announces or
rather recalls something like the middle voice, that it spaks of an operation which is not
an operation, which cannot be thought of ei ther as a passion or as an action of a subject
upon an object, as starting from an agent or from a patient, or on the basis of, or in vi ew
of, any of these terms. "
1:1
La Dissemination, p. 32.
5
Preface
This textual crisi (a crisis of the line, of the l ine of writing) , this addi ti on
of the fourth term-that of fction-"must be conceived of in terms
other than as a calculus or mechanics of choice. "14 I n other words, a
new calculus , that of diferance or di ssemination, is needed, since the
crisis of the text is not brought about by polysemy or the overabun­
dance of meaning, but rather by the very i nabi lity to decide meaning.
Non-choice runs throughout Derri da' s texts. I n " Structure, Sign,
and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences," concerning the
"two interpretations of i nterpretation," that which "dreams of de­
ciphering" the truth or origin and that which " afrms freeplay and tri es
to pass beyond man and humani sm," Derrida says he does not believe
"that today there i s any question of choosing. "15 Or agai n, i n "The
Ends of Man," there i s no "si mple and unique" choi ce between two
forms of deconstruction, either Heidegger' s deconstruction of onto­
theo-Iogy by means of its own language or the structural ist way-by
"afrming absolute rupture and diference. " "A new writing must
weave and i ntertwine the two motifs. "16 Thi s logic of non-choice is the
very foundation, if there is one, of Derrida' s enterprise. It is the notion
of the undecidable-that which, by analogy, Derrida says-cannot be
decided. By analogy because, as Sarah Kofman notes, undecidabi lity
has a reference to decidabi lity, a reference that must be "crossed
out
.
"1 7
The undecidable!H takes into i tself thi s non-choice, as well as the
fgure of the elli psi s. Derrida says i n "Form and Meani ng":
There is, then, probably no choice to be made between two lines of
thought; our task is rather to refect on the circularit which makes the
1
4 "Freud et la scene de l ' ecriture, " p. 302; ET p. 81 .
I" I n L'Ecriture e t fa diference, pp. 427-28; ET: i n The Structuralist Controversy: The
Languages of Criticism and the Sciences of Man ( Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press,
1 970) , pp. 265-66.
IH
"The Ends of Man, " Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 30, No. 1 ( 1 969) ,
56. A French version of this article was published in Derrida' s Marges de la phiLosophie
(Paris: Mi nui t, 1 972) . The above ci tations occur on pp. 1 62-63.
17
Sarah Kofman, " Un philosophe ' unheimlich, ' ' ' in Ecarts: Quatre Essais a propos
de Jacques Derrida (Paris: Fayard, 1 973) , p. 1 48, n. 1 . The whole essay of Kofman is
i nvaluable for "understanding" Derrida.
IH
" It was necessary to analyze, to put to work, in the text of the history of philosophy
as well as in the so-called 'li terary' text . . . certain marks . . . which I called by analogy
(I emphasize this) undecidables, i . e . , simulative units, ' false' verbal, nominal or semantic
properties, which escape from inclusion in the philosophical (binary) opposition and
which nonetheless inhabit it, resist and disorganize it, but without ever constituting a third
term, without ever occasioning a solution in the form of speculative dialectics" (Po­
sitions, p. 58: ET p. 36).
6
Preface
one pass into the other indefnitely. And, by strictly repeating this
circle in its own historical possibility, we allow the production of some
elliptical change ofsite, within the dif erence involved in repetition; this
displacement is no doubt defcient, but with a defciency that is not yet,
or is already no longer, absence, negativit, nonbeing, lack, silence.
Neither matter nor form, it is nothing that any philosopheme, that is,
any dialectic, however determinate, can capture. It is an ellipsis of
both meaning andform; it is neither plenar speech nor peiectly
circular. More and less, neither more nor less-it is perhaps an
entirely dif erent question. 19
1ae aacee.ca||e s |e,.e .s iaai ei iae e||.çs. s ei iae e.:e| e. a ceie:mec.
ceeeaie:ec e. :e|e ~|ea, «.ia iae e.:e|e. ia. s |e,.e ei iae aacee. ca|| e.
ei c.ae:aaee . aaa.a,es iae çe.ai . | .ae. aac sçaee aac i.me iaemse|ves .
diferance already suggests a mode of writing (ecriture) without
presence and absence-without histor, cause, arche, or telos-which
would overturn all dialectic, theology, teleology, and ontology. This mode
ofwriting would exceed everything that the histor ofmetaphysics has
conceived in the form ofthe Aristotelian grmme: the point, the line, the
circle, as well as time and space themselves.
2
0
1a.s |e,.e ei c.ae:aaee .s «aai aa. maies. aaa||y. iae ea:|y iexi ei
De::.ca i:aas|aiec ae:e . a. s Introduction ie uasse:|

s Origin ofGeome­
tr. ia Of Grammatology, De::.ca sa,s «aai eaa a|se |e sa.c ei ia. s
Introduction: ue:e as e| se«ae:e. ie çese iae ç:e||em . a ie:ms ei
eae.ee. ie e|| .,e e: ie |e| .eve eaese|i e|| . ,ec ie aas«e: .i |, a yes e:
no, ie eeaee.·e ei açça:ieaaaee as aa a| |e,.aaee e: aeaaçça:teaaaee as
ç|a. a sçeas.a,. .s ie eeaiase ve:, c.ne:eai |eve|s . çaias . aac si,| es

la
iae ceeeasi:aei.ea ei iae a:eae ¸ iae ç:eie·} . eae cees aei mase a
eae.ee ¯ tvea me:e . mçe:iaai i e: ea: ça:çeses . s iae | . ae ]asi |eie:e
ia. s De::.ca sa,s. "That is why a thought ofthe trace [diff e rancej can
no more break with a transcendental phenomenology than be reduced
to it. "21
ia eiae: «e:cs. De::.ca . s as maea a çaeaemeae|e,.si as aei . . s as
1 � "La Forme et Ie voul oi r-dire: note sur l a phenomenologie du langage, " i n Marges, p.
207: ET i n Speech and Phenomena , p. 1 28.
�" "Ousia et gramme: note sur une note de Sein und Zeit, " i n Marges, p. 78; ET:
. . 'Ousia and Gramme': A Note to a Footnote in Being and Time, " tr. Edward S. Casey,
in Phenomenology i n Perspective, ed. F. J . Smi th (The Hague: Nijhof, 1 970) , p. 93.
�1 P. 62.
7
Preface
maea a si:aeia:a|.si as aei. aa aiae.si as «e| | as ia.a|e: ei iae sae:ec.··
as ae.iae:. Cae.ees aeec aei |e mace ae:e. . a iaei. eaaaei |e mace
DERRIDA'S INTRODUCTION TO THE ORIGIN OF GEOMETRY
"To deconstruct" philosophy would. . . be to think the
structured genealogy of its concepts in the most faithful or
interior manner, but at the same time it woul be to determine
from a certain outside unqualiable or unnameable by
philosophy itself what this history could dissemble or prohibit,
becoming history through this somewhere interested
suppression.
Positions
Speech and Phenomena, De::.ca says. .s iae essay i va| ae iae
mesi · ia ia. s «e:| ae ¡aesi.eas iae ç:. v.|e,e ei iae ve.ee ¸sçeeeì}
aac çaeaei.e «:.i.a, .a :e|ai.ea ie a|| ei wesie:a a. sie:y.

saea a

i�. s
¡aesi.ea | eis . ise|i |e ceç.eiec .a iae a.sie:y ei meiaçays.es aac II .is
mesi mece:a. e:.i.ea| . aac v.,.|aai ie:m. uasse:| s i:aaseeaceaia|
çaeaemeae|e,y ·· ii eaa |e eeas.ce:ec. De::.ca iee| s. as a |ea, aei

e
ie Of Gram mato logy , |ai a aeie iaai aas iae a:si ç|aee .a a e|ass..
ça. |eseça.e a:ea.ieeia:e. O:. ae says. Speech and Phe

omena eaa |e
eeas.ce:ec as iae eiae: s.ce ,i:eai e: |ae| as yea «.sa, ei aaeiae:
essay. ça|| . saec .a i º-:. as aa iai:ecaei.ea ie uasse:ì s O�gin of
Geometr. 1ae:e iae ç:e||ems eeaee:a.a, «:. i.a, «e:e a|:eacy II ç|aee
as saea aac eeaaeeiec ie iae .::ecae.||e si:aeia:e ei 'diferer' .a .is
:e| ai.eas ie eease.easaess. ç:eseaee. se.eaee. a. sie:y aac iae a.sie:y ei
se.eaee. iae c.saççea:aaee e: ce| ay. a, ei iae e:.,.a. aac se ea. ·
22
E. Donato in " Structuralism: The Aftermath," p. 25, sees OJ Grammatology, along
with Foucaul t's The Order oj Things, as "the only quest for ti me past and ti me regained
that a fundamentalIy atheist [my emphasis] epistemological confguration might ofer. "
Al so see on this Mi kel Dufrenne, "Pour une phil osophi e non theologique, " i n hi s Le
Poetique, 2nd revised and enlarged ed. (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1 97�) ,
pp. 7-57. On Derrida and the sacred, see Henri Meschonnic , Le Signe e t Ie poeme ( ParIs:
Gal l i mard, 1 975 ) , pp. 401 -92.
2:1 Positions, p. 1 3 .
H Ibid.
2.> Ibid. Derrida has an even earlier essay on Husserl , gi ven at a conference i n 1 959,
entitled" 'Genese et structure' et l a phenomenologi e. " It was reprinted i n L' Ecriture et
La diference i n 1 967, but frst appeared i n 1 965 i n Entretiens sur les notions de genese :t
de structure, ed. Maurice de Gandi l lac et a. (Paris: Mouton, 1 965) , pp. 243-6. ThIS,
then, is both before and after the work on the Origin, having obviousl y undergone
changes by the time of i ts reprinting in L'Ecriture (the use of the concept dif erance on p.
239 is the cl earest and si mplest exampl e of thi s change) . The article is very hel pful for
understanding Derrida's Introduction.
6
Preface
one pass into the other indefnitely. And, by strictly repeating this
circle in its own historical possibility, we allow the production of some
elliptical change ofsite, within the dif erence involved in repetition; this
displacement is no doubt defcient, but with a defciency that is not yet,
or is already no longer, absence, negativit, nonbeing, lack, silence.
Neither matter nor form, it is nothing that any philosopheme, that is,
any dialectic, however determinate, can capture. It is an ellipsis of
both meaning andform; it is neither plenar speech nor peiectly
circular. More and less, neither more nor less-it is perhaps an
entirely dif erent question. 19
1ae aacee.ca||e s |e,.e .s iaai ei iae e||.çs. s ei iae e.:e| e. a ceie:mec.
ceeeaie:ec e. :e|e ~|ea, «.ia iae e.:e|e. ia. s |e,.e ei iae aacee. ca|| e.
ei c.ae:aaee . aaa.a,es iae çe.ai . | .ae. aac sçaee aac i.me iaemse|ves .
diferance already suggests a mode of writing (ecriture) without
presence and absence-without histor, cause, arche, or telos-which
would overturn all dialectic, theology, teleology, and ontology. This mode
ofwriting would exceed everything that the histor ofmetaphysics has
conceived in the form ofthe Aristotelian grmme: the point, the line, the
circle, as well as time and space themselves.
2
0
1a.s |e,.e ei c.ae:aaee .s «aai aa. maies. aaa||y. iae ea:|y iexi ei
De::.ca i:aas|aiec ae:e . a. s Introduction ie uasse:|

s Origin ofGeome­
tr. ia Of Grammatology, De::.ca sa,s «aai eaa a|se |e sa.c ei ia. s
Introduction: ue:e as e| se«ae:e. ie çese iae ç:e||em . a ie:ms ei
eae.ee. ie e|| .,e e: ie |e| .eve eaese|i e|| . ,ec ie aas«e: .i |, a yes e:
no, ie eeaee.·e ei açça:ieaaaee as aa a| |e,.aaee e: aeaaçça:teaaaee as
ç|a. a sçeas.a,. .s ie eeaiase ve:, c.ne:eai |eve|s . çaias . aac si,| es

la
iae ceeeasi:aei.ea ei iae a:eae ¸ iae ç:eie·} . eae cees aei mase a
eae.ee ¯ tvea me:e . mçe:iaai i e: ea: ça:çeses . s iae | . ae ]asi |eie:e
ia. s De::.ca sa,s. "That is why a thought ofthe trace [diff e rancej can
no more break with a transcendental phenomenology than be reduced
to it. "21
ia eiae: «e:cs. De::.ca . s as maea a çaeaemeae|e,.si as aei . . s as
1 � "La Forme et Ie voul oi r-dire: note sur l a phenomenologie du langage, " i n Marges, p.
207: ET i n Speech and Phenomena , p. 1 28.
�" "Ousia et gramme: note sur une note de Sein und Zeit, " i n Marges, p. 78; ET:
. . 'Ousia and Gramme': A Note to a Footnote in Being and Time, " tr. Edward S. Casey,
in Phenomenology i n Perspective, ed. F. J . Smi th (The Hague: Nijhof, 1 970) , p. 93.
�1 P. 62.
7
Preface
maea a si:aeia:a|.si as aei. aa aiae.si as «e| | as ia.a|e: ei iae sae:ec.··
as ae.iae:. Cae.ees aeec aei |e mace ae:e. . a iaei. eaaaei |e mace
DERRIDA'S INTRODUCTION TO THE ORIGIN OF GEOMETRY
"To deconstruct" philosophy would. . . be to think the
structured genealogy of its concepts in the most faithful or
interior manner, but at the same time it woul be to determine
from a certain outside unqualiable or unnameable by
philosophy itself what this history could dissemble or prohibit,
becoming history through this somewhere interested
suppression.
Positions
Speech and Phenomena, De::.ca says. .s iae essay i va| ae iae
mesi · ia ia. s «e:| ae ¡aesi.eas iae ç:. v.|e,e ei iae ve.ee ¸sçeeeì}
aac çaeaei.e «:.i.a, .a :e|ai.ea ie a|| ei wesie:a a. sie:y.

saea a

i�. s
¡aesi.ea | eis . ise|i |e ceç.eiec .a iae a.sie:y ei meiaçays.es aac II .is
mesi mece:a. e:.i.ea| . aac v.,.|aai ie:m. uasse:| s i:aaseeaceaia|
çaeaemeae|e,y ·· ii eaa |e eeas.ce:ec. De::.ca iee| s. as a |ea, aei

e
ie Of Gram mato logy , |ai a aeie iaai aas iae a:si ç|aee .a a e|ass..
ça. |eseça.e a:ea.ieeia:e. O:. ae says. Speech and Phe

omena eaa |e
eeas.ce:ec as iae eiae: s.ce ,i:eai e: |ae| as yea «.sa, ei aaeiae:
essay. ça|| . saec .a i º-:. as aa iai:ecaei.ea ie uasse:ì s O�gin of
Geometr. 1ae:e iae ç:e||ems eeaee:a.a, «:. i.a, «e:e a|:eacy II ç|aee
as saea aac eeaaeeiec ie iae .::ecae.||e si:aeia:e ei 'diferer' .a .is
:e| ai.eas ie eease.easaess. ç:eseaee. se.eaee. a. sie:y aac iae a.sie:y ei
se.eaee. iae c.saççea:aaee e: ce| ay. a, ei iae e:.,.a. aac se ea. ·
22
E. Donato in " Structuralism: The Aftermath," p. 25, sees OJ Grammatology, along
with Foucaul t's The Order oj Things, as "the only quest for ti me past and ti me regained
that a fundamentalIy atheist [my emphasis] epistemological confguration might ofer. "
Al so see on this Mi kel Dufrenne, "Pour une phil osophi e non theologique, " i n hi s Le
Poetique, 2nd revised and enlarged ed. (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1 97�) ,
pp. 7-57. On Derrida and the sacred, see Henri Meschonnic , Le Signe e t Ie poeme ( ParIs:
Gal l i mard, 1 975 ) , pp. 401 -92.
2:1 Positions, p. 1 3 .
H Ibid.
2.> Ibid. Derrida has an even earlier essay on Husserl , gi ven at a conference i n 1 959,
entitled" 'Genese et structure' et l a phenomenologi e. " It was reprinted i n L' Ecriture et
La diference i n 1 967, but frst appeared i n 1 965 i n Entretiens sur les notions de genese :t
de structure, ed. Maurice de Gandi l lac et a. (Paris: Mouton, 1 965) , pp. 243-6. ThIS,
then, is both before and after the work on the Origin, having obviousl y undergone
changes by the time of i ts reprinting in L'Ecriture (the use of the concept dif erance on p.
239 is the cl earest and si mplest exampl e of thi s change) . The article is very hel pful for
understanding Derrida's Introduction.
8
Preface
ia iaese eemmeais De::.ca ç:eseais as «.ia aa eçi.ea. ~s ae
sa,,esis, «e eea|c ia|e Speech and Phenomena as iae :eve:se ei a. s
Introduction, «a.ea |eeemes iae e|ve:se, iae :.,ai e: ç:eçe: (recto)
s.ce. i a | .,ai ei iae eemmeais a|eve, iae Introduction «ea|c iaea |e iae
essay De::.ca va|aec iae mesi. O:, .i ia.s . s ie ,e iee ia: , as iae :eve:se
, e: . mç:eçe:, s.ce, De::.ca s Introduction . s si.|| ie |e a.,a| y ç:.zec
,aac . s se |y De::.ca·, , s.aee .i .s iae «ae|e «a.ea aas va|ae ue:e
çe:ve:se|y, iae . mç:eçe: s.ce , aiiae|.a, |y .is ve:y . mç:eç:.eiy iae
ç:eçe: s.ce, saçç|emeais iae va|ae ei iae æeeac essay, Speech and
Phenomena. ia ia.s eçi.ea, iae Introduction . s |eia ç:eçe: ,s. aee .i «as
«:.iiea a:si, .a 1961, s.x yea:s |eie:e iae ça||.eai.ea ei Speech and
Phenomena) aac .mç:eçe: ,s.aee .i .s iae :eve:se ei iae seeeac essay, .
1ae a|eve eemmeais, ia|ea i:em Hea:. xease s .aie:v.e« «.ia De:·
:.ca .a 1967, aac iae eçi.eas iaey ç:eseai ç:ev.ce ia:iae: ]asi.| eai.ea
ie: a e|ese :eac.a, ei De::.ca s a:si ma]e: ça||.saec essay, a.s Intro­
duction ie The Orgin ofGeometr. ii .s a|se aa .ai:ecaei.ea ie iae «e:|
ei De::.ca .a ,eae:a| aac ia:a.saes a |as.e ça:i ei iae i:ame«e:| ie: a. s
|aie:, ç:eseai «e:|. That basic framework-and ae:e i:ame«e:| saea|c
çess.||y |e eaaa,ec .mmec.aie| y ie sei ei ç:e||ems, eçi.e, meiaec, .i
a|| iaese ie:ms «e:e aei a|:eacy .aace¡aaie ie «aai «e a:e ,e.a, ie
eeas.ce:-s phenomenology. He«eve:, as «.|| |eeeme e|ea:, iae
çaeaemeae|e,y .a ¡aesi.ea .s aei iaai :e] eeiec |y u.eae| reaeaa|i .a
a.s re:e«e:c ie iae Ða,|.sa ec.i.ea ei The Order of Things, a
çaeaemeae|e,y «a.ea ,.ves a|se|aie ç:.e:.iy ie iae e|se:v.a, sa|·
]eei, «a.ea aii:.|aies a eeasi.iaieai :e|e ie aa aei, «a.ea ç|aees .is e«a
çe.ai ei v.e« ai iae e:.,.a ei a|| a.sie:.e.iy-«a.ea, .a sae:i , |eacs ie a
i:aaseeaceaia| eease.easaess. ·· waai i «.sa ie e|a.m |y say.a, iaai
De::.ca s i:ame«e:| .s çaeaemeae|e,.ea| .s aei iaai ae .s Hasse:|.aa e:
He.ce,,e:.aa, e: evea .cea| .si e: ex. sieai.a| , e: iaai a. s meiaec .s
çaeaemeae|e,.ea| . xaiae:, i «aai ie sa,,esi iaai De::.ca aas ieaac .a
aac at the limits ç:ee.se|y «ae:e çaeaemeae|e,y ia.|s , . . e . , «ae:e .i
|eeemes iae mece:a, exemç|a:y :eeaç.ia|ai.ea ei wesie¬ meia·
çays.es, a ie:i.|e ,:eaac ie: ea|i.vai.a, ¡aesi.eas a|eai iae aea·
2
6 Derrida often refers to and summarizes the resul ts obtained in this study in his later
work. See, for example , Speech and Phenomena, pp. 80-8 1 ; or L' Ecriture et la diff er­
ence, pp. 22 and 248.
2
7 The Order of Things: An Archaeology ofthe Human Sciences (New York: Vintage
Books, 1 973) , p. xiv. I cannot resist ci ti ng Foucaul t' s statement to the " English-speaking
reader" concering his relation to the other half of the phenomenological-structural de­
bate: "In France, certain half-witted 'commentators' persist i n label l i ng me a 'struc­
turalist' . I have been unable to get it i nto thei r tiny minds that I have used none of the
methods, concepts, or key terms that characterize structural analysis" ( xi v) .
9
Preface
ça.|eseça.ea| per se ,iae | . m. is e: ma:,.as ei ça.|eseçay,, a|eai
«:.i.a,, e:.,.as aac a.sie:y, aac c.ae:oaee.
ue:eeve:, iae çaeaemeae|e,y De::. ca exam.aes aac a:,aes «.ia . s
iae çaeaemeae|e,y ei s.,a.| eai.ea. ·
·
sa|i.i|ec iai:ecaei.ea ie iae
r:e||em ei s.,as .a Hasse:| s raeaemeae|e,y, Speech and
Phenomena |eacs ie iae eeae| as.ea. 1ae:e aeve: «as aay çe:eeç·
i.ea. · ra:iae:. ~ac eeai:a:y ie «aai çaeaemeae|e,y-«a.ea .s
a|«ays çaeaemeae|e,y ei çe:eeçi.ea-aas i:. ec ie ma|e as |e|.eve,
eeai:a:y i e «aai ea: ces.:e eaaaei ia.| i e |e iemçiec .aie |e| .ev.a,, the
thing itself always escapes. "
a
o nasec ea iae "absolute will-to-hear­
onesel-speak, "31 çaeaemeae|o,y masi a|«ays ia.|, masi a|«ays
ce|ay·ceie:·c.ae:eai. aie the thing itsel, evea tae a|se|aie ieaacai.ea
ie: se maea ei iecay s iaea,ai, . e , se|i·eease.easaess waai :ema.as
.s ie: as ie speak, ie ma|e ea: ve.ees :eseaaie ia:ea,aeai iae ee:·
:.ce:s .a e:ce: ie ma|e aç ie: iae |:ea|aç ei ç:eseaee, .a e:ce: ie
saçç|emeai iae .mçaei ei eae s ç:eseaee.
"
a
2
De::.ca s «e:| ie caie :ema. as inside thi s failure aac need to speak ei
çaeaemeae|e,y ~s ae sae«s, çaeaemeae|e,y |:ea|s açea iae :ee| ei
ç:eseaee. .i . s a sa|]eei.ea ei sense ie see.a,, ei sease ie iae sease ei
s.,ai , s.aee sease .a ,eae:a| .s .a iaei iae eeaeeçi ei eve:y
çaeaemeae|e,.ea| | e|c. Yei |eie:e ia.s |:ea|.a, aç, .a iae m.csi
ei . i, . s «ae:e De::.ca «e:|s. r:.e: ie iae meiaçays.ea| e| a.ms iaai
çaeaemeae|e,y exe:e. ses aac «.ia.a iae çess.|.|.iy ei a ceeeasi:aei.ve
:eve:sa| ei iae a.e:a:eay ei s.,ai aac sease, s.aee iaey a:e
aacee.ca||e-iaai .s «ae:e i:a.iia| Hasse:|.aa «e:| eaa |e ceae 1ae
ç:e||em ei meiaec «.ia.a iaese | .m.i. .s «aai «e «.|| see ceve|eçec .a
De::.ca s Introduction.
1ae Introduction ie The Orgin ofGeometr .s a |ea,, exieas.ve essay
eeaee¬ec «.ia a sae:i .aceçeaceai i:+,meat .ae|acec, aeee:c.a, ie
Hasse:| s ç:e|a||e .aieai, as aa ~ççeac.x ie The Crisis of European
2H
See Paul Ricoeur, "Negati vity and Primary Afrmation, " i n hi s Histor and Truth,
tr. Charles A. Kelbley (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1 965) , p. 3 1 2.
29 p. 1 03 . Al so see the comments of Newton Garver i n hi s Preface to thi s work, xxi i i ­
xxi v, as well as Note 4 above.
30 Ibid. , p. 1 04.
31 Ibid. , p. 1 02.
:
12
Ibid., p. 1 04 and xxvi i i-xxi x.
3:
1
"Form and Meaning, " in Marges, p. 1 88; ET in Speech and Phenomena, pp. 1 08-09.
8
Preface
ia iaese eemmeais De::.ca ç:eseais as «.ia aa eçi.ea. ~s ae
sa,,esis, «e eea|c ia|e Speech and Phenomena as iae :eve:se ei a. s
Introduction, «a.ea |eeemes iae e|ve:se, iae :.,ai e: ç:eçe: (recto)
s.ce. i a | .,ai ei iae eemmeais a|eve, iae Introduction «ea|c iaea |e iae
essay De::.ca va|aec iae mesi. O:, .i ia.s . s ie ,e iee ia: , as iae :eve:se
, e: . mç:eçe:, s.ce, De::.ca s Introduction . s si.|| ie |e a.,a| y ç:.zec
,aac . s se |y De::.ca·, , s.aee .i .s iae «ae|e «a.ea aas va|ae ue:e
çe:ve:se|y, iae . mç:eçe: s.ce , aiiae|.a, |y .is ve:y . mç:eç:.eiy iae
ç:eçe: s.ce, saçç|emeais iae va|ae ei iae æeeac essay, Speech and
Phenomena. ia ia.s eçi.ea, iae Introduction . s |eia ç:eçe: ,s. aee .i «as
«:.iiea a:si, .a 1961, s.x yea:s |eie:e iae ça||.eai.ea ei Speech and
Phenomena) aac .mç:eçe: ,s.aee .i .s iae :eve:se ei iae seeeac essay, .
1ae a|eve eemmeais, ia|ea i:em Hea:. xease s .aie:v.e« «.ia De:·
:.ca .a 1967, aac iae eçi.eas iaey ç:eseai ç:ev.ce ia:iae: ]asi.| eai.ea
ie: a e|ese :eac.a, ei De::.ca s a:si ma]e: ça||.saec essay, a.s Intro­
duction ie The Orgin ofGeometr. ii .s a|se aa .ai:ecaei.ea ie iae «e:|
ei De::.ca .a ,eae:a| aac ia:a.saes a |as.e ça:i ei iae i:ame«e:| ie: a. s
|aie:, ç:eseai «e:|. That basic framework-and ae:e i:ame«e:| saea|c
çess.||y |e eaaa,ec .mmec.aie| y ie sei ei ç:e||ems, eçi.e, meiaec, .i
a|| iaese ie:ms «e:e aei a|:eacy .aace¡aaie ie «aai «e a:e ,e.a, ie
eeas.ce:-s phenomenology. He«eve:, as «.|| |eeeme e|ea:, iae
çaeaemeae|e,y .a ¡aesi.ea .s aei iaai :e] eeiec |y u.eae| reaeaa|i .a
a.s re:e«e:c ie iae Ða,|.sa ec.i.ea ei The Order of Things, a
çaeaemeae|e,y «a.ea ,.ves a|se|aie ç:.e:.iy ie iae e|se:v.a, sa|·
]eei, «a.ea aii:.|aies a eeasi.iaieai :e|e ie aa aei, «a.ea ç|aees .is e«a
çe.ai ei v.e« ai iae e:.,.a ei a|| a.sie:.e.iy-«a.ea, .a sae:i , |eacs ie a
i:aaseeaceaia| eease.easaess. ·· waai i «.sa ie e|a.m |y say.a, iaai
De::.ca s i:ame«e:| .s çaeaemeae|e,.ea| .s aei iaai ae .s Hasse:|.aa e:
He.ce,,e:.aa, e: evea .cea| .si e: ex. sieai.a| , e: iaai a. s meiaec .s
çaeaemeae|e,.ea| . xaiae:, i «aai ie sa,,esi iaai De::.ca aas ieaac .a
aac at the limits ç:ee.se|y «ae:e çaeaemeae|e,y ia.|s , . . e . , «ae:e .i
|eeemes iae mece:a, exemç|a:y :eeaç.ia|ai.ea ei wesie¬ meia·
çays.es, a ie:i.|e ,:eaac ie: ea|i.vai.a, ¡aesi.eas a|eai iae aea·
2
6 Derrida often refers to and summarizes the resul ts obtained in this study in his later
work. See, for example , Speech and Phenomena, pp. 80-8 1 ; or L' Ecriture et la diff er­
ence, pp. 22 and 248.
2
7 The Order of Things: An Archaeology ofthe Human Sciences (New York: Vintage
Books, 1 973) , p. xiv. I cannot resist ci ti ng Foucaul t' s statement to the " English-speaking
reader" concering his relation to the other half of the phenomenological-structural de­
bate: "In France, certain half-witted 'commentators' persist i n label l i ng me a 'struc­
turalist' . I have been unable to get it i nto thei r tiny minds that I have used none of the
methods, concepts, or key terms that characterize structural analysis" ( xi v) .
9
Preface
ça.|eseça.ea| per se ,iae | . m. is e: ma:,.as ei ça.|eseçay,, a|eai
«:.i.a,, e:.,.as aac a.sie:y, aac c.ae:oaee.
ue:eeve:, iae çaeaemeae|e,y De::. ca exam.aes aac a:,aes «.ia . s
iae çaeaemeae|e,y ei s.,a.| eai.ea. ·
·
sa|i.i|ec iai:ecaei.ea ie iae
r:e||em ei s.,as .a Hasse:| s raeaemeae|e,y, Speech and
Phenomena |eacs ie iae eeae| as.ea. 1ae:e aeve: «as aay çe:eeç·
i.ea. · ra:iae:. ~ac eeai:a:y ie «aai çaeaemeae|e,y-«a.ea .s
a|«ays çaeaemeae|e,y ei çe:eeçi.ea-aas i:. ec ie ma|e as |e|.eve,
eeai:a:y i e «aai ea: ces.:e eaaaei ia.| i e |e iemçiec .aie |e| .ev.a,, the
thing itself always escapes. "
a
o nasec ea iae "absolute will-to-hear­
onesel-speak, "31 çaeaemeae|o,y masi a|«ays ia.|, masi a|«ays
ce|ay·ceie:·c.ae:eai. aie the thing itsel, evea tae a|se|aie ieaacai.ea
ie: se maea ei iecay s iaea,ai, . e , se|i·eease.easaess waai :ema.as
.s ie: as ie speak, ie ma|e ea: ve.ees :eseaaie ia:ea,aeai iae ee:·
:.ce:s .a e:ce: ie ma|e aç ie: iae |:ea|aç ei ç:eseaee, .a e:ce: ie
saçç|emeai iae .mçaei ei eae s ç:eseaee.
"
a
2
De::.ca s «e:| ie caie :ema. as inside thi s failure aac need to speak ei
çaeaemeae|e,y ~s ae sae«s, çaeaemeae|e,y |:ea|s açea iae :ee| ei
ç:eseaee. .i . s a sa|]eei.ea ei sense ie see.a,, ei sease ie iae sease ei
s.,ai , s.aee sease .a ,eae:a| .s .a iaei iae eeaeeçi ei eve:y
çaeaemeae|e,.ea| | e|c. Yei |eie:e ia.s |:ea|.a, aç, .a iae m.csi
ei . i, . s «ae:e De::.ca «e:|s. r:.e: ie iae meiaçays.ea| e| a.ms iaai
çaeaemeae|e,y exe:e. ses aac «.ia.a iae çess.|.|.iy ei a ceeeasi:aei.ve
:eve:sa| ei iae a.e:a:eay ei s.,ai aac sease, s.aee iaey a:e
aacee.ca||e-iaai .s «ae:e i:a.iia| Hasse:|.aa «e:| eaa |e ceae 1ae
ç:e||em ei meiaec «.ia.a iaese | .m.i. .s «aai «e «.|| see ceve|eçec .a
De::.ca s Introduction.
1ae Introduction ie The Orgin ofGeometr .s a |ea,, exieas.ve essay
eeaee¬ec «.ia a sae:i .aceçeaceai i:+,meat .ae|acec, aeee:c.a, ie
Hasse:| s ç:e|a||e .aieai, as aa ~ççeac.x ie The Crisis of European
2H
See Paul Ricoeur, "Negati vity and Primary Afrmation, " i n hi s Histor and Truth,
tr. Charles A. Kelbley (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1 965) , p. 3 1 2.
29 p. 1 03 . Al so see the comments of Newton Garver i n hi s Preface to thi s work, xxi i i ­
xxi v, as well as Note 4 above.
30 Ibid. , p. 1 04.
31 Ibid. , p. 1 02.
:
12
Ibid., p. 1 04 and xxvi i i-xxi x.
3:
1
"Form and Meaning, " in Marges, p. 1 88; ET in Speech and Phenomena, pp. 1 08-09.
1
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10
Preface
Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology. 1ae ma]e: ia:eac ,a. c. a

uasse:| s :eaeei.eas .a iae Origin .s iae ¡aesi.ea ei |e,.aa.a,s e: en·
,.ns «.ia.a histor aac iae. : sease. De::.ca s Introduction

esçeeis u


se:| s maaae: ei ç:eeeec. a, iae:e.a. u. s eemmeaia:y¬ie:ç:eiai.ea
ie| | e«s iae e:ce: ei ¡aesi.ea.a, aac iae ç:e||ems :a. sec |y uasse:| , aac
«.ia.a ia.s si:aeia:e De::.ca e|a|e:aies aac e|ae. caies-aac aaa|�y
saçç|emeais«aai uasse:| «:.ies i a «aai ie||e«s, ae«ev

:, i «. | |
aei ç:eeeec se :.,e:eas| y iasieac, i «. | | e|ae.caie iae a:ea.ieeia:a|
eeaeeçi ei a.sie:.e.iy ,sease·a. sie:y· aac iae :

|

iec a:eas ei ¡aes·
i.ea.a, .i eaia. | s. |aa,aa,e, «:. i.a,, .cea|.iy, iae i.v.

, �eseai

aa

c iae
i:aaseeaceaia| . 1aese eemmeais «.|| |e ça:saec «. iam De:nca s ai·
ie¬çi ie aace:siaac iae . aie:ç|ay ei çaeaemeae|e,(s

ç:.ae.

| e ei a||
ç:.ae.ç|es aac .is aaa| . asi.iai.ea. iae .aie:ç�ay
º
.iam eeas..easaess
ei iae ceaa.ie ia.a, ç:eseai .a çe:sea aac iae ¬aa.ie i cea as aa a|

a

s
ceie::ec 1e| es. De::.ca «aais ie aace:siaac çaeaemeae|e,y as .i . s
., stretched |ei«eea iae jnitizing eease.easaess ei . is pririple a

c iae
injnitizing eease.easaess ei .is aaa| institution,
.
iae E

ds

iftung ¬c


a.ie| y ceie::ec .a .is eeaieai |ai a|«ays ev.ceai II .is :e

a| ai.ve
va|ae "34 1ae c. a| eei.e ei iaese i«e, çaeaemeaea aac i c

a, .s «�ai
De::ica seems ie iee| . mç| .e.i|, ,aicec uasse:| . a a. s :eueei.eas ea a. s·
ie:ie.i,, aac a siac, ei De::.cas eem

m

eaia:, :evea| s «aai aaççeas
«aea iaese . mç| .eai.eas a:e mace exç| . .. i
Hitoricity
re: uasse:| , a.sie:.e.iy (Geschichtlichkeit)35 eeaee:as iae e:i,.as aac
i:ac.i.eas ei .cea| e|]eeis, aac i:ac.i.ea .ise|i .s aace:sieec ie |e |eia
iae ç:eeess ei aaac.a, ce«a aac iae eaca:aaee ei ia.s ç:eeess , a
:H Jacques Derrida, Introduction et Traduction de L'Origine de fa g�omet�ie de Hus­
serl , 2nd ed. (Pari s: Presses Uni versitaires de France, 1 974) . Tran
.
slatl?ns will be t�ke
.
n
from the text as presented below and the page references wi l l be CIted 10 the text withm
parenthesi s. For this quote: ( 1 38) .
:1 • . It should be noted that Geschichtlichkeit is the term used many years e�rlier
.
b
,

Martin Heidegger in Being and Time, §§72-77: "Temporal i ty and Ges�hichtl!chkel t.
Al though the English translators of Heidegger' s work, John Macqu�ITle �nd Edw
.
ard
Robinson, have rendered the term as historicality. most translators, I ncl udI�g D
.
ern�a,
prefer the term historicity for Geschichtlichkeit. I have followed the latter, usmg hlston�­
ity throughout . However, although both Heidegger and Husserl use the same term, theIr
senses are different . as Derrida's Introduction should make clear
:
. .
In addition, David Carr, who translated Husserl ' s Crisis, explaI�s In �IS Phenomenol­
ogy and the Problem of History ( Evanston: Northwest�rn UOl:ersity �ess, 1 974� ,
pp. 66-67 , that Husserl ' s concern wi th the problem of hIstory dId not anse from hIS
11
Preface
ae:.ia,e. i cea| e|]eeis a:e «aai a|eae ,aa:aaiee iae çess. |.| .iy ei
a. sie:.e.iy, . . e. , iae a|«ays .aie:sa|]eei.ve eease.easaess ei a.sie:y
(29). i a eiae: «e:cs, a. sie:.e.iy . s a|«ays a sense-histor. ii eçe:aies ea
iae |eve| ei sease aac .s :e|aiec ie iae ç:e||ems ei |aa,aa,e, .cea| . iy,
i:aia, aac aamaas. ac . a .is i.v.a, r:eseai-iae sea:ee ei a|| sease aac
a.sie:y
~eee:c.a, ie De::.ca iae:e a:e i«e eease¡aeaees ie ia.s v.e« ie:
uasse:| . r.:si, uasse:| s .a¡a. :y |aes ie iae e:.,.a ,. a ia.s ease, ei
,eemei:y .s aa . a¡a. :y . aie iae sease·a.sie:y ei geometrical i:aias, .aie
iae e:.,.a aac i:aasm. ss. ea ei geometrical .cea| e|]eei.v.i.es e: e|]eeis,
aa . a¡a. :y iaai eaa ea|y |e a sease·.avesi.,ai.ea (a uasse:| asec iae
ie:m, of geometr. 36 De::.ca says a|eai ia. s. 1e mec.iaie ea e: .aves·
i.,aie iae sease (besinnen) ei e:.,.as . s ai iae same i.me ie. mase eaese|i
:esçeas.||e (verntworten) ie: iae sease (Sinn) ei se.eaee aac ça.|ese·
çay, |:.a, ia. s sease ie iae e|a:.iy ei . is ia|a| ,meai} , aac çai eaese|i .a
a çes.i.ea ei responsibility ie: ia. s sease sia:i.a, i:em iae ieia| sease ei
ea: ex. sieaee (31). sease·.avesi.,ai.ea :evea| s iae eeac.i.eas ie: aac
iae sease ei a. sie:.e.iy. |ai ea| y ia:ea,a çe:seaa| :esçeas.|.| .iy aac
:esçease
seeeac| y, iae e:. ,. a ei .cea| e|]eeis, as origin, :a. ses ie: uasse:| iae
ç:e||em ei iae.: eaca:.a, ae:.ia,e , iae. : i:ac.i.ea ia eiae: «e:cs. .i
.cea| e|]eeis a:e i:a| y e:.,.aa| aac ç:.me:c.a| , ae« eaa iaey |e :eee,·
a.zec e: sae«a waai ç|aees iaem . a a.sie:y .s iae.: "essence-of-the-
jrst-time, " iae. : Erstmaligkeit; iaey ce aei eeea:, uasse:| says, .a a
acquaintance with Heidegger' s Being and Time: " It is hardly to be expected, however,
that a problem with which Husserl is so preoccupied could have occurred to hi m over­
night, as i t were, or even have entered his thi nki ng from an outside source-such as
Heidegger' s Being and Time (with its chapter on Geschichtlichkeit) , which HusserJ seems
to have studied careful l y, for the frst time, in 1 932. We intend to show, i n fact , that the
concept of historicity has its roots in refections on various subjects going back as far as
1 9 1 3, and that i ts emergence i n the Crisis i s the efect of an accumulation and confuence
of trains of thought which ul timately force HusserI' s new introduction to phenomenology
to take on its pecul i ar form. " Carr refers, then, to Gadamer' s support of this position i n
his Truth and Method, tr. ed. Garrett Barden and John Cumming (New York: Seabury
Press, 1 975) , p. 2 1 5: "These statements of the later Husser! [concering historicity] might
be motivated by the debate wi th Being and Time, but they are preceded by so many other
attempts to formulate his position that it i s cl ear that Husser! had always had in mind the
application of his ideas to the problems of the historical sciences. "
at; Sense-i nvestigation, Besinnung, prise de conscience-George Steiner explains thi s
notion wel l i n After Babel: Aspects of Language and Translation (New York: Oxford
Uni versity Press , 1 975): "The complete penetrative grasp of a text , the complete dis­
covery and 'recreative apprehension of its l ife-forms (prise de conscience), is an act whose
realization can be precisel y felt but is nearly i mpossible to paraphrase or systematize" ( p.
25) .
10
Preface
Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology. 1ae ma]e: ia:eac ,a. c. a

uasse:| s :eaeei.eas .a iae Origin .s iae ¡aesi.ea ei |e,.aa.a,s e: en·
,.ns «.ia.a histor aac iae. : sease. De::.ca s Introduction

esçeeis u


se:| s maaae: ei ç:eeeec. a, iae:e.a. u. s eemmeaia:y¬ie:ç:eiai.ea
ie| | e«s iae e:ce: ei ¡aesi.ea.a, aac iae ç:e||ems :a. sec |y uasse:| , aac
«.ia.a ia.s si:aeia:e De::.ca e|a|e:aies aac e|ae. caies-aac aaa|�y
saçç|emeais«aai uasse:| «:.ies i a «aai ie||e«s, ae«ev

:, i «. | |
aei ç:eeeec se :.,e:eas| y iasieac, i «. | | e|ae.caie iae a:ea.ieeia:a|
eeaeeçi ei a.sie:.e.iy ,sease·a. sie:y· aac iae :

|

iec a:eas ei ¡aes·
i.ea.a, .i eaia. | s. |aa,aa,e, «:. i.a,, .cea|.iy, iae i.v.

, �eseai

aa

c iae
i:aaseeaceaia| . 1aese eemmeais «.|| |e ça:saec «. iam De:nca s ai·
ie¬çi ie aace:siaac iae . aie:ç|ay ei çaeaemeae|e,(s

ç:.ae.

| e ei a||
ç:.ae.ç|es aac .is aaa| . asi.iai.ea. iae .aie:ç�ay
º
.iam eeas..easaess
ei iae ceaa.ie ia.a, ç:eseai .a çe:sea aac iae ¬aa.ie i cea as aa a|

a

s
ceie::ec 1e| es. De::.ca «aais ie aace:siaac çaeaemeae|e,y as .i . s
., stretched |ei«eea iae jnitizing eease.easaess ei . is pririple a

c iae
injnitizing eease.easaess ei .is aaa| institution,
.
iae E

ds

iftung ¬c


a.ie| y ceie::ec .a .is eeaieai |ai a|«ays ev.ceai II .is :e

a| ai.ve
va|ae "34 1ae c. a| eei.e ei iaese i«e, çaeaemeaea aac i c

a, .s «�ai
De::ica seems ie iee| . mç| .e.i|, ,aicec uasse:| . a a. s :eueei.eas ea a. s·
ie:ie.i,, aac a siac, ei De::.cas eem

m

eaia:, :evea| s «aai aaççeas
«aea iaese . mç| .eai.eas a:e mace exç| . .. i
Hitoricity
re: uasse:| , a.sie:.e.iy (Geschichtlichkeit)35 eeaee:as iae e:i,.as aac
i:ac.i.eas ei .cea| e|]eeis, aac i:ac.i.ea .ise|i .s aace:sieec ie |e |eia
iae ç:eeess ei aaac.a, ce«a aac iae eaca:aaee ei ia.s ç:eeess , a
:H Jacques Derrida, Introduction et Traduction de L'Origine de fa g�omet�ie de Hus­
serl , 2nd ed. (Pari s: Presses Uni versitaires de France, 1 974) . Tran
.
slatl?ns will be t�ke
.
n
from the text as presented below and the page references wi l l be CIted 10 the text withm
parenthesi s. For this quote: ( 1 38) .
:1 • . It should be noted that Geschichtlichkeit is the term used many years e�rlier
.
b
,

Martin Heidegger in Being and Time, §§72-77: "Temporal i ty and Ges�hichtl!chkel t.
Al though the English translators of Heidegger' s work, John Macqu�ITle �nd Edw
.
ard
Robinson, have rendered the term as historicality. most translators, I ncl udI�g D
.
ern�a,
prefer the term historicity for Geschichtlichkeit. I have followed the latter, usmg hlston�­
ity throughout . However, although both Heidegger and Husserl use the same term, theIr
senses are different . as Derrida's Introduction should make clear
:
. .
In addition, David Carr, who translated Husserl ' s Crisis, explaI�s In �IS Phenomenol­
ogy and the Problem of History ( Evanston: Northwest�rn UOl:ersity �ess, 1 974� ,
pp. 66-67 , that Husserl ' s concern wi th the problem of hIstory dId not anse from hIS
11
Preface
ae:.ia,e. i cea| e|]eeis a:e «aai a|eae ,aa:aaiee iae çess. |.| .iy ei
a. sie:.e.iy, . . e. , iae a|«ays .aie:sa|]eei.ve eease.easaess ei a.sie:y
(29). i a eiae: «e:cs, a. sie:.e.iy . s a|«ays a sense-histor. ii eçe:aies ea
iae |eve| ei sease aac .s :e|aiec ie iae ç:e||ems ei |aa,aa,e, .cea| . iy,
i:aia, aac aamaas. ac . a .is i.v.a, r:eseai-iae sea:ee ei a|| sease aac
a.sie:y
~eee:c.a, ie De::.ca iae:e a:e i«e eease¡aeaees ie ia.s v.e« ie:
uasse:| . r.:si, uasse:| s .a¡a. :y |aes ie iae e:.,.a ,. a ia.s ease, ei
,eemei:y .s aa . a¡a. :y . aie iae sease·a.sie:y ei geometrical i:aias, .aie
iae e:.,.a aac i:aasm. ss. ea ei geometrical .cea| e|]eei.v.i.es e: e|]eeis,
aa . a¡a. :y iaai eaa ea|y |e a sease·.avesi.,ai.ea (a uasse:| asec iae
ie:m, of geometr. 36 De::.ca says a|eai ia. s. 1e mec.iaie ea e: .aves·
i.,aie iae sease (besinnen) ei e:.,.as . s ai iae same i.me ie. mase eaese|i
:esçeas.||e (verntworten) ie: iae sease (Sinn) ei se.eaee aac ça.|ese·
çay, |:.a, ia. s sease ie iae e|a:.iy ei . is ia|a| ,meai} , aac çai eaese|i .a
a çes.i.ea ei responsibility ie: ia. s sease sia:i.a, i:em iae ieia| sease ei
ea: ex. sieaee (31). sease·.avesi.,ai.ea :evea| s iae eeac.i.eas ie: aac
iae sease ei a. sie:.e.iy. |ai ea| y ia:ea,a çe:seaa| :esçeas.|.| .iy aac
:esçease
seeeac| y, iae e:. ,. a ei .cea| e|]eeis, as origin, :a. ses ie: uasse:| iae
ç:e||em ei iae.: eaca:.a, ae:.ia,e , iae. : i:ac.i.ea ia eiae: «e:cs. .i
.cea| e|]eeis a:e i:a| y e:.,.aa| aac ç:.me:c.a| , ae« eaa iaey |e :eee,·
a.zec e: sae«a waai ç|aees iaem . a a.sie:y .s iae.: "essence-of-the-
jrst-time, " iae. : Erstmaligkeit; iaey ce aei eeea:, uasse:| says, .a a
acquaintance with Heidegger' s Being and Time: " It is hardly to be expected, however,
that a problem with which Husserl is so preoccupied could have occurred to hi m over­
night, as i t were, or even have entered his thi nki ng from an outside source-such as
Heidegger' s Being and Time (with its chapter on Geschichtlichkeit) , which HusserJ seems
to have studied careful l y, for the frst time, in 1 932. We intend to show, i n fact , that the
concept of historicity has its roots in refections on various subjects going back as far as
1 9 1 3, and that i ts emergence i n the Crisis i s the efect of an accumulation and confuence
of trains of thought which ul timately force HusserI' s new introduction to phenomenology
to take on its pecul i ar form. " Carr refers, then, to Gadamer' s support of this position i n
his Truth and Method, tr. ed. Garrett Barden and John Cumming (New York: Seabury
Press, 1 975) , p. 2 1 5: "These statements of the later Husser! [concering historicity] might
be motivated by the debate wi th Being and Time, but they are preceded by so many other
attempts to formulate his position that it i s cl ear that Husser! had always had in mind the
application of his ideas to the problems of the historical sciences. "
at; Sense-i nvestigation, Besinnung, prise de conscience-George Steiner explains thi s
notion wel l i n After Babel: Aspects of Language and Translation (New York: Oxford
Uni versity Press , 1 975): "The complete penetrative grasp of a text , the complete dis­
covery and 'recreative apprehension of its l ife-forms (prise de conscience), is an act whose
realization can be precisel y felt but is nearly i mpossible to paraphrase or systematize" ( p.
25) .
, .
12
Preface
"topos ouranios, " in some heavenl y local e, and then descend to the
earth. Rather, ideal objects are "traditional objects, " and they possss
hi storicity as one of their "ei detic components" (48) . Thus any at­
tempt to get at the "origin" of these ideal objects, any hi storical "re­
duction, " would be "reactivating and noetic, " and i t would have to
work through free phantasy (i maginary) variation. However, as tradi­
tion, i deal objects have accreted (and continue to do so) sedimentations
in their transmi ssion, their delivery to the present and future. They have
picked up lateral and latent strata which the historical reduction must
fnally reduce in order to reach back and grasp the orgins of the
i dealities under discussi on.
Since the origin in question here is a phenomenological one, its reac-
tivation entail s a return inqui ry (Ruckfrage). Thi s inquiry always starts
with an origin' s tradition, which must in turn be reduced to the very
origin the inquiry i s seeking to reactivate. In other words, tradition i s
essential to both the inquiry back to and the reactivation of an origin.
Ruckrage is the questioni ng back through tradition to the ori gi n of
ideal ity. Yet , as Husserl ' s term suggests, thi s questioning responds to
an already received message that the tradition hands over. Reactivation
is the human capacity or ability to reawaken the pri mordial sense that
sedimented (traditional) sense covers over. A fnite and mediate capac­
ity, reactivation must work through equivocal language to regain a
primordial sense. It i s, according to Derri da, Verantwortung and Besin­
nung, the reawakening and being responsible for the primordial sense
that the equivocal tradition conceal s . As fnite and mediate (i . e. ,
traditional) , the ability to reactivate sense can be lost, a plight that
Husserl felt gave rise to the crisis in phi losophy which characterized
modern times . And yet, Husserl continued, reactivation as a capacity
of humankind in general can be infnitized through the ideal izing power
of geometry.
The role of tradition in Husserl ' s thought becomes clearer, Derrida
points out, when we notice that tradition operates analogously to the
"dialectic" of interal time-consciousness, the dialectic of protention
and retention within the Living Present. The historical sedimentation of
sense interplays wi th the creation of new sense withi n the horizon of
present sense. All of which is possible for Husserl , we shall see, be­
cause of language, particularly written language (87) . Thus, histori city
becomes possible through retur inquiry and reactivation, and yet both
are possible only because there i s an origin and tradition of ideal ob­
jects, because there i s historicity. This circle, Derrida expl ains, i s what
concers Husserl : "what seems to be of utmost importance to Husserl
i s as much an operation (reactivation itslf as the abi lity to open a
13
Preface
hidden historical feld) as the nature of the feld itself (as the possibility
of something like reactivation) " (51).
So far we have seen that historicity is concerned with the origi n and
tradition of ideal objects. For Husserl the latter notion, that of ideal
objects, requi res examination of both objectivity and ideality. First the
problem of the former, then the latter.
Origins are beginnings of something new; as such, they raise the
problem of recogni zabil ity. Husserl answers by saying that there must
be some objectivity in the origin of an ideality for the ideality to be
recognizable.a7 This means, Derrida says, that the "sense of the con-
. stituting act can only be deciphered in the web of the constituted ob­
ject . And thi s necessity is not an external fate, but an essential neces­
sity of intentional ity. The prmordial sense of every intentional act is
only its fnal sense, i . e. , the constitution of an object" (64). In other
words, objectivity , a correlate of i ntentionality, forces intentionality­
the problem of recognizability-to be grasped frst through its fnal
product: the constituted object. So the question is narrowed: what
allows for the objectivity of a primordial sense , an ori gin-al sense, since
the conditions of objectivity are those of historicity?
Thi s bri ngs us to the problem of l anguage, that by which sense
i tself-or rather, expressive meaning, l i nguistic meaning-btains its
ideal objectivity. In hi s comments, Derrida elaborates three degrees of
ideal objectivity i mplicit in Husserl ' s anal ysi s . First, there is the level of
the word' s ideal objectivity. The word "lion, " for instance, is recogni z­
able within several languages , but i s bound to those languages i n which
the word i tself makes sense . Secondly, there is the level of the word's
sense. The intended content or signifcation of the word "l ion" is avail­
able to many languages, for example, Leo, Lowe, lion, such that the
ideality si gnifed thereby is free · ' from all factual linguistic subjectiv­
i ty" (71). Thirdly, there i s the level of absolute ideal objectivity, such
.7 Dorion Cairns, in his review-abstract of Husserl ' s "Die Frage nach dem Ursprung
der Geometrie al s intentional-historisches Problem" ("I nqui ry Concerning the Origin of
Geometry: a Problem of I ntentional Hi story")
'
Philosophy and Phenomenological Re­
search, I, No. 1 ( 1 940), p. 1 00, accurately presents Husserl ' s answer to this problem (he
is abstracting from the German transcription Fink publ ished in the same journal in 1 939) :
"Our mathematics, however, exists as an age-long advance from acquisition t o acquisi­
tion. Therefore i t must have been a more pri mi ti ve sense that frst was projected and
appeared in the evidence of a successful execution. But the phrase i s redundant. Evi­
dence means the grasping of a bei ng in the consciousness of its original 'itslf-thereness. '
And grasping covers other acts besides simply perceptive seei ng. The sense of the meant
object indicates the way to grasp it originaliter. Sense-formations whose nature it is to
exist as subjecti vel y prouced resul ts are 'grasped' originaliter in being produced . Suc­
cessful l y realizing a project is evidence; i n the reali zi ng, the efect is there as 'itself. · "
, .
12
Preface
"topos ouranios, " in some heavenl y local e, and then descend to the
earth. Rather, ideal objects are "traditional objects, " and they possss
hi storicity as one of their "ei detic components" (48) . Thus any at­
tempt to get at the "origin" of these ideal objects, any hi storical "re­
duction, " would be "reactivating and noetic, " and i t would have to
work through free phantasy (i maginary) variation. However, as tradi­
tion, i deal objects have accreted (and continue to do so) sedimentations
in their transmi ssion, their delivery to the present and future. They have
picked up lateral and latent strata which the historical reduction must
fnally reduce in order to reach back and grasp the orgins of the
i dealities under discussi on.
Since the origin in question here is a phenomenological one, its reac-
tivation entail s a return inqui ry (Ruckfrage). Thi s inquiry always starts
with an origin' s tradition, which must in turn be reduced to the very
origin the inquiry i s seeking to reactivate. In other words, tradition i s
essential to both the inquiry back to and the reactivation of an origin.
Ruckrage is the questioni ng back through tradition to the ori gi n of
ideal ity. Yet , as Husserl ' s term suggests, thi s questioning responds to
an already received message that the tradition hands over. Reactivation
is the human capacity or ability to reawaken the pri mordial sense that
sedimented (traditional) sense covers over. A fnite and mediate capac­
ity, reactivation must work through equivocal language to regain a
primordial sense. It i s, according to Derri da, Verantwortung and Besin­
nung, the reawakening and being responsible for the primordial sense
that the equivocal tradition conceal s . As fnite and mediate (i . e. ,
traditional) , the ability to reactivate sense can be lost, a plight that
Husserl felt gave rise to the crisis in phi losophy which characterized
modern times . And yet, Husserl continued, reactivation as a capacity
of humankind in general can be infnitized through the ideal izing power
of geometry.
The role of tradition in Husserl ' s thought becomes clearer, Derrida
points out, when we notice that tradition operates analogously to the
"dialectic" of interal time-consciousness, the dialectic of protention
and retention within the Living Present. The historical sedimentation of
sense interplays wi th the creation of new sense withi n the horizon of
present sense. All of which is possible for Husserl , we shall see, be­
cause of language, particularly written language (87) . Thus, histori city
becomes possible through retur inquiry and reactivation, and yet both
are possible only because there i s an origin and tradition of ideal ob­
jects, because there i s historicity. This circle, Derrida expl ains, i s what
concers Husserl : "what seems to be of utmost importance to Husserl
i s as much an operation (reactivation itslf as the abi lity to open a
13
Preface
hidden historical feld) as the nature of the feld itself (as the possibility
of something like reactivation) " (51).
So far we have seen that historicity is concerned with the origi n and
tradition of ideal objects. For Husserl the latter notion, that of ideal
objects, requi res examination of both objectivity and ideality. First the
problem of the former, then the latter.
Origins are beginnings of something new; as such, they raise the
problem of recogni zabil ity. Husserl answers by saying that there must
be some objectivity in the origin of an ideality for the ideality to be
recognizable.a7 This means, Derrida says, that the "sense of the con-
. stituting act can only be deciphered in the web of the constituted ob­
ject . And thi s necessity is not an external fate, but an essential neces­
sity of intentional ity. The prmordial sense of every intentional act is
only its fnal sense, i . e. , the constitution of an object" (64). In other
words, objectivity , a correlate of i ntentionality, forces intentionality­
the problem of recognizability-to be grasped frst through its fnal
product: the constituted object. So the question is narrowed: what
allows for the objectivity of a primordial sense , an ori gin-al sense, since
the conditions of objectivity are those of historicity?
Thi s bri ngs us to the problem of l anguage, that by which sense
i tself-or rather, expressive meaning, l i nguistic meaning-btains its
ideal objectivity. In hi s comments, Derrida elaborates three degrees of
ideal objectivity i mplicit in Husserl ' s anal ysi s . First, there is the level of
the word' s ideal objectivity. The word "lion, " for instance, is recogni z­
able within several languages , but i s bound to those languages i n which
the word i tself makes sense . Secondly, there is the level of the word's
sense. The intended content or signifcation of the word "l ion" is avail­
able to many languages, for example, Leo, Lowe, lion, such that the
ideality si gnifed thereby is free · ' from all factual linguistic subjectiv­
i ty" (71). Thirdly, there i s the level of absolute ideal objectivity, such
.7 Dorion Cairns, in his review-abstract of Husserl ' s "Die Frage nach dem Ursprung
der Geometrie al s intentional-historisches Problem" ("I nqui ry Concerning the Origin of
Geometry: a Problem of I ntentional Hi story")
'
Philosophy and Phenomenological Re­
search, I, No. 1 ( 1 940), p. 1 00, accurately presents Husserl ' s answer to this problem (he
is abstracting from the German transcription Fink publ ished in the same journal in 1 939) :
"Our mathematics, however, exists as an age-long advance from acquisition t o acquisi­
tion. Therefore i t must have been a more pri mi ti ve sense that frst was projected and
appeared in the evidence of a successful execution. But the phrase i s redundant. Evi­
dence means the grasping of a bei ng in the consciousness of its original 'itslf-thereness. '
And grasping covers other acts besides simply perceptive seei ng. The sense of the meant
object indicates the way to grasp it originaliter. Sense-formations whose nature it is to
exist as subjecti vel y prouced resul ts are 'grasped' originaliter in being produced . Suc­
cessful l y realizing a project is evidence; i n the reali zi ng, the efect is there as 'itself. · "
14
Preface
as iae i:ee .cea|. i. es ei ,eemei:y 1ae .cea| .iy .a ¡aesi.ea ae:e .s iaai ei
iae e|]eei .ise|i. Oa ia. s |eve| ei e|]eei.v.iy. iae:e . s ae acae:eaee ie
aay ce iaeie |aa,aa,e. ea|y acae:eaee ie iae çess.|.|.iy ei | aa,aa,e . a
,eae:a| .� 1a. s meaas iaai i:aas|ai.ea . s .aaa.ie|y eçea. De::.ca aas
e|ae.caiec iaese ia:ee ce,:ees . a e:ce: ie sae« iaai «aea uasse:| . .a
iae Origin, cees aei c.si.a,a.sa |ei«eea iae e|]eei . ise|i aac .is sease .
ia.s eaa ea|y eeea: «.ia.a iae ia.:c :e,.ea ei .cea| e|]eei.v.iy. iae
a|se|aie| y i:ee .cea| e|]eei.v.iy ei |aa,aa,e 1aas |aa,aa,e .s iae iee|
ie: :evea| .a, .cea| e|]eei.v.iy. «a.ea .a ia:a :evea|s. s.aee . i cees aei
| .ve . a a "topos ouranios, " iaai e|]eei.v.iy .ise|i . s .ai:.as. ea||y a. sie:.ea|
aac masi |e eeaaeeiec «.ia i:aaseeaceaia| sa|]eei.v.iy. 1ae ,:eaac
ie: i:aaseeaceaia| a. sie:.e.iy . s aaeeve:ec.
uasse:| s ¡aesi.ea iaea |eeemes iae ae« ei .cea|.iy ,aac aei yei
iaai ei .is e:.,.a· . ae« cees .cea|.iy. ça:i.ea|a:|y ,eemei:.ea| . cea|.iy.
a::.ve ai a|se| aie . cea| e|]eei.v.iy i:em .is ·»··.çe:seaa| e:.,.a .a iae
.aveaie: s m.ac: ra:acex.ea||y. ae ,ees |ae| eaee a,a.a ie |aa,aa,e.
ue says iaai . cea|.iy a::.ves ai .is a|se|aie e|] eei.v.iy |y meaas ei
|aa,aa,e. iae ve:y ia.a, i:em «a.ea .i «as i:y.a, ie eseaçe ]asi a
memeai a,e. 1ae ça:acex. De::.ca says. .s iaai. «. iaeai iae aç·
ça:eai ia|| |ae| .aie |aa,aa,e aac iae:e|y .aie a. sie:y. a ia|| «a.ea
«ea|c a|.eaaie iae . cea| ça:.iy ei sease. sease «ea|c :ema.a aa emç.:. ·
ea| ie:mai.ea . mç:.seaec as iaei .a a çsyeae|e,.ea| sa|]eei.v. iy» the
inventor's head. u.sie:.ea| .aea:aai.ea ,.a |aa,aa,e} seis i:ee iae
i:aaseeaceaia| . .asieac ei |.ac.a, . i . 1ae |asi aei.ea. iae i:aaseeacea·
ia| . masi iaea |e :eiaea,ai (77). i «. | | :eia:a ie ia.s :eia. a|. a, .a
a memeai
1a. s ae« .s aea. evec |eeaase aamaa|.ac .s .a eae aac iae same
«e:|c. aac eease.easaess ei ia.s iaei esia||.saes iae çess.|. |.iy ei a
aa.ve:sa| |aa,aa,e. uaa|.ac . s a:si eease.eas ei . ise|i ¸uasse:| says}
as aa .mmec.aie aac mec.aie |. a,a.si.e eemmaa.iy (79). ia acc.·
i.ea. ea: Ða:ia. as iae ç|aee ei a|| e|]eeis. . s aei aa e|]eei .ise|i aac
eaaaei |eeeme eae ie: aa e|]eei.ve se. eaee. ia iaei . De::.ca eem·
meais. iae çess. |.|.iy ei a ,eemei:y si:.ei|y eemç|emeais iae . mçes·
s.|. |.iy ei «aai eea|c |e ea||ec a ,ee·|e,y. iae e|]eei.ve se.eaee ei iae
Ða:ia . ise|i (83) . Cee|e,y .s as :ac.ea||y . mçess. || e. iaea. as . s aa
e|]eei.ve se.eaee ei i:aaseeaceaia| sa|]eei.v. iy. ~ac ,eemei:y .s çes·
s.||e ea|y . aseia: as iae a|eve . s i:ae. s.aee çaeaemeae|e,y s |as.e
ç:.ae. ç|e ei aa.iace a|«ays .aie:ç|ays «.ia aa . aaa.ie ,aac aeae|]ee·
:!H However, as Derrida poi nts out i n a note, p. 72 below, thi s ideality occurs and i s di s­
covered in a factual language, and thi s occurrence is "the crucial difculty of al l
[ Husserl ' s] philosophy of hi story: what i s the sense of thi s l ast [type of factuality?"
15
Preface
i.ve, .cea| çe|e-ae:e . ea: Ða:ia-iae ze:e·çe.ai ei a|| çe:eeçi.ea iae
.aaa.ie ae:.zea ei eve:y e|]eei.

1ae ç:e||em ei |aa,aa,e aac . cea|.iy. ae«eve:. .s i.:si eaeeaaie:ec
intraçe:seaa||y. 1ae r:si . aveaie: ei ,eemei:y. ie: examç| e. masi aave
|�ea a||� i� �eee,a.ze aac eemmaa.eaie a ,eemei:.ea| . cea|.iy «.ia. a
a.s e

«a .ac.v.caa| eease.easaess . sease masi |e :eee,a.zec aac eem·
maa.eaiec as iae same sease i:em eae memeai ei iae e,e ie aaeiae:
a|se|aie|y c.ae:eai memeai ei iae same e,e. ue:e a,a.a uasse:| :e·
i�:as i? iae aa.¡ae ie:m ei iemçe:a|.zai.ea. iae i.v.a, r:eseai. «aese
c. a�
eei.ea| eaa:aeie: aac ç:. me:c.a| .iy çe:m.i .ai:açe:seaa| eemmaa. ·
�ai.ea. �
a �
�ease

iaea. De::.ca eeae| aces . ·»·c· sa|]eei.v.iy .s r:si
tntrasa|, eeilv. iy. a iaei iaai esç|a. as uasse:| s :eve:s.ea eaee me:e ie
iae i.

v.a, r:eseai .a a.s c.seass.er a|eai iae e:ae.a| :e|e ei «:.i. a,.
~s ¬·e·çe:seaa| eemmaa.eai.ea ça: exee| |eaee. «:.i.a, ,aa:aaiees
ie: uasse:| iae çess.|.|.iy ei a|se| aie . cea| en]eei.v.iy. ~ac De::.ca
a:,aes iaai. s.aee iae possibilit ei «:.i.a, ,.ves sease iae a|.|. iy ie
|eeeme nonspatiotemporal, «:. i.a, saaei.eas aac eemç| eies iae ex.s·
ieaee ei ça:e i:aaseeaceaia| a. sie:. e.iy (87) , iaas çasa.a, aamaa·
|.ac. uasse:| iee| s. ae:ess a ae« ia:esae|c-iaai ei i:aaseeaceaia|
eemmaa.iy De::.ca s eemmeai ea ia.s :esa|i. iaai iae aaiaeai.e aei
ei «:.i.a, . s a i:aaseeaceaia| :ecaei.ea çe:ie:mec |y aac ie«a:c iae
�e
.
" (92), . ac. eaies iaai «:.i.a, .s a eeaaie:ça:i ie iae i.v. a, r:eseai
.a .aie:çe:seaa| eemmaa.eai.ea. ia e:ce: aei ie aave i:aia c. saççea:
i:em iae «e:|c. i:em ·»·c· sa|]eei.v.iy. |eia mea :eve:i ie iae i.v. a,
r:eseai. ie iae .aieai.eaa| aei ei iae e,e. ie intra sa|]eei.v.iy . s. aee
«:.i. a, .s intentional-i . e. , .i ma|es sease-uasse:| a:,aes |ae| ie «:.i·
.a, s .

ai

eai.eaa| .iy. ie iae e,e s . aieai.eaa| aei .a iae aei ei «:.i. a,. ie
iae i.v.a, r:eseai «a.ea ,:eaacs eve:y .aieai.eaa| aei .a |eia .is
a|ie:.iy aac sameaess. ~caçi.a, De::.ca s saee.aei :ema:|s a|eai iae
i.v.a, r:eseai. «e eea|c say. iaea. iaai «:.i.a, eeasi.iaies iae eiae:
as eiae: .a .ise|i aac iae same as same . a iae eiae: (86) .
Historicity and the Transcendental
u.sie:.e.iy. uasse:| says. .s aamaa|. ac s esseai.a| ae:.zea. iae i.v·
.a, r:eseai ieaacs iae a.sie:.e r:eseai. aac iae a.sie:.e r:eseai as
i:ac.i.eaa|.zai.ea ,iae . aeessaai ieia|.zai.ea ei iae rasi .a iae r:eseai·
:evea|s �ae aa.ve:s�| ~ç:.e:. ei a.sie:y. 1ae i.v.a, r:eseai i, ie acaçi
uasse:| s «e:cs iw.ee ¡aeiec |y De::. ca. iae v.ia| mevemeai ei iae
eeex. sieaee aac iae .aie:«eav. a, . . . ei ç:.me:c.a| ie:mai.eas
aac sec.meaiai.eas ei sease (109). uamaa|. ac . s a eemmaa.iy
14
Preface
as iae i:ee .cea|. i. es ei ,eemei:y 1ae .cea| .iy .a ¡aesi.ea ae:e .s iaai ei
iae e|]eei .ise|i. Oa ia. s |eve| ei e|]eei.v.iy. iae:e . s ae acae:eaee ie
aay ce iaeie |aa,aa,e. ea|y acae:eaee ie iae çess.|.|.iy ei | aa,aa,e . a
,eae:a| .� 1a. s meaas iaai i:aas|ai.ea . s .aaa.ie|y eçea. De::.ca aas
e|ae.caiec iaese ia:ee ce,:ees . a e:ce: ie sae« iaai «aea uasse:| . .a
iae Origin, cees aei c.si.a,a.sa |ei«eea iae e|]eei . ise|i aac .is sease .
ia.s eaa ea|y eeea: «.ia.a iae ia.:c :e,.ea ei .cea| e|]eei.v.iy. iae
a|se|aie| y i:ee .cea| e|]eei.v.iy ei |aa,aa,e 1aas |aa,aa,e .s iae iee|
ie: :evea| .a, .cea| e|]eei.v.iy. «a.ea .a ia:a :evea|s. s.aee . i cees aei
| .ve . a a "topos ouranios, " iaai e|]eei.v.iy .ise|i . s .ai:.as. ea||y a. sie:.ea|
aac masi |e eeaaeeiec «.ia i:aaseeaceaia| sa|]eei.v.iy. 1ae ,:eaac
ie: i:aaseeaceaia| a. sie:.e.iy . s aaeeve:ec.
uasse:| s ¡aesi.ea iaea |eeemes iae ae« ei .cea|.iy ,aac aei yei
iaai ei .is e:.,.a· . ae« cees .cea|.iy. ça:i.ea|a:|y ,eemei:.ea| . cea|.iy.
a::.ve ai a|se| aie . cea| e|]eei.v.iy i:em .is ·»··.çe:seaa| e:.,.a .a iae
.aveaie: s m.ac: ra:acex.ea||y. ae ,ees |ae| eaee a,a.a ie |aa,aa,e.
ue says iaai . cea|.iy a::.ves ai .is a|se|aie e|] eei.v.iy |y meaas ei
|aa,aa,e. iae ve:y ia.a, i:em «a.ea .i «as i:y.a, ie eseaçe ]asi a
memeai a,e. 1ae ça:acex. De::.ca says. .s iaai. «. iaeai iae aç·
ça:eai ia|| |ae| .aie |aa,aa,e aac iae:e|y .aie a. sie:y. a ia|| «a.ea
«ea|c a|.eaaie iae . cea| ça:.iy ei sease. sease «ea|c :ema.a aa emç.:. ·
ea| ie:mai.ea . mç:.seaec as iaei .a a çsyeae|e,.ea| sa|]eei.v. iy» the
inventor's head. u.sie:.ea| .aea:aai.ea ,.a |aa,aa,e} seis i:ee iae
i:aaseeaceaia| . .asieac ei |.ac.a, . i . 1ae |asi aei.ea. iae i:aaseeacea·
ia| . masi iaea |e :eiaea,ai (77). i «. | | :eia:a ie ia.s :eia. a|. a, .a
a memeai
1a. s ae« .s aea. evec |eeaase aamaa|.ac .s .a eae aac iae same
«e:|c. aac eease.easaess ei ia.s iaei esia||.saes iae çess.|. |.iy ei a
aa.ve:sa| |aa,aa,e. uaa|.ac . s a:si eease.eas ei . ise|i ¸uasse:| says}
as aa .mmec.aie aac mec.aie |. a,a.si.e eemmaa.iy (79). ia acc.·
i.ea. ea: Ða:ia. as iae ç|aee ei a|| e|]eeis. . s aei aa e|]eei .ise|i aac
eaaaei |eeeme eae ie: aa e|]eei.ve se. eaee. ia iaei . De::.ca eem·
meais. iae çess. |.|.iy ei a ,eemei:y si:.ei|y eemç|emeais iae . mçes·
s.|. |.iy ei «aai eea|c |e ea||ec a ,ee·|e,y. iae e|]eei.ve se.eaee ei iae
Ða:ia . ise|i (83) . Cee|e,y .s as :ac.ea||y . mçess. || e. iaea. as . s aa
e|]eei.ve se.eaee ei i:aaseeaceaia| sa|]eei.v. iy. ~ac ,eemei:y .s çes·
s.||e ea|y . aseia: as iae a|eve . s i:ae. s.aee çaeaemeae|e,y s |as.e
ç:.ae. ç|e ei aa.iace a|«ays .aie:ç|ays «.ia aa . aaa.ie ,aac aeae|]ee·
:!H However, as Derrida poi nts out i n a note, p. 72 below, thi s ideality occurs and i s di s­
covered in a factual language, and thi s occurrence is "the crucial difculty of al l
[ Husserl ' s] philosophy of hi story: what i s the sense of thi s l ast [type of factuality?"
15
Preface
i.ve, .cea| çe|e-ae:e . ea: Ða:ia-iae ze:e·çe.ai ei a|| çe:eeçi.ea iae
.aaa.ie ae:.zea ei eve:y e|]eei.

1ae ç:e||em ei |aa,aa,e aac . cea|.iy. ae«eve:. .s i.:si eaeeaaie:ec
intraçe:seaa||y. 1ae r:si . aveaie: ei ,eemei:y. ie: examç| e. masi aave
|�ea a||� i� �eee,a.ze aac eemmaa.eaie a ,eemei:.ea| . cea|.iy «.ia. a
a.s e

«a .ac.v.caa| eease.easaess . sease masi |e :eee,a.zec aac eem·
maa.eaiec as iae same sease i:em eae memeai ei iae e,e ie aaeiae:
a|se|aie|y c.ae:eai memeai ei iae same e,e. ue:e a,a.a uasse:| :e·
i�:as i? iae aa.¡ae ie:m ei iemçe:a|.zai.ea. iae i.v.a, r:eseai. «aese
c. a�
eei.ea| eaa:aeie: aac ç:. me:c.a| .iy çe:m.i .ai:açe:seaa| eemmaa. ·
�ai.ea. �
a �
�ease

iaea. De::.ca eeae| aces . ·»·c· sa|]eei.v.iy .s r:si
tntrasa|, eeilv. iy. a iaei iaai esç|a. as uasse:| s :eve:s.ea eaee me:e ie
iae i.

v.a, r:eseai .a a.s c.seass.er a|eai iae e:ae.a| :e|e ei «:.i. a,.
~s ¬·e·çe:seaa| eemmaa.eai.ea ça: exee| |eaee. «:.i.a, ,aa:aaiees
ie: uasse:| iae çess.|.|.iy ei a|se| aie . cea| en]eei.v.iy. ~ac De::.ca
a:,aes iaai. s.aee iae possibilit ei «:.i.a, ,.ves sease iae a|.|. iy ie
|eeeme nonspatiotemporal, «:. i.a, saaei.eas aac eemç| eies iae ex.s·
ieaee ei ça:e i:aaseeaceaia| a. sie:. e.iy (87) , iaas çasa.a, aamaa·
|.ac. uasse:| iee| s. ae:ess a ae« ia:esae|c-iaai ei i:aaseeaceaia|
eemmaa.iy De::.ca s eemmeai ea ia.s :esa|i. iaai iae aaiaeai.e aei
ei «:.i.a, . s a i:aaseeaceaia| :ecaei.ea çe:ie:mec |y aac ie«a:c iae
�e
.
" (92), . ac. eaies iaai «:.i.a, .s a eeaaie:ça:i ie iae i.v. a, r:eseai
.a .aie:çe:seaa| eemmaa.eai.ea. ia e:ce: aei ie aave i:aia c. saççea:
i:em iae «e:|c. i:em ·»·c· sa|]eei.v.iy. |eia mea :eve:i ie iae i.v. a,
r:eseai. ie iae .aieai.eaa| aei ei iae e,e. ie intra sa|]eei.v.iy . s. aee
«:.i. a, .s intentional-i . e. , .i ma|es sease-uasse:| a:,aes |ae| ie «:.i·
.a, s .

ai

eai.eaa| .iy. ie iae e,e s . aieai.eaa| aei .a iae aei ei «:.i. a,. ie
iae i.v.a, r:eseai «a.ea ,:eaacs eve:y .aieai.eaa| aei .a |eia .is
a|ie:.iy aac sameaess. ~caçi.a, De::.ca s saee.aei :ema:|s a|eai iae
i.v.a, r:eseai. «e eea|c say. iaea. iaai «:.i.a, eeasi.iaies iae eiae:
as eiae: .a .ise|i aac iae same as same . a iae eiae: (86) .
Historicity and the Transcendental
u.sie:.e.iy. uasse:| says. .s aamaa|. ac s esseai.a| ae:.zea. iae i.v·
.a, r:eseai ieaacs iae a.sie:.e r:eseai. aac iae a.sie:.e r:eseai as
i:ac.i.eaa|.zai.ea ,iae . aeessaai ieia|.zai.ea ei iae rasi .a iae r:eseai·
:evea|s �ae aa.ve:s�| ~ç:.e:. ei a.sie:y. 1ae i.v.a, r:eseai i, ie acaçi
uasse:| s «e:cs iw.ee ¡aeiec |y De::. ca. iae v.ia| mevemeai ei iae
eeex. sieaee aac iae .aie:«eav. a, . . . ei ç:.me:c.a| ie:mai.eas
aac sec.meaiai.eas ei sease (109). uamaa|. ac . s a eemmaa.iy
16
Preface
ei sçea|.a, |e.a,s .a iae.: i.v.a, r:eseais . iae i.v.a, r:eseai |e.a, iae
aaa| :ei:eaeameai aac seea:.iy. De::.ca says. ei eve:y
çaeaemeae|e,.ea| :ecaei.ea ( 1 1 01 1 ) . ue «eace:s .i uasse:| s me:.i
«as aei . a aav.a, cese:.|ec. . a a i:a|y transcendental meve. iae eeac.·
i.eas ei çess. |.|.iy ie: a.sie:y «a.ea «e:e ai iae same i.me concrete . .
|eeaase iaey a:e exçe:.eaeec aace: iae ie:m ei horizon " ( 1 1 7) ? ue:. ·
zea .s iae i.v.a, r:eseai s c.a|eei.ea| ie:m. iae ae« ei . is iemçe:a| .za·
i.ea. iae a| :eacy iae:e ei . is c.a|eei.es ei sease
se ia: iae ç:e||em ei . cea|.iy s e:.,.a aas |eea |eu .a a|eyaaee
De::.ca çe.ais eai iaai uasse:| «.|| |eave iae ¡aesi.ea eçea Ceemei:.·
ea| .cea|.iy . s a|«ays based on iae me:çae|e,.ea| . cea|.i.es ei . ma,.aa·
i.ea aac sease. yei .i .s a|«ays a|:eacy a :açia:e «.ia iaai seas.||e·
me:çae|e,.ea| . cea|.zai.ea we eea|c say. çe:aaçs. iaai uasse:| | eaves
eaea si:aac aacee.cec. ,eemei:y . s «aai aas ia|ea ç|aee .a iae C:ee|
e:eai.ve .aaa.i.zai.ea. aac yei ia.s scientifc, theoretical | eaç . s a|«ays
|asec ea iae me:çae|e,.ea| . seas.||e .cea| .zai.ea ei iae ç:e se. eai.ae
«e:|c. iae Lebenswelt. 1aas ae saves. n::.ca eeae|aces. |eia iae
a|se|aie|y e:.,.aa| sease ei eaea i:ac.i.eaa| | .ae ,.is a.sie:.e.iy, aac . is
:e|ai.v.iy «.ia. a a. sie:y . a ,eae:a| ( 1 3 1 ) .
ue«eve:. iae .cea|.z.a, aei.v.iy ei understanding, ei ça:e ia.a|·
. a,. . e . ei iae aea.ma,.aai.ve aac aeaseas.||e. . s aeve: siac. ec .a
.ise|i. ae: a:e .is eeac.i.eas ii . s a :ac.ea| eçe:ai.ea. a passage to the
limit «aese si:aeia:e . s iaai ei maiaemai.ea| . cea|.zai.ea. iae a,a.a
aac a,a.a «a.ea De::.ca iee| s masi aave . is protentional ee::e|aie . a
.aieai.eaa|.iy Oaee a,a.a «e a:e |ec |ae| ie iae i.v.a, r:eseai. iae
çaeaemeae|e,.ea| a|se|aie. iae ae« aeec.a, a çasi «a.ea .a ia:a
aeecs a iaia:e ie«a:c «a.ea iae ç:eseai a|«ays a|:eacy ieacs. se iaai
iae ç:eseai .s iae ae:.zea ie: çasi aac iaia:e ue«eve:. De::.ca says.
iae aa.iy ei ia. s mevemeai . s aeve: ,.vea. . i masi |e exçe:.eaeec e:
thought ,iae:e|y ma|.a, iae çaeaemeaa|.zai.ea ei i. me çess.||e, 1a. s
aa.iy. iae «e:| ei iae icea .a iae kaai.aa sease. . s aeve: çaeaeme·
aa|.zec .a . ise|i ue:e a,a.a «e see iae eeaa.ei |ei«eea iae aa.i.z.a,
eease.easaess ei çaeaemeae|e,y s ç:.ae.ç|e aac iae .aaa.i.z.a, eea·
se.easaess ei . is aaa| . asi.iai.ea. iae .aaa.ie i cea iaai aaiae:.zes
aa.iace
waai iaea .s iae a.sie:.e.iy ei iae maiaemai.ea| ,ça.|eseça.ea|, e:.·
,.a. .i iae i cea .s «aai a||e«s ie: . cea|.iy s e:.,. a: neia iae icea aac
xeasea a:e a. sie:.e.i.es. |eia masi exçese iaemse|ves .a e:ce: ie |e.
a|iaea,a ae. iae: a:e exaaasiec . a ia. s exçes.i.ea 1aey a:e eie:aa| yei
.39 See L' Ecriture, pp. 242 and 250 on the concept of the Idea i n the Kanti an sense.
17
Preface
a.sie:.ea| . s.aee eie:a.iy .s a mece ei a. sie:.e.iy De::.ca siaies. .a a
cee.s.ve seaieaee. iaai iae a|se|aieaess ei iae icea .s iae ~|se|aie of
. aieai. eaa| a. sie:.e.iy ( 1 42) , acc.a, iaai iae ei ces.,aaies ae.iae: a
sa|]eei.ve ae: e|]eei.ve ,eaei.ve. . e . ae.iae: iae ~|se|aie ae: . a·
ieai.eaa| a.sie:.e.iy aas | :si ç|aee ia eiae: «e:cs. iae i cea as aa·
iae:.zai.ea ei .cea|.iy. as iae |.m.i ie«a:c «a.ea .cea|.iy çasses. reveals
iae |.m.i ei a. sie:.e.iy ,aac iae:e|y .is e«a | .m.i, . iae ç:e,:ess.ve-
:·ea··.e-mevemeai ei .aieai.eaa|.iy 1a. s ç:e,:ess.ve mevemeai .s
i:ac.i.ea. e: as De::.ca says. .aieai.eaa|.iy .s i:ac.i.eaa| .iy
ue:eeve:. s.aee . i . s iae c. a|eei.ea| :eei ei iae i.v. a, r:eseai. .aiea·
i.eaa|.iy . s iae :eei ei a. sie:.e.iy Cease¡aeai| y. De::.ca eeae|aces.
iae:e . s ae aeec i e .a¡a.:e a|eai iae sease ei a.sie:.e.iy. a.sie:.e.iy .s
sense" (150). ia eiae: «e:cs. sease .s traditionality aac iae Absolute is
Passage " ( 1 49) . 1ae a|se|aie . s iae aei ei a| | i:ac.i.ea ,aac ei a. sie·
:.e.iy aac . aieai.eaa|.iy, . i:aasm. ss.ea .a iae aei ei e:eai. ea
�e« De::.ca a| se says iaai sease .s iae aççea:.a, ei |e.a,¯ ( 1 48) ,
«a.ea meaas iaai |e.a, .s a. sie:.ea| se iae ¡aesi.ea ie: a. m |eee¬es .
«aai .s iae e:.,.a ei ne.a, as u.sie:y ( l 5 1 ) ? Oaie| e,y may as| iae
¡aesi.ea. |ai ea|y çaeaemeae|e,y eaa ç:ev.ce iae açça:aias ie: aa
aas«e: ne. a,. De::.ca says. .s silently sae«a aace: iae ae,ai.v.iy ei
iae apeiron " (ibid) . 1ae delay e: lateness ei sçeeea .a ia. s maa.iesiai.ea
ei ne.a, . s | aa||y iae ça.|eseça.ea| . aei ]asi iae çaeaemeae|e,.ea| .
a|se|aie De::.ca says.
Here delay is the philosophical absolute, because the beginning of
methodic refection can only consist in the consciousness of the
implication ofanother previous, possible, and absolute origin in
generl. Since this alterity ofthe absolute orgin structurally appears in
my Living Present and since it can appear and be recognized only
in the primordiality of something like my Living Present, this ver fact
signies the authenticit ofphenomenological delay and limitation. In
the lackluster guise of a technique, the Reduction is only pure thought
as that delay, pure thought investigating the sense of itsel as delay
within philosophy. ( 152 -53)
ra:e iaea,ai .s a|«ays ce|ay Cease.easaess ei ia.s ce|ay. De::.ca
says. . s eease.easaess ei D. ae:eaee . eease.easaess ei iae .mçess.|.| .iy
ei :ema.a.a, . a iae s.mç| e ae« ei iae i.v.a, r:eseai as «e|| as iae
.aa|.|.iy ie |.ve eae|esec . a a s.mç|e aac.v.cec ~|se|aie 1ae i.v.a,
r:eseai . iae aeve: ç:eseai e:.,.a ei ne.a, aac sease. . aie:ç|ays «.ia
iae a|«ays ceie::ec ~|se|aie «.ia.a ia.s eease.easaess. a eease.eas·
aess «.iaeai «a.ea. De::.ca eeae|aces. aeia.a, «ea|c aççea:
16
Preface
ei sçea|.a, |e.a,s .a iae.: i.v.a, r:eseais . iae i.v.a, r:eseai |e.a, iae
aaa| :ei:eaeameai aac seea:.iy. De::.ca says. ei eve:y
çaeaemeae|e,.ea| :ecaei.ea ( 1 1 01 1 ) . ue «eace:s .i uasse:| s me:.i
«as aei . a aav.a, cese:.|ec. . a a i:a|y transcendental meve. iae eeac.·
i.eas ei çess. |.|.iy ie: a.sie:y «a.ea «e:e ai iae same i.me concrete . .
|eeaase iaey a:e exçe:.eaeec aace: iae ie:m ei horizon " ( 1 1 7) ? ue:. ·
zea .s iae i.v.a, r:eseai s c.a|eei.ea| ie:m. iae ae« ei . is iemçe:a| .za·
i.ea. iae a| :eacy iae:e ei . is c.a|eei.es ei sease
se ia: iae ç:e||em ei . cea|.iy s e:.,.a aas |eea |eu .a a|eyaaee
De::.ca çe.ais eai iaai uasse:| «.|| |eave iae ¡aesi.ea eçea Ceemei:.·
ea| .cea|.iy . s a|«ays based on iae me:çae|e,.ea| . cea|.i.es ei . ma,.aa·
i.ea aac sease. yei .i .s a|«ays a|:eacy a :açia:e «.ia iaai seas.||e·
me:çae|e,.ea| . cea|.zai.ea we eea|c say. çe:aaçs. iaai uasse:| | eaves
eaea si:aac aacee.cec. ,eemei:y . s «aai aas ia|ea ç|aee .a iae C:ee|
e:eai.ve .aaa.i.zai.ea. aac yei ia.s scientifc, theoretical | eaç . s a|«ays
|asec ea iae me:çae|e,.ea| . seas.||e .cea| .zai.ea ei iae ç:e se. eai.ae
«e:|c. iae Lebenswelt. 1aas ae saves. n::.ca eeae|aces. |eia iae
a|se|aie|y e:.,.aa| sease ei eaea i:ac.i.eaa| | .ae ,.is a.sie:.e.iy, aac . is
:e|ai.v.iy «.ia. a a. sie:y . a ,eae:a| ( 1 3 1 ) .
ue«eve:. iae .cea|.z.a, aei.v.iy ei understanding, ei ça:e ia.a|·
. a,. . e . ei iae aea.ma,.aai.ve aac aeaseas.||e. . s aeve: siac. ec .a
.ise|i. ae: a:e .is eeac.i.eas ii . s a :ac.ea| eçe:ai.ea. a passage to the
limit «aese si:aeia:e . s iaai ei maiaemai.ea| . cea|.zai.ea. iae a,a.a
aac a,a.a «a.ea De::.ca iee| s masi aave . is protentional ee::e|aie . a
.aieai.eaa|.iy Oaee a,a.a «e a:e |ec |ae| ie iae i.v.a, r:eseai. iae
çaeaemeae|e,.ea| a|se|aie. iae ae« aeec.a, a çasi «a.ea .a ia:a
aeecs a iaia:e ie«a:c «a.ea iae ç:eseai a|«ays a|:eacy ieacs. se iaai
iae ç:eseai .s iae ae:.zea ie: çasi aac iaia:e ue«eve:. De::.ca says.
iae aa.iy ei ia. s mevemeai . s aeve: ,.vea. . i masi |e exçe:.eaeec e:
thought ,iae:e|y ma|.a, iae çaeaemeaa|.zai.ea ei i. me çess.||e, 1a. s
aa.iy. iae «e:| ei iae icea .a iae kaai.aa sease. . s aeve: çaeaeme·
aa|.zec .a . ise|i ue:e a,a.a «e see iae eeaa.ei |ei«eea iae aa.i.z.a,
eease.easaess ei çaeaemeae|e,y s ç:.ae.ç|e aac iae .aaa.i.z.a, eea·
se.easaess ei . is aaa| . asi.iai.ea. iae .aaa.ie i cea iaai aaiae:.zes
aa.iace
waai iaea .s iae a.sie:.e.iy ei iae maiaemai.ea| ,ça.|eseça.ea|, e:.·
,.a. .i iae i cea .s «aai a||e«s ie: . cea|.iy s e:.,. a: neia iae icea aac
xeasea a:e a. sie:.e.i.es. |eia masi exçese iaemse|ves .a e:ce: ie |e.
a|iaea,a ae. iae: a:e exaaasiec . a ia. s exçes.i.ea 1aey a:e eie:aa| yei
.39 See L' Ecriture, pp. 242 and 250 on the concept of the Idea i n the Kanti an sense.
17
Preface
a.sie:.ea| . s.aee eie:a.iy .s a mece ei a. sie:.e.iy De::.ca siaies. .a a
cee.s.ve seaieaee. iaai iae a|se|aieaess ei iae icea .s iae ~|se|aie of
. aieai. eaa| a. sie:.e.iy ( 1 42) , acc.a, iaai iae ei ces.,aaies ae.iae: a
sa|]eei.ve ae: e|]eei.ve ,eaei.ve. . e . ae.iae: iae ~|se|aie ae: . a·
ieai.eaa| a.sie:.e.iy aas | :si ç|aee ia eiae: «e:cs. iae i cea as aa·
iae:.zai.ea ei .cea|.iy. as iae |.m.i ie«a:c «a.ea .cea|.iy çasses. reveals
iae |.m.i ei a. sie:.e.iy ,aac iae:e|y .is e«a | .m.i, . iae ç:e,:ess.ve-
:·ea··.e-mevemeai ei .aieai.eaa|.iy 1a. s ç:e,:ess.ve mevemeai .s
i:ac.i.ea. e: as De::.ca says. .aieai.eaa|.iy .s i:ac.i.eaa| .iy
ue:eeve:. s.aee . i . s iae c. a|eei.ea| :eei ei iae i.v. a, r:eseai. .aiea·
i.eaa|.iy . s iae :eei ei a. sie:.e.iy Cease¡aeai| y. De::.ca eeae|aces.
iae:e . s ae aeec i e .a¡a.:e a|eai iae sease ei a.sie:.e.iy. a.sie:.e.iy .s
sense" (150). ia eiae: «e:cs. sease .s traditionality aac iae Absolute is
Passage " ( 1 49) . 1ae a|se|aie . s iae aei ei a| | i:ac.i.ea ,aac ei a. sie·
:.e.iy aac . aieai.eaa|.iy, . i:aasm. ss.ea .a iae aei ei e:eai. ea
�e« De::.ca a| se says iaai sease .s iae aççea:.a, ei |e.a,¯ ( 1 48) ,
«a.ea meaas iaai |e.a, .s a. sie:.ea| se iae ¡aesi.ea ie: a. m |eee¬es .
«aai .s iae e:.,.a ei ne.a, as u.sie:y ( l 5 1 ) ? Oaie| e,y may as| iae
¡aesi.ea. |ai ea|y çaeaemeae|e,y eaa ç:ev.ce iae açça:aias ie: aa
aas«e: ne. a,. De::.ca says. .s silently sae«a aace: iae ae,ai.v.iy ei
iae apeiron " (ibid) . 1ae delay e: lateness ei sçeeea .a ia. s maa.iesiai.ea
ei ne.a, . s | aa||y iae ça.|eseça.ea| . aei ]asi iae çaeaemeae|e,.ea| .
a|se|aie De::.ca says.
Here delay is the philosophical absolute, because the beginning of
methodic refection can only consist in the consciousness of the
implication ofanother previous, possible, and absolute origin in
generl. Since this alterity ofthe absolute orgin structurally appears in
my Living Present and since it can appear and be recognized only
in the primordiality of something like my Living Present, this ver fact
signies the authenticit ofphenomenological delay and limitation. In
the lackluster guise of a technique, the Reduction is only pure thought
as that delay, pure thought investigating the sense of itsel as delay
within philosophy. ( 152 -53)
ra:e iaea,ai .s a|«ays ce|ay Cease.easaess ei ia.s ce|ay. De::.ca
says. . s eease.easaess ei D. ae:eaee . eease.easaess ei iae .mçess.|.| .iy
ei :ema.a.a, . a iae s.mç| e ae« ei iae i.v.a, r:eseai as «e|| as iae
.aa|.|.iy ie |.ve eae|esec . a a s.mç|e aac.v.cec ~|se|aie 1ae i.v.a,
r:eseai . iae aeve: ç:eseai e:.,.a ei ne.a, aac sease. . aie:ç|ays «.ia
iae a|«ays ceie::ec ~|se|aie «.ia.a ia.s eease.easaess. a eease.eas·
aess «.iaeai «a.ea. De::.ca eeae|aces. aeia.a, «ea|c aççea:
18
Preface
w.iaeai .is e«a ç:eçe: cea.seeaee. iae:e «ea|c |e ae a.sie:.e.iy. ae
sease. aeia.a,
Me:e a|si:aei|y. iaea. aa O:.,. a. aa a|se|aie O:.,. a. masi |e a c.i·
ieaai O:.,.a-iae aeve:-yei-a| «ays-a|:eacy-iae:e as iae |eyeac e:
|eie:e iaai ma|es a|| sease çess.||e. 1aai D.ae:eaee. De::.ca eea·
]eeia:es. . s çe:aaçs «aai a| «ays aas |eea sa.c aace: iae eeaeeçi ei
' transcendental' ia:ea,a iae ea.,mai.e a. sie:y ei .is c. sç|aeemeais
se r:.me:c.a| D.ae:eaee «ea|c |e i:aaseeaceaia|-as masi |e. aaa||y.
a. sie:.e.iy aac :ereei.eas iae:eea.
DECONSTRUCTION AND THE SCIENCE OF OLD NAMES
The "rationalit"-but perhaps that word should be abandoned
for reasons that will appear at the end of thi sentence-which
govers a writing thus enlrged and radicalzed, no longer
issues from a logos. Further, it inaugurates the destruction, not
the demolition but the de-sedimentation, the de-construction, of
all the signifcations that have their source in that of the logos.
Particulrly the signicatin of truth.
Of Grammatology
r:.e: ie e|a|e:ai.a, iae si:aeia:e ei a. sie:.e.iy. i cese:.|ec iae
ceeeasi:aei.ve |e,.e ei iae aacee.ca|| e. ei aea·eae.ee. ei dif erance.
ue«eve:, c.ae:aaee .s a|se aa old name, a name sous rature, e||.ie:aiec
|y e|c seases. ça:eaiaes.zec. 1ae ceeeasi:aei.ea ei c.ae:aaee .ae| aces
iaea a ce· sec.meaiai.ea aac saçç|emeaiai.ea , e: sa|si.iai.ea, ei aa e|c
aame ie: a ae« eeaeeçi. 1a.s ça|eeaym.e saçç|emeaia:.iy .s a see·
eac memeai e: |eve| ei De::.ca s ceeeasi:aei.ea. seeeac memeai e:
| eve| |e.a, aace:sieec ae.iae: a. e:a:ea.ea||y ae: ea:eae|e,.ea||y. 1a. s
saçç|emeaia:y ,:au.a, . s aeie«e:iay .a De::.ca s Introduction. ue
aas added semeia. a, ae«. semeia.a, c.ae:eai. i e iae e|c aame ei
çaeaemeae|e,y .a iaai iexi.
1ae mevemeai ei saçç|emeaia:.iy. as eae ei a ee:ia.a aam|e: ei
aeasyaeaym.e sa|si.iai.eas ie: c.ae:aaee.· .ave|ves. aeee:c.a, ie
De::.ca. i«e ma]e: seases ,ia|ea i:em iae r:eaea ve:| suppleer) : ie a||
a ceae.eaey ,ie eemç|eie, aac ie ia|e iae ç|aee ei ,ie :eç|aee, ·· 1a. s .s
�o "Diferance, " in Speech and Phenomena, p. 147.
4 1 0n the "concept" of supplementarity, see: Speech and Phenomena, ch. 7; Of
Gram ma to logy , Part I I, ch. 2 ; L Dissemination, pp. 1 80-96; and Alan Bass,
" ' Literature '(Literature, " Velocities ofChange: Critical Essays from MLN, ed. Richard
Macksey (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press , 1 974), pp. 348-49.
19
Preface
ceeeasi:aei.ea as iae se.eaee ei e|c aames. .i a| |s a ce| e.eaey .a iae e| c
eeaeeçi aac :eç|aees .i «a.|e as.a, . is e| c aame De::. ca as|s .
What is, then, the "strategic" necessity which sometimes requires that
an ol name be preserved in order to initiate a new concept? With all
the reservations imposed by the traditional distinction between the
name and the concept, one ought to be able to begin to describe this
0
I
er
!
i

n: aware ofthe fact that a name does not name the punctual
slmpliClty ofa concept but the system ofpredicates defning the
concept, the conceptual structure centered on such and such a
predicate, one proceeds: (1) to the setti,!-aside (prelevement) of a
reduced predicative trait, which is held in reserve and limited within a
given conceptual structure (limitedfor some motivations and relations
offorce which are to be analyzed) named x; (2) to the de-limitation, the
grafting, and the controlled extension ofthis predicate which was set
aside, the name x being maintained as a tool of interventin (levier
d'i

te
n
e

tin) in
.
order to maintain a hold on the former organization
which It IS efectively a question oftransforming. Setting-aside,
grafting, extension: you know that this is what I called, according to
the process that I have just described, writing. -:
1ae se.eaee ei e|c aames . s «:.i.a,. aa e|c aame . ise|i.
iei me ae« :eaea:se seme ei iae saçç| emeaiai.eas iaai De::.ca ac·
vaaees .a iae Introduction . ue says D.ae:eaee .s i:aaseeaceaia|-
i:aaseeaceaia| |e.a, iae ç:.me:c.a| D.ae:eaee ei a c.ae:eai O:.,. a
1aas i:aaseeaceaia| . s e¡a.va|eai ie c.aeaai ,«.ia aa a) .
Ce�se.easaess ei D.ae:eaee . iaai «.iaeai «a.ea aeia.a, «ea|c aç·
çea:. .s i:aaseeaceaia| eease.easaess. . e . . c.ae:aai eease.easaess se
«e eea|c say iaai eease.easaess . s c.ae:aaee ,«.ia aa a) . -:l
s.m.|a:|y. iae xecaei.ea. ça:e iaea,ai ei . is e«a ce|ay. .s
i:aaseeaceaia| . De::.ca says . 1ae ça:e aac . aie:m.aa||e c. s¡a. eiace
?i iaea,ai si:.v.a, ie :ecaee D.ae:eaee |y ,e.a, |eyeac iaeiaa| .aaa·
.i� ie«a:c iae .aaa.iy ei .is sease aac va|ae . . e . . «a.|e ma.aia.a.a,
D.a�:eaee-iaai c. sça.eiace «ea|c |e i:aaseeaceaia| ( 1 53) . 1ae xe·
caei.ea. iaea,ai s e«a c.s¡a.eiace ai D.ae:eaee . eaa ea| y |e a c.ae:·
aai xecaei.ea.
r:.me:c.a| D.ae:eaee .s i:aaseeaceaia| ~ac i:aaseeaceaia| D.ae:·
eaee . . e . iae a|«ays ceie:cec·c.ae:.a, c.ae:eaee ei iae e:.,.a .s c.i·
ie:aaee ,«.ia aa a) .
'
4� Positions, p. 96; ET: Diacritics, 3 , No. 1 (Spring 1 973) , p. 37.
4:1 See Speech and Phenomena , ch. 5 : "Signs and t he Blink of an Eye . " pp. 60-69. as
well as Note 4 above .
18
Preface
w.iaeai .is e«a ç:eçe: cea.seeaee. iae:e «ea|c |e ae a.sie:.e.iy. ae
sease. aeia.a,
Me:e a|si:aei|y. iaea. aa O:.,. a. aa a|se|aie O:.,. a. masi |e a c.i·
ieaai O:.,.a-iae aeve:-yei-a| «ays-a|:eacy-iae:e as iae |eyeac e:
|eie:e iaai ma|es a|| sease çess.||e. 1aai D.ae:eaee. De::.ca eea·
]eeia:es. . s çe:aaçs «aai a| «ays aas |eea sa.c aace: iae eeaeeçi ei
' transcendental' ia:ea,a iae ea.,mai.e a. sie:y ei .is c. sç|aeemeais
se r:.me:c.a| D.ae:eaee «ea|c |e i:aaseeaceaia|-as masi |e. aaa||y.
a. sie:.e.iy aac :ereei.eas iae:eea.
DECONSTRUCTION AND THE SCIENCE OF OLD NAMES
The "rationalit"-but perhaps that word should be abandoned
for reasons that will appear at the end of thi sentence-which
govers a writing thus enlrged and radicalzed, no longer
issues from a logos. Further, it inaugurates the destruction, not
the demolition but the de-sedimentation, the de-construction, of
all the signifcations that have their source in that of the logos.
Particulrly the signicatin of truth.
Of Grammatology
r:.e: ie e|a|e:ai.a, iae si:aeia:e ei a. sie:.e.iy. i cese:.|ec iae
ceeeasi:aei.ve |e,.e ei iae aacee.ca|| e. ei aea·eae.ee. ei dif erance.
ue«eve:, c.ae:aaee .s a|se aa old name, a name sous rature, e||.ie:aiec
|y e|c seases. ça:eaiaes.zec. 1ae ceeeasi:aei.ea ei c.ae:aaee .ae| aces
iaea a ce· sec.meaiai.ea aac saçç|emeaiai.ea , e: sa|si.iai.ea, ei aa e|c
aame ie: a ae« eeaeeçi. 1a.s ça|eeaym.e saçç|emeaia:.iy .s a see·
eac memeai e: |eve| ei De::.ca s ceeeasi:aei.ea. seeeac memeai e:
| eve| |e.a, aace:sieec ae.iae: a. e:a:ea.ea||y ae: ea:eae|e,.ea||y. 1a. s
saçç|emeaia:y ,:au.a, . s aeie«e:iay .a De::.ca s Introduction. ue
aas added semeia. a, ae«. semeia.a, c.ae:eai. i e iae e|c aame ei
çaeaemeae|e,y .a iaai iexi.
1ae mevemeai ei saçç|emeaia:.iy. as eae ei a ee:ia.a aam|e: ei
aeasyaeaym.e sa|si.iai.eas ie: c.ae:aaee.· .ave|ves. aeee:c.a, ie
De::.ca. i«e ma]e: seases ,ia|ea i:em iae r:eaea ve:| suppleer) : ie a||
a ceae.eaey ,ie eemç|eie, aac ie ia|e iae ç|aee ei ,ie :eç|aee, ·· 1a. s .s
�o "Diferance, " in Speech and Phenomena, p. 147.
4 1 0n the "concept" of supplementarity, see: Speech and Phenomena, ch. 7; Of
Gram ma to logy , Part I I, ch. 2 ; L Dissemination, pp. 1 80-96; and Alan Bass,
" ' Literature '(Literature, " Velocities ofChange: Critical Essays from MLN, ed. Richard
Macksey (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press , 1 974), pp. 348-49.
19
Preface
ceeeasi:aei.ea as iae se.eaee ei e|c aames. .i a| |s a ce| e.eaey .a iae e| c
eeaeeçi aac :eç|aees .i «a.|e as.a, . is e| c aame De::. ca as|s .
What is, then, the "strategic" necessity which sometimes requires that
an ol name be preserved in order to initiate a new concept? With all
the reservations imposed by the traditional distinction between the
name and the concept, one ought to be able to begin to describe this
0
I
er
!
i

n: aware ofthe fact that a name does not name the punctual
slmpliClty ofa concept but the system ofpredicates defning the
concept, the conceptual structure centered on such and such a
predicate, one proceeds: (1) to the setti,!-aside (prelevement) of a
reduced predicative trait, which is held in reserve and limited within a
given conceptual structure (limitedfor some motivations and relations
offorce which are to be analyzed) named x; (2) to the de-limitation, the
grafting, and the controlled extension ofthis predicate which was set
aside, the name x being maintained as a tool of interventin (levier
d'i

te
n
e

tin) in
.
order to maintain a hold on the former organization
which It IS efectively a question oftransforming. Setting-aside,
grafting, extension: you know that this is what I called, according to
the process that I have just described, writing. -:
1ae se.eaee ei e|c aames . s «:.i.a,. aa e|c aame . ise|i.
iei me ae« :eaea:se seme ei iae saçç| emeaiai.eas iaai De::.ca ac·
vaaees .a iae Introduction . ue says D.ae:eaee .s i:aaseeaceaia|-
i:aaseeaceaia| |e.a, iae ç:.me:c.a| D.ae:eaee ei a c.ae:eai O:.,. a
1aas i:aaseeaceaia| . s e¡a.va|eai ie c.aeaai ,«.ia aa a) .
Ce�se.easaess ei D.ae:eaee . iaai «.iaeai «a.ea aeia.a, «ea|c aç·
çea:. .s i:aaseeaceaia| eease.easaess. . e . . c.ae:aai eease.easaess se
«e eea|c say iaai eease.easaess . s c.ae:aaee ,«.ia aa a) . -:l
s.m.|a:|y. iae xecaei.ea. ça:e iaea,ai ei . is e«a ce|ay. .s
i:aaseeaceaia| . De::.ca says . 1ae ça:e aac . aie:m.aa||e c. s¡a. eiace
?i iaea,ai si:.v.a, ie :ecaee D.ae:eaee |y ,e.a, |eyeac iaeiaa| .aaa·
.i� ie«a:c iae .aaa.iy ei .is sease aac va|ae . . e . . «a.|e ma.aia.a.a,
D.a�:eaee-iaai c. sça.eiace «ea|c |e i:aaseeaceaia| ( 1 53) . 1ae xe·
caei.ea. iaea,ai s e«a c.s¡a.eiace ai D.ae:eaee . eaa ea| y |e a c.ae:·
aai xecaei.ea.
r:.me:c.a| D.ae:eaee .s i:aaseeaceaia| ~ac i:aaseeaceaia| D.ae:·
eaee . . e . iae a|«ays ceie:cec·c.ae:.a, c.ae:eaee ei iae e:.,.a .s c.i·
ie:aaee ,«.ia aa a) .
'
4� Positions, p. 96; ET: Diacritics, 3 , No. 1 (Spring 1 973) , p. 37.
4:1 See Speech and Phenomena , ch. 5 : "Signs and t he Blink of an Eye . " pp. 60-69. as
well as Note 4 above .
20
Preface
And, fnal l y, because it i s a method for refecting on historicity,
Ruckfrge is thereby transcendental : it is a diferant process . Derrida
says: "And Thought' s pure certainty would be transcendental , since
it can look forward to the already announced Tel os onl y by advancing
on (or being in advance of) the Origi n that i ndefnitely reserves
itself. Such a certainty never had to learn that Thought would always
be to come" (ibid. ) .
Thus the Reduction, Ruckfrge, consciousness, and intentionality­
all basic concepts of phenomenol ogy-have been supplemented by di­
ferance; they all partake of its logic. Yet they are still named Reduction,
Ruckfrage, and so on. Phenomenology has been supplemented, its
metaphysical text deconstructed, and the old names retained.
Phenomenology i s no longer, but sti l l i s, phenomenology. Its " is " is that
of all metaphysics , sous rature: �.
I s there a need to choose here between undecidabl es and old names ?
I s one choice more faithful to Derrida' s intent than the other, i s one in
fact diferent from the other? The exemplary case here seems to be
diernce itself, in which undecidables and old names are both present
and deferred in the silent tomb of the a, in a fragile letter that is easi l y
erased, crossed out, or misprinted, an a that is hardly readable and
defnitely undecidable .
TRANSLATOR'S NOTE
The translation ofered here is that of the second edition of Derri da' s
Intrduction, published by Presses Universitaires de France i n 1 974.
The frst edition was published in 1 962. In the text i tself, I have indi­
cated references to present English translations of works to which Der­
rida refers, but have modifed them where necessary to underscore
Derri da' s argumentation. These modifcations have been indicated by
the word "modifed" i nserted within brackets in the text . Texts un­
available in English translation I have translated from the French. The
Husserl texts have been modifed in accordance with many of the
suggestions of Dorion Cairns' Guide for Translating Husserl, particularly
when they bear on a point that Derrida i s argui ng.
All German terms in parentheses are Derrida' s additions . Similarl y,
all explanatory brackets that occur within quotations are Derrida' s
additions . I have i ncluded certain French and German terms within
brackets where necessary in the text.
Such terms as de facto and de jure have been underscored only where
Derrida has stressed them himself, si nce they are ofen translations of
21
Preface
the French "en fait" and "en droit. " The same i s true of apriori (adj ec­
tival form) and a priori (adverbial or substantive form) . Likewise, I have
fol lowed Cairs' suggestion in diferentiating between Objektivitit and
Gegenstindlichkeit by the capital or lower case
"
0
"
respectivel y. (Der­
rida, following the French tradition, i ndicates Gegenstindlichkeit by the
neologism objectite and Objektivitit by objectivite. ) However, since the
French objet comprises both the meaning of Gegenstand and that of
Objekt, no diferentiation i s possible for the word "object , " although in
quotations from Husserl i t has been retained. For further detail s on this
problem, see the Translator' s Preface of Lester E. Embree to Suzanne
Bachelard' s A Study of Husserl's Formal and Transcendental Logic .
Final l y, the translation has been done in light of and in accordance with
David Alli son' s earlier translation of Derrida' s Speech and Phnomena.
I would l ike to thank various people for their invaluable aid in the
process of this translation. To Professors Robert Detweiler, William
Beardslee , and Arthur Evans, I extend my sincerest thanks for their
long-term encouragement. I would also like to thank Professor Evans
for his patient checking of the complete frst draf with the French text.
The same appreciation i s extended to Professor James Dagenais for his
invaluable sugestions in relation to the frst half of the translation. And
I am particularly grateful to Professor Davi d Al lison for his personal
friendship and editorial aid, as well as his invaluable translation of
Derrida' s other major work on Hu sserl . Professor J. Hil lis Miller was
al so very helpful with hi s many bibl iographical aids and goodwill . And,
fnal l y, I am most deeply indebted to Professor Derrida hi mself for his
personal hel p and patient advice during this time. His cordiality and
support were greatly appreciated.
I would also l ike to thank friends who kindly helped in the prepara­
tion of the fnal draft: Berard Matt, Ron Rembert, and most particu­
l arly Barbara DeConcini and Carla Schi ssel . Al so, to Walter Russell I
want to extend gratitude for persistent good humor and fri endship dur­
ing this period. Finally, I would l ike to thank the Belgian American
Educational Foundation for providing me with time to complete this
work.
I wish to dedicate this work to the memory of my father, who only
saw half its completion, and to my mother.
Louvain-Leuven
December 1976
John P. Leavey
20
Preface
And, fnal l y, because it i s a method for refecting on historicity,
Ruckfrge is thereby transcendental : it is a diferant process . Derrida
says: "And Thought' s pure certainty would be transcendental , since
it can look forward to the already announced Tel os onl y by advancing
on (or being in advance of) the Origi n that i ndefnitely reserves
itself. Such a certainty never had to learn that Thought would always
be to come" (ibid. ) .
Thus the Reduction, Ruckfrge, consciousness, and intentionality­
all basic concepts of phenomenol ogy-have been supplemented by di­
ferance; they all partake of its logic. Yet they are still named Reduction,
Ruckfrage, and so on. Phenomenology has been supplemented, its
metaphysical text deconstructed, and the old names retained.
Phenomenology i s no longer, but sti l l i s, phenomenology. Its " is " is that
of all metaphysics , sous rature: �.
I s there a need to choose here between undecidabl es and old names ?
I s one choice more faithful to Derrida' s intent than the other, i s one in
fact diferent from the other? The exemplary case here seems to be
diernce itself, in which undecidables and old names are both present
and deferred in the silent tomb of the a, in a fragile letter that is easi l y
erased, crossed out, or misprinted, an a that is hardly readable and
defnitely undecidable .
TRANSLATOR'S NOTE
The translation ofered here is that of the second edition of Derri da' s
Intrduction, published by Presses Universitaires de France i n 1 974.
The frst edition was published in 1 962. In the text i tself, I have indi­
cated references to present English translations of works to which Der­
rida refers, but have modifed them where necessary to underscore
Derri da' s argumentation. These modifcations have been indicated by
the word "modifed" i nserted within brackets in the text . Texts un­
available in English translation I have translated from the French. The
Husserl texts have been modifed in accordance with many of the
suggestions of Dorion Cairns' Guide for Translating Husserl, particularly
when they bear on a point that Derrida i s argui ng.
All German terms in parentheses are Derrida' s additions . Similarl y,
all explanatory brackets that occur within quotations are Derrida' s
additions . I have i ncluded certain French and German terms within
brackets where necessary in the text.
Such terms as de facto and de jure have been underscored only where
Derrida has stressed them himself, si nce they are ofen translations of
21
Preface
the French "en fait" and "en droit. " The same i s true of apriori (adj ec­
tival form) and a priori (adverbial or substantive form) . Likewise, I have
fol lowed Cairs' suggestion in diferentiating between Objektivitit and
Gegenstindlichkeit by the capital or lower case
"
0
"
respectivel y. (Der­
rida, following the French tradition, i ndicates Gegenstindlichkeit by the
neologism objectite and Objektivitit by objectivite. ) However, since the
French objet comprises both the meaning of Gegenstand and that of
Objekt, no diferentiation i s possible for the word "object , " although in
quotations from Husserl i t has been retained. For further detail s on this
problem, see the Translator' s Preface of Lester E. Embree to Suzanne
Bachelard' s A Study of Husserl's Formal and Transcendental Logic .
Final l y, the translation has been done in light of and in accordance with
David Alli son' s earlier translation of Derrida' s Speech and Phnomena.
I would l ike to thank various people for their invaluable aid in the
process of this translation. To Professors Robert Detweiler, William
Beardslee , and Arthur Evans, I extend my sincerest thanks for their
long-term encouragement. I would also like to thank Professor Evans
for his patient checking of the complete frst draf with the French text.
The same appreciation i s extended to Professor James Dagenais for his
invaluable sugestions in relation to the frst half of the translation. And
I am particularly grateful to Professor Davi d Al lison for his personal
friendship and editorial aid, as well as his invaluable translation of
Derrida' s other major work on Hu sserl . Professor J. Hil lis Miller was
al so very helpful with hi s many bibl iographical aids and goodwill . And,
fnal l y, I am most deeply indebted to Professor Derrida hi mself for his
personal hel p and patient advice during this time. His cordiality and
support were greatly appreciated.
I would also l ike to thank friends who kindly helped in the prepara­
tion of the fnal draft: Berard Matt, Ron Rembert, and most particu­
l arly Barbara DeConcini and Carla Schi ssel . Al so, to Walter Russell I
want to extend gratitude for persistent good humor and fri endship dur­
ing this period. Finally, I would l ike to thank the Belgian American
Educational Foundation for providing me with time to complete this
work.
I wish to dedicate this work to the memory of my father, who only
saw half its completion, and to my mother.
Louvain-Leuven
December 1976
John P. Leavey
Introduction
to
" The Orgin of Geomet"
Introduction
to
" The Orgin of Geomet"
,
,
ny .is caie aac iaemes. ia. s mec.iai.ea ei uasse:| [The Origin of
Geometr] ie|ea,s ie iae |asi ,:eaç ei «:.i.a,s iaai sa::eaac The Crisi
of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology. t i i .s ceeç| y
:eeiec iae:e aac ie iaai exieai .is e:. ,.aa| .iy :aas iae :.ss ei aei ie.a,
.mmec.aie|y açça:eai ii The Origin ofGeometr .s c. s:.a,a. s aai|e i:em
iae Crisi, .i .s aei ieeaase ei .is cese:. çi.ve aeve|iy Nea:| y a| | . is
mei.i s a:e a|:eacy ç:eseai . a eiae: .avesi.,ai.eas. «aeiae: iaey ie
|a:,e|y ç:.e: ie e: a|mesi eeaiemçe:a:y «.ia . i i a iaei. The Origin of
Geometr s:. | | eeaee:as :ae s:aias ei :ae . cea| ei]eeis ei se. eaee ei
«a.ea ,eemei:y .s eae examç|e, . iae.: ç:ecaei.ea. iy .ceai.iy. a, aeis.
as iae same . aac iae eeasi.iai.ea ei exaei.iace ia:ea,a .cea| .zai.ea
aac ças sa,e ie iae | . m.i-a ç:eeess «a.ea sia:is «.ia iae | .ie·«e:|c s
seas.i|e . aa.ie . aac ç:ese.eai.ae maie:.a| s ~| se .a ¡aesi.ea a:e iae
I Die Krisis der ellropiischen Wissenschaften und die tranzendentale Phanomenologie:
Eine Einleitllng in die phanomenologische Philosophie, ed. Walter Biemel , in HlIsser­
liana, Vol . 6 (The Hague: Nijhof, 1 954); English translation [hereafer abbreviated as
ET]: The Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology: An Introduc­
tion to Phenomenological Philosophy, tr. David Carr ( Evanston: Northwestern Uni ver­
sity Press , 1 970) . [Since the ET does not contain al l the appendi ces that the German
edi ti on does, it wi l l be necessary at ti mes to refer to the German pagination. ] Hereafter
the ET wi l l be ci ted as C, the German as K. The Origin ofGeometr (C, pp. 353-78) is a
text appended to §9a on "Pure Geometry" (C, pp. 24-28) . In a forewording note Derrida
says, after stating that he will translate the version presented in K: "The original manu­
script dates from 1 936. Its typed transcription bears no title . The author of this transcrip­
tion, Eugen Fi nk , has also publ ished an elaboration of it in Rel ' lIe Interationa!e de
Philosophie , I , No. 2 (January 1 5, 1 939) . pp. 203-25 , under the ti tle ' Die Frage nach dem
Ursprung der Geometrie al s i ntentional -hi storisches Problem: Since then, this text has
been read and frequently ci ted under this form. Its hi story, at l east , then. al ready con­
ferred on i t a certain right to i ndependence. "
25
ny .is caie aac iaemes. ia. s mec.iai.ea ei uasse:| [The Origin of
Geometr] ie|ea,s ie iae |asi ,:eaç ei «:.i.a,s iaai sa::eaac The Crisi
of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology. t i i .s ceeç| y
:eeiec iae:e aac ie iaai exieai .is e:. ,.aa| .iy :aas iae :.ss ei aei ie.a,
.mmec.aie|y açça:eai ii The Origin ofGeometr .s c. s:.a,a. s aai|e i:em
iae Crisi, .i .s aei ieeaase ei .is cese:. çi.ve aeve|iy Nea:| y a| | . is
mei.i s a:e a|:eacy ç:eseai . a eiae: .avesi.,ai.eas. «aeiae: iaey ie
|a:,e|y ç:.e: ie e: a|mesi eeaiemçe:a:y «.ia . i i a iaei. The Origin of
Geometr s:. | | eeaee:as :ae s:aias ei :ae . cea| ei]eeis ei se. eaee ei
«a.ea ,eemei:y .s eae examç|e, . iae.: ç:ecaei.ea. iy .ceai.iy. a, aeis.
as iae same . aac iae eeasi.iai.ea ei exaei.iace ia:ea,a .cea| .zai.ea
aac ças sa,e ie iae | . m.i-a ç:eeess «a.ea sia:is «.ia iae | .ie·«e:|c s
seas.i|e . aa.ie . aac ç:ese.eai.ae maie:.a| s ~| se .a ¡aesi.ea a:e iae
I Die Krisis der ellropiischen Wissenschaften und die tranzendentale Phanomenologie:
Eine Einleitllng in die phanomenologische Philosophie, ed. Walter Biemel , in HlIsser­
liana, Vol . 6 (The Hague: Nijhof, 1 954); English translation [hereafer abbreviated as
ET]: The Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology: An Introduc­
tion to Phenomenological Philosophy, tr. David Carr ( Evanston: Northwestern Uni ver­
sity Press , 1 970) . [Since the ET does not contain al l the appendi ces that the German
edi ti on does, it wi l l be necessary at ti mes to refer to the German pagination. ] Hereafter
the ET wi l l be ci ted as C, the German as K. The Origin ofGeometr (C, pp. 353-78) is a
text appended to §9a on "Pure Geometry" (C, pp. 24-28) . In a forewording note Derrida
says, after stating that he will translate the version presented in K: "The original manu­
script dates from 1 936. Its typed transcription bears no title . The author of this transcrip­
tion, Eugen Fi nk , has also publ ished an elaboration of it in Rel ' lIe Interationa!e de
Philosophie , I , No. 2 (January 1 5, 1 939) . pp. 203-25 , under the ti tle ' Die Frage nach dem
Ursprung der Geometrie al s i ntentional -hi storisches Problem: Since then, this text has
been read and frequently ci ted under this form. Its hi story, at l east , then. al ready con­
ferred on i t a certain right to i ndependence. "
25
26
Jacques Derrida
.aie::e|aiec aac eeae:eie eeac.i.eas ie: iae çess. |. | .iy ei iaese .cea|
e|]eeis . |aa,aa,e. .aie:sa|]eei.v.iy. aac iae «e:|c as iae aa.iy ei
,:eaac aac ae:.zea r.aa||y. iae ieeaa.¡aes ei çaeaemeae|e,.ea| ce·
se:. çi.ea, aeia||y iaese ei iae va:.eas :ecaei.eas, a:e a|«ays ai.| . zec
iess iaaa eve: ce iae.: va|.c.iy aac i:a.iia| aess aççea: .mça.:ec . a
uasse:| s eyes
Ne:, .a.i.a| | ,, . s The Origin of Geometr c. si.a,a. saa|| e |, . is
cea||e e|asie: ei e:.i.¡aes iaai a:e c. :eeiec, ea iae eae aaac, a,a.asi a
ee:ia.a ieeaa.e.si aac e|]eei.v. si .::esçeas. |. | .i, .a iae ç:aei.ee ei se.·
eaee aac ça. |eseça,, aac ea iae eiae: aaac, a,a.asi a a. sie:. e. sm
|| .acec |, iae emç.:. e. si ea|i ei fact aac eaasa| . si ç:esamçi.ea 1ae
a:si e:.i. e. sm «as iae sia:i.a, çe. ai ie: Formal and Transcendental
Logic, iae Cartesian Meditations, aac iae Crisis. 1ae seeeac aac
aççea:ec maea ea:| . e:, . a iae Logical Investigations, . a ra. |eseça,
as k.,e:eas ·e. eaee¯ ,. a «a.ea . i «as iae iaacameaia| ç:eeeeaça
i.ea), aac .a Ideas I. 1ae :ecaei.ea , .i aei eeacemaai.ea , ei a. sie:. e. si
,eaei. e. sm «as a|«a,s .aie::e|aiec «. ia iaai ei çs,eae·,eaei. e. sm,
evea «aea a ee:ia.a a. sie:.e.i, aas |eeeme çaeaemeae|e,, s iaeme.
cesç.ie iae a. ,a eesi ei .is c. tä ea|i.es , ia. s aei.ea eaaaei çess.||, |e
:ei:aeiec

nai aeve: aac iae i«e ceaaae.ai.eas ei a.sie:.e.sm aac e|]eei.v.sm
|eea se e:,aa.ea|| y aa.iec as .a The Origin of Geometr, «ae:e iaey
ç:eeeec i:em iae same . mça| se aac a:e maiaa| | y .ave|vec ia:ea,aeai
aa .i.ae:a:y «aese |ea:.a, . s semei.mes c.seeaee:i.a,

Ne« iae s.a,a·
|a:.iy ei ea: iexi :esis ea iae iaei iaai iae eea]aaei.ea ei iaese i«e
siaac.a, aac iesiec :eiasa| s e:eaies a ae« seaeme. ea iae eae aaac, .i
|:.a,s ie | .,ai a ae« iyçe e: ç:eiaac.iy ei a.sie:.e.iy. ea iae eiae: aaac.
aac ee::e|ai.ve| y. .i ceie:m.aes iae ae« iee|s aac e:. ,. aa| c.:eei.ea ei
a.sie:.e :eaeei.ea 1ae a.sie:.e.iy ei . cea| e|]eei.v.i.es . . e . iae.: origin
aac trdition ,.a iae am|.,aeas sease ei ia. s «e:c «a.ea . ae|aces |eia
iae mevemeai ei i:aasm.ss.ea aac iae çe:ca:aaee ei ae:.ia,e· . e|eys
c.ae:eai :a| es. «a.ea a:e ae.iae: iae iaeiaa| .aie:eeaaeei.eas ei emç.:.·
ea| a.sie:y. ae: aa .cea| aac aa.sie:.e acc.a, ea. 1ae |.:ia aac
ceve| eçmeai ei se.eaee masi iaea |e aeeess.||e ie aa aaaea:c·ei siy|e
ei a.sie:.ea| .aia.i.ea . a «a.ea iae .aieai.eaa| :eaei.vai.ea ei sease
saea|c�c ,.·c~ç:eeece aac eeac.i.ea iae emç.:.ea| ceie:m.aai.ea ei
iaei
2 I n efect these pages of H usserl . frst written for hi mself. have t he rhythm of a thought
feel ing i ts way rather than setting i tsel f forth . But here the apparent di sconti nui ty al so
depends on an always regressive method. a method whi ch chooses i ts interruptions and
mul ti pl i es the returns toward i ts beginning in order to reach back and grasp it again each
ti me i n a recurrent l i ght .
27
Introduction to the Origin of Geometr
ia iae. : .::ecae. ||e e:.,.aa| .iy. iae a.sie:.e.iy ei se.eaee aac iae :e·
aeei.ea iaai .i .av. ies, Geschichtlichkeit aac Historie, aave ee:ia.a
eemmea aç:.e:. eeac.i.eas re: uasse:| . iae.: c.se|esa:e . s çess.||e .a
ç:.ae.ç|e aac ia.s saea|c | eac as ie :eeeas. ce: iae ç:e||ems ei aa.ve:sa|
a.sie:ie.iy .a ia-.: |:eacesi exieas.ea i a eiae: «e:cs. iae çess. |. |.iy ei
semeia.a, | . se a a. sie:y ei se.eaee .mçeses a :e:eac.a, aac a :e·
a«a|ea.a, ei iae sease ei a.sie:y .a ,eae:a| . a| i.maie| y. . i·
çaeaemeae|e,.ea| sense «. || me:,e «.ia .is ie|ee|e,.eæ sense.
uasse:| i:.es ie aeeemç|.sa a s.a,a|a: ç:eei ei iaese esseai.a| çes·
s.|.|.i.es . a eeaaeei.ea «.ia ,eemei:y aac ie cee.çae: iae:e. a iae ç:e·
se:.çi.ea ei a ,eae:a| iass 1aas . | .se mesi ei uasse:| s iexis, T/c
Origin of Geometr aas |eia a ç:e,:ammai.e aac aa exemç|a:y va| ae
Cease¡aeai| y, ea: :eac.a, ei .i masi |e ma:|ec |y iae exemç| a:y
eease.easaess ç:eçe: ie a|| e. cei.e aiieai.ea aac |e ,a.cec |y iae çe| e
ei ia. s .aaa.ie ias|. i:em «a.ea çaeaemeae|e,y a|eae eaa mase . is
«ay ia iae .ai:ecaei.ea «e ae« aiiemçi . ea: se|e am|.i.ea «. || |e ie
:eee,a.ze aac s.iaaie eae sia,e ei uasse:| s iaea,ai. «. ia . is sçee.ae
ç:esaççes.i.eas aac .is ça:i.ea|a: aaaa.saec ·iaie 1aea,a ia.s memeai
ei uasse:| s :ac.ea|aess .s a|i.maie aeee:c.a, ie iae iaeis , .i .s çe:aaçs
aei se ce ]a:e uasse:| :eçeaiec|y seems ie a,:ee «.ia ia. s 1ae:eie:e.
«e «. | | a|«ays i:y ie |e ,a.cec |y a. s e«a . aieai.eas. evea «aea «e ,ei
eaa,ai aç .a ee:ia.a c.mea|i.es
I
1ae maiaemai.ea| e|]eei seems ie |e iae ç:.v. |e,ec examç|e aac
mesi çe:maaeai ia:eac ,a.c.a, uasse:| s :eaeei.ea 1a.s .· |eeaase iae
maiaemai.ea| e|]eei .s ideal. iis |e.a, . s iae:ea,a|y i:aasça:eai aac
exaaasiec |y .is çaeaemeaa| .iy ~|se| aie| y e|]eei.ve. . e . ieia| |y :.c
ei emç.:.ea| sa|]eei.v.iy. .i aeve:iae|ess . s ea|y «aai . i aççea:s ie |e
1ae:eie:e. .i .s a|«ays a|:eacy reduced ie . is çaeaemeaa| sease . aac . is
|e.a, . s. i:em iae eaisei. ie |e aa e|]eei [etre-objet ] ie. a ça:e
eease.easaess ·
: l In our translation [of The Origin of Geometry] , we wi l l i ndi cate t he di stinction be­
tween Historie and Geschichte i n parentheses only when t his di sti nction correspnds to
Husserl ' s expl ici t intenti on. which i s not-i ndeed . far from it-always the case.
� On the questi on of knowi ng whether. for HusserI
.
t he mathematical obj ect is the mode
of every object' s consti tution. and on the consequences of such a hypothesis
.
cf. the
di scussion i n which Walter Bi emel , Eugen Fi nk, and Roman I ngarden parti ci pated fol l ow­
i ng Bi emel ' s l ecture on " Les phases deci si ves dans I e devel oppement de la phi l osophi e
de Hu sser\ . · · i n Husser/ ( Cahiers de Royaumont . Phil osophi e No. 3 ) ( Paris: Minui t. 1 959) .
pp. 63 -7 1 .
26
Jacques Derrida
.aie::e|aiec aac eeae:eie eeac.i.eas ie: iae çess. |. | .iy ei iaese .cea|
e|]eeis . |aa,aa,e. .aie:sa|]eei.v.iy. aac iae «e:|c as iae aa.iy ei
,:eaac aac ae:.zea r.aa||y. iae ieeaa.¡aes ei çaeaemeae|e,.ea| ce·
se:. çi.ea, aeia||y iaese ei iae va:.eas :ecaei.eas, a:e a|«ays ai.| . zec
iess iaaa eve: ce iae.: va|.c.iy aac i:a.iia| aess aççea: .mça.:ec . a
uasse:| s eyes
Ne:, .a.i.a| | ,, . s The Origin of Geometr c. si.a,a. saa|| e |, . is
cea||e e|asie: ei e:.i.¡aes iaai a:e c. :eeiec, ea iae eae aaac, a,a.asi a
ee:ia.a ieeaa.e.si aac e|]eei.v. si .::esçeas. |. | .i, .a iae ç:aei.ee ei se.·
eaee aac ça. |eseça,, aac ea iae eiae: aaac, a,a.asi a a. sie:. e. sm
|| .acec |, iae emç.:. e. si ea|i ei fact aac eaasa| . si ç:esamçi.ea 1ae
a:si e:.i. e. sm «as iae sia:i.a, çe. ai ie: Formal and Transcendental
Logic, iae Cartesian Meditations, aac iae Crisis. 1ae seeeac aac
aççea:ec maea ea:| . e:, . a iae Logical Investigations, . a ra. |eseça,
as k.,e:eas ·e. eaee¯ ,. a «a.ea . i «as iae iaacameaia| ç:eeeeaça
i.ea), aac .a Ideas I. 1ae :ecaei.ea , .i aei eeacemaai.ea , ei a. sie:. e. si
,eaei. e. sm «as a|«a,s .aie::e|aiec «. ia iaai ei çs,eae·,eaei. e. sm,
evea «aea a ee:ia.a a. sie:.e.i, aas |eeeme çaeaemeae|e,, s iaeme.
cesç.ie iae a. ,a eesi ei .is c. tä ea|i.es , ia. s aei.ea eaaaei çess.||, |e
:ei:aeiec

nai aeve: aac iae i«e ceaaae.ai.eas ei a.sie:.e.sm aac e|]eei.v.sm
|eea se e:,aa.ea|| y aa.iec as .a The Origin of Geometr, «ae:e iaey
ç:eeeec i:em iae same . mça| se aac a:e maiaa| | y .ave|vec ia:ea,aeai
aa .i.ae:a:y «aese |ea:.a, . s semei.mes c.seeaee:i.a,

Ne« iae s.a,a·
|a:.iy ei ea: iexi :esis ea iae iaei iaai iae eea]aaei.ea ei iaese i«e
siaac.a, aac iesiec :eiasa| s e:eaies a ae« seaeme. ea iae eae aaac, .i
|:.a,s ie | .,ai a ae« iyçe e: ç:eiaac.iy ei a.sie:.e.iy. ea iae eiae: aaac.
aac ee::e|ai.ve| y. .i ceie:m.aes iae ae« iee|s aac e:. ,. aa| c.:eei.ea ei
a.sie:.e :eaeei.ea 1ae a.sie:.e.iy ei . cea| e|]eei.v.i.es . . e . iae.: origin
aac trdition ,.a iae am|.,aeas sease ei ia. s «e:c «a.ea . ae|aces |eia
iae mevemeai ei i:aasm.ss.ea aac iae çe:ca:aaee ei ae:.ia,e· . e|eys
c.ae:eai :a| es. «a.ea a:e ae.iae: iae iaeiaa| .aie:eeaaeei.eas ei emç.:.·
ea| a.sie:y. ae: aa .cea| aac aa.sie:.e acc.a, ea. 1ae |.:ia aac
ceve| eçmeai ei se.eaee masi iaea |e aeeess.||e ie aa aaaea:c·ei siy|e
ei a.sie:.ea| .aia.i.ea . a «a.ea iae .aieai.eaa| :eaei.vai.ea ei sease
saea|c�c ,.·c~ç:eeece aac eeac.i.ea iae emç.:.ea| ceie:m.aai.ea ei
iaei
2 I n efect these pages of H usserl . frst written for hi mself. have t he rhythm of a thought
feel ing i ts way rather than setting i tsel f forth . But here the apparent di sconti nui ty al so
depends on an always regressive method. a method whi ch chooses i ts interruptions and
mul ti pl i es the returns toward i ts beginning in order to reach back and grasp it again each
ti me i n a recurrent l i ght .
27
Introduction to the Origin of Geometr
ia iae. : .::ecae. ||e e:.,.aa| .iy. iae a.sie:.e.iy ei se.eaee aac iae :e·
aeei.ea iaai .i .av. ies, Geschichtlichkeit aac Historie, aave ee:ia.a
eemmea aç:.e:. eeac.i.eas re: uasse:| . iae.: c.se|esa:e . s çess.||e .a
ç:.ae.ç|e aac ia.s saea|c | eac as ie :eeeas. ce: iae ç:e||ems ei aa.ve:sa|
a.sie:ie.iy .a ia-.: |:eacesi exieas.ea i a eiae: «e:cs. iae çess. |. |.iy ei
semeia.a, | . se a a. sie:y ei se.eaee .mçeses a :e:eac.a, aac a :e·
a«a|ea.a, ei iae sease ei a.sie:y .a ,eae:a| . a| i.maie| y. . i·
çaeaemeae|e,.ea| sense «. || me:,e «.ia .is ie|ee|e,.eæ sense.
uasse:| i:.es ie aeeemç|.sa a s.a,a|a: ç:eei ei iaese esseai.a| çes·
s.|.|.i.es . a eeaaeei.ea «.ia ,eemei:y aac ie cee.çae: iae:e. a iae ç:e·
se:.çi.ea ei a ,eae:a| iass 1aas . | .se mesi ei uasse:| s iexis, T/c
Origin of Geometr aas |eia a ç:e,:ammai.e aac aa exemç|a:y va| ae
Cease¡aeai| y, ea: :eac.a, ei .i masi |e ma:|ec |y iae exemç| a:y
eease.easaess ç:eçe: ie a|| e. cei.e aiieai.ea aac |e ,a.cec |y iae çe| e
ei ia. s .aaa.ie ias|. i:em «a.ea çaeaemeae|e,y a|eae eaa mase . is
«ay ia iae .ai:ecaei.ea «e ae« aiiemçi . ea: se|e am|.i.ea «. || |e ie
:eee,a.ze aac s.iaaie eae sia,e ei uasse:| s iaea,ai. «. ia . is sçee.ae
ç:esaççes.i.eas aac .is ça:i.ea|a: aaaa.saec ·iaie 1aea,a ia.s memeai
ei uasse:| s :ac.ea|aess .s a|i.maie aeee:c.a, ie iae iaeis , .i .s çe:aaçs
aei se ce ]a:e uasse:| :eçeaiec|y seems ie a,:ee «.ia ia. s 1ae:eie:e.
«e «. | | a|«ays i:y ie |e ,a.cec |y a. s e«a . aieai.eas. evea «aea «e ,ei
eaa,ai aç .a ee:ia.a c.mea|i.es
I
1ae maiaemai.ea| e|]eei seems ie |e iae ç:.v. |e,ec examç|e aac
mesi çe:maaeai ia:eac ,a.c.a, uasse:| s :eaeei.ea 1a.s .· |eeaase iae
maiaemai.ea| e|]eei .s ideal. iis |e.a, . s iae:ea,a|y i:aasça:eai aac
exaaasiec |y .is çaeaemeaa| .iy ~|se| aie| y e|]eei.ve. . e . ieia| |y :.c
ei emç.:.ea| sa|]eei.v.iy. .i aeve:iae|ess . s ea|y «aai . i aççea:s ie |e
1ae:eie:e. .i .s a|«ays a|:eacy reduced ie . is çaeaemeaa| sease . aac . is
|e.a, . s. i:em iae eaisei. ie |e aa e|]eei [etre-objet ] ie. a ça:e
eease.easaess ·
: l In our translation [of The Origin of Geometry] , we wi l l i ndi cate t he di stinction be­
tween Historie and Geschichte i n parentheses only when t his di sti nction correspnds to
Husserl ' s expl ici t intenti on. which i s not-i ndeed . far from it-always the case.
� On the questi on of knowi ng whether. for HusserI
.
t he mathematical obj ect is the mode
of every object' s consti tution. and on the consequences of such a hypothesis
.
cf. the
di scussion i n which Walter Bi emel , Eugen Fi nk, and Roman I ngarden parti ci pated fol l ow­
i ng Bi emel ' s l ecture on " Les phases deci si ves dans I e devel oppement de la phi l osophi e
de Hu sser\ . · · i n Husser/ ( Cahiers de Royaumont . Phil osophi e No. 3 ) ( Paris: Minui t. 1 959) .
pp. 63 -7 1 .
28
Jacques Derria
1ae Philosophy of Arithmetic, uasse:| s a:si . mçe:iaai «e:|. eea|c
aave |eea eai.i|ec The Origin of Arithmetic. Desç. ie a çsyeae|e,.si.e
. areei.ea «aese e:.,.aa| .iy aas euea aac ]asi|y |eea emçaas. zec. . i
a|:eacy eeaee:as . as cees The Origin of Geometr, iae :eaei.vai.ea ei
iae ç:.me:c.a| sease ei a:.ia¬ei.e s . cea| aa. i. es |y :eia:a. a, ie iae
si:aeia:e ei çe:eeçi.ea aac iae aeis ei a eeae:eie sa|]eei.v.iy uasse:|
a. mse|i a|:eacy ç:eçesec ie aeeeaai at once ie: iae ae:mai.ve . cea| .iy
ei aam|e: ,«a.ea .s aeve: aa emç.:.ea| iaei aeeess.||e ie a a. sie:y .a
ç:ee.se|y ia.s same siy| e· aac ie: .is ,:eaac.a, .a aac ia:ea,a iae | . vec
aei ei .is ç:ecaei.ea
i a saea a ease . ae«eve:. iae ,eaes. s ei a:.iamei.e . s aei iaea,ai ei as
a a.sie:y ei a:.iamei.e. . e . as a ea|ia:a| ie:m aac acveaia:e ei aamaa·
. iy ia 1 887-91 , iae e:.,. a ei a:.iamei.e «as cese:.|ec . a ie:ms ei
psychological genesis. ia The Origin of Geometr, arie: auy yea:s ei
mec.iai.ea. uasse:| :eçeais iae same ç:e]eei aace: iae sçee. es ei a
phenomenological histor. 1a. s ace| .iy .s a|| iae me:e :ema:|a||e s. aee
iae çaia i:ave:sec . s . mmease ii çasses a:si ia:ea,a iae :ecaei.ea ei
a|| a. sie:.ea| e: çsyeae|e,.ea| ,eaes. s ~rie: iaai . «aea iae ,eaei.e c.·
meas.ea ei çaeaemeae|e,y . s c.seeve:ec. ,eaes.s . s si.|| aei a. sie:y i a
çass.a, i:em siai.e i e ,eaei.e eeasi.iai.ea. as aaaeaaeec . a Ideas I aac
iaea aeeemç|.saec |ei«eea iae yea:s 1 91 5 aac 1 920, uasse:| si. | | aac
aei ea,a,ec çaeaemeae|e,.ea| cese:.çi.ea .a iae ç:e||ems ei a. sie:.e·
.iy 1ae iaemai.zai.ea ei i:aaseeaceaia| ,eaes. s ma.aia.aec iae :ec�e·
i.ea ei a.sie:y. a|| iaai eea|c |e ç|aeec aace: iae eaie,e:y ei e|,eei.ve
: ; Cf. in particular Biemel , ibid. , pp. 35f. [ A German version of Bi emel ' s l ecture, "Di e
entscheidenden Phasen in Husserls Phi losophie , " ' appeared i n ZeitschriJt fijr phi­
losophische Forschung, 1 3 ( 1 959) , pp. 1 87-2 1 3 . An ET of thi s German version, enti­
tled "The Deci si ve Phases in the Development of Husseri ' s Phi l osophy, " is i n The
Phenomenology of Husser!: Selected Critical Readings, ed. and tr. R. O. El veton
(Chicago: Quadrangle, 1 970) , pp. 1 48-73. Reference above begins on p. 1 48f. The Ger­
man and Engl i sh versions di fer from the French version publ i shd i n Husser; they also
do not i ncl ude the di scussi on mentioned in note 4 above. ] Despite hi s severity as regards
thi s psychologi stic tendency, Husserl conti nual l y refers to hi s frst book , especi al l y in
Formal and Transcendental Logic.
f; "Numbers are mental creations i nsofar as they form the resul ts of activi ti es exerci sed
upon concrete contents : what these acti viti es create, however, are not new and absol ute
contents whi ch we could fi nd again in space or in the ' external worl d' : rather are they
uni que relation-concepts which can onl y be produced again and again and which are in no
way capable of bei ng found somewhere ready-made. " This remakable �ass��e , wh�ch
already desi gnates the production, therefore the primordi al historiCIty, of ldealt tles whIch
no longer wil l ever belong to the time and space of empi rical hi story , i s from Con­
cerning the Concept of Number ( 1 887) , whi ch is taken up again as the frst chapter of
Philosophy of Arithmetic ( 1 89 1 ) . The passage is translated in Bi emel ' s articl e , in Husserl,
p. 37 [ ET: p. 1 50] .
29
Introduction to the Origin of Geometry
sç.:.i aac iae ea|ia:a| «e:|c «as :eç:essec «.ia. a iae sçae:e ei .ai:a·
«e:| c|. aess 1ae :eia :a ie ç:eç:ec.eai. ·e esçe:. eaee. .a Experience and
Judgment aac .a Formal and Transcendental Logic, exieacec ce«a ie a
ç:eea| ia:a| aac ç:ea.sie:.e si:aia¬ ei |.vec exçe:.eaee

~ac .a iae Cartesian Meditations, «aea uasse:| sçeass a|eai iae
aa.iy ei a a.sie:y. .i .s a ¡aesi.ea ei iae aa.iy ei i:aees. ei :eie:eaees .
ei syaiaei.e :es.caes within iae ça:e e,e|e,.ea| sçae:e · uasse:| aa·
ce:see:es ia. s. iae .cea| eo]eeis. iae a. ,ae: ie:¬s ei products ei
:easea. «a.ea a| eae assa:e iae çess.|.| .iy ei a.sie:.e.iy. .

e iae a| ·
«ays .aie:sa|]eei.ve eease.easaess ei a. sie:y. ce aei |e| ea, ie iae
eidos ei iae eeae:eie ego (CM, §38. ç 78) . ~i iae eac ei iae 1a.:c
Ca:ies.aa Mec. iai.ea. iae . avesi.,ai.eas iaai ça:i.ea |a:|y eeaee:a iae
"theor . ei ¬aa. ei aa¬aa ee¬¬aa.iy. ei ea|ia:e . aac se ie:ia.
a:e ceaaec as a| ie:.e:. :e,.eaa| . aac ceçeaceai ias|s ( ibid. , §29, ç 63) .
~|| iaese :ecaei.eas ae|c a fortiori ie: iae cese:.çi.eas ei ç:.me:c. a|
iemçe:a|.iy aac .¬maaeai ca:ai.ea
1aas iae aeai:a|.zai.ea ei çsyeae|e,.ea| ,eaes. s aac iaai ei a. sie:y
a:e si.|| ea e¡aa| ieei.a, .a iae iexis «a.ea ç|aee iae i:aaseeaceaia|
ceve|eçmeai .a ieeas nai «aea. .a iae çe:.ec ei iae Crisis, a. sie:y
.ise|i |:ea|s ia:ea,a .aie çaeaemeae| e,y. a ae« sçaee ei ¡aesi.ea.a, .s
eçeaec. eae iaai «.|| |e c.mea|i ie ma.aia.a . a iae :e,.eaa| |. m. is «a.ea
«e:e se | ea, ç:ese:.|ec ie: .i
wa.|e eeasiaai| y practiced .a iae Crsis .ise|i. ia. s ae« aeeess ie
a. sie:y . s aeve: made a problem. ~i | easi aei c.:eei|y aac as saea Oa
iae eae aaac. iae eease.ea saess ei a e:.s.s aac iae am:mai.ea ei a
ie|ee|e,y ei :easea a:e only ae« çaias e: ¬eaas ie: |e,.i. m.z.a,
i:aaseeaceaia| .cea|.sm eaee a,a.a Oa iae eiae: aaac. ie çai iae «ae|e
ceve|eçmeai ei wesie:a ça. | eseçay .aie çe:sçeei. ve. ie ceaae iae
ra:eçeaa eidos aac iae ¬aa ei .aaa.ie iasss . aac ie :eeeaai iae acvea
ia:es aac ¬.sacveaia:es ei iae i:aaseeaceaia| mei.i. eeaeea|ec eaea
i.me |y iae ve:y ,esia:e iaai aaeeve:s .i a| | ia. s «ea|c ,. ve e:ec.i ie a
|.ac ei syaeçi.e :ei:esçeei.ea iaai ae e:.i.e. sm ei a. sie:.e :easea aac
exç| .e.iy ]a si.aec i:e¬ iae sia:i Ne.iae: iae si:aeia:es ei a. sie:.e.iy .a
i Edmund Husser! , Cartesian Meditations: An Introduction to Phenomenology, tr.
Dorion Cairns ( The Hague: Nijhof, 1 970) ' Medi tation I V, §§37 and 38, pp. 75-80
-hereafter ci ted as CM.
� On the probl em of hi story in Husserl ' s phi l osophy , we refer particularl y to Paul
Ricoeur' s very fne arti cl e, " Husserl and the Sense of Hi story ," in Paul Ricoeur, Husserl:
An Analysis of His Phenomenology, tr. Edward G. Ballard and Lester E. Embree
( Evanston: Northwester Uni versity Press, 1 967) . pp. 1 43-74. On what obstructs the
di rect thematization of hi story in a transcendental phenomenology which at the same time
calls for this thematizati on, cf. more part icularl y pp. 1 45-5 1 .
28
Jacques Derria
1ae Philosophy of Arithmetic, uasse:| s a:si . mçe:iaai «e:|. eea|c
aave |eea eai.i|ec The Origin of Arithmetic. Desç. ie a çsyeae|e,.si.e
. areei.ea «aese e:.,.aa| .iy aas euea aac ]asi|y |eea emçaas. zec. . i
a|:eacy eeaee:as . as cees The Origin of Geometr, iae :eaei.vai.ea ei
iae ç:.me:c.a| sease ei a:.ia¬ei.e s . cea| aa. i. es |y :eia:a. a, ie iae
si:aeia:e ei çe:eeçi.ea aac iae aeis ei a eeae:eie sa|]eei.v.iy uasse:|
a. mse|i a|:eacy ç:eçesec ie aeeeaai at once ie: iae ae:mai.ve . cea| .iy
ei aam|e: ,«a.ea .s aeve: aa emç.:.ea| iaei aeeess.||e ie a a. sie:y .a
ç:ee.se|y ia.s same siy| e· aac ie: .is ,:eaac.a, .a aac ia:ea,a iae | . vec
aei ei .is ç:ecaei.ea
i a saea a ease . ae«eve:. iae ,eaes. s ei a:.iamei.e . s aei iaea,ai ei as
a a.sie:y ei a:.iamei.e. . e . as a ea|ia:a| ie:m aac acveaia:e ei aamaa·
. iy ia 1 887-91 , iae e:.,. a ei a:.iamei.e «as cese:.|ec . a ie:ms ei
psychological genesis. ia The Origin of Geometr, arie: auy yea:s ei
mec.iai.ea. uasse:| :eçeais iae same ç:e]eei aace: iae sçee. es ei a
phenomenological histor. 1a. s ace| .iy .s a|| iae me:e :ema:|a||e s. aee
iae çaia i:ave:sec . s . mmease ii çasses a:si ia:ea,a iae :ecaei.ea ei
a|| a. sie:.ea| e: çsyeae|e,.ea| ,eaes. s ~rie: iaai . «aea iae ,eaei.e c.·
meas.ea ei çaeaemeae|e,y . s c.seeve:ec. ,eaes.s . s si.|| aei a. sie:y i a
çass.a, i:em siai.e i e ,eaei.e eeasi.iai.ea. as aaaeaaeec . a Ideas I aac
iaea aeeemç|.saec |ei«eea iae yea:s 1 91 5 aac 1 920, uasse:| si. | | aac
aei ea,a,ec çaeaemeae|e,.ea| cese:.çi.ea .a iae ç:e||ems ei a. sie:.e·
.iy 1ae iaemai.zai.ea ei i:aaseeaceaia| ,eaes. s ma.aia.aec iae :ec�e·
i.ea ei a.sie:y. a|| iaai eea|c |e ç|aeec aace: iae eaie,e:y ei e|,eei.ve
: ; Cf. in particular Biemel , ibid. , pp. 35f. [ A German version of Bi emel ' s l ecture, "Di e
entscheidenden Phasen in Husserls Phi losophie , " ' appeared i n ZeitschriJt fijr phi­
losophische Forschung, 1 3 ( 1 959) , pp. 1 87-2 1 3 . An ET of thi s German version, enti­
tled "The Deci si ve Phases in the Development of Husseri ' s Phi l osophy, " is i n The
Phenomenology of Husser!: Selected Critical Readings, ed. and tr. R. O. El veton
(Chicago: Quadrangle, 1 970) , pp. 1 48-73. Reference above begins on p. 1 48f. The Ger­
man and Engl i sh versions di fer from the French version publ i shd i n Husser; they also
do not i ncl ude the di scussi on mentioned in note 4 above. ] Despite hi s severity as regards
thi s psychologi stic tendency, Husserl conti nual l y refers to hi s frst book , especi al l y in
Formal and Transcendental Logic.
f; "Numbers are mental creations i nsofar as they form the resul ts of activi ti es exerci sed
upon concrete contents : what these acti viti es create, however, are not new and absol ute
contents whi ch we could fi nd again in space or in the ' external worl d' : rather are they
uni que relation-concepts which can onl y be produced again and again and which are in no
way capable of bei ng found somewhere ready-made. " This remakable �ass��e , wh�ch
already desi gnates the production, therefore the primordi al historiCIty, of ldealt tles whIch
no longer wil l ever belong to the time and space of empi rical hi story , i s from Con­
cerning the Concept of Number ( 1 887) , whi ch is taken up again as the frst chapter of
Philosophy of Arithmetic ( 1 89 1 ) . The passage is translated in Bi emel ' s articl e , in Husserl,
p. 37 [ ET: p. 1 50] .
29
Introduction to the Origin of Geometry
sç.:.i aac iae ea|ia:a| «e:|c «as :eç:essec «.ia. a iae sçae:e ei .ai:a·
«e:| c|. aess 1ae :eia :a ie ç:eç:ec.eai. ·e esçe:. eaee. .a Experience and
Judgment aac .a Formal and Transcendental Logic, exieacec ce«a ie a
ç:eea| ia:a| aac ç:ea.sie:.e si:aia¬ ei |.vec exçe:.eaee

~ac .a iae Cartesian Meditations, «aea uasse:| sçeass a|eai iae
aa.iy ei a a.sie:y. .i .s a ¡aesi.ea ei iae aa.iy ei i:aees. ei :eie:eaees .
ei syaiaei.e :es.caes within iae ça:e e,e|e,.ea| sçae:e · uasse:| aa·
ce:see:es ia. s. iae .cea| eo]eeis. iae a. ,ae: ie:¬s ei products ei
:easea. «a.ea a| eae assa:e iae çess.|.| .iy ei a.sie:.e.iy. .

e iae a| ·
«ays .aie:sa|]eei.ve eease.easaess ei a. sie:y. ce aei |e| ea, ie iae
eidos ei iae eeae:eie ego (CM, §38. ç 78) . ~i iae eac ei iae 1a.:c
Ca:ies.aa Mec. iai.ea. iae . avesi.,ai.eas iaai ça:i.ea |a:|y eeaee:a iae
"theor . ei ¬aa. ei aa¬aa ee¬¬aa.iy. ei ea|ia:e . aac se ie:ia.
a:e ceaaec as a| ie:.e:. :e,.eaa| . aac ceçeaceai ias|s ( ibid. , §29, ç 63) .
~|| iaese :ecaei.eas ae|c a fortiori ie: iae cese:.çi.eas ei ç:.me:c. a|
iemçe:a|.iy aac .¬maaeai ca:ai.ea
1aas iae aeai:a|.zai.ea ei çsyeae|e,.ea| ,eaes. s aac iaai ei a. sie:y
a:e si.|| ea e¡aa| ieei.a, .a iae iexis «a.ea ç|aee iae i:aaseeaceaia|
ceve|eçmeai .a ieeas nai «aea. .a iae çe:.ec ei iae Crisis, a. sie:y
.ise|i |:ea|s ia:ea,a .aie çaeaemeae| e,y. a ae« sçaee ei ¡aesi.ea.a, .s
eçeaec. eae iaai «.|| |e c.mea|i ie ma.aia.a . a iae :e,.eaa| |. m. is «a.ea
«e:e se | ea, ç:ese:.|ec ie: .i
wa.|e eeasiaai| y practiced .a iae Crsis .ise|i. ia. s ae« aeeess ie
a. sie:y . s aeve: made a problem. ~i | easi aei c.:eei|y aac as saea Oa
iae eae aaac. iae eease.ea saess ei a e:.s.s aac iae am:mai.ea ei a
ie|ee|e,y ei :easea a:e only ae« çaias e: ¬eaas ie: |e,.i. m.z.a,
i:aaseeaceaia| .cea|.sm eaee a,a.a Oa iae eiae: aaac. ie çai iae «ae|e
ceve|eçmeai ei wesie:a ça. | eseçay .aie çe:sçeei. ve. ie ceaae iae
ra:eçeaa eidos aac iae ¬aa ei .aaa.ie iasss . aac ie :eeeaai iae acvea
ia:es aac ¬.sacveaia:es ei iae i:aaseeaceaia| mei.i. eeaeea|ec eaea
i.me |y iae ve:y ,esia:e iaai aaeeve:s .i a| | ia. s «ea|c ,. ve e:ec.i ie a
|.ac ei syaeçi.e :ei:esçeei.ea iaai ae e:.i.e. sm ei a. sie:.e :easea aac
exç| .e.iy ]a si.aec i:e¬ iae sia:i Ne.iae: iae si:aeia:es ei a. sie:.e.iy .a
i Edmund Husser! , Cartesian Meditations: An Introduction to Phenomenology, tr.
Dorion Cairns ( The Hague: Nijhof, 1 970) ' Medi tation I V, §§37 and 38, pp. 75-80
-hereafter ci ted as CM.
� On the probl em of hi story in Husserl ' s phi l osophy , we refer particularl y to Paul
Ricoeur' s very fne arti cl e, " Husserl and the Sense of Hi story ," in Paul Ricoeur, Husserl:
An Analysis of His Phenomenology, tr. Edward G. Ballard and Lester E. Embree
( Evanston: Northwester Uni versity Press, 1 967) . pp. 1 43-74. On what obstructs the
di rect thematization of hi story in a transcendental phenomenology which at the same time
calls for this thematizati on, cf. more part icularl y pp. 1 45-5 1 .
30
Jacques Derrida
,eae:a| ,aac «e ce aei ,ei |ae« «aeiae: iae a. sie:.e.i, ei se. eaee aac
iaai ei ça. |eseça, a:e exa¬ç|es e: exeeçi.eas . «aeiae: iae, a:e iae
a. ,aesi aac ¬esi :eve|aie:, çess. |. | .i.es . e: .i iae, a:e s. ¬ç|, |e,eac
a. sie:, .ise|i) . ae: iae ¬eiaecs ei iae çaeae¬eae|e,, ei a. sie:, «e:e
¬ace iae e|]eeis ei sçee. ae . e:. ,.aa| ¡aesi.eas

1a. s eeaaceaee «as
saççe:iec |, iae s,sie¬ ei açec.ei.e ee:ia.ai.es ei çaeae¬eae|e,, .i
se|i. «a.ea eea|c |e eeas. ce:ec as a e:.i. e. s¬ ei :easea .a ,eae:a| i i
ia. s ie|ee|e,.ea| :eac.a, ei a. sie:, eea|c aei |e eaa:aeie:.zec . a uas·
se:| s e,es |, iae ce,¬ai.e . ¬ç:aceaee «. ia «a. ea se ¬aa, ça. |ese·
çae:s ,i:e¬ A:.siei|e ie ue,e| ie n:aaseav.e,) çe:ee. ve . a iae çasi ea|,
iae |a|e:ec ç:eseai|¬eai ei iae. : e«a iaea,ai. |i | s |eeaase ia. s :eac|a,
:eie::ec ie iae ve:, i cea ei i:aaseeaceaia| çaeae¬eae|e,,-«a.ea . s
aei .ise|i a ça. |eseça. ea| s,sie¬
nai ia.s :eac.a, :eie::ec ie iaai icea ea|y mediately. ii «as si.||
aeeessa:y ie sae« .a a sçee.ae. eeae:eie. aac c.:eei ¬aaae:.
i iaai a.sie:y. as emç.:.ea| se.eaee. «as. | .|e a|| emç.:.ea| se.eaees .
ceçeaceai ea çaeae¬eae|e,y~«|.ea a|eae eea|c :evea| i e . i . is iaac
ei e.cei. e ç:esaççes.i. eas ,ia. s ceçeaceaee. i:eçaeai|y am:mec. aac
a|«ays |eea i:eaiec |y ç:eie:.i.ea. s.,aa|ec :aiae: iaaa exç|e:ec· .
2 . iaai a. sie:y-«aese e«a eeaieai ,eeai:a:y ie iaai ei iae eiae:
maie:.a| aac ceçeaceai se.eaees· «as. |y v.:iae ei .is sease ei |e.a,.
a|«ays ¬a:|ec |y eaeaess aac .::eve:s. |.|.iy. . e . |y aea·
exemç|a:.aess-si.|| |eai .ise|i ie .ma,.aa:y va:.ai.ea· aac ie e. cei.e
.aia.i.eas .
3. iaai . .a acc.i.ea ie iae emç. :.ea| aac aea·exemç|a:y eeaieai ei
a.sie:y. ee:ia.a e.cei.e eeaieai ,ie: exa|e. iaai ei ,eemei:y as iae
e.cei.e aaa| ys.s ei sçai.a| aaia:e· aac .ise|i |eea ç:ecaeec e: :evea|ec
.a a a. sie:y «a.ea .::ecae.||y . aaa|.is . is |e.a,· sease ii. as uasse:|
am:ms. iae a. sie:y ei iae ,eemei:.ea| e.cei.e .s exe|a:y. iaea a.sie:y
.a ,eae:a| ae |ea,e: :. s|s |e.a, a c.si.aei aac ceçeaceai seeie: ei a
¬e:e :ac.ea| çaeaemeae|e,y ny :ema.a.a, ee¬ç|eie|y «.ia. a a ceie:·
m.aec :e|ai. v.iy. a. sie:y .a ,eae:a| ae | ess eemç|eie|y ea,a,es
çaeae¬eae|e,y «.ia a|| . is çess.|.|.i.es aac :esçeas. |. | .i.es. .is e:.,.aa|
ieeaa.¡aes aac aii.iaces
U That, for exampl e, was not the case wi th psychology, whose relati ons wi th
phenomenology have been most abundantly defned, notably in ldeen II [ldeen Zll einer
reinen Phinomenologie und phinomenologischen Philosophie, Vol . I I , ed. M. Biemel , in
Hllsserliana, Vol . 4 (The Hague: Nijhof, 1 952) ] . in the Cartesian Meditations, and i n the
third part of the Crisis . The recent publ ication by Walter Bi emel of the Lectures of 1 925
and of appended texts devoted to Phinomenologische Psychologie ( in Husserliana, Vol .
9 [The Hague: Nijhof, 1 962]) is a very rich testi mony to thi s.
31
Introduction to the Origin of Geometr
Ne cea|i :aese ia:ee a¬|.i.eas. «a. ea a:e a|se c. uea|i eaes. aa. ·
¬a:e :
¿
e Crisis aae. : e a| | |aiea:s aae ça:çeses . :
¿
e ea:| .e: «e:ss na: . :
. s .a The Origin of Geometr aac . a iae sae:i i:a,meais ei iae sa¬e
çe:.ec iaai iaese a¬|.i.eas. .i seems . a:e ¬esi .¬¬ec.aie| y assamec

we masi |e ea:eia| ae:e. iaese am|.i.eas a:e ea|y served |y a|:eacy
iam.| .a: iae¬es «a. ea iaey e:.eai . a a ae« c.:eei.ea

i asieac ei see. a, . i
as a ç:e|ea,ai.ea ei iae Crisis, «e m.,ai |e si:ea,|y iemçiec ie see The
Origin of Geometr ,aiie: ia|.a, .aie aeeeaai iae |:ev.iy ei ia.s s|eiea·
ea|y as iae ç:eiaee ie a :e·. ssae ei Formal and Transcendental Logic,
«aese ça:çese s. mç| y «ea|c |e acaçiec ie a maie:.a| eaie|e,y i a a.s
i ai:ecaei.ea ie iaai «e:|. uasse:| çe:ee.ves iae mei.i ei :ac.ea| .a·
vesi.,ai.eas ei sease «.ia. a iae ç:eseai eeac.i.ea ei ra:eçeaa se.·
eaees nai «e |ae« iaai ie: uasse:| iae e:.i.ea| s.,a.aeaaee ei ia.s
s.iaai.ea :esa|is |ess i:e¬ seme eç.sie¬e|e,.ea| eeaa .ei . aae:eai .a iae
.aie¬a| ceve|eçmeai ei iaese se.eaees iaaa i:em a c.ve:ee |ei«eea a·
iae iaee:ei.ea| aac ç:aei.ea| aei.v.iy ei iae se.eaee .a iae ve:y :eae«a
ei .is ç:e,:ess aac saeeess. aac |· .is sease ie: | .ie aac iae çess. |. |.iy ei
|e.a, :e|aiec ie our «ae|e «e:|c

1a. s i:ee.a, ei se.eaee «.ia :esçeei ie
.is |ases .a iae Lebenswelt aac .is ieaac.a, sa|]eei.ve aeis aacea|iec|y
:ema. as a aeees sa:y eeac.i.ea ie: .is eea¡aesi s nai ia. s i:ee.a, a|se
.ave|ves iae ia:eai ei aa e|]eei. v. si a| .eaai.ea. «a.ea eeaeea| s iae .a·
si.iai.a, e:.,.as aac :eace:s iaem si:aa,e aac . aaeeess. ||e ie as 1a. s
eeea|iai. ea. «a. ea . s a| se a ieeaa. e. zai.ea aac saççeses iae "naivete of
a higher level" ei aa . avesi.,aie: |eeeme .::esçeas.||e. aas s.ma|ia·
aeeas|y :a.aec iae ,:eai |e|.ei ei iae se.eaees aac ça. |eseçay .a
iaemse|ves . .i aas ¬ace ea: «e:|c aa.aie| |.,.||e. 1e mec.iaie ea e:
.avesi.,aie iae sease (besinnen) ei e:.,.as .s ai iae same i.¬e ie. ma|e
eaese|t :esçeas.||e (verantworten) ie: iae sease (Sinn) ei se.eaee aac
ça.|eseçay . |:.a, ia.s sease ie iae e|a:.iy ei .is ia|a|,¬eai} . aac çai
eaese|i .a a çes.i.ea ei responsibility ie: ia. s sease sia:i.a, i:em iae
ieia| sease ei ea: ex. sieaee J J
1ae sa¬e c.s¡a.eiace aac iae same «.|| a:e aace:see:ec aac ex·
ç:essec . a :.,e:eas| y . ceai.ea| ie:ms i:em iae | :si ça,es ei The Origin
1
0 Formal and Transcendental Logic, tr. Dorion Cairns (The Hague: Nijhof, 1 969) , p.
5-hereafter ci ted as FTL. Al so cf. the commentary of Suzanne Bachelard, A Study of
Husserl' s Formal and Transcendental Logic, tf . Lester E. Embree ( Evanston: North­
wester Uni versi ty Press, 1 968) , notably pp. xxxi i i-l i i i .
1 1
"We must place oursel ves above thi s whol e life and all t hi s cultural tradition and, by
radical sense- investi gations, seek for oursel ves si ngly and i n common t he ul ti mate pos­
si bi l i ti es and necessi ti es, on t he basis of whi ch we can take our position toward
actual i ti es in j udging, val ui ng, and acting" (FTL, pp. 5-6) . The citations are from
FTL, pp. 2, 5, and 9.
30
Jacques Derrida
,eae:a| ,aac «e ce aei ,ei |ae« «aeiae: iae a. sie:.e.i, ei se. eaee aac
iaai ei ça. |eseça, a:e exa¬ç|es e: exeeçi.eas . «aeiae: iae, a:e iae
a. ,aesi aac ¬esi :eve|aie:, çess. |. | .i.es . e: .i iae, a:e s. ¬ç|, |e,eac
a. sie:, .ise|i) . ae: iae ¬eiaecs ei iae çaeae¬eae|e,, ei a. sie:, «e:e
¬ace iae e|]eeis ei sçee. ae . e:. ,.aa| ¡aesi.eas

1a. s eeaaceaee «as
saççe:iec |, iae s,sie¬ ei açec.ei.e ee:ia.ai.es ei çaeae¬eae|e,, .i
se|i. «a.ea eea|c |e eeas. ce:ec as a e:.i. e. s¬ ei :easea .a ,eae:a| i i
ia. s ie|ee|e,.ea| :eac.a, ei a. sie:, eea|c aei |e eaa:aeie:.zec . a uas·
se:| s e,es |, iae ce,¬ai.e . ¬ç:aceaee «. ia «a. ea se ¬aa, ça. |ese·
çae:s ,i:e¬ A:.siei|e ie ue,e| ie n:aaseav.e,) çe:ee. ve . a iae çasi ea|,
iae |a|e:ec ç:eseai|¬eai ei iae. : e«a iaea,ai. |i | s |eeaase ia. s :eac|a,
:eie::ec ie iae ve:, i cea ei i:aaseeaceaia| çaeae¬eae|e,,-«a.ea . s
aei .ise|i a ça. |eseça. ea| s,sie¬
nai ia.s :eac.a, :eie::ec ie iaai icea ea|y mediately. ii «as si.||
aeeessa:y ie sae« .a a sçee.ae. eeae:eie. aac c.:eei ¬aaae:.
i iaai a.sie:y. as emç.:.ea| se.eaee. «as. | .|e a|| emç.:.ea| se.eaees .
ceçeaceai ea çaeae¬eae|e,y~«|.ea a|eae eea|c :evea| i e . i . is iaac
ei e.cei. e ç:esaççes.i. eas ,ia. s ceçeaceaee. i:eçaeai|y am:mec. aac
a|«ays |eea i:eaiec |y ç:eie:.i.ea. s.,aa|ec :aiae: iaaa exç|e:ec· .
2 . iaai a. sie:y-«aese e«a eeaieai ,eeai:a:y ie iaai ei iae eiae:
maie:.a| aac ceçeaceai se.eaees· «as. |y v.:iae ei .is sease ei |e.a,.
a|«ays ¬a:|ec |y eaeaess aac .::eve:s. |.|.iy. . e . |y aea·
exemç|a:.aess-si.|| |eai .ise|i ie .ma,.aa:y va:.ai.ea· aac ie e. cei.e
.aia.i.eas .
3. iaai . .a acc.i.ea ie iae emç. :.ea| aac aea·exemç|a:y eeaieai ei
a.sie:y. ee:ia.a e.cei.e eeaieai ,ie: exa|e. iaai ei ,eemei:y as iae
e.cei.e aaa| ys.s ei sçai.a| aaia:e· aac .ise|i |eea ç:ecaeec e: :evea|ec
.a a a. sie:y «a.ea .::ecae.||y . aaa|.is . is |e.a,· sease ii. as uasse:|
am:ms. iae a. sie:y ei iae ,eemei:.ea| e.cei.e .s exe|a:y. iaea a.sie:y
.a ,eae:a| ae |ea,e: :. s|s |e.a, a c.si.aei aac ceçeaceai seeie: ei a
¬e:e :ac.ea| çaeaemeae|e,y ny :ema.a.a, ee¬ç|eie|y «.ia. a a ceie:·
m.aec :e|ai. v.iy. a. sie:y .a ,eae:a| ae | ess eemç|eie|y ea,a,es
çaeae¬eae|e,y «.ia a|| . is çess.|.|.i.es aac :esçeas. |. | .i.es. .is e:.,.aa|
ieeaa.¡aes aac aii.iaces
U That, for exampl e, was not the case wi th psychology, whose relati ons wi th
phenomenology have been most abundantly defned, notably in ldeen II [ldeen Zll einer
reinen Phinomenologie und phinomenologischen Philosophie, Vol . I I , ed. M. Biemel , in
Hllsserliana, Vol . 4 (The Hague: Nijhof, 1 952) ] . in the Cartesian Meditations, and i n the
third part of the Crisis . The recent publ ication by Walter Bi emel of the Lectures of 1 925
and of appended texts devoted to Phinomenologische Psychologie ( in Husserliana, Vol .
9 [The Hague: Nijhof, 1 962]) is a very rich testi mony to thi s.
31
Introduction to the Origin of Geometr
Ne cea|i :aese ia:ee a¬|.i.eas. «a. ea a:e a|se c. uea|i eaes. aa. ·
¬a:e :
¿
e Crisis aae. : e a| | |aiea:s aae ça:çeses . :
¿
e ea:| .e: «e:ss na: . :
. s .a The Origin of Geometr aac . a iae sae:i i:a,meais ei iae sa¬e
çe:.ec iaai iaese a¬|.i.eas. .i seems . a:e ¬esi .¬¬ec.aie| y assamec

we masi |e ea:eia| ae:e. iaese am|.i.eas a:e ea|y served |y a|:eacy
iam.| .a: iae¬es «a. ea iaey e:.eai . a a ae« c.:eei.ea

i asieac ei see. a, . i
as a ç:e|ea,ai.ea ei iae Crisis, «e m.,ai |e si:ea,|y iemçiec ie see The
Origin of Geometr ,aiie: ia|.a, .aie aeeeaai iae |:ev.iy ei ia.s s|eiea·
ea|y as iae ç:eiaee ie a :e·. ssae ei Formal and Transcendental Logic,
«aese ça:çese s. mç| y «ea|c |e acaçiec ie a maie:.a| eaie|e,y i a a.s
i ai:ecaei.ea ie iaai «e:|. uasse:| çe:ee.ves iae mei.i ei :ac.ea| .a·
vesi.,ai.eas ei sease «.ia. a iae ç:eseai eeac.i.ea ei ra:eçeaa se.·
eaees nai «e |ae« iaai ie: uasse:| iae e:.i.ea| s.,a.aeaaee ei ia.s
s.iaai.ea :esa|is |ess i:e¬ seme eç.sie¬e|e,.ea| eeaa .ei . aae:eai .a iae
.aie¬a| ceve|eçmeai ei iaese se.eaees iaaa i:em a c.ve:ee |ei«eea a·
iae iaee:ei.ea| aac ç:aei.ea| aei.v.iy ei iae se.eaee .a iae ve:y :eae«a
ei .is ç:e,:ess aac saeeess. aac |· .is sease ie: | .ie aac iae çess. |. |.iy ei
|e.a, :e|aiec ie our «ae|e «e:|c

1a. s i:ee.a, ei se.eaee «.ia :esçeei ie
.is |ases .a iae Lebenswelt aac .is ieaac.a, sa|]eei.ve aeis aacea|iec|y
:ema. as a aeees sa:y eeac.i.ea ie: .is eea¡aesi s nai ia. s i:ee.a, a|se
.ave|ves iae ia:eai ei aa e|]eei. v. si a| .eaai.ea. «a.ea eeaeea| s iae .a·
si.iai.a, e:.,.as aac :eace:s iaem si:aa,e aac . aaeeess. ||e ie as 1a. s
eeea|iai. ea. «a. ea . s a| se a ieeaa. e. zai.ea aac saççeses iae "naivete of
a higher level" ei aa . avesi.,aie: |eeeme .::esçeas.||e. aas s.ma|ia·
aeeas|y :a.aec iae ,:eai |e|.ei ei iae se.eaees aac ça. |eseçay .a
iaemse|ves . .i aas ¬ace ea: «e:|c aa.aie| |.,.||e. 1e mec.iaie ea e:
.avesi.,aie iae sease (besinnen) ei e:.,.as .s ai iae same i.¬e ie. ma|e
eaese|t :esçeas.||e (verantworten) ie: iae sease (Sinn) ei se.eaee aac
ça.|eseçay . |:.a, ia.s sease ie iae e|a:.iy ei .is ia|a|,¬eai} . aac çai
eaese|i .a a çes.i.ea ei responsibility ie: ia. s sease sia:i.a, i:em iae
ieia| sease ei ea: ex. sieaee J J
1ae sa¬e c.s¡a.eiace aac iae same «.|| a:e aace:see:ec aac ex·
ç:essec . a :.,e:eas| y . ceai.ea| ie:ms i:em iae | :si ça,es ei The Origin
1
0 Formal and Transcendental Logic, tr. Dorion Cairns (The Hague: Nijhof, 1 969) , p.
5-hereafter ci ted as FTL. Al so cf. the commentary of Suzanne Bachelard, A Study of
Husserl' s Formal and Transcendental Logic, tf . Lester E. Embree ( Evanston: North­
wester Uni versi ty Press, 1 968) , notably pp. xxxi i i-l i i i .
1 1
"We must place oursel ves above thi s whol e life and all t hi s cultural tradition and, by
radical sense- investi gations, seek for oursel ves si ngly and i n common t he ul ti mate pos­
si bi l i ti es and necessi ti es, on t he basis of whi ch we can take our position toward
actual i ti es in j udging, val ui ng, and acting" (FTL, pp. 5-6) . The citations are from
FTL, pp. 2, 5, and 9.


i
32
Jacques Derrida
of Geometr. ~ac tae çaest.ea as|ec tae:e aççea:s at a:st s.,at te |e
ea|y a sçee.| eat.ea ei tae ,eae:a| ¡aest.ea |e,aa aac ce| aec . a Formal
and Transcendental Logic. is .t aet a çaest.ea ae:e ei açç|y.a, a ,eae:a|
ç:e]eet «aese ç:e,:am aac a|:eacy |eea e:,aa.zec te a s. a,a|a: aac
ceçeaceat se.eaee: D.c aet uasse:| «:. te. 1aese . avest.,at.eas. eea·
eeo.a, tae çess.||e sease aac çess.||e metaec ei ,eaa.ae se.eaee as
saea. a:e aata:a|ìy c.:eetec | :st ei a|| te «aat .s esseat.a| |y eemmea te
a|| çess.||e se.eaees 1aey saea|c |e ie| |e«ec seeeaca:.|y |y ee::e·
sçeac.a, sease·.avest.,at.eas ie: ça:t.ea|a: ,:eaçs ei se.eaees aac
s.a,|e se.eaees (ibid. , ç -· :

·
1ae aate:.e:.ty ei Formal and Transcendental Logic .a :e|at.ea te tae
ç:e||ems ei e:.,.a ie: tae etae: se.eaees aas a systemat.e aac ]a:.c.ea|
s.,a.aeaaee 1a.s aeeessa:y aate:.e:.ty | :st ce:.ves i:em tae aata:e ei
t:ac.t.eaa| |e,.e. «a.ea .s a|«ays ç:eseatec as tae ,eae:a| taee:y ei
se.eaee. as tae se.eaee ei se.eaee 1a.s statemeat a| se :eie:s te tae
a. e:a:eay ei eate|e,. es a|:eacy e|a|e:atec .a Ideas I. uate:.a||y cete:·
m.aec eate|e,.es a:e sa|e:c.aatec te ie:ma| eate|e,y. «a.ea t:eats tae
ça:e :a|es ei O|]eet.v.ty .a ,eae:a| ' · N e« ,eemet:y . s a mate:.a| ea·
te|e,y «aese e|]eet . s cete:m.aec as tae sçat.a|.ty ei tae ta.a, |e|ea,·
.a, te Nata:e 1-1
1ae iaet taat eve:y c. meas.ea ei The Origin of Geometr aeeeataates
ta. s ceçeaceaee aac ta. s :e|at.ve saçe:ae. a| .ty ei cese:.çt.ea «. || taas
|e exç|a. aec Oa seve:a| eeeas.eas uasse:| aetes taat ae ç:esaççeses
tae eeast.tat.ea ei tae . cea| e|]eet.v. t. es ei |e,.e aac |aa,aa,e . a
1 �
On the "di recti ve" character of logic, al so cf. FTL, §7 1 , pp. 1 8 1 -82.
1 :1
Cf. Ideas: General Introduction to Pure Phenomenology. tr. W. R. Boyce Gibson
( 1 93 1 ; rpt. New York: Col l ier Books, 1 962) , § § 8-1 O. 1 7 . pp. 56-62 and 70-71 -hereafer
cited as Ideas I. [At times Derrida refers to the notes of Paul Ricoeur in his invaluable
French translation. Idees directrices pOllr line phenomenologie et line philosophie phe­
nomenologique pures . Tome I: Introduction Jenerale a la phenomenologie pure (Pari s:
Gal limard. 1 950) . We wi l l refer to thi s translation as Idees . ] Here formal ontology desig­
nates formal logic "in the narrower sense" and "al l the other di scipl ines which constitute
the formal ' mathesis universalis ' (thus arithmetic also. pure anal ysi s. theory of mul ti ­
pl i ci ti es) . " Ideas I, p. 57 [ modi fed]
.
1� "I t is clearl y realized that it is the essence of a material thing to be a res extensa, and
that consequently geometry is an ontological discipline relating to an essential phase of
sllch thinghood (Di ngl ichkei t) . the spatial form" ( Hu sserI ' s emphasi s) . Ideas I, §9. pp.
58-59.
Al so cf. Ideas I, § 25. p. 84: there geometry and ki nematics (which HusserI always
associates with geometry in the Crisis and in the Origin) are al so defi ned as " pure
mathematical . . . material" di scipli nes.
1 5
0n the translation of Gegenstindlichkeit by objectivity [F: objectite (and Objektivitit
or objectivite by Objectivity)] , cf. the French translation of FTL, p. 1 8, n. 3 . and the
r
33
Introduction to the Origin of Geometr
,eae:a|. tae ee::e|at.ve eeast.tat.ea o .ate:sa|]eet.v.ty. aac a|| :e|atec
. avest.,at.eas ia a ee:ta.a sease . .t . s t:a|y aeeessa:y te see taat ta. s
e:ce: ei ceçeaceaee . s aet :eve:sec 1ae çaeaemeaea ei e:. s. s. as
ie:,etia|aess ei e:.,. as. aas ç:ee.se| y tae sease ei ta.s tyçe ei :eve:·
sa| ( Umkehrung) . I /;
nat «a.|e eemç|ete|y ]ast.iy.a, tae ç:.e:.ty ei a.s :ea eet.eas ea |e,.e .
uasse:| a| se sçee.aes .a Formal and Transcendental Logic taat ta.s .s
ea|y eae çata amea, etae:s "Other paths a:e çess.||e ie: sease·
.avest.,at.eas «.ta a :ac.ea| a. m. aac tae ç:eseat «e:| attemçts te eçea
aç. �t |east .a

ma.a seet.eas . eae sa,,estec |y tae a.ste:.ea||y ,.vea
:e|at.ea ei tae .cea ei ,eaa.ae se.eaee te |e,.e as .ts aateeeaceat ae:¬
(FTL, ç 7; uasse:| s emçaas.s·
~| se. |y a spirling movement «a.ea .s tae ma]e: |ac ei ea: text. a
ET. p. 3 , tr. note 2 . Of course the notion of objectiv ity here is not in any snse tied to
Schopenhauer' s concept of Objektitit. [On matters of translation related to Husser! we
have fol lowed i n the main the suggestions of Dorion Cairns in Guide for Translating
Hlisser! (The Hague: Nihof, 1 973) . ] As for translations which we have had to do, we wi l l
be l ed to justify them i n the cours of thi s Introducti on.
I i
Cf. FTL, p. 2: " the original relati onshi p between logic and sci ence has undergone a
remarkable reversal in modern times. The sciences made themsel ves independent . With­
out bei ng able to satisfy completely the spirit of critical self-j ustifcati on. they fashioned
extremel y diferentiated methods. whose frui tful ness. it i s true . was pract ically certai n.
but whose productivity (Leistung) was not clarifed by ulti mate i nsight . " Our emphasi s.
�oreover, concerning geometrical science and mathematics i n general . Husser! has prin­
ci pal l y and most often defned thi s Umkehrung as the fal sifcation of sense . the di splace­
ment of ground, and the forgetti ng of origins . He has done this under at least three forms:
1 . Geometry. the model of exact science. i s responsi ble for the naturalization of the
psychic sphere-a fact that was pointed out i n the fi rst part of " Phi losophy as Rigorous
Science, " in Phenomenology and the Crisis of Philosophy, tr. Quentin Lauer (N ew York:
Harper and Row, 1 965) , pp. 7 1 -1 47-hereafter ci ted as "PRS" ( cf. in particular pp. 82,
84, and 93) . We should also remember that i n Ideas I (§§72-75 , pp. 1 85-93) Husser! de­
no�nces the absurdity of geometrizing l i ved experience, on account of both geometrical ex­
actitude and deductivity.
2 . The geometrical ideal (or that of mathematical physics) , dogmatically recei ved, i s
what impel l ed Descartes t o cover over again the transcendental motif that he had ingeni­
ou�ly broug�t to l ight . The certitude of the cogito becomes the axiomatic ground, and
phi l osophy IS transformed i nto a deductive system. ordine geometrico: "only thi s
axio�atic fou�dation l i es even deeper than that of geometry and is called on to partici­
pate In the ul timate groundi ng even of geometrical knowledge" (CM, §3, p. 8) ; cf. al so C,
Part II, i n particular § 2 1 .
3 . Final l y, the whole Crisis tends to show how geometry, the ground for the mathemati­
zation of nature, hides true Nature. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why later on
Husserl will hardl y us-yet without expli ci tl y questioni ng again-the defni ti on of
geometry as an eidetic sci ence or as the material ontology of spatial l y extended, natural
thi ngs, a defni ti on often proposed as an example up to Ideas I.


i
32
Jacques Derrida
of Geometr. ~ac tae çaest.ea as|ec tae:e aççea:s at a:st s.,at te |e
ea|y a sçee.| eat.ea ei tae ,eae:a| ¡aest.ea |e,aa aac ce| aec . a Formal
and Transcendental Logic. is .t aet a çaest.ea ae:e ei açç|y.a, a ,eae:a|
ç:e]eet «aese ç:e,:am aac a|:eacy |eea e:,aa.zec te a s. a,a|a: aac
ceçeaceat se.eaee: D.c aet uasse:| «:. te. 1aese . avest.,at.eas. eea·
eeo.a, tae çess.||e sease aac çess.||e metaec ei ,eaa.ae se.eaee as
saea. a:e aata:a|ìy c.:eetec | :st ei a|| te «aat .s esseat.a| |y eemmea te
a|| çess.||e se.eaees 1aey saea|c |e ie| |e«ec seeeaca:.|y |y ee::e·
sçeac.a, sease·.avest.,at.eas ie: ça:t.ea|a: ,:eaçs ei se.eaees aac
s.a,|e se.eaees (ibid. , ç -· :

·
1ae aate:.e:.ty ei Formal and Transcendental Logic .a :e|at.ea te tae
ç:e||ems ei e:.,.a ie: tae etae: se.eaees aas a systemat.e aac ]a:.c.ea|
s.,a.aeaaee 1a.s aeeessa:y aate:.e:.ty | :st ce:.ves i:em tae aata:e ei
t:ac.t.eaa| |e,.e. «a.ea .s a|«ays ç:eseatec as tae ,eae:a| taee:y ei
se.eaee. as tae se.eaee ei se.eaee 1a.s statemeat a| se :eie:s te tae
a. e:a:eay ei eate|e,. es a|:eacy e|a|e:atec .a Ideas I. uate:.a||y cete:·
m.aec eate|e,.es a:e sa|e:c.aatec te ie:ma| eate|e,y. «a.ea t:eats tae
ça:e :a|es ei O|]eet.v.ty .a ,eae:a| ' · N e« ,eemet:y . s a mate:.a| ea·
te|e,y «aese e|]eet . s cete:m.aec as tae sçat.a|.ty ei tae ta.a, |e|ea,·
.a, te Nata:e 1-1
1ae iaet taat eve:y c. meas.ea ei The Origin of Geometr aeeeataates
ta. s ceçeaceaee aac ta. s :e|at.ve saçe:ae. a| .ty ei cese:.çt.ea «. || taas
|e exç|a. aec Oa seve:a| eeeas.eas uasse:| aetes taat ae ç:esaççeses
tae eeast.tat.ea ei tae . cea| e|]eet.v. t. es ei |e,.e aac |aa,aa,e . a
1 �
On the "di recti ve" character of logic, al so cf. FTL, §7 1 , pp. 1 8 1 -82.
1 :1
Cf. Ideas: General Introduction to Pure Phenomenology. tr. W. R. Boyce Gibson
( 1 93 1 ; rpt. New York: Col l ier Books, 1 962) , § § 8-1 O. 1 7 . pp. 56-62 and 70-71 -hereafer
cited as Ideas I. [At times Derrida refers to the notes of Paul Ricoeur in his invaluable
French translation. Idees directrices pOllr line phenomenologie et line philosophie phe­
nomenologique pures . Tome I: Introduction Jenerale a la phenomenologie pure (Pari s:
Gal limard. 1 950) . We wi l l refer to thi s translation as Idees . ] Here formal ontology desig­
nates formal logic "in the narrower sense" and "al l the other di scipl ines which constitute
the formal ' mathesis universalis ' (thus arithmetic also. pure anal ysi s. theory of mul ti ­
pl i ci ti es) . " Ideas I, p. 57 [ modi fed]
.
1� "I t is clearl y realized that it is the essence of a material thing to be a res extensa, and
that consequently geometry is an ontological discipline relating to an essential phase of
sllch thinghood (Di ngl ichkei t) . the spatial form" ( Hu sserI ' s emphasi s) . Ideas I, §9. pp.
58-59.
Al so cf. Ideas I, § 25. p. 84: there geometry and ki nematics (which HusserI always
associates with geometry in the Crisis and in the Origin) are al so defi ned as " pure
mathematical . . . material" di scipli nes.
1 5
0n the translation of Gegenstindlichkeit by objectivity [F: objectite (and Objektivitit
or objectivite by Objectivity)] , cf. the French translation of FTL, p. 1 8, n. 3 . and the
r
33
Introduction to the Origin of Geometr
,eae:a|. tae ee::e|at.ve eeast.tat.ea o .ate:sa|]eet.v.ty. aac a|| :e|atec
. avest.,at.eas ia a ee:ta.a sease . .t . s t:a|y aeeessa:y te see taat ta. s
e:ce: ei ceçeaceaee . s aet :eve:sec 1ae çaeaemeaea ei e:. s. s. as
ie:,etia|aess ei e:.,. as. aas ç:ee.se| y tae sease ei ta.s tyçe ei :eve:·
sa| ( Umkehrung) . I /;
nat «a.|e eemç|ete|y ]ast.iy.a, tae ç:.e:.ty ei a.s :ea eet.eas ea |e,.e .
uasse:| a| se sçee.aes .a Formal and Transcendental Logic taat ta.s .s
ea|y eae çata amea, etae:s "Other paths a:e çess.||e ie: sease·
.avest.,at.eas «.ta a :ac.ea| a. m. aac tae ç:eseat «e:| attemçts te eçea
aç. �t |east .a

ma.a seet.eas . eae sa,,estec |y tae a.ste:.ea||y ,.vea
:e|at.ea ei tae .cea ei ,eaa.ae se.eaee te |e,.e as .ts aateeeaceat ae:¬
(FTL, ç 7; uasse:| s emçaas.s·
~| se. |y a spirling movement «a.ea .s tae ma]e: |ac ei ea: text. a
ET. p. 3 , tr. note 2 . Of course the notion of objectiv ity here is not in any snse tied to
Schopenhauer' s concept of Objektitit. [On matters of translation related to Husser! we
have fol lowed i n the main the suggestions of Dorion Cairns in Guide for Translating
Hlisser! (The Hague: Nihof, 1 973) . ] As for translations which we have had to do, we wi l l
be l ed to justify them i n the cours of thi s Introducti on.
I i
Cf. FTL, p. 2: " the original relati onshi p between logic and sci ence has undergone a
remarkable reversal in modern times. The sciences made themsel ves independent . With­
out bei ng able to satisfy completely the spirit of critical self-j ustifcati on. they fashioned
extremel y diferentiated methods. whose frui tful ness. it i s true . was pract ically certai n.
but whose productivity (Leistung) was not clarifed by ulti mate i nsight . " Our emphasi s.
�oreover, concerning geometrical science and mathematics i n general . Husser! has prin­
ci pal l y and most often defned thi s Umkehrung as the fal sifcation of sense . the di splace­
ment of ground, and the forgetti ng of origins . He has done this under at least three forms:
1 . Geometry. the model of exact science. i s responsi ble for the naturalization of the
psychic sphere-a fact that was pointed out i n the fi rst part of " Phi losophy as Rigorous
Science, " in Phenomenology and the Crisis of Philosophy, tr. Quentin Lauer (N ew York:
Harper and Row, 1 965) , pp. 7 1 -1 47-hereafter ci ted as "PRS" ( cf. in particular pp. 82,
84, and 93) . We should also remember that i n Ideas I (§§72-75 , pp. 1 85-93) Husser! de­
no�nces the absurdity of geometrizing l i ved experience, on account of both geometrical ex­
actitude and deductivity.
2 . The geometrical ideal (or that of mathematical physics) , dogmatically recei ved, i s
what impel l ed Descartes t o cover over again the transcendental motif that he had ingeni­
ou�ly broug�t to l ight . The certitude of the cogito becomes the axiomatic ground, and
phi l osophy IS transformed i nto a deductive system. ordine geometrico: "only thi s
axio�atic fou�dation l i es even deeper than that of geometry and is called on to partici­
pate In the ul timate groundi ng even of geometrical knowledge" (CM, §3, p. 8) ; cf. al so C,
Part II, i n particular § 2 1 .
3 . Final l y, the whole Crisis tends to show how geometry, the ground for the mathemati­
zation of nature, hides true Nature. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why later on
Husserl will hardl y us-yet without expli ci tl y questioni ng again-the defni ti on of
geometry as an eidetic sci ence or as the material ontology of spatial l y extended, natural
thi ngs, a defni ti on often proposed as an example up to Ideas I.
r
'
I '
.
34
Jacques Derrid
bold clearing is brought about within the regional limits of the investiga­
tion and transgresses them toward a new form of radicali ty. Concerning
the intentional history of a particular eidetic science, a sense­
investigation of i ts conditions of possibility wil l reveal to us exemplari ly
the conditions and sense of the hi storicity of sci ence in general , then of
universal historicity-the l ast horizon for al l sense and Objectivity i n
general . Consequentl y, the architectonic relations evoked a moment
ago are complicated, if not inverted. This would demonstrate , if i t were
still necessary, at what point the juri dical order of i mpl ications i s not so
li near and how difcult it i s to recognize the starting point .
It is in the mi dst of these difculties and wi th extreme prudence that
Husserl tries to make his purpose understood in The Origin of
Geometr.
II
Hu sserl takes numerous, diverse , and rather i ntricate methodological
precautions in the frst pages .
1 . Provided the notion of history i s conceived i n a new sense, the
question posed must be understood in its most historic resonance . It is a
question of repeating an origin. I n other words, refection does not work
upon or within geometry itself as "ready-made, handed-down" ( 1 57) . 1 7
The atti tude taken, then, is not that of a geometer: the l atter has at his
disposal an already given system of truths that he supposes or uti l izes
in hi s geometrizing activity; or, further, at his disposal are possibil i ties
of new axiomatizations which (even with thei r problems and difcul­
ties) already are announced as geometrcal possibilities . The required
attitude is no longer that of the classic epistemologist who, within a kind
of horizontal and ahistoric cut, woul d study the systematic structure of
geometrical science or of variou s geometries . Both these attitudes
would depend on what Husserl had defned in Formal and
Transcendental Logic and recalled in the Crisis as a " naivete of a priori
self-evidence that keeps every normal geometrical project in motion"
(C, §9b, p. 29) . Not only are the i ntelligence and the practice of
geometry always possible and ocasionally profound and creative, but
so i s a certain second refection on constituted geometry, all without
disturbing or shaking [solicitee] geometry in its buried sense of origi n.
The Crisis always echoed this . "There i s no need for [the question of the
origin] in the attitude of the geometer: one has, after all , studied
geometry, one ' understands ' geometrical concepts and propositions, i s
1
7 The Origin of Geometry. p. 1 57 i n Appendi x. Hereafter all references t o the Origin
wi l l be placed in parentheses, as done here. [When placed in brackets , they indicate the
addition of the translator. ]
35
Introduction to the Origin of Geometry
fami liar with methods of operation as ways of deal ing wi th precisely
defned structures . . . " (ibid. ).
I X
No geometrizing activity as such, however critical , can return to a
point short of that ' ' famil iarity. "
2. But if we leave the actual or vi rtual givens of the received
geo'1etry, and if we then come to history
'
s vertical di mension, three
confusions again lie in wait for us :
A) I n the frst place, we are not i nterested here i n " the manner of
being which the sense [of geometry] had in [Galileo' s] thinking, " or "in
that of al l the l ate i nheritors of the older geometric knowledge" ( 1 57
[ modifed] ) . Despite the val ue which would be attached to such an
approach, the latter depends , in the best hypothesis , only on a psychol­
ogy or hi story of cognition. And even i, by vi rtue of their descriptive
style , thi s history and psychology escaped what Husserl always sus­
pected, even if they di d not reduce the normativity of ideal objects and
geometrical truth to the empirical facts of l ived experience, they would
only inform us about the factual rootedness of truth in a hi storical or
psychol ogical milieu of fact. No doubt this rootedness may be accessi ­
bl e to a descriptive phenomenology which would respect al l i ts original­
ity, but it would teach us nothing about the truth of geometry and i ts
sense of origin.
For Gal i leo-whose name here is the exemplary index of an attitude
and a moment , rather than a proper name1 9-was al ready an inheri tor of
geometry. 20 If, in the Crisi, a very important place i s reserved for
IX Naturall y, here "geometry" serves i n an exemplary way t o designate mathematics
and even l@gic in general .
1 !1
Cf. C, §9 1 , p. 57: " . . . I have l i nked all our consi derations to hi s name [Gali leo' s] ,
i n a certain sense simplifying and ideali zi ng the matter; a more exact hi storical
anal ysi s would have to take account of how much of his thought he owed to hi s
predecessors. ' ( I shal l conti nue, i ncidentall y, and for good reasons, i n a similar
fashion. ) "
20
What Galileo inaugurated, openi ng the way for objecti vi sm by making mathematized
Nature an " in i tself, " marks the birth of a cri sis in the sciences and in philoso­
phy. All the more, then, does i t command the attention of the author of the Crisis.
Besides, Husserl already i nsists a great deal on the secondary character of Galileo' s
revol uti on and on the scientifc heritage that i t supposed , notably that of . . ' pure
geometry, ' the pure mathematics of spatiotemporal shapes in general, pregiven to Galileo
as an old tradition" (C. §9a, p. 24) , "the relatively advanced geometry known to Galileo,
already broadly applied not only to the earth but al so i n astronomy" (ibid . . § 9b , p. 28) .
For Galileo, the sense of the geometrical tradition' s origin was already lost: "Gali leo was
himsel f an heir i n respect to pure geometry. The inherited geometry. the inherited manner
of ' intuiti ve' conceptual i zing, provi ng, constructi ng, was no longer original geometry: in
this sort of ' intuiti veness ' it was already empty ofits sense" (ibid. , §9h, p. 49 [modifed] ;
Husserl ' s emphasis) .
'
I '
.
34
Jacques Derrid
bold clearing is brought about within the regional limits of the investiga­
tion and transgresses them toward a new form of radicali ty. Concerning
the intentional history of a particular eidetic science, a sense­
investigation of i ts conditions of possibility wil l reveal to us exemplari ly
the conditions and sense of the hi storicity of sci ence in general , then of
universal historicity-the l ast horizon for al l sense and Objectivity i n
general . Consequentl y, the architectonic relations evoked a moment
ago are complicated, if not inverted. This would demonstrate , if i t were
still necessary, at what point the juri dical order of i mpl ications i s not so
li near and how difcult it i s to recognize the starting point .
It is in the mi dst of these difculties and wi th extreme prudence that
Husserl tries to make his purpose understood in The Origin of
Geometr.
II
Hu sserl takes numerous, diverse , and rather i ntricate methodological
precautions in the frst pages .
1 . Provided the notion of history i s conceived i n a new sense, the
question posed must be understood in its most historic resonance . It is a
question of repeating an origin. I n other words, refection does not work
upon or within geometry itself as "ready-made, handed-down" ( 1 57) . 1 7
The atti tude taken, then, is not that of a geometer: the l atter has at his
disposal an already given system of truths that he supposes or uti l izes
in hi s geometrizing activity; or, further, at his disposal are possibil i ties
of new axiomatizations which (even with thei r problems and difcul­
ties) already are announced as geometrcal possibilities . The required
attitude is no longer that of the classic epistemologist who, within a kind
of horizontal and ahistoric cut, woul d study the systematic structure of
geometrical science or of variou s geometries . Both these attitudes
would depend on what Husserl had defned in Formal and
Transcendental Logic and recalled in the Crisis as a " naivete of a priori
self-evidence that keeps every normal geometrical project in motion"
(C, §9b, p. 29) . Not only are the i ntelligence and the practice of
geometry always possible and ocasionally profound and creative, but
so i s a certain second refection on constituted geometry, all without
disturbing or shaking [solicitee] geometry in its buried sense of origi n.
The Crisis always echoed this . "There i s no need for [the question of the
origin] in the attitude of the geometer: one has, after all , studied
geometry, one ' understands ' geometrical concepts and propositions, i s
1
7 The Origin of Geometry. p. 1 57 i n Appendi x. Hereafter all references t o the Origin
wi l l be placed in parentheses, as done here. [When placed in brackets , they indicate the
addition of the translator. ]
35
Introduction to the Origin of Geometry
fami liar with methods of operation as ways of deal ing wi th precisely
defned structures . . . " (ibid. ).
I X
No geometrizing activity as such, however critical , can return to a
point short of that ' ' famil iarity. "
2. But if we leave the actual or vi rtual givens of the received
geo'1etry, and if we then come to history
'
s vertical di mension, three
confusions again lie in wait for us :
A) I n the frst place, we are not i nterested here i n " the manner of
being which the sense [of geometry] had in [Galileo' s] thinking, " or "in
that of al l the l ate i nheritors of the older geometric knowledge" ( 1 57
[ modifed] ) . Despite the val ue which would be attached to such an
approach, the latter depends , in the best hypothesis , only on a psychol­
ogy or hi story of cognition. And even i, by vi rtue of their descriptive
style , thi s history and psychology escaped what Husserl always sus­
pected, even if they di d not reduce the normativity of ideal objects and
geometrical truth to the empirical facts of l ived experience, they would
only inform us about the factual rootedness of truth in a hi storical or
psychol ogical milieu of fact. No doubt this rootedness may be accessi ­
bl e to a descriptive phenomenology which would respect al l i ts original­
ity, but it would teach us nothing about the truth of geometry and i ts
sense of origin.
For Gal i leo-whose name here is the exemplary index of an attitude
and a moment , rather than a proper name1 9-was al ready an inheri tor of
geometry. 20 If, in the Crisi, a very important place i s reserved for
IX Naturall y, here "geometry" serves i n an exemplary way t o designate mathematics
and even l@gic in general .
1 !1
Cf. C, §9 1 , p. 57: " . . . I have l i nked all our consi derations to hi s name [Gali leo' s] ,
i n a certain sense simplifying and ideali zi ng the matter; a more exact hi storical
anal ysi s would have to take account of how much of his thought he owed to hi s
predecessors. ' ( I shal l conti nue, i ncidentall y, and for good reasons, i n a similar
fashion. ) "
20
What Galileo inaugurated, openi ng the way for objecti vi sm by making mathematized
Nature an " in i tself, " marks the birth of a cri sis in the sciences and in philoso­
phy. All the more, then, does i t command the attention of the author of the Crisis.
Besides, Husserl already i nsists a great deal on the secondary character of Galileo' s
revol uti on and on the scientifc heritage that i t supposed , notably that of . . ' pure
geometry, ' the pure mathematics of spatiotemporal shapes in general, pregiven to Galileo
as an old tradition" (C. §9a, p. 24) , "the relatively advanced geometry known to Galileo,
already broadly applied not only to the earth but al so i n astronomy" (ibid . . § 9b , p. 28) .
For Galileo, the sense of the geometrical tradition' s origin was already lost: "Gali leo was
himsel f an heir i n respect to pure geometry. The inherited geometry. the inherited manner
of ' intuiti ve' conceptual i zing, provi ng, constructi ng, was no longer original geometry: in
this sort of ' intuiti veness ' it was already empty ofits sense" (ibid. , §9h, p. 49 [modifed] ;
Husserl ' s emphasis) .
36
Jacques Derrid
Ca| . |ee aac a. s :eve|ai.ea , «a.ea uasse:| s.iaaies ai iae e:.,.a ei iae
mece:a sç.:. i s çe:. | s· . ae:e iae :ac.ea| . si cemaac «aais ie aace iae
sec.meaiai.eas açea «a.ea iae eaie:ç:.se ei aa .aaa.ie maiaemai.zai.ea
«as |asec we masi reduce iae ve:y :ema:|a||eaess ei iae Ca|.|eaa
aa.vei- ie i:ee iae ¡aesi.ea as ie iae e:.,.a ei ,eemei:y
ia iae Crisis, «a.|e . ave|.a, Ca| .|ee s ||.acaess ie iae i:ac.i.eaa|
sçaee ei a. s e«a acveaia:e aac ces. ,aai.a, a. s iaieia| em. ss.ea.
"
Z
l
uasse:| aaaeaaees ve:y ç:ee.se|y iae ias| iaai ae «.|| aace:ia|e a |.ii|e
|aie: ea . a iae Origin: re: Ca|.|ee. iaea. ,ça:e ,eemei:y as i:ac.i.ea}
«as ,.vea-aac ei eea:se ae. ¡a.ie aace:siaaca||y. c. c aei iee| iae
aeec ie ,e . aie iae maaae: .a «a.ea iae aeeemç|.sameai ei . cea| .zai.ea
e:.,. aa||y a:ese ,. e . ae« .i ,:e« ea iae aace:|y.a, |as.s ei iae ç:e·
,eemei:.ea| . seas.||e «e:|c aac .is ç:aei.ea| a:is· e: ie eeeaçy a. mse|i
21
" It was a fateful omission that Gal i l eo did not i nquire in retur as to the original
sense-bestowi ng production whi ch, as ideali zation practiced on the original ground of all
theoretical and practical l ife-the i mmedi ately i ntuited world ( and here especial l y the
empirical l y i ntui ted world of bodi es)-resulted in the geometrica ideal formations)" (C,
§9h, p. 49 [modi fed] ) .
Li ke al l forgetful ness i n general , the "fatefl ness" of t hi s "omission" or negligence
( Versiumnis) , which is never questioned for or i n itself, assumes one of the three fol low­
ing signifcations, each varying according to text and context:
a) that of an empirical necessity (on the order of i ndi vi dual or soci al psychology as
well as that of factual history) , and thus, of an extrinsic necessity , one which is thereby
contingent i n comparison with the sense and teleology of reason. This necessity, then,
has the inconsistent negati vity of the "non-essence" (das Unwesen), of the "apparent "
defeat of reason. I ll uminated by the tel eology of Reason, i t ceases to be "an obscure fate,
an impenetrable desti ny" (cf. "Philosophy and the Crisis of European Humanity, " Ap­
pendi x I in C, p. 299) . [The ET of das Unwesen ofered by Carr is "disarray. " Paul
Ricoeur in his French translation of thi s text points out the l i teral translation as "non­
essence": "La Crise de I ' humanite europeenne et la phi l osophi e, " Revue de
Meraphysique et de Morale, 55, No. 3 (Jul y-October, 1 950) , p. 258. For the relation of
Ricoeur' s translation and the English one, see note 1 49 below. ]
b) that of a radical ethico-phi l osophical fault : the bankruptcy of philosophical fee­
dom and responsi bil ity.
c) that of an eideti c necessity: th necessity of sedimentation prescribed for al l
constitution and al l tradi tionalization of sense , therefore for al l hi story . Thi s prescription
i n turn is sometimes valued as the condition of hi storicity and the progressive advent of
reason, sometimes deval ued as what makes origins and accumulated sens become dor­
mant . It trul y is a threatening val ue.
I t is a matter of course that these three sigifcati ons, appaentl y i rreducibl e t o one
another, are concei ved by Husserl on the basis of one and the same latent i ntuition.
History itsel f is what this i ntui ti on announces. Even if we managed si multaneousl y and
without contradiction to think the uni tary ground on the basis of which these three
propositions can be recei ved, i t i s history itself that would be thought . But then the
possi bi li ty of a crisis of reason woul d disappear, the negativity of which ought to be
unthinkable in itself.
37
Introductin t o the Origin of Geometr
«.ia ¡aesi.eas a|eai iae e:.,.as ei açec.ei.e. maiaemai.ea| se|i·
ev.ceaee (C, §9b, ç. 29) .
~ac . i . a iae Origin uasse:| sçea|s ei ea,a,.a, a. mse|i .a :eree·
i. eas «a.ea sa:e|y aeve: eeea::ec ie Ca|.|ee ( 1 57) , .i . s |eeaase. as ae
iac sa.c . a iae Crisi: i i c.c aei eaie: iae m.ac ei a Ca| . | ee iaai . i
«ea| c eve: |eeeme :e|evaai . .aceec ei iaacameaia| .mçe:iaaee. ie
,eemei:y. as a |:aaea ei a aa.ve:sa| |ae«|ec,e ei «aai . s ,ça.|eseçay· .
ie ma|e ,eemei:.ea| se|i·ev. ceaee-iae ae« ei . is e:.,.a-.aie a ç:e|
| em re: as. ç:eeeec.a, |eyeac Ca|.|ee .a ea: a.sie:.ea| :ereei.eas. .i
«.|| |e ei eeas.ce:a||e .aie:esi ie see ae« a sa.u ei ieeas |eeame
a:,eai aac ae« iae e:.,.a ei |ae«|ec,e aac ie |eeeme a ma]e: ç:e|·
|em (§9b, ç. 29) . z
Z
ii iae Ca|. |eaa c. seeve:y :es. ces esçee.a||y .a a ie:ma| .z.a, .aaa.i.za·
i.ea ei aae.eai maiaemai.es. cees aei iae :eia:a ie iaem as aa e:.,.a i. e
ç:.me:c.a|.iy ie a ee:ia.a aa.iace: Ne s. mç|e :esçease . s çess.||e ie
saea a ¡aesi.ea we «.|| see iaai iae . aaa.ie aac a|:eacy |:e|ea
ia:ea,a. «as a|:eacy ai «e:|. «aea iae a:si ,eemei:y |e,aa-iaai . i.
iee. «as a|:eacy aa .aaa.i.zai.ea
B) nai .i «e :eia:a ie a çe.ai ia.s s. ce ei Ca|.|ee. .s iae ¡aesi.ea
ae« eae ei siacy.a, ie: .ise|i iae ae:.ia,e «a.ea «as ,.vea ie a. m: Nei
aay me:e 1ae ¡aesi.ea ei e:. ,.a «.|| aei |e a ça.|e|e,.ea|· a.sie:.ea|
sea:ea . a iae . avesi.,ai.ea ei ça:i.ea|a: ç:eçes.i.eas ( 1 58) iaai
iae a:si ,eemeie:s c.seeve:ec e: ieuaa| aiec 1ae:e. .i «ea| c ea| y |e a
maiie: ie: iae a.sie:y ei se.eaee .a iae e|ass.ea| sease ie ia|e siee| ei
iae a|:eacy eeasi.iaiec eeaieais ei ,eemei:.ea| ee,a. i.eas. .a ça:i.ea| a:
ei iae a:si çesia|ai-·. ax.ems. iaee:ems. aac se ie:ia. eeaieais iaai
masi |e exç|e:ec aac ceie:m.aec as ç:ee.se|y aac as eemç|eie| y as
çess.||e i:em a:eaee|e,.ea| ceeameais Desç.ie . is .aeeaiesia||e .aie:·
esi. saea aa . avesi.,ai. ea eaa ieaea as aeia. a, +|eai iae ,eemei:. ea|
sease ei iae a:si ,eemei:.ea| aeis ii eaaaei evea :eee,a.ze aac . se|aie
iaese aeis as saea exeeçi |y saççes.a, iaai iae ç:. me:c.a| sease ei
,eemei:y .s a|:eacy |ae«a
c, r.aa|| y. .i eae masi :eia:a ie iae .asi.iai.a, sease ei a:si aeis. .i
.s aei ai a|| a ¡aesi.ea ei ceie:m.a.a, «aai in fact «e:e iae a:s| aeis.
iae a:si exçe:.eaees . iae a:si ,eemeie:s «ae «e:e in fact :esçeas.||e
22
These sentences announce what follows i n the Crisis, devoted to the transcendental
motif i n post-Galilean phi l osophy, as well as i nvesti gations like that of the Origin .
2
;) "Fi rst" (erste) nearly always designates in Husserl ei ther an undetermined primacy,
or, most ofen, a de facto chronological priority i n constituted cosmic time, i . e . , an
original factuali ty. Proto-, Arch-, and Ur- refer to phenomenological primordi ali ty. i . e . .
to that of sense, of ground, of the de jure, afer the reduction of all factuality.
36
Jacques Derrid
Ca| . |ee aac a. s :eve|ai.ea , «a.ea uasse:| s.iaaies ai iae e:.,.a ei iae
mece:a sç.:. i s çe:. | s· . ae:e iae :ac.ea| . si cemaac «aais ie aace iae
sec.meaiai.eas açea «a.ea iae eaie:ç:.se ei aa .aaa.ie maiaemai.zai.ea
«as |asec we masi reduce iae ve:y :ema:|a||eaess ei iae Ca|.|eaa
aa.vei- ie i:ee iae ¡aesi.ea as ie iae e:.,.a ei ,eemei:y
ia iae Crisis, «a.|e . ave|.a, Ca| .|ee s ||.acaess ie iae i:ac.i.eaa|
sçaee ei a. s e«a acveaia:e aac ces. ,aai.a, a. s iaieia| em. ss.ea.
"
Z
l
uasse:| aaaeaaees ve:y ç:ee.se|y iae ias| iaai ae «.|| aace:ia|e a |.ii|e
|aie: ea . a iae Origin: re: Ca|.|ee. iaea. ,ça:e ,eemei:y as i:ac.i.ea}
«as ,.vea-aac ei eea:se ae. ¡a.ie aace:siaaca||y. c. c aei iee| iae
aeec ie ,e . aie iae maaae: .a «a.ea iae aeeemç|.sameai ei . cea| .zai.ea
e:.,. aa||y a:ese ,. e . ae« .i ,:e« ea iae aace:|y.a, |as.s ei iae ç:e·
,eemei:.ea| . seas.||e «e:|c aac .is ç:aei.ea| a:is· e: ie eeeaçy a. mse|i
21
" It was a fateful omission that Gal i l eo did not i nquire in retur as to the original
sense-bestowi ng production whi ch, as ideali zation practiced on the original ground of all
theoretical and practical l ife-the i mmedi ately i ntuited world ( and here especial l y the
empirical l y i ntui ted world of bodi es)-resulted in the geometrica ideal formations)" (C,
§9h, p. 49 [modi fed] ) .
Li ke al l forgetful ness i n general , the "fatefl ness" of t hi s "omission" or negligence
( Versiumnis) , which is never questioned for or i n itself, assumes one of the three fol low­
ing signifcations, each varying according to text and context:
a) that of an empirical necessity (on the order of i ndi vi dual or soci al psychology as
well as that of factual history) , and thus, of an extrinsic necessity , one which is thereby
contingent i n comparison with the sense and teleology of reason. This necessity, then,
has the inconsistent negati vity of the "non-essence" (das Unwesen), of the "apparent "
defeat of reason. I ll uminated by the tel eology of Reason, i t ceases to be "an obscure fate,
an impenetrable desti ny" (cf. "Philosophy and the Crisis of European Humanity, " Ap­
pendi x I in C, p. 299) . [The ET of das Unwesen ofered by Carr is "disarray. " Paul
Ricoeur in his French translation of thi s text points out the l i teral translation as "non­
essence": "La Crise de I ' humanite europeenne et la phi l osophi e, " Revue de
Meraphysique et de Morale, 55, No. 3 (Jul y-October, 1 950) , p. 258. For the relation of
Ricoeur' s translation and the English one, see note 1 49 below. ]
b) that of a radical ethico-phi l osophical fault : the bankruptcy of philosophical fee­
dom and responsi bil ity.
c) that of an eideti c necessity: th necessity of sedimentation prescribed for al l
constitution and al l tradi tionalization of sense , therefore for al l hi story . Thi s prescription
i n turn is sometimes valued as the condition of hi storicity and the progressive advent of
reason, sometimes deval ued as what makes origins and accumulated sens become dor­
mant . It trul y is a threatening val ue.
I t is a matter of course that these three sigifcati ons, appaentl y i rreducibl e t o one
another, are concei ved by Husserl on the basis of one and the same latent i ntuition.
History itsel f is what this i ntui ti on announces. Even if we managed si multaneousl y and
without contradiction to think the uni tary ground on the basis of which these three
propositions can be recei ved, i t i s history itself that would be thought . But then the
possi bi li ty of a crisis of reason woul d disappear, the negativity of which ought to be
unthinkable in itself.
37
Introductin t o the Origin of Geometr
«.ia ¡aesi.eas a|eai iae e:.,.as ei açec.ei.e. maiaemai.ea| se|i·
ev.ceaee (C, §9b, ç. 29) .
~ac . i . a iae Origin uasse:| sçea|s ei ea,a,.a, a. mse|i .a :eree·
i. eas «a.ea sa:e|y aeve: eeea::ec ie Ca|.|ee ( 1 57) , .i . s |eeaase. as ae
iac sa.c . a iae Crisi: i i c.c aei eaie: iae m.ac ei a Ca| . | ee iaai . i
«ea| c eve: |eeeme :e|evaai . .aceec ei iaacameaia| .mçe:iaaee. ie
,eemei:y. as a |:aaea ei a aa.ve:sa| |ae«|ec,e ei «aai . s ,ça.|eseçay· .
ie ma|e ,eemei:.ea| se|i·ev. ceaee-iae ae« ei . is e:.,.a-.aie a ç:e|
| em re: as. ç:eeeec.a, |eyeac Ca|.|ee .a ea: a.sie:.ea| :ereei.eas. .i
«.|| |e ei eeas.ce:a||e .aie:esi ie see ae« a sa.u ei ieeas |eeame
a:,eai aac ae« iae e:.,.a ei |ae«|ec,e aac ie |eeeme a ma]e: ç:e|·
|em (§9b, ç. 29) . z
Z
ii iae Ca|. |eaa c. seeve:y :es. ces esçee.a||y .a a ie:ma| .z.a, .aaa.i.za·
i.ea ei aae.eai maiaemai.es. cees aei iae :eia:a ie iaem as aa e:.,.a i. e
ç:.me:c.a|.iy ie a ee:ia.a aa.iace: Ne s. mç|e :esçease . s çess.||e ie
saea a ¡aesi.ea we «.|| see iaai iae . aaa.ie aac a|:eacy |:e|ea
ia:ea,a. «as a|:eacy ai «e:|. «aea iae a:si ,eemei:y |e,aa-iaai . i.
iee. «as a|:eacy aa .aaa.i.zai.ea
B) nai .i «e :eia:a ie a çe.ai ia.s s. ce ei Ca|.|ee. .s iae ¡aesi.ea
ae« eae ei siacy.a, ie: .ise|i iae ae:.ia,e «a.ea «as ,.vea ie a. m: Nei
aay me:e 1ae ¡aesi.ea ei e:. ,.a «.|| aei |e a ça.|e|e,.ea|· a.sie:.ea|
sea:ea . a iae . avesi.,ai.ea ei ça:i.ea|a: ç:eçes.i.eas ( 1 58) iaai
iae a:si ,eemeie:s c.seeve:ec e: ieuaa| aiec 1ae:e. .i «ea| c ea| y |e a
maiie: ie: iae a.sie:y ei se.eaee .a iae e|ass.ea| sease ie ia|e siee| ei
iae a|:eacy eeasi.iaiec eeaieais ei ,eemei:.ea| ee,a. i.eas. .a ça:i.ea| a:
ei iae a:si çesia|ai-·. ax.ems. iaee:ems. aac se ie:ia. eeaieais iaai
masi |e exç|e:ec aac ceie:m.aec as ç:ee.se|y aac as eemç|eie| y as
çess.||e i:em a:eaee|e,.ea| ceeameais Desç.ie . is .aeeaiesia||e .aie:·
esi. saea aa . avesi.,ai. ea eaa ieaea as aeia. a, +|eai iae ,eemei:. ea|
sease ei iae a:si ,eemei:.ea| aeis ii eaaaei evea :eee,a.ze aac . se|aie
iaese aeis as saea exeeçi |y saççes.a, iaai iae ç:. me:c.a| sease ei
,eemei:y .s a|:eacy |ae«a
c, r.aa|| y. .i eae masi :eia:a ie iae .asi.iai.a, sease ei a:si aeis. .i
.s aei ai a|| a ¡aesi.ea ei ceie:m.a.a, «aai in fact «e:e iae a:s| aeis.
iae a:si exçe:.eaees . iae a:si ,eemeie:s «ae «e:e in fact :esçeas.||e
22
These sentences announce what follows i n the Crisis, devoted to the transcendental
motif i n post-Galilean phi l osophy, as well as i nvesti gations like that of the Origin .
2
;) "Fi rst" (erste) nearly always designates in Husserl ei ther an undetermined primacy,
or, most ofen, a de facto chronological priority i n constituted cosmic time, i . e . , an
original factuali ty. Proto-, Arch-, and Ur- refer to phenomenological primordi ali ty. i . e . .
to that of sense, of ground, of the de jure, afer the reduction of all factuality.
I
38
Jacques Derrida
ie: iae acveai ei ,eemei:y saea a ceie:m.aai.ea. evea .i çess.||e .
«ea|c aaiie: ea: a.ste:.ea| ea:.es.iy ,aac eve:yia.a, iaai uasse:| aii:.·
|aies ie a ee:ia.a :emaai.e. sm, . i «ea|c ea:.ea ea: |ae«|ec,e ei
emç.:.ea| e.:eamsiaaees. ei aames. caies. aac se ie:ia nai evea .i. ai
.is |. m.i. ia. s ceie:m. aai.ea «ea|c em|:aee a|| iae a.sie:.ea| iaeis iaai
aave eeasi.iaiec iae emç.:.ea| m.|.ea ie: i:aia s ieaac.a,. .i «ea|c si.||
|eave as ||.ac a|eai iae ve:y sease ei saea a ieaac.a,. a sease iaai .s
aeeessa:y aac eemça:ec ie «a.ea iaese iaeis aave ai |esi ea|y aa
exemç|a:y s.,a.aeai.ea saea emç.:.ea| |ae«|ec,e eaa ]asi.aa|| y ç:e·
seai . ise|i as a.sie:.ea| |ae«|ec,e ofia.a,s :e|aiec ie ,eemei:y ea| y |y
saççes.a, a ia||y ceve|eçec e|a:.iy a|eai iae ve:y sease ei «aai .s
ea||ec the ,eemei:.ea| se.eaee ~ac ae:e. ia. s meaas e|a:.iy a|eai . is
sease ei e:.,. a 1ae ]a:.c.ea| ç:.e:.iy ei iae ¡aesi.ea ei çaeaemeae|e,.·
ea| e:.,.a .s iae:eie:e a|se|aie
nai ia.s ¡aesi.ea eaa |e as|ec ea| y secondarily aac at the end ei aa
.i. ae:a:y «a.ea. .a . is ia:a. ea]eys a meiaece|e,.ea| aac :.,aiia| ç:.e:·
. iy ia iaei . a|| iaese va:.eas |.acs ei .a¡a.:.es «e ]asi c. sm. ssec aave
|eea eaa,ai aç .a iae e|emeai ei a eeasi.iaiec ,eemei:y 1ae. : e|]eei
saççesec e: «as eeaiasec «.ia iae :esa|is ei a ready-made ,eemei:y
iaai «ea|c aave ie |e reduced .a e:ce: ie aiia.a a eease.ea saess ei .is
e:.,.a. a eease.easaess «a.ea «as ai iae same i.me aa .aia.i.ea ei . is
esseaee ia eiae: «e:cs. a|iaea,a .i ea|y aas ie: .is eeaieai .cea| es·
seaees. ready-made ,eemei:y ae|cs ae:e .a |a|| iae siaias ei a iaei
«a.ea masi |e :ecaeec .a .is iaeiaa|.iy se iaai .is sease eaa |e :eac
i aceec. .a ia.s ease. iae fact aas iae ie:,eiiea sease ei iae ready-made.
nai ia. s :ecaei.ea aeecs as .is sia:i.a, çe.ai iae eeasi. iaiec :esa| i . i
aeai:a|.zes 1ae:e masi a| «ays a|:eacy aave |eea iae iaei ei a a.sie:y
ei ,eemei:y . se iaai iae :ecaei.ea eaa |e çe:ie:mec i masi a|:eacy
aave a aa.ve |ae«|ec,e ei ,eemei:y aac masi aei begin ai .is e:.,.a
ue:e iae meiaec

s ] a:.c.ea| aeeess.i, eve:|açs a. sie:, s iaeiaa| aeees·
s.i, Desç.ie ee:ia.a aççea:aaees. ça. |eseçae:s ei meiaec a:e çe:aaçs
me:e ç:eieaac|, seas.i.ve ie a. sie:.e.i,. evea iaea,a iae, seem ie :e
meve c. ,:ess. eas i:em a. sie:, s çaia
neia iae aeeess.iy ie ç:eeeec i:em iae iaei ei eeasi.iaiec se.eaee
aac iae :e,:ess.ea ie«a:cs iae aeaemç.:.ea| e:.,. as a:e ai iae same
i.me eeac.i.eas ei çess.|.|.iy. saea a:e . as «e |ae«. iae .mçe:ai.ves ei
eve:y i:aaseeaceaia| ça.|eseçay iaeec «.ia semeia. a, |.|e iae a. sie:y
ei maiaemai.es · ~ ·aacameaia| c.ae:eaee :ema. as. ae«eve:. |ei«eea
24 On the necessity of starting from existing sci ences that are util ized as the thread
guidi ng the transcendental regressi on, cf. FTL, pp. 8-9: "Thus we are presupposing the
sciences, as wel l as logic itself, on the basi s of the ' experience' that gi ves them to us
39
Introductin to the Origin of Geometry
kaai s . aieai.ea aac iaai ei uasse:| . eae iaai . s çe:aaçs |ess eas.|y
c.si.a,a.saa||e iaaa «ea|c a:si |e . ma,.aec
ia a a. sie:.ea| :ei:esçeei.ea ie«a:cs e:.,.as. kaai a|se eve|es ia.s
maiai.ea e: i:aasie:mai.ea ( Uminderung), ia.s revolution" «a.ea ,ave
|.:ia ie maiaemai.es eai ei seme emç.:.ea| ,:eç.a,s .a iae Ð,yçi.aa
i:ac.i.ea (Kritik der rein en Ver u nft , r:eiaee ie :ac ec . ç x,
1ae a. sie:y ei ia. s :eve|ai.ea. aii:.|aiec ie iae aaççy iaea,ai ei
a s.a,|e maa .a aa exçe:.meai i:em «a.ea iae çaia iaai had ie |e
ia|ea must ae |ea,e: |e m. ssec aac i:em «a.ea iae sa:e «ay ei se.eaee
«as opened aac prescribed (eingeschlagen und vorgezeichnet war) for all
times and in endless expansion (fur aile Zeiten und in unendlich Weiten),
«as me:e cee.s.ve iaaa iae emç.:.
¸
a| c. seeve:y ei iae çaia a:eaac
iae iameas Caçe ¸ei Ceec ueçe} (ibid. , ç x.,
1aas. | .|e uasse:| . kaai .s aiieai.ve ie iae a.sie:.ea| c. meas.ea ei
aç:.e:. çess.|.|.i.es aac ie iae e:.,.aa| ,eaes. s ei a i:aia. «aese |.:ia
,e: |.:ia ee:i.aeaie, . ase:.|es aac ç:ese:.|es ema. iemçe:a|.iy aac
aa.ve:sa|.iy-aei ea|y ie: iae eçea.a, ei .is çess.|.|.iy. |ai a|se ie:
eaea ei . is ceve|eçmeais aac ie: iae ieia|.iy ei . is |eeem. a, i.|e
uas se:| . ae aeai:a| .zes iae iaeiaa| eeaieais ei ia.s :eve|ai.ea . a iae
mece ei ia.a|.a, «.ia iae same .ac.ae:eaee. i a eiieei. .i .s ei |. ii|e
eease¡aeaee ie: a.m iaai .is a. sie:y aas aei :eaeaec as 1ae
sease ei iae a:si cemeasi:ai.ea eaa |e :.,e:eas| y ,:asçec. evea iaea,a
«e |ae« aeia.a, ei iae a:si iaeiaa| exçe:.eaee e: iae a:si ,eemeie:.
«aeiae:. as kaai sçee.aes. ae |e ea||ec 1aa|es e: «aaieve: eae
ces. :es (ibid.).
Neve:iae|ess. kaai s .ac.ae:eaee ie iae iaeiaa| e:.,.a ,as «e|| as ie
iae eeaieai ei iae examç|e-iae . sesee|es i:.aa,|e-eeaee:a.a, «a.ea
ae ceve|eçs iae .mç|.eai.eas ei . is c.seeve:y, . s me:e .mmec.aie|y
|e,.i.maie iaaa uasse:| s re: iae .aaa,a:a| maiai.ea «a.ea .aie:esis
kaai hands over ,eemei:y :aiae: iaaa e:eaies .i . .i seis i:ee a çess.|.|·
.iy. «a.ea . s aeia.a, |ess iaaa a. sie:.ea| . . a e:ce: ie aaac .i ie as ~i
a:si ia. s :eve|ai.ea . s ea|y a :eve|ai.ea ie: iae a:si ,eemeie: ii . s
beforehand. Because of thi s, our procedure seems not to be at al l radical , since the
genui ne sense of al l sciences . . . i s the very thi ng i n quest ion . . . . Nevertheless,
whether sciences and logic be genui ne or spurious, we do have experience of them as
cul tural formations gi ven to us beforehand and bearing withi n themsel ves their meani ng,
their ' sense. '
.
.
Cf. also on thi s FTL. I ntrod . , pp. 1 3-1 4
.
and § 1 02, pp. 268-69 : and
eM, §3, pp. 8-9.
2 : We emphasize those Kantian expressions which are also among t he most frequent i n
The Origin of Geometry. [The bracketed expression "of Good Hope" i s added i n con­
formi ty to the Engl i sh translation of Norman Kemp Smith. ]
I
38
Jacques Derrida
ie: iae acveai ei ,eemei:y saea a ceie:m.aai.ea. evea .i çess.||e .
«ea|c aaiie: ea: a.ste:.ea| ea:.es.iy ,aac eve:yia.a, iaai uasse:| aii:.·
|aies ie a ee:ia.a :emaai.e. sm, . i «ea|c ea:.ea ea: |ae«|ec,e ei
emç.:.ea| e.:eamsiaaees. ei aames. caies. aac se ie:ia nai evea .i. ai
.is |. m.i. ia. s ceie:m. aai.ea «ea|c em|:aee a|| iae a.sie:.ea| iaeis iaai
aave eeasi.iaiec iae emç.:.ea| m.|.ea ie: i:aia s ieaac.a,. .i «ea|c si.||
|eave as ||.ac a|eai iae ve:y sease ei saea a ieaac.a,. a sease iaai .s
aeeessa:y aac eemça:ec ie «a.ea iaese iaeis aave ai |esi ea|y aa
exemç|a:y s.,a.aeai.ea saea emç.:.ea| |ae«|ec,e eaa ]asi.aa|| y ç:e·
seai . ise|i as a.sie:.ea| |ae«|ec,e ofia.a,s :e|aiec ie ,eemei:y ea| y |y
saççes.a, a ia||y ceve|eçec e|a:.iy a|eai iae ve:y sease ei «aai .s
ea||ec the ,eemei:.ea| se.eaee ~ac ae:e. ia. s meaas e|a:.iy a|eai . is
sease ei e:.,. a 1ae ]a:.c.ea| ç:.e:.iy ei iae ¡aesi.ea ei çaeaemeae|e,.·
ea| e:.,.a .s iae:eie:e a|se|aie
nai ia.s ¡aesi.ea eaa |e as|ec ea| y secondarily aac at the end ei aa
.i. ae:a:y «a.ea. .a . is ia:a. ea]eys a meiaece|e,.ea| aac :.,aiia| ç:.e:·
. iy ia iaei . a|| iaese va:.eas |.acs ei .a¡a.:.es «e ]asi c. sm. ssec aave
|eea eaa,ai aç .a iae e|emeai ei a eeasi.iaiec ,eemei:y 1ae. : e|]eei
saççesec e: «as eeaiasec «.ia iae :esa|is ei a ready-made ,eemei:y
iaai «ea|c aave ie |e reduced .a e:ce: ie aiia.a a eease.ea saess ei .is
e:.,.a. a eease.easaess «a.ea «as ai iae same i.me aa .aia.i.ea ei . is
esseaee ia eiae: «e:cs. a|iaea,a .i ea|y aas ie: .is eeaieai .cea| es·
seaees. ready-made ,eemei:y ae|cs ae:e .a |a|| iae siaias ei a iaei
«a.ea masi |e :ecaeec .a .is iaeiaa|.iy se iaai .is sease eaa |e :eac
i aceec. .a ia.s ease. iae fact aas iae ie:,eiiea sease ei iae ready-made.
nai ia. s :ecaei.ea aeecs as .is sia:i.a, çe.ai iae eeasi. iaiec :esa| i . i
aeai:a|.zes 1ae:e masi a| «ays a|:eacy aave |eea iae iaei ei a a.sie:y
ei ,eemei:y . se iaai iae :ecaei.ea eaa |e çe:ie:mec i masi a|:eacy
aave a aa.ve |ae«|ec,e ei ,eemei:y aac masi aei begin ai .is e:.,.a
ue:e iae meiaec s ] a:.c.ea| aeeess.i, eve:|açs a. sie:, s iaeiaa| aeees·
s.i, Desç.ie ee:ia.a aççea:aaees. ça. |eseçae:s ei meiaec a:e çe:aaçs
me:e ç:eieaac|, seas.i.ve ie a. sie:.e.i,. evea iaea,a iae, seem ie :e
meve c. ,:ess. eas i:em a. sie:, s çaia
neia iae aeeess.iy ie ç:eeeec i:em iae iaei ei eeasi.iaiec se.eaee
aac iae :e,:ess.ea ie«a:cs iae aeaemç.:.ea| e:.,. as a:e ai iae same
i.me eeac.i.eas ei çess.|.|.iy. saea a:e . as «e |ae«. iae .mçe:ai.ves ei
eve:y i:aaseeaceaia| ça.|eseçay iaeec «.ia semeia. a, |.|e iae a. sie:y
ei maiaemai.es · ~ ·aacameaia| c.ae:eaee :ema. as. ae«eve:. |ei«eea
24 On the necessity of starting from existing sci ences that are util ized as the thread
guidi ng the transcendental regressi on, cf. FTL, pp. 8-9: "Thus we are presupposing the
sciences, as wel l as logic itself, on the basi s of the ' experience' that gi ves them to us
39
Introductin to the Origin of Geometry
kaai s . aieai.ea aac iaai ei uasse:| . eae iaai . s çe:aaçs |ess eas.|y
c.si.a,a.saa||e iaaa «ea|c a:si |e . ma,.aec
ia a a. sie:.ea| :ei:esçeei.ea ie«a:cs e:.,.as. kaai a|se eve|es ia.s
maiai.ea e: i:aasie:mai.ea ( Uminderung), ia.s revolution" «a.ea ,ave
|.:ia ie maiaemai.es eai ei seme emç.:.ea| ,:eç.a,s .a iae Ð,yçi.aa
i:ac.i.ea (Kritik der rein en Ver u nft , r:eiaee ie :ac ec . ç x,
1ae a. sie:y ei ia. s :eve|ai.ea. aii:.|aiec ie iae aaççy iaea,ai ei
a s.a,|e maa .a aa exçe:.meai i:em «a.ea iae çaia iaai had ie |e
ia|ea must ae |ea,e: |e m. ssec aac i:em «a.ea iae sa:e «ay ei se.eaee
«as opened aac prescribed (eingeschlagen und vorgezeichnet war) for all
times and in endless expansion (fur aile Zeiten und in unendlich Weiten),
«as me:e cee.s.ve iaaa iae emç.:.
¸
a| c. seeve:y ei iae çaia a:eaac
iae iameas Caçe ¸ei Ceec ueçe} (ibid. , ç x.,
1aas. | .|e uasse:| . kaai .s aiieai.ve ie iae a.sie:.ea| c. meas.ea ei
aç:.e:. çess.|.|.i.es aac ie iae e:.,.aa| ,eaes. s ei a i:aia. «aese |.:ia
,e: |.:ia ee:i.aeaie, . ase:.|es aac ç:ese:.|es ema. iemçe:a|.iy aac
aa.ve:sa|.iy-aei ea|y ie: iae eçea.a, ei .is çess.|.|.iy. |ai a|se ie:
eaea ei . is ceve|eçmeais aac ie: iae ieia|.iy ei . is |eeem. a, i.|e
uas se:| . ae aeai:a| .zes iae iaeiaa| eeaieais ei ia.s :eve|ai.ea . a iae
mece ei ia.a|.a, «.ia iae same .ac.ae:eaee. i a eiieei. .i .s ei |. ii|e
eease¡aeaee ie: a.m iaai .is a. sie:y aas aei :eaeaec as 1ae
sease ei iae a:si cemeasi:ai.ea eaa |e :.,e:eas| y ,:asçec. evea iaea,a
«e |ae« aeia.a, ei iae a:si iaeiaa| exçe:.eaee e: iae a:si ,eemeie:.
«aeiae:. as kaai sçee.aes. ae |e ea||ec 1aa|es e: «aaieve: eae
ces. :es (ibid.).
Neve:iae|ess. kaai s .ac.ae:eaee ie iae iaeiaa| e:.,.a ,as «e|| as ie
iae eeaieai ei iae examç|e-iae . sesee|es i:.aa,|e-eeaee:a.a, «a.ea
ae ceve|eçs iae .mç|.eai.eas ei . is c.seeve:y, . s me:e .mmec.aie|y
|e,.i.maie iaaa uasse:| s re: iae .aaa,a:a| maiai.ea «a.ea .aie:esis
kaai hands over ,eemei:y :aiae: iaaa e:eaies .i . .i seis i:ee a çess.|.|·
.iy. «a.ea . s aeia.a, |ess iaaa a. sie:.ea| . . a e:ce: ie aaac .i ie as ~i
a:si ia. s :eve|ai.ea . s ea|y a :eve|ai.ea ie: iae a:si ,eemeie: ii . s
beforehand. Because of thi s, our procedure seems not to be at al l radical , since the
genui ne sense of al l sciences . . . i s the very thi ng i n quest ion . . . . Nevertheless,
whether sciences and logic be genui ne or spurious, we do have experience of them as
cul tural formations gi ven to us beforehand and bearing withi n themsel ves their meani ng,
their ' sense. '
.
.
Cf. also on thi s FTL. I ntrod . , pp. 1 3-1 4
.
and § 1 02, pp. 268-69 : and
eM, §3, pp. 8-9.
2 : We emphasize those Kantian expressions which are also among t he most frequent i n
The Origin of Geometry. [The bracketed expression "of Good Hope" i s added i n con­
formi ty to the Engl i sh translation of Norman Kemp Smith. ]
40
Jacques Derrid
aei ç:ecaeec oy a. m. ii .s aace:sieec aace: a cai.ve eaie,e:y, aac iae
aei.v.iy ei iae ,eemeie: ie «a.ea iae aaççy iaea,ai eeea::ec .s ea|y
iae emç.:.ea| aaie|c.a, ei a ç:eieaac :eeeçi.ea waai .s mesi eriea
i:aas|aiec oy :eve|ai.ea . s iae a||as.ea ie a | .,ai iaai .s ,.vea, ie
a | .,ai ca«as ea . "Dem ersten . . . dem ging ein Licht auf" (ibid. , ç
X
)
. 26
uaceaoiec|y, uasse:| s ç:ecaei.ea (Leistung)
2
7 a|se .ave|ves a
si:aiam ei :eeeçi.ve . aia.i.ea nai «aai maiie:s ae:e .s iaai ia.s uas se:·
|.aa .aia.i.ea, as .i eeaee:as iae .cea| eo]eeis ei maiaemai.es , .s aose·
|aie|y eeasi.iai.ve aac e:eai.ve. iae eo]eeis e: eo]eei.v. i.es iaai . i .a·
ieacs c.c ft ex.si before .i. aac ia.s before" ei iae . cea| eo]eei.v.iy
ma:ss me:e iaaa iae ea:eae|e,.ea| eve ei a iaei. .i ma:ss a i:aas·
eeaceaia| ç:ea. sie:y

i a iae kaai.aa :eve|ai . ea. ea iae eeai:a:y.
iae |:si ,eemeie: me:e|y oeeemes eease.eas iaai .i sauees ie: a. s
maiaemai.ea| aei.v.iy ie :ema.a «.ia.a a eeaeeçi iaai .i already pos­
sesses. 1ae eeasi:aei.ea ie «a.ea ae ,.ves a. mse|i, iaea, .s ea|y iae
exç|.eai.ea ei aa a|:eacy eeasi.iaiec eeaeeçi iaai ae eaeeaaie:s , as .i
«e:e, .a a. mse|ia cese:.çi.ea «a.ea ae ceaoi ie: uasse:| as «e||
«ea|c oe i:ae ei eve:y aeae:eai.ve ,eemei:.ea| aei, aac «a.ea ieaeaes
as aoeai iae sease ei :eacy·mace ,eemei:y as saea, oai aei aoeai
,eemei:y .a iae aei ei oe.a, . as..iaiec re:, as kaai says. ae
c.seeve:ec iaai ae masi aei ie||e« iae i:aee ei «aai ae sa« .a iae | ,a:e
26
Cf. for example the French translation of A. Tremesaygues and B. Pacaud, Critique
de la raison pure (Paris: Presses Uni versitaries de France, 1 950) , p. 1 7. Of course , we are
authorized to pay such attention to these Kantian expressions only by the confrmation
that all of Kant' s phi l osophy seems to give them.
27 Among all the translations already proposed for the notion of Leistung, so frequently
utilized i n the Origin, the word "production" seemed to overlay most properly all the
signifcations that Husserl recognizes in thi s act that he al s designates by some com­
plementary notions: pro-duetion, which leads to the l ight , constitutes the "over against
us" of Objecti vity; but this bringing to l ight i s also, l ike all production (Erzeugung) in
general , a creation (Sehopfung) and an act of formation (Bildung, Gestaltung), from
which comes ideal objectivity as Gebilde, Gestalt, Erzeugnis, and so on. To be clear on
this, we have translated by "formation" the notion of Gebilde, which appears so often in
the Origin, and which up to now has been very di versely translated. The very vague
character of the word "formation" seemed to us to suit the indetermination of Husserl ' s
notion. I t also agrees with the geological metaphor which runs throughout t he text, where
all usions to sedimentation, to deposits, to stages, to strata, and to substrata of sense are
everywhere. But we were also unable to designate the act which engenders das Gebilde.
namel y, die Bildung, except by "formation. " Each time BiLdung has th i s active sense,
we wi l l insert the German word between parentheses. Do not forget, fi nally (and thi s i s
especially important here), that i n German Bildung also carries the general sense of
culture. There again, the notion of formation seemed the least foreign to thi s vi rtual
signifcation.
41
Introductin to the Origin of Geometr
e: .a iae oa:e eeaeeçi ei iaai same a,a:e kaiae: ae masi oe,ei (hervor­
bringen) , .is eo]eei, w.ia iae ae|ç ei «aai ae a. mse|i çai .aie .i aac «aai
a priori «as :eç:eseaiec .a .i ia:ea,a iae eeaeeçi ,ia:ea,a eeasi:ae·
i.ea, . ~ac te sae« semeia. a, a priori «.ia eemç|eie seea:.iy, ae masi
aii:.oaie ie ia.a,s (Sache) aeia.a, oai «aai aeeessa:. |y ie||e«ec i:em
«aai ae aac çai iae:e a. mse|i .a aeee:caaee «.ia a. s eeaeeçi (ibid. ) . 21
Ne ceaoi, eaee iae ,eemei:.ea| eeaeeçi aas :evea|ec .is i:eecem
«.ia :esçeei ie emç.:.ea| seas.o.|.iy, iae syaiaes.s ei iae eeasi:ae·
i.ea . s . ::ecae.o|e ~ac .aceec .i . s aa .cea| a.sie:y nai .i . s iae
a.sie:y ei aa eçe:ai.ea, aac aei ei a ieaac.a,. ii aaie|cs exç|.eai.ve
,esia:es . a iae sçaee ei a çess.o. |.iy a|:eacy eçea ie iae ,eemeie: 1ae
memeai ,eemei:y . s esiao|.saec as saea, iae memeai, iaai .s, seme·
ia.a, eaa oe sa.c ei . i, iaea ,eemei:y a|:eacy «.|| oe ea iae çe.ai ei
oe.a, :evea|ec ie iae eease.easaess ei iae frst ,eemeie:, «ae . s aei , as
.a iae Origin, ç:eie,eemeie:, iae ç:.ma| | y .asi.iai.a, (urstiftende)
,eemeie:. ~i |easi .i «. || oe :eacy ie oe :evea|ec .a .is .a. i.a| eeaeeçi.
iaai eeaeeçi «aese aç:.e:. Oo] eei.v. iy «.|| ç:eseai|y si:.se aay sao]eei
«aaieve: «.ia ,eemei:.ea| . as.,ai [lumiere] . ~ac s.aee kaai . s .a·
ie:esiec .a iae çess.o.|.iy ei ,eemei:y ie: a sao]eei .a ,eae:a|, .i .s aei
ea|y |ess eeasi:.ei. a,. oai a| se ce ]a:e aeeessa:y. iaai iae ce iaeie
sao]eei ei saea a :eve|ai.ea oe aayeae ai a|| , aac iaai iae ,eemei·
:.ea| examç|e se:v.a, as ,a.ce-iae cemeasi:ai.ea ei iae . sesee|es
i:.aa,|e-oe .ac.ae:eai. 1ae aç:.e:. aaia:e ei iaai eeaeeçi «.ia. a «a.ea
«e eçe:aie ç:ee|aces a| | a. sie:.ea| .avesi.,ai.ea «aaieve: aoeai .is sao·
]eei maiie: Ceai:a:y ie .is syaiaei.e exç|.eai.ea. iae eeaeeçi .ise|i, as a
si:aeia:e ei aç:.e:. ç:ese:.çi.ea. eea|c aei oe a.sie:.ea| , oeeaase .i .s
aei , as saea . ç:ecaeec aac ,:eaacec oy iae aei ei a eeae:eie sao]eei
2
!1
ue:e a|| a. sie:y eaa ea| y oe emç.:.ea| ~ac .i iae:e .s a o.:ia ei
,eemei:y ie: kaai , .i seems ie oe ea| y iae exi:.as.e circumstance ie:
iae eme:,eaee ei a i:aia ,«a.ea .s . ise|i a|«ays a|:eacy eeasi.iaiec ie:
aay iaeiaa| eease.easaess, 1aas iae sçeaiaaeeas e.cei.e :ecaei.ea
«a.ea i:ees iae ,eemei:.ea| esseaee i:em a|| emç.:.ea| :ea|.iy-iaai ei
seas. o|e a,a:ai.ea as «e|| as i:em iae ,eemeie: s çsyeae|e,.ea| |.vec
exçe:.eaee-.s ie: kaai a|«ays a|:eacy ceae ª si:.ei|y sçeas.a,. iae
2H
The Erdmann edition notes that hen10rbringen has no "object" i n Kant' s text.
2� The absence of the deci si ve notion of "material" or "contingent" a priori , such as
Husserl defned it, thus seems to uproot Kant ' s formalist apriorism from all concrete
hi story and to inhi bit the theme of a transcendental hi story.
On the notion of the contingent a priori , cf. in particular FTL. §6, pp. 29-30. The level
of geometry as a material ontology i s precisely that of such a . 'material a priori . "
: l Thi s seems true, furthermore, of the whole of Kant' s transcendental analysi s.
40
Jacques Derrid
aei ç:ecaeec oy a. m. ii .s aace:sieec aace: a cai.ve eaie,e:y, aac iae
aei.v.iy ei iae ,eemeie: ie «a.ea iae aaççy iaea,ai eeea::ec .s ea|y
iae emç.:.ea| aaie|c.a, ei a ç:eieaac :eeeçi.ea waai .s mesi eriea
i:aas|aiec oy :eve|ai.ea . s iae a||as.ea ie a | .,ai iaai .s ,.vea, ie
a | .,ai ca«as ea . "Dem ersten . . . dem ging ein Licht auf" (ibid. , ç
X
)
. 26
uaceaoiec|y, uasse:| s ç:ecaei.ea (Leistung)
2
7 a|se .ave|ves a
si:aiam ei :eeeçi.ve . aia.i.ea nai «aai maiie:s ae:e .s iaai ia.s uas se:·
|.aa .aia.i.ea, as .i eeaee:as iae .cea| eo]eeis ei maiaemai.es , .s aose·
|aie|y eeasi.iai.ve aac e:eai.ve. iae eo]eeis e: eo]eei.v. i.es iaai . i .a·
ieacs c.c ft ex.si before .i. aac ia.s before" ei iae . cea| eo]eei.v.iy
ma:ss me:e iaaa iae ea:eae|e,.ea| eve ei a iaei. .i ma:ss a i:aas·
eeaceaia| ç:ea. sie:y

i a iae kaai.aa :eve|ai . ea. ea iae eeai:a:y.
iae |:si ,eemeie: me:e|y oeeemes eease.eas iaai .i sauees ie: a. s
maiaemai.ea| aei.v.iy ie :ema.a «.ia.a a eeaeeçi iaai .i already pos­
sesses. 1ae eeasi:aei.ea ie «a.ea ae ,.ves a. mse|i, iaea, .s ea|y iae
exç|.eai.ea ei aa a|:eacy eeasi.iaiec eeaeeçi iaai ae eaeeaaie:s , as .i
«e:e, .a a. mse|ia cese:.çi.ea «a.ea ae ceaoi ie: uasse:| as «e||
«ea|c oe i:ae ei eve:y aeae:eai.ve ,eemei:.ea| aei, aac «a.ea ieaeaes
as aoeai iae sease ei :eacy·mace ,eemei:y as saea, oai aei aoeai
,eemei:y .a iae aei ei oe.a, . as..iaiec re:, as kaai says. ae
c.seeve:ec iaai ae masi aei ie||e« iae i:aee ei «aai ae sa« .a iae | ,a:e
26
Cf. for example the French translation of A. Tremesaygues and B. Pacaud, Critique
de la raison pure (Paris: Presses Uni versitaries de France, 1 950) , p. 1 7. Of course , we are
authorized to pay such attention to these Kantian expressions only by the confrmation
that all of Kant' s phi l osophy seems to give them.
27 Among all the translations already proposed for the notion of Leistung, so frequently
utilized i n the Origin, the word "production" seemed to overlay most properly all the
signifcations that Husserl recognizes in thi s act that he al s designates by some com­
plementary notions: pro-duetion, which leads to the l ight , constitutes the "over against
us" of Objecti vity; but this bringing to l ight i s also, l ike all production (Erzeugung) in
general , a creation (Sehopfung) and an act of formation (Bildung, Gestaltung), from
which comes ideal objectivity as Gebilde, Gestalt, Erzeugnis, and so on. To be clear on
this, we have translated by "formation" the notion of Gebilde, which appears so often in
the Origin, and which up to now has been very di versely translated. The very vague
character of the word "formation" seemed to us to suit the indetermination of Husserl ' s
notion. I t also agrees with the geological metaphor which runs throughout t he text, where
all usions to sedimentation, to deposits, to stages, to strata, and to substrata of sense are
everywhere. But we were also unable to designate the act which engenders das Gebilde.
namel y, die Bildung, except by "formation. " Each time BiLdung has th i s active sense,
we wi l l insert the German word between parentheses. Do not forget, fi nally (and thi s i s
especially important here), that i n German Bildung also carries the general sense of
culture. There again, the notion of formation seemed the least foreign to thi s vi rtual
signifcation.
41
Introductin to the Origin of Geometr
e: .a iae oa:e eeaeeçi ei iaai same a,a:e kaiae: ae masi oe,ei (hervor­
bringen) , .is eo]eei, w.ia iae ae|ç ei «aai ae a. mse|i çai .aie .i aac «aai
a priori «as :eç:eseaiec .a .i ia:ea,a iae eeaeeçi ,ia:ea,a eeasi:ae·
i.ea, . ~ac te sae« semeia. a, a priori «.ia eemç|eie seea:.iy, ae masi
aii:.oaie ie ia.a,s (Sache) aeia.a, oai «aai aeeessa:. |y ie||e«ec i:em
«aai ae aac çai iae:e a. mse|i .a aeee:caaee «.ia a. s eeaeeçi (ibid. ) . 21
Ne ceaoi, eaee iae ,eemei:.ea| eeaeeçi aas :evea|ec .is i:eecem
«.ia :esçeei ie emç.:.ea| seas.o.|.iy, iae syaiaes.s ei iae eeasi:ae·
i.ea . s . ::ecae.o|e ~ac .aceec .i . s aa .cea| a.sie:y nai .i . s iae
a.sie:y ei aa eçe:ai.ea, aac aei ei a ieaac.a,. ii aaie|cs exç|.eai.ve
,esia:es . a iae sçaee ei a çess.o. |.iy a|:eacy eçea ie iae ,eemeie: 1ae
memeai ,eemei:y . s esiao|.saec as saea, iae memeai, iaai .s, seme·
ia.a, eaa oe sa.c ei . i, iaea ,eemei:y a|:eacy «.|| oe ea iae çe.ai ei
oe.a, :evea|ec ie iae eease.easaess ei iae frst ,eemeie:, «ae . s aei , as
.a iae Origin, ç:eie,eemeie:, iae ç:.ma| | y .asi.iai.a, (urstiftende)
,eemeie:. ~i |easi .i «. || oe :eacy ie oe :evea|ec .a .is .a. i.a| eeaeeçi.
iaai eeaeeçi «aese aç:.e:. Oo] eei.v. iy «.|| ç:eseai|y si:.se aay sao]eei
«aaieve: «.ia ,eemei:.ea| . as.,ai [lumiere] . ~ac s.aee kaai . s .a·
ie:esiec .a iae çess.o.|.iy ei ,eemei:y ie: a sao]eei .a ,eae:a|, .i .s aei
ea|y |ess eeasi:.ei. a,. oai a| se ce ]a:e aeeessa:y. iaai iae ce iaeie
sao]eei ei saea a :eve|ai.ea oe aayeae ai a|| , aac iaai iae ,eemei·
:.ea| examç|e se:v.a, as ,a.ce-iae cemeasi:ai.ea ei iae . sesee|es
i:.aa,|e-oe .ac.ae:eai. 1ae aç:.e:. aaia:e ei iaai eeaeeçi «.ia. a «a.ea
«e eçe:aie ç:ee|aces a| | a. sie:.ea| .avesi.,ai.ea «aaieve: aoeai .is sao·
]eei maiie: Ceai:a:y ie .is syaiaei.e exç|.eai.ea. iae eeaeeçi .ise|i, as a
si:aeia:e ei aç:.e:. ç:ese:.çi.ea. eea|c aei oe a.sie:.ea| , oeeaase .i .s
aei , as saea . ç:ecaeec aac ,:eaacec oy iae aei ei a eeae:eie sao]eei
2
!1
ue:e a|| a. sie:y eaa ea| y oe emç.:.ea| ~ac .i iae:e .s a o.:ia ei
,eemei:y ie: kaai , .i seems ie oe ea| y iae exi:.as.e circumstance ie:
iae eme:,eaee ei a i:aia ,«a.ea .s . ise|i a|«ays a|:eacy eeasi.iaiec ie:
aay iaeiaa| eease.easaess, 1aas iae sçeaiaaeeas e.cei.e :ecaei.ea
«a.ea i:ees iae ,eemei:.ea| esseaee i:em a|| emç.:.ea| :ea|.iy-iaai ei
seas. o|e a,a:ai.ea as «e|| as i:em iae ,eemeie: s çsyeae|e,.ea| |.vec
exçe:.eaee-.s ie: kaai a|«ays a|:eacy ceae ª si:.ei|y sçeas.a,. iae
2H
The Erdmann edition notes that hen10rbringen has no "object" i n Kant' s text.
2� The absence of the deci si ve notion of "material" or "contingent" a priori , such as
Husserl defned it, thus seems to uproot Kant ' s formalist apriorism from all concrete
hi story and to inhi bit the theme of a transcendental hi story.
On the notion of the contingent a priori , cf. in particular FTL. §6, pp. 29-30. The level
of geometry as a material ontology i s precisely that of such a . 'material a priori . "
: l Thi s seems true, furthermore, of the whole of Kant' s transcendental analysi s.
, I
42
Jacques Derrid
:ecaet.ea . s aet ie: e: |y a sa|]eet «ae ma|es a. mse|i :esçeas.||e ie: .t
. a a t:aaseeaceata| acveata:e. a ç:ete,eemete: e: ça. |eseçae: :ereet·
.a, ea ç:ete,eemet:y. .t .s a|«ays a|:eacy mace çes

.||e a

c aeeess

:y
|y tae aata:e ei ,eemet:.ea| sçaee aac tae

,eemetne

|

|,

et . na:na,
a sea:ee| y a|te:ec eeaveat.eaa| r|atea. sm. kaat s mc.ae:eaee te
emç.:.ea| a.ste:y . s ea|y | e,.t.matec i:em tae meme

t taat a

e:

ç:e·
ieaac a. ste:y aas a|:eacy e:eatec aeaemç.:.ea| e|,eets 1a.s a.

te:y
:ema.as a.ccea ie: kaat Caa «e aet say ae:e taat

ta

taee:� ei . cea|
sçaee aac t.me |eta :e¡a.:es aac

açç:esses t�e |na,m, te | .,at ei aa
.at:.as.e aac aeaemç.:.ea| a.ste:.e.ty ei tae s.. eaees ei sçaee aac me·
t.ea: ii sçaee aac t.me «e:e t:aaseeaceata| :ea|.t.e

. a
*�
y «ea�c

|e
eçeaec |eta ie: aa aa.ste:.e metaçays.es aac ie: a a. stene. st emç.ne

|
se.eaee t«e .ate::e|atec çess.|.|.t.es taat kaat a|«ays ceaeaaeec m
eae aad tae same meve nat te ave.c emç.:.e.sm i:em tae sta:t aac at
aay ç:.ee . kaat aac te eeaiae a. s t:aaseeaceata| c.seea:s

te a «e:|c
ei . cea| eeast.ta tec e|]eets . «aese ee::e|ate «as tae:

ie:e .tse|i a eea·
st.tatec sa|]eet · 1a. s aet.ea ei a ç:etea. ste:y. «a.ea t�e

ae|e

ei
kaat.aa ça.|eseçay seems te ma|e eeat:ac.ete:y evea «a.|e mve|m,
.t |eeemes uasse:| s taeme

uasse:| s tas| .s taas a|| tae me:e aaza:ceas. aac a. s i:eecem

.ta
:esçeet te emç.:.ea| |ae«|ec,e . s me:e c.mea|t te ]ast�i; at i:st s.,a�

ia iaet «e ae« «eace: a|eat tae sease ei tae ç:ecaet.ea
^
i ,eemetn·
ea| ee�eeçts |eie:e aac ta.s s.ce ei tae kaat.aa :eve|at.ea. |eie:e
aac ta.s s.ce ei tae eeast.tat.ea ei aa .cea| | y ça:e aac esaet sçaee aac
t.me s.aee eve:y .cea| e|]eet.v.ty .s ç:ecaeec |y tae aet ei a eeae:ete
eease.easaess ,tae ea|y sta:t.a, çe.at ie: a t:

as

eaceata|
çaeaemeae|e,y, . eve:y .cea| e|]eet. v.ty aas a a�ste:y «a.ea .s a� «ays
a|:eacy aaaeaaeec .a taat eease.easaess. evea .i «e |ae« aetam, ei
.ts cete:m.aec eeateat .
uç te Ideas I tae metaece|e,.ea| e: eeast. tat.ve aaa| yses :em�mec
stn.eta:a| aac stat.e. aac a|| a.ste:y «as "reduced" as iaetaa| . ty e:
: \1 Here we fnd, locally and through a diferent approach, the i nterpretatio� pro��sed
by Fi nk and approved by H usserl concerning the intraworldliness of t�e Kantlan cntl
.
que
compared wi th Husserl ' s investigation of the "origin of the world. Cf. Eug�� �m�:
"The Phenomenological Phi losophy of Edmund Husserl and Contemporary Cntlcl sm,
.
in R. O. Elveton, ed. , The Phenomenology of Husserl, pp. 73- 1 47 . [The above quote I S
found on p. 95. ]
.
'
.
"I
'
't t'
,
.
can only be measured by
: \ 2 Perhaps the depth of vigi lance m thIS Kantmn I ml a Ion
its difcul ty, its failure.
:u Husserl often stresses that the reference to a hi storical birth be i n�cribed wi
.
t�i n the
sense itself of every cultural ideal i ty, especiall y in Beilage XXVI I m the KnS1S, pp.
503-07.
43
Introductin to the Origin of Geomety
se.eaee ei eeast.tatec aac .at:a«e:| c|y iaetaa|. ty 1aas . ta.s a. ste:y ei
,eemet:y aac :ema.aec .a tae ca:| aac «as ]ac,ec ei cea|tia| çess. |. |·
. ty e: mec.ee:e .ate:est ie: tae çaeaemeae|e,.st e: mataemat.e.aa as
saea ¹ Ceemet:y s t:ata. .ts ae:mat.ve va|ae. .s :ac.ea|| y .aceçeaceat
ei .ts a.ste:y «a.ea. at ta.s memeat ei uasse:| s . t.ae:a:y. .s eeas. ce:ec
ea|y as a iaetaa| a.ste:y ia| | .a, aace: tae st:e|e ei tae sasçeas. ea
(Ausschaltun
g
) . 35 uasse:| says ta. s , .a tae çe:.ec ei ra.|eseçay as
x.,e:eas se.eaee aac Ideas l) .a seme i:aa| ça:ases «a.ea. .i tae
|eve|s ei esç|.eat.ea aac tae seases ei tae «e:c a. ste:y aac aet |eea
e|ea:|y c.st.a,a.saec. «ea|c |e .a ra,:aat eeat:ac.et.ea «.ta taese ei
tae Origin. 1aas . Ce:ta.a|y tae mataemat.e.aa tee «. | | aet ta:a te
a.ste:.ea| se.eaee te |e taa,at a|eat tae t:ata ei mataemat.ea| taee:. es
it «. || aet eeea: te a.m te :e|ate tae a.ste:.ea| ceve|eçmeat ei matae·
mat.ea| :eç:eseatat.eas ¸tae Ce:maa aac r:eaea ec.t.eas acc aac
]ac,meats} «.ta tae ¡aest.ea ei t:ata , rxs. ç 1 26) . O: a,a.a. at
tae eac ei e:.t.e.z. a, aa emç.:.e.st taee:y ei tae e:. ,.a ei ,eemet:y
iasteac ei ça. | eseça.z.a, aac çsyeae|e,.z.a, a|eat ,eemet:.ea|
taea,at aac .ata.t.ea i:em aa eats.ce staacçe.at . «e saea|c eate: v.·
ta||y .ate taese aet.v.t.es. aac ta:ea,a c.:eet aaa|yses ceie:m.ae tae.:
. mmaaeat sease. it may «e|| |e taat «e aave .aae:.tec c.sçes. t.eas ie:
ee,a.t.ea i:em tae ee,a.t.eas ei çast ,eae:at.eas . but for the question
concering the sense and value of what we cognize, the history of this
heritage is as indif erent as is that of our gold currency to its real value "
(Ideas 1, §25 , çç. 85-86 ,mec.iec} . ea: emçaas.s· .
:\4 Cf. in particular Ideas I, § 1 , n. I , p. 45, and p. 46, where both hi storical origin and
hi story as a human science are excluded. Conceri ng the human sciences, the question is
"provi si onally" lef open whether they are "natural sciences or . . . sciences of an
essentially new type. "
Of course, i t i s as facts and not as norms that the hi storical gIvens are pa­
renthesized. I n asking hi mself, . . ' which sciences' " can phenomenology " ' draw from' "
i nsofar as phenomenology is itself "a science of ' origins, ' " and what sciences must i t
. . ' not depend on: " Husser! writes: "I n the frst place i t goes without saying that wi th
the suspending of the natural world, physical and psychological, all individual objecti vi ­
ties whi ch are constituted through the functional acti vi ti es of consciousness in valuation
and i n practice are suspended-all varieties of cultural expression, works of the technical
and of the fi ne arts, of the sciences also (so far as we accept them as cultural facts and
not as validity-systems) [our emphasi s] , aesthetic and practical values ofe very shape and
form. Natural in the same sense are al so reali ties of such kinds of state, moral custom,
law, religion. Therewith all the natural and human sciences, with the entire knowledge
they have accumulated, undergo suspension as sciences which require for their develop­
ment the natural standpoint" (Ideas I, §56, p. 1 55 [modifi ed]) .
:\.; Cf. the defnitions of hi story as an empirical human science in "PRS , " in particular
pp. 1 24-26.
, I
42
Jacques Derrid
:ecaet.ea . s aet ie: e: |y a sa|]eet «ae ma|es a. mse|i :esçeas.||e ie: .t
. a a t:aaseeaceata| acveata:e. a ç:ete,eemete: e: ça. |eseçae: :ereet·
.a, ea ç:ete,eemet:y. .t .s a|«ays a|:eacy mace çes

.||e a

c aeeess

:y
|y tae aata:e ei ,eemet:.ea| sçaee aac tae

,eemetne

|

|,

et . na:na,
a sea:ee| y a|te:ec eeaveat.eaa| r|atea. sm. kaat s mc.ae:eaee te
emç.:.ea| a.ste:y . s ea|y | e,.t.matec i:em tae meme

t taat a

e:

ç:e·
ieaac a. ste:y aas a|:eacy e:eatec aeaemç.:.ea| e|,eets 1a.s a.

te:y
:ema.as a.ccea ie: kaat Caa «e aet say ae:e taat

ta

taee:� ei . cea|
sçaee aac t.me |eta :e¡a.:es aac

açç:esses t�e |na,m, te | .,at ei aa
.at:.as.e aac aeaemç.:.ea| a.ste:.e.ty ei tae s.. eaees ei sçaee aac me·
t.ea: ii sçaee aac t.me «e:e t:aaseeaceata| :ea|.t.e

. a
*�
y «ea�c

|e
eçeaec |eta ie: aa aa.ste:.e metaçays.es aac ie: a a. stene. st emç.ne

|
se.eaee t«e .ate::e|atec çess.|.|.t.es taat kaat a|«ays ceaeaaeec m
eae aad tae same meve nat te ave.c emç.:.e.sm i:em tae sta:t aac at
aay ç:.ee . kaat aac te eeaiae a. s t:aaseeaceata| c.seea:s

te a «e:|c
ei . cea| eeast.ta tec e|]eets . «aese ee::e|ate «as tae:

ie:e .tse|i a eea·
st.tatec sa|]eet · 1a. s aet.ea ei a ç:etea. ste:y. «a.ea t�e

ae|e

ei
kaat.aa ça.|eseçay seems te ma|e eeat:ac.ete:y evea «a.|e mve|m,
.t |eeemes uasse:| s taeme

uasse:| s tas| .s taas a|| tae me:e aaza:ceas. aac a. s i:eecem

.ta
:esçeet te emç.:.ea| |ae«|ec,e . s me:e c.mea|t te ]ast�i; at i:st s.,a�

ia iaet «e ae« «eace: a|eat tae sease ei tae ç:ecaet.ea
^
i ,eemetn·
ea| ee�eeçts |eie:e aac ta.s s.ce ei tae kaat.aa :eve|at.ea. |eie:e
aac ta.s s.ce ei tae eeast.tat.ea ei aa .cea| | y ça:e aac esaet sçaee aac
t.me s.aee eve:y .cea| e|]eet.v.ty .s ç:ecaeec |y tae aet ei a eeae:ete
eease.easaess ,tae ea|y sta:t.a, çe.at ie: a t:

as

eaceata|
çaeaemeae|e,y, . eve:y .cea| e|]eet. v.ty aas a a�ste:y «a.ea .s a� «ays
a|:eacy aaaeaaeec .a taat eease.easaess. evea .i «e |ae« aetam, ei
.ts cete:m.aec eeateat .
uç te Ideas I tae metaece|e,.ea| e: eeast. tat.ve aaa| yses :em�mec
stn.eta:a| aac stat.e. aac a|| a.ste:y «as "reduced" as iaetaa| . ty e:
: \1 Here we fnd, locally and through a diferent approach, the i nterpretatio� pro��sed
by Fi nk and approved by H usserl concerning the intraworldliness of t�e Kantlan cntl
.
que
compared wi th Husserl ' s investigation of the "origin of the world. Cf. Eug�� �m�:
"The Phenomenological Phi losophy of Edmund Husserl and Contemporary Cntlcl sm,
.
in R. O. Elveton, ed. , The Phenomenology of Husserl, pp. 73- 1 47 . [The above quote I S
found on p. 95. ]
.
'
.
"I
'
't t'
,
.
can only be measured by
: \ 2 Perhaps the depth of vigi lance m thIS Kantmn I ml a Ion
its difcul ty, its failure.
:u Husserl often stresses that the reference to a hi storical birth be i n�cribed wi
.
t�i n the
sense itself of every cultural ideal i ty, especiall y in Beilage XXVI I m the KnS1S, pp.
503-07.
43
Introductin to the Origin of Geomety
se.eaee ei eeast.tatec aac .at:a«e:| c|y iaetaa|. ty 1aas . ta.s a. ste:y ei
,eemet:y aac :ema.aec .a tae ca:| aac «as ]ac,ec ei cea|tia| çess. |. |·
. ty e: mec.ee:e .ate:est ie: tae çaeaemeae|e,.st e: mataemat.e.aa as
saea ¹ Ceemet:y s t:ata. .ts ae:mat.ve va|ae. .s :ac.ea|| y .aceçeaceat
ei .ts a.ste:y «a.ea. at ta.s memeat ei uasse:| s . t.ae:a:y. .s eeas. ce:ec
ea|y as a iaetaa| a.ste:y ia| | .a, aace: tae st:e|e ei tae sasçeas. ea
(Ausschaltun
g
) . 35 uasse:| says ta. s , .a tae çe:.ec ei ra.|eseçay as
x.,e:eas se.eaee aac Ideas l) .a seme i:aa| ça:ases «a.ea. .i tae
|eve|s ei esç|.eat.ea aac tae seases ei tae «e:c a. ste:y aac aet |eea
e|ea:|y c.st.a,a.saec. «ea|c |e .a ra,:aat eeat:ac.et.ea «.ta taese ei
tae Origin. 1aas . Ce:ta.a|y tae mataemat.e.aa tee «. | | aet ta:a te
a.ste:.ea| se.eaee te |e taa,at a|eat tae t:ata ei mataemat.ea| taee:. es
it «. || aet eeea: te a.m te :e|ate tae a.ste:.ea| ceve|eçmeat ei matae·
mat.ea| :eç:eseatat.eas ¸tae Ce:maa aac r:eaea ec.t.eas acc aac
]ac,meats} «.ta tae ¡aest.ea ei t:ata , rxs. ç 1 26) . O: a,a.a. at
tae eac ei e:.t.e.z. a, aa emç.:.e.st taee:y ei tae e:. ,.a ei ,eemet:y
iasteac ei ça. | eseça.z.a, aac çsyeae|e,.z.a, a|eat ,eemet:.ea|
taea,at aac .ata.t.ea i:em aa eats.ce staacçe.at . «e saea|c eate: v.·
ta||y .ate taese aet.v.t.es. aac ta:ea,a c.:eet aaa|yses ceie:m.ae tae.:
. mmaaeat sease. it may «e|| |e taat «e aave .aae:.tec c.sçes. t.eas ie:
ee,a.t.ea i:em tae ee,a.t.eas ei çast ,eae:at.eas . but for the question
concering the sense and value of what we cognize, the history of this
heritage is as indif erent as is that of our gold currency to its real value "
(Ideas 1, §25 , çç. 85-86 ,mec.iec} . ea: emçaas.s· .
:\4 Cf. in particular Ideas I, § 1 , n. I , p. 45, and p. 46, where both hi storical origin and
hi story as a human science are excluded. Conceri ng the human sciences, the question is
"provi si onally" lef open whether they are "natural sciences or . . . sciences of an
essentially new type. "
Of course, i t i s as facts and not as norms that the hi storical gIvens are pa­
renthesized. I n asking hi mself, . . ' which sciences' " can phenomenology " ' draw from' "
i nsofar as phenomenology is itself "a science of ' origins, ' " and what sciences must i t
. . ' not depend on: " Husser! writes: "I n the frst place i t goes without saying that wi th
the suspending of the natural world, physical and psychological, all individual objecti vi ­
ties whi ch are constituted through the functional acti vi ti es of consciousness in valuation
and i n practice are suspended-all varieties of cultural expression, works of the technical
and of the fi ne arts, of the sciences also (so far as we accept them as cultural facts and
not as validity-systems) [our emphasi s] , aesthetic and practical values ofe very shape and
form. Natural in the same sense are al so reali ties of such kinds of state, moral custom,
law, religion. Therewith all the natural and human sciences, with the entire knowledge
they have accumulated, undergo suspension as sciences which require for their develop­
ment the natural standpoint" (Ideas I, §56, p. 1 55 [modifi ed]) .
:\.; Cf. the defnitions of hi story as an empirical human science in "PRS , " in particular
pp. 1 24-26.
I
f
44
Jacques Derrid
The continuity and coherence of these observations are truly remark­
able: frst, factual history must be reduced in order to respect and show
the normative independence of the i deal object in i ts own right� then
and only then, by thus avoi ding all historici st or logicist confusion, in
order to respect and show the unique hi storicity of the ideal object
itself. That i s why these frst reductions of factual history will never be
removed in the Origin-even less so than elsewhere.
This is because "Phi losophy as Rigorous Science" was concerned
with respondi ng to the kind of historicism which reduced norm to fact,
and Ideas I, with si tuating geometry i n an exemplary fashion among the
pure essential sciences . Since no existential thesis (Daseinsthesis) was
necessary or permitted, these sciences were i mmediately freed from all
factuality. No sensible fguration in the real world,
a
6
no psychological
experience , no factual [ evenementiel] content have, as such, any i n­
stituting sense. The geometrical eidos i s recognized i n that it wi thstood
the test of hallucination:
There are pure sciences of essences, such as pure logic, pure
mathematics, pure time-theor, space-theor, theor of movement, etc.
These, in all their thought-constructions, are free throughout from any
positings of actualfact; or, what comes to the same thing, in them no
experience qua experience, i.e. , qua consciousness that apprehends or
sets up reality or factual existence, can take over the functin of
supplying a logial grounding. Where experience functions in them, it
is not as experience. The geometer who draws his fgure s on the
blackboard produces in so doing strokes that are actually there on a
board that is actually there. But his experience of what he thus
produces, qua experience, afords just as little groundfor his seeing
and thinking of the geometrical essence as does the physical act of
production itself. Whether or not he thereby hallucinates, and whether
instead of actually drawing lines he draws his lines and fgures in a
world of phantasy, does not really matter. The scientic investigator of
Nature behaves quite diff erently. (Ideas I, §7, p. 55 [modied ]; Hus-
serl's emphasis) :n
:lf
The essential usel essness or the "inadequacy" of sensibl e " i l l ustration" i s already
underscored in the Logical Investigations, tr. J. N. Findl ay, 2 vol s. (New York:
Humanities Press, I 970)-hereafter cited as L/. [ All future references wi11 l i st the vol ume
number, the i nvestigation number or Prologomena, the s ection number, and the page:
e. g. , L/, I , I , § 1 8 , pp. 301 -02 means the frst volume, First Investigation,
.
etc. � �uss
.
erl
does this i n a passage (LI, 1, I , § 1 8 , pp. 301 -02) where he recalls the Cartesian dl stmctlon
between imaginatio and intellectio concerning the chiliagon and very preci sel y an­
nounces the theory of geometrical " idealization" that he wil l maintain in the Origin.
:l i
Thi s autonomy of mathematical truth compared to perception and natural reality (on
which mathematical truth could not be based) is described here only in a negative way.
Non-dependence is what is stressed. The positive ground of truth is not i nvestigated for
45
Introductin to the Origin of Geometr
.
He
.
re the hypothesis of halluci nation takes up the rol e assigned, in
eI detIC determinati on, to fction in generaL "the vital element of phe­
nomenology" (Ideas /, §70, p. 1 84 [modi fed]) . But if hal lucination does
not undermine the eidos of the constituted i deal object (because the
eidos in general and the ideal object in particular are " irreal , " though
not phantasy realities-ven if halluci nation reveals them as such) : if,
on t
.
he ?ther hand
.
'
the eidos and the ideal object do not preexist every
subjective act, as m a [conventional] Platoni sm; if then they have a hi s­
�ory, they must be related to, i . e. , they must be pri mordially grounded
m

the protoi deali zati ons based on the substrate of an actual l y per­
�eI ve� real world. But they must do thi s through the element of an orig-
mal hIstOry.
.
�tself. S
.
tarting from an anal ysi s of the mathematical " phenomenon: ' or in order to better
Isolate ItS "sense, " one simpl y reduces what is i ndicated in this sense as what cannot
presently be
.
retained by vi rtue of this gound. Husserl measures the eidetic intangibil ity
of mathematIcal sense by hallucination. In the Theaetetus ( 1 90b) , Plato had recourse to
dream. Huss�r\ ' s devel
.
opment is al so situated on the same plane and dons the same style
as the �arteslan anal YSI S before the hypothesi s of the Evi l Demon i n the First Meditation:
"At thl
.
s rate we might be justified in concl udi ng that . . . arithmetic, geometry, and so
on, whIch treat onl y of the simplest and most general subject-matter, and are i ndiferent
whether i t exi sts i n nature or not, have an el ement of i ndubi table certainty. Whether I am
awake
.
or asle

p, two and three add up to fve, and a square has onl y four sides; and it
see�s ImpOSSIble for
.
such obvious truths to fall under a suspicion of being fal se" [par. 7:
ET: In Descartes: Phi losophical Writings, tr
.
El i zabeth Anscombe and Peter Thomas Geach
(New York: Bobbs-Merri l l , 1 97 1 ), p. 63] .
For Descartes, only after this phenomenology of mathematical evidence and with the
hypothesi s of the Evil Demon wi l l the critical or juridical question be posed of the ground
that guarantees the truth of naive evidence. The description i tsel f and the "natural "
val i dity of t

is tru
.
th , moreover, wi l l never be put i nto question on their own specific
level . The pn�ordlal �round of these constituted truths, whose mode of appearing is thus
clearly recogmzed, WIll be delegated to a veracious God who i s al so the creator of eternal
�rut�s .
.
Husserl . afe� an analogous descriptive stage, will investigate this in primally
mstttutmg acts ( Urstiftung) , themsel ves hi storical. In this respect, Descartes' God, like
�?at of the gre
.
at �
� assic rational i sts, woul d only be the name given to a hidden hi story and
woul� funct� on as the necessary reduction of empi rical hi story and the natural world . a
reductIon which pertains to the sense of these sciences.
But we wi l l see that, despite thi s extraordinary revolution which grounds the absolute
a�d eteral truth without the aid of God or infnite Reason, and which seems thus to
dl sc
.
l o
.
se (and
.
�e�escend toward) a primordial l y i nst ituted fnitude while completel y
a:OIdmg

mpl ncl sm, Husserl i s less di stant from Descartes than it seems. Thi s hidden
?Ist�ry WIll take its sense from an i nfnite Tel os that Husserl will not hesitate to call God
m hiS
.
l ast unp�b
.
l i she
.
d writings. It is true that this i nfnite, which i s always already at
work
.
I n the ongms, IS not a positive and actual i nfnite. It i s given as an I dea i n the
KantJan sense, as a r
.
egulative .. indefnite" whose negativity gives up i ts rights to history.
�ot ?nl y
.
th

,
moraltty but also the historicity of truth itself woul d here prevent thi s
f�lslfcatton of the actual infnite i nto an indefnite or an ad infnitum, a fal sifcation of
whi ch Hegel accused Kant and Fichte.
I
f
44
Jacques Derrid
The continuity and coherence of these observations are truly remark­
able: frst, factual history must be reduced in order to respect and show
the normative independence of the i deal object in i ts own right� then
and only then, by thus avoi ding all historici st or logicist confusion, in
order to respect and show the unique hi storicity of the ideal object
itself. That i s why these frst reductions of factual history will never be
removed in the Origin-even less so than elsewhere.
This is because "Phi losophy as Rigorous Science" was concerned
with respondi ng to the kind of historicism which reduced norm to fact,
and Ideas I, with si tuating geometry i n an exemplary fashion among the
pure essential sciences . Since no existential thesis (Daseinsthesis) was
necessary or permitted, these sciences were i mmediately freed from all
factuality. No sensible fguration in the real world,
a
6
no psychological
experience , no factual [ evenementiel] content have, as such, any i n­
stituting sense. The geometrical eidos i s recognized i n that it wi thstood
the test of hallucination:
There are pure sciences of essences, such as pure logic, pure
mathematics, pure time-theor, space-theor, theor of movement, etc.
These, in all their thought-constructions, are free throughout from any
positings of actualfact; or, what comes to the same thing, in them no
experience qua experience, i.e. , qua consciousness that apprehends or
sets up reality or factual existence, can take over the functin of
supplying a logial grounding. Where experience functions in them, it
is not as experience. The geometer who draws his fgure s on the
blackboard produces in so doing strokes that are actually there on a
board that is actually there. But his experience of what he thus
produces, qua experience, afords just as little groundfor his seeing
and thinking of the geometrical essence as does the physical act of
production itself. Whether or not he thereby hallucinates, and whether
instead of actually drawing lines he draws his lines and fgures in a
world of phantasy, does not really matter. The scientic investigator of
Nature behaves quite diff erently. (Ideas I, §7, p. 55 [modied ]; Hus-
serl's emphasis) :n
:lf
The essential usel essness or the "inadequacy" of sensibl e " i l l ustration" i s already
underscored in the Logical Investigations, tr. J. N. Findl ay, 2 vol s. (New York:
Humanities Press, I 970)-hereafter cited as L/. [ All future references wi11 l i st the vol ume
number, the i nvestigation number or Prologomena, the s ection number, and the page:
e. g. , L/, I , I , § 1 8 , pp. 301 -02 means the frst volume, First Investigation,
.
etc. � �uss
.
erl
does this i n a passage (LI, 1, I , § 1 8 , pp. 301 -02) where he recalls the Cartesian dl stmctlon
between imaginatio and intellectio concerning the chiliagon and very preci sel y an­
nounces the theory of geometrical " idealization" that he wil l maintain in the Origin.
:l i
Thi s autonomy of mathematical truth compared to perception and natural reality (on
which mathematical truth could not be based) is described here only in a negative way.
Non-dependence is what is stressed. The positive ground of truth is not i nvestigated for
45
Introductin to the Origin of Geometr
.
He
.
re the hypothesis of halluci nation takes up the rol e assigned, in
eI detIC determinati on, to fction in generaL "the vital element of phe­
nomenology" (Ideas /, §70, p. 1 84 [modi fed]) . But if hal lucination does
not undermine the eidos of the constituted i deal object (because the
eidos in general and the ideal object in particular are " irreal , " though
not phantasy realities-ven if halluci nation reveals them as such) : if,
on t
.
he ?ther hand
.
'
the eidos and the ideal object do not preexist every
subjective act, as m a [conventional] Platoni sm; if then they have a hi s­
�ory, they must be related to, i . e. , they must be pri mordially grounded
m

the protoi deali zati ons based on the substrate of an actual l y per­
�eI ve� real world. But they must do thi s through the element of an orig-
mal hIstOry.
.
�tself. S
.
tarting from an anal ysi s of the mathematical " phenomenon: ' or in order to better
Isolate ItS "sense, " one simpl y reduces what is i ndicated in this sense as what cannot
presently be
.
retained by vi rtue of this gound. Husserl measures the eidetic intangibil ity
of mathematIcal sense by hallucination. In the Theaetetus ( 1 90b) , Plato had recourse to
dream. Huss�r\ ' s devel
.
opment is al so situated on the same plane and dons the same style
as the �arteslan anal YSI S before the hypothesi s of the Evi l Demon i n the First Meditation:
"At thl
.
s rate we might be justified in concl udi ng that . . . arithmetic, geometry, and so
on, whIch treat onl y of the simplest and most general subject-matter, and are i ndiferent
whether i t exi sts i n nature or not, have an el ement of i ndubi table certainty. Whether I am
awake
.
or asle

p, two and three add up to fve, and a square has onl y four sides; and it
see�s ImpOSSIble for
.
such obvious truths to fall under a suspicion of being fal se" [par. 7:
ET: In Descartes: Phi losophical Writings, tr
.
El i zabeth Anscombe and Peter Thomas Geach
(New York: Bobbs-Merri l l , 1 97 1 ), p. 63] .
For Descartes, only after this phenomenology of mathematical evidence and with the
hypothesi s of the Evil Demon wi l l the critical or juridical question be posed of the ground
that guarantees the truth of naive evidence. The description i tsel f and the "natural "
val i dity of t

is tru
.
th , moreover, wi l l never be put i nto question on their own specific
level . The pn�ordlal �round of these constituted truths, whose mode of appearing is thus
clearly recogmzed, WIll be delegated to a veracious God who i s al so the creator of eternal
�rut�s .
.
Husserl . afe� an analogous descriptive stage, will investigate this in primally
mstttutmg acts ( Urstiftung) , themsel ves hi storical. In this respect, Descartes' God, like
�?at of the gre
.
at �
� assic rational i sts, woul d only be the name given to a hidden hi story and
woul� funct� on as the necessary reduction of empi rical hi story and the natural world . a
reductIon which pertains to the sense of these sciences.
But we wi l l see that, despite thi s extraordinary revolution which grounds the absolute
a�d eteral truth without the aid of God or infnite Reason, and which seems thus to
dl sc
.
l o
.
se (and
.
�e�escend toward) a primordial l y i nst ituted fnitude while completel y
a:OIdmg

mpl ncl sm, Husserl i s less di stant from Descartes than it seems. Thi s hidden
?Ist�ry WIll take its sense from an i nfnite Tel os that Husserl will not hesitate to call God
m hiS
.
l ast unp�b
.
l i she
.
d writings. It is true that this i nfnite, which i s always already at
work
.
I n the ongms, IS not a positive and actual i nfnite. It i s given as an I dea i n the
KantJan sense, as a r
.
egulative .. indefnite" whose negativity gives up i ts rights to history.
�ot ?nl y
.
th

,
moraltty but also the historicity of truth itself woul d here prevent thi s
f�lslfcatton of the actual infnite i nto an indefnite or an ad infnitum, a fal sifcation of
whi ch Hegel accused Kant and Fichte.
46
Jacques Derrid
ua||ae.aat.ea. taea. .s t:ata s aeeemç|.ee ea|y .a a st

t.e «

e:|c ei
eeast.tatec s.,a.ieat.eas 1e ç:eeeec te tae ,:eaac aac çome:c.a| eea·
st.tat.ea ei t:ata. «e mast :eta:a. sta:t.a, i:em tae :ea| «e:| c.

te a
e:eat.ve esçe:.eaee Ðvea «e:e .t aa.¡ae aac |a:. ec. ta. s esçeneaee
:ema. as. ce ]a:e as «e|| as ce iaete. i:st we :eee,a.ze. t�ea. t�at !e:
tae sçae:e ei sease. tae t:ae eeat:a:y ei a

| | ae. aat.ea

,aac .ma,ma�.

a
.a ,eae:a|· .s aet c.:eet|y çe:eeçt.ea. |at a. ste:y �:. .i yea
(

:eie:. .t .s
tae eease.easaess ei a.ste:.e.ty aac tae :ea«a|ema, ei eo,ms .
1aas ea|y at tae | eve| aac çe.at ma:|ec |y Ideas I cee

uasse:|
:e]e.a kaat s .ac.ae:eaee te a |.ac ei a.ste:y ta�t «ea|c s.mç|y |e
est:.as.e aac emç.:.ea| ~| se. as seea as uesse:| s aeeeaat |e

emes
eeaeeoec «.ta tae ,eaes.s ei ,eemet:y aac ,ett.a, |eyea� ta.

s ç:e·
|. m. aa:y sta,e. «e m.,at esçeet te see a.m :emeve tae e.cet..

ac
t:aaseeaceata| :ecaet.eas ça:e|y aac s.mç|y. aac :etao te a eeast.ta·
t.ve a.ste:y. a a. ste:y . a «a.ea tae eeas. ce:at.ea ei iae�s taems

| ves
«ea|c |eeeme . ac.sçeasa||e. |eeaase ae:e ie: tae i:st t.me. as sm,a·
|a: a.ste:.ea| e:.,. a. tae . ast.tat.a, iaet «ea|c |e .::eç|aeea||e. tae:e·
ie:e invariable. 1a.s .ava:.aaee ei tae iaet ,ei «aat eaa aeve: |e re­
peated as saea· «ea|c ce ]a:e e

::y ev

e: . ts

e.cet.e � ava:.aaee �

aat
eaa |e repeated ve| aata:.|y aac mceimte|y· mte a a.ste:y ei

:



s
u.ste:y as .ast.tat.ve «ea|c |e tae ç:eiea

c

a:

a «�e:e sease . s mc. s·
see. a||e i:em |e.a,. «ae:e tae ce iaete .s mc.ssee.a||e i:em �ae �e
]a:e 1ae aet.ea ei e:.,. a e: ,eaes.s eea|c ae |ea,e: |e :eee,mzec m
:lH
The interpretation of Trfm-Duc-Thao, Phenomenologie et materialisme di

le

tique
( 1 95 1 ; rpt. New York: Gordon and Breach, 1 97 1 ) , i s strongly oriented t�ward thIs kmd �f
a conclusion. At the end of Husser\ ' s i ti nerary, the return to the " 'technical and economic
forms of production" (namel y, i n Husserlian langu�ge, �he retur to real , factual,
.
and
extri nsi c causality outside of every reduction) seems mevI
.
table to that a�t
�or, who thmk

Husserl was himself "obscurely" resigned to thi s at the tme of The Orzgm ofG

0
m
etr.
" Moreover, this i s what Husserl was obscurely presenting when he
.
was search 109 10 the
famous fragment on The Origin of Geometr to ground geo�etncal truth on hum�n
praxis " (p. 220). "The phenomenological explication is thus onented towards determm-
i ng the actual conditions in which truth is engendered" (p. 2 2 1 ) .
.
Husserl ' s reduction never had the sense (quite the contrary) of a negatIon-f �n
ignorance or a forgetfulness that woul d ' ' leave" the real conditions of sense and factualIty
in general in order to " come back" or not, in order to "pass on"
.
or not, to th�
.
real
anal ysis [of what i s] (for sense is nothing

ther thQ1

the se�se of realIty o
,
� of fa��ual It�).
Otherwise, his reduction mi ght seem vam and dIssembl Ing, and the r�tu� to
.
an
empiricist histori ci sm, fatal . That does not appear to be the case, since, WIth dl �lectIcal
material ism "we fnd oursel ves on a plane subsequent {posterieur] to the reductIOn, the
latter havin� suppressed the abstract conception of nature but �ot
.
t�e
,
�ctually real �ature
which implies in its development the whole movement of subjectiVity (the author s em-
phasis; pp. 227-28).
47
Intrduction to the Origin of Geometry
tae ça:e çaeaemeae|e,.ea| sease taat uasse:| se ce,,ec|y
c.st.a,a.saec .:w
neeaase. ie: uasse:| . .t aas tae eaa:aete:.st.e «a.ea ceiaes iaet-
aame| y. s.a,a|a: aac emç.:.ea| es.steaee. tae .::ecae.|.|.ty ei a here
and »o«-tae teta| iaet ma:|.a, ,eemet:y s esta|| . sameat «ea|c |e
.ava:.a||e i aceec. uasse:| says taat tae açsa:,e ei ,eemet:y .ate:ests
a.m ae:e . aseia: as .t aac ta|ea ç|aee eaee (dereinst), ie: tae i:st
t.me (erstmalig), sta:t.a, i:em a "frst ae¡a.s.t.ea (aus einem ersten
Erwerben) ( 1 58-59) . nat «aat aatae:. zec tae esseat.a| :eac.a, of aac
within eeast.tatec ,eemet:y «as tae çess.|.|.ty ei . ma,. aat. ve| y va:y.a,
tae aata:a| here and now ei tae i,a:e e: tae çsyeae|e,.ea| esçe:.eaee ei
tae ,eemete: «ae. as «e aave seea. «as aet .ts . ast.tate: ue:e . ea tae
eeat:a:y. tae here and now ei tae i:st t.me¯ . s . ast.tat.ve aac e:eat. ve
i s ta.s esçe:.eaee , aa.¡ae ei . ts |.ac . aet a s.a,a|a: iaet-eae ie: «a.ea
«e saea|c aet |e a||e te sa|st.tate aaetae: iaet as aa esamç|e .a e:ce:
te cee.çae: .ts esseaee:
i s ta. s te say taat ta.s .aseça:a|.|.ty ei iaet aac sease .a tae eaeaess
ei aa .ast.tat.a, aet ç:ee|aces aeeess ie: çaeaemeae|e,y te a| | a. ste:y
aac te tae ça:e eidos ei a ie:eve: sa|me:,ec e:.,.a:
Net at a| | 1ae .ac.ssee.a|. |.ty . tse|i aas a :.,e:eas| y cete:m. aa||e
çaeaemeae|e,.ea| sease 1ae .ma,.aa:y va:.at.ea ei stat.e çae·
aemeae|e,y s.mç|y saççesec a tyçe ei :ecaet.ea «aese sty|e «.||
aave te |e :eae«ec . a a a.ste:.ea| çaeaemeae|e,y. 1ae e. cet.e asçeet ei
ta. s :ecaet.ea «as tae iteration ei a aeema s.aee tae eidos . s eeast.tatec
aac e|]eet.ve. tae se:.es ei aets «a.ea .ateacec .t eea|c aet |at . a·
ceia.te| y :este:e tae . cea| .ceat.ty ei a sease «a.ea «as aet e|sea:ec
|y aay a.ste:.ea| eçae.ty, aac .t «ea|c ea|y |e a ¡aest.ea ei e|a:.iy.a,.
. se|at.a,, aac cete:m. a.a, .ts ev.ceaee. .ava:.aaee. aac e|]eet.ve .ace·
çeaceaee 1ae a.ste:.ea| :ecaet.ea. «a.ea a| se eçe:ates |y va:. at.ea.
«. | | |e reactivating aac aeet.e. i asteac ei :eçeat.a, tae eeast. tatec
sease ei aa .cea| e|]eet. eae «.|| aave te :ea«a|ea tae ceçeaceaee ei
39 Opening Ideas I (Chapter 1 , § l a, p. 45, passage already ci ted), this defnition of
phenomenological origin ( in disti nction to genesis in the worldly human and natural
sciences) was already clearly specifi ed i n the LI, I , Prol. , §67, pp. 237-38; i n The
Phenomenology of Internal Time-Consciousness, ed. Martin Heidegger, tf. James S.
Churchill ( Bloomington, I nd. : I ndiana University Press, 1 97 1 ) , §2, pp. 27-28; and i n
"PRS," pp. 1 1 5-1 6. This di stinction, whi ch Husserl wi l l always j udge as deci sive, wil l
sti l l be underscored qui te frequently i n Experience and Judgment: Investigations in a
Genealogy of Logic, tf. from rev. ed. of Landgebe by Jaes S. Churchi ll and Karl
Ameriks ( Evanston: Northwestern Uni versity Press, 1 973)-hereafer cited as E­
paricularly § 1 , p. 1 1 ; i n FTL, in parti cular § 1 02, p. 269; i n the eM, §37, pp. 75-76; and of
course in the Origin.
46
Jacques Derrid
ua||ae.aat.ea. taea. .s t:ata s aeeemç|.ee ea|y .a a st

t.e «

e:|c ei
eeast.tatec s.,a.ieat.eas 1e ç:eeeec te tae ,:eaac aac çome:c.a| eea·
st.tat.ea ei t:ata. «e mast :eta:a. sta:t.a, i:em tae :ea| «e:| c.

te a
e:eat.ve esçe:.eaee Ðvea «e:e .t aa.¡ae aac |a:. ec. ta. s esçeneaee
:ema. as. ce ]a:e as «e|| as ce iaete. i:st we :eee,a.ze. t�ea. t�at !e:
tae sçae:e ei sease. tae t:ae eeat:a:y ei a

| | ae. aat.ea

,aac .ma,ma�.

a
.a ,eae:a|· .s aet c.:eet|y çe:eeçt.ea. |at a. ste:y �:. .i yea
(

:eie:. .t .s
tae eease.easaess ei a.ste:.e.ty aac tae :ea«a|ema, ei eo,ms .
1aas ea|y at tae | eve| aac çe.at ma:|ec |y Ideas I cee

uasse:|
:e]e.a kaat s .ac.ae:eaee te a |.ac ei a.ste:y ta�t «ea|c s.mç|y |e
est:.as.e aac emç.:.ea| ~| se. as seea as uesse:| s aeeeaat |e

emes
eeaeeoec «.ta tae ,eaes.s ei ,eemet:y aac ,ett.a, |eyea� ta.

s ç:e·
|. m. aa:y sta,e. «e m.,at esçeet te see a.m :emeve tae e.cet..

ac
t:aaseeaceata| :ecaet.eas ça:e|y aac s.mç|y. aac :etao te a eeast.ta·
t.ve a.ste:y. a a. ste:y . a «a.ea tae eeas. ce:at.ea ei iae�s taems

| ves
«ea|c |eeeme . ac.sçeasa||e. |eeaase ae:e ie: tae i:st t.me. as sm,a·
|a: a.ste:.ea| e:.,. a. tae . ast.tat.a, iaet «ea|c |e .::eç|aeea||e. tae:e·
ie:e invariable. 1a.s .ava:.aaee ei tae iaet ,ei «aat eaa aeve: |e re­
peated as saea· «ea|c ce ]a:e e

::y ev

e: . ts

e.cet.e � ava:.aaee �

aat
eaa |e repeated ve| aata:.|y aac mceimte|y· mte a a.ste:y ei

:



s
u.ste:y as .ast.tat.ve «ea|c |e tae ç:eiea

c

a:

a «�e:e sease . s mc. s·
see. a||e i:em |e.a,. «ae:e tae ce iaete .s mc.ssee.a||e i:em �ae �e
]a:e 1ae aet.ea ei e:.,. a e: ,eaes.s eea|c ae |ea,e: |e :eee,mzec m
:lH
The interpretation of Trfm-Duc-Thao, Phenomenologie et materialisme di

le

tique
( 1 95 1 ; rpt. New York: Gordon and Breach, 1 97 1 ) , i s strongly oriented t�ward thIs kmd �f
a conclusion. At the end of Husser\ ' s i ti nerary, the return to the " 'technical and economic
forms of production" (namel y, i n Husserlian langu�ge, �he retur to real , factual,
.
and
extri nsi c causality outside of every reduction) seems mevI
.
table to that a�t
�or, who thmk

Husserl was himself "obscurely" resigned to thi s at the tme of The Orzgm ofG

0
m
etr.
" Moreover, this i s what Husserl was obscurely presenting when he
.
was search 109 10 the
famous fragment on The Origin of Geometr to ground geo�etncal truth on hum�n
praxis " (p. 220). "The phenomenological explication is thus onented towards determm-
i ng the actual conditions in which truth is engendered" (p. 2 2 1 ) .
.
Husserl ' s reduction never had the sense (quite the contrary) of a negatIon-f �n
ignorance or a forgetfulness that woul d ' ' leave" the real conditions of sense and factualIty
in general in order to " come back" or not, in order to "pass on"
.
or not, to th�
.
real
anal ysis [of what i s] (for sense is nothing

ther thQ1

the se�se of realIty o
,
� of fa��ual It�).
Otherwise, his reduction mi ght seem vam and dIssembl Ing, and the r�tu� to
.
an
empiricist histori ci sm, fatal . That does not appear to be the case, since, WIth dl �lectIcal
material ism "we fnd oursel ves on a plane subsequent {posterieur] to the reductIOn, the
latter havin� suppressed the abstract conception of nature but �ot
.
t�e
,
�ctually real �ature
which implies in its development the whole movement of subjectiVity (the author s em-
phasis; pp. 227-28).
47
Intrduction to the Origin of Geometry
tae ça:e çaeaemeae|e,.ea| sease taat uasse:| se ce,,ec|y
c.st.a,a.saec .:w
neeaase. ie: uasse:| . .t aas tae eaa:aete:.st.e «a.ea ceiaes iaet-
aame| y. s.a,a|a: aac emç.:.ea| es.steaee. tae .::ecae.|.|.ty ei a here
and »o«-tae teta| iaet ma:|.a, ,eemet:y s esta|| . sameat «ea|c |e
.ava:.a||e i aceec. uasse:| says taat tae açsa:,e ei ,eemet:y .ate:ests
a.m ae:e . aseia: as .t aac ta|ea ç|aee eaee (dereinst), ie: tae i:st
t.me (erstmalig), sta:t.a, i:em a "frst ae¡a.s.t.ea (aus einem ersten
Erwerben) ( 1 58-59) . nat «aat aatae:. zec tae esseat.a| :eac.a, of aac
within eeast.tatec ,eemet:y «as tae çess.|.|.ty ei . ma,. aat. ve| y va:y.a,
tae aata:a| here and now ei tae i,a:e e: tae çsyeae|e,.ea| esçe:.eaee ei
tae ,eemete: «ae. as «e aave seea. «as aet .ts . ast.tate: ue:e . ea tae
eeat:a:y. tae here and now ei tae i:st t.me¯ . s . ast.tat.ve aac e:eat. ve
i s ta.s esçe:.eaee , aa.¡ae ei . ts |.ac . aet a s.a,a|a: iaet-eae ie: «a.ea
«e saea|c aet |e a||e te sa|st.tate aaetae: iaet as aa esamç|e .a e:ce:
te cee.çae: .ts esseaee:
i s ta. s te say taat ta.s .aseça:a|.|.ty ei iaet aac sease .a tae eaeaess
ei aa .ast.tat.a, aet ç:ee|aces aeeess ie: çaeaemeae|e,y te a| | a. ste:y
aac te tae ça:e eidos ei a ie:eve: sa|me:,ec e:.,.a:
Net at a| | 1ae .ac.ssee.a|. |.ty . tse|i aas a :.,e:eas| y cete:m. aa||e
çaeaemeae|e,.ea| sease 1ae .ma,.aa:y va:.at.ea ei stat.e çae·
aemeae|e,y s.mç|y saççesec a tyçe ei :ecaet.ea «aese sty|e «.||
aave te |e :eae«ec . a a a.ste:.ea| çaeaemeae|e,y. 1ae e. cet.e asçeet ei
ta. s :ecaet.ea «as tae iteration ei a aeema s.aee tae eidos . s eeast.tatec
aac e|]eet.ve. tae se:.es ei aets «a.ea .ateacec .t eea|c aet |at . a·
ceia.te| y :este:e tae . cea| .ceat.ty ei a sease «a.ea «as aet e|sea:ec
|y aay a.ste:.ea| eçae.ty, aac .t «ea|c ea|y |e a ¡aest.ea ei e|a:.iy.a,.
. se|at.a,, aac cete:m. a.a, .ts ev.ceaee. .ava:.aaee. aac e|]eet.ve .ace·
çeaceaee 1ae a.ste:.ea| :ecaet.ea. «a.ea a| se eçe:ates |y va:. at.ea.
«. | | |e reactivating aac aeet.e. i asteac ei :eçeat.a, tae eeast. tatec
sease ei aa .cea| e|]eet. eae «.|| aave te :ea«a|ea tae ceçeaceaee ei
39 Opening Ideas I (Chapter 1 , § l a, p. 45, passage already ci ted), this defnition of
phenomenological origin ( in disti nction to genesis in the worldly human and natural
sciences) was already clearly specifi ed i n the LI, I , Prol. , §67, pp. 237-38; i n The
Phenomenology of Internal Time-Consciousness, ed. Martin Heidegger, tf. James S.
Churchill ( Bloomington, I nd. : I ndiana University Press, 1 97 1 ) , §2, pp. 27-28; and i n
"PRS," pp. 1 1 5-1 6. This di stinction, whi ch Husserl wi l l always j udge as deci sive, wil l
sti l l be underscored qui te frequently i n Experience and Judgment: Investigations in a
Genealogy of Logic, tf. from rev. ed. of Landgebe by Jaes S. Churchi ll and Karl
Ameriks ( Evanston: Northwestern Uni versity Press, 1 973)-hereafer cited as E­
paricularly § 1 , p. 1 1 ; i n FTL, in parti cular § 1 02, p. 269; i n the eM, §37, pp. 75-76; and of
course in the Origin.
48
Jacques Derrid
sease«.ta:esçeetteaa.aaa,a:a|aac. ast.tat.»eaeteea�ea|ec

aace:
seeeaca:y çass.».t.es aac .aia.te sec. ¬eatat.ea· a çn¬e:

c.a| �et
«a.ea e:eatec tae e|]eet «aese eidos .s cete:¬.aec|y tae .te:at.»e
:ecaet.ea ue:ea,a.a«ea:e,e.a,te seetaattae:e. saes.¬ç|e:e·
sçeasetetae¡aest.eaeitaeç:.e:.tyeieae:ecaet.eae»e:aaetae:

1ae s.a,a|a:.ty eitae .a»a:.a||efrst time a|:eacy aasa aeeess.ty
«aesee.cet.eiaac. s.aceec:atae:ee¬ç|es.
First, t|e:e. s aaessence-of-the-frst-time . a,eae:a| .anErstmalig�eit, ·
aa. aaa,a:a|s.,a.ieat.eataat.sa|«ays:eç:ecae.||e. «aate»e:.tsce
iaete esa¬ç|e ¬ay |e waate»e: «e:e tae e¬ç.:.ea| eeateat eitae
e:.,.a..t. saçec.et.ea| |yaacaç:.e:.aeees sa:ytaat,ee¬e�:yaas

aac
aae:.,.aaactaas aasaççea:ecai:stt.¬e .i cea|,ee¬etnea|e|,eets
eaaaetaa»etae.:e:.,.aa|ç|aee.ase¬etopos ouranios. uas�e:|a|:eacy
e¬çaas.zec ta.s . ataeLogical Investigations, «ae:e ae

c. seasseca

||
. cea|s.,a.ieat.easaace|]eets. · ' 1ae. :a.ste:.�.ty.

t�ea. .s

eaeeitae.:
e.cet.eee¬çeaeats. aactae:e. saeeeae:etea.steoe. ty:a.�acees�et
aeeessa:.| y. |. eate. a. tse|itae:eie:eaeeteaaEr

tmaltgkelf. wesa.c.
a¬e¬eata,e.taat.t«ea|c|e. ¬çess.||eteSa|stitate.anothe� iaetie:
taeaa. ¡aeiaeteitaefrst time. uacea|tec| y natea|y.iother .s¬�aat
te¡aa|.iy esseaee aacaet e¬ç.:.ea| es. ste�eeas sa�a. re:� am¡ae
iaeta|:eacyaas.tsesseaeeasaa.¡aeiaetwa..a.|y�em� aet�m,etae:
taaataeiaet.tse|i,ta. s.staetaes. seitaeaea·iet. »e.::eaaty?itae
esseaee, ..saettaeiaetaa| .tyeiiaet|attaeseaseei iaet-ta�t«�taeat
«a.eataeiaeteea|c aetaççea:aac,.»e:.seteaaycete:¬m�t.eae:
c.seea:se . ~| :eacy. «aeauasse:|«:ete. a ra.|eseçayasx. ,e:e�s
se.eaeetaat. ie:¸taeçaeae¬eae|e,.ea|sa|sa¬çt.ea} .�aes. a�a| a� . s
ete:aa||y taeapeiron. raeae¬eae|e,y eaa:eee,a.ze w.ta ?|,eet. »e
»a|.c.ty ea| yesseaeesaacesseat.a|:e|at.eas , ç 1 1 6 ,¬ec!i�c}, . ae
e».ceat|yaace:steec|ys.a,a|a:.tyea|ytaeeaeaesseiiaet�a.tsça:e
iaetaa|.ty aac aet taat ei tae e. cet.e s.a,a| a:.t. esceiaec mIde

s I
(§§ 1 1 , 1 4, 1 5 .çç62-63 aac66-69) asa|t.¬ate¬ate:.a|esseaeeswa..a.
40 In its substantive form, this notion does not seem to have been employed b� Husserl
himself. It is found i n place of the adverbial expression erstmalig in the transcnpt of the
Origin published by Fink in Revue Internationale de Philosophie ( 1 939), pp. 203-225:
Fink, who also italicizes erstmalig (p. 207), speaks of Erstamaligke�tsmo�us [po 208] and
thus gives a thematic value to a sigifcation aimed at by a profound mtentIon of Husserl .
41 Cf. in particular I , 1 , § 3 1 , p. 330. There Husserl completely condem�s i
,
n a �latonic
manner those who, like the "sons of the earth, " can "understand by ' bemg (Sem) �nlY
I b · "
.
e "being" in the world of natural reality, and he simultaneously rejects rea emg, 1 . . ,
h the hypothesis of the intelligible heaven. " They [the significat�on�] are not for t a� reas�n
objects which, though existing nowhere in the world, have bemg m a top�

ouramos or m
a divine mind, for such metaphysical hypostatization would b absurd.
49
I ntroductin to the Origin of Geometry
as x.eeea:aetes. ese|aceea|ye¬ç. :.ea|. ac. ».caa| .ty .eai y iaetaa| ·
.ty " (Idees I, ç. 239, a 1 eit: , . . e .taetode ti ei|:atees.steaee 1ae
ç:e||e¬eiceçeaceaeee:.aceçeaceaee. eitae a|st:aete:eeae:ete
eaa:aete:eitaesee.cet.es..,a|a:.t. es . çesec. aIdeas I i:e¬taeaet.eas
eitae1a.:cie,.ea|i a»est.,at.ea..s:ea||y¬e:ec.meaatese| »e«aea
.teeaee:asa. ste:.ea|s.a,a|a:.t.es . «aesee¬ç.:.ea|).:·. sae»e:. ¬¬e·
c.ate|y ç:eseat . it eea|c |e sa.c taat tae e.cet.e çaeae¬eae|e,y ei
a.ste:y. aa».a,tet:eatea|ys.a,a|a:. t.esassaea . .s.aeaeseasetae
¬estceçeaceataactae¬esta|st:aeteise.eaees . nat. a»e:se| y. s. aee
ee:ta.aaeae.:.ea|s.a,a|a:.t.es. asuasse:|says. eaa|eeeas. ce:ec.a
ee:ta.a:esçeetsastae¬esteeae:eteaac¬est.aceçeaceat .s.aeetae
s.a,a|a:.t.es ei e:.,.as a:e taese ei .ast.tat.a, aets ei e»e:y .cea|
s.,a.ieat.ea aac. .a ça:t.ea|a:. ei tae çess.|.|.t.eseise.eaee aac ei
ça.|eseçay. taea tae.:a. ste:y .s tae ¬est.aceçeaceat. tae ¬esteea·
e:ete.aactaei:steise. eaees
i aceec.taetae¬eeie. cet.es.a,a|a:.t.es. sa|:eacyt.es| . saeaea,a. a
Ideas I. ue«e»e:. s.aeetaee|aetae:e. stae. ¬¬aaeat| .»ecesçe:.eaee
e:taeseas.||eta.a,çe:ee.»ecoriginaliter, s. a,a|a:iaetaa| .ty.sa|«ays
ç:eseat . a|taea,a :ecaeec. te ,a.ce aac eeat:e| tae .ata.t.ea eitae
a|t. ¬ate¬ate:.a|esseaee. nat as seea as a. ste:.ea|c. staaee .s . ate:·
çesec. tae . a»est.,at.eaeie:.,. asae |ea,e:ç:eeeecs .a ta.s «ay ~
ceet:.aeeitradition astaeetae:eia. ste:.ea|çe:eeçt.eataea|eee¬es
aeeessa:y .t. sattaeeeate:eiThe Origin of Geometr.
Oa|yaace:taeseeeac.t.easeaauasse:|«:.te ea:. ate:estsaa|||e
tae. a¡a.:y|aes.atetae ¬este:.,.aa| sease .a «a.ea ,ee¬et:yeaee
a:ese.«asç:eseatastaet:ac.t.eaei¬. ||eaa.a . «e.a¡a. :e.atetaat
sease.a«a.ea.taççea:ec.aa. ste:yie:taei:stt. ¬e»which it must
have appeared ,ea:e¬çaas. s} .e»eataea,a«esae«aeta.a,eitaei:st
e:eate:saaca:eaete»eaass. a,aite:tae¬ ( 1 58 ¸¬ec.iec}, .
ue:e.tae"in which it must have appeared" e|ea:|y:e»ea| suasse:| s
.ateat. eaaacsa¬saçtaeseaseei e»e:y:ecaet. ea1a. s"must " ,aa»e
aççea:ec,¬a:|staeaeeess.tyae«:eee,a.zecaact.¬e| ess| yass.,aec
teaçastiaeteiaae.cet.eç:e· se:.çt.eaaaceiaaaç:.e:.ae:¬ i eaa
state ta.s »a|ae ei aeeess.ty .aceçeaceat|y ei a|| iaetaa| ee,a.t.ea .
He:ee»e:. ta.s .s a cea||e aeeess.ty .t .s taat ei a Quod aac a
Quomodo, aaeeess.ty eihaving had a a.ste:.ea|origin aaceiaa».a,
aacsuch aae:.,.a.saeaaseaseeie:.,. a. nataa.::ecae.||ea.ste:.e. ty
.s:eee,a. zec.ataatta.s must" .saaaeaaeecea|yafter taeiaeteitae
e»eat .i eea|caetceiaetaeaeeessa:yseaseaactaeaeeess.tyeitae
�� Thi s notion of "must , " of apriori requi si te, concerning a past is frequently util ized i n
the Origin. It marks the possibility of a recurrent structural determination i n the absence
48
Jacques Derrid
sease«.ta:esçeetteaa.aaa,a:a|aac. ast.tat.»eaeteea�ea|ec

aace:
seeeaca:y çass.».t.es aac .aia.te sec. ¬eatat.ea· a çn¬e:

c.a| �et
«a.ea e:eatec tae e|]eet «aese eidos .s cete:¬.aec|y tae .te:at.»e
:ecaet.ea ue:ea,a.a«ea:e,e.a,te seetaattae:e. saes.¬ç|e:e·
sçeasetetae¡aest.eaeitaeç:.e:.tyeieae:ecaet.eae»e:aaetae:

1ae s.a,a|a:.ty eitae .a»a:.a||efrst time a|:eacy aasa aeeess.ty
«aesee.cet.eiaac. s.aceec:atae:ee¬ç|es.
First, t|e:e. s aaessence-of-the-frst-time . a,eae:a| .anErstmalig�eit, ·
aa. aaa,a:a|s.,a.ieat.eataat.sa|«ays:eç:ecae.||e. «aate»e:.tsce
iaete esa¬ç|e ¬ay |e waate»e: «e:e tae e¬ç.:.ea| eeateat eitae
e:.,.a..t. saçec.et.ea| |yaacaç:.e:.aeees sa:ytaat,ee¬e�:yaas

aac
aae:.,.aaactaas aasaççea:ecai:stt.¬e .i cea|,ee¬etnea|e|,eets
eaaaetaa»etae.:e:.,.aa|ç|aee.ase¬etopos ouranios. uas�e:|a|:eacy
e¬çaas.zec ta.s . ataeLogical Investigations, «ae:e ae

c. seasseca

||
. cea|s.,a.ieat.easaace|]eets. · ' 1ae. :a.ste:.�.ty.

t�ea. .s

eaeeitae.:
e.cet.eee¬çeaeats. aactae:e. saeeeae:etea.steoe. ty:a.�acees�et
aeeessa:.| y. |. eate. a. tse|itae:eie:eaeeteaaEr

tmaltgkelf. wesa.c.
a¬e¬eata,e.taat.t«ea|c|e. ¬çess.||eteSa|stitate.anothe� iaetie:
taeaa. ¡aeiaeteitaefrst time. uacea|tec| y natea|y.iother .s¬�aat
te¡aa|.iy esseaee aacaet e¬ç.:.ea| es. ste�eeas sa�a. re:� am¡ae
iaeta|:eacyaas.tsesseaeeasaa.¡aeiaetwa..a.|y�em� aet�m,etae:
taaataeiaet.tse|i,ta. s.staetaes. seitaeaea·iet. »e.::eaaty?itae
esseaee, ..saettaeiaetaa| .tyeiiaet|attaeseaseei iaet-ta�t«�taeat
«a.eataeiaeteea|c aetaççea:aac,.»e:.seteaaycete:¬m�t.eae:
c.seea:se . ~| :eacy. «aeauasse:|«:ete. a ra.|eseçayasx. ,e:e�s
se.eaeetaat. ie:¸taeçaeae¬eae|e,.ea|sa|sa¬çt.ea} .�aes. a�a| a� . s
ete:aa||y taeapeiron. raeae¬eae|e,y eaa:eee,a.ze w.ta ?|,eet. »e
»a|.c.ty ea| yesseaeesaacesseat.a|:e|at.eas , ç 1 1 6 ,¬ec!i�c}, . ae
e».ceat|yaace:steec|ys.a,a|a:.tyea|ytaeeaeaesseiiaet�a.tsça:e
iaetaa|.ty aac aet taat ei tae e. cet.e s.a,a| a:.t. esceiaec mIde

s I
(§§ 1 1 , 1 4, 1 5 .çç62-63 aac66-69) asa|t.¬ate¬ate:.a|esseaeeswa..a.
40 In its substantive form, this notion does not seem to have been employed b� Husserl
himself. It is found i n place of the adverbial expression erstmalig in the transcnpt of the
Origin published by Fink in Revue Internationale de Philosophie ( 1 939), pp. 203-225:
Fink, who also italicizes erstmalig (p. 207), speaks of Erstamaligke�tsmo�us [po 208] and
thus gives a thematic value to a sigifcation aimed at by a profound mtentIon of Husserl .
41 Cf. in particular I , 1 , § 3 1 , p. 330. There Husserl completely condem�s i
,
n a �latonic
manner those who, like the "sons of the earth, " can "understand by ' bemg (Sem) �nlY
I b · "
.
e "being" in the world of natural reality, and he simultaneously rejects rea emg, 1 . . ,
h the hypothesis of the intelligible heaven. " They [the significat�on�] are not for t a� reas�n
objects which, though existing nowhere in the world, have bemg m a top�

ouramos or m
a divine mind, for such metaphysical hypostatization would b absurd.
49
I ntroductin to the Origin of Geometry
as x.eeea:aetes. ese|aceea|ye¬ç. :.ea|. ac. ».caa| .ty .eai y iaetaa| ·
.ty " (Idees I, ç. 239, a 1 eit: , . . e .taetode ti ei|:atees.steaee 1ae
ç:e||e¬eiceçeaceaeee:.aceçeaceaee. eitae a|st:aete:eeae:ete
eaa:aete:eitaesee.cet.es..,a|a:.t. es . çesec. aIdeas I i:e¬taeaet.eas
eitae1a.:cie,.ea|i a»est.,at.ea..s:ea||y¬e:ec.meaatese| »e«aea
.teeaee:asa. ste:.ea|s.a,a|a:.t.es . «aesee¬ç.:.ea|).:·. sae»e:. ¬¬e·
c.ate|y ç:eseat . it eea|c |e sa.c taat tae e.cet.e çaeae¬eae|e,y ei
a.ste:y. aa».a,tet:eatea|ys.a,a|a:. t.esassaea . .s.aeaeseasetae
¬estceçeaceataactae¬esta|st:aeteise.eaees . nat. a»e:se| y. s. aee
ee:ta.aaeae.:.ea|s.a,a|a:.t.es. asuasse:|says. eaa|eeeas. ce:ec.a
ee:ta.a:esçeetsastae¬esteeae:eteaac¬est.aceçeaceat .s.aeetae
s.a,a|a:.t.es ei e:.,.as a:e taese ei .ast.tat.a, aets ei e»e:y .cea|
s.,a.ieat.ea aac. .a ça:t.ea|a:. ei tae çess.|.|.t.eseise.eaee aac ei
ça.|eseçay. taea tae.:a. ste:y .s tae ¬est.aceçeaceat. tae ¬esteea·
e:ete.aactaei:steise. eaees
i aceec.taetae¬eeie. cet.es.a,a|a:.t.es. sa|:eacyt.es| . saeaea,a. a
Ideas I. ue«e»e:. s.aeetaee|aetae:e. stae. ¬¬aaeat| .»ecesçe:.eaee
e:taeseas.||eta.a,çe:ee.»ecoriginaliter, s. a,a|a:iaetaa| .ty.sa|«ays
ç:eseat . a|taea,a :ecaeec. te ,a.ce aac eeat:e| tae .ata.t.ea eitae
a|t. ¬ate¬ate:.a|esseaee. nat as seea as a. ste:.ea|c. staaee .s . ate:·
çesec. tae . a»est.,at.eaeie:.,. asae |ea,e:ç:eeeecs .a ta.s «ay ~
ceet:.aeeitradition astaeetae:eia. ste:.ea|çe:eeçt.eataea|eee¬es
aeeessa:y .t. sattaeeeate:eiThe Origin of Geometr.
Oa|yaace:taeseeeac.t.easeaauasse:|«:.te ea:. ate:estsaa|||e
tae. a¡a.:y|aes.atetae ¬este:.,.aa| sease .a «a.ea ,ee¬et:yeaee
a:ese.«asç:eseatastaet:ac.t.eaei¬. ||eaa.a . «e.a¡a. :e.atetaat
sease.a«a.ea.taççea:ec.aa. ste:yie:taei:stt. ¬e»which it must
have appeared ,ea:e¬çaas. s} .e»eataea,a«esae«aeta.a,eitaei:st
e:eate:saaca:eaete»eaass. a,aite:tae¬ ( 1 58 ¸¬ec.iec}, .
ue:e.tae"in which it must have appeared" e|ea:|y:e»ea| suasse:| s
.ateat. eaaacsa¬saçtaeseaseei e»e:y:ecaet. ea1a. s"must " ,aa»e
aççea:ec,¬a:|staeaeeess.tyae«:eee,a.zecaact.¬e| ess| yass.,aec
teaçastiaeteiaae.cet.eç:e· se:.çt.eaaaceiaaaç:.e:.ae:¬ i eaa
state ta.s »a|ae ei aeeess.ty .aceçeaceat|y ei a|| iaetaa| ee,a.t.ea .
He:ee»e:. ta.s .s a cea||e aeeess.ty .t .s taat ei a Quod aac a
Quomodo, aaeeess.ty eihaving had a a.ste:.ea|origin aaceiaa».a,
aacsuch aae:.,.a.saeaaseaseeie:.,. a. nataa.::ecae.||ea.ste:.e. ty
.s:eee,a. zec.ataatta.s must" .saaaeaaeecea|yafter taeiaeteitae
e»eat .i eea|caetceiaetaeaeeessa:yseaseaactaeaeeess.tyeitae
�� Thi s notion of "must , " of apriori requi si te, concerning a past is frequently util ized i n
the Origin. It marks the possibility of a recurrent structural determination i n the absence
50
Jacques Derrid
e:.,.a |eie:e ,eemet:y «as in fact |eo aac |eie:e .t aac .a iaet |eea
,.vea te me. ~|se|ate|y i:ee «.ta :esçeet te «aa| .t ,eveos. tae |a«·
ia| aess ei sease . s aeta.a, .a .tse|i
~|se. aac second, «aateve: in fact tae i:st ç:ecaeec e: c.seeve:ec
,eemet:.ea| . cea|.t.es «e:e . .t .s a priori aeeessa:y taat taey ie||e«ec
i:em a se:t ei aea·,eemet:y. taat taey sç:aa, i:em tae se.| ei ç:e·
,eemet:.ea| esçe:.eaee ~ çaeaemeae|e,y ei tae esçe:.eaee .s çess.||e
taaa|s te a :ecaet.ea aac te aa açç:eç:.ate ce·sec. meatat.ea
Third, aac | aa| |y. «aeeve: in fact tae | :st ,eemete:s «e:e . aac
«aateve: in fact tae emç. :.ea| eeateat ei tae.: aets «as . .t . s a pror
aeeessa:y taat tae esta||.sa.a, ,esta:es aac a sease . saea taat
,eemet:y . ssaec i:em taem with the sense as we now know it. re:. ei
eea:se . tae :eaet.vat.a, :ecaet.ea saççeses tae .te:at.ve :ecaet.ea ei
tae stat.e aac st:aeta:a| aaa| ys. s. «a.ea teaeaes a s eaee aac ie: a|| «aat
tae ,eemet:.ea| çaeaemeaea .s aac «aea .ts çess.|.| . ty .s eeast.·
tatec. 1a.s meaas-|y a aeeess.ty «a.ea .s ae |ess taaa aa aee.ceata|
aac este:.e: iate-taat i mast sta:t «.ta :eacy·mace ,eemet:y. saea as
.t . s ae« . a e. :ea|at.ea aac «a.ea i eaa a|«ays çaeaemeae|e,.ea||y
:eac. .a e:ce: te ,e |ae| ta:ea,a . t aac ¡aest.ea tae sease ei .ts e:.,. a.
1aas . |eta taaa|s te aac cesç.te tae sec.meatat.eas . i eaa :este:e
a.ste:y te .ts t:ac.t.eaa| c.açaaae.ty. uasse:| ae:e sçea|s ei Ruckfrage,
a aet.ea ae cea|t ea::eat eaea,a . |at «a.ea ae« ta|es ea a saa:ç aac
ç:ee.se sease. we aave t:aas|atec . t |y retur inquir (question en re­
tour) . i.|e . ts Ce:maa syaeaym. :eta:a .a¡a.:y ,aac question en retour
as «e| |· .s ma:|ec |y tae çesta| aac eç.ste|a:y :eie:eaee e: :eseaaaee
ei a eemmaa.eat.ea i:em a c. staaee i.|e Ruckfrage, :eta:a . a¡a. :y .s
as|ec ea tae |as.s ei a i:st çest.a,. r:em a :eee.vec aac already
:eaca||e document, tae çess.|.|.ty .s eae:ec me ei as|.a, a,a.a. aac in
return, a|eat tae ç:. me:c.a| aac iaa| .ateat.ea ei «aat aas |eea ,. vea
me |y t:ac.t.ea. 1ae |atte:. «a.ea . s eo|y mec.aey .tse|i aac eçeaaess te
a te|eeemmaa.eat.ea . a ,eae:a| . . s taea. as uasse:| says. eçea . te
eeat. aaec .a¡a.:y ( 1 58) .
1aese aaa|e,.es. tae metaçae:.ea| ieeas ei ea: test. eeai:m at «aat
çe.at .s :e¡a. :ec tae "zigzag" «ay ei ç:eeeec.a,-a ç:eeeca:e taat tae
of every material determi nati on. And if thi s apriori normativity of hi story is recognized
starting from the fact , after the fact, thi s after i s not the i ndication of a dependence. The
fact does not teach us through its factual content but as an example. It i s due to thi s
qfters own specifc character, in the necessity of preserving transcendence or reduced
factuality as clue , that the parti cular hi storicity of phenomenological di scourse is
announced.
51
Introduction to the Origin of Geometry
Crisis ç:eçeses as a se:t ei aeeessa:y "circle "":l aac «a.e| .s ea|y t|e
ça:e ie:m ei eve:y a.ste:.ea| esçe:.eaee
xeta:a . a¡a. :y. tae :eaet.eaa:y aac tae:eie:e :eve| at.eaa:y meaeat
ei ta. s .ate:ç|ay ( Wechselspiel) , «ea|c |e . mç:aet.ea|| e .i ,eemet:y
«e:e esseat.a||y semeta.a, «a.ea eeat.aaa||y e.:ea| atec as eemmea
ee.a .a tae va|.c.ty ei .cea|.ty. tacea|t-c|y. ae me:e taaa tae |. ste:y
ei .ts t:aasm.ss.ea ,:eaacs tae va|ae ei ,e|c. · eaa aay «e:c|y a.ste:y
,.ve tae sease ei ta.s e.:ea|at.ea as eemmea ee.a. s.aee . ea tae eea·
t:a:y. a. ste:y saççeses . t xatae:. tae ma.ateaaaee ei ta.s e. :ea|at.ea
çe:m.ts tae aeat:a| .zat.ea ei «e:|c|y a.ste:y. Neat:a| . zat.ea taea eçeas
tae sçaee ie: aa .ateat.eaa| aac . at:.as.e a.ste:y ei ta. s ve:y e.:ea|at.ea
aac çe:m.ts tae eemç:eaeas.ea ei ae« a t:act.ea ei t:ata .s çess. ||e .a
,eae:a| . ia sae:t. «aat seems te |e ei atmest . mçe:taaee te uasse:| .s
as maea aa eçe:at.ea ,:eaet.vat.ea .tse|i as tae a|.|.ty te eçea a a.ccea
a.ste:.ea| ie|c· as tae aata:e ei taat ie|c .tse|i ,as tae çess.|.|.ty ei
semeta.a, | .|e :eaet.vat.ea·
1aas ea|y aace: tae eeve: ei stat.e çaeaemeae|e,y s :ecaet.eas eaa
«e ma|e etae: .aia.te|y me:e sa|t|e aac aaza:ceas :ecaet.eas. «a.ea
y.e|c |eta tae s.a,a|a: esseaees ei . ast.tat.ve aets aac. .a tae.:
esemç|a:y «e|. tae «ae|e sease ei aa eçea a. ste:y .a ,eae:a| w.taeat
tae Wechselspiel ei ta.s cea||e :ecaet.ea. tae çaeaemeae|e,y ei a.s·
te:.e.ty «ea|c |e aa ese:e.se . a vaa.ty. as «ea|c |e a|| çaeaemeae|e,y.
ii «e ta|e ie: ,:aatec tae ça.|eseça.ea| aeasease ei a ça:e|y emç.:.ea|
a. ste:y aac tae . mçeteaee ei aa aa.ste:.ea| :at.eaa| .sm. taea «e :ea|.ze
tae se:.easaess ei «aat .s at sta|e
III
~|| taese ç:eeaat.eas aave mace as seas.t.ve te tae est:eme c.mea|ty
ei tae tas| 1aas uasse: aace:see:es tae ç:e|.m. aa:y aac ,eae:a|
eaa:aete: ei ta. s mec.tat.ea . a a seateaee «a.ea aççea:s |e::e«ec «e:c
4:l
"
Thus we fnd oursel ves i n a sort of circle. The understanding of the begi nni ngs i s to
be gained ful l y onl y by starting with science as gi ven i n its present-day form, looking back
at its development. But in the absence of an understanding of the beginnings the
development i s mute as a development ofsense. Thus we have no other choice than to
proceed forward and backward in a ' zigzag' pattern . . . " (§91 , p. 58 [modifed]) .
H [ Derrida puts the phrase "pas plus que I ' hi storie de sa transmi ssion ne fonde la
valeur de I ' or" in quotations . I have been unable to locate thi s phrase, and Professor
Derrida himself does not remember from what i t is taken. It might simpl y be an adapta­
tion of the l ast phrase quoted from Ideas I on p. 43 above. ]
50
Jacques Derrid
e:.,.a |eie:e ,eemet:y «as in fact |eo aac |eie:e .t aac .a iaet |eea
,.vea te me. ~|se|ate|y i:ee «.ta :esçeet te «aa| .t ,eveos. tae |a«·
ia| aess ei sease . s aeta.a, .a .tse|i
~|se. aac second, «aateve: in fact tae i:st ç:ecaeec e: c.seeve:ec
,eemet:.ea| . cea|.t.es «e:e . .t .s a priori aeeessa:y taat taey ie||e«ec
i:em a se:t ei aea·,eemet:y. taat taey sç:aa, i:em tae se.| ei ç:e·
,eemet:.ea| esçe:.eaee ~ çaeaemeae|e,y ei tae esçe:.eaee .s çess.||e
taaa|s te a :ecaet.ea aac te aa açç:eç:.ate ce·sec. meatat.ea
Third, aac | aa| |y. «aeeve: in fact tae | :st ,eemete:s «e:e . aac
«aateve: in fact tae emç. :.ea| eeateat ei tae.: aets «as . .t . s a pror
aeeessa:y taat tae esta||.sa.a, ,esta:es aac a sease . saea taat
,eemet:y . ssaec i:em taem with the sense as we now know it. re:. ei
eea:se . tae :eaet.vat.a, :ecaet.ea saççeses tae .te:at.ve :ecaet.ea ei
tae stat.e aac st:aeta:a| aaa| ys. s. «a.ea teaeaes a s eaee aac ie: a|| «aat
tae ,eemet:.ea| çaeaemeaea .s aac «aea .ts çess.|.| . ty .s eeast.·
tatec. 1a.s meaas-|y a aeeess.ty «a.ea .s ae |ess taaa aa aee.ceata|
aac este:.e: iate-taat i mast sta:t «.ta :eacy·mace ,eemet:y. saea as
.t . s ae« . a e. :ea|at.ea aac «a.ea i eaa a|«ays çaeaemeae|e,.ea||y
:eac. .a e:ce: te ,e |ae| ta:ea,a . t aac ¡aest.ea tae sease ei .ts e:.,. a.
1aas . |eta taaa|s te aac cesç.te tae sec.meatat.eas . i eaa :este:e
a.ste:y te .ts t:ac.t.eaa| c.açaaae.ty. uasse:| ae:e sçea|s ei Ruckfrage,
a aet.ea ae cea|t ea::eat eaea,a . |at «a.ea ae« ta|es ea a saa:ç aac
ç:ee.se sease. we aave t:aas|atec . t |y retur inquir (question en re­
tour) . i.|e . ts Ce:maa syaeaym. :eta:a .a¡a.:y ,aac question en retour
as «e| |· .s ma:|ec |y tae çesta| aac eç.ste|a:y :eie:eaee e: :eseaaaee
ei a eemmaa.eat.ea i:em a c. staaee i.|e Ruckfrage, :eta:a . a¡a. :y .s
as|ec ea tae |as.s ei a i:st çest.a,. r:em a :eee.vec aac already
:eaca||e document, tae çess.|.|.ty .s eae:ec me ei as|.a, a,a.a. aac in
return, a|eat tae ç:. me:c.a| aac iaa| .ateat.ea ei «aat aas |eea ,. vea
me |y t:ac.t.ea. 1ae |atte:. «a.ea . s eo|y mec.aey .tse|i aac eçeaaess te
a te|eeemmaa.eat.ea . a ,eae:a| . . s taea. as uasse:| says. eçea . te
eeat. aaec .a¡a.:y ( 1 58) .
1aese aaa|e,.es. tae metaçae:.ea| ieeas ei ea: test. eeai:m at «aat
çe.at .s :e¡a. :ec tae "zigzag" «ay ei ç:eeeec.a,-a ç:eeeca:e taat tae
of every material determi nati on. And if thi s apriori normativity of hi story is recognized
starting from the fact , after the fact, thi s after i s not the i ndication of a dependence. The
fact does not teach us through its factual content but as an example. It i s due to thi s
qfters own specifc character, in the necessity of preserving transcendence or reduced
factuality as clue , that the parti cular hi storicity of phenomenological di scourse is
announced.
51
Introduction to the Origin of Geometry
Crisis ç:eçeses as a se:t ei aeeessa:y "circle "":l aac «a.e| .s ea|y t|e
ça:e ie:m ei eve:y a.ste:.ea| esçe:.eaee
xeta:a . a¡a. :y. tae :eaet.eaa:y aac tae:eie:e :eve| at.eaa:y meaeat
ei ta. s .ate:ç|ay ( Wechselspiel) , «ea|c |e . mç:aet.ea|| e .i ,eemet:y
«e:e esseat.a||y semeta.a, «a.ea eeat.aaa||y e.:ea| atec as eemmea
ee.a .a tae va|.c.ty ei .cea|.ty. tacea|t-c|y. ae me:e taaa tae |. ste:y
ei .ts t:aasm.ss.ea ,:eaacs tae va|ae ei ,e|c. · eaa aay «e:c|y a.ste:y
,.ve tae sease ei ta.s e.:ea|at.ea as eemmea ee.a. s.aee . ea tae eea·
t:a:y. a. ste:y saççeses . t xatae:. tae ma.ateaaaee ei ta.s e. :ea|at.ea
çe:m.ts tae aeat:a| .zat.ea ei «e:|c|y a.ste:y. Neat:a| . zat.ea taea eçeas
tae sçaee ie: aa .ateat.eaa| aac . at:.as.e a.ste:y ei ta. s ve:y e.:ea|at.ea
aac çe:m.ts tae eemç:eaeas.ea ei ae« a t:act.ea ei t:ata .s çess. ||e .a
,eae:a| . ia sae:t. «aat seems te |e ei atmest . mçe:taaee te uasse:| .s
as maea aa eçe:at.ea ,:eaet.vat.ea .tse|i as tae a|.|.ty te eçea a a.ccea
a.ste:.ea| ie|c· as tae aata:e ei taat ie|c .tse|i ,as tae çess.|.|.ty ei
semeta.a, | .|e :eaet.vat.ea·
1aas ea|y aace: tae eeve: ei stat.e çaeaemeae|e,y s :ecaet.eas eaa
«e ma|e etae: .aia.te|y me:e sa|t|e aac aaza:ceas :ecaet.eas. «a.ea
y.e|c |eta tae s.a,a|a: esseaees ei . ast.tat.ve aets aac. .a tae.:
esemç|a:y «e|. tae «ae|e sease ei aa eçea a. ste:y .a ,eae:a| w.taeat
tae Wechselspiel ei ta.s cea||e :ecaet.ea. tae çaeaemeae|e,y ei a.s·
te:.e.ty «ea|c |e aa ese:e.se . a vaa.ty. as «ea|c |e a|| çaeaemeae|e,y.
ii «e ta|e ie: ,:aatec tae ça.|eseça.ea| aeasease ei a ça:e|y emç.:.ea|
a. ste:y aac tae . mçeteaee ei aa aa.ste:.ea| :at.eaa| .sm. taea «e :ea|.ze
tae se:.easaess ei «aat .s at sta|e
III
~|| taese ç:eeaat.eas aave mace as seas.t.ve te tae est:eme c.mea|ty
ei tae tas| 1aas uasse: aace:see:es tae ç:e|.m. aa:y aac ,eae:a|
eaa:aete: ei ta. s mec.tat.ea . a a seateaee «a.ea aççea:s |e::e«ec «e:c
4:l
"
Thus we fnd oursel ves i n a sort of circle. The understanding of the begi nni ngs i s to
be gained ful l y onl y by starting with science as gi ven i n its present-day form, looking back
at its development. But in the absence of an understanding of the beginnings the
development i s mute as a development ofsense. Thus we have no other choice than to
proceed forward and backward in a ' zigzag' pattern . . . " (§91 , p. 58 [modifed]) .
H [ Derrida puts the phrase "pas plus que I ' hi storie de sa transmi ssion ne fonde la
valeur de I ' or" in quotations . I have been unable to locate thi s phrase, and Professor
Derrida himself does not remember from what i t is taken. It might simpl y be an adapta­
tion of the l ast phrase quoted from Ideas I on p. 43 above. ]
I
52
Jacques Derrida
ie: «e:c i:em Formal and Transcendental Logic ,i at:ecaet.ea, ç. 6) :
1a. s :eta:a . a¡a.:y aaave.ca||y :ema.as «.ta.a tae sçae:e ei ,ea·
e:a|. t.es , |at , as «e saa| | seea see, taese a:e ,eae:a| . t.es «a.ea eaa |e
:.ea|y esç|.eatec . . . " ( 1 58 , mec.iec},
Dea|t|ess, as aç:.e:. cete:m.aat.ea, çaeaemeae|e,y «. | | aeve: |e
a||e te ea:.ea taese ,eae:a| .t.es , «aese .ac.,eaee .s esseat.a| . ~ac taey
«.|| |e :.ea|y esç|.eatec ea|y .a a ç:esçeet.ve, :e,.eaa| , aac, .a a
ee:ta.a sease, naive sty|e ei «e:|. nat ta. s aa.vet- «ea|c ae |ea,e:
aave tae sease .t asec te aave before tae sease·.avest.,at.ea ei taese
,eae:a|.t.es . a sease·.avest.,at.ea taat uasse:| te:ms a e:.t.e. sm aac
«a.ea «.|| aave a :e,a| at.ve aac ae:mat.ve va|ae ie: ta. s «e:|. Cea·
t.aaa||y ea| | . a, as |ae| te tae aaaet.eec ç:esaççes.t.eas ei eve: :eea:·
:.a, ç:e||ems, sease·.avest.,at.ea «. | | |eeç as i:em a|e::at.ea, ie:,et·
ia|aess, aac . ::esçeas.|.| .ty. ii se.eaee, «.ta :ac.ea| :esçeas.|. | .ty,
aas :eaeaec cee.s.eas, taey eaa .mç:ess ea | .ie aa|.taa| ae:ms as
ve| .t.eaa| |eats, as ç:ece|.aeatec ie:ms «.ta. a «a.ea tae .ac.v.caa| cee.·
s.eas ea,at . a aay ease te eeaiae taemse| ves, aac eaa eeaiae taem·
se| ves se ia: as taese aa.ve:sa| cee. s.eas aave |eeeme aetaa| | y açç:e·
ç:.atec. re: a :at.eaa| ç:aet.ee, taee:y a ç:.e:. eaa |e ea|y a ce| .m.t.a,
ie:m. .t eaa ea|y ç|aat ieaees, tae e:ess.a, ei «a.ea . ac.eates a|sa:c.ty
e: a|e::at.ea (FTL, ç. 6) .
1ae | :st ei taese :ac.ea| ,eae:a| .t.es .s ç:ee.se|y taat «a.ea aa·
tae:. zes tae :eta:a .a¡a.:y. tae aa.ty ei ,eem
¸
t:y s sease .s taat ei a
t:ac.t.ea. Ceemet:y s ceve|eçmeat .s a histor ea| y |eeaase .t .s a
a. ste:y. ue«eve: ia: . ts |a.|c.a, aç ç:e,:esses, ae«eve: ,eae:eas tae
ç:e| .ie:at.ea ei .ts ie:ms aac metame:çaeses may |e . taey ce aet ea||
a,a.a .ate ¡aest.ea tae aa.iec sease ei «aat, .a ta.s ceve| eçmeat , .s te
|e taea,at ei as the ,eemet:.ea| se.eaee . 1ae ,:eaac ei ta.s aa.ty .s tae
«e:|c .tse|i. aet as tae ia.te teta| .ty ei seat.eat |e.a,s , |at as tae
.aia.te teta|.ty ei çess.||e esçe:.eaees .a sçaee .a ,eae:a| . 1ae aa.ty ei
the ,eemet:.ea| se.eaee . «a.ea . s a| se .ts eaeaess, . s aet eea| aec te tae
systemat.e eeae:eaee ei a ,eemet:y «aese as.ems a:e a|:eacy eeast.·
tatec. .ts aa. ty . s taat ei a t:ac.t.eaa| ,eemet:.ea| sease . aia.te|y eçea
te a|| its own :eve|at.eas . 1e çese tae ¡aest.ea ei ta. s t:ac.t.eaa| aa.ty . s
te as| eaese|i. ae«, historically, aave a|| ,eemet:. es |eea, e: «. | | taey
|e, ,eemet:.es :
ra:tae:me:e, ta. s aa.ty ei ,eemet:y s sease, saea as . t . s announced
.a tae Origin, . s aet a ,eae:a| eeaeeçt taat . s est:aetec e: a|st:aetec
i:em va:.eas |ae«a ,eemet:. es . Oa tae eeat:a:y, .t . s tae ç:.me:c. a|
eeae:ete esseaee ei ,eemet:y taat ma|es saea a ,eae:a|.z.a, eçe:at.ea
çess.||e . Ne: .s ta.s sease·aa.ty te |e eeaiasec «.ta tae eeaeeçt taat
uasse:| in fact cete:m.aec as tae . cea| e:.eat.a, ,eemet:.ea| ç:aet.ee . a
53
Introductin to the Origin of Geometry
,eemet:y s objective taemat.e ie|c · 1a.s eeaeeçt ,a|:eacy ma:|ec |y
a.ste:y, .s, as «e |ae«, taat ei a "defnite" aeme|e,y aac aa esaaas·
t. ve cecaet. v.ty. · sta:t.a, i:em a system ei as.ems «a.ea ,eve:as a
ma|t.ç|.e.ty, eve:y ç:eçes.t.ea .s cete:m.aa||e either as aaa|yt.e eease·
¡aeaee or as aaa|yt.e eeat:ac.et.ea. ·· 1aat «ea|c |e aa a|te:aat.ve «e
eea|c aet ,et |eyeac. saea eeaiceaee c.c aet aave |ea, te «a.t |eie:e
|e.a, eeat:ac.etec. .aceec .ts va|ae:a|. |.ty aas |eea «e|| sae«a, ça:·
t.ea|a:|y «aea Cece| c. seeve:ec tae :.ea çess.|.| .ty ei "undecidable"
ç:eçes.t.eas .a 1 93 1 .
nat a|| tae ¡aest.eas a|eat tae çess. |.|.ty e: . mçess. |. |. ty ei ma.a·
ta.a. a, uasse:| s cemaacs~e.tae: as aa esseat.a||y . aaeeess.||e :e,a·
| at.ve .cea| e: as a metaece|e,.ea| :a| e aac aetaa| teeaa.¡ae ,«a.ea ae
| ea,e: . a ,eae:a| seems çess.||e,~a:e taey aet as|ec ç:ee.se|y within
ta.s aa.ty ei tae ,eemet:.ee·mataemat.ea| ae:.zea .a ,eae:a| , «. ta.a tae
eçea aa.ty ei a se.eaee: ~ac .t .s «.ta.a tae ae:.zea taat uasse:| ae:e
¡aest.eas taat tae ç:eeeeaçat.ea «.ta cee. ca|. | . ty |e|ea,s . | a .ts ve:y
ae,at. v.ty, tae aet.ea ei tae aa·cee.ca||e~aça:t i:em tae iaet taat .t
ea| y aas saea a sease |y seme .::ecae.||e :eie:eaee te tae .cea| ei
cee. ca|.| .ty·~a|se :eta.as a mataemat.ea| va|ae ce:.vec i:em se¬e
aa.¡ae sea:ee ei va|ae vaste: taaa tae ç:e]eet ei defniteness .tse|i. 1a. s
«ae|e ce|ate . s ea| y aace:staaca||e «. ta. a semeta.a, |.|e the ,eemet·
:.ea| e: mataemat.ea| se.eaee, «aese aa.ty .s st.|| to come ea tae |as.s ei
«aat . s aaaeaaeec .a .ts e:.,.a. waateve: may |e tae :esçeases eea·
t:.|atec |y tae eç. steme|e,.st e: |y tae aet.v.ty ei tae se.eat.| e .aves·
4� On the two ' ' faces" of science' s thematic and the objecti ve character of the thematic
on which the sci entifc researcher i s excl usi vel y focused in his activity as researcher. cf.
FTL, §9, pp. 36-38. "Thus the geometer . . . wi l l not think of explori ng, besides geomet­
rical shapes, geometrical thi nking" (p. 36) .
40 On these questions, cf. i n particular Jean Cavai l l es, Sur f a Logique et f a theorie de fa
science (Pari s: Presses Uni versitaires de France, 1 947) , pp. 70f. : Tr�m-Duc-Th{,
Phenomenofogie, p. 35 : and especi al l y S. Bachel ard, A Study ofHusserl' s Logic [Part I ,
Ch. 3] . pp. 43-63.
47 Thi s i deal is cl early defi ned by Husserl , notably in the LI, I , Pro! . , §70, pp. 24 1 and
243, before a section in which the relations of the phi losopher and the mathematician are
defned: in Ideas I. §72, pp. 1 87-88: and in FTL. §3 1 , pp. 94-97.
4H Moreover, that the anal yses of the Origin concerning the synthetic style of mathe­
matical tradition serve as an example of tradition i n general is thus confrmed. The very
movement whi ch enriches sense retains a sedimentary reference to the antecedent sense
at the bottom of the new sense and cannot di spense with i t
.
The intention which grasps
the new sense is original i nsofar as the prior project stil l remains and the i ntention wi l l
si mpl y not "gi ve way" to i t. Thus, undecidabi l i ty has a revolutionary and di sconcerti ng
sense, i t i s itsel onl y if i t remains essentially and intrinsically haunted i n its sense of
origin by the te/os of decidabi l i ty-whose di sruption i t marks.
I
52
Jacques Derrida
ie: «e:c i:em Formal and Transcendental Logic ,i at:ecaet.ea, ç. 6) :
1a. s :eta:a . a¡a.:y aaave.ca||y :ema.as «.ta.a tae sçae:e ei ,ea·
e:a|. t.es , |at , as «e saa| | seea see, taese a:e ,eae:a| . t.es «a.ea eaa |e
:.ea|y esç|.eatec . . . " ( 1 58 , mec.iec},
Dea|t|ess, as aç:.e:. cete:m.aat.ea, çaeaemeae|e,y «. | | aeve: |e
a||e te ea:.ea taese ,eae:a| .t.es , «aese .ac.,eaee .s esseat.a| . ~ac taey
«.|| |e :.ea|y esç|.eatec ea|y .a a ç:esçeet.ve, :e,.eaa| , aac, .a a
ee:ta.a sease, naive sty|e ei «e:|. nat ta. s aa.vet- «ea|c ae |ea,e:
aave tae sease .t asec te aave before tae sease·.avest.,at.ea ei taese
,eae:a|.t.es . a sease·.avest.,at.ea taat uasse:| te:ms a e:.t.e. sm aac
«a.ea «.|| aave a :e,a| at.ve aac ae:mat.ve va|ae ie: ta. s «e:|. Cea·
t.aaa||y ea| | . a, as |ae| te tae aaaet.eec ç:esaççes.t.eas ei eve: :eea:·
:.a, ç:e||ems, sease·.avest.,at.ea «. | | |eeç as i:em a|e::at.ea, ie:,et·
ia|aess, aac . ::esçeas.|.| .ty. ii se.eaee, «.ta :ac.ea| :esçeas.|. | .ty,
aas :eaeaec cee.s.eas, taey eaa .mç:ess ea | .ie aa|.taa| ae:ms as
ve| .t.eaa| |eats, as ç:ece|.aeatec ie:ms «.ta. a «a.ea tae .ac.v.caa| cee.·
s.eas ea,at . a aay ease te eeaiae taemse| ves, aac eaa eeaiae taem·
se| ves se ia: as taese aa.ve:sa| cee. s.eas aave |eeeme aetaa| | y açç:e·
ç:.atec. re: a :at.eaa| ç:aet.ee, taee:y a ç:.e:. eaa |e ea|y a ce| .m.t.a,
ie:m. .t eaa ea|y ç|aat ieaees, tae e:ess.a, ei «a.ea . ac.eates a|sa:c.ty
e: a|e::at.ea (FTL, ç. 6) .
1ae | :st ei taese :ac.ea| ,eae:a| .t.es .s ç:ee.se|y taat «a.ea aa·
tae:. zes tae :eta:a .a¡a.:y. tae aa.ty ei ,eem
¸
t:y s sease .s taat ei a
t:ac.t.ea. Ceemet:y s ceve|eçmeat .s a histor ea| y |eeaase .t .s a
a. ste:y. ue«eve: ia: . ts |a.|c.a, aç ç:e,:esses, ae«eve: ,eae:eas tae
ç:e| .ie:at.ea ei .ts ie:ms aac metame:çaeses may |e . taey ce aet ea||
a,a.a .ate ¡aest.ea tae aa.iec sease ei «aat, .a ta.s ceve| eçmeat , .s te
|e taea,at ei as the ,eemet:.ea| se.eaee . 1ae ,:eaac ei ta.s aa.ty .s tae
«e:|c .tse|i. aet as tae ia.te teta| .ty ei seat.eat |e.a,s , |at as tae
.aia.te teta|.ty ei çess.||e esçe:.eaees .a sçaee .a ,eae:a| . 1ae aa.ty ei
the ,eemet:.ea| se.eaee . «a.ea . s a| se .ts eaeaess, . s aet eea| aec te tae
systemat.e eeae:eaee ei a ,eemet:y «aese as.ems a:e a|:eacy eeast.·
tatec. .ts aa. ty . s taat ei a t:ac.t.eaa| ,eemet:.ea| sease . aia.te|y eçea
te a|| its own :eve|at.eas . 1e çese tae ¡aest.ea ei ta. s t:ac.t.eaa| aa.ty . s
te as| eaese|i. ae«, historically, aave a|| ,eemet:. es |eea, e: «. | | taey
|e, ,eemet:.es :
ra:tae:me:e, ta. s aa.ty ei ,eemet:y s sease, saea as . t . s announced
.a tae Origin, . s aet a ,eae:a| eeaeeçt taat . s est:aetec e: a|st:aetec
i:em va:.eas |ae«a ,eemet:. es . Oa tae eeat:a:y, .t . s tae ç:.me:c. a|
eeae:ete esseaee ei ,eemet:y taat ma|es saea a ,eae:a|.z.a, eçe:at.ea
çess.||e . Ne: .s ta.s sease·aa.ty te |e eeaiasec «.ta tae eeaeeçt taat
uasse:| in fact cete:m.aec as tae . cea| e:.eat.a, ,eemet:.ea| ç:aet.ee . a
53
Introductin to the Origin of Geometry
,eemet:y s objective taemat.e ie|c · 1a.s eeaeeçt ,a|:eacy ma:|ec |y
a.ste:y, .s, as «e |ae«, taat ei a "defnite" aeme|e,y aac aa esaaas·
t. ve cecaet. v.ty. · sta:t.a, i:em a system ei as.ems «a.ea ,eve:as a
ma|t.ç|.e.ty, eve:y ç:eçes.t.ea .s cete:m.aa||e either as aaa|yt.e eease·
¡aeaee or as aaa|yt.e eeat:ac.et.ea. ·· 1aat «ea|c |e aa a|te:aat.ve «e
eea|c aet ,et |eyeac. saea eeaiceaee c.c aet aave |ea, te «a.t |eie:e
|e.a, eeat:ac.etec. .aceec .ts va|ae:a|. |.ty aas |eea «e|| sae«a, ça:·
t.ea|a:|y «aea Cece| c. seeve:ec tae :.ea çess.|.| .ty ei "undecidable"
ç:eçes.t.eas .a 1 93 1 .
nat a|| tae ¡aest.eas a|eat tae çess. |.|.ty e: . mçess. |. |. ty ei ma.a·
ta.a. a, uasse:| s cemaacs~e.tae: as aa esseat.a||y . aaeeess.||e :e,a·
| at.ve .cea| e: as a metaece|e,.ea| :a| e aac aetaa| teeaa.¡ae ,«a.ea ae
| ea,e: . a ,eae:a| seems çess.||e,~a:e taey aet as|ec ç:ee.se|y within
ta.s aa.ty ei tae ,eemet:.ee·mataemat.ea| ae:.zea .a ,eae:a| , «. ta.a tae
eçea aa.ty ei a se.eaee: ~ac .t .s «.ta.a tae ae:.zea taat uasse:| ae:e
¡aest.eas taat tae ç:eeeeaçat.ea «.ta cee. ca|. | . ty |e|ea,s . | a .ts ve:y
ae,at. v.ty, tae aet.ea ei tae aa·cee.ca||e~aça:t i:em tae iaet taat .t
ea| y aas saea a sease |y seme .::ecae.||e :eie:eaee te tae .cea| ei
cee. ca|.| .ty·~a|se :eta.as a mataemat.ea| va|ae ce:.vec i:em se¬e
aa.¡ae sea:ee ei va|ae vaste: taaa tae ç:e]eet ei defniteness .tse|i. 1a. s
«ae|e ce|ate . s ea| y aace:staaca||e «. ta. a semeta.a, |.|e the ,eemet·
:.ea| e: mataemat.ea| se.eaee, «aese aa.ty .s st.|| to come ea tae |as.s ei
«aat . s aaaeaaeec .a .ts e:.,.a. waateve: may |e tae :esçeases eea·
t:.|atec |y tae eç. steme|e,.st e: |y tae aet.v.ty ei tae se.eat.| e .aves·
4� On the two ' ' faces" of science' s thematic and the objecti ve character of the thematic
on which the sci entifc researcher i s excl usi vel y focused in his activity as researcher. cf.
FTL, §9, pp. 36-38. "Thus the geometer . . . wi l l not think of explori ng, besides geomet­
rical shapes, geometrical thi nking" (p. 36) .
40 On these questions, cf. i n particular Jean Cavai l l es, Sur f a Logique et f a theorie de fa
science (Pari s: Presses Uni versitaires de France, 1 947) , pp. 70f. : Tr�m-Duc-Th{,
Phenomenofogie, p. 35 : and especi al l y S. Bachel ard, A Study ofHusserl' s Logic [Part I ,
Ch. 3] . pp. 43-63.
47 Thi s i deal is cl early defi ned by Husserl , notably in the LI, I , Pro! . , §70, pp. 24 1 and
243, before a section in which the relations of the phi losopher and the mathematician are
defned: in Ideas I. §72, pp. 1 87-88: and in FTL. §3 1 , pp. 94-97.
4H Moreover, that the anal yses of the Origin concerning the synthetic style of mathe­
matical tradition serve as an example of tradition i n general is thus confrmed. The very
movement whi ch enriches sense retains a sedimentary reference to the antecedent sense
at the bottom of the new sense and cannot di spense with i t
.
The intention which grasps
the new sense is original i nsofar as the prior project stil l remains and the i ntention wi l l
si mpl y not "gi ve way" to i t. Thus, undecidabi l i ty has a revolutionary and di sconcerti ng
sense, i t i s itsel onl y if i t remains essentially and intrinsically haunted i n its sense of
origin by the te/os of decidabi l i ty-whose di sruption i t marks.
54
Jacques Derrid
t.,ate: te taese .mçe:taat .at:a·mataemat.ea| ¡aest.eas ei ceia.teaess
aac eemç|eteaess. taey eaa ea|y |e .ate,:atec . ate ta.s aa. ty ei tae
mataemat.ea| t:ac.t.ea «a.ea .s ¡aest.eaec . a tae Origin. ~ac taey «. ||
aeve: eeaeeo. .a tae e|]eet.ve taemat.e sçae:e ei se.eaee «ae:e
taey mast exe|as.ve|y :ema.a. aayta.a, |at tae cete:m.aec aata:e ei
tae ax.emat.e systems aac ei tae cecaet.ve .ate:eeaaeet.eas taat taey
ce e: ce aet aatae:.ze nat t|e e|]eet.ve taemat.e ie|c ei mataemat.es
mast a|:eacy |e eeast.tatec .a .ts mataemat.ea| sease . .a e:ce: ie: tae
va|aes ei eease¡aeaee aac . aeeas.steaey te |e :eace:ec ç:e||emat.e.
aac .a e:ce: te |e a||e te say. a,a.ast tae e|ass.e am:mat.eas ei uas·
se:| . "tertium datur. " ·
Cease¡aeat|y. . i tae e:.,.a ei mataemat.es aac tae aa.ty ei .ts sease
«e:e .a uasse:| s eyes esseat.a||y t.ec te ta. s .cea| ei exaaast.ve ce·
caet.v.ty. aac evea .i taey «e:e .ceat.ea| «.ta ta.s . cea| . tae Origin' s
¡aest.ea «ea|c |e ta.atec at tae eatset |y a ee:ta.a a.ste:.ea| :e|at. v. ty.
ae matte: «aat uas se:| a. mse|i may |ave taea,at a|eat ta. s :e|at.v.ty
aac cesç.te «aateve: .ate:est .t may st.|| ae|c as sae| ia etae: «e:cs.
.i tae ç:.me:c.a| aet ei a:eaac.a, taat uasse:| «.saes te e| .e.t [solliciter ;
ae:e «as tae .ast.tat.ea ei aa ax.emat.e aac cecaet.ve ie|c e: evea tae
.ast.tat.ea ei ax .ema t.es aac tae . cea| ei cecaet.v.ty .a ,eae:a|-aac .i
ta.s . ast.tat.ea «as cese:. |ec as taat ei mataemat.es . tse|i-taea tae
uasse:|.aa ç:e]eet «ea|c |e se:.eas|y t|:eateaec |y tae eve|at.ea ei
+x.emat. z. at.ea te«a:c a teta| ie:ma|.zat.ea «. ta. a «a.ea eae aeeessa:·
.|y eemes aç a,a.ast tae |.m.ts statec |y Cece| s taee:em ,aac :e|atec
taee:ems· nat t|at . s aet se Ðvea .i uasse:| at eae t.me aceçtec tae
eeaeeçt.ea ei ,:eaac.a, ax.emat.es aac evea ç:eçesec . t as tae .cea|
ie: a|| exaet e.cet.e c. se.ç| . aes (Ideas I, §7, ç 56) , .t seems |e ea|y
eeas.ce:ec ta.s te |e a secondar ,:eaac.a, 1ae:e .s ae cea|t. . a aay
ease. t|at t|e |.acs ei ç:. me:c.a| ev.ceaee ae .avest.,ates ae:e a:e ie:
1! 1
Husserl wri tes i n FTL, �3 1 , p. 96: "the idea of a ' nomolofical science ' , or correla­
ti vely the idea of an infnite province (in mathematico-logical parlance , a multi pli ci ty)
goverable by an expl anatory nomology, includes the idea that there is no truth about
such a province that is not deduci bly i ncluded i n the 'fundamental l aws' of the corre­
spondi ng nomological science-just as, in the ideal Euclid, there i s no truth about space
that is not deducibly included in the ' complete' ( vollstindigen) system of space-axioms . "
Then , defi ning the "multiplicity-form in the pregnant sense, " Husserl conti nues: "Such a
multi pli ci ty-form is defi ned, not by just any formal axiom-system, but by a 'complete'
one. . . . The axiom-system formally defni ng such a mult i plicity i s di sti ngui shed by the
ci rcumstance that any proposition (proposition-form, natural l y) that can be constructed,
in accordance with the grammar of pure logi c, out of the concepts (concept-forms) occur­
i ng [sic] i n that system, i s either ' true'-that i s to say: an anal ytic (purely deducible)
consequence of the axioms-or 'false'-that is to say: an analytic contradiction-; ter­
tillm non datllr . . .
55
Introductin to the Origin of Geometry
a. m ç:.e: te t|ese ei ax.ems aac se:ve as tae.: ,:eaac i a iaet. «e eaa
:eac .a tae Origin ( 1 68) : eae mast a| se ta|e aete ei tae eeast:aet.ve
aet. v.t.es taat eçe:ate «.t| ,eemet:.ea| .cea|.t.es «|.e| |ave |eea ex·
ç| .eatec |at aet |:ea,at te ç:.me:c.a| ev.ceaee ,r:. me:c.a| ev.ceaee
mast aet |e eeaiasec «. ta tae ev. ceaee ei ax.ems ; for axioms are in
principle the results ofprimordial sense-fashioning , s. aa|.|caa,· and al­
ways have this behind them)" ,mec.iec} .
~x.emat.es .a ,eae:a| ,i:em «a.e| a|eae eve:y .cea| ei ex|aast.ve
aac exaet cecaet.v.ty eaa ta|e .ts sease . i:em «a.e| a|eae eve:y ç:e|·
|em ei cee.ca|.|.ty eaa taea sç:.a,· a|:eacy saççeses. tae:eie:e . a
sec.meatat.ea ei sease . . e . ax.emat.es saççeses a ç:.me:c.a| ev. ·
ceaee . a :ac.ea| ,:eaac «a.e| . s a|:eacy çast it . s taea a|:eacy ex.|ec
i:em tae e:.,.as te «|.ea uasse:| ae« «.saes te :eta:a
Cease¡aeat| � . .i uasse:| ,i:em tae Logical Investigations te Ideas I
aac te Formal and Transcendental Logic) .aceec ass.,aec tae aa::e«
sease ei cee.ca|. | . ty te tae aet.ea ei ,eemet:.ea| cete:m.aa|.| .ty. ta.s .s
|eeaase ae |et a. mse|i |e ,a.cec .a a.s aeaa.ste:.ea| .avest.,at.eas |y
tae ç:eseat state ei a ready-made se.eaee nat as seea as tae ¡aest.ea ei
e:.,.a a:.ses. ,eemet:.ea| cete:m.aa|. |.ty seems .aceec te aave tae
sease ei ,eemet:.ea| cete:m.aa|.|.ty in general, as tae .aia.te ae:.zea ei
a se.eaee. «aateve: iata:e ie:ms ceve|eç. waea uasse:| sçea|s .a tae
:;O Our emphasi s. "Expl i cati on" ( Verdeutlichung) i s not to b confused either with
clarifcation (Klirung) or reacti vation: remai ni ng wi thi n const ituted sense, expl ication
makes that sense distinct wi thout restoring i t to its ful l clarity, i . e. , to i ts value as present
cognition, and above all without reactivating its primordi al intention. It is for reasons of
grammatical construction (the use of past or present parti ci pl es, of substanti ve or infni­
ti ve forms, etc. ) that we have kept the classic translation of Verdeutlichung as expl i ca­
tion. S. Bachel ard comments more rigorousl y on the sense of thi s notion by translating i t
as "process of di sti ngui shi ng" or "process which renders di sti nct . " On al l the problems
concerning expl i cation, clarificat ion, and reactivation of proposi tions in general . problems
to whi ch al l usi on is made i n the Origin, cf. notably FTL, § § 1 6 and 1 7, pp. 56-63, and
Appendix I I , pp. 3 1 3-29: also S. Bachelard, A Stlldy ofHusserl ' s Logic, Ch . 1 , pp. 1 4-23 .
I n his formulation of the Origin, Fi nk specifi es these di stinctions. Instead of opposing
"reacti vation" and "expl ication, " he di sti ngui shes between two moments or types of
reactivation in general: reactivation as "l ogical explication" and reactivation of the
"tradi tion of sense-formation (Sinnbildungstradition) i nternally present i n a t hemati c
sense-formation. " "When reactivation i n the first sense i s completed, when i t comes to
an end, only then does reactivation as return i nquiry concerning the ' pri mal i nstituting'
begi n" ( "Die Frage, " p. 2 1 5) . Thus, t hi s formulation confi rms and underscores the
necessary anteriority of the static analysi s and the static fi xi ng of sense, both of whi ch
must control al l genetic bearing [demarche] .
:1 Geometrical determi nabi l i ty i n the broad sense would onl y be the regional and
abstract form of an i nfnite determi nability of being in general , which Husserl so often
called the ultimate horizon for every theoretical attitude and for al l phi l osophy.
54
Jacques Derrid
t.,ate: te taese .mçe:taat .at:a·mataemat.ea| ¡aest.eas ei ceia.teaess
aac eemç|eteaess. taey eaa ea|y |e .ate,:atec . ate ta.s aa. ty ei tae
mataemat.ea| t:ac.t.ea «a.ea .s ¡aest.eaec . a tae Origin. ~ac taey «. ||
aeve: eeaeeo. .a tae e|]eet.ve taemat.e sçae:e ei se.eaee «ae:e
taey mast exe|as.ve|y :ema.a. aayta.a, |at tae cete:m.aec aata:e ei
tae ax.emat.e systems aac ei tae cecaet.ve .ate:eeaaeet.eas taat taey
ce e: ce aet aatae:.ze nat t|e e|]eet.ve taemat.e ie|c ei mataemat.es
mast a|:eacy |e eeast.tatec .a .ts mataemat.ea| sease . .a e:ce: ie: tae
va|aes ei eease¡aeaee aac . aeeas.steaey te |e :eace:ec ç:e||emat.e.
aac .a e:ce: te |e a||e te say. a,a.ast tae e|ass.e am:mat.eas ei uas·
se:| . "tertium datur. " ·
Cease¡aeat|y. . i tae e:.,.a ei mataemat.es aac tae aa.ty ei .ts sease
«e:e .a uasse:| s eyes esseat.a||y t.ec te ta. s .cea| ei exaaast.ve ce·
caet.v.ty. aac evea .i taey «e:e .ceat.ea| «.ta ta.s . cea| . tae Origin' s
¡aest.ea «ea|c |e ta.atec at tae eatset |y a ee:ta.a a.ste:.ea| :e|at. v. ty.
ae matte: «aat uas se:| a. mse|i may |ave taea,at a|eat ta. s :e|at.v.ty
aac cesç.te «aateve: .ate:est .t may st.|| ae|c as sae| ia etae: «e:cs.
.i tae ç:.me:c.a| aet ei a:eaac.a, taat uasse:| «.saes te e| .e.t [solliciter ;
ae:e «as tae .ast.tat.ea ei aa ax.emat.e aac cecaet.ve ie|c e: evea tae
.ast.tat.ea ei ax .ema t.es aac tae . cea| ei cecaet.v.ty .a ,eae:a|-aac .i
ta.s . ast.tat.ea «as cese:. |ec as taat ei mataemat.es . tse|i-taea tae
uasse:|.aa ç:e]eet «ea|c |e se:.eas|y t|:eateaec |y tae eve|at.ea ei
+x.emat. z. at.ea te«a:c a teta| ie:ma|.zat.ea «. ta. a «a.ea eae aeeessa:·
.|y eemes aç a,a.ast tae |.m.ts statec |y Cece| s taee:em ,aac :e|atec
taee:ems· nat t|at . s aet se Ðvea .i uasse:| at eae t.me aceçtec tae
eeaeeçt.ea ei ,:eaac.a, ax.emat.es aac evea ç:eçesec . t as tae .cea|
ie: a|| exaet e.cet.e c. se.ç| . aes (Ideas I, §7, ç 56) , .t seems |e ea|y
eeas.ce:ec ta.s te |e a secondar ,:eaac.a, 1ae:e .s ae cea|t. . a aay
ease. t|at t|e |.acs ei ç:. me:c.a| ev.ceaee ae .avest.,ates ae:e a:e ie:
1! 1
Husserl wri tes i n FTL, �3 1 , p. 96: "the idea of a ' nomolofical science ' , or correla­
ti vely the idea of an infnite province (in mathematico-logical parlance , a multi pli ci ty)
goverable by an expl anatory nomology, includes the idea that there is no truth about
such a province that is not deduci bly i ncluded i n the 'fundamental l aws' of the corre­
spondi ng nomological science-just as, in the ideal Euclid, there i s no truth about space
that is not deducibly included in the ' complete' ( vollstindigen) system of space-axioms . "
Then , defi ning the "multiplicity-form in the pregnant sense, " Husserl conti nues: "Such a
multi pli ci ty-form is defi ned, not by just any formal axiom-system, but by a 'complete'
one. . . . The axiom-system formally defni ng such a mult i plicity i s di sti ngui shed by the
ci rcumstance that any proposition (proposition-form, natural l y) that can be constructed,
in accordance with the grammar of pure logi c, out of the concepts (concept-forms) occur­
i ng [sic] i n that system, i s either ' true'-that i s to say: an anal ytic (purely deducible)
consequence of the axioms-or 'false'-that is to say: an analytic contradiction-; ter­
tillm non datllr . . .
55
Introductin to the Origin of Geometry
a. m ç:.e: te t|ese ei ax.ems aac se:ve as tae.: ,:eaac i a iaet. «e eaa
:eac .a tae Origin ( 1 68) : eae mast a| se ta|e aete ei tae eeast:aet.ve
aet. v.t.es taat eçe:ate «.t| ,eemet:.ea| .cea|.t.es «|.e| |ave |eea ex·
ç| .eatec |at aet |:ea,at te ç:.me:c.a| ev.ceaee ,r:. me:c.a| ev.ceaee
mast aet |e eeaiasec «. ta tae ev. ceaee ei ax.ems ; for axioms are in
principle the results ofprimordial sense-fashioning , s. aa|.|caa,· and al­
ways have this behind them)" ,mec.iec} .
~x.emat.es .a ,eae:a| ,i:em «a.e| a|eae eve:y .cea| ei ex|aast.ve
aac exaet cecaet.v.ty eaa ta|e .ts sease . i:em «a.e| a|eae eve:y ç:e|·
|em ei cee.ca|.|.ty eaa taea sç:.a,· a|:eacy saççeses. tae:eie:e . a
sec.meatat.ea ei sease . . e . ax.emat.es saççeses a ç:.me:c.a| ev. ·
ceaee . a :ac.ea| ,:eaac «a.e| . s a|:eacy çast it . s taea a|:eacy ex.|ec
i:em tae e:.,.as te «|.ea uasse:| ae« «.saes te :eta:a
Cease¡aeat| � . .i uasse:| ,i:em tae Logical Investigations te Ideas I
aac te Formal and Transcendental Logic) .aceec ass.,aec tae aa::e«
sease ei cee.ca|. | . ty te tae aet.ea ei ,eemet:.ea| cete:m.aa|.| .ty. ta.s .s
|eeaase ae |et a. mse|i |e ,a.cec .a a.s aeaa.ste:.ea| .avest.,at.eas |y
tae ç:eseat state ei a ready-made se.eaee nat as seea as tae ¡aest.ea ei
e:.,.a a:.ses. ,eemet:.ea| cete:m.aa|. |.ty seems .aceec te aave tae
sease ei ,eemet:.ea| cete:m.aa|.|.ty in general, as tae .aia.te ae:.zea ei
a se.eaee. «aateve: iata:e ie:ms ceve|eç. waea uasse:| sçea|s .a tae
:;O Our emphasi s. "Expl i cati on" ( Verdeutlichung) i s not to b confused either with
clarifcation (Klirung) or reacti vation: remai ni ng wi thi n const ituted sense, expl ication
makes that sense distinct wi thout restoring i t to its ful l clarity, i . e. , to i ts value as present
cognition, and above all without reactivating its primordi al intention. It is for reasons of
grammatical construction (the use of past or present parti ci pl es, of substanti ve or infni­
ti ve forms, etc. ) that we have kept the classic translation of Verdeutlichung as expl i ca­
tion. S. Bachel ard comments more rigorousl y on the sense of thi s notion by translating i t
as "process of di sti ngui shi ng" or "process which renders di sti nct . " On al l the problems
concerning expl i cation, clarificat ion, and reactivation of proposi tions in general . problems
to whi ch al l usi on is made i n the Origin, cf. notably FTL, § § 1 6 and 1 7, pp. 56-63, and
Appendix I I , pp. 3 1 3-29: also S. Bachelard, A Stlldy ofHusserl ' s Logic, Ch . 1 , pp. 1 4-23 .
I n his formulation of the Origin, Fi nk specifi es these di stinctions. Instead of opposing
"reacti vation" and "expl ication, " he di sti ngui shes between two moments or types of
reactivation in general: reactivation as "l ogical explication" and reactivation of the
"tradi tion of sense-formation (Sinnbildungstradition) i nternally present i n a t hemati c
sense-formation. " "When reactivation i n the first sense i s completed, when i t comes to
an end, only then does reactivation as return i nquiry concerning the ' pri mal i nstituting'
begi n" ( "Die Frage, " p. 2 1 5) . Thus, t hi s formulation confi rms and underscores the
necessary anteriority of the static analysi s and the static fi xi ng of sense, both of whi ch
must control al l genetic bearing [demarche] .
:1 Geometrical determi nabi l i ty i n the broad sense would onl y be the regional and
abstract form of an i nfnite determi nability of being in general , which Husserl so often
called the ultimate horizon for every theoretical attitude and for al l phi l osophy.
·
"
'.1
'
' .�
, I
56
Jacques Derrid
Origin ei a ae:.zea ei ,eemet:.ea| iata:e .a ç:ee.se| y ta. s sty| e , i ·º, .
ta.s sty|e .s aet taat ei cecaet.».ty. |at ei ,eemet:y e: mataemat.es .a
,eae:a| . i:em «a.ea as yet aac a|«ays tae aacee.ca||es e: aay etae:
iata:e mataemat.ea| ie:mat.ea «.|| stem
1a.s meaas taat i:em ae« ea «aea .a»est.,at.a, e:.,.as. tae . cea|
.tse|i ei cee.ca|.|.ty. a|ea, «.ta e»e:y iaetaa| sta,e ei tae a.ste:y ei
mataemat.es as saea . . s reduced; se. tee. .s eaea cete:m.aec iaetaa|
t:ac.t.ea-|y c.se|es.a, tae ça:e|y mataemat.ea| t:ac.t.ea aac ça:e
t:ac.t.eaa|.ty .a ,eae:a| . 1aas «e aace:staac uasse:| s :eçeatec st.ça·
|at.ea .a tae Origin taat . eeaee:a.a, esaet se.eaees. ae .s sçea|.a, a|eat
tae se·ea||ec cecaet. »e se.eaees . acc.a,. se ea||ec. a|taea,a taey
|y ae meaas me:e|y cecaee , | -s, 1ae:e .s taas a t:ata. e: :atae: a
,eemet:.ee·mataemat.ea| t:ata· sease .a ,eae:a| . «a.ea cees aet çe:m.t
.tse|i te |e |eaac |y tae a|te:aat.»e ei "true" e: ia|se. as ç:ese:.|ec
|y tae .cea| ei a ce| a.te ma|t.ç|.e.ty. .a «a.ea "the concepts ' true' and
'formal implication of the axioms' are equivalent, aac |.|e«.se a|se tae
eeaeeçts ia| se aac ie:ma||y . mç|.ec as tae eççes.te ei a ie:ma| . mç| .·
eat.ea ei tae as.ems " (Ideas I, §72, ç | ss, 1ae aa.ty ei ,eemet:.ea|
t:ata s ç:.me:c.a| sease. taat aa.ty «a.ea e:.eats tae Origin, eea|c taea
|e çesec .a a ¡aest.ea ei ta.s |.ac «aat . s mataemat.ea| cete:m.aa|.|·
.ty . a ,eae:a| . .i tae aacee.ca|.| .ty ei a ç:eçes. t.ea. ie: esamç|e. . s st.||
a mataemat.ea| cete:m.aat.ea: Ðsseat.a| | y. saea a ¡aest.ea eaaaet es·
çeet a cete:m.aec :esçease, .t saea|c ea|y .ac.eate tae ça:e eçeaaess
aac aa.ty ei aa .aaa.te ae:.zea
s. aee a iaet s eçae.ty eea|c |e :ecaeec i:em tae »e:y |e,.aa. a, |y
tae ç:ecaet.ea ei .cea| e|]eets. a.ste:.ea| .ate:eeaaeet.eas a:e .ate:·
eeaaeet.eas ei sease aac »a|ae. «a.ea-|y eaç.ta| .z.a, ad infnitum aac
aeee:c.a, te aa e:.,.aa| mece~aa ae»e: |eeç tae.: sec.meata:y ce·
çes.ts eat ei e.:ea|at.ea 1aat . s a çess.|.|.ty. |at aet a aeeess.ty. s.aee
tae .ate:est aac tae c.mea|ty ei uasse:| s aaa|ys. s :esa|t i:em «aat
ta.s aaa| ys.s aee:aes ea |eta ç|aaes at eaee
Sometimes uasse:| eeas.ce:s ,eemet:y aac se.eaee .a ,eae:a| as ee:·
ta.a ie:ms amea, etae:s ei «aat ae ea||s tae ea|ta:a| «e:|c ia eaeet
taey |e::e« a|| tae.: eaa:aete:.st.es i:em .t 1a. s «e:|c es.sts eat.:e|y
ta:ea,a t:ac.t.ea , | ·s, ~ac tae se.eaees a:e ea|y seme t:ac.t.eas
amea, etae:s Oa tae sa|]eet ei t:ac.t.ea .a ,eae:a| . «e aa»e seme
aç:.e:. e».ceaee taat ae .,ae:aaee ei iaetaa| a. ste:y eaa aace:m.ae Oa
tae eae aaac. «e |ae« «.ta a |ae«|ec,e ei aaassa.|a||e
e».ceaee-aa .mç|.e.t |ae«|ec,e «a.ea .aaa|.ts ta.s iaetaa| |ae|
ei |ae«|ec,e. e»e:y«ae:e aac esseat.a|| y¯ ( I ·s,-taat ea|ta:a| ie:¬a·
t.eas a|«ays :eie: te aamaa ç:ecaet.eas . taea. taey :eie: te sç.:.taa|
aets. as uasse:| . mmec.ate|y eeae|aces . a a me»e «a.ea «e «.|| eea·
57
Introduction to the Origin of Geometr
s.ce: |ate: 1a. s :eie:eaee te tae ç:ecaet.»e aet .s . ase:.|ec .a tae
ie:mat.ea .tse|i. |at .t eaa çass aaaet.eec ea aeeeaat ei tae .cea| ie:ma·
t.ea s aateaemy ueaee tae aeeess.ty te :eea|| tae aç:.e:. |aaa| .t.es
|a:.ec |y se.eaee aac ea|ta:e � ia a s.m. |a: iasa. ea. «e |ae« taat
aamaa.ty aas a çast aac taat . i:em ta.s iaet. .t .s .a tae çast taat tae
r :st .a»eate:s , | ·s, taemse| »es a:e ieaac. aac a|taea,a taey aa»e
.ast.tatec ae« sç.:.taa| ie:ms. taey aa»e |eea a||e te ce se ea|y |y
c.sçes.a, ei :a« e: a|:eacy t:ac.t.eaa| . . e . sç.:.taa||y saaçec.
mate:.a| s
nat ea tae etae: aaac. t:ac.t.eaa| ce»e|eçmeat . i:em «a.ea e»e:y
ea|ta:e ae¡a.:es teta|.ty at eaea memeat , .a a mec.ate e: .mmec.ate
syaea:eay, . cees aet aa»e a eaasa| sty|e ei ,eaes. s ia tae «e:|c ei
aata:a| :ea|.ty sa|]eet te a eaasa| tyçe ei ce»e|eçmeat. sec.meatat.ea .s
aet taat ei aa ae¡a.:ec sease taat .s eeat.aaa||y aac .ate:aa| |y :eeaç.ta·
|atec 1ae:e . s ae aata:a| a.ste:y ie: uasse:| aay me:e taaa ie: ue,e| .
aac ie: tae same :easeas 1ae aaa|e,y «.|| |e e»ea ,:eate: «aea «e see
taat . ie: uasse:| as ie: ue,e| . ea|ta:e .tse|i .a .ts | a.te emç.:.ea| aa.ts .s
aet same.eat te eeast.tate tae ça:e aa.ty ei a a.ste:y 1a.s «.|| |e tae
ease ie: a|| aata:eçe|e,.ea| ea|ta:es «a.ea ce aet ça:t.e.çate . a tae
Ða:eçeaa eidos.
ue:e tae Origin :eçeats uasse:| s e:.t.¡ae ei D.|taey . a ra.| eseçay as
x.,e:eas se. eaee wa.|e eemç|ete|y aeeeçt.a, D.|taey s e:.t.e. sm ei
tae eaasa|.st aata:a|.zat.ea ei sç.:. t aac tae ç:.ae.ç|e ei aa e:.,.aa|
tyçe·me:çae|e,y ei ea|ta:a| teta|.t. es. uasse:| «.saes te est:aet tae
.cea ei se.eaee ,. e . a|e»e a|| . ça.|eseçay, i:em tae sa|] eet.»e .mma·
aeaee ei tae Weltanschauung.
~s ea|ta:a| ie:m. tae .cea ei se.eaee . s aacea|tec|y a|se ça:t ei tae
Weltanschauung, aac tae eeateat ei se.eaee aac ça.|eseçay .s aacea|t·
ec|y t:aasm.ttec aeee:c.a, te tae same ç:eeess as a|| etae: ie:¬s ei
ea|ta:e aac t:ac.t.ea . a ,eae:a| 1ae ç:eeess . s aaa|e,eas. .iaet .ceat.ea|
te taat ei .ate:aa| t.me·eease.easaess cese:.|ec i:em tae aeemat.e
».e«çe.at .a tae 1 904-1 0 |eeta:es 1ae ç:eseat aççea:s ae.tae: as tae
�açta:e ae: tae eaeet ei a çast. |at as tae :eteat.ea ei a ç:eseat çast.
. e . as tae :eteat.ea ei a :eteat.ea. aac se ie:ta s.aee tae :eteat.eaa|
çe«e: ei |. ».a, eease.easaess .s |a. te , ta.s eease.easaess ç:ese:»es
s.,a.ieat.eas. »a|aes. aac çast aets as aa|.taa|.t.es (habitus) aac
sec.meatat.eas 1:ac.t.eaa| sec.meatat.ea .a tae eemmaaa| «e:|c «.||
aa»e tae iaaet.ea ei ,e.a, |eyeac tae :eteat.eaa| | a.tace ei .ac. ».caa|
eease.easaess Oi eea:se . sec.meata:y :eteat.ea .s aet ea|y tae eeac.·
�2 This requirement ofTrivialitit i s frequently justified by Husserl, notably i n C. §9h, p.
50.
·
"
'.1
'
' .�
, I
56
Jacques Derrid
Origin ei a ae:.zea ei ,eemet:.ea| iata:e .a ç:ee.se| y ta. s sty| e , i ·º, .
ta.s sty|e .s aet taat ei cecaet.».ty. |at ei ,eemet:y e: mataemat.es .a
,eae:a| . i:em «a.ea as yet aac a|«ays tae aacee.ca||es e: aay etae:
iata:e mataemat.ea| ie:mat.ea «.|| stem
1a.s meaas taat i:em ae« ea «aea .a»est.,at.a, e:.,.as. tae . cea|
.tse|i ei cee.ca|.|.ty. a|ea, «.ta e»e:y iaetaa| sta,e ei tae a.ste:y ei
mataemat.es as saea . . s reduced; se. tee. .s eaea cete:m.aec iaetaa|
t:ac.t.ea-|y c.se|es.a, tae ça:e|y mataemat.ea| t:ac.t.ea aac ça:e
t:ac.t.eaa|.ty .a ,eae:a| . 1aas «e aace:staac uasse:| s :eçeatec st.ça·
|at.ea .a tae Origin taat . eeaee:a.a, esaet se.eaees. ae .s sçea|.a, a|eat
tae se·ea||ec cecaet. »e se.eaees . acc.a,. se ea||ec. a|taea,a taey
|y ae meaas me:e|y cecaee , | -s, 1ae:e .s taas a t:ata. e: :atae: a
,eemet:.ee·mataemat.ea| t:ata· sease .a ,eae:a| . «a.ea cees aet çe:m.t
.tse|i te |e |eaac |y tae a|te:aat.»e ei "true" e: ia|se. as ç:ese:.|ec
|y tae .cea| ei a ce| a.te ma|t.ç|.e.ty. .a «a.ea "the concepts ' true' and
'formal implication of the axioms' are equivalent, aac |.|e«.se a|se tae
eeaeeçts ia| se aac ie:ma||y . mç|.ec as tae eççes.te ei a ie:ma| . mç| .·
eat.ea ei tae as.ems " (Ideas I, §72, ç | ss, 1ae aa.ty ei ,eemet:.ea|
t:ata s ç:.me:c.a| sease. taat aa.ty «a.ea e:.eats tae Origin, eea|c taea
|e çesec .a a ¡aest.ea ei ta.s |.ac «aat . s mataemat.ea| cete:m.aa|.|·
.ty . a ,eae:a| . .i tae aacee.ca|.| .ty ei a ç:eçes. t.ea. ie: esamç|e. . s st.||
a mataemat.ea| cete:m.aat.ea: Ðsseat.a| | y. saea a ¡aest.ea eaaaet es·
çeet a cete:m.aec :esçease, .t saea|c ea|y .ac.eate tae ça:e eçeaaess
aac aa.ty ei aa .aaa.te ae:.zea
s. aee a iaet s eçae.ty eea|c |e :ecaeec i:em tae »e:y |e,.aa. a, |y
tae ç:ecaet.ea ei .cea| e|]eets. a.ste:.ea| .ate:eeaaeet.eas a:e .ate:·
eeaaeet.eas ei sease aac »a|ae. «a.ea-|y eaç.ta| .z.a, ad infnitum aac
aeee:c.a, te aa e:.,.aa| mece~aa ae»e: |eeç tae.: sec.meata:y ce·
çes.ts eat ei e.:ea|at.ea 1aat . s a çess.|.|.ty. |at aet a aeeess.ty. s.aee
tae .ate:est aac tae c.mea|ty ei uasse:| s aaa|ys. s :esa|t i:em «aat
ta.s aaa| ys.s aee:aes ea |eta ç|aaes at eaee
Sometimes uasse:| eeas.ce:s ,eemet:y aac se.eaee .a ,eae:a| as ee:·
ta.a ie:ms amea, etae:s ei «aat ae ea||s tae ea|ta:a| «e:|c ia eaeet
taey |e::e« a|| tae.: eaa:aete:.st.es i:em .t 1a. s «e:|c es.sts eat.:e|y
ta:ea,a t:ac.t.ea , | ·s, ~ac tae se.eaees a:e ea|y seme t:ac.t.eas
amea, etae:s Oa tae sa|]eet ei t:ac.t.ea .a ,eae:a| . «e aa»e seme
aç:.e:. e».ceaee taat ae .,ae:aaee ei iaetaa| a. ste:y eaa aace:m.ae Oa
tae eae aaac. «e |ae« «.ta a |ae«|ec,e ei aaassa.|a||e
e».ceaee-aa .mç|.e.t |ae«|ec,e «a.ea .aaa|.ts ta.s iaetaa| |ae|
ei |ae«|ec,e. e»e:y«ae:e aac esseat.a|| y¯ ( I ·s,-taat ea|ta:a| ie:¬a·
t.eas a|«ays :eie: te aamaa ç:ecaet.eas . taea. taey :eie: te sç.:.taa|
aets. as uasse:| . mmec.ate|y eeae|aces . a a me»e «a.ea «e «.|| eea·
57
Introduction to the Origin of Geometr
s.ce: |ate: 1a. s :eie:eaee te tae ç:ecaet.»e aet .s . ase:.|ec .a tae
ie:mat.ea .tse|i. |at .t eaa çass aaaet.eec ea aeeeaat ei tae .cea| ie:ma·
t.ea s aateaemy ueaee tae aeeess.ty te :eea|| tae aç:.e:. |aaa| .t.es
|a:.ec |y se.eaee aac ea|ta:e � ia a s.m. |a: iasa. ea. «e |ae« taat
aamaa.ty aas a çast aac taat . i:em ta.s iaet. .t .s .a tae çast taat tae
r :st .a»eate:s , | ·s, taemse| »es a:e ieaac. aac a|taea,a taey aa»e
.ast.tatec ae« sç.:.taa| ie:ms. taey aa»e |eea a||e te ce se ea|y |y
c.sçes.a, ei :a« e: a|:eacy t:ac.t.eaa| . . e . sç.:.taa||y saaçec.
mate:.a| s
nat ea tae etae: aaac. t:ac.t.eaa| ce»e|eçmeat . i:em «a.ea e»e:y
ea|ta:e ae¡a.:es teta|.ty at eaea memeat , .a a mec.ate e: .mmec.ate
syaea:eay, . cees aet aa»e a eaasa| sty|e ei ,eaes. s ia tae «e:|c ei
aata:a| :ea|.ty sa|]eet te a eaasa| tyçe ei ce»e|eçmeat. sec.meatat.ea .s
aet taat ei aa ae¡a.:ec sease taat .s eeat.aaa||y aac .ate:aa| |y :eeaç.ta·
|atec 1ae:e . s ae aata:a| a.ste:y ie: uasse:| aay me:e taaa ie: ue,e| .
aac ie: tae same :easeas 1ae aaa|e,y «.|| |e e»ea ,:eate: «aea «e see
taat . ie: uasse:| as ie: ue,e| . ea|ta:e .tse|i .a .ts | a.te emç.:.ea| aa.ts .s
aet same.eat te eeast.tate tae ça:e aa.ty ei a a.ste:y 1a.s «.|| |e tae
ease ie: a|| aata:eçe|e,.ea| ea|ta:es «a.ea ce aet ça:t.e.çate . a tae
Ða:eçeaa eidos.
ue:e tae Origin :eçeats uasse:| s e:.t.¡ae ei D.|taey . a ra.| eseçay as
x.,e:eas se. eaee wa.|e eemç|ete|y aeeeçt.a, D.|taey s e:.t.e. sm ei
tae eaasa|.st aata:a|.zat.ea ei sç.:. t aac tae ç:.ae.ç|e ei aa e:.,.aa|
tyçe·me:çae|e,y ei ea|ta:a| teta|.t. es. uasse:| «.saes te est:aet tae
.cea ei se.eaee ,. e . a|e»e a|| . ça.|eseçay, i:em tae sa|] eet.»e .mma·
aeaee ei tae Weltanschauung.
~s ea|ta:a| ie:m. tae .cea ei se.eaee . s aacea|tec|y a|se ça:t ei tae
Weltanschauung, aac tae eeateat ei se.eaee aac ça.|eseçay .s aacea|t·
ec|y t:aasm.ttec aeee:c.a, te tae same ç:eeess as a|| etae: ie:¬s ei
ea|ta:e aac t:ac.t.ea . a ,eae:a| 1ae ç:eeess . s aaa|e,eas. .iaet .ceat.ea|
te taat ei .ate:aa| t.me·eease.easaess cese:.|ec i:em tae aeemat.e
».e«çe.at .a tae 1 904-1 0 |eeta:es 1ae ç:eseat aççea:s ae.tae: as tae
�açta:e ae: tae eaeet ei a çast. |at as tae :eteat.ea ei a ç:eseat çast.
. e . as tae :eteat.ea ei a :eteat.ea. aac se ie:ta s.aee tae :eteat.eaa|
çe«e: ei |. ».a, eease.easaess .s |a. te , ta.s eease.easaess ç:ese:»es
s.,a.ieat.eas. »a|aes. aac çast aets as aa|.taa|.t.es (habitus) aac
sec.meatat.eas 1:ac.t.eaa| sec.meatat.ea .a tae eemmaaa| «e:|c «.||
aa»e tae iaaet.ea ei ,e.a, |eyeac tae :eteat.eaa| | a.tace ei .ac. ».caa|
eease.easaess Oi eea:se . sec.meata:y :eteat.ea .s aet ea|y tae eeac.·
�2 This requirement ofTrivialitit i s frequently justified by Husserl, notably i n C. §9h, p.
50.
58
Jacques Derrid
t.ea ie: tae çess.|. | .ty ei ç:eteat.ea. .t a|se |e|ea,s esseat.a| | y te tae
,eae:a| ie:m ei ç:eteat.ea. «a.ea .s .tse|i eeaee.vec aace: tae a|se·
|ate|y aa.¡ae aac aa.ve:sa| ie:m ei tae i.v.a, r:eseat 1ae | atte:.
«a. ea . s tae ç:.me:c.a| a|se| ate ei temçe:a|.ty. .s ea| y tae ma.ateaaaee
ei «a+t .aceec ma st |e ea||ec tae dialectic ei ç:eteat.ea aac :eteat.ea.
cesç.te uasse:| s :eça,aaaee ie: taat «e:c ia tae mevemeat ei ç:e·
teat.ea. tae ç:eseat . s :eta.aec aac ,eae |eyeac as çast ç:eseat . . a
e:ce: te eeast.tate another ç:.me:c.a| aac e:.,.aa| ~|se|ate. aaetae:
i. v. a, r:eseat. w.taeat ta.s est:ae:c.aa:y a|se|ate a|te:at.ea ei «aat
a|«ays :ema.as .a tae eeae:ete aac |.vec ie:m ei aa a|se|ate r:eseat .
«.taeat ta. s a|«ays :eae«ec e:.,.aa| .ty ei aa a|se| ate ç:. me:c.a| .ty.
a|«ays ç:eseat aac a|«ays |.vec as saea . ae a. ste:y «ea|c |e çess.||e
~| se. «aat .s t:ae ei tae i.v.a, r:eseat .s t:ae ei «aat saççeses .t as .ts
,:eaac. tae a. ste:.e ç:eseat . tae |atte: a|«ays :eie:s me:e e: |ess . mme·
c.ate|y te tae teta|.ty ei a çast «a.ea . aaa|. ts . t aac «a.ea a|«ays
aççea:s aace: tae ,eae:a| ie:m ei a project . ~t eve:y memeat eaea
a.ste:.e teta|.ty . s a ea|ta:a| st:aeta:e aa.matec |y a ç:e]eet «a.ea .s aa
.cea 1aas " Weltanschauung, tee. .s aa .cea ,rxs . ç 1 35) .
nat at other times, ea tae eeat:a:y. uasse:| cese:. |es se.eaee as a
aa.¡ae aac a:eaetyça| ie:m ei t:ac.t.eaa| ea|ta:e. nes. ces a|| tae
eaa:aete:.st.es taat .t aas .a eemmea «.ta etae: ea|ta:a| ie:mat.eas.
se.eaee e|a.ms aa esseat.a| ç:.v.|e,e . . t cees aet çe:m. t . tse|i t e |e
eae| esec .a aay a. ste:.ea||y cete:m.aec ea| ta:e as saea. ie: .t aas tae
aa.ve:sa| va| . c.ty ei truth. ~s a ea|ta:a| ie:m «a.ea . s aet ç:eçe: te aay
ce iaete ea|ta:e. tae . cea ei se.eaee .s tae . aces ei ça:e ea|ta:e .a
,eae:a| . .t ces.,aates ea|ta:e s eidos par excellence. ia ta.s sease . tae
ea|ta:a| ie:m se.eaee ,ei «a.ea ,eemet:y .s eae esamç|e, .s . tse|i
esemç|a:y .a tae cea||e sease ei ta. s «e:c. e. cet.e aac te|ee|e,. ea|
.t .s tae ça:t.ea|a: esamç|e «a.ea ,a.ces tae e. cet.e :ecaet.ea aac .ata.·
t.ea. |at .t a|se .s tae esamç|e aac mece| «a.ea mast e:.eat ea|ta:e as
.ts . cea| . se.eaee . s tae . cea ei «aat . i:em tae i:st memeat ei .ts
ç:ecaet.ea. mast |e t:ae a|«ays aac ie: eve:yeae. |eyeac eve:y ,.vea
ea|ta:a| a:ea. i t . s tae .aia.te eidos eççesec te tae ia.te .cea| «a.ea
aa.mates tae Weltanschauung:
Weltanschauung, too, is an "idea, " but ofa goal lying in the fnite , in
principle to be realized in an individual lie by way of constant
approach . . . . The "idea" ofWeltanschauung i consequently a
dif erent one for each time. . . . The " idea" ofscience, on the
contrar, is a supratemporal one, and here that means limited by no
relatedness to the spirit ofone time. . . . Science is a title standing for
absolute, timeless values. Every such value, once discovered, belongs
59
Introduction to the Origin of Geometr
thereafter to the treasure trove ofall succeeding humanity and
obviously determines likewise the material contel1t of the idea of
culture, wisdom, Weltanschauung, as well as ofWeltanschauung
philosophy. (Ibid. , pp. 135-36)
ia a aea·cese:.çt.ve ça:e se. eaee . tae mece ei sec.meatat.ea . s saea
taat ae s.,a.ieat.ea eeases te e.:ea|ate at aay memeat aac eaa a|«ays
|e :eeeaee.vec aac :ea«a|eaec . a .ts e.:ea|at.ea. ii . t «as aeeessa:y
taea te c.st.a,a.sa |et«eea aata:a| :ea| .ty aac sç.:.taa| ea|ta:e. «e
mast ae« c.se:.m.aate. .a e:ce: te aace:staac ça:e ea| ta:e aac
t:ac.t.eaa| .ty . a ,eae:a| . |et«eea emç.:.ea| ea|ta:e aac taat ei t:ata i a
etae: «e:cs. |et«eea ce iaete a.ste:.ea| ea|ta:e. ea tae eae aaac. . a
«a.ea sease·sec.meatat.ea cees aet ese| ace tae iaet taat va| .c.ty
,«a.ea . s :eetec .a a |aa,aa,e. te::a. a. eçeea. aac se ie:ta· eaa |eeeme
catec [eremption] , aac ea tae etae: aaac. tae ea| ta:e ei t:ata. «aese
. cea|.ty .s a|se|ate| y ae:mat.ve. Ne cea|t. tae |atte: «ea|c |e infact
. mçess.||e «.taeat tae ie:me: nat ea tae eae aaac. tae ea|ta:e ei t:ata
. s tae a.,aest aac mest .::-cae.|| e çess. |. | .ty ei emç.:.ea| ea|ta:e . ea
tae etae: aaac. tae ea| ta:e ei t:ata . s . tse| i ea| y tae çess.|.| . ty ei a
reduction ei emç.:.ea| ea|ta:e aac .s maa.iestec te . tse|i ea| y ta:ea,a
saea a :ecaet.ea. a :ecaet.ea «a. ea aas |eeeme çess.|| e |y aa .::aç·
t. ea ei tae . aia.te as a :eve|at.ea «.ta.a emç.:.ea| ea| ta:e
~t tae same t.me. tae ea|ta:e aac t:ac.t.ea ei tae truth a:e eaa:ae·
te:.zec |y a ça:aces.ea| a.ste:.e.ty ia eae sease. taey eaa aççea:
c. sea,a,ec i:em a|| a.ste:y. s.aee taey a:e aet . at:.as.ea| |y aaeetec |y
tae emç. :.ea| eeateat ei :ea| a.ste:y aac |y cete:m. aec ea|ta:a| .ate:·
eeaaeet.eas 1a.s emaae.çat.ea eaa |e eeaiasec «.ta a |:ea|.a, i:em
a.ste:y .a ,eae:a| re: taese «ae eeaiae taemse| ves te a.ste:.ea| iaeta·
a| .ty. as «e|| as ie: taese «ae eae|ese taemse| ves . a tae .cea| .ty ei
va| . c.ty. tae aa::at.ea ei tae t:ata eaa ea| y aave tae a. ste:.e e:. ,.aa| .ty ei
myta
nat .a aaetae: sease. eae taat ee::esçeacs te uasse:| s . ateat.ea. tae
t:ac.t.ea ei t:ata .s tae mest ç:eieaac aac ça:est a. ste:y Oa| y tae ça:e
aa.ty ei saea a t:ac.t.ea s sease .s açt te esta||. sa ta. s eeat.aa. ty.
i aceec. «. taeat ta. s ae aataeat.e a.ste:y «ea|c |e taea,at e: ç:e]eetec
as saea. tae:e «ea|c ea|y |e aa emç.:.ea| a,,:e,ate ei | a.te aac aee.·
ceata| aa.t s ~s seea as çaeaemeae| e,y |:ea|s i:e¬ |eta eea·
veat. eaa| r|atea. sm aac a. ste:. e.st emç.:.e. sm. tae mevemeat ei
,;3 As Husserl had already stressed in the LI (I, I , §32, p. 3 3 1 ) , ideality i s not always
normative. Validity is a higher ideality which can or cannot be attached to ideality i n
general. We wi ll see this much later: the sense of error has i ts own particular i deality.
58
Jacques Derrid
t.ea ie: tae çess.|. | .ty ei ç:eteat.ea. .t a|se |e|ea,s esseat.a| | y te tae
,eae:a| ie:m ei ç:eteat.ea. «a.ea .s .tse|i eeaee.vec aace: tae a|se·
|ate|y aa.¡ae aac aa.ve:sa| ie:m ei tae i.v.a, r:eseat 1ae | atte:.
«a. ea . s tae ç:.me:c.a| a|se| ate ei temçe:a|.ty. .s ea| y tae ma.ateaaaee
ei «a+t .aceec ma st |e ea||ec tae dialectic ei ç:eteat.ea aac :eteat.ea.
cesç.te uasse:| s :eça,aaaee ie: taat «e:c ia tae mevemeat ei ç:e·
teat.ea. tae ç:eseat . s :eta.aec aac ,eae |eyeac as çast ç:eseat . . a
e:ce: te eeast.tate another ç:.me:c.a| aac e:.,.aa| ~|se|ate. aaetae:
i. v. a, r:eseat. w.taeat ta.s est:ae:c.aa:y a|se|ate a|te:at.ea ei «aat
a|«ays :ema.as .a tae eeae:ete aac |.vec ie:m ei aa a|se|ate r:eseat .
«.taeat ta. s a|«ays :eae«ec e:.,.aa| .ty ei aa a|se| ate ç:. me:c.a| .ty.
a|«ays ç:eseat aac a|«ays |.vec as saea . ae a. ste:y «ea|c |e çess.||e
~| se. «aat .s t:ae ei tae i.v.a, r:eseat .s t:ae ei «aat saççeses .t as .ts
,:eaac. tae a. ste:.e ç:eseat . tae |atte: a|«ays :eie:s me:e e: |ess . mme·
c.ate|y te tae teta|.ty ei a çast «a.ea . aaa|. ts . t aac «a.ea a|«ays
aççea:s aace: tae ,eae:a| ie:m ei a project . ~t eve:y memeat eaea
a.ste:.e teta|.ty . s a ea|ta:a| st:aeta:e aa.matec |y a ç:e]eet «a.ea .s aa
.cea 1aas " Weltanschauung, tee. .s aa .cea ,rxs . ç 1 35) .
nat at other times, ea tae eeat:a:y. uasse:| cese:. |es se.eaee as a
aa.¡ae aac a:eaetyça| ie:m ei t:ac.t.eaa| ea|ta:e. nes. ces a|| tae
eaa:aete:.st.es taat .t aas .a eemmea «.ta etae: ea|ta:a| ie:mat.eas.
se.eaee e|a.ms aa esseat.a| ç:.v.|e,e . . t cees aet çe:m. t . tse|i t e |e
eae| esec .a aay a. ste:.ea||y cete:m.aec ea| ta:e as saea. ie: .t aas tae
aa.ve:sa| va| . c.ty ei truth. ~s a ea|ta:a| ie:m «a.ea . s aet ç:eçe: te aay
ce iaete ea|ta:e. tae . cea ei se.eaee .s tae . aces ei ça:e ea|ta:e .a
,eae:a| . .t ces.,aates ea|ta:e s eidos par excellence. ia ta.s sease . tae
ea|ta:a| ie:m se.eaee ,ei «a.ea ,eemet:y .s eae esamç|e, .s . tse|i
esemç|a:y .a tae cea||e sease ei ta. s «e:c. e. cet.e aac te|ee|e,. ea|
.t .s tae ça:t.ea|a: esamç|e «a.ea ,a.ces tae e. cet.e :ecaet.ea aac .ata.·
t.ea. |at .t a|se .s tae esamç|e aac mece| «a.ea mast e:.eat ea|ta:e as
.ts . cea| . se.eaee . s tae . cea ei «aat . i:em tae i:st memeat ei .ts
ç:ecaet.ea. mast |e t:ae a|«ays aac ie: eve:yeae. |eyeac eve:y ,.vea
ea|ta:a| a:ea. i t . s tae .aia.te eidos eççesec te tae ia.te .cea| «a.ea
aa.mates tae Weltanschauung:
Weltanschauung, too, is an "idea, " but ofa goal lying in the fnite , in
principle to be realized in an individual lie by way of constant
approach . . . . The "idea" ofWeltanschauung i consequently a
dif erent one for each time. . . . The " idea" ofscience, on the
contrar, is a supratemporal one, and here that means limited by no
relatedness to the spirit ofone time. . . . Science is a title standing for
absolute, timeless values. Every such value, once discovered, belongs
59
Introduction to the Origin of Geometr
thereafter to the treasure trove ofall succeeding humanity and
obviously determines likewise the material contel1t of the idea of
culture, wisdom, Weltanschauung, as well as ofWeltanschauung
philosophy. (Ibid. , pp. 135-36)
ia a aea·cese:.çt.ve ça:e se. eaee . tae mece ei sec.meatat.ea . s saea
taat ae s.,a.ieat.ea eeases te e.:ea|ate at aay memeat aac eaa a|«ays
|e :eeeaee.vec aac :ea«a|eaec . a .ts e.:ea|at.ea. ii . t «as aeeessa:y
taea te c.st.a,a.sa |et«eea aata:a| :ea| .ty aac sç.:.taa| ea|ta:e. «e
mast ae« c.se:.m.aate. .a e:ce: te aace:staac ça:e ea| ta:e aac
t:ac.t.eaa| .ty . a ,eae:a| . |et«eea emç.:.ea| ea|ta:e aac taat ei t:ata i a
etae: «e:cs. |et«eea ce iaete a.ste:.ea| ea|ta:e. ea tae eae aaac. . a
«a.ea sease·sec.meatat.ea cees aet ese| ace tae iaet taat va| .c.ty
,«a.ea . s :eetec .a a |aa,aa,e. te::a. a. eçeea. aac se ie:ta· eaa |eeeme
catec [eremption] , aac ea tae etae: aaac. tae ea| ta:e ei t:ata. «aese
. cea|.ty .s a|se|ate| y ae:mat.ve. Ne cea|t. tae |atte: «ea|c |e infact
. mçess.||e «.taeat tae ie:me: nat ea tae eae aaac. tae ea|ta:e ei t:ata
. s tae a.,aest aac mest .::-cae.|| e çess. |. | .ty ei emç.:.ea| ea|ta:e . ea
tae etae: aaac. tae ea| ta:e ei t:ata . s . tse| i ea| y tae çess.|.| . ty ei a
reduction ei emç.:.ea| ea|ta:e aac .s maa.iestec te . tse|i ea| y ta:ea,a
saea a :ecaet.ea. a :ecaet.ea «a. ea aas |eeeme çess.|| e |y aa .::aç·
t. ea ei tae . aia.te as a :eve|at.ea «.ta.a emç.:.ea| ea| ta:e
~t tae same t.me. tae ea|ta:e aac t:ac.t.ea ei tae truth a:e eaa:ae·
te:.zec |y a ça:aces.ea| a.ste:.e.ty ia eae sease. taey eaa aççea:
c. sea,a,ec i:em a|| a.ste:y. s.aee taey a:e aet . at:.as.ea| |y aaeetec |y
tae emç. :.ea| eeateat ei :ea| a.ste:y aac |y cete:m. aec ea|ta:a| .ate:·
eeaaeet.eas 1a.s emaae.çat.ea eaa |e eeaiasec «.ta a |:ea|.a, i:em
a.ste:y .a ,eae:a| re: taese «ae eeaiae taemse| ves te a.ste:.ea| iaeta·
a| .ty. as «e|| as ie: taese «ae eae|ese taemse| ves . a tae .cea| .ty ei
va| . c.ty. tae aa::at.ea ei tae t:ata eaa ea| y aave tae a. ste:.e e:. ,.aa| .ty ei
myta
nat .a aaetae: sease. eae taat ee::esçeacs te uasse:| s . ateat.ea. tae
t:ac.t.ea ei t:ata .s tae mest ç:eieaac aac ça:est a. ste:y Oa| y tae ça:e
aa.ty ei saea a t:ac.t.ea s sease .s açt te esta||. sa ta. s eeat.aa. ty.
i aceec. «. taeat ta. s ae aataeat.e a.ste:y «ea|c |e taea,at e: ç:e]eetec
as saea. tae:e «ea|c ea|y |e aa emç.:.ea| a,,:e,ate ei | a.te aac aee.·
ceata| aa.t s ~s seea as çaeaemeae| e,y |:ea|s i:e¬ |eta eea·
veat. eaa| r|atea. sm aac a. ste:. e.st emç.:.e. sm. tae mevemeat ei
,;3 As Husserl had already stressed in the LI (I, I , §32, p. 3 3 1 ) , ideality i s not always
normative. Validity is a higher ideality which can or cannot be attached to ideality i n
general. We wi ll see this much later: the sense of error has i ts own particular i deality.
60
Jacques Derrid
t ruth that it wishes to describe is really that of a concrete and speci fc
hi story-the foundations of which are a temporal and creative sub­
jecti vity' s act s based on the sensible world and the life-world as cul tural
world.
This progress is brought about by the permanent totalization and
repetition of its acqui sitions . Geometry i s born "out of afrst acquisi­
tion, out of frst creative activities . We understand i ts persisting manner
of being: it i s not only a mobile forward process from one set of acqui si ­
tions t o another but a continuous synthesis i n which all acqui si tions
maintain their validity, all make up a totality such that , at every present
stage, the total acquisition is, so to speak, the total premise for the
acquisitions of the new level . . . . The same thing i s true of every
science" ( 1 59) .
Let us understand thi s as true of every non-descriptive sci ence .
These syntheses do not occur in a psychological memory, however
collecti ve, but rather in that "rational memor" so profoundl y de­
scribed by Gaston Bachelard, a memory based on a "recurrent fruitul­
ness, " which alone is capable of constituting and retaining the "events
of reason. " 54 In his Philosophy of Arithmetic, Husserl already distin­
guished between psychological temporality as successi veness (what
Hume described) and the temporality of the synthetic i nterconnections
of sense. He continued to explicate thi s diference , and in the Origin
( 1 66) he emphasizes that a scientifc stage is not only a sense which "in
fact comes later, " but the i ntegration of the whol e earl i er sense i n a
new project.
Egological subjectivity cannot be responsible for thi s development ,
which is continually totali zed in an absolute Present. Onl y a communal
subjecti vity can produce the historical system of truth and be wholly
responsible for it. However, thi s total subjectivity, whose unity must be
absolute and a priori (otherwise even the slightest truth woul d be un­
i maginable) is but the common place of all egological subjectivi ti es,
whether actually present or possible, whether past, present, or future,
whether known or unknown. " Every science i s related to an open chain
of the generations of those who work for and with one another, re­
searchers either known or unknown to one another who ae the pro­
ducti ve subjectivity of the total li vi ng science" ( 1 59 [modifed]) .
Since the totality of sci ence is open, the uni versal community also
has the unity of a horizon. Furthermore, the i mage of the " open chain"
does not exhaust the depth of this communal subjecti vity. For it not
,'4 Cf. in particular Le Rationalisme applique, 4th ed. (Paris: Presses Universitaires de
France, 1 970), pp. 2 and 42-46.
61
1 ntroduction to the Origin of Geometr
onl y has the unity of interrelatedness and co-responsibil ity-each i n­
vestigator not onl y feel s hi mself tied to al l the others by the unity of an
object or task-but the i nvestigator' s own subjectivity is constituted by
the idea or horizon of thi s total subjectivity which is made responsi bl e
in and through hi m for each of hi s acts as a scientifc investigator. In
and through him, that means without being substituted for hi m, because,
at the same time, he remai ns the absol ute ori gi n, the constituting and pres­
ent source of truth. Phenomenol ogical ly, the transcendental we is not
something other than the transcendental Ego . The latter' s acts , even
when they seem mandated by an ideal community, do not cease to be i rre­
ducibl y those of a monadic "[ think" -to which it sufces to reduce the
empi rical egol ogical content of the ego in order to discover the d imen­
sion of the "we" as a moment of the eidos "ego. ":; One would i ndeed
be tempted to think that it i s the we that makes possibl e the reduction of
the empirical ego and the emergence of the eidos "ego, " if such an
hypothesis did not l ead, against Husserl ' s most explicit intentions, to
placing the ego logical monad in abstract relation to the total subjec­
tivity. In any case, if there is a hi story of truth , it can onl y be this
concrete implication and this reciprocal envelopment of total ities and
absolutes . Thi s i s possible onl y because we are dealing with ideal and
spiritual i mpli cati ons. The descri ption of these two characteri sti cs,
i deality and spiritual ity, so frequently evoked in the Origin, does not
correspond, as we know, to any metaphysical assertion
.
In addi ti on to
which, they are "founded" in the sense of Fundierung.
The irreducible historicity of geometrical becoming i s characterized
by the fact that "the total sense of geometry" (and its necessary noetic
correlate , total subjectivity) "could not have been present as a project
and then as mobile fulfllment at the beginning" ( ] 59) . If the history of
geometry were only the development of a purpose wholly present from
the beginning, we would have to deal only with an explication or a
quasi-creation. We would have on one si de a synchronic or timeless
[uchronique p6 ground and, on the other side, a purel y empi ri cal diach­
rony with its i ndi cati ve function but without any proper unity of its
own. Nei ther pure diachrony nor pure synchrony make a hi story. The
55 Then begins the formidable difculties grappled with in the ffth of the Cartesian
Meditations, and into which we do not want to enter here.
56 [Derrida wants to suggest by the word uchronie a temporality akin to the spatiality of
utopia. We should also note Derrida' s use of the roots "temporalite" and "chronie" in
various words: panchronie and uchronie versus omnitemporalite and intemporalite (as
�ell as synchronie, diachronie, and anachronie) . When uchronie occurs again on p. 73 , i t
IS translated as intemporality. ]
60
Jacques Derrid
t ruth that it wishes to describe is really that of a concrete and speci fc
hi story-the foundations of which are a temporal and creative sub­
jecti vity' s act s based on the sensible world and the life-world as cul tural
world.
This progress is brought about by the permanent totalization and
repetition of its acqui sitions . Geometry i s born "out of afrst acquisi­
tion, out of frst creative activities . We understand i ts persisting manner
of being: it i s not only a mobile forward process from one set of acqui si ­
tions t o another but a continuous synthesis i n which all acqui si tions
maintain their validity, all make up a totality such that , at every present
stage, the total acquisition is, so to speak, the total premise for the
acquisitions of the new level . . . . The same thing i s true of every
science" ( 1 59) .
Let us understand thi s as true of every non-descriptive sci ence .
These syntheses do not occur in a psychological memory, however
collecti ve, but rather in that "rational memor" so profoundl y de­
scribed by Gaston Bachelard, a memory based on a "recurrent fruitul­
ness, " which alone is capable of constituting and retaining the "events
of reason. " 54 In his Philosophy of Arithmetic, Husserl already distin­
guished between psychological temporality as successi veness (what
Hume described) and the temporality of the synthetic i nterconnections
of sense. He continued to explicate thi s diference , and in the Origin
( 1 66) he emphasizes that a scientifc stage is not only a sense which "in
fact comes later, " but the i ntegration of the whol e earl i er sense i n a
new project.
Egological subjectivity cannot be responsible for thi s development ,
which is continually totali zed in an absolute Present. Onl y a communal
subjecti vity can produce the historical system of truth and be wholly
responsible for it. However, thi s total subjectivity, whose unity must be
absolute and a priori (otherwise even the slightest truth woul d be un­
i maginable) is but the common place of all egological subjectivi ti es,
whether actually present or possible, whether past, present, or future,
whether known or unknown. " Every science i s related to an open chain
of the generations of those who work for and with one another, re­
searchers either known or unknown to one another who ae the pro­
ducti ve subjectivity of the total li vi ng science" ( 1 59 [modifed]) .
Since the totality of sci ence is open, the uni versal community also
has the unity of a horizon. Furthermore, the i mage of the " open chain"
does not exhaust the depth of this communal subjecti vity. For it not
,'4 Cf. in particular Le Rationalisme applique, 4th ed. (Paris: Presses Universitaires de
France, 1 970), pp. 2 and 42-46.
61
1 ntroduction to the Origin of Geometr
onl y has the unity of interrelatedness and co-responsibil ity-each i n­
vestigator not onl y feel s hi mself tied to al l the others by the unity of an
object or task-but the i nvestigator' s own subjectivity is constituted by
the idea or horizon of thi s total subjectivity which is made responsi bl e
in and through hi m for each of hi s acts as a scientifc investigator. In
and through him, that means without being substituted for hi m, because,
at the same time, he remai ns the absol ute ori gi n, the constituting and pres­
ent source of truth. Phenomenol ogical ly, the transcendental we is not
something other than the transcendental Ego . The latter' s acts , even
when they seem mandated by an ideal community, do not cease to be i rre­
ducibl y those of a monadic "[ think" -to which it sufces to reduce the
empi rical egol ogical content of the ego in order to discover the d imen­
sion of the "we" as a moment of the eidos "ego. ":; One would i ndeed
be tempted to think that it i s the we that makes possibl e the reduction of
the empirical ego and the emergence of the eidos "ego, " if such an
hypothesis did not l ead, against Husserl ' s most explicit intentions, to
placing the ego logical monad in abstract relation to the total subjec­
tivity. In any case, if there is a hi story of truth , it can onl y be this
concrete implication and this reciprocal envelopment of total ities and
absolutes . Thi s i s possible onl y because we are dealing with ideal and
spiritual i mpli cati ons. The descri ption of these two characteri sti cs,
i deality and spiritual ity, so frequently evoked in the Origin, does not
correspond, as we know, to any metaphysical assertion
.
In addi ti on to
which, they are "founded" in the sense of Fundierung.
The irreducible historicity of geometrical becoming i s characterized
by the fact that "the total sense of geometry" (and its necessary noetic
correlate , total subjectivity) "could not have been present as a project
and then as mobile fulfllment at the beginning" ( ] 59) . If the history of
geometry were only the development of a purpose wholly present from
the beginning, we would have to deal only with an explication or a
quasi-creation. We would have on one si de a synchronic or timeless
[uchronique p6 ground and, on the other side, a purel y empi ri cal diach­
rony with its i ndi cati ve function but without any proper unity of its
own. Nei ther pure diachrony nor pure synchrony make a hi story. The
55 Then begins the formidable difculties grappled with in the ffth of the Cartesian
Meditations, and into which we do not want to enter here.
56 [Derrida wants to suggest by the word uchronie a temporality akin to the spatiality of
utopia. We should also note Derrida' s use of the roots "temporalite" and "chronie" in
various words: panchronie and uchronie versus omnitemporalite and intemporalite (as
�ell as synchronie, diachronie, and anachronie) . When uchronie occurs again on p. 73 , i t
IS translated as intemporality. ]
, I
I
, '
1
, i
i
,l ,
62
Jacques Derrda
:e]eetec ayçetaes.s .s eaee ¬e:e taat ei a ee¬ç| .e.ty -et«eea
r|atea.s¬ aac e¬ç.:.e.s¬
~s a ¬atte: ei iaet. evea -eie:e tae çess.-.|.ty ei tae eçea ç:e]eet ei
,ee¬et:y. a ¬e:e ç:.¬.t.ve ie:¬at.ea ei sease (Sinnbildung) aeeessa:·
.|y «eat -eie:e . t as a ç:e|. ¬. aa:y sta,e. aacea-tec|y . a saea a «ay
taat .t aççea:ec ie: tae i:st t.¬e .a tae ev. ceaee ei saeeessia| aetaa| .z+·
t. ea ( 1 59-60 ¸¬ec.r ec} ,
IV
uav.a, :eaeaec ta. s çe.at . uasse:| çe:ie:¬s a cetea: «a.ea ¬ay
see¬ c.seeaee:t.a, i asteac ei cese:.-.a, ta. s ç:.¬.t.ve ,eaes.s ei sease
.a . tse|i aac .a . ts Erstmaligkeit, ae tae.t|y aac ç:ev. s. eaa||y eeas. ce:s . t
te -e already ceae. . ts sease -e. a, a|:eacy ev.ceat ue . s eeateat te
:eea|| taat «e |ae« tae ,eae:a| ie:m ei ta.s ev.ceaee. · tae |atte: mast
-e~.t eaaaet aet -e-|.|e a|| ev. ceaee ,«aetae: çe:eeçt.ve e: e.cet.e, .
tae .ata.t.ea ei a aata:a| :ea| .ty e: ei aa .cea| e|]eet . . e . ,:asç. a, aa
es. steat . a tae eease. easaess ei .ts e:.,.aa| |e. a,·.tse|i·tae:e ( 1 60
,¬ec.iec}, 1a.s :eea||s tae "principle ofall principles" ceiaec .a Ideas
I. ue«eve: | .tt|e «e ¬ay |ae« a-eat tae i:st ,ee¬et:.ea| ev.ceaee. «e
ce |ae« a priori taat . t aas aac te assa¬e ta.s ie:¬ uat evea taea,a
açç|.ec te a a. ste:.ea| e:. ,.a . a ta.s ease. ta.s a priori |ae«|ec,e eea·
eeo.a, tae ie:¬ ei ev. ceaee . s aeta.a, | ess taaa a. ste:.ea| Deia. a, a
"source of authority" [Ideas I, §24, ç. s·} ie: tae ee,a.t.ea ei aay e-]eet
. a ,eae:a| . .t . s eae ei taese formal a prori saççesec -y eve:y ¬ate:.a|
se.eaee. ae:e |y ,ee¬et:y aac a. ste:y s.aee tae i:st ,ee¬e::.ea| ev. ·
ceaee aas aac te eeaie:¬ te ta.s çatte:a. «e eaa aave a i:st ee:ta.aty
a-eat .t .a tae a|seaee ei aay etae: ¬ate:.a| |re«|ec,e ueaee tae
content ei ,ee¬et:.ea| ev. ceaee ,a eeateat «a.ea . s a. ste:.ea| -eeaase
e:eatec ie: tae i:st t. ¬e, .s aet ceiaec ie: tae ¬e¬eat uasse:| eeas. c·
e:s .t a|:eacy ae¡a.:ec
1a.s a|steat.ea -eie:e tae eeateat ei tae ç:.¬e:c.a| aet aac ev. ceaee
. s ç:ev.s.eaa| i t . s a ¡aest.ea ei a ¬etaece|e,.ea| |. ¬. tat.ea aac. eaee
a,a.a. ei tae aeeess.ty te ta|e eae s sta:t.a, çe.at . a tae eeast.tatec
uat ta. s ¬etaece| e,.ea| aeeess.ty .s ea|y |e,. t.¬ate ea tae -as. s ei a
ç:eieaac ça. |eseça.ea| cee.s.ea uav.a, e|ea:ec ta. s sta,e. uasse:| . a
eaeet eeat.aaes a.s ¬ec.tat.ea ,ae« ç:eteetec -y taat ie:ma| |e,. t.¬a·
t.ea, as .i a. s tae¬e «e:e ae |ea,e: tae e:.,.a ei ,ee¬et:.ea| sease. |at
.)7 Thi s i s done i n terms which recall those of Ideas I, no doubt, but above al l those of
FTL: cf. notably FTL, § 59, pp. 1 56-59.
63
Introduction to the Origin of Geometr
tae genesis of the a-se|ate . . e . .cea| · Objectivity ei sease. ta. s sease
|e.a, a|:eacy ç:eseat ie: aay eease.easaess «aatseeve: uasse:| :e·
çeatec|y aac e|st.aate| y :eta:as te a ¡aest.ea «a. ea . s at -ette¬ tae
ie||e«.a,. ae« eaa tae sa-]eet.ve e,e| e,.ea| ev.ceaee ei sease |eee¬e
e|]eet.ve aac .ate:sa-]eet. ve: ue« eaa .t ,.ve :.se te aa .cea| aac t:ae
e-]eet. «.ta a|| tae eaa:aete:.st.es taat «e |ae« .t te aave. e¬a. te¬
çe:a| va|.c.ty. aa. ve:sa| ae:¬at. v.ty

.ate| | . ,.-.|.ty ie: "everyone, " aç·
:eetecaess eat ei a|| "here and now" iaetaa|.ty. aac se ie:
¡
a: 1a. s .s tae
a. ste:.ea| :eçet.t.ea ei tae ¡aest.ea ei O-]eet.v.ty se i:e¡aeat|y as|ec .a
tae ive |eeta:es ei The Idea ofPhenomenolog: ae« eaa sa|]eet.v.ty ,e
eat ei . tse|i . a e:ce: te eaeeaate: e: eeast.tate tae e-]eet:·
uasse:| aas. taea. ç:ev.s.eaa|| y a|sta.aec -eie:e tae a.ste:.ea| eea·
teat ei Erstmaligkeit ea|y te as| tae ¡aest.ea ei .ts e-]eet. ieat.ea
[objectivation], . e . ei .ts |aaaea.a, .ate a. ste:y aac .ts a.ste:.e. ty re: a
sease aas eate:ec .ate a.ste:y ea|y .i .t aas -eee¬e aa a|se|ate e-]eet.
.'H Husserl had posed thi s question i n the same terms but in i ts most inclusive extension
and with a more cri tical , but less historical, infl exion i n FTL, § 1 0, pp. 263-64. There,
however, i t is l i mited to the egological sphere of Objecti vity. Here it i s focused on the
possibi l ity of objecti ve spi ri t as the condition for history and i n thi s respect takes the
opposite vi ew to Di lthey' s questi on. Di l they, in efect, starts fom the already constituted
objective spi ri t . For hi m, what matters i s knowing how the signifcations and the values of
thi s objecti ve mi l i eu can be interiorized and assumed as such by i ndi vidual subjects-first
of al l in the hi stori an' s work on the basi s of testionies which are i ndi vidual in thei r origin
or object . Moreover, this question led Di lthey to di scover, like Husserl , a non­
psychological di mensi on of the subject. Di lthey writes: "Now the followi ng question
ari ses: how a nexus which i s not produced as such i n a mind [tete], which consequently i s
not di rectly experienced and can no more be l ed back t o t he l i ved experi ence of a person,
how can it be constituted as such i n the historian on the basis of the statements of thi s
person or of statements made about t hi s matter'? Thi s presupposes that some logical
SUbjects, who are not psychological subjects, can be constituted" (Part I I I : "Plan der
Fortsetzung zum Aufau der geschi chtlichen Wel t i n den Geisteswi ssenschaften. En­
twiirfe zur Kritik der hi storischen Verunf" [ "Plan for the Continuation of the Forma­
tion of the Hi storical World in the Human Studi es. Sketches for a Critique of Historical
Reason"] , in Di l they' s Der Aufau der geschichtlichen Welt in den Geisteswissenschaf­
ten, ed. Bernard Groethuysen, 2nd ed. (Stuttgart: B . G. Teubner and Gottingen: Van­
denhoeck and Ruprecht, 1 958), Vol . 7 of Gesammelte Schriften, p. 282.
Thi s question i s "turned over" i n the Origin i n formulas which are strangel y si milar to
those of Di lthey. Thi s "reverse si de" of the question concers the radical origin and the
conditions of possi bil i ty for the objecti ve spirit itself. Afer the interconnections of sense
and the evidences of a monadic ego from which we cannot not start , de facto as wel l as de
j ure, how can an objecti ve spirit i n general be constituted as the pl ace of truth, tradition,
co-responsi bi l ity, and so forth? We wi l l see that, according to Husserl, a "logical "
subject wi l l no more be able to be responsible for such a possi bi l ity than could the
psychological subject .
, I
I
, '
1
, i
i
,l ,
62
Jacques Derrda
:e]eetec ayçetaes.s .s eaee ¬e:e taat ei a ee¬ç| .e.ty -et«eea
r|atea.s¬ aac e¬ç.:.e.s¬
~s a ¬atte: ei iaet. evea -eie:e tae çess.-.|.ty ei tae eçea ç:e]eet ei
,ee¬et:y. a ¬e:e ç:.¬.t.ve ie:¬at.ea ei sease (Sinnbildung) aeeessa:·
.|y «eat -eie:e . t as a ç:e|. ¬. aa:y sta,e. aacea-tec|y . a saea a «ay
taat .t aççea:ec ie: tae i:st t.¬e .a tae ev. ceaee ei saeeessia| aetaa| .z+·
t. ea ( 1 59-60 ¸¬ec.r ec} ,
IV
uav.a, :eaeaec ta. s çe.at . uasse:| çe:ie:¬s a cetea: «a.ea ¬ay
see¬ c.seeaee:t.a, i asteac ei cese:.-.a, ta. s ç:.¬.t.ve ,eaes.s ei sease
.a . tse|i aac .a . ts Erstmaligkeit, ae tae.t|y aac ç:ev. s. eaa||y eeas. ce:s . t
te -e already ceae. . ts sease -e. a, a|:eacy ev.ceat ue . s eeateat te
:eea|| taat «e |ae« tae ,eae:a| ie:m ei ta.s ev.ceaee. · tae |atte: mast
-e~.t eaaaet aet -e-|.|e a|| ev. ceaee ,«aetae: çe:eeçt.ve e: e.cet.e, .
tae .ata.t.ea ei a aata:a| :ea| .ty e: ei aa .cea| e|]eet . . e . ,:asç. a, aa
es. steat . a tae eease. easaess ei .ts e:.,.aa| |e. a,·.tse|i·tae:e ( 1 60
,¬ec.iec}, 1a.s :eea||s tae "principle ofall principles" ceiaec .a Ideas
I. ue«eve: | .tt|e «e ¬ay |ae« a-eat tae i:st ,ee¬et:.ea| ev.ceaee. «e
ce |ae« a priori taat . t aas aac te assa¬e ta.s ie:¬ uat evea taea,a
açç|.ec te a a. ste:.ea| e:. ,.a . a ta.s ease. ta.s a priori |ae«|ec,e eea·
eeo.a, tae ie:¬ ei ev. ceaee . s aeta.a, | ess taaa a. ste:.ea| Deia. a, a
"source of authority" [Ideas I, §24, ç. s·} ie: tae ee,a.t.ea ei aay e-]eet
. a ,eae:a| . .t . s eae ei taese formal a prori saççesec -y eve:y ¬ate:.a|
se.eaee. ae:e |y ,ee¬et:y aac a. ste:y s.aee tae i:st ,ee¬e::.ea| ev. ·
ceaee aas aac te eeaie:¬ te ta.s çatte:a. «e eaa aave a i:st ee:ta.aty
a-eat .t .a tae a|seaee ei aay etae: ¬ate:.a| |re«|ec,e ueaee tae
content ei ,ee¬et:.ea| ev. ceaee ,a eeateat «a.ea . s a. ste:.ea| -eeaase
e:eatec ie: tae i:st t. ¬e, .s aet ceiaec ie: tae ¬e¬eat uasse:| eeas. c·
e:s .t a|:eacy ae¡a.:ec
1a.s a|steat.ea -eie:e tae eeateat ei tae ç:.¬e:c.a| aet aac ev. ceaee
. s ç:ev.s.eaa| i t . s a ¡aest.ea ei a ¬etaece|e,.ea| |. ¬. tat.ea aac. eaee
a,a.a. ei tae aeeess.ty te ta|e eae s sta:t.a, çe.at . a tae eeast.tatec
uat ta. s ¬etaece| e,.ea| aeeess.ty .s ea|y |e,. t.¬ate ea tae -as. s ei a
ç:eieaac ça. |eseça.ea| cee.s.ea uav.a, e|ea:ec ta. s sta,e. uasse:| . a
eaeet eeat.aaes a.s ¬ec.tat.ea ,ae« ç:eteetec -y taat ie:ma| |e,. t.¬a·
t.ea, as .i a. s tae¬e «e:e ae |ea,e: tae e:.,.a ei ,ee¬et:.ea| sease. |at
.)7 Thi s i s done i n terms which recall those of Ideas I, no doubt, but above al l those of
FTL: cf. notably FTL, § 59, pp. 1 56-59.
63
Introduction to the Origin of Geometr
tae genesis of the a-se|ate . . e . .cea| · Objectivity ei sease. ta. s sease
|e.a, a|:eacy ç:eseat ie: aay eease.easaess «aatseeve: uasse:| :e·
çeatec|y aac e|st.aate| y :eta:as te a ¡aest.ea «a. ea . s at -ette¬ tae
ie||e«.a,. ae« eaa tae sa-]eet.ve e,e| e,.ea| ev.ceaee ei sease |eee¬e
e|]eet.ve aac .ate:sa-]eet. ve: ue« eaa .t ,.ve :.se te aa .cea| aac t:ae
e-]eet. «.ta a|| tae eaa:aete:.st.es taat «e |ae« .t te aave. e¬a. te¬
çe:a| va|.c.ty. aa. ve:sa| ae:¬at. v.ty

.ate| | . ,.-.|.ty ie: "everyone, " aç·
:eetecaess eat ei a|| "here and now" iaetaa|.ty. aac se ie:
¡
a: 1a. s .s tae
a. ste:.ea| :eçet.t.ea ei tae ¡aest.ea ei O-]eet.v.ty se i:e¡aeat|y as|ec .a
tae ive |eeta:es ei The Idea ofPhenomenolog: ae« eaa sa|]eet.v.ty ,e
eat ei . tse|i . a e:ce: te eaeeaate: e: eeast.tate tae e-]eet:·
uasse:| aas. taea. ç:ev.s.eaa|| y a|sta.aec -eie:e tae a.ste:.ea| eea·
teat ei Erstmaligkeit ea|y te as| tae ¡aest.ea ei .ts e-]eet. ieat.ea
[objectivation], . e . ei .ts |aaaea.a, .ate a. ste:y aac .ts a.ste:.e. ty re: a
sease aas eate:ec .ate a.ste:y ea|y .i .t aas -eee¬e aa a|se|ate e-]eet.
.'H Husserl had posed thi s question i n the same terms but in i ts most inclusive extension
and with a more cri tical , but less historical, infl exion i n FTL, § 1 0, pp. 263-64. There,
however, i t is l i mited to the egological sphere of Objecti vity. Here it i s focused on the
possibi l ity of objecti ve spi ri t as the condition for history and i n thi s respect takes the
opposite vi ew to Di lthey' s questi on. Di l they, in efect, starts fom the already constituted
objective spi ri t . For hi m, what matters i s knowing how the signifcations and the values of
thi s objecti ve mi l i eu can be interiorized and assumed as such by i ndi vidual subjects-first
of al l in the hi stori an' s work on the basi s of testionies which are i ndi vidual in thei r origin
or object . Moreover, this question led Di lthey to di scover, like Husserl , a non­
psychological di mensi on of the subject. Di lthey writes: "Now the followi ng question
ari ses: how a nexus which i s not produced as such i n a mind [tete], which consequently i s
not di rectly experienced and can no more be l ed back t o t he l i ved experi ence of a person,
how can it be constituted as such i n the historian on the basis of the statements of thi s
person or of statements made about t hi s matter'? Thi s presupposes that some logical
SUbjects, who are not psychological subjects, can be constituted" (Part I I I : "Plan der
Fortsetzung zum Aufau der geschi chtlichen Wel t i n den Geisteswi ssenschaften. En­
twiirfe zur Kritik der hi storischen Verunf" [ "Plan for the Continuation of the Forma­
tion of the Hi storical World in the Human Studi es. Sketches for a Critique of Historical
Reason"] , in Di l they' s Der Aufau der geschichtlichen Welt in den Geisteswissenschaf­
ten, ed. Bernard Groethuysen, 2nd ed. (Stuttgart: B . G. Teubner and Gottingen: Van­
denhoeck and Ruprecht, 1 958), Vol . 7 of Gesammelte Schriften, p. 282.
Thi s question i s "turned over" i n the Origin i n formulas which are strangel y si milar to
those of Di lthey. Thi s "reverse si de" of the question concers the radical origin and the
conditions of possi bil i ty for the objecti ve spirit itself. Afer the interconnections of sense
and the evidences of a monadic ego from which we cannot not start , de facto as wel l as de
j ure, how can an objecti ve spirit i n general be constituted as the pl ace of truth, tradition,
co-responsi bi l ity, and so forth? We wi l l see that, according to Husserl, a "logical "
subject wi l l no more be able to be responsible for such a possi bi l ity than could the
psychological subject .
' i
64
Jacques Derrid
i . e. , an ideal object which, paradoxically, must have broken all the
moorings which secured it to the empirical ground of hi story. The con­
ditions of Objectivity are then the conditions of historicity itself.
When Husserl farther on devotes a few l ines to the production and
evidence of geometrical sense as such and its own proper content, he
will do so only after having determined the general conditions of i ts
Objecti vity and of the Objecti vity of ideal objectivities. Thus, only
retroactively and on the basis of i ts results can we ill uminate the pure
sense of the subjective praxi s which has engendered geometry. The
sense of the constituti ng act can only be deciphered in the web of the
constituted object. And this necessity is not an external fate, but an
essential necessity of i ntentionality. The primordial sense of every i n­
tentional act is only i ts fnal sense, i . e . , the consti tution of an object (in
the broadest sense of these terms) . That i s why only a teleology can
open up a passage, a way back toward the begi nnings .
If the sense of geometrical sense is Objectivity or the intention of
Objectivity, if geometry is here the exemplary i ndex of being scientifc ,
and if history is the highest and most revelatory possibil ity for a univer­
sal history (the concept of which would not exist without it) , then the
sense of sense in general is here determined as object: as some thing
that is accessible and available i n general and frst for a regard or gaze.
The worldly image of gaze would not be the unnoticed model of the
theoretical attitude of pure consciousness but , on the contrary, would
borrow its sense from that attitude. This i s very much in accord with the
i nitial direction of phenomenology: the object in general is the fnal
category of everything that can appear, i . e . , that can be for a pure
consciousness in general. Objects in general join all regions to con­
sciousness, the Ur-Region. 59
Al so, when Husserl afrms that a sense- production must have frst
presented i tself as evidence in the personal consciousness of the inven­
tor, and when he asks the question of its subsequent (in a factual
chronological order) objecti fcation, he elicits a kind of fction destined
to make the characteristics of ideal Objectivity problematic and to
show that they are not a matter of course . Trul y, there i s not frst a
SUbjecti ve geometrical evidence which would then become objective .
Geometrical evidence only starts "the moment " there i s evidence of an
i deal objectivity. The latter is such only " afer" having been put i nto
i ntersubjective circulation. "Geometrical existence is not psychic exi s­
tence � it does not exist as something personal withi n the personal sphere
of consciousness ; i t is the exi stence of what is Objectively there for
.'9 Cf. Ideas I. in particular § 76, pp. 1 94-97.
65
Introductin to the Origin of Geometr
' everyone' (for actual and possible geometers, or those who understand
geometry) . I ndeed, it has, from its pri mal institution, an existence
which i s pecul iarly supratemporal and which-of thi s we are certain-is
accessi ble to all men, frst of all to the actual and possible mathe­
maticians of all peoples , all ages; and this i s true of all its particular
forms " ( 1 60 [modifed]) .
"Before" and "afer" must then be neutral ized i n their factual i ty and
used in quotation marks. But can we simply replace them wi th the
timeless "if" and "provided that" of the condition of possi bil ity?
The language of genesis could well seem fctive at thi s point : the
description of any real development (neutral ized in principle) would not
call for i t, but bringing to light the formal conditions of possibil ity, the
de jure impl ications, and eidetic stratifcations does. Are we not then
dealing with history? Does thi s not return us to a classic transcendental
regression? And is not the i nterconnecting of transcendental neces­
siti es , even if narrated according to how i t develops, at bottom the
static, structural , and normative schema for the conditions of a history
rather than history i tself?
Questions of this kind might seriously i mpugn the whole originality of
this attempt. But i t seems they remain outside Husserl ' s intention.
Undoubtedly there is not in thi s account the least grain of hi story if we
understand by that the factual content of development. But the neces­
sity of thi s reduction has been justifed at the outset. And the annoyed
l etdown of those who would expect Husserl to tell them what really
happened, to tell them a story [leur raconte une histoire], can be sharp
and easily imaginable:
6
0 however, this di sappointment is i llegitimate.
Husserl only wished to decipher in advance the text hi dden under every
empirical story about which we woul d be curious . Factual history can
then be given free rei n: no matter what its style, i ts method, or its
philosophy, it will always more or less naively suppose the possibility
and necessity of the interconnections described by Hussrl . Undoubt­
edly these interconnections are always marked by a juridical and
transcendental signifcation, but they refer to concrete acts lived in a
unique system of i nsti tuting implications , i . e. , in a system that has been
originally produced only once-that remains de facto ad de jure, ir­
reversible. These then are the interconnections-of what is, i n the fllest
sense of the word, histor itsel. Thus, confronting what is throug and
through a historical adventure (the fact of which is ireplaceable) , a
fO
Cf. in particular Tran-Duc-Thao, Phenomenoiogie, p. 221 . Following this interpreter,
"the subjectivist point of view" in The Origin ofGeometr would have prohibited Hus­
serl from "going beyond the level of common sense remarks. "
' i
64
Jacques Derrid
i . e. , an ideal object which, paradoxically, must have broken all the
moorings which secured it to the empirical ground of hi story. The con­
ditions of Objectivity are then the conditions of historicity itself.
When Husserl farther on devotes a few l ines to the production and
evidence of geometrical sense as such and its own proper content, he
will do so only after having determined the general conditions of i ts
Objecti vity and of the Objecti vity of ideal objectivities. Thus, only
retroactively and on the basis of i ts results can we ill uminate the pure
sense of the subjective praxi s which has engendered geometry. The
sense of the constituti ng act can only be deciphered in the web of the
constituted object. And this necessity is not an external fate, but an
essential necessity of i ntentionality. The primordial sense of every i n­
tentional act is only i ts fnal sense, i . e . , the consti tution of an object (in
the broadest sense of these terms) . That i s why only a teleology can
open up a passage, a way back toward the begi nnings .
If the sense of geometrical sense is Objectivity or the intention of
Objectivity, if geometry is here the exemplary i ndex of being scientifc ,
and if history is the highest and most revelatory possibil ity for a univer­
sal history (the concept of which would not exist without it) , then the
sense of sense in general is here determined as object: as some thing
that is accessible and available i n general and frst for a regard or gaze.
The worldly image of gaze would not be the unnoticed model of the
theoretical attitude of pure consciousness but , on the contrary, would
borrow its sense from that attitude. This i s very much in accord with the
i nitial direction of phenomenology: the object in general is the fnal
category of everything that can appear, i . e . , that can be for a pure
consciousness in general. Objects in general join all regions to con­
sciousness, the Ur-Region. 59
Al so, when Husserl afrms that a sense- production must have frst
presented i tself as evidence in the personal consciousness of the inven­
tor, and when he asks the question of its subsequent (in a factual
chronological order) objecti fcation, he elicits a kind of fction destined
to make the characteristics of ideal Objectivity problematic and to
show that they are not a matter of course . Trul y, there i s not frst a
SUbjecti ve geometrical evidence which would then become objective .
Geometrical evidence only starts "the moment " there i s evidence of an
i deal objectivity. The latter is such only " afer" having been put i nto
i ntersubjective circulation. "Geometrical existence is not psychic exi s­
tence � it does not exist as something personal withi n the personal sphere
of consciousness ; i t is the exi stence of what is Objectively there for
.'9 Cf. Ideas I. in particular § 76, pp. 1 94-97.
65
Introductin to the Origin of Geometr
' everyone' (for actual and possible geometers, or those who understand
geometry) . I ndeed, it has, from its pri mal institution, an existence
which i s pecul iarly supratemporal and which-of thi s we are certain-is
accessi ble to all men, frst of all to the actual and possible mathe­
maticians of all peoples , all ages; and this i s true of all its particular
forms " ( 1 60 [modifed]) .
"Before" and "afer" must then be neutral ized i n their factual i ty and
used in quotation marks. But can we simply replace them wi th the
timeless "if" and "provided that" of the condition of possi bil ity?
The language of genesis could well seem fctive at thi s point : the
description of any real development (neutral ized in principle) would not
call for i t, but bringing to light the formal conditions of possibil ity, the
de jure impl ications, and eidetic stratifcations does. Are we not then
dealing with history? Does thi s not return us to a classic transcendental
regression? And is not the i nterconnecting of transcendental neces­
siti es , even if narrated according to how i t develops, at bottom the
static, structural , and normative schema for the conditions of a history
rather than history i tself?
Questions of this kind might seriously i mpugn the whole originality of
this attempt. But i t seems they remain outside Husserl ' s intention.
Undoubtedly there is not in thi s account the least grain of hi story if we
understand by that the factual content of development. But the neces­
sity of thi s reduction has been justifed at the outset. And the annoyed
l etdown of those who would expect Husserl to tell them what really
happened, to tell them a story [leur raconte une histoire], can be sharp
and easily imaginable:
6
0 however, this di sappointment is i llegitimate.
Husserl only wished to decipher in advance the text hi dden under every
empirical story about which we woul d be curious . Factual history can
then be given free rei n: no matter what its style, i ts method, or its
philosophy, it will always more or less naively suppose the possibility
and necessity of the interconnections described by Hussrl . Undoubt­
edly these interconnections are always marked by a juridical and
transcendental signifcation, but they refer to concrete acts lived in a
unique system of i nsti tuting implications , i . e. , in a system that has been
originally produced only once-that remains de facto ad de jure, ir­
reversible. These then are the interconnections-of what is, i n the fllest
sense of the word, histor itsel. Thus, confronting what is throug and
through a historical adventure (the fact of which is ireplaceable) , a
fO
Cf. in particular Tran-Duc-Thao, Phenomenoiogie, p. 221 . Following this interpreter,
"the subjectivist point of view" in The Origin ofGeometr would have prohibited Hus­
serl from "going beyond the level of common sense remarks. "
66
Jacques Derrid
aç:.e:. aac e.cet.e :eac.a, aac c.seea:se saea|c |e çess.|| e uasse:|
c.c aet .aveat saea a çess.|.| .ty. .t «as s.mç|y c. se|esec as «aat .m·
ç| .e.t|y aas a| «ays eeac.t.eaec tae es.steaee ei tae .cea| e|]eets ei a
ça:e se.eaee aac taas ei a ça:e t:ac.t.ea. aac eease¡aeat| y ei a ça:e
a. ste:.e.ty. tae mece| ei a.ste:y .a ,eae:a|
Pure-interconnections-of a.ste:y. apriori-thought-of a. ste:y. cees ta. s
aet meaa taat taese çess.|. | .t. es a:e aet .a taemse| ves a. ste:.ea| : Net at
a|. ie: taey a:e nothing but tae çes s.|.|.t.es oftae aççea:aaee of a.ste:y
as such, eats.ce «a.ea tae:e .s aeta.a, u.ste:y .tse|i esta||. saes tae
çess.|.| .ty ei .ts e«a aççea:.a,
v
1a.s çess.|.|.ty .s | :st ea||ec "language. " ii «e as| ea:se| ves a|eat
tae maaae: .a «a.ea tae sa|]eet.ve ev. ceaee ei ,eemet:.ea| sease ,a.as
.ts .cea| O|]eet.v.ty. «e mast i:st aete taat .cea| O|]eet.v.ty aet ea| y
eaa:aete:.zes ,eemet:.ea| aac se.eat.ie t:atas . .t .s tae e|emeat ei | aa·
,aa,e . a ,eae:a| it . s ç:eçe: te a «ae|e e| ass ei sç.:.taa| ç:ecaets ei
tae ea|ta:a| «e:| c. te «a.ea aet ea| y a| | se.eat.ie ie:mat.eas aac tae
se.eaees taemse| ves |e|ea, |at a| se. ie: esamç|e. tae ie:mat.eas ei
|. te:a:y a:t , | -º ¸mec.iec} ,
1a.s mevemeat . s aaa|e,eas te «aat «e aaa|yzec ea:| .e:. tae .cea|
O|]eet.v.ty ei ,eemet:y . s | :st ç:eseatec as a eaa:aete:.st.e eemmea te
a| ie:ms ei |aa,aa,e aac ea|ta:e. |eie:e . ts esemç|a:y ç:.v. |e,e .s
ceiaec ia aa . mçe:taat aete . uasse:| sçee.ies taat tae |:eacest
eeaeeçt ei | . te:ata:e , i -º, eemç:. ses a| | . cea| ie:mat. eas . s. aee. . a
e:ce: te |e saea. taey mast a|«ays |e eaça||e ei |e.a, esç:ess.||e . a
c.seea:se aac t:aas|ata||e . c.:eet|y e: aet. i:em eae | aa,aa,e .ate
aaetae:. ia etae: «e:cs. .cea| ie:mat.eas a:e :eetec ea| y .a |aa,aa,e .a
,eae:a| . aet . a tae iaetaa| .ty ei |aa,aa,es aac tae.: ça:t.ea|a: | .a,a. st.e
.aea:aat.eas
i t . s ta:ea,a taese taemes. a|:eacy ç:eseat . a tae Logical Investiga­
tions aac tae i:st seet.eas ei Formal and Transcendental Logic, taat tae
ve:y sa|t|e aac sçee.ie eaa:aete: ei tae uasse:|.aa ¡aest.ea aççea:s
1ae .cea| e|]eet . s tae a|se| ate mece| ie: aay e|]eet «aateve: . ie:
e|]eets .a ,eae:a| . ' it . s a|«ays me:e e|]eet.ve taaa tae :ea| e|]eet.
6 1
This ideality of the object, i . e . , here, of the mathematical thing itself, i s not the
non-reality of the noema described i n Ideas I (especially § §88, 97f. ) . The l atter charac­
terizes the type of intentional i ncl usion of every noema i n conscious l i ved experience,
whatever the intended type of exi stent may be and however i t may be intended (even if
67
Introuctin to the Origin of Geometry
taaa tae aata:a| es.steat re: .i tae |atte: :es.sts e: eççeses aayta.a,. .t
«ea|c a|«ays |e a ce iaete emç.:.ea| sa|]eet.v.ty 1ae:eie:e . tae :ea|
e|]eet eaa aeve: atta.a taat a|se| ate O|]eet.v.ty «a.ea eaa |e ç:eçesec
ie: a|| sa|]eet.v.ty .a ,eae:a| .a tae .ataa,.||e .ceat.ty ei .ts sease 1ae
¡aest.ea "how is any object in general possible? " assames .ts saa:çest
aac mest ace¡aate ie:m. taea. .a tae Origin, «aea uas se:| «eace:s
"How is ideal Objectivity possible? " ue:e tae ¡aest.ea a| se atta.as .|s
,:eatest c.mea| ty. s.aee :eeea:se te tae aata:a| O|]eet.v.ty ei a «e:|c|y
es.steat .s ae |ea,e: çess.|| e nes.ces . eaee aav.a, :eaeaec tae | eve| ei
.cea| O|]eet.v.ty. «e st.|| eaeeaate: seve:a| me:e ce,:ees
Ne cea|t |aa,aa,e . s tae:ea,a|y mace aç ei .cea| e|]eet.v.t.es . ie:
esamç|e. tae «e:c Lowe ,|.ea} eeea:s ea| y eaee .a tae Ce:maa | aa·
,aa,e . .t . s .ceat.ea| ta:ea,aeat .ts .aaame:a|| e atte:aaees |y aay ,. vea
çe:seas , | - | ¸mec.iec} ,
1aas. tae «e:c ¸¬o· } aas aa .cea| O|]eet.v.ty aac . ceat.ty. s. aee .t . s
aet .ceat.ea| «.ta aay ei . ts emç. :.ea| . çaeaet.e . e: ,:aça.e mate·
:.a|.zat.eas it .s a|«ays tae same «e:c «a.ea .s meaat aac :eee,a.zec
ta:ea,a a|| çess.||e | .a,a.st.e ,esta:es i aseia: as ta.s .cea| e|]eet eea·
i:eats |aa,aa,e as saea. tae |atte: saççeses a sçeataaeeas aeat:a|.za·
t.ea ei tae iaetaa| es.steaee ei tae sçea|.a, sa|]eet. ei «e:cs. aac ei
tae ta.a, ces.,aatec sçeeea [La parole], taea. . s ea|y tae ç:aet.ee ei aa
. mmec.ate e.cet.e � ~ac:- ce Ha:a|t aetes ve:y ç:ee.se| y taat tae
we are deal i ng wi th perception of a real thing) . However, there is no doubt that thi s
non-reality of the noema (a very difcult and deci si ve notion) may be what, in the last
anal ysi s, permits the repetition of sense as the "same" and makes the idealization of
identity i n general possible. Undoubtedl y, we coul d show this in a precise way on the
basi s of §62 of FTL, devoted to ' ' The I deali ty of All Species of Objectivities Over Against
the Constituti ng Consciousness" and the "universal ideality of all intentional unities"
(pp. 1 65-66).
li2
The l i nguistic neutralization of exi stence is an original idea only in the technical and
thematic signifcation that phenomenology gives it. Is not this idea the favorite of Mal­
larme and Valery? Hegel above al l had ampl y expl ored it. In the Encyclopedia ( one of the
few Hegel i an works that Husserl seems to have read) , the l i on already testifes to thi s
neutralization as an exemplary martyr: "Confronting the nae-Lion-we no longer
have any need ei ther of an intuition of such an animal or even an image, but the nae
(when we understand i t) i s i ts simple and imageless representation; in the name we thi nk"
(§462) . (Thi s passage i s ci ted by Jean Hyppolite i n hi s Logique et existence: Essai sur La
logique de Hegel [Pari s: Presses Uni versitaires de France , 1 953] , p. 39, a work which , on
a great many points, lets the profound convergence of Hegelian and Husserlian thought
appear. )
Hegel also writes: "The frst act , by which Adam i s made master of the animal s, was to
i mpose on them a name, i . e . , he anni hi l ated them i n thei r existence ( as exi stents)"
( "System of 1 803- 1 804") . Cited by Maurice Blanchot i n La Part dufeu (Pari s: Gallimard,
1 949) , p. 325.
66
Jacques Derrid
aç:.e:. aac e.cet.e :eac.a, aac c.seea:se saea|c |e çess.|| e uasse:|
c.c aet .aveat saea a çess.|.| .ty. .t «as s.mç|y c. se|esec as «aat .m·
ç| .e.t|y aas a| «ays eeac.t.eaec tae es.steaee ei tae .cea| e|]eets ei a
ça:e se.eaee aac taas ei a ça:e t:ac.t.ea. aac eease¡aeat| y ei a ça:e
a. ste:.e.ty. tae mece| ei a.ste:y .a ,eae:a|
Pure-interconnections-of a.ste:y. apriori-thought-of a. ste:y. cees ta. s
aet meaa taat taese çess.|. | .t. es a:e aet .a taemse| ves a. ste:.ea| : Net at
a|. ie: taey a:e nothing but tae çes s.|.|.t.es oftae aççea:aaee of a.ste:y
as such, eats.ce «a.ea tae:e .s aeta.a, u.ste:y .tse|i esta||. saes tae
çess.|.| .ty ei .ts e«a aççea:.a,
v
1a.s çess.|.|.ty .s | :st ea||ec "language. " ii «e as| ea:se| ves a|eat
tae maaae: .a «a.ea tae sa|]eet.ve ev. ceaee ei ,eemet:.ea| sease ,a.as
.ts .cea| O|]eet.v.ty. «e mast i:st aete taat .cea| O|]eet.v.ty aet ea| y
eaa:aete:.zes ,eemet:.ea| aac se.eat.ie t:atas . .t .s tae e|emeat ei | aa·
,aa,e . a ,eae:a| it . s ç:eçe: te a «ae|e e| ass ei sç.:.taa| ç:ecaets ei
tae ea|ta:a| «e:| c. te «a.ea aet ea| y a| | se.eat.ie ie:mat.eas aac tae
se.eaees taemse| ves |e|ea, |at a| se. ie: esamç|e. tae ie:mat.eas ei
|. te:a:y a:t , | -º ¸mec.iec} ,
1a.s mevemeat . s aaa|e,eas te «aat «e aaa|yzec ea:| .e:. tae .cea|
O|]eet.v.ty ei ,eemet:y . s | :st ç:eseatec as a eaa:aete:.st.e eemmea te
a| ie:ms ei |aa,aa,e aac ea|ta:e. |eie:e . ts esemç|a:y ç:.v. |e,e .s
ceiaec ia aa . mçe:taat aete . uasse:| sçee.ies taat tae |:eacest
eeaeeçt ei | . te:ata:e , i -º, eemç:. ses a| | . cea| ie:mat. eas . s. aee. . a
e:ce: te |e saea. taey mast a|«ays |e eaça||e ei |e.a, esç:ess.||e . a
c.seea:se aac t:aas|ata||e . c.:eet|y e: aet. i:em eae | aa,aa,e .ate
aaetae:. ia etae: «e:cs. .cea| ie:mat.eas a:e :eetec ea| y .a |aa,aa,e .a
,eae:a| . aet . a tae iaetaa| .ty ei |aa,aa,es aac tae.: ça:t.ea|a: | .a,a. st.e
.aea:aat.eas
i t . s ta:ea,a taese taemes. a|:eacy ç:eseat . a tae Logical Investiga­
tions aac tae i:st seet.eas ei Formal and Transcendental Logic, taat tae
ve:y sa|t|e aac sçee.ie eaa:aete: ei tae uasse:|.aa ¡aest.ea aççea:s
1ae .cea| e|]eet . s tae a|se| ate mece| ie: aay e|]eet «aateve: . ie:
e|]eets .a ,eae:a| . ' it . s a|«ays me:e e|]eet.ve taaa tae :ea| e|]eet.
6 1
This ideality of the object, i . e . , here, of the mathematical thing itself, i s not the
non-reality of the noema described i n Ideas I (especially § §88, 97f. ) . The l atter charac­
terizes the type of intentional i ncl usion of every noema i n conscious l i ved experience,
whatever the intended type of exi stent may be and however i t may be intended (even if
67
Introuctin to the Origin of Geometry
taaa tae aata:a| es.steat re: .i tae |atte: :es.sts e: eççeses aayta.a,. .t
«ea|c a|«ays |e a ce iaete emç.:.ea| sa|]eet.v.ty 1ae:eie:e . tae :ea|
e|]eet eaa aeve: atta.a taat a|se| ate O|]eet.v.ty «a.ea eaa |e ç:eçesec
ie: a|| sa|]eet.v.ty .a ,eae:a| .a tae .ataa,.||e .ceat.ty ei .ts sease 1ae
¡aest.ea "how is any object in general possible? " assames .ts saa:çest
aac mest ace¡aate ie:m. taea. .a tae Origin, «aea uas se:| «eace:s
"How is ideal Objectivity possible? " ue:e tae ¡aest.ea a| se atta.as .|s
,:eatest c.mea| ty. s.aee :eeea:se te tae aata:a| O|]eet.v.ty ei a «e:|c|y
es.steat .s ae |ea,e: çess.|| e nes.ces . eaee aav.a, :eaeaec tae | eve| ei
.cea| O|]eet.v.ty. «e st.|| eaeeaate: seve:a| me:e ce,:ees
Ne cea|t |aa,aa,e . s tae:ea,a|y mace aç ei .cea| e|]eet.v.t.es . ie:
esamç|e. tae «e:c Lowe ,|.ea} eeea:s ea| y eaee .a tae Ce:maa | aa·
,aa,e . .t . s .ceat.ea| ta:ea,aeat .ts .aaame:a|| e atte:aaees |y aay ,. vea
çe:seas , | - | ¸mec.iec} ,
1aas. tae «e:c ¸¬o· } aas aa .cea| O|]eet.v.ty aac . ceat.ty. s. aee .t . s
aet .ceat.ea| «.ta aay ei . ts emç. :.ea| . çaeaet.e . e: ,:aça.e mate·
:.a|.zat.eas it .s a|«ays tae same «e:c «a.ea .s meaat aac :eee,a.zec
ta:ea,a a|| çess.||e | .a,a.st.e ,esta:es i aseia: as ta.s .cea| e|]eet eea·
i:eats |aa,aa,e as saea. tae |atte: saççeses a sçeataaeeas aeat:a|.za·
t.ea ei tae iaetaa| es.steaee ei tae sçea|.a, sa|]eet. ei «e:cs. aac ei
tae ta.a, ces.,aatec sçeeea [La parole], taea. . s ea|y tae ç:aet.ee ei aa
. mmec.ate e.cet.e � ~ac:- ce Ha:a|t aetes ve:y ç:ee.se| y taat tae
we are deal i ng wi th perception of a real thing) . However, there is no doubt that thi s
non-reality of the noema (a very difcult and deci si ve notion) may be what, in the last
anal ysi s, permits the repetition of sense as the "same" and makes the idealization of
identity i n general possible. Undoubtedl y, we coul d show this in a precise way on the
basi s of §62 of FTL, devoted to ' ' The I deali ty of All Species of Objectivities Over Against
the Constituti ng Consciousness" and the "universal ideality of all intentional unities"
(pp. 1 65-66).
li2
The l i nguistic neutralization of exi stence is an original idea only in the technical and
thematic signifcation that phenomenology gives it. Is not this idea the favorite of Mal­
larme and Valery? Hegel above al l had ampl y expl ored it. In the Encyclopedia ( one of the
few Hegel i an works that Husserl seems to have read) , the l i on already testifes to thi s
neutralization as an exemplary martyr: "Confronting the nae-Lion-we no longer
have any need ei ther of an intuition of such an animal or even an image, but the nae
(when we understand i t) i s i ts simple and imageless representation; in the name we thi nk"
(§462) . (Thi s passage i s ci ted by Jean Hyppolite i n hi s Logique et existence: Essai sur La
logique de Hegel [Pari s: Presses Uni versitaires de France , 1 953] , p. 39, a work which , on
a great many points, lets the profound convergence of Hegelian and Husserlian thought
appear. )
Hegel also writes: "The frst act , by which Adam i s made master of the animal s, was to
i mpose on them a name, i . e . , he anni hi l ated them i n thei r existence ( as exi stents)"
( "System of 1 803- 1 804") . Cited by Maurice Blanchot i n La Part dufeu (Pari s: Gallimard,
1 949) , p. 325.
68
Jacques Derrida
"reduction is implicitly carried o.·-s. mç|y çe:ie:mec aac aet yet mace
esç|.e.t-as seea as |aa,aa,e . s eeas.ce:ec ea .ts e«a aeeeaat
"Ii:l
ue:e «e a:e eeaee¬ec «.ta tae e.cet.e :ecaet.ea. nat. ça:aces.·
ea||y. ie: ta.s :easea .t seems me:e c.mea|t te say taat a taea,at «a.ea
meves se|e|y ea tae |eve| ei |aa,aa,e . s aeeessa:. |y .a tae att.tace ei tae
phenomenological reduction ¸ea: emçaas. s} . .t . s set s¡aa:e|y . a tae
e.cet.e «e:|c ei s.,a.aeat.eas e: ça:e | .vec esçe:.eaees
"Ii·t
re: .i tae çaeaemeae|e,.ea| :ecaet.ea .s ta|ea .a .ts ia||est sease. .t
mast a| se eata.| tae :ecaet.ea ei eeast.tatec e. cet.es aac taea ei .ts e«a
|aa,aa,e 1ae ç:eeaat.ea ei ¡aetat.ea ma:|s ea| y sat.s| es ta.s .m·
çe:at.ve .a aa e¡a. veea| iasa.ea 1a.s t:aaseeaceata| :ecaet.ea ei e.ce·
t.es. «a.ea .a .ts mest :ac.ea| memeat mast st.|| ta:a as |ae| te«a:c a
ae« aac .::ecae.||y aeeessa:y e.cet.e . taat ei ça:e eease.easaess.
e:eates .a eaeet seme eeas.ce:a||e c.mea|t.es uasse:| . s ve:y eea·
se.eas ei ta.s aac ae esçeses taese c.mea|t.es «.ta tae ,:eatest e|a:.ty
. a Ideas i.

1ae:eie:e . te tae ve:y esteat taat |aa,aa,e .s aet aata:a| . .t
ça:aces.ea||y eae:s tae mest caa,e:eas :es.staaee te tae çae·
aemeae|e,.ea| :ecaet.ea. aac t:aaseeaceata| c.seea:se «.|| :ema.a
B:l The Idea of Phenomenology: Husser/ian Exemplarism, tr. Garry L. Breckon
(Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1 974) , p. 1 28.
64 Ibid. [modifed] .
I;: "Meanwhile we cannot disconnect transcendents indefnitel y, transcendental purif­
cation cannot mean the disconnection of all transcendents, since otherwise a pure con­
sciousness might i ndeed remain over, but no possbi lity [sic 1 of a science of pure con­
sciousness" (Ideas I, § 59, p. 1 59) . I n thi s section, devoted to the necessary but difcult
reduction of formal ontology and fonal logic once all the transcendents of the material
ei detics have been excluded, Husserl concludes in favor of the possibility of such a
reduction, provided the "logical axioms " are maintained, axioms (li ke the principle of
contradiction) " whose uni versal and absolute val idity" the description of pure con­
sciousness could "make transparent by the help of examples taken from the data of its
own domain" ( p. 1 60) . But he says nothing about the language of this ultimate science of
pure consciousness, about the language which at least seems to suppose the sphere of
fonal logic that we j ust excluded. For Husserl, the univocity of expression and certain
precautions taken within and with the help of language itself (di stinctions, quotation
marks, neologi sms, revaluation and reactivation of old words, and so on) wil l always be
sufcient guarantees of rigor and nonworl dliness.
That is why, despi te the remarkable analyses which are devoted to it , despite the
constant interest i t bears (from the Logical Investigations to the Origin) , the specific
problem of language-its origin and i ts usage i n a transcendental phenomenology-has
always been excl uded or deferred. Thi s is explicitly so in FTL (§2, p. 2 1 , and §5, p. 27)
and i n the Origin, where he has written: "we shall not go i nto the general problem which
also arises here of the origin of language i n i ts ideal existence and its exi stence in the real
world" ( 1 61 ) .
69
Introuctin to the Origin of Geometry
. ::ecae.||y e||.te:atec |y a ee:ta.a am|.,aeas «e:|c|.aess ny . ma,·
.a.a, taat tae Origin «.|| | :st .ac.eate tae çess.|.| .ty ei a. ste:y as tae
çess.|.|.ty ei |aa,aa,e. «e a:e ea|ea| at.a, ae« c.mea| t . s eve:y attemçt
te :ecaee ,.a seme a|t. mate aac :ac.ea| t:aaseeaceata| :e,:ess.ea· a
çaeaemeae|e,y ei a. ste:.e.ty ~ac se eaee me:e «e see a ee:ta.a aea·
ceçeaceaee eeaa:mec .a taat çaeaemeae|e,y
6 Thi s is a di fculty that Fink has frequently underscored (particularly in hi s famous
article i n Kantstudien of 1 933 [ "The Phenomenological Philosophy of Edmund Husserl
and Contemporary Cri ti ci sm"] ) . For hi m, the phenomenological reduction "cannot b
presented by means of simpl e sentences of the natural attitude. It can be spoken of only
by transforming the natural function of language" ( Letter of May 1 1 , 1 936, cited by
Gaston Berger, The Cogito in Husserl's Philosophy, tr. Kathleen McLaughl in [ Evanston:
Northwestern Uni versity Press. 1 972] , p. 49).
And i n his admirable lecture on " Les concepts operatoires dans la phenomenologie de
Husserl , " he attributes a certain equi vocation in the usage of operative concepts (that of
"constitution, " for exampl e) to the fact that "Husserl does not pose the problem of a
'transcendental language. ' " He wonders if, after the reduction, one can sti l l "have at hi s
di sposal a Logos i n the same sense as before" (i n Husserl, Cahiers de Royaumont, p.
229) .
Si mi larl y, concerning the expression "intentional life, " S. Bachelard evokes the
danger of " a surreptitious return to psychologi sm. " for " language does not know the
phenomenological reduction and so holds us in the natural attitude" (A Study of HusserI' s
Logi c, p. xxxi ) .
On the basis of the problems i n t he Origin, we can thus go on t o ask oursel ves, for
example , what i s the hi dden sense, the nonthematic and dogmatically received sense of
the word "hi story" or of the word "origin"-a sense which. as the common fous of
these signifi cations, permits us to di sti nguish between factual "hi story" and intentional
"hi story, " between "origin" i n the ordinary sense and phenomenological "origin, " and
so on. What i s the uni tary ground starting from whi ch this difraction of sense is permitted
and i ntelligible? What i s history, what i s the origin, about which we can say that we must
understand them sometimes in one sense, sometimes in another? So long as the notion of
origin in general i s not criticized as such, the radical vocation i s always threatened by thi s
mythology of the absolute beginning, so remarkably denounced by Feuerbach in hi s
"Contribution to the Critique of Hegel ' s Phi losophy" ( 1 839) ( cf. Maniestes
philosophiques, tr. L. AIthusser [Pari s: Presses Uni versitaires de France . 1 960] , pp.
1 8-2 1 ) .
These questions can show the need for a certain renewed and rigorous phi lological or
"etymological" thematic, which would precede the discourse of phenomenology. A
fonidable task, because it supposes that all the problems which it would have to precede
are resolved, in particular, as a matter of fact : the i nterloutory problem of history and
that of the possibility of a hi storical philology. I n any c
a
se, this task never seems to have
appeared urgent to Husserl , even when the i dea of l i ngui stic "reactivation" takes on so
much importance for him. Unlike Heidegger, he almost never indulges in etymological
variations, and when he does so (cf. FTL, § 1 , pp. 1 8-1 9) , it does not detenine but
fol l ows the orientation of the i nvestigation. For Husserl , it would be absurd for sense not
to precede--e jure (and here the de jure i s difcult to make clear rune evidence
difcile D-the act of language whose own value wi l l always b that of expression .
It is rather signifcant that every critical enterpri se, juri di cal or transcendental, is made
68
Jacques Derrida
"reduction is implicitly carried o.·-s. mç|y çe:ie:mec aac aet yet mace
esç|.e.t-as seea as |aa,aa,e . s eeas.ce:ec ea .ts e«a aeeeaat
"Ii:l
ue:e «e a:e eeaee¬ec «.ta tae e.cet.e :ecaet.ea. nat. ça:aces.·
ea||y. ie: ta.s :easea .t seems me:e c.mea|t te say taat a taea,at «a.ea
meves se|e|y ea tae |eve| ei |aa,aa,e . s aeeessa:. |y .a tae att.tace ei tae
phenomenological reduction ¸ea: emçaas. s} . .t . s set s¡aa:e|y . a tae
e.cet.e «e:|c ei s.,a.aeat.eas e: ça:e | .vec esçe:.eaees
"Ii·t
re: .i tae çaeaemeae|e,.ea| :ecaet.ea .s ta|ea .a .ts ia||est sease. .t
mast a| se eata.| tae :ecaet.ea ei eeast.tatec e. cet.es aac taea ei .ts e«a
|aa,aa,e 1ae ç:eeaat.ea ei ¡aetat.ea ma:|s ea| y sat.s| es ta.s .m·
çe:at.ve .a aa e¡a. veea| iasa.ea 1a.s t:aaseeaceata| :ecaet.ea ei e.ce·
t.es. «a.ea .a .ts mest :ac.ea| memeat mast st.|| ta:a as |ae| te«a:c a
ae« aac .::ecae.||y aeeessa:y e.cet.e . taat ei ça:e eease.easaess.
e:eates .a eaeet seme eeas.ce:a||e c.mea|t.es uasse:| . s ve:y eea·
se.eas ei ta.s aac ae esçeses taese c.mea|t.es «.ta tae ,:eatest e|a:.ty
. a Ideas i.

1ae:eie:e . te tae ve:y esteat taat |aa,aa,e .s aet aata:a| . .t
ça:aces.ea||y eae:s tae mest caa,e:eas :es.staaee te tae çae·
aemeae|e,.ea| :ecaet.ea. aac t:aaseeaceata| c.seea:se «.|| :ema.a
B:l The Idea of Phenomenology: Husser/ian Exemplarism, tr. Garry L. Breckon
(Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1 974) , p. 1 28.
64 Ibid. [modifed] .
I;: "Meanwhile we cannot disconnect transcendents indefnitel y, transcendental purif­
cation cannot mean the disconnection of all transcendents, since otherwise a pure con­
sciousness might i ndeed remain over, but no possbi lity [sic 1 of a science of pure con­
sciousness" (Ideas I, § 59, p. 1 59) . I n thi s section, devoted to the necessary but difcult
reduction of formal ontology and fonal logic once all the transcendents of the material
ei detics have been excluded, Husserl concludes in favor of the possibility of such a
reduction, provided the "logical axioms " are maintained, axioms (li ke the principle of
contradiction) " whose uni versal and absolute val idity" the description of pure con­
sciousness could "make transparent by the help of examples taken from the data of its
own domain" ( p. 1 60) . But he says nothing about the language of this ultimate science of
pure consciousness, about the language which at least seems to suppose the sphere of
fonal logic that we j ust excluded. For Husserl, the univocity of expression and certain
precautions taken within and with the help of language itself (di stinctions, quotation
marks, neologi sms, revaluation and reactivation of old words, and so on) wil l always be
sufcient guarantees of rigor and nonworl dliness.
That is why, despi te the remarkable analyses which are devoted to it , despite the
constant interest i t bears (from the Logical Investigations to the Origin) , the specific
problem of language-its origin and i ts usage i n a transcendental phenomenology-has
always been excl uded or deferred. Thi s is explicitly so in FTL (§2, p. 2 1 , and §5, p. 27)
and i n the Origin, where he has written: "we shall not go i nto the general problem which
also arises here of the origin of language i n i ts ideal existence and its exi stence in the real
world" ( 1 61 ) .
69
Introuctin to the Origin of Geometry
. ::ecae.||y e||.te:atec |y a ee:ta.a am|.,aeas «e:|c|.aess ny . ma,·
.a.a, taat tae Origin «.|| | :st .ac.eate tae çess.|.| .ty ei a. ste:y as tae
çess.|.|.ty ei |aa,aa,e. «e a:e ea|ea| at.a, ae« c.mea| t . s eve:y attemçt
te :ecaee ,.a seme a|t. mate aac :ac.ea| t:aaseeaceata| :e,:ess.ea· a
çaeaemeae|e,y ei a. ste:.e.ty ~ac se eaee me:e «e see a ee:ta.a aea·
ceçeaceaee eeaa:mec .a taat çaeaemeae|e,y
6 Thi s is a di fculty that Fink has frequently underscored (particularly in hi s famous
article i n Kantstudien of 1 933 [ "The Phenomenological Philosophy of Edmund Husserl
and Contemporary Cri ti ci sm"] ) . For hi m, the phenomenological reduction "cannot b
presented by means of simpl e sentences of the natural attitude. It can be spoken of only
by transforming the natural function of language" ( Letter of May 1 1 , 1 936, cited by
Gaston Berger, The Cogito in Husserl's Philosophy, tr. Kathleen McLaughl in [ Evanston:
Northwestern Uni versity Press. 1 972] , p. 49).
And i n his admirable lecture on " Les concepts operatoires dans la phenomenologie de
Husserl , " he attributes a certain equi vocation in the usage of operative concepts (that of
"constitution, " for exampl e) to the fact that "Husserl does not pose the problem of a
'transcendental language. ' " He wonders if, after the reduction, one can sti l l "have at hi s
di sposal a Logos i n the same sense as before" (i n Husserl, Cahiers de Royaumont, p.
229) .
Si mi larl y, concerning the expression "intentional life, " S. Bachelard evokes the
danger of " a surreptitious return to psychologi sm. " for " language does not know the
phenomenological reduction and so holds us in the natural attitude" (A Study of HusserI' s
Logi c, p. xxxi ) .
On the basis of the problems i n t he Origin, we can thus go on t o ask oursel ves, for
example , what i s the hi dden sense, the nonthematic and dogmatically received sense of
the word "hi story" or of the word "origin"-a sense which. as the common fous of
these signifi cations, permits us to di sti nguish between factual "hi story" and intentional
"hi story, " between "origin" i n the ordinary sense and phenomenological "origin, " and
so on. What i s the uni tary ground starting from whi ch this difraction of sense is permitted
and i ntelligible? What i s history, what i s the origin, about which we can say that we must
understand them sometimes in one sense, sometimes in another? So long as the notion of
origin in general i s not criticized as such, the radical vocation i s always threatened by thi s
mythology of the absolute beginning, so remarkably denounced by Feuerbach in hi s
"Contribution to the Critique of Hegel ' s Phi losophy" ( 1 839) ( cf. Maniestes
philosophiques, tr. L. AIthusser [Pari s: Presses Uni versitaires de France . 1 960] , pp.
1 8-2 1 ) .
These questions can show the need for a certain renewed and rigorous phi lological or
"etymological" thematic, which would precede the discourse of phenomenology. A
fonidable task, because it supposes that all the problems which it would have to precede
are resolved, in particular, as a matter of fact : the i nterloutory problem of history and
that of the possibility of a hi storical philology. I n any c
a
se, this task never seems to have
appeared urgent to Husserl , even when the i dea of l i ngui stic "reactivation" takes on so
much importance for him. Unlike Heidegger, he almost never indulges in etymological
variations, and when he does so (cf. FTL, § 1 , pp. 1 8-1 9) , it does not detenine but
fol l ows the orientation of the i nvestigation. For Husserl , it would be absurd for sense not
to precede--e jure (and here the de jure i s difcult to make clear rune evidence
difcile D-the act of language whose own value wi l l always b that of expression .
It is rather signifcant that every critical enterpri se, juri di cal or transcendental, is made
70
Jacques Derrid
But the word' s degree of i deal Objectivity is onl y, we could say,
primar. Only within a facto-historical language i s the noun "Lowe"
free, and therefore i deal , compared wi th i ts sensi ble, phonetic , or
graphic incarnations . But it remai ns essentially tied, as a German word,
to a real spatiotemporal ity� it remains i nterrelated in i ts very ideal
Objectivity with the de facto existence of a given language and thus
with the factual subjectivity of a certain speaking communi ty. Its i deal
Objectivity is then relative and disti ngui shable only as an empi rical fact
from that of the French or Engl ish word " lion. "
Therefore we cross i nto a higher degree of i deal Objectivity-let us
call i t secondar-as soon as we pass from the word t o the unity of the
sense "lion, " from "the expression" to what Husserl cal l s in the
Logical Investigations the "intentional content" or " the uni ty of i ts
signifcation. "IH The same content can be i ntended starting from several
vulnerable by the irreducible factuality and the natural naivete of its language. We be­
come conscious of this vulnerability or of this vocation to silence in a second reflection on
the possibility of the jur�dico-transcendental regression itself. Despite its necessarily
speCUlative style, this refection is always focused, without having to succumb to empiri­
cism, on the world of culture and history. Attentiveness to the "fact" of language in
which ajuridical thought lets itself be transcribed, in which juridicalness would like to be
completely transparent, is a retur to factuality as the de j ure character of the de jure
itself. It is a reduction of the reduction and opens the way to an infnite di scursiveness.
This explains why the retur on itself of thought which has never wanted to prescribe
anything but a turning back [rep/i]
t
oward its own proper conditions remains more dif­
fcult for the "master" than for the "disciple
.
" Did not Herder. in his Verstand und
Erfahrung: Eine Metakritik zur Kritik der rein en Verunft [Leipzig, 1 799; rpt. Bruxelles:
Culture et Civilisation, 1 969, 2 vols. ] . already reproach Kant for not taking into consid­
eration the intrinsic necessity of language and its immanence in the most apriori act of
thought? Did not the author of the Essay on the Origin of Language [tr. Alexander Gode
in On the Origin of Language (New York: Frederick Ungar, 1 966)] also conclude that
language, rooted in cultural experience and in history, made all aprioriness of s ynthetic
judgments impossible or illusory? The inability of received language to be treated themat­
ically, an inability which precedes every critical regression as its shadow-is not the
unavowed dogmatism he thus denounces that geschichtlose "Naivitit" about which
Fink wonders whether it i s not the basis for "phenomenology' s methodological revolu­
tion" (cf. "L' Analyse intentionnelle et Ie probleme de la pen s
e
e speculative" [French tr.
Walter Biemel and Jean Ladriere] , in Problemes actuels de La phenomenologie, ed. H. L.
Van Breda [Pari s: Desclee de Brouwer, 1 952], pp. 64-65)? That i s only one of the
numerous analogies which could be taken up between the diferent futures of Kantian and
Husserlian transcendental idealisms, such as they are already outlined. Thus, in any
case, an irreducible proximity of language to primordial thought is signified in a zone
which eludes by nature every phenomenal or thematic actuality. Is this immediacy the
nearess of thought to itself? We would have to show why that cannot be decided.
67 Vol . I , Introd. to Vol. I I of the German ed. , §5, and 1 , § 1 1 , particularly pp. 259 and
284-85. Like those of FTL, the analyses concering linguistic ideality in the Origin
71
Introduction to the Origin of Geometry
languages, and i ts ideal identity assures i ts translatability. Thi s i deal
identity of sense expressed by l ion, leo, Lowe, and so forth , is then freed
from all factual linguistic subjectivi ty.
But the "object" itsel i s neither the expression nor the sense­
content . (;r The fesh and blood lion, i ntended through two strata of
i dealities, i s a natural , and therefore contingent , real ity; as the percep­
tion of the i mmediatel y present sensible thi ng grounds idealities under
those circumstances, so the contingency of the l ion i s going to reverber­
ate i n the i deality of the expressi on and in t hat of i ts sense. The
translatability of the word lion, then, wi ll not i n principle be absolute
and universal . It will be empi ricall y conditioned by the contingent en­
counter i n a receptive i ntui t ion of somethi ng l ike the l ion. The latter i s
not an "objecti vi ty of the understanding, " but an " object of receptiv­
ity. "(9 The ideal i ty of i ts sense and of what it evokes irreducibly
adheres to an empirical subjectivity. Thi s would be true even if all men
had been abl e to and could in fact encounter and designate the lion.
Under those circumstances the t ie to a de facto anthropological gen­
erality would not be reduced any further. This i s because the ideality of
sense, considered i n i tself and l ike that of l anguage, is here a "bound"
directly suppose the subtle as well as indispensable distinctions found in the LI (nos. 1-5) ,
especially in the first and fourth Investigations.
In the First Investigation, the notion of " intentional content" or "unity of its significa­
tion" announces in the linguistic sphere the notion of "noematic sense, " or the " nuclea­
tic layer" (Kernschicht) of the noema, a notion the former implies and which is fully
elaborated only in Ideas I (in particular, cf. §90, pp. 241 f. ). Just as the core unity of
noematic sense (which is not the reality of the object itself) can be intended according to
various intentional modes (the sense "tree" can be attained in a perception, a memory,
an imagining, and so on) in order fnally to constitute a "complete" noema with all its
characteristics, so the ideal identity of signifi cation is made accessible to several lan­
guages and allows itself to be "translated. " In the Foreword to the 2nd edition of LI
( 1 91 3 ; p. 48 of Vol. I of ET) , Husserl recognizes that the notion of noema and of the
noetic-noematic correlation lacks completion in the First Investigation.
68 Husserl used a great number of examples when analyzing this distinction for the fi rst
time i n the LI (I, 1 , particularly § 1 2, pp. 286-87).
69 The diference between these two types of Objectivity, which comes back to the
diference between ideal objectivity and real object, is amply described in E (§63 , pp.
250t. ) . The objectivities of the understanding are on a "higher level" than those of
receptivity. They are not preconstituted, like the latter, in the pure passivity of sensible
receptivity, but in predicative spontaneity. "The mode of their original pregivenness is
their production in the predicative activity of the Ego
.
. . " [po 25 1 ]
.
Another diference:
that of their temporality (§64). Whereas the real object has its individual place in the
objective time of the world, the irreal object i s, with respect to this latter, tot

.
lly free,
i . e. , "timeless. " But i ts timelessness (ZeitLosigkeit) or i ts supratemporality ( Uberzeit­
lichkeit) is only a "mode" of temporality: omnitemporality (Allzeitlichkeit).
70
Jacques Derrid
But the word' s degree of i deal Objectivity is onl y, we could say,
primar. Only within a facto-historical language i s the noun "Lowe"
free, and therefore i deal , compared wi th i ts sensi ble, phonetic , or
graphic incarnations . But it remai ns essentially tied, as a German word,
to a real spatiotemporal ity� it remains i nterrelated in i ts very ideal
Objectivity with the de facto existence of a given language and thus
with the factual subjectivity of a certain speaking communi ty. Its i deal
Objectivity is then relative and disti ngui shable only as an empi rical fact
from that of the French or Engl ish word " lion. "
Therefore we cross i nto a higher degree of i deal Objectivity-let us
call i t secondar-as soon as we pass from the word t o the unity of the
sense "lion, " from "the expression" to what Husserl cal l s in the
Logical Investigations the "intentional content" or " the uni ty of i ts
signifcation. "IH The same content can be i ntended starting from several
vulnerable by the irreducible factuality and the natural naivete of its language. We be­
come conscious of this vulnerability or of this vocation to silence in a second reflection on
the possibility of the jur�dico-transcendental regression itself. Despite its necessarily
speCUlative style, this refection is always focused, without having to succumb to empiri­
cism, on the world of culture and history. Attentiveness to the "fact" of language in
which ajuridical thought lets itself be transcribed, in which juridicalness would like to be
completely transparent, is a retur to factuality as the de j ure character of the de jure
itself. It is a reduction of the reduction and opens the way to an infnite di scursiveness.
This explains why the retur on itself of thought which has never wanted to prescribe
anything but a turning back [rep/i]
t
oward its own proper conditions remains more dif­
fcult for the "master" than for the "disciple
.
" Did not Herder. in his Verstand und
Erfahrung: Eine Metakritik zur Kritik der rein en Verunft [Leipzig, 1 799; rpt. Bruxelles:
Culture et Civilisation, 1 969, 2 vols. ] . already reproach Kant for not taking into consid­
eration the intrinsic necessity of language and its immanence in the most apriori act of
thought? Did not the author of the Essay on the Origin of Language [tr. Alexander Gode
in On the Origin of Language (New York: Frederick Ungar, 1 966)] also conclude that
language, rooted in cultural experience and in history, made all aprioriness of s ynthetic
judgments impossible or illusory? The inability of received language to be treated themat­
ically, an inability which precedes every critical regression as its shadow-is not the
unavowed dogmatism he thus denounces that geschichtlose "Naivitit" about which
Fink wonders whether it i s not the basis for "phenomenology' s methodological revolu­
tion" (cf. "L' Analyse intentionnelle et Ie probleme de la pen s
e
e speculative" [French tr.
Walter Biemel and Jean Ladriere] , in Problemes actuels de La phenomenologie, ed. H. L.
Van Breda [Pari s: Desclee de Brouwer, 1 952], pp. 64-65)? That i s only one of the
numerous analogies which could be taken up between the diferent futures of Kantian and
Husserlian transcendental idealisms, such as they are already outlined. Thus, in any
case, an irreducible proximity of language to primordial thought is signified in a zone
which eludes by nature every phenomenal or thematic actuality. Is this immediacy the
nearess of thought to itself? We would have to show why that cannot be decided.
67 Vol . I , Introd. to Vol. I I of the German ed. , §5, and 1 , § 1 1 , particularly pp. 259 and
284-85. Like those of FTL, the analyses concering linguistic ideality in the Origin
71
Introduction to the Origin of Geometry
languages, and i ts ideal identity assures i ts translatability. Thi s i deal
identity of sense expressed by l ion, leo, Lowe, and so forth , is then freed
from all factual linguistic subjectivi ty.
But the "object" itsel i s neither the expression nor the sense­
content . (;r The fesh and blood lion, i ntended through two strata of
i dealities, i s a natural , and therefore contingent , real ity; as the percep­
tion of the i mmediatel y present sensible thi ng grounds idealities under
those circumstances, so the contingency of the l ion i s going to reverber­
ate i n the i deality of the expressi on and in t hat of i ts sense. The
translatability of the word lion, then, wi ll not i n principle be absolute
and universal . It will be empi ricall y conditioned by the contingent en­
counter i n a receptive i ntui t ion of somethi ng l ike the l ion. The latter i s
not an "objecti vi ty of the understanding, " but an " object of receptiv­
ity. "(9 The ideal i ty of i ts sense and of what it evokes irreducibly
adheres to an empirical subjectivity. Thi s would be true even if all men
had been abl e to and could in fact encounter and designate the lion.
Under those circumstances the t ie to a de facto anthropological gen­
erality would not be reduced any further. This i s because the ideality of
sense, considered i n i tself and l ike that of l anguage, is here a "bound"
directly suppose the subtle as well as indispensable distinctions found in the LI (nos. 1-5) ,
especially in the first and fourth Investigations.
In the First Investigation, the notion of " intentional content" or "unity of its significa­
tion" announces in the linguistic sphere the notion of "noematic sense, " or the " nuclea­
tic layer" (Kernschicht) of the noema, a notion the former implies and which is fully
elaborated only in Ideas I (in particular, cf. §90, pp. 241 f. ). Just as the core unity of
noematic sense (which is not the reality of the object itself) can be intended according to
various intentional modes (the sense "tree" can be attained in a perception, a memory,
an imagining, and so on) in order fnally to constitute a "complete" noema with all its
characteristics, so the ideal identity of signifi cation is made accessible to several lan­
guages and allows itself to be "translated. " In the Foreword to the 2nd edition of LI
( 1 91 3 ; p. 48 of Vol. I of ET) , Husserl recognizes that the notion of noema and of the
noetic-noematic correlation lacks completion in the First Investigation.
68 Husserl used a great number of examples when analyzing this distinction for the fi rst
time i n the LI (I, 1 , particularly § 1 2, pp. 286-87).
69 The diference between these two types of Objectivity, which comes back to the
diference between ideal objectivity and real object, is amply described in E (§63 , pp.
250t. ) . The objectivities of the understanding are on a "higher level" than those of
receptivity. They are not preconstituted, like the latter, in the pure passivity of sensible
receptivity, but in predicative spontaneity. "The mode of their original pregivenness is
their production in the predicative activity of the Ego
.
. . " [po 25 1 ]
.
Another diference:
that of their temporality (§64). Whereas the real object has its individual place in the
objective time of the world, the irreal object i s, with respect to this latter, tot

.
lly free,
i . e. , "timeless. " But i ts timelessness (ZeitLosigkeit) or i ts supratemporality ( Uberzeit­
lichkeit) is only a "mode" of temporality: omnitemporality (Allzeitlichkeit).
7
Jacques Derrid
.cea|.|y aac ae| a "free" eae 1a. s c. ssee.at.ea |e|«eea "free idealities"
aac "bound idealities, " «a.ea .s ea|y . mç|.ec .a tae Origin70 ,|a| . ac.s·
çeasa||e ie: .ts aace:staac.a,· . eaa||es as |e eemç:eaeac «aa| tae
a|se| a|e .cea| O|]eet.v.ty ei. ie: esamç|e. tae ,eemet:.ea| e|]eet eaa
|e aac «aat c.s|.a,a.saes .| i:em |aat ei |aa,aa,e as such aac i:em |aat
ei |ae sease·eeateat as such.
1ae .cea| O|]eet.v.|y ei ,eemet:y .s a|se|a|e aac «. |aeat aay |.ac ei
|. m.| its .cea| . ty-tertia¸-. s ae |ea,e: ea| y |aa| ei |ae esç:ess.ea e: .a·
teat.eaa| eea|eat . .| . s |aa| ei |ae object itself. ~| | acae:eaee |e aay :ea|
eea|.a,eaey .s :emevec 1ae çess. |. | .ty ei t:aas|a|.ea. «a.ea .s .ceat.·
ea| «.|a taat ei t:ac.t.ea. . s eçeaec ad infnitum: 1ae ry|aa,e:eaa
taee:em. .aceec a|| ei ,eeme|:y. es.s|s ea|y eaee. ae ma||e: ae« euea
e: evea .a «aa| |aa,aa,e .| may |e esç:essec i | .s . cea|.ea||y tae same
.a tae e:.,.aa| |aa,aa,e ei Ðae| . c aac .a a|| |:aas|at.eas . aac «. ta.a
eaea |aa,aa,e .t .s a,a.a |ae same. ae mat|e: ae« maay |. mes . | aas
|eea seas.||y atte:ec. i:em tae e:.,.aa| esç:ess.ea aac «:.t.a,·ce«a te
|ae .aaame:a||e e:a| a|te:aaees e: «:. ||ea aac etae: ceeameata|.eas
(Dokumentierungen) " , | -º·
1ae sease ei ea|y eaee e: ei eaee aac ie: a| | . wa.ea .s |ae
esseat.a| mece ei tae e|]eet s . cea| es. s|eaee aac taas |aat «a.ea c.s·
| .a,a.saes |ae e|]eet i:em tae ma| t. ç|.e.ty ei :e|atec aets aac |. vec
esçe:.eaees. seems te aave |eea e|ea:|y ceaaec .a taese ve:y te:ms |y
ue:|a:| (Pschologie als Wissenschaft, i i . § i :º. ç 1 75) aac ta|ea aç
a,a.a |y uasse:| . 1ae |atte:. :eee,a.z.a, taat ae e«es maea |e ue:|a:t
aac ç:a.s.a, a.m ie: aav.a, c.st. a,a. saec |e|te: taaa kaat |e|«eea |ae
70 From the perspective of our text, this dissociation fi nds its most direct and illuminat­
ing explication in E (§65, p. 267). In particular, we can read there: "Thus it appears that
even cultural systems are not always completely free idealities, and this reveals the
diference between free idealities (such as logicomathematical systems and pure essential
structures of every kind) and bound idealities, which in their being-sense carry reality
with them and hence belong to the real world. All reality is here led back to spatiotempo­
rality as the form of the individual . But originally, reality belongs to nature : the world as
the world of realities receives its individuality from nature as its lowest stratum. When
we speak of truths, true states of afairs in the sense of theoretical science, and of the fact
that validity 'once and for all' and 'for everyone' belongs to their sense as the telos of
j udicative stipulation, then these are free idealities. They are bound to no territory, or
rather, they have their territory in the totality of the [mundane] universe and in every
possible universe. In what concers their possible reactivation, they are omnispatial and
omnitemporal. Bound realities [the German and Derrida' s translation thereof reads:
Bound idealities] are bound to Earth, to Mars, to particular territories, etc. " (Husserl ' s
emphasis) . Husserl immediately specifes, however, that by their "occurrence, " by their
coming on the scene and their " 'being discovered' " in a historically determined territory,
free idealities are also factual and worldly. Thus he states the crucial difculty of all his phi­
losophy of history: what is the sense of this last factuality?
73
Introduction to the Origin of Geometry
|e,.ea| aac |ae çsyeae|e,.ea| . :eç:eaeaes a. m. aeaetae| ess. ie: aav.a,
eeaiasec .cea|.ty aac ae:ma|.v.|y (LI, i . r:e| . §59, çç : | --i s·
1a.s :eç:eaea . s ve:y ea|.,atea.a,. s.aee a|se|a|e|y e|]ee| .ve.
|:aas|ata||e. aac t:ac.|.eaa| .cea| .ceat.|y .s ae| ]as| aay ,eemet:.ea|
e|]ee|.v.|y. |a| genuine e|]ee|.v.ty Oaee «e ,et |eyeac |ae |eaac
.cea|.t. es aac :eaea .cea| e|]eet.v.ty .tse|i. «e eaa st.|| eaeeaate: a
iae|aa| :es|:.et.ea . |aa| ei c.sva|ae . ia| seaess. e: catecaess
[eremption] . Ne cea|t |ae e|]eet.ve sease ei a ia| se ] ac,mea| . s a| se
.cea| re: |a.s :easea .t eaa |e .ace| a.|e|y :eçeatec aac |aas |eeemes
ema.temçe:a| 71 nat |ae e:.,.a aac |ae çess.|. |.|y ei |a. s .cea| ema.·
|emçe:a|.ty :ema.a ma:|ec |y a iaetaa| eea|.a,eaey. taa| ei tae :ea|.|y
.a|eacec |y |ae ]ac,mea| e: taat ei sa |]ee|.ve ae|s 1aas . .a ce·
se:.çt.ve ]ac,mea| s |ea:.a, ea «e:|c| y :ea| .|. es. sease eaa |ese .|s va·
|.c.ty «.|aea| s.ma|taaeeas|y | es.a, .|s ema.temçe:a| .cea| .ty re:. |e
|a|e aç uasse:| s esamç|e a,a. a. I eaa .ace| a.|e| y :eçea|. as tae same,
tae ç:eçes.t.ea 1ae aa|eme|.|e .s |ae iastes| meaas ei t:ave| .
«ae:eas i |ae« . | | e |e ia| se aac eat·ei·ca|e 1ae aaaea:eay ei va|. c. ty
.a ae «ay aaee|s tae .atemçe:a|.|y [uchronie] e: çaa|emçe:a| .|y [an­
chronie] ei .cea|.ty i.|e«.se. .a tae .a|e:eeaaee|.eas ei a aea·
cese:.ç|.ve se.eaee saea as ,eemet:y. e::e: a| se aas a eeateat «a.ea
eaa |eeeme .cea| aac ema. |emçe:a| ,e::e: :esa||s e.tae: i:em tae
7
1
Once again it is in Experience and Judgment that the omnitemporality of simple
ideality is scrupulously distinguished from the omnitemporality of validity : " Furthermore,
it should be noted that this omnitemporality does not simply include within itself the
omnitemporality of validity. We do not speak here of validity, of truth, but merely of
objectivities of the understanding as suppositions [Vermeinheiten] and as possible, ideal­
identical, intentional poles, which can be ' realized' anew at any time in individual acts of
judgment-precisely as suppositions; whether they are realized in the self-evidence of
truth is another question. A judgment which was once true can cease to be true, like the
proposition 'The automobile is the fastest means of travel , ' which lost its validity in the
age of the airplane. Nevertheless, it can be constituted anew at any time as one and
identical by any individual in the self-evidence of distinctness: and, as a supposition, it
has its supratemporal. irreal identity" (§64 c , p. 26 1 [modifed)) . Also cf. LI. I. I , § I I , p .
285.
In the Origin Husserl also alludes to the ideal identity of judgments which not only
would be anachronistic in their validity but also contradictory and absurd in their sense­
content. These analyses, at the same time that they announce and orient a phenomenol­
ogy of the specific ideality of negative validities (of the fal se , the absurd, the evi l , the
ugly, etc. ) , assign limits to the "freedom" of those idealities which will always be, as we
wiII soon try to show, idealities "bound" to an empirical, determined temporality or to
some factuality. For what absolutely frees and completes the ideality of sense (alrady
endowed in itself with a certain degree of "freedom") is the ideality of positive validity
(by which evidence is not only distinct but clear when it reaches judgment) . It alone
causes sense to attain infi nite universality and infinite omnitemporality.
7
Jacques Derrid
.cea|.|y aac ae| a "free" eae 1a. s c. ssee.at.ea |e|«eea "free idealities"
aac "bound idealities, " «a.ea .s ea|y . mç|.ec .a tae Origin70 ,|a| . ac.s·
çeasa||e ie: .ts aace:staac.a,· . eaa||es as |e eemç:eaeac «aa| tae
a|se| a|e .cea| O|]eet.v.ty ei. ie: esamç|e. tae ,eemet:.ea| e|]eet eaa
|e aac «aat c.s|.a,a.saes .| i:em |aat ei |aa,aa,e as such aac i:em |aat
ei |ae sease·eeateat as such.
1ae .cea| O|]eet.v.|y ei ,eemet:y .s a|se|a|e aac «. |aeat aay |.ac ei
|. m.| its .cea| . ty-tertia¸-. s ae |ea,e: ea| y |aa| ei |ae esç:ess.ea e: .a·
teat.eaa| eea|eat . .| . s |aa| ei |ae object itself. ~| | acae:eaee |e aay :ea|
eea|.a,eaey .s :emevec 1ae çess. |. | .ty ei t:aas|a|.ea. «a.ea .s .ceat.·
ea| «.|a taat ei t:ac.t.ea. . s eçeaec ad infnitum: 1ae ry|aa,e:eaa
taee:em. .aceec a|| ei ,eeme|:y. es.s|s ea|y eaee. ae ma||e: ae« euea
e: evea .a «aa| |aa,aa,e .| may |e esç:essec i | .s . cea|.ea||y tae same
.a tae e:.,.aa| |aa,aa,e ei Ðae| . c aac .a a|| |:aas|at.eas . aac «. ta.a
eaea |aa,aa,e .t .s a,a.a |ae same. ae mat|e: ae« maay |. mes . | aas
|eea seas.||y atte:ec. i:em tae e:.,.aa| esç:ess.ea aac «:.t.a,·ce«a te
|ae .aaame:a||e e:a| a|te:aaees e: «:. ||ea aac etae: ceeameata|.eas
(Dokumentierungen) " , | -º·
1ae sease ei ea|y eaee e: ei eaee aac ie: a| | . wa.ea .s |ae
esseat.a| mece ei tae e|]eet s . cea| es. s|eaee aac taas |aat «a.ea c.s·
| .a,a.saes |ae e|]eet i:em tae ma| t. ç|.e.ty ei :e|atec aets aac |. vec
esçe:.eaees. seems te aave |eea e|ea:|y ceaaec .a taese ve:y te:ms |y
ue:|a:| (Pschologie als Wissenschaft, i i . § i :º. ç 1 75) aac ta|ea aç
a,a.a |y uasse:| . 1ae |atte:. :eee,a.z.a, taat ae e«es maea |e ue:|a:t
aac ç:a.s.a, a.m ie: aav.a, c.st. a,a. saec |e|te: taaa kaat |e|«eea |ae
70 From the perspective of our text, this dissociation fi nds its most direct and illuminat­
ing explication in E (§65, p. 267). In particular, we can read there: "Thus it appears that
even cultural systems are not always completely free idealities, and this reveals the
diference between free idealities (such as logicomathematical systems and pure essential
structures of every kind) and bound idealities, which in their being-sense carry reality
with them and hence belong to the real world. All reality is here led back to spatiotempo­
rality as the form of the individual . But originally, reality belongs to nature : the world as
the world of realities receives its individuality from nature as its lowest stratum. When
we speak of truths, true states of afairs in the sense of theoretical science, and of the fact
that validity 'once and for all' and 'for everyone' belongs to their sense as the telos of
j udicative stipulation, then these are free idealities. They are bound to no territory, or
rather, they have their territory in the totality of the [mundane] universe and in every
possible universe. In what concers their possible reactivation, they are omnispatial and
omnitemporal. Bound realities [the German and Derrida' s translation thereof reads:
Bound idealities] are bound to Earth, to Mars, to particular territories, etc. " (Husserl ' s
emphasis) . Husserl immediately specifes, however, that by their "occurrence, " by their
coming on the scene and their " 'being discovered' " in a historically determined territory,
free idealities are also factual and worldly. Thus he states the crucial difculty of all his phi­
losophy of history: what is the sense of this last factuality?
73
Introduction to the Origin of Geometry
|e,.ea| aac |ae çsyeae|e,.ea| . :eç:eaeaes a. m. aeaetae| ess. ie: aav.a,
eeaiasec .cea|.ty aac ae:ma|.v.|y (LI, i . r:e| . §59, çç : | --i s·
1a.s :eç:eaea . s ve:y ea|.,atea.a,. s.aee a|se|a|e|y e|]ee| .ve.
|:aas|ata||e. aac t:ac.|.eaa| .cea| .ceat.|y .s ae| ]as| aay ,eemet:.ea|
e|]ee|.v.|y. |a| genuine e|]ee|.v.ty Oaee «e ,et |eyeac |ae |eaac
.cea|.t. es aac :eaea .cea| e|]eet.v.ty .tse|i. «e eaa st.|| eaeeaate: a
iae|aa| :es|:.et.ea . |aa| ei c.sva|ae . ia| seaess. e: catecaess
[eremption] . Ne cea|t |ae e|]eet.ve sease ei a ia| se ] ac,mea| . s a| se
.cea| re: |a.s :easea .t eaa |e .ace| a.|e|y :eçeatec aac |aas |eeemes
ema.temçe:a| 71 nat |ae e:.,.a aac |ae çess.|. |.|y ei |a. s .cea| ema.·
|emçe:a|.ty :ema.a ma:|ec |y a iaetaa| eea|.a,eaey. taa| ei tae :ea|.|y
.a|eacec |y |ae ]ac,mea| e: taat ei sa |]ee|.ve ae|s 1aas . .a ce·
se:.çt.ve ]ac,mea| s |ea:.a, ea «e:|c| y :ea| .|. es. sease eaa |ese .|s va·
|.c.ty «.|aea| s.ma|taaeeas|y | es.a, .|s ema.temçe:a| .cea| .ty re:. |e
|a|e aç uasse:| s esamç|e a,a. a. I eaa .ace| a.|e| y :eçea|. as tae same,
tae ç:eçes.t.ea 1ae aa|eme|.|e .s |ae iastes| meaas ei t:ave| .
«ae:eas i |ae« . | | e |e ia| se aac eat·ei·ca|e 1ae aaaea:eay ei va|. c. ty
.a ae «ay aaee|s tae .atemçe:a|.|y [uchronie] e: çaa|emçe:a| .|y [an­
chronie] ei .cea|.ty i.|e«.se. .a tae .a|e:eeaaee|.eas ei a aea·
cese:.ç|.ve se.eaee saea as ,eemet:y. e::e: a| se aas a eeateat «a.ea
eaa |eeeme .cea| aac ema. |emçe:a| ,e::e: :esa||s e.tae: i:em tae
7
1
Once again it is in Experience and Judgment that the omnitemporality of simple
ideality is scrupulously distinguished from the omnitemporality of validity : " Furthermore,
it should be noted that this omnitemporality does not simply include within itself the
omnitemporality of validity. We do not speak here of validity, of truth, but merely of
objectivities of the understanding as suppositions [Vermeinheiten] and as possible, ideal­
identical, intentional poles, which can be ' realized' anew at any time in individual acts of
judgment-precisely as suppositions; whether they are realized in the self-evidence of
truth is another question. A judgment which was once true can cease to be true, like the
proposition 'The automobile is the fastest means of travel , ' which lost its validity in the
age of the airplane. Nevertheless, it can be constituted anew at any time as one and
identical by any individual in the self-evidence of distinctness: and, as a supposition, it
has its supratemporal. irreal identity" (§64 c , p. 26 1 [modifed)) . Also cf. LI. I. I , § I I , p .
285.
In the Origin Husserl also alludes to the ideal identity of judgments which not only
would be anachronistic in their validity but also contradictory and absurd in their sense­
content. These analyses, at the same time that they announce and orient a phenomenol­
ogy of the specific ideality of negative validities (of the fal se , the absurd, the evi l , the
ugly, etc. ) , assign limits to the "freedom" of those idealities which will always be, as we
wiII soon try to show, idealities "bound" to an empirical, determined temporality or to
some factuality. For what absolutely frees and completes the ideality of sense (alrady
endowed in itself with a certain degree of "freedom") is the ideality of positive validity
(by which evidence is not only distinct but clear when it reaches judgment) . It alone
causes sense to attain infi nite universality and infinite omnitemporality.
74
Jacques Derrid
|e,.ee·cecaet.ve aaac|.a, ei sym|e|s «a.ea a:e ve.c ei tae.: sease aac
. ate «a.ea. aa|ae«a te as. a seas.||e iaetaa|.ty . s :e.at:ecaeec. e:
i:em seme çsyeae|e,.ea| eeat.a,eaey aav.a, ae sease . a eemça:.sea
«.ta ,eemet:.ea| t:ata, 1ae eeateat ei e::e: eaa |eeeme saea evea
«aea ,. a e::e: e: assamçt.ea, . eaee tae st:ata ei a|:eacy ceiaec
. cea|.t.es . s t:ave:sec. «e aave aet :eaeaec tae t:ata ei ,eemet:.ea|
Sachverhalt, 72 aac evea «aea tae ve:y taeme ei tae statemeat :ema.as
|eaac te iaetaa| .ty 1ae .cea| .ty ei sease sym|e|.ea||y çats aç «.ta a
ce| acec e: . aaataeat.ea||y sat. siec t:ata·. ateat.ea 7:; it ie||e«s.
taea. taat . i tae ema.temçe:a|.ty ei c.sva|ae . s çess.||e. . t . s a|«ays . a
tae sease ei emç.:.ea| çess. |. |.ty. . e . ei eeat.a,eat eveataa| .ty ne·
s.ces. ema.temçe:a|.ty . s ma.ata.aec . a . ts eventualit ea|y |y a sease
«a.ea a|«ays |eeçs aç a ee:ta.a esseat.a| :e|at.ea «.ta tae a|seat e:
eseeecec t:ata. 1a.s .s |eeaase i |ae« taat saea aa eatcatec ç:eçes.·
t.ea had been true aac st.|| :ema.as aa.iec aac aa. matec |y aa . ateat.ea
ei t:ata. aataeat.e.ty. e: e|a:.ty k|.·|e··, taese te:ms a:e .a ee:·
ta.a :esçeets syaeayms ie: uasse:|taat i eaa ma.ata.a aac :eçeat tae
.cea| aa.ty ei .ts sease ~a eveataa||y absurd intention, a|sa:c .a tae
sease ei aeasease e: eeaate:sease . ¯ te |e «aat .t . s. mast eeat.aa·
a||y çe.at ,.a sç.te ei . tse|n te«a:c tae telos ei aataeat.e.ty aac |et .tse|i
|e ,a.cec sym|e|.ea||y |y .t . a tae ve:y ,esta:e .a «a.ea tae .ateat.ea
ç:eteacs te |e c.se:.eatec. 1a.s .ateat.ea mast ,. a tae Ða:ye|e.aa | aa·
,aa,e «a.ea tae Stranger ei tae Sophist sçea|s, e«a aç te [dire] tae
telos . a e:ce: te c.se«a [de dire ] .t
1a.s t:aas,:ess.ea ei |.a,a. st.e . cea|.ty. taea. :ea||y cese:.|es a
mevemeat aaa|e,eas te «aat «e ea:|.e: cese:.|ec se. eaee «as a ea|·
to:a| ie:m. |at .ts ça:e çess.|.|.ty aççea:ec as tae ça:e çess.|.|.ty ei
72 A notion difcult to translate other than by the clumsy, strange, and l ess exact (but
for so long accepted) expression "state-of-afairs. "
7:1 I n the LI, I . 1 , § 1 1 , pp. 285-86, these themes are already greatly explicated. For
example, Husserl writes: "What my assertion asserts, the content that the three perpen­
diculars of a triangle intersect in a point, neither arises nor passes away. (The frst
German edition and the French translation continue: " Each time I (or whoever else it
may b) pronounce with the same sense this same assertion, there i s a new judgment .
. . . But what they judge, what the assertion says, is all the same thing. "] It is an identity
in the strict sense, one and the sae geometrical truth.
" It i s the same in the case of aB assertions, even if what they assert is false and absurd.
Even in such cases we distinguish their ideal content from the transient acts (of] afrming
or asserting it: it i s the sigifcation of the assertion, a unity in pluraity. . . .
"If ' possibility' or ' truth' is lacking, an assertion' s intention can only be carried out
symbolically: it cannot derive any 'fulness' from intuition or frm the categorial functions
performed on the latter, in which 'fulness' its value for knowledge consists. It then lacks,
as one says, a ' true' , a 'genuine' signifcation. Later we shall look more closely into this
distinction between intending and fulflling signifcation" (modifed] .
75
I ntroductin to the Origin of Geometry
ea|ta:e ea| y aue: a :ecaet. ea ei eve:y ce iaete ea|ta:e se ae:e
se. �aee . s. |.|e |aa,aa,es aac |aa,aa,e .a ,eae:a| . eae ei tae ie:ms
ei . cea|

O|]eet. v.ty. |at . ts ça:e çess.|.|.ty aççea:s ea|y ta:ea,a
a :ecaet.ea ei a|| |aa,aa,e-aet ea|y ei eve:y ce iaete |aa,aa,e |at ei
tae

i�et ei |aa,aa,e .a ,eae:a| . 1aas uasse:| sçee.aes .a aa a|se|ate|y
ce..s.ve seateaee nat tae . cea|.t. es ei ,eemet:.ea| «e:cs seateaees
taee:. es·eeas. ce:ec ça:e|y as |.a,a.st.e ie:mat.eas-a;e aet ta�
.cea|.t

. es taat ma|e aç «aat .s esç:essec aac |:ea,at te va|.c.ty as
t:at? II ,eemet:y. tae |atte: a:e .cea| ,eemet:.ea| e|]eets. states ei
aaa.:s.

ete. wae:eve: semeta.a, .s asse:tec. eae eaa c.st.a,a.sa «aat . s
taemat.e . taat a|eat «a.ea .t . s sa. c ,.ts sease, . i:em tae asse:t.ea
«a.ea .tse|i. ca:.a, tae asse:t.a,. . s aeve: aac eaa aeve: |e taemat.e�
~ac tae taeme ae:e .s ç:ee.se|y .cea| e|]eet.v.t.es. aac ¡a.te c.ae:eat
eaes i:em taese eem.a, aace: tae eeaeeçt ei |aa,aa,e , | - |
,mec.iec} , ··
iet as i:st aete taat .a ta. s seateaee tae sease ei tae asse:t.ea tae
: tae�e¯ a|eat «a.ea , semeta.a,} .s sa.c. aac tae e|]eet . tse|f a:e
.ceat.ea| . a iaet «a.ea eea|c aeve: :esa|t .a tae ease ei :ea| e|]eets e: ei
: |e�ac .cea| e|]eet.v.t.es re: tae i:st t.me. «. ta tae a|se|ate
. cea|.ty ei aa e|]eet-tae ,eemet:.ea| e|]eet «a.ea . s ta:ea,a aac
ta:ea,a ea|y tae aa.ty ei .ts t:ae sease-«e çass |eyeac e: :.c ea:·
se|ves ei tae . cea| . |at st.|| |eaac. O|] eet.v.ty ei |aa,aa,e we s.ma|·
taaeeas|y �eae? �a O|]ee�. v.ty taat . s a|se|ate|y i:ee «.ta :esçeet te a||
iae�aa|

s�|,eet.v.ty 1aat .s «ay tae esemç|a:y ¡aest.ea ei tae e:.,.a ei
O|,eet.v.ty ee�|c

aet |e as|ec aç:eçes | .a,a. st.e .cea|.ty as saea. |at
aç:eçes «aat . s mteacec ae:ess [d travers ] aac ea tae etae: s. ce ei
[�u-�eld de] ta.s .cea|.ty. nat as tae a|se|ate . cea| e|]eet.v.ty cees aet
|.ve II a tapas ouranios, .t ie||e«s taat.
1 . �ts i:e�?em «.ta :esçeet te a|| iaetaa| sa|]eet.v.ty aas ea|y |a.c
|a:e .ts |e,. t. mate [de droit ] t.es «.ta a t:aaseeaceata| sa|]eet.v.ty.
2. . ts a.ste:.e.ty .s .at:.as.e aac esseat.a| .
Taas �ae sçaee ie: a transcendental historicit .s ç:ese:.|ec .a a|| . ts
�m,�at.e c�çta. ~i:e: aav.a, cete:m.aec aac ç:ev. cec aeeess ,«. ta a||
.ts c.uea|t.es, te ta.s sçaee . uasse:| eaa taea as| tae a. ste:.ee·
74 By the distinction they propose, these sentence.s give the greatest and most
exemplary sharpness to the central question of the Origin. Husserl added them after the
fact
.
to Fink' s typed version of the manuscript. They do not appear in the published
verSIon of 1 939.
At the end of a similar analysis, Husserl writes in FL: loutions "are not thematic
ends but theme-indicators" (§5 , p. 27).
74
Jacques Derrid
|e,.ee·cecaet.ve aaac|.a, ei sym|e|s «a.ea a:e ve.c ei tae.: sease aac
. ate «a.ea. aa|ae«a te as. a seas.||e iaetaa|.ty . s :e.at:ecaeec. e:
i:em seme çsyeae|e,.ea| eeat.a,eaey aav.a, ae sease . a eemça:.sea
«.ta ,eemet:.ea| t:ata, 1ae eeateat ei e::e: eaa |eeeme saea evea
«aea ,. a e::e: e: assamçt.ea, . eaee tae st:ata ei a|:eacy ceiaec
. cea|.t.es . s t:ave:sec. «e aave aet :eaeaec tae t:ata ei ,eemet:.ea|
Sachverhalt, 72 aac evea «aea tae ve:y taeme ei tae statemeat :ema.as
|eaac te iaetaa| .ty 1ae .cea| .ty ei sease sym|e|.ea||y çats aç «.ta a
ce| acec e: . aaataeat.ea||y sat. siec t:ata·. ateat.ea 7:; it ie||e«s.
taea. taat . i tae ema.temçe:a|.ty ei c.sva|ae . s çess.||e. . t . s a|«ays . a
tae sease ei emç.:.ea| çess. |. |.ty. . e . ei eeat.a,eat eveataa| .ty ne·
s.ces. ema.temçe:a|.ty . s ma.ata.aec . a . ts eventualit ea|y |y a sease
«a.ea a|«ays |eeçs aç a ee:ta.a esseat.a| :e|at.ea «.ta tae a|seat e:
eseeecec t:ata. 1a.s .s |eeaase i |ae« taat saea aa eatcatec ç:eçes.·
t.ea had been true aac st.|| :ema.as aa.iec aac aa. matec |y aa . ateat.ea
ei t:ata. aataeat.e.ty. e: e|a:.ty k|.·|e··, taese te:ms a:e .a ee:·
ta.a :esçeets syaeayms ie: uasse:|taat i eaa ma.ata.a aac :eçeat tae
.cea| aa.ty ei .ts sease ~a eveataa||y absurd intention, a|sa:c .a tae
sease ei aeasease e: eeaate:sease . ¯ te |e «aat .t . s. mast eeat.aa·
a||y çe.at ,.a sç.te ei . tse|n te«a:c tae telos ei aataeat.e.ty aac |et .tse|i
|e ,a.cec sym|e|.ea||y |y .t . a tae ve:y ,esta:e .a «a.ea tae .ateat.ea
ç:eteacs te |e c.se:.eatec. 1a.s .ateat.ea mast ,. a tae Ða:ye|e.aa | aa·
,aa,e «a.ea tae Stranger ei tae Sophist sçea|s, e«a aç te [dire] tae
telos . a e:ce: te c.se«a [de dire ] .t
1a.s t:aas,:ess.ea ei |.a,a. st.e . cea|.ty. taea. :ea||y cese:.|es a
mevemeat aaa|e,eas te «aat «e ea:|.e: cese:.|ec se. eaee «as a ea|·
to:a| ie:m. |at .ts ça:e çess.|.|.ty aççea:ec as tae ça:e çess.|.|.ty ei
72 A notion difcult to translate other than by the clumsy, strange, and l ess exact (but
for so long accepted) expression "state-of-afairs. "
7:1 I n the LI, I . 1 , § 1 1 , pp. 285-86, these themes are already greatly explicated. For
example, Husserl writes: "What my assertion asserts, the content that the three perpen­
diculars of a triangle intersect in a point, neither arises nor passes away. (The frst
German edition and the French translation continue: " Each time I (or whoever else it
may b) pronounce with the same sense this same assertion, there i s a new judgment .
. . . But what they judge, what the assertion says, is all the same thing. "] It is an identity
in the strict sense, one and the sae geometrical truth.
" It i s the same in the case of aB assertions, even if what they assert is false and absurd.
Even in such cases we distinguish their ideal content from the transient acts (of] afrming
or asserting it: it i s the sigifcation of the assertion, a unity in pluraity. . . .
"If ' possibility' or ' truth' is lacking, an assertion' s intention can only be carried out
symbolically: it cannot derive any 'fulness' from intuition or frm the categorial functions
performed on the latter, in which 'fulness' its value for knowledge consists. It then lacks,
as one says, a ' true' , a 'genuine' signifcation. Later we shall look more closely into this
distinction between intending and fulflling signifcation" (modifed] .
75
I ntroductin to the Origin of Geometry
ea|ta:e ea| y aue: a :ecaet. ea ei eve:y ce iaete ea|ta:e se ae:e
se. �aee . s. |.|e |aa,aa,es aac |aa,aa,e .a ,eae:a| . eae ei tae ie:ms
ei . cea|

O|]eet. v.ty. |at . ts ça:e çess.|.|.ty aççea:s ea|y ta:ea,a
a :ecaet.ea ei a|| |aa,aa,e-aet ea|y ei eve:y ce iaete |aa,aa,e |at ei
tae

i�et ei |aa,aa,e .a ,eae:a| . 1aas uasse:| sçee.aes .a aa a|se|ate|y
ce..s.ve seateaee nat tae . cea|.t. es ei ,eemet:.ea| «e:cs seateaees
taee:. es·eeas. ce:ec ça:e|y as |.a,a.st.e ie:mat.eas-a;e aet ta�
.cea|.t

. es taat ma|e aç «aat .s esç:essec aac |:ea,at te va|.c.ty as
t:at? II ,eemet:y. tae |atte: a:e .cea| ,eemet:.ea| e|]eets. states ei
aaa.:s.

ete. wae:eve: semeta.a, .s asse:tec. eae eaa c.st.a,a.sa «aat . s
taemat.e . taat a|eat «a.ea .t . s sa. c ,.ts sease, . i:em tae asse:t.ea
«a.ea .tse|i. ca:.a, tae asse:t.a,. . s aeve: aac eaa aeve: |e taemat.e�
~ac tae taeme ae:e .s ç:ee.se|y .cea| e|]eet.v.t.es. aac ¡a.te c.ae:eat
eaes i:em taese eem.a, aace: tae eeaeeçt ei |aa,aa,e , | - |
,mec.iec} , ··
iet as i:st aete taat .a ta. s seateaee tae sease ei tae asse:t.ea tae
: tae�e¯ a|eat «a.ea , semeta.a,} .s sa.c. aac tae e|]eet . tse|f a:e
.ceat.ea| . a iaet «a.ea eea|c aeve: :esa|t .a tae ease ei :ea| e|]eets e: ei
: |e�ac .cea| e|]eet.v.t.es re: tae i:st t.me. «. ta tae a|se|ate
. cea|.ty ei aa e|]eet-tae ,eemet:.ea| e|]eet «a.ea . s ta:ea,a aac
ta:ea,a ea|y tae aa.ty ei .ts t:ae sease-«e çass |eyeac e: :.c ea:·
se|ves ei tae . cea| . |at st.|| |eaac. O|] eet.v.ty ei |aa,aa,e we s.ma|·
taaeeas|y �eae? �a O|]ee�. v.ty taat . s a|se|ate|y i:ee «.ta :esçeet te a||
iae�aa|

s�|,eet.v.ty 1aat .s «ay tae esemç|a:y ¡aest.ea ei tae e:.,.a ei
O|,eet.v.ty ee�|c

aet |e as|ec aç:eçes | .a,a. st.e .cea|.ty as saea. |at
aç:eçes «aat . s mteacec ae:ess [d travers ] aac ea tae etae: s. ce ei
[�u-�eld de] ta.s .cea|.ty. nat as tae a|se|ate . cea| e|]eet.v.ty cees aet
|.ve II a tapas ouranios, .t ie||e«s taat.
1 . �ts i:e�?em «.ta :esçeet te a|| iaetaa| sa|]eet.v.ty aas ea|y |a.c
|a:e .ts |e,. t. mate [de droit ] t.es «.ta a t:aaseeaceata| sa|]eet.v.ty.
2. . ts a.ste:.e.ty .s .at:.as.e aac esseat.a| .
Taas �ae sçaee ie: a transcendental historicit .s ç:ese:.|ec .a a|| . ts
�m,�at.e c�çta. ~i:e: aav.a, cete:m.aec aac ç:ev. cec aeeess ,«. ta a||
.ts c.uea|t.es, te ta.s sçaee . uasse:| eaa taea as| tae a. ste:.ee·
74 By the distinction they propose, these sentence.s give the greatest and most
exemplary sharpness to the central question of the Origin. Husserl added them after the
fact
.
to Fink' s typed version of the manuscript. They do not appear in the published
verSIon of 1 939.
At the end of a similar analysis, Husserl writes in FL: loutions "are not thematic
ends but theme-indicators" (§5 , p. 27).
76
Jacques Derrid
t:aaseeaceata| ¡aest.ea «a.ea ieeases a|| tae c.s¡a.etace ei a.s text
Oa: ç:e||em ae« eeaee:as ç:ee. se|y tae . cea| e|]eet.v.t.es «a.ea a:e
taemat.e .a ,eemet:y ae« cees ,eemet:.ea| . cea| .ty ¸ast |.|e taat ei a||
se.eaees, ç:eeeec i:em .ts ç:. ma:y .at:açe:seaa| e:. ,. a. «ae:e .t . s a
ie:mat.ea ç:ecaeec «. ta. a tae eease.eas sçaee ei tae i:st .aveate: s
sea| . te .ts . cea| O|]eet.v.ty: ( 1 6 1 ¸mec.iec} ,
VI
uasse:| s :esçease .s c.:eet aac eemes ve:y ¡a.e||y. it aas tae sty|e
ei a turnabout «a.ea eaa |e sa:ç:.s.a,. icea|.ty eemes te .ts O|]eet. v. ty
|y meaas ei |aa,aa,e. ta:ea,a «a.ea .t :eee. ves. se te sçea|. .ts
|.a,a. st.e resa ( 1 6 1 ,mec.iec} , . uasse:| aetes taat «e see ta.s . a
acvaaee 1ae ea|y ¡aest.ea. taea. . s ae« (Quomodo): ae« cees
| .a,a.st.e . aea:aat.ea ma|e eat ei tae me:e|y .at:asa|]eet.ve ie:mat.ea
tae Objective, taat «a.ea. ie: examç|e. as ,eemet:.ea| eeaeeçt e: state
ei aaa. :s. .s . a aetaa| iaet ç:eseat. .ate||.,.||e ie: a|| . ae« aac a|«ays.
a|:eacy |e.a, va|.c . a . t s | .a,a.st.e exç:ess.ea as ,eemet:.ea| c.seea:se.
as ,eemet:.ea| ç:eçes.t.ea .a .ts ,eemet:.ea| .cea| sease: ( 1 6 1
,mec.iec} , .
we m.,at |e sa:ç:. sec. ~rte: aav.a, se çat.eat|y ext:aetec tae tae·
mat.e t:ata ei Sachverhalt i:em | .a,a.st.e . cea|.ty aac i:em a|| |eaac
.cea|. t. es. uasse:| taea seems te redescend te«a:c |aa,aa,e as tae .a·
c.sçeasa||e mec. am aac eeac.t.ea ei çess.|.| .ty ie: a|se|ate .cea| O|·
]eet.v.ty. ie: truth .tse|i. «a.ea «ea|c |e «aat .t .s ea| y ta:ea,a .ts
a.ste:.ea| aac .ate:sa|]eet.ve e.:ea|at.ea. 1aas. cees uasse:| aet come
back te |aa,aa,e. ea|ta:e. aac a.ste:y. a|| ei «a.ea ae :ecaeec .a e:ce:
te aave tae ça:e çess.|.| .ty ei t:ata eme:,e: is ae aet |eaac a,a.a te
|eac . ate a.ste:y taat «aese a|se|ate i:eecem ae]astcese:. |ec: r:em
taea ea. «.|| ae aet |e eemçe||ec te :emeve a|| tae :ecaet.eas steç |y
steç. .a e:ce: te :eeeve: iaa||y tae real text ei a. ste:.ea| exçe:.eaee�
i a :ea| .ty-aac «e ta.a| .t tae mest . ate:est.a, c.mea|ty ei ta.s
text-uasse:| cees exaet|y tae eççes.te. 1a.s return te |aa,aa,e. as a
return home te ea|ta:e aac a.ste:y .a ,eae:a| . |:. a,s te .ts iaa| eemç|e·
t.ea tae ça:çese ei tae :ecaet.ea . tse|i. Ce.a, |eyeac |eaac .cea|.·
t.es te«a:c tae taeme ei t:ata . s .tse|i a :ecaet.ea «a.ea ma|es tae
.aceçeaceaee ei t:ata aççea: «.ta :esçeet te a|| ce iaete ea|ta:e aac
|aa,aa,e . a ,eae:a| . nat eaee me:e .t . s ea|y a ¡aest.ea ei �. se|es.a,

a
]a:. c.ea| aac t:aaseeaceata| ceçeaceaee. Ne cea|t ,eemetnea| t:ata . s
|eyeac eve:y ça:t.ea|a: aac iaetaa| | . a,a.st. e ae|c as saea. eae ie:
«a.ea eve:y sa|]eet sçea|.a, a cete:m.aec |aa,aa,e aac |e|ea,.a, te a
77
I ntroduction to the Origin of Geometry
cete:m.aec ea|ta:a| eemmaa.ty .s . a raet :esçeas.||e. nat tae O|]eet.v·
.ty ei ta. s t:ata eea|c not |e eeast.tatec without tae pure possibility ei aa
.a¡a.:y .ate a ça:e |aa,aa,e .a ,eae:a| w.taeat ta. s ça:e aac esseat.a|
çess.|.|.ty. tae ,eemet:. ea| ie:mat.ea «ea|c :ema.a .aera||e aac se| .·
ta:y. 1aea .t «ea|c |e absolutely bound to the psychological lie of a
factual individual, te taat ei a iaetaa| eemmaa.ty. .aceec te a ça:t.ea|a:
memeat ei taat |.ie. it «ea|c |eeeme ae.tae: ema.temçe:a| . ae: .ate|·
|.,.||e ie: a| | . .t «ea|c aet |e «aat .t . s. · waetae: ,eemet:y eaa |e
sçe�ea a|eat .s aet . taea. tae ext:.as.e aac aee.ceata| çess.|. |.ty ei a
ia|| . ate tae |ecy ei sçeeea e: ei a s| .ç .ate a a. ste:.ea| mevemeat.
sçeeea . s ae |ea,e: s. mç|y tae exç:ess.ea (Aiisserung) ei «aat. w.taeat
.t. «ea|c already |e aa e|]eet eaa,at a,a.a .a . ts ç:.me:c.a| ça:.ty.
sçeeea constitutes tae e|]eet aac .s a eeae:ete ]a:.c.ea| eeac.t.ea ei
t:ata. 1ae ça:acex .s taat. «.taeat tae açça:eat ia|| |ae| .ate |aa,aa,e
aac tae:e|y . ate a. ste:y. a ia|| «a.ea «ea|c a|.eaate tae .cea| ça:.ty ei
sease. sease «ea|c :ema.a aa emç. :.ea| ie:mat.ea .mç:.seaec as iaet .a
a çsyeae|e,.ea| sa|]eet.v.ty» the inventor' s head. u.ste:.ea| .aea:aa·
t.ea sets i:ee tae t:aaseeaceata| . .asteac ei |.ac.a, . t 1a. s |ast aet.ea.
tae t:aaseeaceata| . mast taea |e :etaea,at
Dees ta.s a|t.mate :ecaet.ea. «a.ea eçeas eate a t:aaseeaceata| |aa·
,aa,e. :eve|at.ea.ze uasse:| s taea,at:· Dees ta. s :eta:a te tae sçea|·
. a, sa|]eet as «aat eeast.tates tae .cea| e|]eet. aac taea a|se|ate O|·
]eet. v.ty. ç:eeeec te eeat:ac.et a ç:ev.eas ça. |eseçay ei |aa,aa,e:
He:|eaa·reaty sçea|s ei a st:.|.a, eeat:ast .a ta.s :esçeet |et«eea
tae Origin ea tae eae aaac aac tae Logical Investigations ea tae etae: ·¯
73 According to the same movement, omnitemporality and universal intelligibility (al­
though they may be concrete and experienced as such) are only the reduction of
f

�tual historical temporality and factual geographical spatial ity. "Supratemporality"
( Uberzeitlichkeit) and "timelessness" (Zeit/osigkeit) are defined i n their transcendence or
their negativity only in relation to worldly and factual temporality. Once the latter is
reduced, they appear as omnitemporality (Allzeitlichkeit). the concrete mode of temporal­
ity in general.
70 The expression "transcendental language" that we use here does not have the sense
o� "t�anscendental discourse. " This latter notion, invoked earlier, has been utilized by
�lOk 10 the sense of discourse adapted to transcendental description. Here we are speak-
1 09 of transcendental language insofar as, on the one hand, the l atter is "constituting"
compared with ideal Objectivity, and, on the other hand, insofar as it i s not confused in
its pure possibility with any de facto empirical language.
77 Cf. "On the Phenomenology of Language, " in Merleau-Ponty' s Signs. tr. Richard C.
McCleary (Evanston: Northwester University Press, 1 964) , p. 84, or even
"Phenomenology and the Sciences of Man, " tr. John Wild in Merleau-Ponty' s The Pri­
macy of Perception, ed. James M. Edie (Evanston: Northwester University Press,
1 964) , pp. 83-84.
76
Jacques Derrid
t:aaseeaceata| ¡aest.ea «a.ea ieeases a|| tae c.s¡a.etace ei a.s text
Oa: ç:e||em ae« eeaee:as ç:ee. se|y tae . cea| e|]eet.v.t.es «a.ea a:e
taemat.e .a ,eemet:y ae« cees ,eemet:.ea| . cea| .ty ¸ast |.|e taat ei a||
se.eaees, ç:eeeec i:em .ts ç:. ma:y .at:açe:seaa| e:. ,. a. «ae:e .t . s a
ie:mat.ea ç:ecaeec «. ta. a tae eease.eas sçaee ei tae i:st .aveate: s
sea| . te .ts . cea| O|]eet.v.ty: ( 1 6 1 ¸mec.iec} ,
VI
uasse:| s :esçease .s c.:eet aac eemes ve:y ¡a.e||y. it aas tae sty|e
ei a turnabout «a.ea eaa |e sa:ç:.s.a,. icea|.ty eemes te .ts O|]eet. v. ty
|y meaas ei |aa,aa,e. ta:ea,a «a.ea .t :eee. ves. se te sçea|. .ts
|.a,a. st.e resa ( 1 6 1 ,mec.iec} , . uasse:| aetes taat «e see ta.s . a
acvaaee 1ae ea|y ¡aest.ea. taea. . s ae« (Quomodo): ae« cees
| .a,a.st.e . aea:aat.ea ma|e eat ei tae me:e|y .at:asa|]eet.ve ie:mat.ea
tae Objective, taat «a.ea. ie: examç|e. as ,eemet:.ea| eeaeeçt e: state
ei aaa. :s. .s . a aetaa| iaet ç:eseat. .ate||.,.||e ie: a|| . ae« aac a|«ays.
a|:eacy |e.a, va|.c . a . t s | .a,a.st.e exç:ess.ea as ,eemet:.ea| c.seea:se.
as ,eemet:.ea| ç:eçes.t.ea .a .ts ,eemet:.ea| .cea| sease: ( 1 6 1
,mec.iec} , .
we m.,at |e sa:ç:. sec. ~rte: aav.a, se çat.eat|y ext:aetec tae tae·
mat.e t:ata ei Sachverhalt i:em | .a,a.st.e . cea|.ty aac i:em a|| |eaac
.cea|. t. es. uasse:| taea seems te redescend te«a:c |aa,aa,e as tae .a·
c.sçeasa||e mec. am aac eeac.t.ea ei çess.|.| .ty ie: a|se|ate .cea| O|·
]eet.v.ty. ie: truth .tse|i. «a.ea «ea|c |e «aat .t .s ea| y ta:ea,a .ts
a.ste:.ea| aac .ate:sa|]eet.ve e.:ea|at.ea. 1aas. cees uasse:| aet come
back te |aa,aa,e. ea|ta:e. aac a.ste:y. a|| ei «a.ea ae :ecaeec .a e:ce:
te aave tae ça:e çess.|.| .ty ei t:ata eme:,e: is ae aet |eaac a,a.a te
|eac . ate a.ste:y taat «aese a|se|ate i:eecem ae]astcese:. |ec: r:em
taea ea. «.|| ae aet |e eemçe||ec te :emeve a|| tae :ecaet.eas steç |y
steç. .a e:ce: te :eeeve: iaa||y tae real text ei a. ste:.ea| exçe:.eaee�
i a :ea| .ty-aac «e ta.a| .t tae mest . ate:est.a, c.mea|ty ei ta.s
text-uasse:| cees exaet|y tae eççes.te. 1a.s return te |aa,aa,e. as a
return home te ea|ta:e aac a.ste:y .a ,eae:a| . |:. a,s te .ts iaa| eemç|e·
t.ea tae ça:çese ei tae :ecaet.ea . tse|i. Ce.a, |eyeac |eaac .cea|.·
t.es te«a:c tae taeme ei t:ata . s .tse|i a :ecaet.ea «a.ea ma|es tae
.aceçeaceaee ei t:ata aççea: «.ta :esçeet te a|| ce iaete ea|ta:e aac
|aa,aa,e . a ,eae:a| . nat eaee me:e .t . s ea|y a ¡aest.ea ei �. se|es.a,

a
]a:. c.ea| aac t:aaseeaceata| ceçeaceaee. Ne cea|t ,eemetnea| t:ata . s
|eyeac eve:y ça:t.ea|a: aac iaetaa| | . a,a.st. e ae|c as saea. eae ie:
«a.ea eve:y sa|]eet sçea|.a, a cete:m.aec |aa,aa,e aac |e|ea,.a, te a
77
I ntroduction to the Origin of Geometry
cete:m.aec ea|ta:a| eemmaa.ty .s . a raet :esçeas.||e. nat tae O|]eet.v·
.ty ei ta. s t:ata eea|c not |e eeast.tatec without tae pure possibility ei aa
.a¡a.:y .ate a ça:e |aa,aa,e .a ,eae:a| w.taeat ta. s ça:e aac esseat.a|
çess.|.|.ty. tae ,eemet:. ea| ie:mat.ea «ea|c :ema.a .aera||e aac se| .·
ta:y. 1aea .t «ea|c |e absolutely bound to the psychological lie of a
factual individual, te taat ei a iaetaa| eemmaa.ty. .aceec te a ça:t.ea|a:
memeat ei taat |.ie. it «ea|c |eeeme ae.tae: ema.temçe:a| . ae: .ate|·
|.,.||e ie: a| | . .t «ea|c aet |e «aat .t . s. · waetae: ,eemet:y eaa |e
sçe�ea a|eat .s aet . taea. tae ext:.as.e aac aee.ceata| çess.|. |.ty ei a
ia|| . ate tae |ecy ei sçeeea e: ei a s| .ç .ate a a. ste:.ea| mevemeat.
sçeeea . s ae |ea,e: s. mç|y tae exç:ess.ea (Aiisserung) ei «aat. w.taeat
.t. «ea|c already |e aa e|]eet eaa,at a,a.a .a . ts ç:.me:c.a| ça:.ty.
sçeeea constitutes tae e|]eet aac .s a eeae:ete ]a:.c.ea| eeac.t.ea ei
t:ata. 1ae ça:acex .s taat. «.taeat tae açça:eat ia|| |ae| .ate |aa,aa,e
aac tae:e|y . ate a. ste:y. a ia|| «a.ea «ea|c a|.eaate tae .cea| ça:.ty ei
sease. sease «ea|c :ema.a aa emç. :.ea| ie:mat.ea .mç:.seaec as iaet .a
a çsyeae|e,.ea| sa|]eet.v.ty» the inventor' s head. u.ste:.ea| .aea:aa·
t.ea sets i:ee tae t:aaseeaceata| . .asteac ei |.ac.a, . t 1a. s |ast aet.ea.
tae t:aaseeaceata| . mast taea |e :etaea,at
Dees ta.s a|t.mate :ecaet.ea. «a.ea eçeas eate a t:aaseeaceata| |aa·
,aa,e. :eve|at.ea.ze uasse:| s taea,at:· Dees ta. s :eta:a te tae sçea|·
. a, sa|]eet as «aat eeast.tates tae .cea| e|]eet. aac taea a|se|ate O|·
]eet. v.ty. ç:eeeec te eeat:ac.et a ç:ev.eas ça. |eseçay ei |aa,aa,e:
He:|eaa·reaty sçea|s ei a st:.|.a, eeat:ast .a ta.s :esçeet |et«eea
tae Origin ea tae eae aaac aac tae Logical Investigations ea tae etae: ·¯
73 According to the same movement, omnitemporality and universal intelligibility (al­
though they may be concrete and experienced as such) are only the reduction of
f

�tual historical temporality and factual geographical spatial ity. "Supratemporality"
( Uberzeitlichkeit) and "timelessness" (Zeit/osigkeit) are defined i n their transcendence or
their negativity only in relation to worldly and factual temporality. Once the latter is
reduced, they appear as omnitemporality (Allzeitlichkeit). the concrete mode of temporal­
ity in general.
70 The expression "transcendental language" that we use here does not have the sense
o� "t�anscendental discourse. " This latter notion, invoked earlier, has been utilized by
�lOk 10 the sense of discourse adapted to transcendental description. Here we are speak-
1 09 of transcendental language insofar as, on the one hand, the l atter is "constituting"
compared with ideal Objectivity, and, on the other hand, insofar as it i s not confused in
its pure possibility with any de facto empirical language.
77 Cf. "On the Phenomenology of Language, " in Merleau-Ponty' s Signs. tr. Richard C.
McCleary (Evanston: Northwester University Press, 1 964) , p. 84, or even
"Phenomenology and the Sciences of Man, " tr. John Wild in Merleau-Ponty' s The Pri­
macy of Perception, ed. James M. Edie (Evanston: Northwester University Press,
1 964) , pp. 83-84.
78
Jacques Derrid
uacea|tec| y tae Logical Investigations «�s

me:e .ate:e�t�c ea| y . a
«aat ee::esçeacs t e a i:st çaase ei ceseoçt.ea �a tae Orzgln: tae a�·
teaemy ei eeast.tatec .cea| e|]eets eemça:ec �. t� � | aa,aa,e ta�t .·
.tse|i eeast.tatec nat . a :eaet.ea a,a.ast a sa|,eet.».st çsyeae|e,.sm.
tae ¡aest.ea .s a|e»e a|| te c.ssee.ate tae .cea|

e|]eet i:em a| �

sa|·
,eet. ».ty aac a|| emç.:.ea| |aa,aa,e. |e�a e

i «a

.ea

eea

c ea|y eea·
iase tae t:aasça:eat . aa. »eea| . aac e|,eet.»e s.,aie

at.eas ?i a

ça:e
| e,.e nat tae :eta:a te tae ç:. me:c.a|.ty ei tae sçeasm, sa|,eet .· ae
me:e . a eeat:ast «.ta ta.s i:st açç:e�ea te |aa,aa,e

ta�a

ta


. cea| . sm ei Ideas I . s. as «as taea,at. «.ta tae açça

:eat

|�,.e. sm
e: :ea| . sm ei tae Logical Investigations. 1ae ¡aest.ea .· ·. �ç|y te
ça:eataes.ze eeast.tatec |aa,aa,e. «a.ea .s «�at uasse�|

eea�maes te
ce .a Formal and Transcendental Logic and m tae Orzgl n, m e:ce:.
sa|se¡aeat| y. te |et tae e:.,.aa| .ty ei eeast.tat.»e |aa,aa,e eeme te
|.,at


i
1e constitute aa .cea| e|]eet .s te çat .t at tae çe:maaeat c. ·çe·.t.ea ?
a ça:e ,aze Ne«. |eie:e |e.a, tae eeast.tatec aac eseeec�c a�s.

| ·
.a:y ei aa aet «a.ea ç:eeeecs te«a:c tae t:�ta ei sease. | m,a. st.

.
.cea|.ty .s tae m.|.ea .a «a.ea tae .cea| e|,eet sett|es as «�at .·
sec.meatec e: ceçes.tec nat ae:e tae aet ei ç:. me:c.a| depositing .� aet
tae :eee:c.a, ei a ç:.»ate ta.a,. |at tae ç:ecaet.ea ei a common e|,eet .
. e . ei aa object «aese e:. ,. aa| e«ae: .s taas c. sçesses�ec 1aas |aa·
,aa,e ç:ese:»es t:ata. se taat t:at

a ea� |e :e,a:cec .a tae a

eaee·
ie:ta aeaeçaeme:a| . | |am. aat.ea ei .t· se,ea:a. |at �| se se taat .t eaa
|ea,taea taat stay. re: tae:e «ea|c |e ae t:ata «.tae�t taat «e:c·
aea:c. a, [thesaurisation] , «a.ea . s aet ea

| y «aat
.
deposlts aac seeçs
ae|c ei tae t:ata. |at a|se taat «.taeat wa..a aproJect ei t:ata aac t�e
.cea ei aa . aia.te tass «ea|c |e aa. ma,.aa||e 1aat .s «ay |aa,a

a,e .·
tae e|emeat ei tae ea| y t:ac.t.ea .a «a.ea ,|eyeac . ac.».caa| imtace·
sease·:eteat.ea aac sease·ç:esçeet.a, a:e çess.||e
ia ta. s :esçeet tae:e .s se | .tt|e c.seeat.aa.ty e: eeat:ast |et«eea
uasse:| s ea:| .est aac |atest taea,at taat «e iac ça,es .

a t�e Logic�l
Investigations «a.ea eea|c |e . ase:.|ec «.taeat �ec.ieat.ea .

ta�
.
Orz­
gin ' ça,es ea tae esseat.a| iaaet.ea ei Dokumentlerung, ea tae spmtual
cor�oreality" ei |aa,aa,e. aac ea tae state�eat as ta� ia|i||.a, ei tae
t:ata·.ateat.ea 1a.s . s a|| tae me:e se .i «e eeas.ce: Formal and
7H Thus, for example, Husserl writes: "All theoretical research, though by no mea�s
solely conducted in acts of verbal expression or complete
,
state�ent, none the less termi­
nates i n such statement. Only in this form can truth, and 10 particular t
.
he truth of theory,
become an abiding possession of science, a documented, ever available tr�asure for
knowledge and advancing research. Whatever the connection of thought with speech
may be , whether or not the appearance of our fnal judgements in the form of verbal
79
Introduction to the Origin of Geometr
Transcendental Logic ,ça:t.ea|a:| y §§ 1 -5, çç 1 8-29) aac tae Cartesian
Meditations (§4, ç. I I ) . Ðaea t.me . uasse:| |e,. as |y aç:eet.a, taea,at
i:em «aat . t «ea|c |e se|e|y . . a tae aet ei »e:|a| esç:ess.ea. .a
e:ce: te sçee.iy taea taat .t eea|c aet |eeeme t:ata «.taeat taat
"stating" aac "communicating . . . to others, " ei «a.ea ae a| se sçese
. a tae Investigations (LI, i. i at:e ve| II ei Ce:maa Ðc . §3, ç 255) .
re:. .s tae :eee,a.t.ea .a |aa,aa,e ei «aat constitutes a|se| ate .cea|
O|]eet.».ty. as ia: as . t states ta.s O|]eet.».ty. aet ]ast aaetae: «ay ei
aaaeaae.a, e: :eçeat.a, taat t:aaseeaceata| .ate:sa|]eet.».ty .s tae
eeac.t.ea ei O|]eet.».ty: ~t |ettem. tae ç:e||em ei ,eemet:y s e:.,.a
çats tae ç:e||em ei tae eeast.tat.ea ei . ate:sa|]eet.».ty ea ça: «.ta
taat ei tae çaeaemeae|e,.ea| e:.,.a ei |aa,aa,e. uasse:| . s »e:y eea·
se.eas ei ta. s nat ae «.|| aet attemçt ta.s c.mea|t :e,:ess.ea . a tae
Origin, a|taea,a ae says .t a:.ses ae:e ( 1 6 1 ) . re: tae memeat .t
samees te sae«. .i aet how, at |east that |aa,aa,e aac eease.easaess ei
ie||e« aamaa.ty a:e . ate::e|atec çess.|. |.t.es aac a|:eacy ,.»ea tae
memeat tae çess. |.|.ty ei se.eaee . s esta|| .saec 1ae ae:.zea ei ie||e«
maas.ac saççeses tae ae:.zea ei tae «e:|c. .t staacs eat aac a:t.ea|ates
. ts aa.ty a,a. ast [se detache et articule son unite sur] tae aa.ty ei tae
«e:| c. Oi eea:se. tae «e:|c aac ie||e« maas.ac ae:e ces.,aate tae
a||·.ae|as.»e . |at . a| a.te|y eçea. aa. ty ei çess.||e esçe:.eaees aac aet
ta. s «e:|c :.,at ae:e . taese ie||e« mea :.,at ae:e. «aese iaetaa| .ty ie:
uasse:| .s ae»e: aayta.a, |at a »a:.a||e esamç|e. Cease.easaess ei
|e. a,·.aeemmaa.ty .a eae aac tae same «e:|c esta||.saes tae çess.|.|·
.ty ei a aa.»e:sa| |aa,aa,e Haas.ac . s | :st eease.eas ei .tse|t as aa
. mmec.ate aac mec.ate |.a,a.st.e eemmaa.ty ( 1 62) .
ia eeaaeet.ea «.ta ta. s «e aeec te aete ta:ee . mçe:taat çe. ats
i
w.ta.a tae ae:.zea ei ta. s eease.easaess ei ie||e« maas.ac. .t . s
mata:e . ae:ma| maas. ac taat . s ç:. ».|e,ec

|eta as tae ae:.zea
ei e. ».| . zat.ea aac as tae |. a,a. st.e eemmaa.ty ( 1 62) . 1ae taeme ei
pronouncements has a necessary grounding i n essence, i t is at least plain that judgements
stemming from higher intellectual regions, and in particular from the regions of science,
could barely arise without verbal expression" (LI, I , Introd. to Vol . II of German ed. , §2,
p. 250) .
7! Already in FTL, on the subject of the "idealizing presuppositions of logic" and tying
the problem of constitution with that of expression, Husserl concluded: " The problem of
constitution is again broadened when we recall that verbal expression, which we excluded
from our considerations of logic, i s an essential presupposition for intersubjective think­
ing and for an intersubjectivity of the theory accepted as ideally existing; and that accord­
i ngly an ideal identifability of the expression, as expression, must likewise raise a prob­
lem of constitution" (§73, p. 1 88) .
78
Jacques Derrid
uacea|tec| y tae Logical Investigations «�s

me:e .ate:e�t�c ea| y . a
«aat ee::esçeacs t e a i:st çaase ei ceseoçt.ea �a tae Orzgln: tae a�·
teaemy ei eeast.tatec .cea| e|]eets eemça:ec �. t� � | aa,aa,e ta�t .·
.tse|i eeast.tatec nat . a :eaet.ea a,a.ast a sa|,eet.».st çsyeae|e,.sm.
tae ¡aest.ea .s a|e»e a|| te c.ssee.ate tae .cea|

e|]eet i:em a| �

sa|·
,eet. ».ty aac a|| emç.:.ea| |aa,aa,e. |e�a e

i «a

.ea

eea

c ea|y eea·
iase tae t:aasça:eat . aa. »eea| . aac e|,eet.»e s.,aie

at.eas ?i a

ça:e
| e,.e nat tae :eta:a te tae ç:. me:c.a|.ty ei tae sçeasm, sa|,eet .· ae
me:e . a eeat:ast «.ta ta.s i:st açç:e�ea te |aa,aa,e

ta�a

ta


. cea| . sm ei Ideas I . s. as «as taea,at. «.ta tae açça

:eat

|�,.e. sm
e: :ea| . sm ei tae Logical Investigations. 1ae ¡aest.ea .· ·. �ç|y te
ça:eataes.ze eeast.tatec |aa,aa,e. «a.ea .s «�at uasse�|

eea�maes te
ce .a Formal and Transcendental Logic and m tae Orzgl n, m e:ce:.
sa|se¡aeat| y. te |et tae e:.,.aa| .ty ei eeast.tat.»e |aa,aa,e eeme te
|.,at


i
1e constitute aa .cea| e|]eet .s te çat .t at tae çe:maaeat c. ·çe·.t.ea ?
a ça:e ,aze Ne«. |eie:e |e.a, tae eeast.tatec aac eseeec�c a�s.

| ·
.a:y ei aa aet «a.ea ç:eeeecs te«a:c tae t:�ta ei sease. | m,a. st.

.
.cea|.ty .s tae m.|.ea .a «a.ea tae .cea| e|,eet sett|es as «�at .·
sec.meatec e: ceçes.tec nat ae:e tae aet ei ç:. me:c.a| depositing .� aet
tae :eee:c.a, ei a ç:.»ate ta.a,. |at tae ç:ecaet.ea ei a common e|,eet .
. e . ei aa object «aese e:. ,. aa| e«ae: .s taas c. sçesses�ec 1aas |aa·
,aa,e ç:ese:»es t:ata. se taat t:at

a ea� |e :e,a:cec .a tae a

eaee·
ie:ta aeaeçaeme:a| . | |am. aat.ea ei .t· se,ea:a. |at �| se se taat .t eaa
|ea,taea taat stay. re: tae:e «ea|c |e ae t:ata «.tae�t taat «e:c·
aea:c. a, [thesaurisation] , «a.ea . s aet ea

| y «aat
.
deposlts aac seeçs
ae|c ei tae t:ata. |at a|se taat «.taeat wa..a aproJect ei t:ata aac t�e
.cea ei aa . aia.te tass «ea|c |e aa. ma,.aa||e 1aat .s «ay |aa,a

a,e .·
tae e|emeat ei tae ea| y t:ac.t.ea .a «a.ea ,|eyeac . ac.».caa| imtace·
sease·:eteat.ea aac sease·ç:esçeet.a, a:e çess.||e
ia ta. s :esçeet tae:e .s se | .tt|e c.seeat.aa.ty e: eeat:ast |et«eea
uasse:| s ea:| .est aac |atest taea,at taat «e iac ça,es .

a t�e Logic�l
Investigations «a.ea eea|c |e . ase:.|ec «.taeat �ec.ieat.ea .

ta�
.
Orz­
gin ' ça,es ea tae esseat.a| iaaet.ea ei Dokumentlerung, ea tae spmtual
cor�oreality" ei |aa,aa,e. aac ea tae state�eat as ta� ia|i||.a, ei tae
t:ata·.ateat.ea 1a.s . s a|| tae me:e se .i «e eeas.ce: Formal and
7H Thus, for example, Husserl writes: "All theoretical research, though by no mea�s
solely conducted in acts of verbal expression or complete
,
state�ent, none the less termi­
nates i n such statement. Only in this form can truth, and 10 particular t
.
he truth of theory,
become an abiding possession of science, a documented, ever available tr�asure for
knowledge and advancing research. Whatever the connection of thought with speech
may be , whether or not the appearance of our fnal judgements in the form of verbal
79
Introduction to the Origin of Geometr
Transcendental Logic ,ça:t.ea|a:| y §§ 1 -5, çç 1 8-29) aac tae Cartesian
Meditations (§4, ç. I I ) . Ðaea t.me . uasse:| |e,. as |y aç:eet.a, taea,at
i:em «aat . t «ea|c |e se|e|y . . a tae aet ei »e:|a| esç:ess.ea. .a
e:ce: te sçee.iy taea taat .t eea|c aet |eeeme t:ata «.taeat taat
"stating" aac "communicating . . . to others, " ei «a.ea ae a| se sçese
. a tae Investigations (LI, i. i at:e ve| II ei Ce:maa Ðc . §3, ç 255) .
re:. .s tae :eee,a.t.ea .a |aa,aa,e ei «aat constitutes a|se| ate .cea|
O|]eet.».ty. as ia: as . t states ta.s O|]eet.».ty. aet ]ast aaetae: «ay ei
aaaeaae.a, e: :eçeat.a, taat t:aaseeaceata| .ate:sa|]eet.».ty .s tae
eeac.t.ea ei O|]eet.».ty: ~t |ettem. tae ç:e||em ei ,eemet:y s e:.,.a
çats tae ç:e||em ei tae eeast.tat.ea ei . ate:sa|]eet.».ty ea ça: «.ta
taat ei tae çaeaemeae|e,.ea| e:.,.a ei |aa,aa,e. uasse:| . s »e:y eea·
se.eas ei ta. s nat ae «.|| aet attemçt ta.s c.mea|t :e,:ess.ea . a tae
Origin, a|taea,a ae says .t a:.ses ae:e ( 1 6 1 ) . re: tae memeat .t
samees te sae«. .i aet how, at |east that |aa,aa,e aac eease.easaess ei
ie||e« aamaa.ty a:e . ate::e|atec çess.|. |.t.es aac a|:eacy ,.»ea tae
memeat tae çess. |.|.ty ei se.eaee . s esta|| .saec 1ae ae:.zea ei ie||e«
maas.ac saççeses tae ae:.zea ei tae «e:|c. .t staacs eat aac a:t.ea|ates
. ts aa.ty a,a. ast [se detache et articule son unite sur] tae aa.ty ei tae
«e:| c. Oi eea:se. tae «e:|c aac ie||e« maas.ac ae:e ces.,aate tae
a||·.ae|as.»e . |at . a| a.te|y eçea. aa. ty ei çess.||e esçe:.eaees aac aet
ta. s «e:|c :.,at ae:e . taese ie||e« mea :.,at ae:e. «aese iaetaa| .ty ie:
uasse:| .s ae»e: aayta.a, |at a »a:.a||e esamç|e. Cease.easaess ei
|e. a,·.aeemmaa.ty .a eae aac tae same «e:|c esta||.saes tae çess.|.|·
.ty ei a aa.»e:sa| |aa,aa,e Haas.ac . s | :st eease.eas ei .tse|t as aa
. mmec.ate aac mec.ate |.a,a.st.e eemmaa.ty ( 1 62) .
ia eeaaeet.ea «.ta ta. s «e aeec te aete ta:ee . mçe:taat çe. ats
i
w.ta.a tae ae:.zea ei ta. s eease.easaess ei ie||e« maas.ac. .t . s
mata:e . ae:ma| maas. ac taat . s ç:. ».|e,ec

|eta as tae ae:.zea
ei e. ».| . zat.ea aac as tae |. a,a. st.e eemmaa.ty ( 1 62) . 1ae taeme ei
pronouncements has a necessary grounding i n essence, i t is at least plain that judgements
stemming from higher intellectual regions, and in particular from the regions of science,
could barely arise without verbal expression" (LI, I , Introd. to Vol . II of German ed. , §2,
p. 250) .
7! Already in FTL, on the subject of the "idealizing presuppositions of logic" and tying
the problem of constitution with that of expression, Husserl concluded: " The problem of
constitution is again broadened when we recall that verbal expression, which we excluded
from our considerations of logic, i s an essential presupposition for intersubjective think­
ing and for an intersubjectivity of the theory accepted as ideally existing; and that accord­
i ngly an ideal identifability of the expression, as expression, must likewise raise a prob­
lem of constitution" (§73, p. 1 88) .
80
Jacques Derrida
adul t normality, which took up more and more room in HusserI ' s
analyses, i s here treated as a matter of course. We will not stress thi s,H
O
despite the serious problems that it seems to have �o P?se �or a
transcendental philosophy: how can maturity and normahty gIVe fIse to
a rigorous transcendental-eidetic determination? Could adult normality
ever be considered other than as an empirical and factual modifcation
of universal transcendental norms in the classic sense, from which con­
tinually stem those other empirical "cases, " madness and childhood?
But here too Husserl has overthrown this cl assic notion of
"transcendental , " to the point of giving a sense to the idea of
transcendental pathology. HI The notion of (adult normality' s)
. • privi lege" denotes here a telos' meddling beforehand in the eidos. To
have access to the eidos of mankind and of language, certain men and
certain speaking subjects-madmen and children-are not good exam­
ples . And frst, no doubt, because they do not possess in their own right
a pure and rigorously determinable essence. But if this i s so, does adul t
normality, which begins where childhood ends and stops when madn�ss
starts, have an essence? Because here the expression of adul t normalIty
is not a given eidetic determination, but the index of an i deal no�ativ­
ity which is on the horizon of de facto normal adults. In proportion to
our advancement i n the spiritual world and then in history, the eidos
ceases to be an essence i n order to become a norm, and the concept of
horizon is progressively substituted for that of structure and essence.
2. The possibil ity of a mediate or immediate horizon of universal
language risks running into essential difculties and li mit s. Thi s possi­
bility frst supposes that the hazardous problem concerning the possibil­
ity of a "pure grammar" and "a priori norms " of language i s resol ved,
a possibility Husserl never ceased to take for granted. H2
.
I t sU'po�� ,
next, that everything " is namable in the broadest sense, I . e. , hngmstI-
RO
We propose to come back to this elsewhere. [Cf. Derrida' s Speech and Phenomena:
And Other Essays on Husserl' s Theor of Signs, tf. David B. Allison (Evanston: North-
wester University Press, 1973), pp. 97-99. ]
81
In "Philosophy and the Crisis of European Humanity" (i C), the
.
phenomen�n �f
crisis is presented as a "sickness" of European society and culture, a SIckness whIch � s
not "natural" and gets no relief from "something like natur dotos" (p. 270). ThiS
"pathology, " moreover, has the profound ethical sense of a fall into "passivity, " of �
inability to be rendered "responsible" for sense in an authentic activity or authent1�
"reactivation. " Technical activity (that of science als) as such is a passivity in compan­
son to sense; it is the agitation of the sick and, already, the tremors of delirium.
82
Cf. LI, J, 4. On Husserl ' s faithfulness to this theme and the philosophical option that
orients i t, cf. in particular S. Bachelard, A Study of Hussert' s Logic [part J, Ch. 1 ] , pp.
8-1 1 .
81
Introductin to the Orgin of Geometr
cally expressible" : " everyone can talk about what is wi thin the sur­
roundi ng world of his ci vi l i zati on as Obj ecti vel y exi sti ng" ( 1 62
[ modifed] ). In other words, as heterogeneous as the essential structures
of several constituted languages or cultures may be, translation in prin­
ciple is an always possible task: two normal men will always have a
prioriH3 consciousness of their belonging together to one and the same
humanity, living in one and the same world. Lingui stic diferences­
and what they imply-will appear to them at the bottom of an apriori
horizon or structure: the lingui stic community, i . e. , the immediate cer­
ta�nty of both being speaking subjects who can never designate any­
thmg bu t what belongs to the horizon of their world as the irreducibl y
common horizon of their experience. Thi s implies that they can always,
i mmediately or not , stand together before the same natural exi stent­
which we can always strip of the cultural superstructures and
categories founded (fundiert) on it , and whose unity would always fur­
nish the ul timate arbitration for every misunderstanding. Consciousness
of confronting the same thing, an object perceived as such,H-l is con­
sciousness of a pure and precultural we. Here the retur to preculture i s
not regression toward cultural primitiveness but the reduction of a de­
termined culture, a theoretical operation which i s one of the highest
forms of culture in general . Thi s purely natural objective exi stent i s the
existing sensible world, which becomes the frst ground of communica­
tion, the permanent chance for the reinvention of language
.
As the most
universal , the most objectively exhibited element given to us, the earth
itself is what furnishes the frst matter of every sensible object. Insofar
as it is the exemplar element (being more naturally objective, more
permanent, more solid, more rigid, and so forth , than all other elements;
and in a broader sense, it compri ses them) , it is normal that the earth
has furni shed the ground for the frst ideal ities, then for the frst abso­
lutely uni versal and objective identities, those of calcul us and
geometry.
But preculturally pure Nature is always buried. So, as the ultimate
M� But both still have to meet. The question here, then, is only that of a material ,
therefore in a certain sense contingent, a priori (cf. above) .
H4 Jt i s the "as such" of the object' s substantial and objective unity which i s deci sive
here. In paricular i t di stinguishes human intersubjectivity from that which i s created
between animal s, men and animals, children, etc. All those finite communities al so rest
on the feel i ng of a presence to the same world whereby they confront the same things , and so
on, but in a nonobjecti ve, nontheoretical consciousness-which does not posit the object
"as such" in its independence and as the pole of infi nite determination. Those lower commu­
nities can also gi ve rise to a specifc phenomenology, and Husserl devoted i mportant
unpublished fragments to them.
80
Jacques Derrida
adul t normality, which took up more and more room in HusserI ' s
analyses, i s here treated as a matter of course. We will not stress thi s,H
O
despite the serious problems that it seems to have �o P?se �or a
transcendental philosophy: how can maturity and normahty gIVe fIse to
a rigorous transcendental-eidetic determination? Could adult normality
ever be considered other than as an empirical and factual modifcation
of universal transcendental norms in the classic sense, from which con­
tinually stem those other empirical "cases, " madness and childhood?
But here too Husserl has overthrown this cl assic notion of
"transcendental , " to the point of giving a sense to the idea of
transcendental pathology. HI The notion of (adult normality' s)
. • privi lege" denotes here a telos' meddling beforehand in the eidos. To
have access to the eidos of mankind and of language, certain men and
certain speaking subjects-madmen and children-are not good exam­
ples . And frst, no doubt, because they do not possess in their own right
a pure and rigorously determinable essence. But if this i s so, does adul t
normality, which begins where childhood ends and stops when madn�ss
starts, have an essence? Because here the expression of adul t normalIty
is not a given eidetic determination, but the index of an i deal no�ativ­
ity which is on the horizon of de facto normal adults. In proportion to
our advancement i n the spiritual world and then in history, the eidos
ceases to be an essence i n order to become a norm, and the concept of
horizon is progressively substituted for that of structure and essence.
2. The possibil ity of a mediate or immediate horizon of universal
language risks running into essential difculties and li mit s. Thi s possi­
bility frst supposes that the hazardous problem concerning the possibil­
ity of a "pure grammar" and "a priori norms " of language i s resol ved,
a possibility Husserl never ceased to take for granted. H2
.
I t sU'po�� ,
next, that everything " is namable in the broadest sense, I . e. , hngmstI-
RO
We propose to come back to this elsewhere. [Cf. Derrida' s Speech and Phenomena:
And Other Essays on Husserl' s Theor of Signs, tf. David B. Allison (Evanston: North-
wester University Press, 1973), pp. 97-99. ]
81
In "Philosophy and the Crisis of European Humanity" (i C), the
.
phenomen�n �f
crisis is presented as a "sickness" of European society and culture, a SIckness whIch � s
not "natural" and gets no relief from "something like natur dotos" (p. 270). ThiS
"pathology, " moreover, has the profound ethical sense of a fall into "passivity, " of �
inability to be rendered "responsible" for sense in an authentic activity or authent1�
"reactivation. " Technical activity (that of science als) as such is a passivity in compan­
son to sense; it is the agitation of the sick and, already, the tremors of delirium.
82
Cf. LI, J, 4. On Husserl ' s faithfulness to this theme and the philosophical option that
orients i t, cf. in particular S. Bachelard, A Study of Hussert' s Logic [part J, Ch. 1 ] , pp.
8-1 1 .
81
Introductin to the Orgin of Geometr
cally expressible" : " everyone can talk about what is wi thin the sur­
roundi ng world of his ci vi l i zati on as Obj ecti vel y exi sti ng" ( 1 62
[ modifed] ). In other words, as heterogeneous as the essential structures
of several constituted languages or cultures may be, translation in prin­
ciple is an always possible task: two normal men will always have a
prioriH3 consciousness of their belonging together to one and the same
humanity, living in one and the same world. Lingui stic diferences­
and what they imply-will appear to them at the bottom of an apriori
horizon or structure: the lingui stic community, i . e. , the immediate cer­
ta�nty of both being speaking subjects who can never designate any­
thmg bu t what belongs to the horizon of their world as the irreducibl y
common horizon of their experience. Thi s implies that they can always,
i mmediately or not , stand together before the same natural exi stent­
which we can always strip of the cultural superstructures and
categories founded (fundiert) on it , and whose unity would always fur­
nish the ul timate arbitration for every misunderstanding. Consciousness
of confronting the same thing, an object perceived as such,H-l is con­
sciousness of a pure and precultural we. Here the retur to preculture i s
not regression toward cultural primitiveness but the reduction of a de­
termined culture, a theoretical operation which i s one of the highest
forms of culture in general . Thi s purely natural objective exi stent i s the
existing sensible world, which becomes the frst ground of communica­
tion, the permanent chance for the reinvention of language
.
As the most
universal , the most objectively exhibited element given to us, the earth
itself is what furnishes the frst matter of every sensible object. Insofar
as it is the exemplar element (being more naturally objective, more
permanent, more solid, more rigid, and so forth , than all other elements;
and in a broader sense, it compri ses them) , it is normal that the earth
has furni shed the ground for the frst ideal ities, then for the frst abso­
lutely uni versal and objective identities, those of calcul us and
geometry.
But preculturally pure Nature is always buried. So, as the ultimate
M� But both still have to meet. The question here, then, is only that of a material ,
therefore in a certain sense contingent, a priori (cf. above) .
H4 Jt i s the "as such" of the object' s substantial and objective unity which i s deci sive
here. In paricular i t di stinguishes human intersubjectivity from that which i s created
between animal s, men and animals, children, etc. All those finite communities al so rest
on the feel i ng of a presence to the same world whereby they confront the same things , and so
on, but in a nonobjecti ve, nontheoretical consciousness-which does not posit the object
"as such" in its independence and as the pole of infi nite determination. Those lower commu­
nities can also gi ve rise to a specifc phenomenology, and Husserl devoted i mportant
unpublished fragments to them.
82
Jacques Derrida
çess.|.|.iy ie: eemmaa.eai.ea. . i . s a |.ac ei .aaeeess.||e . ai:a·. cea| .
Caa «e aei say. iaea. ]asi iae eççes.ie ei «aai uasse:| sa.c: ~:e aei
aea·eemmaa.eai.ea aac m.saace:siaac.a, iae ve:y ae:.zea ei ea|ia:e
aac |aa,aa,e: uacea|iec|y m.saace:siaac.a, .s a|«ays a iaeiaa| ae:.·
zea aac iae ia.ie .aces ei iae .aia.ie çe|e ei a seaac .aie||.,eaee. nai
a|iaea,a iae |aiie: . s a|«ays aaaeaaeec se iaai |aa,aa,e eaa |e,.a. .s
aei ia.iace iae esseai.a| «a.ea «e eaa aeve: :ac.ea||y ,e |eyeac:
1ae a|eve seems a|| iae me:e i:ae. esçee. a||y s.aee a|se|aie
i:aas|aia|.|.iy «ea|c |e sasçeacec sia:i.a, iae memeai iae s.,a.iec
eea|c ae |ea,e: |e |ec |ae|. e. iae: c.:eei|y e: .ac.:eei| y. :e iae mece| ei
aa e|]eei.ve aac seas.||e es. sieai. Ðve:y | .a,a.si.e c±eas.ea iaai
«ea|c eseaçe ia. s a|se|aie i:aas|aia|.|.iy «ea|c :ema.a ma:|ec |y iae
emç.:.ea| sa|]eei.v.iy ei aa . ac.v.caa| e: see.eiy. re: uasse:| . iae
mece| ei |aa,aa,e .s iae e|]eei.ve |aa,aa,e ei se.eaee. ~ çeei.e |aa·
,aa,e. «aese s.,a.ieai.eas «ea|c aei |e objects, «. || aeve: aave aay
i:aaseeaceaia| va| ae ie: a. m 1aai iaei «ea|c aave ae eease¡aeaee
within uasse:| .aa iaea,ai. .i a.s iaea,ai «e:e aei a| se iae iae:ea,a
. avesi.,ai.ea [approfondissement ] ei sa|]eei.v.iy. Ne« sa|]eei.v. iy .a
,eae:a| . as maea emç.:.ea| as i:aaseeaceaia| . aççea:ec ve:y ea:| y ie
uasse:| as . aaeeess.||e ie a c.:eei. aa.veea| . aac :.,e:eas |aa,aa,e.
sa|]eei.v.iy .s iaaca¬eaia||y . aeaa||e ~|:eacy .a The Phenomenology
of Interal Time-Consciousness, uasse:| :eie::ec ie iae a| i.maie .ceai.iy
ei iae eeasi.iai.ve ras ei . mmaaeai i. me aac a|se|aie sa|]eei.v.iy aac
eeae|acec re: a|| ia. s. aames a:e |ae|.a, ( §36, ç. 100).85 ~ac . a iae
aaça||.saec ¬aaase:.çis ei C:eaç C ea ç:eieiemçe:a| .iy. ae «eace:s
.i ç:e·e|]eei.ve ie¬çe:a| .iy. ç:eiemçe:a|.iy (Vorzeit) , .s aei |eyeac a||
c.seea:se (unsagbar) ie: iae çaeaemeae|e,.z.a, Ð,e ,Hs C 1 31 1 5 i i .
i º·1. ç 9). 1ae:eie:e . |aa,aa,e. i:ac.i.ea. aac a. sie:y es.si ea|y .a·
seia: as e|]eeis |:ea| iae sa:iaee
3 . ~s iae .aia.ie ae:.zea ei eve:y çess.||e esçe:.eaee. iae «e:|c .s
eease¡aeai|y iae aa.ve:se ei O|]eeis «a.ea .s | .a,a. si.ea| | y es·
ç:ess.||e .a .is |e.a, aac .is |e.a,·saea ( 1 62) . 1aas. iae s. ,a.ieai.ea
ei iae «e:|c as ae:.zea . s e|ea:| y esç| .eaiec. . . e. . as iae . aia.ie|y eçea
ee¬mea ç|aee ie: eve:yia.a, «e eaa eaeeaaie: . a i:eai ei aac ie:
H
� In the same sense, cf. al l �he subtle analyses in the LI devoted to expressions
" lack[ing] an objective sense, " such as personal pronouns which " indicate" mediatel y
bl lt can never gi ve anythi ng to be seen. "The word T has not i tself di rectl y the power to
arouse the specifc I -presentation; thi s becomes fxed i n the actual pi ece of tal k. I t does
not work like the word ' l ion' which can arouse the idea of a l ion i n and by i tself. I n i ts
case, rather, an i ndicati ve function mediates, cryi ng as it were, to the hearer ' Your
vis-a-vis i ntends himself' " (I, 1 , § 26, p. 3 1 6) .
83
Introduction to the Origin of Geometr
ea:se| ves . i a i:eai ei aac ie: ea:se|ves .mç|.es. iaea. ,. vea as aa e|·
]eei . 1ae «e:|c. iae:eie:e . . s esseai.a||y ceie:m.aec |y iae cai.ve aac
ae:.zeaiæ c. meas. ea ei |e.a, çe:ee.vec [l' etre-perqu] .a a ,aze «aese
e|]eei masi a|«ays |e a||e ie |e a theorem. Ceemei:.ea| esemç|a:.aess
aacea|iec|y :esa|is i:em iae iaei iaai. as aa a|si:aei maie:.a| se. ·
eaee . ia. s esemç|a:.aess i:eais iae sçai.a| .iy ei |ec. es ,«a.ea . s ea| y
eae ei iae |ecy s e.cei.e eemçeaeais, . . . e . i:eais «aai eeaie:s sease
ea iae aei.ea ei ae:.zea aac e|]eei. Desç.ie a|| iae aaia,ea.si.e mei.is
«a.ea aa.maie çaeaemeae|e,y. sçaee s ç:. v. |e,e iae:e.a .s .a ee:ia.a
:esçeeis :ema:|a||e. ii iesi.ies ie iaai e|]eei.v.si ieaceaey «a.ea
uasse:| s.ma|iaaeeas| y eççeses se v. ,e:eas| y. aac yei «a.ea . s ea|y a
period, aa esseai.a| . aac iae:eie:e .::ecae.|| e. mevemeai ei iaea,ai.
1ae ç:eieaac :ayiam ei ia. s ieas.ea |ei«eea e|]eei.v.sm aac iae
i:aaseeaceaia| mei.i. a ieas.ea se :ema:|a|| y cese:.|ec .a iae Crisis, .s
a| se . mça:iec ie çaeaemeae|e,y. ia ia.s :esçeei. iae ç:e||em ei
,eemei:y . s :evea|.a,.
Ceemei:y. .a eaeei. .s iae se.eaee ei «aai . s a|se|aie|y e|]eei.ve-
. e. . sçai.a|.iy-.a iae e|]eeis iaai iae Ða:ia. our eemmea ç|aee. eaa
. aceaa.ie|, iao. sa as ea: eemmea ,:eaac «.ia eiae: mea
,
· uai .i aa
e|]eei.ve se.eaee ei ea:ia| , ia.a,s .s çess.||e. aa e|]eei.ve se.eaee ei
iae ta:ia .ise|i. iae ,:eaac aac ieaacai.ea ei iaese e|]eeis . .s as :ac. ·
ea| | y .¬çess.||e as iaai ei i:aaseeaceaia| sa|]eei.v.iy. 1ae i:aas·
eeaceaia| Ða:ia . s aei aa e|]eei aac eaa aeve: |eeeme eae ~ac
iae çess.|.|.iy ei a ,ee¬ei:y si:.ei|y ee¬ç|e¬eais iae .mçess.|.|.iy ei
«aai eea|c |e ea||ec a "geo-logy, " iae e|]eei.ve se.eaee ei iae Ða:ia
.ise|i 1a.s .s iae sease ei iae i:a,meai¯ «a.ea reduces, :aiae: iaaa
Hf
On the theme of "our Earth" as the "l ife-world" "i n the most comprehensive
sense" for a humanity which lives i n community and where one can be "understood" in a
communication whi ch must always say and pass through the thi ngs of our Earth , cf. E,
§38, pp. 1 62-67. Thi s section efecti vely i l l uminates, especially by its degree of elabora­
tion, the si mi l arly i nspired fragment on the Earth cited below. In thi s section, the uni ty of
the Earth i s grounded in the unity and oneness of temporal ity, the " fundamental form"
(Grundform), the "form of all forms" [ibid. , p. 1 6] .
Hi
Thi s fragment , whi ch i s entitled "Grundlegende Untersuchungen zum
Phanomenologischen Ursprung der Rauml i chkeit der Natur" [ "Fundamental Investiga­
tions on the Phenomenological Origin of the Spatiality of Nature"] , dated May 1 934, was
publi shed i n 1 940 by Marvi n Farber in Philosophical Essays in Memor of Edmund
Husserl [rpt . Greenwood Press, 1 968] , pp. 307-25 . From the perspective of the science of
space, i t sketches a movement analogous to that of the Origin, but di rected toward
ki nematics . In a certain sense , it completes the Origin, although in the Origin Husserl
clearly specifi es that geometry is onl y a title for all mathematics of pure
spatiotemporali ty.
Thi s text, very spontaneous and not greatly worked out i n its wri ti ng, is presented as a
82
Jacques Derrida
çess.|.|.iy ie: eemmaa.eai.ea. . i . s a |.ac ei .aaeeess.||e . ai:a·. cea| .
Caa «e aei say. iaea. ]asi iae eççes.ie ei «aai uasse:| sa.c: ~:e aei
aea·eemmaa.eai.ea aac m.saace:siaac.a, iae ve:y ae:.zea ei ea|ia:e
aac |aa,aa,e: uacea|iec|y m.saace:siaac.a, .s a|«ays a iaeiaa| ae:.·
zea aac iae ia.ie .aces ei iae .aia.ie çe|e ei a seaac .aie||.,eaee. nai
a|iaea,a iae |aiie: . s a|«ays aaaeaaeec se iaai |aa,aa,e eaa |e,.a. .s
aei ia.iace iae esseai.a| «a.ea «e eaa aeve: :ac.ea||y ,e |eyeac:
1ae a|eve seems a|| iae me:e i:ae. esçee. a||y s.aee a|se|aie
i:aas|aia|.|.iy «ea|c |e sasçeacec sia:i.a, iae memeai iae s.,a.iec
eea|c ae |ea,e: |e |ec |ae|. e. iae: c.:eei|y e: .ac.:eei| y. :e iae mece| ei
aa e|]eei.ve aac seas.||e es. sieai. Ðve:y | .a,a.si.e c±eas.ea iaai
«ea|c eseaçe ia. s a|se|aie i:aas|aia|.|.iy «ea|c :ema.a ma:|ec |y iae
emç.:.ea| sa|]eei.v.iy ei aa . ac.v.caa| e: see.eiy. re: uasse:| . iae
mece| ei |aa,aa,e .s iae e|]eei.ve |aa,aa,e ei se.eaee. ~ çeei.e |aa·
,aa,e. «aese s.,a.ieai.eas «ea|c aei |e objects, «. || aeve: aave aay
i:aaseeaceaia| va| ae ie: a. m 1aai iaei «ea|c aave ae eease¡aeaee
within uasse:| .aa iaea,ai. .i a.s iaea,ai «e:e aei a| se iae iae:ea,a
. avesi.,ai.ea [approfondissement ] ei sa|]eei.v.iy. Ne« sa|]eei.v. iy .a
,eae:a| . as maea emç.:.ea| as i:aaseeaceaia| . aççea:ec ve:y ea:| y ie
uasse:| as . aaeeess.||e ie a c.:eei. aa.veea| . aac :.,e:eas |aa,aa,e.
sa|]eei.v.iy .s iaaca¬eaia||y . aeaa||e ~|:eacy .a The Phenomenology
of Interal Time-Consciousness, uasse:| :eie::ec ie iae a| i.maie .ceai.iy
ei iae eeasi.iai.ve ras ei . mmaaeai i. me aac a|se|aie sa|]eei.v.iy aac
eeae|acec re: a|| ia. s. aames a:e |ae|.a, ( §36, ç. 100).85 ~ac . a iae
aaça||.saec ¬aaase:.çis ei C:eaç C ea ç:eieiemçe:a| .iy. ae «eace:s
.i ç:e·e|]eei.ve ie¬çe:a| .iy. ç:eiemçe:a|.iy (Vorzeit) , .s aei |eyeac a||
c.seea:se (unsagbar) ie: iae çaeaemeae|e,.z.a, Ð,e ,Hs C 1 31 1 5 i i .
i º·1. ç 9). 1ae:eie:e . |aa,aa,e. i:ac.i.ea. aac a. sie:y es.si ea|y .a·
seia: as e|]eeis |:ea| iae sa:iaee
3 . ~s iae .aia.ie ae:.zea ei eve:y çess.||e esçe:.eaee. iae «e:|c .s
eease¡aeai|y iae aa.ve:se ei O|]eeis «a.ea .s | .a,a. si.ea| | y es·
ç:ess.||e .a .is |e.a, aac .is |e.a,·saea ( 1 62) . 1aas. iae s. ,a.ieai.ea
ei iae «e:|c as ae:.zea . s e|ea:| y esç| .eaiec. . . e. . as iae . aia.ie|y eçea
ee¬mea ç|aee ie: eve:yia.a, «e eaa eaeeaaie: . a i:eai ei aac ie:
H
� In the same sense, cf. al l �he subtle analyses in the LI devoted to expressions
" lack[ing] an objective sense, " such as personal pronouns which " indicate" mediatel y
bl lt can never gi ve anythi ng to be seen. "The word T has not i tself di rectl y the power to
arouse the specifc I -presentation; thi s becomes fxed i n the actual pi ece of tal k. I t does
not work like the word ' l ion' which can arouse the idea of a l ion i n and by i tself. I n i ts
case, rather, an i ndicati ve function mediates, cryi ng as it were, to the hearer ' Your
vis-a-vis i ntends himself' " (I, 1 , § 26, p. 3 1 6) .
83
Introduction to the Origin of Geometr
ea:se| ves . i a i:eai ei aac ie: ea:se|ves .mç|.es. iaea. ,. vea as aa e|·
]eei . 1ae «e:|c. iae:eie:e . . s esseai.a||y ceie:m.aec |y iae cai.ve aac
ae:.zeaiæ c. meas. ea ei |e.a, çe:ee.vec [l' etre-perqu] .a a ,aze «aese
e|]eei masi a|«ays |e a||e ie |e a theorem. Ceemei:.ea| esemç|a:.aess
aacea|iec|y :esa|is i:em iae iaei iaai. as aa a|si:aei maie:.a| se. ·
eaee . ia. s esemç|a:.aess i:eais iae sçai.a| .iy ei |ec. es ,«a.ea . s ea| y
eae ei iae |ecy s e.cei.e eemçeaeais, . . . e . i:eais «aai eeaie:s sease
ea iae aei.ea ei ae:.zea aac e|]eei. Desç.ie a|| iae aaia,ea.si.e mei.is
«a.ea aa.maie çaeaemeae|e,y. sçaee s ç:. v. |e,e iae:e.a .s .a ee:ia.a
:esçeeis :ema:|a||e. ii iesi.ies ie iaai e|]eei.v.si ieaceaey «a.ea
uasse:| s.ma|iaaeeas| y eççeses se v. ,e:eas| y. aac yei «a.ea . s ea|y a
period, aa esseai.a| . aac iae:eie:e .::ecae.|| e. mevemeai ei iaea,ai.
1ae ç:eieaac :ayiam ei ia. s ieas.ea |ei«eea e|]eei.v.sm aac iae
i:aaseeaceaia| mei.i. a ieas.ea se :ema:|a|| y cese:.|ec .a iae Crisis, .s
a| se . mça:iec ie çaeaemeae|e,y. ia ia.s :esçeei. iae ç:e||em ei
,eemei:y . s :evea|.a,.
Ceemei:y. .a eaeei. .s iae se.eaee ei «aai . s a|se|aie|y e|]eei.ve-
. e. . sçai.a|.iy-.a iae e|]eeis iaai iae Ða:ia. our eemmea ç|aee. eaa
. aceaa.ie|, iao. sa as ea: eemmea ,:eaac «.ia eiae: mea
,
· uai .i aa
e|]eei.ve se.eaee ei ea:ia| , ia.a,s .s çess.||e. aa e|]eei.ve se.eaee ei
iae ta:ia .ise|i. iae ,:eaac aac ieaacai.ea ei iaese e|]eeis . .s as :ac. ·
ea| | y .¬çess.||e as iaai ei i:aaseeaceaia| sa|]eei.v.iy. 1ae i:aas·
eeaceaia| Ða:ia . s aei aa e|]eei aac eaa aeve: |eeeme eae ~ac
iae çess.|.|.iy ei a ,ee¬ei:y si:.ei|y ee¬ç|e¬eais iae .mçess.|.|.iy ei
«aai eea|c |e ea||ec a "geo-logy, " iae e|]eei.ve se.eaee ei iae Ða:ia
.ise|i 1a.s .s iae sease ei iae i:a,meai¯ «a.ea reduces, :aiae: iaaa
Hf
On the theme of "our Earth" as the "l ife-world" "i n the most comprehensive
sense" for a humanity which lives i n community and where one can be "understood" in a
communication whi ch must always say and pass through the thi ngs of our Earth , cf. E,
§38, pp. 1 62-67. Thi s section efecti vely i l l uminates, especially by its degree of elabora­
tion, the si mi l arly i nspired fragment on the Earth cited below. In thi s section, the uni ty of
the Earth i s grounded in the unity and oneness of temporal ity, the " fundamental form"
(Grundform), the "form of all forms" [ibid. , p. 1 6] .
Hi
Thi s fragment , whi ch i s entitled "Grundlegende Untersuchungen zum
Phanomenologischen Ursprung der Rauml i chkeit der Natur" [ "Fundamental Investiga­
tions on the Phenomenological Origin of the Spatiality of Nature"] , dated May 1 934, was
publi shed i n 1 940 by Marvi n Farber in Philosophical Essays in Memor of Edmund
Husserl [rpt . Greenwood Press, 1 968] , pp. 307-25 . From the perspective of the science of
space, i t sketches a movement analogous to that of the Origin, but di rected toward
ki nematics . In a certain sense , it completes the Origin, although in the Origin Husserl
clearly specifi es that geometry is onl y a title for all mathematics of pure
spatiotemporali ty.
Thi s text, very spontaneous and not greatly worked out i n its wri ti ng, is presented as a
84
Jacques Derri
preface to a "science ofthe origin of spatiality, " of "corporeality, " of "Nature in the
sense of the natural sciences, " and to a "Transcendental Theor of Cognition in the
Natural Sciences" [po 307] . Husserl first wonders about the sense of the world in the
infnite openness of my surrounding world whose frontiers I can always go beyond. Over
against a determined objectivation [representation] of the world, that of the "Negroes"
or ' ' Greeks, " he sets that of the Coperican world. "We Copericans, we men of moder
time, we say: the earth is not ' the whole of Nature, ' it is one of the planets, in the infnite
space of the world. The earth is a spherical body which certainly is not perceptible as a
whol e, by a single person and all at once, but in a primordial [rimordiale] synthesis as
the unity of singular experiences bound to each other. But nonetheless it is a body!
Although for us it may be the experiential ground for all bodies i n the experiential genesis
of our world-objectivation" (p. 308).
H usserl then " reduces" the Coperican thesis by making the certainty of an Earh-as
the origin of every objective kinetic determination-appear as the transcendental presup­
position of this thesis. The question is to exhume, to unearth, the Earh, to lay bare the
primordial ground buried under the sedimentary deposits of scientifc culture and
objectivism.
For the Earth cannot become a mobile body: "It is on the Earth, toward the Earh,
starting from it, but still on it that motion ocurs. The Earth itself, in confority to the
original idea of it, does not move, nor is it at rest; it is in relation to the Earh that motion
and rest fi rst have sense. But then the Eath does not 'move' nor is at rest-and it is
entirely the same for the heavenly bodies and for the earth as one of them" (p. 309) .
The Earth is the fnal ground of our co-humanity (Mitmenscheit), for it is "the same
Earth for us, on it, in it, above it, there are the same bodies existing on it-'on it, ' etc. ,
the same corporeal (leiblichen) SUbjects, subjects of bodies (Leibern), who, for all, are
bodies (Korper) in a modified sense. But for us all , the Earth is the grund and not a body
in the full sense" (p. 3 1 5) .
But toward the end of the text, the Earth takes on a more formal sense. No longer is it a
question of thi s Earth here (the primordial here whose factuality would fnally b irreduc­
ible), but of a here and a ground in general for the deterination of body-objects in
general. For if I reached another planet by flying, and if, Husserl then said, I could
perceive the earth as a body, I would have "two Earths as ground-bodi es. " "But what
does two Earths signify? Two pieces of a single Earth with one humanity" (pp. 3 1 7-1 8) .
From then on the unity of all humanity determines the unity of the grund as such. This
unity of all humanity is correlative to the unity of the world as the infnite horizon of
experience, and not to the unity of this earth here. The World, which is not the factuality
of this historical world here, as Husserl ofen recalls, is the ground of gounds, the
horizon of horizons, and it is to the World that the transcendental immutability attributed
to the Earth returs, since the Earth then is only its factual index. Likewise
correlatively-humanity would then only be the facto-anthropological index of sub­
jectivity and of intersubjectivity in general , starting fom which every primordial here can
appear on the foundation of the Living Present, the rest and absolute maintenance of the
origin in which, by which, and for which all temporality and all motion appea.
Just as here he reduces the Copernican "relativity" of the earth, Husserl elsewhere
reduces Einstein's "relativity": "Where is that huge piece of method subjeted to
critique and clarification-that method that leads from the intuitively given surrunding
world to the idealization of mathematics and to the interpretation of these idealizations as
Objective being? Einstein's revolutionay innovations concer the foulae thrugh
which the idealized and naively Objectified physis is dealt with. But how formulae in
general , how mathematical Objectivation in general, receive sense on the substrtum of
85
Introuctin to the Origin of Geometry
"refutes, "11 the Copernican naivete and shows that the Earth in its
protoprimordiality does not move. Just as one' s own body, as the
primordial here and zero-point for every objective determination of
space and spatial motion, i s not itself in motion in this space as an
object, so-analogously-the Earth, as primordial body, as the ground­
body (Bodenkorper) from which alone a Coperican determina­
tion of the earth as body-object becomes possibl e, i s not itself one body
among others in the mechanical system. Primordially, the Earth moves
no more than our body moves and leaves the permanence of its here,
grounded in a present. The Earth therefore knows the rest of an abso­
lute here; a rest which is not the rest of the object (rest as " mode of
motion ") , but Rest starting from which motion and rest can appear and
be thought as such, the Rest of a ground and a horzon in their common
origin and end. The Earth i s, i n efect, both short of and beyond
every body-object-in particular the Copernican earth-as the ground,
as the here of its relative appearing. But the Earth exceeds every
body-object as its infnite horizon, for it is never exhausted by the work
of objectifcation that proceeds within it: " The Earth is a Whole whose
parts . . . are bodies, but as a ' Whole' it is not a body"
[ "Grundlegende , " p. 3 1 3] . There i s then a science of space, insofar as
its starting point is not in space.
If the possibility of language i s already given to the primally i nstitut­
ing geometer, it sufces that the latter has produced in himself the
identity and the ideal permanence of an object in order to be able to
communicate it . Before the " same" is recognized and communicated
among several individual s, it is recognized and communicated within
the i ndivi dual consciousness: after quick and transitory evidence, after
a fni te and passive retention vanishes, its sense can b re-produced as
the " same" in the act of recollection� its sense has not returned to
life and the intuitively given surrounding world-of this we lear nothing; and thus
Einstein does not reform the space and time i n wh ich our vi tal life (unser lebendiges
Leben) runs its course" ("Philosophy and the Crisis of European Humanity," in C, p.
295 [modified]) . In the Crisis (§34b, pp. 1 25f. ), a similarly oriented analysis also ques­
tions the objectivism of Einstein' s relativity.
88
In referring to this fragent, Tr�m-Dlc-Thao (Phenomenologie, p. 222) speaks of an
"undaunted refutation of the Coperican system. " However, it is a matter of course that
Husserl does not at any moment or on its own proper level contest the particular truth of
the objective Copernican science. He only recalls that Copernican science presupposes a
primordial Earth which this science will never be able to integrte into its objective
system.
84
Jacques Derri
preface to a "science ofthe origin of spatiality, " of "corporeality, " of "Nature in the
sense of the natural sciences, " and to a "Transcendental Theor of Cognition in the
Natural Sciences" [po 307] . Husserl first wonders about the sense of the world in the
infnite openness of my surrounding world whose frontiers I can always go beyond. Over
against a determined objectivation [representation] of the world, that of the "Negroes"
or ' ' Greeks, " he sets that of the Coperican world. "We Copericans, we men of moder
time, we say: the earth is not ' the whole of Nature, ' it is one of the planets, in the infnite
space of the world. The earth is a spherical body which certainly is not perceptible as a
whol e, by a single person and all at once, but in a primordial [rimordiale] synthesis as
the unity of singular experiences bound to each other. But nonetheless it is a body!
Although for us it may be the experiential ground for all bodies i n the experiential genesis
of our world-objectivation" (p. 308).
H usserl then " reduces" the Coperican thesis by making the certainty of an Earh-as
the origin of every objective kinetic determination-appear as the transcendental presup­
position of this thesis. The question is to exhume, to unearth, the Earh, to lay bare the
primordial ground buried under the sedimentary deposits of scientifc culture and
objectivism.
For the Earth cannot become a mobile body: "It is on the Earth, toward the Earh,
starting from it, but still on it that motion ocurs. The Earth itself, in confority to the
original idea of it, does not move, nor is it at rest; it is in relation to the Earh that motion
and rest fi rst have sense. But then the Eath does not 'move' nor is at rest-and it is
entirely the same for the heavenly bodies and for the earth as one of them" (p. 309) .
The Earth is the fnal ground of our co-humanity (Mitmenscheit), for it is "the same
Earth for us, on it, in it, above it, there are the same bodies existing on it-'on it, ' etc. ,
the same corporeal (leiblichen) SUbjects, subjects of bodies (Leibern), who, for all, are
bodies (Korper) in a modified sense. But for us all , the Earth is the grund and not a body
in the full sense" (p. 3 1 5) .
But toward the end of the text, the Earth takes on a more formal sense. No longer is it a
question of thi s Earth here (the primordial here whose factuality would fnally b irreduc­
ible), but of a here and a ground in general for the deterination of body-objects in
general. For if I reached another planet by flying, and if, Husserl then said, I could
perceive the earth as a body, I would have "two Earths as ground-bodi es. " "But what
does two Earths signify? Two pieces of a single Earth with one humanity" (pp. 3 1 7-1 8) .
From then on the unity of all humanity determines the unity of the grund as such. This
unity of all humanity is correlative to the unity of the world as the infnite horizon of
experience, and not to the unity of this earth here. The World, which is not the factuality
of this historical world here, as Husserl ofen recalls, is the ground of gounds, the
horizon of horizons, and it is to the World that the transcendental immutability attributed
to the Earth returs, since the Earth then is only its factual index. Likewise
correlatively-humanity would then only be the facto-anthropological index of sub­
jectivity and of intersubjectivity in general , starting fom which every primordial here can
appear on the foundation of the Living Present, the rest and absolute maintenance of the
origin in which, by which, and for which all temporality and all motion appea.
Just as here he reduces the Copernican "relativity" of the earth, Husserl elsewhere
reduces Einstein's "relativity": "Where is that huge piece of method subjeted to
critique and clarification-that method that leads from the intuitively given surrunding
world to the idealization of mathematics and to the interpretation of these idealizations as
Objective being? Einstein's revolutionay innovations concer the foulae thrugh
which the idealized and naively Objectified physis is dealt with. But how formulae in
general , how mathematical Objectivation in general, receive sense on the substrtum of
85
Introuctin to the Origin of Geometry
"refutes, "11 the Copernican naivete and shows that the Earth in its
protoprimordiality does not move. Just as one' s own body, as the
primordial here and zero-point for every objective determination of
space and spatial motion, i s not itself in motion in this space as an
object, so-analogously-the Earth, as primordial body, as the ground­
body (Bodenkorper) from which alone a Coperican determina­
tion of the earth as body-object becomes possibl e, i s not itself one body
among others in the mechanical system. Primordially, the Earth moves
no more than our body moves and leaves the permanence of its here,
grounded in a present. The Earth therefore knows the rest of an abso­
lute here; a rest which is not the rest of the object (rest as " mode of
motion ") , but Rest starting from which motion and rest can appear and
be thought as such, the Rest of a ground and a horzon in their common
origin and end. The Earth i s, i n efect, both short of and beyond
every body-object-in particular the Copernican earth-as the ground,
as the here of its relative appearing. But the Earth exceeds every
body-object as its infnite horizon, for it is never exhausted by the work
of objectifcation that proceeds within it: " The Earth is a Whole whose
parts . . . are bodies, but as a ' Whole' it is not a body"
[ "Grundlegende , " p. 3 1 3] . There i s then a science of space, insofar as
its starting point is not in space.
If the possibility of language i s already given to the primally i nstitut­
ing geometer, it sufces that the latter has produced in himself the
identity and the ideal permanence of an object in order to be able to
communicate it . Before the " same" is recognized and communicated
among several individual s, it is recognized and communicated within
the i ndivi dual consciousness: after quick and transitory evidence, after
a fni te and passive retention vanishes, its sense can b re-produced as
the " same" in the act of recollection� its sense has not returned to
life and the intuitively given surrounding world-of this we lear nothing; and thus
Einstein does not reform the space and time i n wh ich our vi tal life (unser lebendiges
Leben) runs its course" ("Philosophy and the Crisis of European Humanity," in C, p.
295 [modified]) . In the Crisis (§34b, pp. 1 25f. ), a similarly oriented analysis also ques­
tions the objectivism of Einstein' s relativity.
88
In referring to this fragent, Tr�m-Dlc-Thao (Phenomenologie, p. 222) speaks of an
"undaunted refutation of the Coperican system. " However, it is a matter of course that
Husserl does not at any moment or on its own proper level contest the particular truth of
the objective Copernican science. He only recalls that Copernican science presupposes a
primordial Earth which this science will never be able to integrte into its objective
system.
I '
; !
86
Jacques Derrida
ae| a. a,aess XH |a ta. s coincidence of identity [recouvrement d' identitf] ,
ideality . s aaaeaaeec as saea aac .a ,eae:a| .a aa e,e|e,.ea| sa|]eet
Cease¡aeat| y. «aat ¬ases ta. s . cea| .ty a geometrical .cea|.ty «. || ea|y
.ate:est as |ate: ea we «.|| :esçeet uasse:| s e:ce: ei cese:.çt.ea aac
. a tae ¬eaat.¬e «.|| ce| ae tae eeac.|.eas ie: .cea|.ty . a aa . ate:sa|]ee·
t. »e ee¬¬aa.ty
1aas. |eie:e |e. a, tae .cea| .ty ei aa .ceat.ea| e|]eet ie: etae: sa|·
]eets. sease . s ta. s . cea|.ty ie: other ¬e¬eats ei tae sa¬e sa|]eet ia a
ee:ta.a «ay. tae:eie:e. . ate:sa|]eet. ». ty .s i:s| tae aeae¬ç. :. ea| :e|a·
t.ea ei Ð,e |e Ð,e. ei ¬y ç:eseat ç:eseat te etae: ç:eseats as saea . . e .
as etae:s aac as ç:eseats .as ças| ç:eseats· | ate:sa|]eet. ».|y .s |ae
:e|at.ea ei aa a|se|ate e:.,.a te etae: a|se|ate e:. ,. as. «a.ea a:e a|«ays
¬y e«a. cesç.te tae.: :ac.ea| a|te:.ty 1aaass te ta. s e. :ea|at.ea ei
ç:.¬e:c.a| a|se|a|es. tae same ta.a, eaa |e taea,at ta:ea,a a|se|ate|y
etae: ¬e¬eats aac aets we a|«ays ee¬e |aes te tae iaa| .astaaee ei
|a. s. tae aa.¡ae aac esseat.a| ie:¬ ei |e¬çe:a|.zat.ea ny . ts »e:y
c.a|eet.ea|aess. tae a|se|ate ç:.¬e:c.a|.ty ei tae i. ».a, r:eseat çe:¬.ts
tae :ecaet. ea. «.taeat ae,at.ea. ei a|| a|te:.ty 1ae i. ».a, r:eseat eea·
st.tates tae etae: as etae: . a .tse|i aac tae sa¬e as tae sa¬e . a tae
etae:

9
0
��I These processes are abundantly described in The Phenomenology of Internal Time­
Consciousness, Ideas I, and in FTL. The passage from passi ve retention to memory or to
the acti vi ty of recollection, a passage which ' ' produces" ideality and pure Objectivity as
such and makes other absolute origins appear as such, i s always described by Husserl as
an already given essential possibility, as a structural abi l i ty whose source i s not made a
problem. Perhaps thi s source is not questioned by phenomenology because it is confused
wi th the possibility of phenomenology i tself. I n i ts "factual ity, " thi s passage i s also that
of the lower forms of Nature and conscious life. I t can also be the thematic site of what
today is cal led an "overcomi ng. " Here phenomenology would be "overcome" or com­
pleted i n an interpretative philosophy. Thus Tran-Duc-Thiw, after a remarkable interpre­
tation of phenomenology, exposes the " Dialectic of Real Movement, " starting from the
concepts of retention and reproduction and from difculties attached to them in
phenomenology, which alone. however, can give them a rigorous sense.
90 The possibility of constituting, withi n the unique and irreduci bl e form of the Li ving
Present (unchangeable in itself and always other i n its ' ' content") , another now and on its
basi s another here, another absolute origin of my absol utel y absolute origin, this possibil­
ity i s el sewhere presented by Husserl as the root of i ntersubjecti vi ty. I n the Cartesian
Meditations, this di alectic of temporalization is i nvoked as an analogous example of the
dialectic of i ntersubjecti vity. In order to illuminate the extraordinary constitution of
"another monad . . . in mi ne , " Husserl al ludes to temporalization, i n what he cal l s an
"i nstructi ve comparison" C§52, p. 1 1 5) .
But i n some unpubli shed material , he seems to go much further: "Urhyl e, " i . e . ,
temporal hyl e, i s defned there as the " core of the other than the Ego' s own" (Ichfremde
Kern) . Cf. Group C 6 ( August 1 930) , p. 6. On the sense of this notion of "alien to my
87
Introduction to the Origin of Geometry
VII
A cee.s. »e steç :e¬a. as te |e tasea ny . tse|i tae sçeas.a, sa|]eet. .a
tae st:.et sease ei tae te:¬. . s . aeaça||e ei a|se|ate|y ,:eaac.a, |ae
.cea| O|]eet. ».ty ei sease O:a| ee¬¬aa.eat.ea , . e . ç:eseat . . ¬·
¬ec.ate. aac sya.a:ea.e ee¬¬aa.eat.ea· a¬ea, tae ç:ete,ee¬ete:s . s
aet same.eat t e ,. »e .cea| e|]eet.». t. es tae.: eeat.aa. a, t e |e aac
"persisting factual existence, " taaass te «a.ea taey çe:ca:e e»ea ca:·
.a, çe:.ecs .a «a.ea tae . a»eate: aac a.s ie||e«s a:e ae |ea,e: a«ase te
saea aa eseaaa,e e: e»ea. ¬e:e aa.»e:sa||y. ae |ea,e: a|.»e 1e |e
a|se|ate|y .cea|. tae e|]eet ¬ast st.|| |e i:eec ei ever t.e «.ta aa
aetaa||y ç:eseat sa|]eet. ».ty .a ,eae:a| 1ae:eie:e. .t ¬ast çe:ca:e
e»ea «aea ae eae aas aetaa|. zec .| .a e».ceaee ( 1 64 ¸¬ec.iec}·
sçeeea [langage oral] aas i:eec tae e|]eet ei individual sa|]eet. ».ty |at
|ea»es .t |eaac te . ts |e,.aa.a, aac te tae syaea:eay ei aa eseaaa,e
«.ta.a tae institutive communit.
1ae çess.|. |. ty ei writing «.|| assa:e tae a|se|ate t:ac. t. eaa| .zat. ea ei
tae e|]ee| . .ts a|se|ate .cea| O|]eet. ».ty~. e . tae ça:.ty ei . ts :e|at.ea
te a aa.»e:sa| t:aaseeaceata| sa|]eet. ».ty w:.t.a, «.|| ce ta. s |y e¬aa·
e.çat. a, sease i:e¬ .ts actually present e».ceaee ie: a :ea| sa|]eet aac
i:e¬ . ts ç:eseat e.:ea|at.ea «.ta.a a cete:¬. aec ee¬¬aa. ty 1ae ce·
e.s. »e iaaet. ea ei «:.ttea esç:ess. ea. ei esç:ess.ea «a.ea ceea¬eats. .s
taat .t ¬ases ee¬¬aa.eat.ea çess.||e «. taeat . ¬¬ec.ate e: ¬ec.ate
acc:ess. .t . s. se te sçeas. ee¬¬aa. eat.ea |eee¬e ».:taa| ( 1 64
¸¬ec. iec} ·
1aat virtuality, me:ee»e:. .s aa a¬|.,aeas »a|ae. .t s. ¬a|taaeeas|y
¬ases çass. ».ty. ie:,etia|aess . aac a| | tae çaeae¬eaa ei crisis çess.||e
ra: i:e¬ aa».a, te ia|| a,a.a .ate a :ea| reale] a.ste:y. a t:ata taat «e
aa»e ,a.aec i:e¬ ta. s a.ste:y-se:.çta:a| sçat.ete¬çe:a|.ty ,«aese
e..,. aa|.ty «e «.|| seea aeec te cete:¬.ae ·-saaet.eas aac ee¬ç|etes
tae es.steaee ei ça:e t:aaseeaceata| a. ste:.e. ty w.taeat tae a|t.¬ate
e|]eet. ieat.ea taat «:.t.a, çe:¬.ts . a|| |aa,aa,e «ea|c as yet :e¬a.a
Ego, " "the intrinsically frst other, " or of " the frst ' non-Ego' " i n t he constitution of the
alter ego, see notably CM, §§4S-49, pp. 1 05-0S.
Preobjecti ve and preexact temporali ty, which had to become the principal theme of the
transcendental aesthetics projected by Husserl (cf. notably FL, Concl usion, pp. 291 -92:
and CM, §6 1 , p. 1 46), i s then the root of transcendental intersubjecti vity. Al l the egos,
beyond al l possible diferences, can be encountered, recognized, and understood also in
the identity of the concrete and universal form of the Li vi ng Present. I n E, " tie as the
form of sensibility" i s described as the "ground" of the "necessary connection . . .
between the intentional objects of al l perceptions and positional presentifcations of an
Ego and a community of Egos" (§3S, p. 1 62 [modifed)) .
I '
; !
86
Jacques Derrida
ae| a. a,aess XH |a ta. s coincidence of identity [recouvrement d' identitf] ,
ideality . s aaaeaaeec as saea aac .a ,eae:a| .a aa e,e|e,.ea| sa|]eet
Cease¡aeat| y. «aat ¬ases ta. s . cea| .ty a geometrical .cea|.ty «. || ea|y
.ate:est as |ate: ea we «.|| :esçeet uasse:| s e:ce: ei cese:.çt.ea aac
. a tae ¬eaat.¬e «.|| ce| ae tae eeac.|.eas ie: .cea|.ty . a aa . ate:sa|]ee·
t. »e ee¬¬aa.ty
1aas. |eie:e |e. a, tae .cea| .ty ei aa .ceat.ea| e|]eet ie: etae: sa|·
]eets. sease . s ta. s . cea|.ty ie: other ¬e¬eats ei tae sa¬e sa|]eet ia a
ee:ta.a «ay. tae:eie:e. . ate:sa|]eet. ». ty .s i:s| tae aeae¬ç. :. ea| :e|a·
t.ea ei Ð,e |e Ð,e. ei ¬y ç:eseat ç:eseat te etae: ç:eseats as saea . . e .
as etae:s aac as ç:eseats .as ças| ç:eseats· | ate:sa|]eet. ».|y .s |ae
:e|at.ea ei aa a|se|ate e:.,.a te etae: a|se|ate e:. ,. as. «a.ea a:e a|«ays
¬y e«a. cesç.te tae.: :ac.ea| a|te:.ty 1aaass te ta. s e. :ea|at.ea ei
ç:.¬e:c.a| a|se|a|es. tae same ta.a, eaa |e taea,at ta:ea,a a|se|ate|y
etae: ¬e¬eats aac aets we a|«ays ee¬e |aes te tae iaa| .astaaee ei
|a. s. tae aa.¡ae aac esseat.a| ie:¬ ei |e¬çe:a|.zat.ea ny . ts »e:y
c.a|eet.ea|aess. tae a|se|ate ç:.¬e:c.a|.ty ei tae i. ».a, r:eseat çe:¬.ts
tae :ecaet. ea. «.taeat ae,at.ea. ei a|| a|te:.ty 1ae i. ».a, r:eseat eea·
st.tates tae etae: as etae: . a .tse|i aac tae sa¬e as tae sa¬e . a tae
etae:

9
0
��I These processes are abundantly described in The Phenomenology of Internal Time­
Consciousness, Ideas I, and in FTL. The passage from passi ve retention to memory or to
the acti vi ty of recollection, a passage which ' ' produces" ideality and pure Objectivity as
such and makes other absolute origins appear as such, i s always described by Husserl as
an already given essential possibility, as a structural abi l i ty whose source i s not made a
problem. Perhaps thi s source is not questioned by phenomenology because it is confused
wi th the possibility of phenomenology i tself. I n i ts "factual ity, " thi s passage i s also that
of the lower forms of Nature and conscious life. I t can also be the thematic site of what
today is cal led an "overcomi ng. " Here phenomenology would be "overcome" or com­
pleted i n an interpretative philosophy. Thus Tran-Duc-Thiw, after a remarkable interpre­
tation of phenomenology, exposes the " Dialectic of Real Movement, " starting from the
concepts of retention and reproduction and from difculties attached to them in
phenomenology, which alone. however, can give them a rigorous sense.
90 The possibility of constituting, withi n the unique and irreduci bl e form of the Li ving
Present (unchangeable in itself and always other i n its ' ' content") , another now and on its
basi s another here, another absolute origin of my absol utel y absolute origin, this possibil­
ity i s el sewhere presented by Husserl as the root of i ntersubjecti vi ty. I n the Cartesian
Meditations, this di alectic of temporalization is i nvoked as an analogous example of the
dialectic of i ntersubjecti vity. In order to illuminate the extraordinary constitution of
"another monad . . . in mi ne , " Husserl al ludes to temporalization, i n what he cal l s an
"i nstructi ve comparison" C§52, p. 1 1 5) .
But i n some unpubli shed material , he seems to go much further: "Urhyl e, " i . e . ,
temporal hyl e, i s defned there as the " core of the other than the Ego' s own" (Ichfremde
Kern) . Cf. Group C 6 ( August 1 930) , p. 6. On the sense of this notion of "alien to my
87
Introduction to the Origin of Geometry
VII
A cee.s. »e steç :e¬a. as te |e tasea ny . tse|i tae sçeas.a, sa|]eet. .a
tae st:.et sease ei tae te:¬. . s . aeaça||e ei a|se|ate|y ,:eaac.a, |ae
.cea| O|]eet. ».ty ei sease O:a| ee¬¬aa.eat.ea , . e . ç:eseat . . ¬·
¬ec.ate. aac sya.a:ea.e ee¬¬aa.eat.ea· a¬ea, tae ç:ete,ee¬ete:s . s
aet same.eat t e ,. »e .cea| e|]eet.». t. es tae.: eeat.aa. a, t e |e aac
"persisting factual existence, " taaass te «a.ea taey çe:ca:e e»ea ca:·
.a, çe:.ecs .a «a.ea tae . a»eate: aac a.s ie||e«s a:e ae |ea,e: a«ase te
saea aa eseaaa,e e: e»ea. ¬e:e aa.»e:sa||y. ae |ea,e: a|.»e 1e |e
a|se|ate|y .cea|. tae e|]eet ¬ast st.|| |e i:eec ei ever t.e «.ta aa
aetaa||y ç:eseat sa|]eet. ».ty .a ,eae:a| 1ae:eie:e. .t ¬ast çe:ca:e
e»ea «aea ae eae aas aetaa|. zec .| .a e».ceaee ( 1 64 ¸¬ec.iec}·
sçeeea [langage oral] aas i:eec tae e|]eet ei individual sa|]eet. ».ty |at
|ea»es .t |eaac te . ts |e,.aa.a, aac te tae syaea:eay ei aa eseaaa,e
«.ta.a tae institutive communit.
1ae çess.|. |. ty ei writing «.|| assa:e tae a|se|ate t:ac. t. eaa| .zat. ea ei
tae e|]ee| . .ts a|se|ate .cea| O|]eet. ».ty~. e . tae ça:.ty ei . ts :e|at.ea
te a aa.»e:sa| t:aaseeaceata| sa|]eet. ».ty w:.t.a, «.|| ce ta. s |y e¬aa·
e.çat. a, sease i:e¬ .ts actually present e».ceaee ie: a :ea| sa|]eet aac
i:e¬ . ts ç:eseat e.:ea|at.ea «.ta.a a cete:¬. aec ee¬¬aa. ty 1ae ce·
e.s. »e iaaet. ea ei «:.ttea esç:ess. ea. ei esç:ess.ea «a.ea ceea¬eats. .s
taat .t ¬ases ee¬¬aa.eat.ea çess.||e «. taeat . ¬¬ec.ate e: ¬ec.ate
acc:ess. .t . s. se te sçeas. ee¬¬aa. eat.ea |eee¬e ».:taa| ( 1 64
¸¬ec. iec} ·
1aat virtuality, me:ee»e:. .s aa a¬|.,aeas »a|ae. .t s. ¬a|taaeeas|y
¬ases çass. ».ty. ie:,etia|aess . aac a| | tae çaeae¬eaa ei crisis çess.||e
ra: i:e¬ aa».a, te ia|| a,a.a .ate a :ea| reale] a.ste:y. a t:ata taat «e
aa»e ,a.aec i:e¬ ta. s a.ste:y-se:.çta:a| sçat.ete¬çe:a|.ty ,«aese
e..,. aa|.ty «e «.|| seea aeec te cete:¬.ae ·-saaet.eas aac ee¬ç|etes
tae es.steaee ei ça:e t:aaseeaceata| a. ste:.e. ty w.taeat tae a|t.¬ate
e|]eet. ieat.ea taat «:.t.a, çe:¬.ts . a|| |aa,aa,e «ea|c as yet :e¬a.a
Ego, " "the intrinsically frst other, " or of " the frst ' non-Ego' " i n t he constitution of the
alter ego, see notably CM, §§4S-49, pp. 1 05-0S.
Preobjecti ve and preexact temporali ty, which had to become the principal theme of the
transcendental aesthetics projected by Husserl (cf. notably FL, Concl usion, pp. 291 -92:
and CM, §6 1 , p. 1 46), i s then the root of transcendental intersubjecti vity. Al l the egos,
beyond al l possible diferences, can be encountered, recognized, and understood also in
the identity of the concrete and universal form of the Li vi ng Present. I n E, " tie as the
form of sensibility" i s described as the "ground" of the "necessary connection . . .
between the intentional objects of al l perceptions and positional presentifcations of an
Ego and a community of Egos" (§3S, p. 1 62 [modifed)) .
88
Jacques Derrida
eaçi.ve ei iae ce iaeie aac aeiaa| . aieai.eaa|.iy ei a sçea|.a, sa|]eei e:
eemmaa.iy ei sçea|.a, sa|]eei s. ny a|se|aie|y v.:iaa|.z.a, c.a|e,ae,
«:.i.a, e:eaies a |. ac ei aaieaemeas i:aaseeaceaia| ie|c i:em «a.ea
eve:y ç:eseai sa|]eei eaa |e a|seai
i a eeaaeei.ea «.ia iae ,eae:a| s.,a.ieai.ea ei iae epoche, ¡eaa uyç·
çe |.ie .a ve|es iae çess.|.| .iy ei a sa|]eei|ess i:aaseeaceaia| ie|c,
eae . a «a.ea iae eeac.i.eas ei sa|]eei.v.iy «ea|c aççea: aac «ae:e
iae sa|]eei «ea|c |e eeasi.iaiec sia:i.a, i:em iae i:aaseeaceaia|
ie|c w:.i.a,, as iae ç|aee ei a|se|aie|y çe:maaeai .cea| e|]ee·
i. v.i.es aac iae:eie:e ei a|se|aie O|]eei.v. iy, ee:ia.a|y eeasi.iaies saea
a i:aaseeaceaia| ie| c. ~ac | .|e«.se, ie |e sa:e, i:aaseeaceaia| sa|·
]eei. v.iy eaa |e ia||y aaaeaaeec aac aççea: ea iae |as. s ei ia.s ie|c e:
. is çess.|. |.iy. 1aas a sa|]eei|ess i:aaseeaceaia| ie|c .s eae ei iae
eeac.i.eas ei i:aaseeaceaia| sa|]eei.v.iy
nai a|| ia. s eaa |e sa.c ea|y ea iae |as.s ei aa .aieai.eaa| aaa|ys. s
«a.ea :eia.as i:em «:. i.a, aeia.a, |ai «:.i.a, s ça:e :e|ai.ea ie a
eease.easaess «a.ea ,:eaacs .i as saea, aac aei . is iaeiaa|.iy «a.ea,
|eu ie . ise|i, .s ieia||y «.iaeai s.,a.ieai.ea [insignifante] . re: ia.s a|·
seaee ei sa|]eei. v.iy i:em iae i:aaseeaceaia| ie| c, aa a|seaee «aese
çess.|.|.iy i:ees a|se|aie O|]eei.v.iy, eaa |e ea|y a iaeiaa| a|seaee,
evea .i .i :emevec ie: a|| i.me iae ieia|.iy ei aeiaa| sa|]eeis. 1ae e:.,.·
aa|.iy ei iae ie|c ei «:.i.a, . s . is a|. | .iy ie c. sçease «.ia, due to its
sense, eve.y ç:eseai :eac. a, .a ,eae:a| . nai .i iae iesi cees aei aa·
aeaaee .is e«a ça:e ceçeaceaee ea a «:. ie: e: :eace: .a ,eae:a| ,. e ,
.i .i .s aei aaaaiec |y a v. :iaa| . aieai.eaa|.iy, , aac .i iae:e .s ae ça:e|y
]a:.c.ea| çess. |.|.iy ei .i |e.a, . aie| |.,.||e ie: a i:aaseeaceaia| sa|]e

i
.a ,eae:a| , iaea iae:e .s ae me:e .a iae vaea.iy ei .is sea| iaaa a eaaei.e
|.ie:a|aess e: iae seas.||e eçae.iy ei a ceiaaei ces.,aai.ea, a ces.,aai.ea
ceç:.vec ei .is i:aaseeaceaia| iaaei. ea. 1ae s.|eaee ei ç:ea.sie:.e a:eaaa
aac |a:.ec e.v. |.zai.eas, iae eaiem|meai ei |esi . aieai.eas aac ,aa:cec
see:eis, aac iae . | |e,.|.|.iy ei iae |aç.ca:y .ase:.çi.ea c.se|ese iae
i:aaseeaeeaia| sease ei ceaia as «aai aa.ies iaese ia.a,s ie iae a|se·
|aie ç:.v.|e,e ei . aieai.eaa|.iy . a iae ve:y . asiaaee ei .is esseai.a|
]a:.c.ea| ia.|a:e [en ce qui l' unit a l' absolu du droit intentionnel dans
l ' instance meme de son echecl .
waea eeas.ce:.a, iae ce ]a:e ça:.iy ei .aieai.eaa| aa. mai.ea, uas-
se:| a|«ays says iaai tae | .a,a.si.e e: ,:aça.e |ecy . s a resa, a ç:eçe:
|ecy ·¡e·/,. e: a sç. :.iaa| ee:çe:ea|.iy (geitige Leiblichkeit) (FTL, §2, ç.
21 ) . r:em iaea ea, «:. i.a, . s ae |ea,e: ea|y iae «e:|c|y aac
91 We refer here to a comment by Jean Hyppolite during the discussion which followed
the lecture of Fr. Van Breda on "La Reduction phenomimologique, " in H usserl, Cahiers
de Royaumont, p. 323.
89
Introductin to the Origin of Geometry
maemeieeaa.ea| a.c ie a i:aia «aese e«a |e. a,·sease «ea|c c.sçease
«.ia a|| «:.i.a,·ce«a 1ae çess.|.| .iy e: aeeess.iy ei |e.a, .aea:aaiec
. a a ,:aça.e s.,a .s ae | ea,e: s.mç|y esi:.as.e aac iaeiaa| .a eemça:.sea
«.ia .cea| O|]eei.v.iy. .i .s iae sine qua non eeac.i.ea ei O|]eei.v.iy s
.aie:aa| eemç|ei.ea ~s |ea, as .cea| O|]eei.v.iy . s aei , e: :aiae:, can
aei |e ea,:avec .a iae «e:|c-as |ea, as . cea| O|]eei.v.iy .s aei .a a
çes.i.ea ie |e ça:iy ie aa .aea:aai.ea ,«a.ea, .a iae ça:.iy ei . is sease .
.s me:e iaaa a sysiem ei s.,aa|s [signalisation] e: aa eaie: ,a:meai,-
iaea .cea| O|]eei.v.iy . s aei ia||y eeasi.iaiec 1ae:eie:e, iae aei ei
«:.i. a, .s iae a.,aesi çess.|.| .iy ei a| | "constitution, " a iaei a,a.asi
«a.ea iae i:aaseeaceaia| ceçia ei .cea| O|] eei.v.iy s a. sie:.e.iy .s
measa:ec.
waai r. a| «:.ies a|eai sçeeea .a a. s esee| |eai i:aase:.çi ei iae
Origin . s a fortiori i:ae ie: «:.i. a,. i a seas.||e em|ec.meai eeea:s
iae |eea|. zai.ea aac iae iemçe:a|.zai.ea (Temporalisation) ei «aai . s.
|y .is |e.a,·sease, aa|eeaiec aac aaiemçe:a| , D. e r:a,e, ç 2 1 0) .
saea a ie:ma|ai.ea :ema:|a||y saa:çeas iae ç:e|| em aac a«a|eas
iae çeea|.a: v.:iae ei |aa,aa,e . ii e|ea:|y i:aas|aies ua sse:| s esaei.a,
eae:i ie eaiea iae . cea| .iy ei iaemai.e sease aac ei «e:cs [mots] .a iae. :
:e|ai.eas «.ia iae | .a,a.si.e eveai nai cees aei ia. s ie:ma|ai.ea çe:·
92 This sensible embodiment has the peculiar qualities [l'errngete] of both sense' s
inhabitation of the word [mot] and the here and now use of the word' s ideality. In the first
case, embodiment is at its l i mit the inscription of an absolutely "free" and objective
ideality (that of geometrical truth, for example) within the ' 'bound" ideality of the word,
or i n general of a more free ideality within a less free ideality. In the second case,
embodiment is that of a necessarily bound ideality, that of the word' s identity within
language, in a real-sensible event. But this last embodiment is still done through another
step of mediate ideality whi(h Husserl does not directly describe, but which we think can
be located on the basi s of strictly Husserlian concepts. It is a question of ideal forms or
vague morphological types (a notion that we will have ocasion to specify farther on) ,
which are proper to the corporeality of graphic and vocal signs. The forms of graphic and
vocal signs must have a certain identity which is imposed and recognized each time in the
empirical fact of language. Without this always intended and approximate ideal identity
(that of letters and phonemes, for example), no sensible language would be possible or
intelligible as language, nor could it intend higher idealities. Naturally, this morphological
ideality is still more "bound" than the word' s ideality. The precise place of the properly
termed realizing [realisante] embodiment is ultimately therefore the union of the sensible
form with sensible material, a union traversed by the linguistic intention which always
intends, explicitly or not, the highest ideality. Linguistic incaration and the constitution
of written or scriptural space suppose, then, a closer and closer "interconnection" of ideality
and reality through a series of less and less ideal mediations and in the synthetic unity of an
intention
.
Thi s intentional synthesis is an unceasing movement of going and returing that
works to bind the ideality of sense and to free the reality of the sign. Each of the two opera­
tions is always haunted by the sense of the other: each operation is already announced in the
other or still retained i n it . Language frees the ideality of sense, then, in the very work of its
"binding" ("interconnecting" [enchainement] ).
88
Jacques Derrida
eaçi.ve ei iae ce iaeie aac aeiaa| . aieai.eaa|.iy ei a sçea|.a, sa|]eei e:
eemmaa.iy ei sçea|.a, sa|]eei s. ny a|se|aie|y v.:iaa|.z.a, c.a|e,ae,
«:.i.a, e:eaies a |. ac ei aaieaemeas i:aaseeaceaia| ie|c i:em «a.ea
eve:y ç:eseai sa|]eei eaa |e a|seai
i a eeaaeei.ea «.ia iae ,eae:a| s.,a.ieai.ea ei iae epoche, ¡eaa uyç·
çe |.ie .a ve|es iae çess.|.| .iy ei a sa|]eei|ess i:aaseeaceaia| ie|c,
eae . a «a.ea iae eeac.i.eas ei sa|]eei.v.iy «ea|c aççea: aac «ae:e
iae sa|]eei «ea|c |e eeasi.iaiec sia:i.a, i:em iae i:aaseeaceaia|
ie|c w:.i.a,, as iae ç|aee ei a|se|aie|y çe:maaeai .cea| e|]ee·
i. v.i.es aac iae:eie:e ei a|se|aie O|]eei.v. iy, ee:ia.a|y eeasi.iaies saea
a i:aaseeaceaia| ie| c. ~ac | .|e«.se, ie |e sa:e, i:aaseeaceaia| sa|·
]eei. v.iy eaa |e ia||y aaaeaaeec aac aççea: ea iae |as. s ei ia.s ie|c e:
. is çess.|. |.iy. 1aas a sa|]eei|ess i:aaseeaceaia| ie|c .s eae ei iae
eeac.i.eas ei i:aaseeaceaia| sa|]eei.v.iy
nai a|| ia. s eaa |e sa.c ea|y ea iae |as.s ei aa .aieai.eaa| aaa|ys. s
«a.ea :eia.as i:em «:. i.a, aeia.a, |ai «:.i.a, s ça:e :e|ai.ea ie a
eease.easaess «a.ea ,:eaacs .i as saea, aac aei . is iaeiaa|.iy «a.ea,
|eu ie . ise|i, .s ieia||y «.iaeai s.,a.ieai.ea [insignifante] . re: ia.s a|·
seaee ei sa|]eei. v.iy i:em iae i:aaseeaceaia| ie| c, aa a|seaee «aese
çess.|.|.iy i:ees a|se|aie O|]eei.v.iy, eaa |e ea|y a iaeiaa| a|seaee,
evea .i .i :emevec ie: a|| i.me iae ieia|.iy ei aeiaa| sa|]eeis. 1ae e:.,.·
aa|.iy ei iae ie|c ei «:.i.a, . s . is a|. | .iy ie c. sçease «.ia, due to its
sense, eve.y ç:eseai :eac. a, .a ,eae:a| . nai .i iae iesi cees aei aa·
aeaaee .is e«a ça:e ceçeaceaee ea a «:. ie: e: :eace: .a ,eae:a| ,. e ,
.i .i .s aei aaaaiec |y a v. :iaa| . aieai.eaa|.iy, , aac .i iae:e .s ae ça:e|y
]a:.c.ea| çess. |.|.iy ei .i |e.a, . aie| |.,.||e ie: a i:aaseeaceaia| sa|]e

i
.a ,eae:a| , iaea iae:e .s ae me:e .a iae vaea.iy ei .is sea| iaaa a eaaei.e
|.ie:a|aess e: iae seas.||e eçae.iy ei a ceiaaei ces.,aai.ea, a ces.,aai.ea
ceç:.vec ei .is i:aaseeaceaia| iaaei. ea. 1ae s.|eaee ei ç:ea.sie:.e a:eaaa
aac |a:.ec e.v. |.zai.eas, iae eaiem|meai ei |esi . aieai.eas aac ,aa:cec
see:eis, aac iae . | |e,.|.|.iy ei iae |aç.ca:y .ase:.çi.ea c.se|ese iae
i:aaseeaeeaia| sease ei ceaia as «aai aa.ies iaese ia.a,s ie iae a|se·
|aie ç:.v.|e,e ei . aieai.eaa|.iy . a iae ve:y . asiaaee ei .is esseai.a|
]a:.c.ea| ia.|a:e [en ce qui l' unit a l' absolu du droit intentionnel dans
l ' instance meme de son echecl .
waea eeas.ce:.a, iae ce ]a:e ça:.iy ei .aieai.eaa| aa. mai.ea, uas-
se:| a|«ays says iaai tae | .a,a.si.e e: ,:aça.e |ecy . s a resa, a ç:eçe:
|ecy ·¡e·/,. e: a sç. :.iaa| ee:çe:ea|.iy (geitige Leiblichkeit) (FTL, §2, ç.
21 ) . r:em iaea ea, «:. i.a, . s ae |ea,e: ea|y iae «e:|c|y aac
91 We refer here to a comment by Jean Hyppolite during the discussion which followed
the lecture of Fr. Van Breda on "La Reduction phenomimologique, " in H usserl, Cahiers
de Royaumont, p. 323.
89
Introductin to the Origin of Geometry
maemeieeaa.ea| a.c ie a i:aia «aese e«a |e. a,·sease «ea|c c.sçease
«.ia a|| «:.i.a,·ce«a 1ae çess.|.| .iy e: aeeess.iy ei |e.a, .aea:aaiec
. a a ,:aça.e s.,a .s ae | ea,e: s.mç|y esi:.as.e aac iaeiaa| .a eemça:.sea
«.ia .cea| O|]eei.v.iy. .i .s iae sine qua non eeac.i.ea ei O|]eei.v.iy s
.aie:aa| eemç|ei.ea ~s |ea, as .cea| O|]eei.v.iy . s aei , e: :aiae:, can
aei |e ea,:avec .a iae «e:|c-as |ea, as . cea| O|]eei.v.iy .s aei .a a
çes.i.ea ie |e ça:iy ie aa .aea:aai.ea ,«a.ea, .a iae ça:.iy ei . is sease .
.s me:e iaaa a sysiem ei s.,aa|s [signalisation] e: aa eaie: ,a:meai,-
iaea .cea| O|]eei.v.iy . s aei ia||y eeasi.iaiec 1ae:eie:e, iae aei ei
«:.i. a, .s iae a.,aesi çess.|.| .iy ei a| | "constitution, " a iaei a,a.asi
«a.ea iae i:aaseeaceaia| ceçia ei .cea| O|] eei.v.iy s a. sie:.e.iy .s
measa:ec.
waai r. a| «:.ies a|eai sçeeea .a a. s esee| |eai i:aase:.çi ei iae
Origin . s a fortiori i:ae ie: «:.i. a,. i a seas.||e em|ec.meai eeea:s
iae |eea|. zai.ea aac iae iemçe:a|.zai.ea (Temporalisation) ei «aai . s.
|y .is |e.a,·sease, aa|eeaiec aac aaiemçe:a| , D. e r:a,e, ç 2 1 0) .
saea a ie:ma|ai.ea :ema:|a||y saa:çeas iae ç:e|| em aac a«a|eas
iae çeea|.a: v.:iae ei |aa,aa,e . ii e|ea:|y i:aas|aies ua sse:| s esaei.a,
eae:i ie eaiea iae . cea| .iy ei iaemai.e sease aac ei «e:cs [mots] .a iae. :
:e|ai.eas «.ia iae | .a,a.si.e eveai nai cees aei ia. s ie:ma|ai.ea çe:·
92 This sensible embodiment has the peculiar qualities [l'errngete] of both sense' s
inhabitation of the word [mot] and the here and now use of the word' s ideality. In the first
case, embodiment is at its l i mit the inscription of an absolutely "free" and objective
ideality (that of geometrical truth, for example) within the ' 'bound" ideality of the word,
or i n general of a more free ideality within a less free ideality. In the second case,
embodiment is that of a necessarily bound ideality, that of the word' s identity within
language, in a real-sensible event. But this last embodiment is still done through another
step of mediate ideality whi(h Husserl does not directly describe, but which we think can
be located on the basi s of strictly Husserlian concepts. It is a question of ideal forms or
vague morphological types (a notion that we will have ocasion to specify farther on) ,
which are proper to the corporeality of graphic and vocal signs. The forms of graphic and
vocal signs must have a certain identity which is imposed and recognized each time in the
empirical fact of language. Without this always intended and approximate ideal identity
(that of letters and phonemes, for example), no sensible language would be possible or
intelligible as language, nor could it intend higher idealities. Naturally, this morphological
ideality is still more "bound" than the word' s ideality. The precise place of the properly
termed realizing [realisante] embodiment is ultimately therefore the union of the sensible
form with sensible material, a union traversed by the linguistic intention which always
intends, explicitly or not, the highest ideality. Linguistic incaration and the constitution
of written or scriptural space suppose, then, a closer and closer "interconnection" of ideality
and reality through a series of less and less ideal mediations and in the synthetic unity of an
intention
.
Thi s intentional synthesis is an unceasing movement of going and returing that
works to bind the ideality of sense and to free the reality of the sign. Each of the two opera­
tions is always haunted by the sense of the other: each operation is already announced in the
other or still retained i n it . Language frees the ideality of sense, then, in the very work of its
"binding" ("interconnecting" [enchainement] ).
90
Jacques Derrida
¬.t | .a,a.st.e em|ec.meat te |e aace:steec as ta|.a, ç|aee eats.ce tae
|e.a,·sease ei .cea| e|]eet.v.ty: ~s eeea::.a, e: aaesçeetec|y
aaççea.a, .a acc.t.ea te tae |e. a,·sease: Dees aet ta.s ie:¬a|at.ea
,.ve tae . mç:ess.ea taat .cea| e|]eet. v. ty . s ia||y eeast.tatec as saea
before aac independently of .ts em|ec.¬eat. e: :atae:. |eie:e aac .ace·
çeaceat|y ei .ts ability to be embodied?
nat uasse:| .as. sts taat t:ata .s aet ia||y e|]eet. ve . . e . .cea| . .ate||.·
,.||e ie: eve:yeae aac .aceia.te|y çe:ca:a||e. as |ea, as .t eaaaet |e
sa.c and «:.ttea s.aee ta. s çe:ca:a|.|.ty . s t:ata s ve:y sease. tae
eeac.t.eas ie: .ts sa:v. va| a:e . ae|acec . a taese ei . ts |.ie uacea|tec|y.
t:ata aeve: |eeçs tae .cea| O|]eet.v.ty e: .ceat.ty ei aay ei .ts ça:t.ea·
|a: ce iaete | .a,a.st.e .aea:aat.eas . aac ee¬ça:ec t e a|| |.a,a. st.e iaeta·
a|.ty .t :ema.as i:ee. nat ta.s i:eecem .s ea|y çess. ||e ç:ee.se|y i:e¬
tae moment t:ata can .a ,eae:a| |e sa.c e: «:.ttea. . e. . on condition taat
ta.s can |e ceae. ra:aces.ea||y. tae çess.|. | .ty ei |e.a, «:.ttea fossibi­
lite graphique] çe:m.ts tae a| t.mate i:ee.a, ei .cea| .ty. 1ae:eie:e . «e
eea|c a|| |at :eve:se tae te:ms ei r.a| s ie:¬a|a tae ability ei sease te
|e | .a,a.st.ea||y e¬|ec.ec .s tae ea|y ¬eaas |y «a.ea sease |eee¬es
aeas çat. etemçe:a|
neeaase .cea| O|]eet.v.ty eaa esseat.a||y .aie:¬ e: saaçe tae |ecy ei
sçeeea aac «:.t.a,. aac s. aee .t ceçeacs ea a ça:e |.a,a. st.e . ateat.ea.
.t .s :ac.ea||y .aceçeaceat ei seas.||e sçat.ete¬çe:a|. ty. 1a. s ¬eaas
taat a sçee.ie sçat.etemçe:a|.ty . s ç:ese:. |ec ie: ee¬¬aa.eat.ea. aac
tae:eie:e ie: ça:e t:ac.t.ea aac a. ste:y. a sçat.etemçe:a|.ty taat es·
eaçes tae a|te:aat.ve ei tae seas.||e aac tae .ate||.,.||e. e: tae emç.:.ea|
aac tae ¬ete¬ç.:.ea| . Cease¡aeat| y. t:ata .s ae |ea,e: simply es.|ec .a
tae ç:.¬e:c.a| eveat ei . ts |aa,aa,e. its a.ste:.ea| aa|.tat aataeat.eates
ta.s eveat . ]ast as tae ç:eteceeameat authenticates «aetae: . t . s tae
ceçes.ta:y ei aa .ateat.ea. «aetae: .t :eie:s «.taeat ia| s.ieat.ea te aa
e:.,. aa| aac ç:. ¬e:c.a| aet ia etae: «e:cs. «aetae: tae |. a,a. st. e eveat
:eie:s te aa authentic aet ,.a tae uasse:|.aa sease ei tae «e:c· . |eeaase
.t esta|| . saes a t:ata·va| ae. . s mace :esçeas.||e ie: . t. aac eaa aççea|
te tae aa.ve:sa| .ty ei .ts test.¬eay
uasse:| taas .ac.eates tae c.:eet.ea ie: a çaeae¬eae|e,y ei tae «:.t·
tea ta.a,. sçee.iea||y. cese:.|.a, tae |ee| .a .ts aa.ty as a eaa.a ei
s.,a. r eat.eas 1a.s aa.ty eaa |e ¬e:e e: | ess . cea| aac aeeessa:y. aac
tae:eie:e aa. ve:sa| . aeee:c.a, te tae |ee| s sease·eeateat
,

,
~ac aet
!J:l l n the Origin, Husserl di stinguishes between literature i n the broad sense, the realm
of all written di scourse, and literature as l iterary art. The literary work i s often chosen by
Husserl as the cl ue for analyzing the ideality of cultural objecti vi ties. The ideal identity of
the work wi l l never be mistaken for i ts sensible embodi ments. It does not derive i ts i ndi ­
vi dual identity from the latter. The origin of identity , moreover, i s the criterion which
91
Introductin to the Origin of Geometry
ea|y eaa taat .cea| aa.ty |e ¬e:e e: |ess |eaac te iaetaa| .ty. |at a|se
aeee:c.a, te aame:eas aac eemç|ete|y e:.,.aa| ie:ms aac meca|.t.es
He:eeve:. tae :e|at.ea ei tae ese¬ç|a:s t e tae.: a:eaetyça| aa. ty . s
aacea|tec|y aa.¡ae amea, tae :eç:ecaet.eas ei etae: ea|ta:a| ie:¬a·
t.eas. esçee.a||y taese ei tae aea|.te:a:y a:ts r.aa||y. tae |ee| s
ç:eçe: ve| a¬e aac ca:at.ea a:e ae.tae: ça:e|y seas.||e çaeaemeaa. ae:
ça:e|y .ate||.,.||e aea¬eaa 1ae.: sçee.ie eaa:aete: see¬s . ::ecae.||e
1a.s |e.a, ei tae |ee|. ta.s .astaaee ei printed taea,at «aese
| aa,aa,e .s aet aata:a| . Castea naeae|a:c ea||s a "bibliomenon. ·
permits us to di stinguish between the real and the ideal . Husserl writes in E (§65, pp.
265-66) : "We call real i n a specifc sense all that which, i n real thi ngs i n the broader
sense. is, according to its sense, essentially individualized by its spatiotemporal position;
but we call irreal ever determination which, indeed, is founded with regard to
spatiotemporal appearance in a specifcally real thing but which can appear in dif erent
realities as identical-not merely as simil ar" ( Husserl
'
s emphasis) .
Thus the relation between the ideal and the real in all cultural objectivities (and frst in
all the arts) can be expl icated. That is relati vel y easy for the literary work. Thus,
"Goethe' s Faust i s found i n any number of real books (' book' denotes here what i s
produced by men and intended to be read: it i s already a determination which i s itself not
purely material. but a determination of signifcance !) , which are termed exemplars of
Faust. This mental sense which determines the work of art. the mental structure as such,
i s certainly ' embodied
'
i n the real world. but i t i s not i ndi vidual ized by thi s embodiment.
Or agai n: the same geometrical proposition can be uttered as often as desi red: every real
utterance has . . . identically the same sense" (ibid. , p. 26) .
But how can we determine the ideality of a work whose proto individualization is tied to
the work' s single spatiotemporal embodiment? How can we make i ts i deality appear by
varying factual exemplars. si nce the latter can only imi tate a factuality and not express or
" indicate" an i deal sense? I s i t, i n short. the same for the ideality of the pl astic arts. of
architecture? Or of music. whose case i s even more ambiguous? Although repetition may
be of a di ferent nature here. which in each case requires an appropriate and prdent
anal ysi s. i t i s no less possible in principle and thus makes an incontestable ideality
appear: "To be sure, an ideal object like Raphael ' s Madonna can in fact have only one
mundane state (Weltlichkeit) and i n fact i s not repeatable in an adequate identity (of the com­
plete ideal content)
.
But in principle this ideal is indeed repeatabl e, as is Goethe's Faust"
(ibid. ) .
From the frst perception, then, of a work of plastic art as such (whose i deal value i s
primordially and intri nsically rooted i n an event), there i s a sort of i mmediate reduction of
factuality which permi ts, next, the neutralization of the necessary imperfection of re­
production. Here is not the place to prolong these analyses of aesthetic perception and
ideality. Husserl i s content to si tuate their domain and to defne prel i mi nary, i ndispens­
able distinctions . He proposes some analogous di stinctions in the cultural sphere of pol i­
tics and stri ves to bring to light both the ideality of the constitution of the state (of the
national wil l . for exampl e) and the originality of its "boundness" to the factual ity of a
territory, a nation, etc . , wi thi n which this constitution can be i ndefnitely repeated as i ts
ideal validity (ibid. , pp. 266-67) .
9 L' Activite rationaliste de l a physique contemporaine (Pari s: Presses U ni versi tai res
de France, 1 95 1 ) , pp. 6-7.
90
Jacques Derrida
¬.t | .a,a.st.e em|ec.meat te |e aace:steec as ta|.a, ç|aee eats.ce tae
|e.a,·sease ei .cea| e|]eet.v.ty: ~s eeea::.a, e: aaesçeetec|y
aaççea.a, .a acc.t.ea te tae |e. a,·sease: Dees aet ta.s ie:¬a|at.ea
,.ve tae . mç:ess.ea taat .cea| e|]eet. v. ty . s ia||y eeast.tatec as saea
before aac independently of .ts em|ec.¬eat. e: :atae:. |eie:e aac .ace·
çeaceat|y ei .ts ability to be embodied?
nat uasse:| .as. sts taat t:ata .s aet ia||y e|]eet. ve . . e . .cea| . .ate||.·
,.||e ie: eve:yeae aac .aceia.te|y çe:ca:a||e. as |ea, as .t eaaaet |e
sa.c and «:.ttea s.aee ta. s çe:ca:a|.|.ty . s t:ata s ve:y sease. tae
eeac.t.eas ie: .ts sa:v. va| a:e . ae|acec . a taese ei . ts |.ie uacea|tec|y.
t:ata aeve: |eeçs tae .cea| O|]eet.v.ty e: .ceat.ty ei aay ei .ts ça:t.ea·
|a: ce iaete | .a,a.st.e .aea:aat.eas . aac ee¬ça:ec t e a|| |.a,a. st.e iaeta·
a|.ty .t :ema.as i:ee. nat ta.s i:eecem .s ea|y çess. ||e ç:ee.se|y i:e¬
tae moment t:ata can .a ,eae:a| |e sa.c e: «:.ttea. . e. . on condition taat
ta.s can |e ceae. ra:aces.ea||y. tae çess.|. | .ty ei |e.a, «:.ttea fossibi­
lite graphique] çe:m.ts tae a| t.mate i:ee.a, ei .cea| .ty. 1ae:eie:e . «e
eea|c a|| |at :eve:se tae te:ms ei r.a| s ie:¬a|a tae ability ei sease te
|e | .a,a.st.ea||y e¬|ec.ec .s tae ea|y ¬eaas |y «a.ea sease |eee¬es
aeas çat. etemçe:a|
neeaase .cea| O|]eet.v.ty eaa esseat.a||y .aie:¬ e: saaçe tae |ecy ei
sçeeea aac «:.t.a,. aac s. aee .t ceçeacs ea a ça:e |.a,a. st.e . ateat.ea.
.t .s :ac.ea||y .aceçeaceat ei seas.||e sçat.ete¬çe:a|. ty. 1a. s ¬eaas
taat a sçee.ie sçat.etemçe:a|.ty . s ç:ese:. |ec ie: ee¬¬aa.eat.ea. aac
tae:eie:e ie: ça:e t:ac.t.ea aac a. ste:y. a sçat.etemçe:a|.ty taat es·
eaçes tae a|te:aat.ve ei tae seas.||e aac tae .ate||.,.||e. e: tae emç.:.ea|
aac tae ¬ete¬ç.:.ea| . Cease¡aeat| y. t:ata .s ae |ea,e: simply es.|ec .a
tae ç:.¬e:c.a| eveat ei . ts |aa,aa,e. its a.ste:.ea| aa|.tat aataeat.eates
ta.s eveat . ]ast as tae ç:eteceeameat authenticates «aetae: . t . s tae
ceçes.ta:y ei aa .ateat.ea. «aetae: .t :eie:s «.taeat ia| s.ieat.ea te aa
e:.,. aa| aac ç:. ¬e:c.a| aet ia etae: «e:cs. «aetae: tae |. a,a. st. e eveat
:eie:s te aa authentic aet ,.a tae uasse:|.aa sease ei tae «e:c· . |eeaase
.t esta|| . saes a t:ata·va| ae. . s mace :esçeas.||e ie: . t. aac eaa aççea|
te tae aa.ve:sa| .ty ei .ts test.¬eay
uasse:| taas .ac.eates tae c.:eet.ea ie: a çaeae¬eae|e,y ei tae «:.t·
tea ta.a,. sçee.iea||y. cese:.|.a, tae |ee| .a .ts aa.ty as a eaa.a ei
s.,a. r eat.eas 1a.s aa.ty eaa |e ¬e:e e: | ess . cea| aac aeeessa:y. aac
tae:eie:e aa. ve:sa| . aeee:c.a, te tae |ee| s sease·eeateat
,

,
~ac aet
!J:l l n the Origin, Husserl di stinguishes between literature i n the broad sense, the realm
of all written di scourse, and literature as l iterary art. The literary work i s often chosen by
Husserl as the cl ue for analyzing the ideality of cultural objecti vi ties. The ideal identity of
the work wi l l never be mistaken for i ts sensible embodi ments. It does not derive i ts i ndi ­
vi dual identity from the latter. The origin of identity , moreover, i s the criterion which
91
Introductin to the Origin of Geometry
ea|y eaa taat .cea| aa.ty |e ¬e:e e: |ess |eaac te iaetaa| .ty. |at a|se
aeee:c.a, te aame:eas aac eemç|ete|y e:.,.aa| ie:ms aac meca|.t.es
He:eeve:. tae :e|at.ea ei tae ese¬ç|a:s t e tae.: a:eaetyça| aa. ty . s
aacea|tec|y aa.¡ae amea, tae :eç:ecaet.eas ei etae: ea|ta:a| ie:¬a·
t.eas. esçee.a||y taese ei tae aea|.te:a:y a:ts r.aa||y. tae |ee| s
ç:eçe: ve| a¬e aac ca:at.ea a:e ae.tae: ça:e|y seas.||e çaeaemeaa. ae:
ça:e|y .ate||.,.||e aea¬eaa 1ae.: sçee.ie eaa:aete: see¬s . ::ecae.||e
1a.s |e.a, ei tae |ee|. ta.s .astaaee ei printed taea,at «aese
| aa,aa,e .s aet aata:a| . Castea naeae|a:c ea||s a "bibliomenon. ·
permits us to di stinguish between the real and the ideal . Husserl writes in E (§65, pp.
265-66) : "We call real i n a specifc sense all that which, i n real thi ngs i n the broader
sense. is, according to its sense, essentially individualized by its spatiotemporal position;
but we call irreal ever determination which, indeed, is founded with regard to
spatiotemporal appearance in a specifcally real thing but which can appear in dif erent
realities as identical-not merely as simil ar" ( Husserl
'
s emphasis) .
Thus the relation between the ideal and the real in all cultural objectivities (and frst in
all the arts) can be expl icated. That is relati vel y easy for the literary work. Thus,
"Goethe' s Faust i s found i n any number of real books (' book' denotes here what i s
produced by men and intended to be read: it i s already a determination which i s itself not
purely material. but a determination of signifcance !) , which are termed exemplars of
Faust. This mental sense which determines the work of art. the mental structure as such,
i s certainly ' embodied
'
i n the real world. but i t i s not i ndi vidual ized by thi s embodiment.
Or agai n: the same geometrical proposition can be uttered as often as desi red: every real
utterance has . . . identically the same sense" (ibid. , p. 26) .
But how can we determine the ideality of a work whose proto individualization is tied to
the work' s single spatiotemporal embodiment? How can we make i ts i deality appear by
varying factual exemplars. si nce the latter can only imi tate a factuality and not express or
" indicate" an i deal sense? I s i t, i n short. the same for the ideality of the pl astic arts. of
architecture? Or of music. whose case i s even more ambiguous? Although repetition may
be of a di ferent nature here. which in each case requires an appropriate and prdent
anal ysi s. i t i s no less possible in principle and thus makes an incontestable ideality
appear: "To be sure, an ideal object like Raphael ' s Madonna can in fact have only one
mundane state (Weltlichkeit) and i n fact i s not repeatable in an adequate identity (of the com­
plete ideal content)
.
But in principle this ideal is indeed repeatabl e, as is Goethe's Faust"
(ibid. ) .
From the frst perception, then, of a work of plastic art as such (whose i deal value i s
primordially and intri nsically rooted i n an event), there i s a sort of i mmediate reduction of
factuality which permi ts, next, the neutralization of the necessary imperfection of re­
production. Here is not the place to prolong these analyses of aesthetic perception and
ideality. Husserl i s content to si tuate their domain and to defne prel i mi nary, i ndispens­
able distinctions . He proposes some analogous di stinctions in the cultural sphere of pol i­
tics and stri ves to bring to light both the ideality of the constitution of the state (of the
national wil l . for exampl e) and the originality of its "boundness" to the factual ity of a
territory, a nation, etc . , wi thi n which this constitution can be i ndefnitely repeated as i ts
ideal validity (ibid. , pp. 266-67) .
9 L' Activite rationaliste de l a physique contemporaine (Pari s: Presses U ni versi tai res
de France, 1 95 1 ) , pp. 6-7.
92
Jacques Derrid
ia tae Origin, uasse:| .||am.aates me:e c.:eet|y taat m. |. ea ei «:.

t.a,
«aese c.uea|t s.,a.ieat.ea aac . mçe:taaee ae aac a|:eacy :eee,mzec
. a tae Logical Investigations . 1ae c.mea|ty ei . ts ces�:.�t.ea .s cae te
tae iaet taat «:.t.a, ceiaes aac eemç|etes tae am|.,a.ty ei a|| |aa·
,aa,e. ~s tae ç:eeess ei taat esseat.a| aac eeast.ta�.ve eaç

ae.ty

ie:
em|ec.meat. |aa,aa,e .s a|se «ae:e eve:y a|se|ate|y . cea| e|,eet ,. . e. .
«ae:e t:ata, . s iaetaa||y aac eeat.a,eat|y em|ec.ec. Ceave:se| y. t:ata
aas .ts e:.,.a .a a ça:e aac s.mç|e :.,at te sçeeea aac «:.t.a,

. ?at eaee
eeast.tatec .t eeac.t.eas esç:ess.ea. . a . ts ta:a. as aa emç.:. ea| iaet .
1:ata ceçe�cs ea tae ça:e çess.|. | . ty ei sçea|.a, aac «:.t.r,.

|at . s
.aceçeaceat ei «aat . s sçe|ea e: «:.ttea. .aseia:

as taey a:e m tae
«e:|c ii. tae:eie:e. t:ata saae:s .a aac ta:ea,a .ts | aa,aa,e i:em a
ee:ta.a eaaa,ea||eaess. .ts ce«aia|| «.|| |e |ess a ia|| te«a:c |aa,aa,e
taaa a ce,:acat.ea «.ta.a | aa,aa,e.

r:em taea ea. .a eaeet . as .s ç:ese:.|ec ie: . t. sease .s ,atae:ec mte a
s.,a.

aac tae s.,a |eeemes tae «e:|c|y aac esçesec :es.ceaee

ei a�
aataea,at t:ata. we aave ç:ev.eas|y seea taat t:ata e�a çe:ca:e . � ta.s
«ay «.taeat |e. a, taea,at .a aet e: .a iaetaac taat . s «aat :�c.ea||;
emaae.çates t:ata i:em a|| emç.:.ea| sa|]eet. v. ty. a|| iaetaa| | .�e. ��

c
tae «ae|e :ea| «e:|c. ~t tae same t.me. maa s eemmaaa| |em, . s
|. uec te a ae« |eve| , i -1, . .t eaa aççea:. .a eaeet . as a t:aaseeace�ta|
eemmaa.ty. 1ae aataeat.e aet ei «:. t.a, . s a t:aaseeaceata| :ecaet.e�
çe:ie:mec |y aac te«a:c tae we. nat s.aee. .a e:ce: te eseaçe «e:|

ci·
aess sease must i:st be able te |e set ce«a . a tae «e:|c aac |e ceçes.tec
.a s�as.||e sçat.etemçe:a|. ty. .t mast çat .ts ?�:� .ateat

.eaa| . cea|. ty.
. . e . . .ts t:ata· sease. .a caa,e:. 1aas a çess.|.| .ty. «a.ea evea ae:e
95 Cf. LI, I, Prol. , §6, p. 60: "Science exists objectively only in its literature,

n,� in
written work has it a rich relational being limited to men and their intellectual a�tlvltIes:
in this form it is propagated down the millennia, and survives individual s, generatIons and
nations. It therefore represents a set of external arrangements, which , ju
.
st as they arose
out of the knowledge-acts of many individuals, can again pass over into Just such a
.
ct� of
countless individual s, in a readily understandable manner, whose exact de
.
scnpt�on
would require much circumlocution" (our emphasis) . On this level of ana!ysl
.
s, which
above all should disengage the objective autonomy of signifcat
.
ion, th� questIo� I S c�early
that of "external arrangements": sensible exemplars on which neither the Ideahty of
sense nor the clear intention of cognition depends. But this fact neither prohibits nor contra­
dicts at all the subsequent theme of writing as the intrinsic possibilit and intr!nsic c

ndition
of acts of objective cognition. The Origin maintains these two themes. That IS the difculty
we are striving to il l uminate here.
96 We take this word in the broad sense of sign-signifer or "sign-expression" (graphic
or vocal), the meaning that Husserl gives this term by opposing it to the " ind�cative" sig
(LI, I , 1 , §§ 1 -5, pp. 269-75) . On the basis of this distinc�ion, we �ould Interpret the
phenomenon of crisis (which, for Husserl , alwa�s r�fer
.
s to
.
a dl sord��
or I11
?
,
ess of l�ngua�e)
as a degradation of the sign-expression into a Sign-indIcatIOn, of a clear (klar) intentIon
into an empty symbol .
93
Introductin to the Origin of Geometry
aeee:as ea|y «.ta emç.:.e.sm aac aeaça. | eseçay. aççea:s . a a ça.|ese·
çay «a.ea . s ,at |east |eeaase ei ee:ta.a met.n, tae eeat:a:y ei emç.:.·
e.sm tae çess.|.|.ty ei t:ata s diappearance. we ça:çese| y ase tae
am|.,aeas «e:c c. saççea:aaee waat c. saççea:s .s «aat .s aaa. a. ·
| atec. |at a|se «aat eeases. .ate:m.tteat|y e: ceia.te| y. te aççea: inJact
yet «.taeat aaeet.a, .ts |e.a, e: |e.a,· sease. 1e cete:m. ae tae sease ei
ta.s c. saççea:aaee ei t:ata . s tae mest c.mea|t ç:e||em çesec |y tae
Origin aac a|| ei uasse:| s ça.|eseçay ei a. ste:y. ra:tae:me:e. «e «e:e
aaa||e te iac .a uasse:| aa aae¡a.veea| :esçease te a ¡aest.ea «a.ea
ea|y ma|es taat ei çaeaemeae|e,y . tse|i :eta:a. «aat . s tae sease ei .ts
aççea:.a,: 1aat e¡a. veeat.ea «.| | ç:eseat|y :evea| |eta ae« maea tae
aatae: ei tae Crisis «as a st:aa,e: te a. ste:y e: ae« iaacameata|| y
. aeaça||e ae «as ei ta|.a, . t se:.eas| y. aac at «aat çe.at , . a tae same
memeat, ae st:. ves te :esçeet a.ste:.e.ty s e«a çeea| .a: s.,a. | eat.ea
aac çess.|.i .ty aac t:a| y te çeaet:ate taem.
waat taea .s ta.s çess. |. |.ty ei c.saççea:aaee:
i . ia tae i:st ç|aee. |et as :a|e eat tae ayçetaes. s ei a death oj sense
.a ,eae:a| «.ta.a tae . ac. v. caa| eease.easaess uasse:| e|ea:|y sçee.| es
.a tae Origin aac e|se«ae:e taat. eaee sease aççea:ec .a e,e |e,.ea|
eease.easaess. .ts teta| aaa.a.|at.ea |eeemes . mçess.|| e. · ~ sease taat
.s eease:vec as a sec.meata:y aa|.taa|.ty aac «aese ce:maat çeteat.a|·
.ty eaa ce ]a:e |e :eaa.matec . s aet :etaoec te aeta. a,aess |y tae
vaa.sa.a, ei :eteat.eas ei :eteat.eas ra: i:em |e.a, a çaeaemeae|e,·
.ea| aeta. a,. tae se·ea||ec ' unconscious' " e: ' universal substratum"
«ae:e sease .s ceçes.tec .s a | .m.t·mece ei eease.easaess (FTL, ç.
· i º, C|ea:|y .a ta.s tyçe ei aaa| ys. s. açea «a.ea ie:m.ca||e c.mea|·
t.es a|:eacy «e. ,a . uasse:| . s ea|y «e::.ec a|eat tae çe:maaeaee aac
v. :taa| ç:eseaee ei sease «.ta. a tae meaac.e sa|]eet. aac aet a|eat tae
a|se|ate|y .cea| O|]eet.v.ty ei sease ,a.aec ta:ea,a sçeeea aac «:.t.a,
i:em taat sa|]eet. v.ty. Ne« ta.s O|]eet. v.ty .s ieaac ta:eateaec as t:ata
. a tae «e:| c. ProfoundJorgetJulness tae:eie:e esteacs .ate tae sçaees ei
.ate:sa|]eet.v.ty aac tae c.staaee |et«eea eemmaa.t.es Forgetfulness
.s a a.ste:.ea| eate,e:y.
i', I n Ideas I; in E; but above all in FTL ( i n terms which are literally taken up again in
the Origin) , cf. in particular Appendix I I , §2c, pp. 3 1 8-1 9.
UH
On the naivete of the classic problems of the Unconscious and on the question of
knowing whether an intentional analysis can open a methodical access to the Uncon­
scious, see " Fink' s Appendix on the Problem of the ' Unbewussten,' " i n C, pp. 385-87 .
�9 Forgetfulness is a word that Husserl rarely employs in the Crisis; he never uses it i n
the first text of the Origin, perhaps because habit relates it very easil y t o i ndividual
consciousness or to its psychological sense: perhaps also because it can suggest an
annihilation of sense.
92
Jacques Derrid
ia tae Origin, uasse:| .||am.aates me:e c.:eet|y taat m. |. ea ei «:.

t.a,
«aese c.uea|t s.,a.ieat.ea aac . mçe:taaee ae aac a|:eacy :eee,mzec
. a tae Logical Investigations . 1ae c.mea|ty ei . ts ces�:.�t.ea .s cae te
tae iaet taat «:.t.a, ceiaes aac eemç|etes tae am|.,a.ty ei a|| |aa·
,aa,e. ~s tae ç:eeess ei taat esseat.a| aac eeast.ta�.ve eaç

ae.ty

ie:
em|ec.meat. |aa,aa,e .s a|se «ae:e eve:y a|se|ate|y . cea| e|,eet ,. . e. .
«ae:e t:ata, . s iaetaa||y aac eeat.a,eat|y em|ec.ec. Ceave:se| y. t:ata
aas .ts e:.,.a .a a ça:e aac s.mç|e :.,at te sçeeea aac «:.t.a,

. ?at eaee
eeast.tatec .t eeac.t.eas esç:ess.ea. . a . ts ta:a. as aa emç.:. ea| iaet .
1:ata ceçe�cs ea tae ça:e çess.|. | . ty ei sçea|.a, aac «:.t.r,.

|at . s
.aceçeaceat ei «aat . s sçe|ea e: «:.ttea. .aseia:

as taey a:e m tae
«e:|c ii. tae:eie:e. t:ata saae:s .a aac ta:ea,a .ts | aa,aa,e i:em a
ee:ta.a eaaa,ea||eaess. .ts ce«aia|| «.|| |e |ess a ia|| te«a:c |aa,aa,e
taaa a ce,:acat.ea «.ta.a | aa,aa,e.

r:em taea ea. .a eaeet . as .s ç:ese:.|ec ie: . t. sease .s ,atae:ec mte a
s.,a.

aac tae s.,a |eeemes tae «e:|c|y aac esçesec :es.ceaee

ei a�
aataea,at t:ata. we aave ç:ev.eas|y seea taat t:ata e�a çe:ca:e . � ta.s
«ay «.taeat |e. a, taea,at .a aet e: .a iaetaac taat . s «aat :�c.ea||;
emaae.çates t:ata i:em a|| emç.:.ea| sa|]eet. v. ty. a|| iaetaa| | .�e. ��

c
tae «ae|e :ea| «e:|c. ~t tae same t.me. maa s eemmaaa| |em, . s
|. uec te a ae« |eve| , i -1, . .t eaa aççea:. .a eaeet . as a t:aaseeace�ta|
eemmaa.ty. 1ae aataeat.e aet ei «:. t.a, . s a t:aaseeaceata| :ecaet.e�
çe:ie:mec |y aac te«a:c tae we. nat s.aee. .a e:ce: te eseaçe «e:|

ci·
aess sease must i:st be able te |e set ce«a . a tae «e:|c aac |e ceçes.tec
.a s�as.||e sçat.etemçe:a|. ty. .t mast çat .ts ?�:� .ateat

.eaa| . cea|. ty.
. . e . . .ts t:ata· sease. .a caa,e:. 1aas a çess.|.| .ty. «a.ea evea ae:e
95 Cf. LI, I, Prol. , §6, p. 60: "Science exists objectively only in its literature,

n,� in
written work has it a rich relational being limited to men and their intellectual a�tlvltIes:
in this form it is propagated down the millennia, and survives individual s, generatIons and
nations. It therefore represents a set of external arrangements, which , ju
.
st as they arose
out of the knowledge-acts of many individuals, can again pass over into Just such a
.
ct� of
countless individual s, in a readily understandable manner, whose exact de
.
scnpt�on
would require much circumlocution" (our emphasis) . On this level of ana!ysl
.
s, which
above all should disengage the objective autonomy of signifcat
.
ion, th� questIo� I S c�early
that of "external arrangements": sensible exemplars on which neither the Ideahty of
sense nor the clear intention of cognition depends. But this fact neither prohibits nor contra­
dicts at all the subsequent theme of writing as the intrinsic possibilit and intr!nsic c

ndition
of acts of objective cognition. The Origin maintains these two themes. That IS the difculty
we are striving to il l uminate here.
96 We take this word in the broad sense of sign-signifer or "sign-expression" (graphic
or vocal), the meaning that Husserl gives this term by opposing it to the " ind�cative" sig
(LI, I , 1 , §§ 1 -5, pp. 269-75) . On the basis of this distinc�ion, we �ould Interpret the
phenomenon of crisis (which, for Husserl , alwa�s r�fer
.
s to
.
a dl sord��
or I11
?
,
ess of l�ngua�e)
as a degradation of the sign-expression into a Sign-indIcatIOn, of a clear (klar) intentIon
into an empty symbol .
93
Introductin to the Origin of Geometry
aeee:as ea|y «.ta emç.:.e.sm aac aeaça. | eseçay. aççea:s . a a ça.|ese·
çay «a.ea . s ,at |east |eeaase ei ee:ta.a met.n, tae eeat:a:y ei emç.:.·
e.sm tae çess.|.|.ty ei t:ata s diappearance. we ça:çese| y ase tae
am|.,aeas «e:c c. saççea:aaee waat c. saççea:s .s «aat .s aaa. a. ·
| atec. |at a|se «aat eeases. .ate:m.tteat|y e: ceia.te| y. te aççea: inJact
yet «.taeat aaeet.a, .ts |e.a, e: |e.a,· sease. 1e cete:m. ae tae sease ei
ta.s c. saççea:aaee ei t:ata . s tae mest c.mea|t ç:e||em çesec |y tae
Origin aac a|| ei uasse:| s ça.|eseçay ei a. ste:y. ra:tae:me:e. «e «e:e
aaa||e te iac .a uasse:| aa aae¡a.veea| :esçease te a ¡aest.ea «a.ea
ea|y ma|es taat ei çaeaemeae|e,y . tse|i :eta:a. «aat . s tae sease ei .ts
aççea:.a,: 1aat e¡a. veeat.ea «.| | ç:eseat|y :evea| |eta ae« maea tae
aatae: ei tae Crisis «as a st:aa,e: te a. ste:y e: ae« iaacameata|| y
. aeaça||e ae «as ei ta|.a, . t se:.eas| y. aac at «aat çe.at , . a tae same
memeat, ae st:. ves te :esçeet a.ste:.e.ty s e«a çeea| .a: s.,a. | eat.ea
aac çess.|.i .ty aac t:a| y te çeaet:ate taem.
waat taea .s ta.s çess. |. |.ty ei c.saççea:aaee:
i . ia tae i:st ç|aee. |et as :a|e eat tae ayçetaes. s ei a death oj sense
.a ,eae:a| «.ta.a tae . ac. v. caa| eease.easaess uasse:| e|ea:|y sçee.| es
.a tae Origin aac e|se«ae:e taat. eaee sease aççea:ec .a e,e |e,.ea|
eease.easaess. .ts teta| aaa.a.|at.ea |eeemes . mçess.|| e. · ~ sease taat
.s eease:vec as a sec.meata:y aa|.taa|.ty aac «aese ce:maat çeteat.a|·
.ty eaa ce ]a:e |e :eaa.matec . s aet :etaoec te aeta. a,aess |y tae
vaa.sa.a, ei :eteat.eas ei :eteat.eas ra: i:em |e.a, a çaeaemeae|e,·
.ea| aeta. a,. tae se·ea||ec ' unconscious' " e: ' universal substratum"
«ae:e sease .s ceçes.tec .s a | .m.t·mece ei eease.easaess (FTL, ç.
· i º, C|ea:|y .a ta.s tyçe ei aaa| ys. s. açea «a.ea ie:m.ca||e c.mea|·
t.es a|:eacy «e. ,a . uasse:| . s ea|y «e::.ec a|eat tae çe:maaeaee aac
v. :taa| ç:eseaee ei sease «.ta. a tae meaac.e sa|]eet. aac aet a|eat tae
a|se|ate|y .cea| O|]eet.v.ty ei sease ,a.aec ta:ea,a sçeeea aac «:.t.a,
i:em taat sa|]eet. v.ty. Ne« ta.s O|]eet. v.ty .s ieaac ta:eateaec as t:ata
. a tae «e:| c. ProfoundJorgetJulness tae:eie:e esteacs .ate tae sçaees ei
.ate:sa|]eet.v.ty aac tae c.staaee |et«eea eemmaa.t.es Forgetfulness
.s a a.ste:.ea| eate,e:y.
i', I n Ideas I; in E; but above all in FTL ( i n terms which are literally taken up again in
the Origin) , cf. in particular Appendix I I , §2c, pp. 3 1 8-1 9.
UH
On the naivete of the classic problems of the Unconscious and on the question of
knowing whether an intentional analysis can open a methodical access to the Uncon­
scious, see " Fink' s Appendix on the Problem of the ' Unbewussten,' " i n C, pp. 385-87 .
�9 Forgetfulness is a word that Husserl rarely employs in the Crisis; he never uses it i n
the first text of the Origin, perhaps because habit relates it very easil y t o i ndividual
consciousness or to its psychological sense: perhaps also because it can suggest an
annihilation of sense.
94
Jacques Derri
2. 1ae ,:aça.e s.,a, tae ,aa:aatee ei O|]eet.v.ty, eaa a|se in fact |e
cest:eyec. 1a.s caa,e: . s .aae:eat .a tae iaetaa| «e:|c|.aess ei . ase:.ç·
t.ea .tse|i, aac aeta.a, eaa ceia.t.ve|y ç:eteet . ase:.çt.ea i:em ta. s. i a
saea a case, |eeaase uasse:| eeas.ce:s sease ae.tae: aa .a·.tse|i ae: a
ça:e sç.:.taa| .ate:.e:.ty |at aa e|]eet ta:ea,a aac ta:ea,a, «e
m.,at i:st ta.a| taat tae ie:,etia|aess «a.ea ie| |e«s açea tae cest:ae·
t. ea ei O|]eet.v.ty s eastec.a| s. ,a [signe gardien] «ea| c aet aaeet ,as
. a a r| atea. sm e: ne:,sea. sm, tae sa:iaee ei a sease «.taeat
aace:m.a.a, tae sease .tse|i. saea a ie:,etia|aess «ea|c aet ea|y saç·
ç:ess ta. s sease |at «ea|c aaa. a. |ate .t .a tae sçee.ie |e.a,·. a·tae·«e:|c
te «a.ea .ts O|]eet.v.ty .s eat:astec. re: uasse:| e|ea:|y sa.c ta. s.
.aseia: as s.,as eaa |e . mmec. ate|y çe:eeçt.||e |y eve:yeae . a tae. :
corporeality; .aseia: as tae.: |ec.es aac ee:çe:ea| ie:ms a:e a|«ays
a|:eacy .a aa .ate:sa|]eet.ve ae:. zea. taea sease eaa |e ceçes.tec tae:e
aac eemmaaa|.zec [mettre en communaUf] . Ce:çe:ea| este:.e:.ty aa·
cea|tec|y cees aet constitute tae s. ,a as saea |at, .a a sease taat «e
mas| ma|e e|ea:. . s indispensable te .| .
Yet tae ayçetaes. s ei saea a iaetaa| cest:aet.ea cees aet . ate:est
uasse:| a| a| | . wa.|e eemç|ete|y :eee,a. z. a, tae te::.iy. a, reality ei
tae ea::ea| :. s|. ae «ea|c ceay .t aay ta.a|a|| e. . . e. . aay ça. |eseça. ea|
s.,a.| eaaee. Ne cea|t ae «ea|c acm.t taat a aa. ve:sa| eeara,.at. ea.
a «e:|c·«.ce |a:a.a, ei |.|:a:. es. e: a eatast:eçae ei meaameats e:
ceeameats .a ,eae:a| «ea|c . at:. as.ea| | y :ava,e |eaac ea|ta:a|
. cea|.t. es. «aese aet.ea «e eve|ec a|eve. ny tae.: acae:eaee te seme
iaetaa|.t,, taese . cea| .t.es, in their ver sense, «ea|c |e va|ae:a||e te
taat «e:|c|, aee. ceat Deata .s çess.||e ie: taem a|eae aac aas tae
t:aaseeaceata| s.,a. aeat.ea «e ]ast ae« ,:aatec .t, |at ea|, .aseia: as
tae |eaac¯ . cea| . t, .s aa. matec e: t:ave:sec |, a t:aaseeaceata|
.ateat.ea, ea|, . aseia: as .t .s ,a. cec |, tae 1e| es ei aa a|se|ate i:ee.a,
«a.ea aas aet |eea ia| |, atta. aec

uat | .|e taat «a.ea e:.eats uasse:| s
:eueet.ea , sçee.aea||,, tae ia||, i:eec .cea|.t, aac a|se|ate O|]eet.v.t,
ei sease, ie: «a.ea mataemat.es . s tae mece| ), tae ta:eat ei aa .at:. as. e
cest:aet.ea |y tae |ecy ei tae s.,a eaa |e :a|ec eat ~| | iae·aa| «:.t.a,s.
.a «a.ea |:ata eea|c |e sec. meatec. «. | | aeve: |e aayta.a, . a taem·
se| ves |at seas.||e esemç| a:s. . ac.v.caa| eveats . a sçaee aac |.me
,«a.ea . s ea|y t:ae te + ee:ta.a ce,:ee ie: |eaac . cea|. |. es,. s. aee
t:ata cees not esseat.a| |y ceçeac ea any of them, taey eea|c all |e
cest:eyec «.taeat eve:ta|.a, the ver sense of a|se|ate . cea|.ty. ua·
cea|tec|y. a|se|ate . cea|.ty «ea|c |e eaaa,ec. ma|.|atec. +ac eve:·
ta:e«a in fact; çe:aaçs .t «ea|c c. s+ççea: .a iaet i:em tae sa:i+ee ei
tae «e:|c. |a| .ts sease·ei·|e.a, as t:ata. «a.ea .s aet .a tae «e:|c-
ae.|ae: .a ea: «e:|c ae:e. ae· aay etae:-«ea|c :e¬a. a .ataet .a .tse|i
95
Introductin to the Origin of Geometry
its |e. a,·sease «ea|c ç:ese:ve .ts e«a intrinsic a. ste:. e.ty. . |s e«a
.ate:eeaaeet. eas, aac tae eatast:eçae ei «e:|c|y a. ste:y «ea|c :ema.a
exterior te .t .
1aat .s «aat uasse:| meaas «aea ae eççeses internal e: .at:.as.e
(innere) a.ste:.e.ty te external (aussere) a.ste:y. 1a. s c. st.aet.ea, «a.ea
aas ea|y a çaeaemeae|e,.ea| sease, . s cee.s.ve. · it «ea|c |e i:a. t|ess
ie: a. m te e|]eet taat a.ste:.e.ty e: |e.a,·.a·a. ste:y .s ç:ee.se| y tae
çess.|.|.ty ei |e.a, intrinsically esçesec te tae extrinsic, ie: taea tae
a. ste:.e.ty a|se|ate|y ç:eçe: te aay t:ata· sease «ea|c |e m. ss.a,, aac
uasse:| s c. seea:se «ea|c |e ç|aa,ec . ate a eeaias.ea ei s.,a.ieat.eas
aac :e,.eas . we «ea|c taea |e eeaeec.a, taat a ça:e .cea|.ty eaa |e
eaaa,ec |y a :ea| eaase , «a.ea .s te |ese sease. ii ,eemet:y .s t:ae, .ts
.ate:aa| a.ste:y mast |e savec .ate,:a||y i:em a| | seas. ||e a,,:ess.ea.
s. aee ,eemet:y .s t.ec ae.tae: te ta. s memeat ae:e, ae: te ta.s te::.te:y
ae:e, ae: te ta.s «e:|c ae:e, |at te a|| tae «e:|c ( Weltall) , aeta. a, «.| |
eve: staac |et«eea tae «e:|c|y esçe:.eaees «a.ea .aea:aatec ,eemet:y
aac «aat taey aave |e,aa a,a. a. c.seeve:.a, ai:esa ,«.taeat aay t:aees
aac aue: tae sa:eac.a, ei ta. s «e:|c ae:e, tae çatas ei aa acveata:e
|a:.ec . a aaetae: :ea| a.ste:y. i a eemça:.sea «. ta veritas aeterna,
«aese ç:eçe: a. ste:.e.ty uasse:| «.saes te ,:asç aac a|ea| «a.ea ae
sçea|s me:e aac me:e euea as a. s taea,at |eeemes a|| a:ec |y a. ste:y .
ae :ea| ceve|eçmeat etae: taaa taat ei tae va:.a||e esamç|e .ate:ests
a.m. ~eee:c.a,|y, tae ayçetaes.s ei tae «e:|c·«.ce eatast:eçae eea|c
evea se:ve as a :eve|ate:y | et.ea.
1aas, «e saea|c |e a||e te :eçeat analogously tae iameas aaa|ys.s ei
seet.ea 49 ei Ideas i ' 1ae aaa|ys.s eeae| acec taat. ai:e: a ee:ta.a
e.cet.e·t:aaseeaceata| :ecaet.ea, ça:e eease.easaess .s . ataa,. ||e,
evea «aea tae es. st.a, «e:|c .s aaa. a. | atec e: iaetaa| esçe:.eaee c.s·
se|vec ta:ea,a .ate:aa| eear.et . . . . ate .||as.ea (Ideas I, §49, ç. 1 37
,mec.iec}, . uasse:| c. c aet c. sçate taat aace: taese e.:eamstaaees a||
eease.easaess «ea|c in fact |e cest:eyec aac taat .ts «e:|c|y es. steaee
«ea|c |e ea,a|iec «.ta tae «e:|c. ia acc.t.ea, tae e|ea:est .ateat.ea ei
]()O The opposition between intrinsic penetration and extrinsic circumspection is al ­
ready announced in Ideas I, preci sel y concering the hi story of geometry. There Husserl
shows how psychologistic or hi storicist empiricism remains "outside" [ Derrida' s empha­
sis] "geometrical thought and intuition, " whereas "we should enter vital ly into these
acti vi ti es and . . . determine their immanent sense " (§25, p. 85 [modifi ed]). Once exter­
nal hi story i s "reduced, " nothing i s opposed to the fact that thi s immanent sense may
have its own parti cular hi stori ci ty. The opposition between the two hi stories i s an expl i ci t
theme i n the Crisis ( see, for exampl e, §7, pp. 1 7-1 8, and § 1 5, p. 7 1 ) , i n "Philosophy as
Mankind' s Self-Refection" (c, pp. 338-39), and above al l in the Origin.
1 0 1
P. 1 36. The movement i s taken up again i n CM, §7, pp. 1 7-1 8.
94
Jacques Derri
2. 1ae ,:aça.e s.,a, tae ,aa:aatee ei O|]eet.v.ty, eaa a|se in fact |e
cest:eyec. 1a.s caa,e: . s .aae:eat .a tae iaetaa| «e:|c|.aess ei . ase:.ç·
t.ea .tse|i, aac aeta.a, eaa ceia.t.ve|y ç:eteet . ase:.çt.ea i:em ta. s. i a
saea a case, |eeaase uasse:| eeas.ce:s sease ae.tae: aa .a·.tse|i ae: a
ça:e sç.:.taa| .ate:.e:.ty |at aa e|]eet ta:ea,a aac ta:ea,a, «e
m.,at i:st ta.a| taat tae ie:,etia|aess «a.ea ie| |e«s açea tae cest:ae·
t. ea ei O|]eet.v.ty s eastec.a| s. ,a [signe gardien] «ea| c aet aaeet ,as
. a a r| atea. sm e: ne:,sea. sm, tae sa:iaee ei a sease «.taeat
aace:m.a.a, tae sease .tse|i. saea a ie:,etia|aess «ea|c aet ea|y saç·
ç:ess ta. s sease |at «ea|c aaa. a. |ate .t .a tae sçee.ie |e.a,·. a·tae·«e:|c
te «a.ea .ts O|]eet.v.ty .s eat:astec. re: uasse:| e|ea:|y sa.c ta. s.
.aseia: as s.,as eaa |e . mmec. ate|y çe:eeçt.||e |y eve:yeae . a tae. :
corporeality; .aseia: as tae.: |ec.es aac ee:çe:ea| ie:ms a:e a|«ays
a|:eacy .a aa .ate:sa|]eet.ve ae:. zea. taea sease eaa |e ceçes.tec tae:e
aac eemmaaa|.zec [mettre en communaUf] . Ce:çe:ea| este:.e:.ty aa·
cea|tec|y cees aet constitute tae s. ,a as saea |at, .a a sease taat «e
mas| ma|e e|ea:. . s indispensable te .| .
Yet tae ayçetaes. s ei saea a iaetaa| cest:aet.ea cees aet . ate:est
uasse:| a| a| | . wa.|e eemç|ete|y :eee,a. z. a, tae te::.iy. a, reality ei
tae ea::ea| :. s|. ae «ea|c ceay .t aay ta.a|a|| e. . . e. . aay ça. |eseça. ea|
s.,a.| eaaee. Ne cea|t ae «ea|c acm.t taat a aa. ve:sa| eeara,.at. ea.
a «e:|c·«.ce |a:a.a, ei |.|:a:. es. e: a eatast:eçae ei meaameats e:
ceeameats .a ,eae:a| «ea|c . at:. as.ea| | y :ava,e |eaac ea|ta:a|
. cea|.t. es. «aese aet.ea «e eve|ec a|eve. ny tae.: acae:eaee te seme
iaetaa|.t,, taese . cea| .t.es, in their ver sense, «ea|c |e va|ae:a||e te
taat «e:|c|, aee. ceat Deata .s çess.||e ie: taem a|eae aac aas tae
t:aaseeaceata| s.,a. aeat.ea «e ]ast ae« ,:aatec .t, |at ea|, .aseia: as
tae |eaac¯ . cea| . t, .s aa. matec e: t:ave:sec |, a t:aaseeaceata|
.ateat.ea, ea|, . aseia: as .t .s ,a. cec |, tae 1e| es ei aa a|se|ate i:ee.a,
«a.ea aas aet |eea ia| |, atta. aec

uat | .|e taat «a.ea e:.eats uasse:| s
:eueet.ea , sçee.aea||,, tae ia||, i:eec .cea|.t, aac a|se|ate O|]eet.v.t,
ei sease, ie: «a.ea mataemat.es . s tae mece| ), tae ta:eat ei aa .at:. as. e
cest:aet.ea |y tae |ecy ei tae s.,a eaa |e :a|ec eat ~| | iae·aa| «:.t.a,s.
.a «a.ea |:ata eea|c |e sec. meatec. «. | | aeve: |e aayta.a, . a taem·
se| ves |at seas.||e esemç| a:s. . ac.v.caa| eveats . a sçaee aac |.me
,«a.ea . s ea|y t:ae te + ee:ta.a ce,:ee ie: |eaac . cea|. |. es,. s. aee
t:ata cees not esseat.a| |y ceçeac ea any of them, taey eea|c all |e
cest:eyec «.taeat eve:ta|.a, the ver sense of a|se|ate . cea|.ty. ua·
cea|tec|y. a|se|ate . cea|.ty «ea|c |e eaaa,ec. ma|.|atec. +ac eve:·
ta:e«a in fact; çe:aaçs .t «ea|c c. s+ççea: .a iaet i:em tae sa:i+ee ei
tae «e:|c. |a| .ts sease·ei·|e.a, as t:ata. «a.ea .s aet .a tae «e:|c-
ae.|ae: .a ea: «e:|c ae:e. ae· aay etae:-«ea|c :e¬a. a .ataet .a .tse|i
95
Introductin to the Origin of Geometry
its |e. a,·sease «ea|c ç:ese:ve .ts e«a intrinsic a. ste:. e.ty. . |s e«a
.ate:eeaaeet. eas, aac tae eatast:eçae ei «e:|c|y a. ste:y «ea|c :ema.a
exterior te .t .
1aat .s «aat uasse:| meaas «aea ae eççeses internal e: .at:.as.e
(innere) a.ste:.e.ty te external (aussere) a.ste:y. 1a. s c. st.aet.ea, «a.ea
aas ea|y a çaeaemeae|e,.ea| sease, . s cee.s.ve. · it «ea|c |e i:a. t|ess
ie: a. m te e|]eet taat a.ste:.e.ty e: |e.a,·.a·a. ste:y .s ç:ee.se| y tae
çess.|.|.ty ei |e.a, intrinsically esçesec te tae extrinsic, ie: taea tae
a. ste:.e.ty a|se|ate|y ç:eçe: te aay t:ata· sease «ea|c |e m. ss.a,, aac
uasse:| s c. seea:se «ea|c |e ç|aa,ec . ate a eeaias.ea ei s.,a.ieat.eas
aac :e,.eas . we «ea|c taea |e eeaeec.a, taat a ça:e .cea|.ty eaa |e
eaaa,ec |y a :ea| eaase , «a.ea .s te |ese sease. ii ,eemet:y .s t:ae, .ts
.ate:aa| a.ste:y mast |e savec .ate,:a||y i:em a| | seas. ||e a,,:ess.ea.
s. aee ,eemet:y .s t.ec ae.tae: te ta. s memeat ae:e, ae: te ta.s te::.te:y
ae:e, ae: te ta.s «e:|c ae:e, |at te a|| tae «e:|c ( Weltall) , aeta. a, «.| |
eve: staac |et«eea tae «e:|c|y esçe:.eaees «a.ea .aea:aatec ,eemet:y
aac «aat taey aave |e,aa a,a. a. c.seeve:.a, ai:esa ,«.taeat aay t:aees
aac aue: tae sa:eac.a, ei ta. s «e:|c ae:e, tae çatas ei aa acveata:e
|a:.ec . a aaetae: :ea| a.ste:y. i a eemça:.sea «. ta veritas aeterna,
«aese ç:eçe: a. ste:.e.ty uasse:| «.saes te ,:asç aac a|ea| «a.ea ae
sçea|s me:e aac me:e euea as a. s taea,at |eeemes a|| a:ec |y a. ste:y .
ae :ea| ceve|eçmeat etae: taaa taat ei tae va:.a||e esamç|e .ate:ests
a.m. ~eee:c.a,|y, tae ayçetaes.s ei tae «e:|c·«.ce eatast:eçae eea|c
evea se:ve as a :eve|ate:y | et.ea.
1aas, «e saea|c |e a||e te :eçeat analogously tae iameas aaa|ys.s ei
seet.ea 49 ei Ideas i ' 1ae aaa|ys.s eeae| acec taat. ai:e: a ee:ta.a
e.cet.e·t:aaseeaceata| :ecaet.ea, ça:e eease.easaess .s . ataa,. ||e,
evea «aea tae es. st.a, «e:|c .s aaa. a. | atec e: iaetaa| esçe:.eaee c.s·
se|vec ta:ea,a .ate:aa| eear.et . . . . ate .||as.ea (Ideas I, §49, ç. 1 37
,mec.iec}, . uasse:| c. c aet c. sçate taat aace: taese e.:eamstaaees a||
eease.easaess «ea|c in fact |e cest:eyec aac taat .ts «e:|c|y es. steaee
«ea|c |e ea,a|iec «.ta tae «e:|c. ia acc.t.ea, tae e|ea:est .ateat.ea ei
]()O The opposition between intrinsic penetration and extrinsic circumspection is al ­
ready announced in Ideas I, preci sel y concering the hi story of geometry. There Husserl
shows how psychologistic or hi storicist empiricism remains "outside" [ Derrida' s empha­
sis] "geometrical thought and intuition, " whereas "we should enter vital ly into these
acti vi ti es and . . . determine their immanent sense " (§25, p. 85 [modifi ed]). Once exter­
nal hi story i s "reduced, " nothing i s opposed to the fact that thi s immanent sense may
have its own parti cular hi stori ci ty. The opposition between the two hi stories i s an expl i ci t
theme i n the Crisis ( see, for exampl e, §7, pp. 1 7-1 8, and § 1 5, p. 7 1 ) , i n "Philosophy as
Mankind' s Self-Refection" (c, pp. 338-39), and above al l in the Origin.
1 0 1
P. 1 36. The movement i s taken up again i n CM, §7, pp. 1 7-1 8.
96
Jacques Derrd
ta. s aaa|ys.s aac iet.ea . s te esç|.eate a :ecaet.ea «a.ea mast :evea| te
tae |r·kegion-t:aaseeaceata| eease.easaess-tae esseat.a| :e|at. v.ty
ei tae «e:|c s sease ,tae «e:|c |e.a, tae teta|.ty ei :e,.eas, s.aee
t:aaseeaceata| eease.easaess eaa a|«ays aac «.ta eemç|ete i:eecem
mec.iy e: sasçeac tae taes. s ei each ,tae:eie:e ei all) eeat.a,eat es.s·
teaee aac ei each ,tae:eie:e ei all) t:aaseeaceaee. .ts ve:y sease . s
ce ]a:e aac a|se|ate|y . aceçeaceat ei tae «ae|e «e:|c. 1ae s.taat.ea ei
t:ata. ça:t.ea|a:|y ei ,eemet:.ea| t:ata. . s aaa|e,eas. it tae:eie:e
ç:eve|es tae same ¡aest.eas .
i a iaet. ta. s e.cet.e . aceçeaceaee. |:ea,at te | .,at . a a metaece|e,.·
ea| .cea|.sm |y a iet.ea. eaa |e ¡aest.eaec as te . ts va|ae |eyeac tae
memeat ei Ideas I; . e . |eyeac tae memeat tae e. cet.e·t:aaseeaceata|
:ecaet.ea aas aet yet atta.aec .ts iaa| :ac.ea|.ty aac . s ç:ev.s.eaa||y
. mme|.|.zec . a eae :e,.ea. i a eaeet. tae :e,.ea ei ça:e eease.easaess .s
tae :es. cae ei a sa sçeas.ea¯ taat st.|| :ema.as me:e e.cet.e taaa
t:aaseeaceata| aac .s ea|y tae mest ç:eieaac ei tae e.cet.e :ecaet.eas
Yet ta. s sasçeas.ea. «a.ea teacs te c|seeve: tae ç:ete:e,.ea s esseat.a|
st:aeta:es aac .s ee:ta.a|y eeast.tat.ve ei tae «e:|c. .s eeast.tatec .t·
se|i. ~ac. as uasse:| «.|| say. . t . s aet tae a|t.mate t:aaseeaceata|
:e,:ess.ea (ibid. , §8 1 , ç. 2 1 6) . 1 02 wea|c uasse:| aave ]ac,ec ta. s iet.ea
va|.c tae memeat ae stac.ec ,ie: esamç|e. .a tae Cartesian Meditations)
tae ,eaet.e eeast.tat.ea ei tae ego . a tae aa. ty¯ ei . ts a. ste:y:
·
·
i a
a ee:ta.a sease «e eaa say yes 1a:ea,a tae se| .çs.st.e ayçetaes. s . a
«a.ea tae Cartesian Meditations a:e i:st eeaeaec. ça:e eease.easaess
. s st.|| eeas.ce:ec as taat «a.ea ae «e:|c|y iaetaa|.ty eaa çeaet:ate as
saea. as "a selfcontained nexus of being" (Ideas I, §49, ç 1 39
,mec.iec} ,. uacea|tec|y. tae .at:a·e,e|e,.ea| sec.meatat.ea. tae çe·
teat.a| ev. ceaee. tae :es. caes. aac tae :eie:eaees¯

· taat ta. s a.s·
te:y¯ ma|es aeeessa:y a:e ea|y a aet«e:| ei sease . nat |y tae .::e·
ç|aeea|. |.ty. .::eve:s.|.| .ty. aac .ava:. a|.| .ty ei tae.: .ate:eeaaeet.eas.
a:e taey aet a| se iaets¯ e: iaetaa| st:aeta:es «.ta :esçeet te «a.ea
ça:e eease.easaess «ea|c ae |ea,e: |e i:ee: Cea|c taese sec.meata:y
st:aeta:es ce ]a:e sa:v.ve tae aaa.a. |at.ea. tae eve:ta:e«. .a a «e:c.
tae eemç|ete va:.at.ea ei iaetaa|.ty: ~s sease. «ea|c taey aet |e
ma:|ec |y a ee:ta.a e:ce: ei tae iaetaa| «e:|c te «a.ea past eease. eas·
aess . s t.ec-a eease.easaess t. ec tae:e |y . ts e«a .ate:eeaaeet.eas aac
st:aeta:a||y . mç| .eatec .a eve:y ç:eseat eease.easaess:
1 02
These fi rst reductions lead us to "the very threshold of phenomenology" (Ieas I,
§88, p. 237) .
1 0:\ Already cited [see note 7 above] . Al so cf. on thi s FTL. Appendi x I I , � 2h .
pp. 3 1 6-1 7 .
1 04 Already cited [ see note 7 above] .
97
Introductin to the Origin of Geometry
uasse:| «ea|c ç:e|a||y :eç|y taat. .a saea a ease. «e a:e eeas. ce:.a,
iaetaa| st:aeta:es . a tae |.ie ei tae ego-i . e. , st:aeta:es |eaac te
seme :ecae.||e eeat.a,eaey-aac aet esseat.a| eaes :ecaeec te tae.:
ça:e .cea|.ty. 1ae aa.ty ei tae ego' s "histor" .s taat ei tae eidos
"ego. " uasse:| s cese:. çt.ea meaas taat tae esseat.a| ie:m ei eve:y
.ate:eeaaeet.ea. eve:y sec.meatat.ea. aac tae:eie:e eve:y a.ste:y ie:
eve:y ego .s se|i·saue.eat. w.ta.a ta.s)o·¬ ei a. ste:.e.ty taat «e «.sa
te atta.a as aa .ava:.aat . a|| iaete·a.ste:.ea| .ate:eeaaeet.eas a:e va:. ·
a||e at «. ||
s. m.|a:|y. s. aee tae .ate:eeaaeet.eas aac sec.meatat.eas ei ,eemet·
:.ea| t:ata a:e i:ee ei a|| iaetaa| .ty. ae «e:|c|y eatast:eçae eaa çat truth
.tse|i .a caa,e:. ~|| iaetaa| çe:.| . tae:eie:e. steçs at tae ta:esae|c ei .ts
.ate:aa| a.ste:.e.ty Ðvea . i a|| ,eemet:.ea| ceeameats ¯-aac as «e|| .
a|| aetaa| ,eemete:s-aac te eeme te :a.a eae cay. te sçea| ei ta.s as
aa eveat ei¯ ,eemet:y «ea|c |e te eemm.t a ve:y se:. eas eeaias.ea
ei sease aac te a|c.eate :esçeas.|.| .ty ie: a|| :.,e:eas c.seea:se Oae
eaaaet eeme |ae| te a| | ta.s ev.ceaee «.taeat ma|.a, tae seas.||e tae
,:eaac ei ,eemet:.ea| t:ata aac. tae:eie:e. «.taeat ¡aest.ea. a, eaee
me:e tae sease ei ,eemet:y eeast.tatec as aa e.cet.e se.eaee N e« ta.s
sease «as seea:e|y cee.cec «.ta.a tae stat.e aaa| yses taat. as «e sa«
a|eve. «e:e tae .ac.sçeasa||e ,aa:c :a.| s ie: a|| ,eaet.e e: a. ste:.ea|
çaeaemeae|e,y
3 . we «ea|c |e ia||y eeav.aeec. .i ae:e-as .a a.s stat.e aaa| yses-
uasse:| aac eeas.ce:ec «:.t.a, te |e a seas.||e çaeaemeaea nat c.c
«e aet ]ast iac eat taat «:.t.a,. .aasmaea as .t «as ,:eaac.a, ,e:
eeat:.|at.a, te tae ,:eaac.a, ei· t:ata s a|se|ate O|]eet.v.ty. «as aet
merely a eeast.tatec seas.||e |ecy (Korper), |at «as a|se a ç:eçe:|y
eeast.tat.a, |ecy ¡e·/)-tae .ateat.eaa| ç:.me:c.a|.ty ei a ue:e·aac·
N e« ei t:ata: ii «:.t.a, .s both a iaetaa| eveat aac tae açsa:,.a, ei
sease. .i .t .s |eta Korper aaa Leib, ae« «ea|c «:. t.a, ç:ese:ve . ts
Leiblichkeit i:em ee:çe:ea| c.saste:: uasse:| . s aet ,e. a, te . mme|. |. ze
a. s aaa|ys.s «.ta.a ta.s ambiguity, «a.ea ie: a.m .s ea|y a ç:ev.s.eaa|
aac iaetaa| eeaias.ea ei :e,.eas 1ae çaeaemeae|e,.st mast c.sse|ve
tae am|.,a.ty. . i ae cees aet «aat te |e :ecaeec te e¡a. veeat.ea. te
eaeese s. |eaee. e: te ç:ee.ç.tate ¡aeaemeae|e,y .ate philosophy. uas·
se:| . tae:eie:e . ma.ata.as a. s c. ssee. at.ve aaa| ys.s aac c.sa:t.ea|ates tae
am|.,a.ty ia e:ce: te ,:asç tae aata:e ei tae caa,e: ta:eatea.a, t:ata
itsel .a .ts eeast.tat.ve sçeeea e: «:.t.a,. .a e:ce: aet te |eave . ate:·
aa| a.ste:.e. ty. ae . s ,e.a, te t:ae| ce«a tae .ateat.ea ei «:.t.a, ,e: ei
:eac.a,, .a .tse|i aac .a .ts ça:.ty. .a a ae« :ecaet.ea ae . s ,e.a, te
.se|ate tae .ateat.eaa| aet «a.ea eeast.tates Korper as Leib aac ma.ata.a
ta.s aet .a .ts Leiblichkeit, . a .ts |.v.a, t:ata· sease saea aa aaa| ys.s ae
| ea,e: aas aay aeec ei Korper as saea Oa|y .a tae .ateat.eaa| c. mea·
96
Jacques Derrd
ta. s aaa|ys.s aac iet.ea . s te esç|.eate a :ecaet.ea «a.ea mast :evea| te
tae |r·kegion-t:aaseeaceata| eease.easaess-tae esseat.a| :e|at. v.ty
ei tae «e:|c s sease ,tae «e:|c |e.a, tae teta|.ty ei :e,.eas, s.aee
t:aaseeaceata| eease.easaess eaa a|«ays aac «.ta eemç|ete i:eecem
mec.iy e: sasçeac tae taes. s ei each ,tae:eie:e ei all) eeat.a,eat es.s·
teaee aac ei each ,tae:eie:e ei all) t:aaseeaceaee. .ts ve:y sease . s
ce ]a:e aac a|se|ate|y . aceçeaceat ei tae «ae|e «e:|c. 1ae s.taat.ea ei
t:ata. ça:t.ea|a:|y ei ,eemet:.ea| t:ata. . s aaa|e,eas. it tae:eie:e
ç:eve|es tae same ¡aest.eas .
i a iaet. ta. s e.cet.e . aceçeaceaee. |:ea,at te | .,at . a a metaece|e,.·
ea| .cea|.sm |y a iet.ea. eaa |e ¡aest.eaec as te . ts va|ae |eyeac tae
memeat ei Ideas I; . e . |eyeac tae memeat tae e. cet.e·t:aaseeaceata|
:ecaet.ea aas aet yet atta.aec .ts iaa| :ac.ea|.ty aac . s ç:ev.s.eaa||y
. mme|.|.zec . a eae :e,.ea. i a eaeet. tae :e,.ea ei ça:e eease.easaess .s
tae :es. cae ei a sa sçeas.ea¯ taat st.|| :ema.as me:e e.cet.e taaa
t:aaseeaceata| aac .s ea|y tae mest ç:eieaac ei tae e.cet.e :ecaet.eas
Yet ta. s sasçeas.ea. «a.ea teacs te c|seeve: tae ç:ete:e,.ea s esseat.a|
st:aeta:es aac .s ee:ta.a|y eeast.tat.ve ei tae «e:|c. .s eeast.tatec .t·
se|i. ~ac. as uasse:| «.|| say. . t . s aet tae a|t.mate t:aaseeaceata|
:e,:ess.ea (ibid. , §8 1 , ç. 2 1 6) . 1 02 wea|c uasse:| aave ]ac,ec ta. s iet.ea
va|.c tae memeat ae stac.ec ,ie: esamç|e. .a tae Cartesian Meditations)
tae ,eaet.e eeast.tat.ea ei tae ego . a tae aa. ty¯ ei . ts a. ste:y:
·
·
i a
a ee:ta.a sease «e eaa say yes 1a:ea,a tae se| .çs.st.e ayçetaes. s . a
«a.ea tae Cartesian Meditations a:e i:st eeaeaec. ça:e eease.easaess
. s st.|| eeas.ce:ec as taat «a.ea ae «e:|c|y iaetaa|.ty eaa çeaet:ate as
saea. as "a selfcontained nexus of being" (Ideas I, §49, ç 1 39
,mec.iec} ,. uacea|tec|y. tae .at:a·e,e|e,.ea| sec.meatat.ea. tae çe·
teat.a| ev. ceaee. tae :es. caes. aac tae :eie:eaees¯

· taat ta. s a.s·
te:y¯ ma|es aeeessa:y a:e ea|y a aet«e:| ei sease . nat |y tae .::e·
ç|aeea|. |.ty. .::eve:s.|.| .ty. aac .ava:. a|.| .ty ei tae.: .ate:eeaaeet.eas.
a:e taey aet a| se iaets¯ e: iaetaa| st:aeta:es «.ta :esçeet te «a.ea
ça:e eease.easaess «ea|c ae |ea,e: |e i:ee: Cea|c taese sec.meata:y
st:aeta:es ce ]a:e sa:v.ve tae aaa.a. |at.ea. tae eve:ta:e«. .a a «e:c.
tae eemç|ete va:.at.ea ei iaetaa|.ty: ~s sease. «ea|c taey aet |e
ma:|ec |y a ee:ta.a e:ce: ei tae iaetaa| «e:|c te «a.ea past eease. eas·
aess . s t.ec-a eease.easaess t. ec tae:e |y . ts e«a .ate:eeaaeet.eas aac
st:aeta:a||y . mç| .eatec .a eve:y ç:eseat eease.easaess:
1 02
These fi rst reductions lead us to "the very threshold of phenomenology" (Ieas I,
§88, p. 237) .
1 0:\ Already cited [see note 7 above] . Al so cf. on thi s FTL. Appendi x I I , � 2h .
pp. 3 1 6-1 7 .
1 04 Already cited [ see note 7 above] .
97
Introductin to the Origin of Geometry
uasse:| «ea|c ç:e|a||y :eç|y taat. .a saea a ease. «e a:e eeas. ce:.a,
iaetaa| st:aeta:es . a tae |.ie ei tae ego-i . e. , st:aeta:es |eaac te
seme :ecae.||e eeat.a,eaey-aac aet esseat.a| eaes :ecaeec te tae.:
ça:e .cea|.ty. 1ae aa.ty ei tae ego' s "histor" .s taat ei tae eidos
"ego. " uasse:| s cese:. çt.ea meaas taat tae esseat.a| ie:m ei eve:y
.ate:eeaaeet.ea. eve:y sec.meatat.ea. aac tae:eie:e eve:y a.ste:y ie:
eve:y ego .s se|i·saue.eat. w.ta.a ta.s)o·¬ ei a. ste:.e.ty taat «e «.sa
te atta.a as aa .ava:.aat . a|| iaete·a.ste:.ea| .ate:eeaaeet.eas a:e va:. ·
a||e at «. ||
s. m.|a:|y. s. aee tae .ate:eeaaeet.eas aac sec.meatat.eas ei ,eemet·
:.ea| t:ata a:e i:ee ei a|| iaetaa| .ty. ae «e:|c|y eatast:eçae eaa çat truth
.tse|i .a caa,e:. ~|| iaetaa| çe:.| . tae:eie:e. steçs at tae ta:esae|c ei .ts
.ate:aa| a.ste:.e.ty Ðvea . i a|| ,eemet:.ea| ceeameats ¯-aac as «e|| .
a|| aetaa| ,eemete:s-aac te eeme te :a.a eae cay. te sçea| ei ta.s as
aa eveat ei¯ ,eemet:y «ea|c |e te eemm.t a ve:y se:. eas eeaias.ea
ei sease aac te a|c.eate :esçeas.|.| .ty ie: a|| :.,e:eas c.seea:se Oae
eaaaet eeme |ae| te a| | ta.s ev.ceaee «.taeat ma|.a, tae seas.||e tae
,:eaac ei ,eemet:.ea| t:ata aac. tae:eie:e. «.taeat ¡aest.ea. a, eaee
me:e tae sease ei ,eemet:y eeast.tatec as aa e.cet.e se.eaee N e« ta.s
sease «as seea:e|y cee.cec «.ta.a tae stat.e aaa| yses taat. as «e sa«
a|eve. «e:e tae .ac.sçeasa||e ,aa:c :a.| s ie: a|| ,eaet.e e: a. ste:.ea|
çaeaemeae|e,y
3 . we «ea|c |e ia||y eeav.aeec. .i ae:e-as .a a.s stat.e aaa| yses-
uasse:| aac eeas.ce:ec «:.t.a, te |e a seas.||e çaeaemeaea nat c.c
«e aet ]ast iac eat taat «:.t.a,. .aasmaea as .t «as ,:eaac.a, ,e:
eeat:.|at.a, te tae ,:eaac.a, ei· t:ata s a|se|ate O|]eet.v.ty. «as aet
merely a eeast.tatec seas.||e |ecy (Korper), |at «as a|se a ç:eçe:|y
eeast.tat.a, |ecy ¡e·/)-tae .ateat.eaa| ç:.me:c.a|.ty ei a ue:e·aac·
N e« ei t:ata: ii «:.t.a, .s both a iaetaa| eveat aac tae açsa:,.a, ei
sease. .i .t .s |eta Korper aaa Leib, ae« «ea|c «:. t.a, ç:ese:ve . ts
Leiblichkeit i:em ee:çe:ea| c.saste:: uasse:| . s aet ,e. a, te . mme|. |. ze
a. s aaa|ys.s «.ta.a ta.s ambiguity, «a.ea ie: a.m .s ea|y a ç:ev.s.eaa|
aac iaetaa| eeaias.ea ei :e,.eas 1ae çaeaemeae|e,.st mast c.sse|ve
tae am|.,a.ty. . i ae cees aet «aat te |e :ecaeec te e¡a. veeat.ea. te
eaeese s. |eaee. e: te ç:ee.ç.tate ¡aeaemeae|e,y .ate philosophy. uas·
se:| . tae:eie:e . ma.ata.as a. s c. ssee. at.ve aaa| ys.s aac c.sa:t.ea|ates tae
am|.,a.ty ia e:ce: te ,:asç tae aata:e ei tae caa,e: ta:eatea.a, t:ata
itsel .a .ts eeast.tat.ve sçeeea e: «:.t.a,. .a e:ce: aet te |eave . ate:·
aa| a.ste:.e. ty. ae . s ,e.a, te t:ae| ce«a tae .ateat.ea ei «:.t.a, ,e: ei
:eac.a,, .a .tse|i aac .a .ts ça:.ty. .a a ae« :ecaet.ea ae . s ,e.a, te
.se|ate tae .ateat.eaa| aet «a.ea eeast.tates Korper as Leib aac ma.ata.a
ta.s aet .a .ts Leiblichkeit, . a .ts |.v.a, t:ata· sease saea aa aaa| ys.s ae
| ea,e: aas aay aeec ei Korper as saea Oa|y .a tae .ateat.eaa| c. mea·
98
Jacques Derrid
s.ea ei a ç:eçe:| y aa. mate |ecy, ei tae geistige Leiblichkit, me:e ç:e·
e. se| y, .a tae Geistigkeit ei tae Leib ,te tae ese|as.ea ei a| | iaetaa|
ee:çe:ea| .ty, , . s sease .at:.as.ea||y ta:eateaec ~|taea,a .a a word
[mot], Korper aac Leib, |ecy aac resa , a:e infact aame:.ea| | y eae aac
tae same es.steat , tae.: seases a:e ceia.t.ve|y aete:e,eaeeas, aac ae·
ta. a, eaa eeme te tae |atte: ta:ea,a tae ie:me: Forgetulness ei t:ata
.tse|i «.|| taas |e aeta.a, |at tae ia.|a:e ei aa aet aac tae a|c.eat.ea ei a
:esçeas.|. | .ty, a |açse me:e taaa a ceieat-aac ta.s ie:,etia|aess eaa |e
mace te aççea: .a çe:sea ea|y ea tae |as. s ei aa .ateat.eaa| a. ste:y
r:em taea ea, «aetae: .t :ema.as as tae c.saççea:aaee ei .ate:sa|·
]eet.ve t:ata e:, as «e sa.c a|eve, a a.ste:.ea| eate,e:y, forgetfulness
eaa aeve:tae|ess |e cese:.|ec as a çaeaemeaea ei tae ego, as eae ei .ts
.ateat.eaa| ¬ec.ieat.eas ~s . ateat.eaa| sease, eve:yta.a, eaa aac
saea|c |e cese:.|ec ea| y as a mec.ieat.ea ei tae ça:e ego, ç:ev.cec tae
sease ei eaea ¬ec.| eat.ea .s ç:aceat| y :esçeetec, as uasse:| t:.es te
ce, ie: esamç|e, eeaee:a.a, tae c.uea|t eeast.tat.ea ei tae alter ego.
we a|se see taat , ie: tae same :easea, ie:,etia|aess «. || aeve: |e :ac.·
ea| , ae«eve: ç:eieaac .t may |e, aac sease eaa a|«ays, .a ç:.ae.ç|e aac
ce ]a:e , |e :eaet.vatec
ia Formal and Transcendental Logic aac taea .a tae Crisis, | .a,a. st.e
e|]eet.ieat.ea aac mataemat.ea| sym|e| .zat.ea «e:e ç:eseatec as tae
eeeas.ea ei tae teeaa.e. st s aac e|]eet. v. st s a|.eaat. ea, «a.ea ce·
,:acec se.eaee . ate a s|.|| e: ,ame ' · 1a.s aeeasat.ea, ta|ea aç a,a.a .a
tae Origin, . s me:e ça:t.ea|a:|y c. :eetec a,a. ast tae metaece|e,.ea| aac
eçe:at.ve teaea. a, ei mataemat.es Oae |ea:as te ase s.,as «aese
ç:.me:c.a| sease ,«a.ea . s aet a|«ays |ae |e,.ea| sease taat .s
sec. meatec aac aeeess.||e te aa explication) . s eeaeea|ec e: çetea·
t.a| .zec aace: sec.¬eatat.eas 1ae | atte:, «a.ea a:e ea| y .ateat. eas e:
.ateat.eaa| seases mace ce:maat, a:e aet ea|y superimposed .a tae
.ate:aa| |eeem.a, ei sease, |at a:e me:e e: | ess v. :taa| | y implicated .a
tae.: teta| .ty .a eaea sta,e e: steç ,ia tae Origin, tae aet.ea ei Stufe aas
|eta a st:aeta:a| aac ,eaet.e sease aac eaa |e t:aas|atec |y steç e:
|y sta,e · 1ae ,ee|e,.ea| . ma,e ei sec. meatat.ea t:aas|ates :e·
¬a:|a||y «e|| tae sty|e ei taat . mç| .eat.ea it |:.a,s te,etae:, ie: a||
.ateats aac ça:çeses, tae ie| |e«. a, . ¬a,es. 1ae .ma,e ei level e:
stratum-what .s ceçes.tec |y aa .a:eac e: a ç:e,:ess.ea aite: tae
:ac.ea| aeve|ty ei aa .::açt.ea e: upsurge: eve:y acvaaee, eve:y ç:e·
çes.t.ea (Satz) ei a ae« sease .s at the same time a leap (Satz) aac a
I ().; Cf. in particular C, §9f On "meaningless signs" [signes depourvus de signifcation]
and "games-meani ng" [signifcation de jeu] , cf. LI. I , 1 , *20. pp. 304-06. On vocables
and real signs as "bearers" of signifed idealities, cf. E, §65, p. 268.
99
Introductin to the Origin of Geometr
sedimentar (satzartig) ia|| |ae| ei sease ~|se , tae .ma,e ei tae sa|·
staat.a| çe:maaeaee ei «aat . s taea 'upposed e: situated under tae sa:·
iaee ei aetaa|| y ç:eseat ev. ceaee ~ac iaa||y, tae . ma,e ei tae eea·
eea|ec ç:eseaee taat aa aet.v.ty ei eseavat.ea eaa a|«ays :e·ç:ecaee
a|eve ,:eaac as tae ieaacat.ea, taat . s .tse|i ,:eaacec, ei a. ,ae:
st:at.ieat.eas it |:.a,s a|| ta.s te,etae: . a tae st:aeta:a| aac internal
aa. ty ei a system, ei a :e,. ea . a «a.ea a|| ceçes.ts, .ate::e|atec |at
c.st.aet, a:e e:.,.aa||y ç:ese:.|ec |y aa archi-tectonics.
Ceai:eat.a, sec.meatec sease, ea: i:st caa,e: . s passivity. ia tae
Origin, uasse:| c«e|| s me:e ea tae :eeeçt.ve aeeeçtaaee ei s.,as-i:st
.a :eac.a,-taaa ea tae seeeaca:y teeaa.ea| e: |e,.ea| aet.v.ty taat . s
aet ea|y aet eeat:ac.ete:y te tae i:st çass.v. ty |at, ea tae eeat:a:y,
saççeses . t 1ae syataes.s «a.ea a«a|eas tae s.,a te s.,a.ieat.ea . s
i:st, .a iaet, aeeessa:.|y çass. ve aac assee. at.ve

· 1ae çess.|. | .ty ei
,.v.a, «ay te ta.s i:st expectation ei sease .s a | ast.a, caa,e: nat ea|y
freedom eaa |et .tse|i |e ta:eateaec . a ta.s «ay. «e a:e a|«ays i:ee te
:ea«a|ea aay çass. ve| y :eee.vec sease, te :eaa.mate a|| . ts v.:taa|.t.es,
aac te t:aasie:m taem |ae| . ate tae ee::esçeac.a, aet.v.ty
1a.s i:eecem . s tae eaçae.ty ie: :eaet.vat.ea taat |e|ea,s e:.,.aa||y te
eve:y aamaa |e.a, as a sçea|.a, |e.a, ( 1 6) . ny ta. s :eaet.vat.ea,
«a.ea, uasse:| states , .s aet .a iaet tae ae:m aac «.taeat «a.ea a
ee:ta.a eemç:eaeas.ea .s a|«ays çess.|| e, i aet.ve| y :e·ç:ecaee tae
ç:.me:c.a| ev.ceaee . i ma|e myse|i ia||y :esçeas.|| e ie: aac eease. eas
ei tae sease taat i ta|e aç Reaktivierung . s, .a tae cema.a ei .cea|
e|]eet.v.t.es , tae ve:y aet ei a|| Verntwortung aac ei a| | Besinnung, . a
tae seases ceiaec ea:|.e: Reaktivierung çe:m.ts |:.a,.a, te |.ie, aace:
tae sec.meata:y sa:iaees ei | .a,a.st.e aac ea|ta:a| ae¡a. s.t.eas, tae
sease a:.s.a, i:em . ast.tat.a, ev.ceaee 1a.s sease .s :eaa. matec |y tae
iaet taat i :este:e .t te .ts ceçeaceaee ea my ae| aac :eç:ecaee .t .a
myse|i saea as .t aac |eea ç:ecaeec ie: tae i:st t. me |y aaetae: Oi
eea:se, tae aet. v.ty ei :eaet.vat.ea .s seeeac waat .t ,.ves |ae| te me
I Of
This theme of passi ve synthesis is copiousl y explicated i n EJ and eM, but once
again it is in FTL that it i s particularly focused (as in the Origin) by the problem of the
sign and of the sedi mentation of ideal objecti vities. Cf. i n parti cular Appendix I I , pp.
3 1 3-29. On the sense of acti vities and passi vities in a phenomenology of reading as
outlined in the Origin, also see FTL, § 1 6, pp. 56-60.
Of course, the themes of passivity and sedimentation, i . e . , of the potentiality of sense ,
deri ve all thei r seriousness from the fact that they are imposed on a philosophy of actually
present evidence whose "pri nciple of all principles" is the immediate and actual [en acte]
presence of sense itself. If reactivation is valuable and urgent, that is because it can bring
back to present and acti ve evi dence a sense which is thus retrieved out of historical
vi rtual i ty. If, on the surface, phenomenology allows itself to be summoned outside of
itself by hi story, i t thus has found i n reactivation the medi um of its fdel i ty.
98
Jacques Derrid
s.ea ei a ç:eçe:| y aa. mate |ecy, ei tae geistige Leiblichkit, me:e ç:e·
e. se| y, .a tae Geistigkeit ei tae Leib ,te tae ese|as.ea ei a| | iaetaa|
ee:çe:ea| .ty, , . s sease .at:.as.ea||y ta:eateaec ~|taea,a .a a word
[mot], Korper aac Leib, |ecy aac resa , a:e infact aame:.ea| | y eae aac
tae same es.steat , tae.: seases a:e ceia.t.ve|y aete:e,eaeeas, aac ae·
ta. a, eaa eeme te tae |atte: ta:ea,a tae ie:me: Forgetulness ei t:ata
.tse|i «.|| taas |e aeta.a, |at tae ia.|a:e ei aa aet aac tae a|c.eat.ea ei a
:esçeas.|. | .ty, a |açse me:e taaa a ceieat-aac ta.s ie:,etia|aess eaa |e
mace te aççea: .a çe:sea ea|y ea tae |as. s ei aa .ateat.eaa| a. ste:y
r:em taea ea, «aetae: .t :ema.as as tae c.saççea:aaee ei .ate:sa|·
]eet.ve t:ata e:, as «e sa.c a|eve, a a.ste:.ea| eate,e:y, forgetfulness
eaa aeve:tae|ess |e cese:.|ec as a çaeaemeaea ei tae ego, as eae ei .ts
.ateat.eaa| ¬ec.ieat.eas ~s . ateat.eaa| sease, eve:yta.a, eaa aac
saea|c |e cese:.|ec ea| y as a mec.ieat.ea ei tae ça:e ego, ç:ev.cec tae
sease ei eaea ¬ec.| eat.ea .s ç:aceat| y :esçeetec, as uasse:| t:.es te
ce, ie: esamç|e, eeaee:a.a, tae c.uea|t eeast.tat.ea ei tae alter ego.
we a|se see taat , ie: tae same :easea, ie:,etia|aess «. || aeve: |e :ac.·
ea| , ae«eve: ç:eieaac .t may |e, aac sease eaa a|«ays, .a ç:.ae.ç|e aac
ce ]a:e , |e :eaet.vatec
ia Formal and Transcendental Logic aac taea .a tae Crisis, | .a,a. st.e
e|]eet.ieat.ea aac mataemat.ea| sym|e| .zat.ea «e:e ç:eseatec as tae
eeeas.ea ei tae teeaa.e. st s aac e|]eet. v. st s a|.eaat. ea, «a.ea ce·
,:acec se.eaee . ate a s|.|| e: ,ame ' · 1a.s aeeasat.ea, ta|ea aç a,a.a .a
tae Origin, . s me:e ça:t.ea|a:|y c. :eetec a,a. ast tae metaece|e,.ea| aac
eçe:at.ve teaea. a, ei mataemat.es Oae |ea:as te ase s.,as «aese
ç:.me:c.a| sease ,«a.ea . s aet a|«ays |ae |e,.ea| sease taat .s
sec. meatec aac aeeess.||e te aa explication) . s eeaeea|ec e: çetea·
t.a| .zec aace: sec.¬eatat.eas 1ae | atte:, «a.ea a:e ea| y .ateat. eas e:
.ateat.eaa| seases mace ce:maat, a:e aet ea|y superimposed .a tae
.ate:aa| |eeem.a, ei sease, |at a:e me:e e: | ess v. :taa| | y implicated .a
tae.: teta| .ty .a eaea sta,e e: steç ,ia tae Origin, tae aet.ea ei Stufe aas
|eta a st:aeta:a| aac ,eaet.e sease aac eaa |e t:aas|atec |y steç e:
|y sta,e · 1ae ,ee|e,.ea| . ma,e ei sec. meatat.ea t:aas|ates :e·
¬a:|a||y «e|| tae sty|e ei taat . mç| .eat.ea it |:.a,s te,etae:, ie: a||
.ateats aac ça:çeses, tae ie| |e«. a, . ¬a,es. 1ae .ma,e ei level e:
stratum-what .s ceçes.tec |y aa .a:eac e: a ç:e,:ess.ea aite: tae
:ac.ea| aeve|ty ei aa .::açt.ea e: upsurge: eve:y acvaaee, eve:y ç:e·
çes.t.ea (Satz) ei a ae« sease .s at the same time a leap (Satz) aac a
I ().; Cf. in particular C, §9f On "meaningless signs" [signes depourvus de signifcation]
and "games-meani ng" [signifcation de jeu] , cf. LI. I , 1 , *20. pp. 304-06. On vocables
and real signs as "bearers" of signifed idealities, cf. E, §65, p. 268.
99
Introductin to the Origin of Geometr
sedimentar (satzartig) ia|| |ae| ei sease ~|se , tae .ma,e ei tae sa|·
staat.a| çe:maaeaee ei «aat . s taea 'upposed e: situated under tae sa:·
iaee ei aetaa|| y ç:eseat ev. ceaee ~ac iaa||y, tae . ma,e ei tae eea·
eea|ec ç:eseaee taat aa aet.v.ty ei eseavat.ea eaa a|«ays :e·ç:ecaee
a|eve ,:eaac as tae ieaacat.ea, taat . s .tse|i ,:eaacec, ei a. ,ae:
st:at.ieat.eas it |:.a,s a|| ta.s te,etae: . a tae st:aeta:a| aac internal
aa. ty ei a system, ei a :e,. ea . a «a.ea a|| ceçes.ts, .ate::e|atec |at
c.st.aet, a:e e:.,.aa||y ç:ese:.|ec |y aa archi-tectonics.
Ceai:eat.a, sec.meatec sease, ea: i:st caa,e: . s passivity. ia tae
Origin, uasse:| c«e|| s me:e ea tae :eeeçt.ve aeeeçtaaee ei s.,as-i:st
.a :eac.a,-taaa ea tae seeeaca:y teeaa.ea| e: |e,.ea| aet.v.ty taat . s
aet ea|y aet eeat:ac.ete:y te tae i:st çass.v. ty |at, ea tae eeat:a:y,
saççeses . t 1ae syataes.s «a.ea a«a|eas tae s.,a te s.,a.ieat.ea . s
i:st, .a iaet, aeeessa:.|y çass. ve aac assee. at.ve

· 1ae çess.|. | .ty ei
,.v.a, «ay te ta.s i:st expectation ei sease .s a | ast.a, caa,e: nat ea|y
freedom eaa |et .tse|i |e ta:eateaec . a ta.s «ay. «e a:e a|«ays i:ee te
:ea«a|ea aay çass. ve| y :eee.vec sease, te :eaa.mate a|| . ts v.:taa|.t.es,
aac te t:aasie:m taem |ae| . ate tae ee::esçeac.a, aet.v.ty
1a.s i:eecem . s tae eaçae.ty ie: :eaet.vat.ea taat |e|ea,s e:.,.aa||y te
eve:y aamaa |e.a, as a sçea|.a, |e.a, ( 1 6) . ny ta. s :eaet.vat.ea,
«a.ea, uasse:| states , .s aet .a iaet tae ae:m aac «.taeat «a.ea a
ee:ta.a eemç:eaeas.ea .s a|«ays çess.|| e, i aet.ve| y :e·ç:ecaee tae
ç:.me:c.a| ev.ceaee . i ma|e myse|i ia||y :esçeas.|| e ie: aac eease. eas
ei tae sease taat i ta|e aç Reaktivierung . s, .a tae cema.a ei .cea|
e|]eet.v.t.es , tae ve:y aet ei a|| Verntwortung aac ei a| | Besinnung, . a
tae seases ceiaec ea:|.e: Reaktivierung çe:m.ts |:.a,.a, te |.ie, aace:
tae sec.meata:y sa:iaees ei | .a,a.st.e aac ea|ta:a| ae¡a. s.t.eas, tae
sease a:.s.a, i:em . ast.tat.a, ev.ceaee 1a.s sease .s :eaa. matec |y tae
iaet taat i :este:e .t te .ts ceçeaceaee ea my ae| aac :eç:ecaee .t .a
myse|i saea as .t aac |eea ç:ecaeec ie: tae i:st t. me |y aaetae: Oi
eea:se, tae aet. v.ty ei :eaet.vat.ea .s seeeac waat .t ,.ves |ae| te me
I Of
This theme of passi ve synthesis is copiousl y explicated i n EJ and eM, but once
again it is in FTL that it i s particularly focused (as in the Origin) by the problem of the
sign and of the sedi mentation of ideal objecti vities. Cf. i n parti cular Appendix I I , pp.
3 1 3-29. On the sense of acti vities and passi vities in a phenomenology of reading as
outlined in the Origin, also see FTL, § 1 6, pp. 56-60.
Of course, the themes of passivity and sedimentation, i . e . , of the potentiality of sense ,
deri ve all thei r seriousness from the fact that they are imposed on a philosophy of actually
present evidence whose "pri nciple of all principles" is the immediate and actual [en acte]
presence of sense itself. If reactivation is valuable and urgent, that is because it can bring
back to present and acti ve evi dence a sense which is thus retrieved out of historical
vi rtual i ty. If, on the surface, phenomenology allows itself to be summoned outside of
itself by hi story, i t thus has found i n reactivation the medi um of its fdel i ty.
100
Jacques De"id
|s tae e:|,.aa||y ç:eseat|ve |ata| t|ea ,taat ei tae ,eemet:|ea| ie:mat|ea,
ie: esamç|e, «a|ea | s |eta aa aet|v|ty aac a çass|v|ty. i i ta| s aet|v|ty |s
esçee|a||y |||am|aatec ae:e, |t |s ae cea|t |eeaase tae ev|ceaee eeas|c·
e:ec |s taat ei e:eatec aac esta|||saec |cea| ie:mat|eas . ··
xesçeas||| ||t, ie: :eaet|vat|ea | s a ee·:esçeas|||||t,. tt ea,a,es tae
eae «ae :eee|ves , |at a|se aac a:st ei a|| tae eae «ae e:eates aac taea
esç:esses tae sease ie: sec| meatat|eas e|||te:ate sease ea|, |aseia: as
tae:e a:e sa:iaees ava||a||e ie: ta| s. 1ae equivocit ei esç:ess|ea |s tae
eaesea ae|c ei sec|meata:y ceçes|ts . 1aat .s «ay tae ç:|ma||y | ast|tat·
|a, ,eemete: aac taese «ae ie| |e« aite: a|m mast |e eeaee:aec a|eat
tae aa|vee|ty ei | |a,a|st|e esç:ess|ea aac a|eat seea:|a,, |y a ve:y
ea:eia| ee|a|a, ei «e:cs, ç:eçes|t|eas, aac eemç|eses ei ç:eçes|t|eas,
t ae :esa|ts «a|ea a:e te |e aa. veea||y esç:essec ( 1 65 ,mec|aec}, .
uasse:| aeve: eeasec te aççea| te tae |mçe:at|ve ei aa|vee|ty
Сa|vee|ty |s tae çata ei a| | ça||eseça|ea| a|e::at|ea. i t |s a| | tae me:e
c|uea|t aet te |e aasty ae:e , as tae sease ei e¡a|vee|ty |a ,eae:a| |s
|tse|i e¡a|veea| . 1ae:e |s a contingent ç|a:|vee|ty e: ma|t|s|,a|aeaaee
aac aa essential eae. 1aese a:e a|:eacy c|st|a,a|saec |a tae Investiga­
tions (LI, i , 1 , § 26, ç 3 1 4) . 1ae a:st ceçeacs ea aa e|]eet|ve eea vea·
t|ea, taas tae «e:c ce, s|,a|aes |eta a tyçe ei aa|ma| aac ,|a
Ce:maa, a tyçe ei «a,ea , asec | a m|aes, . 1a|s ç|a:|vee|ty cees aet
m|s|eac aayeae aac «e a:e a|«ays i:ee te :ecaee |t. · 1ae seeeac |s ei
107
To try to illuminate this point, we first would have to approach directly and fo itself
the difcult and decisive problem in phenomenology of activity and passivity in generl
on the basis of texts directly devoted to thi s (EJ, FTL, eM) . Such a study would perhaps
have to conclude that phenomenology has only argued with the arbitrary sense
[exigence du sens] of this couple of concepts, or indefnitely struggled with them, nael y,
wi th the most "irreducible" heritage (and indeed thereby perhaps the most obscuring
heritage) of Wester philosophy. In one of the fnest analyses where he works with the
concepts of passivity, activity, and passivity in activity, Husserl notes that the distinction
between these two notions cannot be "infexible, " and that in each case their sense must
be "recreated" according to "the concrete situation of the analysis, " as "for every
description of intentional phenomena" (E, §23 , p. 1 08) .
1 08
LI, I , 1 , § 26, p. 3 1 4: "The class of ambiguous expressions illustrated by this last
example are what one usually has in mind when one speaks of 'equivoation' . Ambiguity
i n such cases does not tend to shake our faith in the ideality and objectivity of
signifi cations. We are free, in fact, to limit our expression to a single signification. The
ideal unity of each of the difering signifcations will not be afected by their attachment to
a common designation" [modifed] .
The purpose of univocity supposes, then, a decisive rupture with spontaneous lan­
guage, with the "civil language " of which Leibniz used to speak; after that, "philo­
sophical" or "scholarly [savant]" language can freely be given its own particular con­
ventions. Does not the sentence just cited sound like the faithful echo of another sentence
of the Nouveaux Essais sur l' Entendement Humain, well known to Husserl and where
101
Introductin to the Origin of Geometr
sa|]eet.ve e:|,.a, aac .t ceçeacs ea e:|,.aa| |ateat.eas. ea a|«ays ae«
esçe:|eaees «a|ea aa.mate tae .ceat.ty ei e|]eet.ve sease aac mase .t
eate: .ate aaie:eseea||e eeaa,a:at.eas . 1a. s ç|a:. vee. ty . s aa aa·
ave|ca||e :atae: taaa eaaaee am|.,a.ty flurivocite], eae taat eaaaet |e
:emevec i:em ea: |aa,aa,e |y aa a:t|ae. a| cev.ee e: eeaveat.ea
(LI, ç 3 1 4) .
ue«eve:. ta|s |ast e¡a.vee.ty . s «aat se|eaee aac ça. |eseçay mast
eve:eeme. i t . s aaave.ca||e ea|y .a aata:a| |aa,aa,e. | e , |a tae
iaete·ea|ta:a| çaeaemeaea ç:eeec|a, tae :ecaet.ea 1aat uasse:| . s se
aas.eas te :ecaee tae e¡a|veea| sease ei ea|ta:a| aa.vet- :evea| s a
eeaee:a taat eaee me:e eea|c |e .ate:ç:etec |eta as a :eiasa| ei a.ste:y
aac as a ceeç ice|.ty te tae ça:e sease ei a|ste:|e.ty On the one hand, .a
eaeet . aa|vee.ty :emeves t:ata eat ei a. ste:y s :eaea ua. veea| ex·
ç:ess|ea eemç|ete| y |:ea|s tae sa:iaee aac eae:s ae ta:a.a, |ae|
[rep/i] te tae me:e e: | ess v.:taa| s|,a|ieat|eas taat tae .ateat.eas eea|c
ceçes.t a|| a|ea, tae acvaaees ei a |aa,aa,e e: ea|ta:e. 1aas uasse:| s
eeastaat assee|at|ea ei e¡a. veea| ç:eeeec.a,s «. ta a e:.t|e.sm ei pro-
fundity |s aace:staaca||e · neeaase .t |:|a,s eve:yta|a, te v.e« «|ta.a
a ç:eseat aet ei ev. ceaee, |eeaase aeta|a, . s a|ccea e: aaaeaaeec |a
tae çeaam|:a ei çeteat.a| |ateat|eas, |eeaase . t aas maste:ec a| | tae
cyaam|es ei sease. aa. veea| |aa,aa,e :ema|as the same. it taas |eeçs
|ts . cea| . ceat|ty ta:ea,aeat a| | ea|ta:a| ceve|eçmeat. it .s tae eeac.·
t.ea taat a| |e«s eemmaa|eat|ea amea, ,eae:at|eas ei |avest.,ate:s ae
matte: ae« c|staat aac assa:es tae esaet|tace ei t:aas|at.ea aac tae
Theophilus says: "i t depends upon us to fix their meanings [signifcations] , at least in any
scholarly language, and to agree to destroy this tower of Babel" (Book I I , Ch . i x, §9 [ET:
New Essays Concerning Human Understanding, tr. Alfred Gideon Langley (Chicago:
Open Court, 1 91 6), p. 373]) 7 This optimism i s only one of the afnities between Leibniz' s
and Husserl's philosophies of language: More broadly speaking, Husserl also very early
felt himself the heir to the Leibnizian conception of logic in general. Cf. notably LI, I ,
Prol . , §60, pp. 21 8f.
109
On this, cf. above all "PRS, " p. 1 44: "Profundity [Tiefsinn] i s a mark of the chaos
that genuine science wants to transform into a cosmos, into a simple, completely clear,
lucid order. Genuine science, so far as its real doctrine extends, knows no profundity. "
Husserl then proposes t o re-strike (umprigen), as i n the case of a currency rvaluation,
"the conjectures of profundity into unequivocal [German: eindeutige; French: uni­
voques] rational forms" and thus to "constitut[e] anew the rigorous sciences. " Likewise,
Husserl ' s criticisms written in the margins of [Heidegger's] Sein und Zeit attribute to a
Tiefsinnigkeit the responsibility for the Heideggerian "displacement" toward what Hus­
serl defnes as a facto-anthropological plane. Husserl prefers the value of interiority to
that of profundity or depth, interiority being related to the penetration of interal, intrinsic
(inner), i . e. , essential (wesentlich), sense.
100
Jacques De"id
|s tae e:|,.aa||y ç:eseat|ve |ata| t|ea ,taat ei tae ,eemet:|ea| ie:mat|ea,
ie: esamç|e, «a|ea | s |eta aa aet|v|ty aac a çass|v|ty. i i ta| s aet|v|ty |s
esçee|a||y |||am|aatec ae:e, |t |s ae cea|t |eeaase tae ev|ceaee eeas|c·
e:ec |s taat ei e:eatec aac esta|||saec |cea| ie:mat|eas . ··
xesçeas||| ||t, ie: :eaet|vat|ea | s a ee·:esçeas|||||t,. tt ea,a,es tae
eae «ae :eee|ves , |at a|se aac a:st ei a|| tae eae «ae e:eates aac taea
esç:esses tae sease ie: sec| meatat|eas e|||te:ate sease ea|, |aseia: as
tae:e a:e sa:iaees ava||a||e ie: ta| s. 1ae equivocit ei esç:ess|ea |s tae
eaesea ae|c ei sec|meata:y ceçes|ts . 1aat .s «ay tae ç:|ma||y | ast|tat·
|a, ,eemete: aac taese «ae ie| |e« aite: a|m mast |e eeaee:aec a|eat
tae aa|vee|ty ei | |a,a|st|e esç:ess|ea aac a|eat seea:|a,, |y a ve:y
ea:eia| ee|a|a, ei «e:cs, ç:eçes|t|eas, aac eemç|eses ei ç:eçes|t|eas,
t ae :esa|ts «a|ea a:e te |e aa. veea||y esç:essec ( 1 65 ,mec|aec}, .
uasse:| aeve: eeasec te aççea| te tae |mçe:at|ve ei aa|vee|ty
Сa|vee|ty |s tae çata ei a| | ça||eseça|ea| a|e::at|ea. i t |s a| | tae me:e
c|uea|t aet te |e aasty ae:e , as tae sease ei e¡a|vee|ty |a ,eae:a| |s
|tse|i e¡a|veea| . 1ae:e |s a contingent ç|a:|vee|ty e: ma|t|s|,a|aeaaee
aac aa essential eae. 1aese a:e a|:eacy c|st|a,a|saec |a tae Investiga­
tions (LI, i , 1 , § 26, ç 3 1 4) . 1ae a:st ceçeacs ea aa e|]eet|ve eea vea·
t|ea, taas tae «e:c ce, s|,a|aes |eta a tyçe ei aa|ma| aac ,|a
Ce:maa, a tyçe ei «a,ea , asec | a m|aes, . 1a|s ç|a:|vee|ty cees aet
m|s|eac aayeae aac «e a:e a|«ays i:ee te :ecaee |t. · 1ae seeeac |s ei
107
To try to illuminate this point, we first would have to approach directly and fo itself
the difcult and decisive problem in phenomenology of activity and passivity in generl
on the basis of texts directly devoted to thi s (EJ, FTL, eM) . Such a study would perhaps
have to conclude that phenomenology has only argued with the arbitrary sense
[exigence du sens] of this couple of concepts, or indefnitely struggled with them, nael y,
wi th the most "irreducible" heritage (and indeed thereby perhaps the most obscuring
heritage) of Wester philosophy. In one of the fnest analyses where he works with the
concepts of passivity, activity, and passivity in activity, Husserl notes that the distinction
between these two notions cannot be "infexible, " and that in each case their sense must
be "recreated" according to "the concrete situation of the analysis, " as "for every
description of intentional phenomena" (E, §23 , p. 1 08) .
1 08
LI, I , 1 , § 26, p. 3 1 4: "The class of ambiguous expressions illustrated by this last
example are what one usually has in mind when one speaks of 'equivoation' . Ambiguity
i n such cases does not tend to shake our faith in the ideality and objectivity of
signifi cations. We are free, in fact, to limit our expression to a single signification. The
ideal unity of each of the difering signifcations will not be afected by their attachment to
a common designation" [modifed] .
The purpose of univocity supposes, then, a decisive rupture with spontaneous lan­
guage, with the "civil language " of which Leibniz used to speak; after that, "philo­
sophical" or "scholarly [savant]" language can freely be given its own particular con­
ventions. Does not the sentence just cited sound like the faithful echo of another sentence
of the Nouveaux Essais sur l' Entendement Humain, well known to Husserl and where
101
Introductin to the Origin of Geometr
sa|]eet.ve e:|,.a, aac .t ceçeacs ea e:|,.aa| |ateat.eas. ea a|«ays ae«
esçe:|eaees «a|ea aa.mate tae .ceat.ty ei e|]eet.ve sease aac mase .t
eate: .ate aaie:eseea||e eeaa,a:at.eas . 1a. s ç|a:. vee. ty . s aa aa·
ave|ca||e :atae: taaa eaaaee am|.,a.ty flurivocite], eae taat eaaaet |e
:emevec i:em ea: |aa,aa,e |y aa a:t|ae. a| cev.ee e: eeaveat.ea
(LI, ç 3 1 4) .
ue«eve:. ta|s |ast e¡a.vee.ty . s «aat se|eaee aac ça. |eseçay mast
eve:eeme. i t . s aaave.ca||e ea|y .a aata:a| |aa,aa,e. | e , |a tae
iaete·ea|ta:a| çaeaemeaea ç:eeec|a, tae :ecaet.ea 1aat uasse:| . s se
aas.eas te :ecaee tae e¡a|veea| sease ei ea|ta:a| aa.vet- :evea| s a
eeaee:a taat eaee me:e eea|c |e .ate:ç:etec |eta as a :eiasa| ei a.ste:y
aac as a ceeç ice|.ty te tae ça:e sease ei a|ste:|e.ty On the one hand, .a
eaeet . aa|vee.ty :emeves t:ata eat ei a. ste:y s :eaea ua. veea| ex·
ç:ess|ea eemç|ete| y |:ea|s tae sa:iaee aac eae:s ae ta:a.a, |ae|
[rep/i] te tae me:e e: | ess v.:taa| s|,a|ieat|eas taat tae .ateat.eas eea|c
ceçes.t a|| a|ea, tae acvaaees ei a |aa,aa,e e: ea|ta:e. 1aas uasse:| s
eeastaat assee|at|ea ei e¡a. veea| ç:eeeec.a,s «. ta a e:.t|e.sm ei pro-
fundity |s aace:staaca||e · neeaase .t |:|a,s eve:yta|a, te v.e« «|ta.a
a ç:eseat aet ei ev. ceaee, |eeaase aeta|a, . s a|ccea e: aaaeaaeec |a
tae çeaam|:a ei çeteat.a| |ateat|eas, |eeaase . t aas maste:ec a| | tae
cyaam|es ei sease. aa. veea| |aa,aa,e :ema|as the same. it taas |eeçs
|ts . cea| . ceat|ty ta:ea,aeat a| | ea|ta:a| ceve|eçmeat. it .s tae eeac.·
t.ea taat a| |e«s eemmaa|eat|ea amea, ,eae:at|eas ei |avest.,ate:s ae
matte: ae« c|staat aac assa:es tae esaet|tace ei t:aas|at.ea aac tae
Theophilus says: "i t depends upon us to fix their meanings [signifcations] , at least in any
scholarly language, and to agree to destroy this tower of Babel" (Book I I , Ch . i x, §9 [ET:
New Essays Concerning Human Understanding, tr. Alfred Gideon Langley (Chicago:
Open Court, 1 91 6), p. 373]) 7 This optimism i s only one of the afnities between Leibniz' s
and Husserl's philosophies of language: More broadly speaking, Husserl also very early
felt himself the heir to the Leibnizian conception of logic in general. Cf. notably LI, I ,
Prol . , §60, pp. 21 8f.
109
On this, cf. above all "PRS, " p. 1 44: "Profundity [Tiefsinn] i s a mark of the chaos
that genuine science wants to transform into a cosmos, into a simple, completely clear,
lucid order. Genuine science, so far as its real doctrine extends, knows no profundity. "
Husserl then proposes t o re-strike (umprigen), as i n the case of a currency rvaluation,
"the conjectures of profundity into unequivocal [German: eindeutige; French: uni­
voques] rational forms" and thus to "constitut[e] anew the rigorous sciences. " Likewise,
Husserl ' s criticisms written in the margins of [Heidegger's] Sein und Zeit attribute to a
Tiefsinnigkeit the responsibility for the Heideggerian "displacement" toward what Hus­
serl defnes as a facto-anthropological plane. Husserl prefers the value of interiority to
that of profundity or depth, interiority being related to the penetration of interal, intrinsic
(inner), i . e. , essential (wesentlich), sense.
102
Jacques Derrida
ça :.|y ei |:a!. |.ea

| a et|e: «e:!s» the other handt| e ·e:y
¬e¬eat aa. ·ee.|y :e¬e»es sease -eyeac tae :eaea ei a. ste:.ea| ¬ec.i·
eat.ea. .t a|eae ¬ases ça:e a. s|e:y çess. -| e. . e . as tae t:aas¬. ss. ea aac
:eee||ee|.ea [recueillement] ei sease ua. »ee.ty ea|y . ac. eates tae |. m·
ç. c. |y ei ||e |. ste:.ea| etae: Oaee a,a. a. uasse:| s !e¬aa! ie: aa. ·
»ee.ty ,«|.e| |e ie:¬a|atec -eie:e tae ç:aet.ee ei |ae :ecaet. ea· . s
|ae:eie:e ea|y tae :ecae|. ea ei e¬ç.:.ea| |. ste:y te«a:c a ça:e a. ste:y
·ae| a :e!aet.ea ¬as| -e :eee¬¬eaee! .aceia.te| y. ie: |aa,aa,e
ae.t|e: eaa ae: saea| ! -e ¬a. ata.aec aace: tae ç:eteet. ea ei aa. ·ee.ty

ii a :ac.ea| e¡a. »ee.t, ç:ee|aces |.ste:y. .a eaeet . -y ç|aa,.a, .t . ate
t|e aeeta:aa| aac . | |·t:aas¬.ss.-|e :.eaes ei -eaac .cea| . t. es. a-se·
| ate aa.»ee.ty «ea|c .tse|i aa»e ae etae: eease¡aeaee taaa te ste:.| .ze
e: ça:a|yze |.ste:y . a t|e .ac.,eaee ei aa .aceia.te .te:at.ea

s.aee
e¡a. »ee.|y a|«ays e».ceaees a ee:ta.a ceçta ei ce»e| eç¬eat aac eeaeea| ·
¬eat eia çast. aac «|ea eae «. saes t e assa¬e aac interiorize t|e ¬e¬e:y
ei a ea|ta:e . a a s. ac ei recollection (Erinnerung) .a t|e ue,e| . aa sease.
eae aas. iae. a, t|. s e¡a.»ee.ty. |ae eae.ee ei t«e eacea»e:s Oae «ea|c
:esem-|e taat ei ¡ames ¡eyee. te :eçeat aac tase :esçeas. -.| .ty ie: a| |
e¡a.»eeat.ea .tse|i. at. | .z.a, a |aa,aa,e taat eea|c e¡aa| .ze tae ,:eatest
çess.-|e syaea:eay «.t| | ae ,:eatest çeteat.a| ie: -a:. ec. aeea¬a|atec.
aac .ate:«e»ea .ateat.eas «.ta.a eaea | .a,a.st.e atem. eaea »eea-|e.
eaea «e:c. eaea s.¬ç|e ç:eçes.t.ea. .a a|| «e:c| y ea|ta:es aac tae. :
¬est .a,ea.eas ie:¬s ,¬ytae|e,y. :e|.,.ea. se.eaees. a:ts. | . te:ata:e.
çe|.t.es. ça. | eseçay. aac se ie:ta· ~ac. | .se ¡eyee. ta. s eacea»e:
«ea|c t:y te mase tae st:aeta:a| aa.ty ei a|| e¬ç.:.ea| ea| ta:e aççea: .a
tae ,eae:a|.zec e¡a. »eeat.ea ei a «:. t.a, taat. ae |ea,e: t:aas|at.a, eae
| aa,aa,e . ate aaetae: ea tae -as. s ei tae.: eemmea ee:es ei sease.
e.:ea| ates ta:ea,aeat a| | |aa,aa,es at eaee. aeeama|ates tae. : eae:,. es.
aetaa|.zes tae.: mest see:et eeaseaaaees. c.se|eses tae.: a:tae:mest
ee¬¬ea ae:.zeas , ea|t. »ates tae.: assee.at.»e syataeses . asteac ei
a»e. c. a, taem. aac :ec.see»e:s tae çeet.e »a|ae ei çass.».ty i a sae:t.
:atae: taaa çat .t eat ei ç| ay «.ta ¡aetat.ea ¬a:ss. :atae: taaa :e·
caee . t. ta. s «:.t.a, :ese| ate|y sett|es . tse|i within tae labyrinthian ie|c
ei ea| ta:e -eaac -y .ts e«a e¡a.»eeat.eas. . a e:ce: te t:a»e| ta:ea,a
aac esç| e:e tae »astest çess.-|e a.ste:.ea| c.staaee taat .s ae« at a||
çess.-|e
1
1
0 Exactitude and univocity are overlapping notions for Husserl . Moreover, the exac­
titude of expression will have as its condition the exactitude of sense. Geometry, the
model of the sciences whose objects are exact, will therefore more easily attain univocity
than will the other sciences, phenomenology i n particular. We will retur to this l ater.
About the relations between exactitude and univocity in geometry, also cf. Ideas I, § 73,
pp. 1 89-90.
103
Introduction to the Origin of Geometry
1ae e|ae: eacea»e: . s uasse:| s. |e :ecaee e: . ¬çe»e:.s| e¬ç.:.ea|
|aa,aa,e met|ec.ea||y te tae çe.at «|e:e .|s aa. »eea| aac t:aas|ata-|e
e|e¬eats a:e aetaa| |y t:aasça:eat. .a e:ce: te :eae| -aes aac ,:asç
a,a.a at .|s ça:e sea:ee a a.ste:.e.ty e: t:ac.t.eaa|.ty taat ae ce iaete
a.ste:.ea| teta|.ty «. | | y.e|c ei .tse|i 1|. s a.ste:.e.ty e: t:ac.t.eaa| .ty .s
a|«ays a|:eacy ç:esaççesec -y e»e:y Ocysseaa :eçet.t.ea ei ¡eyee s
tyçe . as -y a|| philosophy of histor ,.a tae ea::eat sease· aac -y e»e:y
phenomenology ofspirit. 1ae esseaees ei aa.te teta|.t.es aac tae t,çe| ·
e,, ei a,a:es ei tae sç. :.t «. | | a|«a,s -e . cea| .t.es taat a:e -eaac te
e.:.ea| a. ste:,

Oa| , -, meaas ei a. ste:.e. sm . s .t çess. -| e te :ema.a
tae:e aac eeaiase tae¬ «. ta tae mevemeat ei t:ata

I I I
nat uasse:| s ç:e]eet . as t|e t:aaseeaceata| ça:a| |e| te ¡eyee s.
sae«s tae sa¬e :e| at.».ty ¡eyee s ç:e]eet. «a.ea a|se ç:eeeecec i:e¬
a ee:ta.a aat. ·a.ste:.e.sm aac a «. | | te a«ase i:em tae a.,|tma:e
ei |.ste:y.
" 1 1 2
a «. | | te ¬aste: taat a.,atma:e .a a teta| aac ç:eseat
:esamçt.ea. eea|c ea|y saeeeec -y a| |ett.a, .ts saa:e te aa.»ee.ty.
«aetae: .t ¬.,at c:a« i:e¬ a ,.»ea aa. »ee.ty e: t:y te ç:ecaee aaetae:
Otae:«.se. tae »e:y test ei . ts :eçet.t.ea «ea|c aa»e -eea aa.ate|| .,.·
-| e . at |east .t «ea|c |a»e :e¬a.aec se ie:e»e: aac ie: e»e:yeae
i.se«.se. uasse:| aac te ac¬.t aa .::ecae.-|e. ea:.ea.a,. aac a|«ays
:eaaseeat e¡a. »ee.ty . ate ça:e |. ste:.e.ty ia eaeet . a-se|ate aa. »ee. :y
.s . ¬a,.aa-|e ea|y . a t«e | . m.t.a, eases First: saççese tae ces.,aatec
ta.a, .s aet ea| y aa a-se|ate|y s.a,a|a:. .mmata-|e. aac aata:a| e-]eet.
-at a| se aa es.steat «aese aa.ty . . ceat.ty. aac O-]eet.».ty «ea|c .a
tae¬se| »es -e ç:.e: te a| | ea|ta:e Ne« .i «e saççese t|a| saea a t|. a,
e: çe:eeçt.ea es. sts. |.a,a.st.e .cea|.ty aac .ts ç:e]eet ei aa.»ee.ty-
.

e

. tae aet ei |aa,aa,e .|se|i. ate:»eae aac i:e¬ t|e eatset ç| aee
taat saççes. t. ea .a a ea| ta:e. .a a aet«e:s ei | .a,a.st.e :e| at.eas aac
eççes|t. eas. «a.ea «ea|c |eac a «e:c «.ta .ateat.eas e: «. ta |ate:a|
aac ». :taa| :e¬. aseeaees Сa.»ee.ty . s tae eea,eat.a| ¬a:s ei e»e:y
ea|ta:e 1a.s i:st ayçetaes.s ei a aa. »eea| aac aata:a| | aa,aa,e .s.
tae:eie:e. a-sa:c aac eeat:ac.ete:y
Second: .s aet tae :esa| t tae same .i. at tae et|e: çe|e ei | aa,aa,e. aa
a-se| ate| y .cea| e-]eet mast -e ces.,aatec: 1a.s t.me. tae eaaaee ie:
1
1 1
Husserl has always associated "Hegelianism" with "romantici sm" and wi th "hi s­
tori ci sm, " to which romanticism is led when "belief" in its "metaphysics of history" has
been lost. (Cf. especially " PRS, " pp. 76-77. ) Was not the e xpression Weltanschauung
frst Hegelian? (Cf. on this J. Hyppol ite, Genesis and Structure ofHegel' s "Phenomenology
of Spirit, " tr. Samuel Cheriak and John Heckman [Evanston: Northwester Uni versity
Press, 1 974] , pp. 469-70. )
1 1 2
James Joyce, Ulysses (New York: Random, 1 961 ) , p. 3 4 [ "Hi story, Stephen sai d, i s
a nightmare from which I am trying t o awake. "] .
102
Jacques Derrida
ça :.|y ei |:a!. |.ea

| a et|e: «e:!s» the other handt| e ·e:y
¬e¬eat aa. ·ee.|y :e¬e»es sease -eyeac tae :eaea ei a. ste:.ea| ¬ec.i·
eat.ea. .t a|eae ¬ases ça:e a. s|e:y çess. -| e. . e . as tae t:aas¬. ss. ea aac
:eee||ee|.ea [recueillement] ei sease ua. »ee.ty ea|y . ac. eates tae |. m·
ç. c. |y ei ||e |. ste:.ea| etae: Oaee a,a. a. uasse:| s !e¬aa! ie: aa. ·
»ee.ty ,«|.e| |e ie:¬a|atec -eie:e tae ç:aet.ee ei |ae :ecaet. ea· . s
|ae:eie:e ea|y tae :ecae|. ea ei e¬ç.:.ea| |. ste:y te«a:c a ça:e a. ste:y
·ae| a :e!aet.ea ¬as| -e :eee¬¬eaee! .aceia.te| y. ie: |aa,aa,e
ae.t|e: eaa ae: saea| ! -e ¬a. ata.aec aace: tae ç:eteet. ea ei aa. ·ee.ty

ii a :ac.ea| e¡a. »ee.t, ç:ee|aces |.ste:y. .a eaeet . -y ç|aa,.a, .t . ate
t|e aeeta:aa| aac . | |·t:aas¬.ss.-|e :.eaes ei -eaac .cea| . t. es. a-se·
| ate aa.»ee.ty «ea|c .tse|i aa»e ae etae: eease¡aeaee taaa te ste:.| .ze
e: ça:a|yze |.ste:y . a t|e .ac.,eaee ei aa .aceia.te .te:at.ea

s.aee
e¡a. »ee.|y a|«ays e».ceaees a ee:ta.a ceçta ei ce»e| eç¬eat aac eeaeea| ·
¬eat eia çast. aac «|ea eae «. saes t e assa¬e aac interiorize t|e ¬e¬e:y
ei a ea|ta:e . a a s. ac ei recollection (Erinnerung) .a t|e ue,e| . aa sease.
eae aas. iae. a, t|. s e¡a.»ee.ty. |ae eae.ee ei t«e eacea»e:s Oae «ea|c
:esem-|e taat ei ¡ames ¡eyee. te :eçeat aac tase :esçeas. -.| .ty ie: a| |
e¡a.»eeat.ea .tse|i. at. | .z.a, a |aa,aa,e taat eea|c e¡aa| .ze tae ,:eatest
çess.-|e syaea:eay «.t| | ae ,:eatest çeteat.a| ie: -a:. ec. aeea¬a|atec.
aac .ate:«e»ea .ateat.eas «.ta.a eaea | .a,a.st.e atem. eaea »eea-|e.
eaea «e:c. eaea s.¬ç|e ç:eçes.t.ea. .a a|| «e:c| y ea|ta:es aac tae. :
¬est .a,ea.eas ie:¬s ,¬ytae|e,y. :e|.,.ea. se.eaees. a:ts. | . te:ata:e.
çe|.t.es. ça. | eseçay. aac se ie:ta· ~ac. | .se ¡eyee. ta. s eacea»e:
«ea|c t:y te mase tae st:aeta:a| aa.ty ei a|| e¬ç.:.ea| ea| ta:e aççea: .a
tae ,eae:a|.zec e¡a. »eeat.ea ei a «:. t.a, taat. ae |ea,e: t:aas|at.a, eae
| aa,aa,e . ate aaetae: ea tae -as. s ei tae.: eemmea ee:es ei sease.
e.:ea| ates ta:ea,aeat a| | |aa,aa,es at eaee. aeeama|ates tae. : eae:,. es.
aetaa|.zes tae.: mest see:et eeaseaaaees. c.se|eses tae.: a:tae:mest
ee¬¬ea ae:.zeas , ea|t. »ates tae.: assee.at.»e syataeses . asteac ei
a»e. c. a, taem. aac :ec.see»e:s tae çeet.e »a|ae ei çass.».ty i a sae:t.
:atae: taaa çat .t eat ei ç| ay «.ta ¡aetat.ea ¬a:ss. :atae: taaa :e·
caee . t. ta. s «:.t.a, :ese| ate|y sett|es . tse|i within tae labyrinthian ie|c
ei ea| ta:e -eaac -y .ts e«a e¡a.»eeat.eas. . a e:ce: te t:a»e| ta:ea,a
aac esç| e:e tae »astest çess.-|e a.ste:.ea| c.staaee taat .s ae« at a||
çess.-|e
1
1
0 Exactitude and univocity are overlapping notions for Husserl . Moreover, the exac­
titude of expression will have as its condition the exactitude of sense. Geometry, the
model of the sciences whose objects are exact, will therefore more easily attain univocity
than will the other sciences, phenomenology i n particular. We will retur to this l ater.
About the relations between exactitude and univocity in geometry, also cf. Ideas I, § 73,
pp. 1 89-90.
103
Introduction to the Origin of Geometry
1ae e|ae: eacea»e: . s uasse:| s. |e :ecaee e: . ¬çe»e:.s| e¬ç.:.ea|
|aa,aa,e met|ec.ea||y te tae çe.at «|e:e .|s aa. »eea| aac t:aas|ata-|e
e|e¬eats a:e aetaa| |y t:aasça:eat. .a e:ce: te :eae| -aes aac ,:asç
a,a.a at .|s ça:e sea:ee a a.ste:.e.ty e: t:ac.t.eaa|.ty taat ae ce iaete
a.ste:.ea| teta|.ty «. | | y.e|c ei .tse|i 1|. s a.ste:.e.ty e: t:ac.t.eaa| .ty .s
a|«ays a|:eacy ç:esaççesec -y e»e:y Ocysseaa :eçet.t.ea ei ¡eyee s
tyçe . as -y a|| philosophy of histor ,.a tae ea::eat sease· aac -y e»e:y
phenomenology ofspirit. 1ae esseaees ei aa.te teta|.t.es aac tae t,çe| ·
e,, ei a,a:es ei tae sç. :.t «. | | a|«a,s -e . cea| .t.es taat a:e -eaac te
e.:.ea| a. ste:,

Oa| , -, meaas ei a. ste:.e. sm . s .t çess. -| e te :ema.a
tae:e aac eeaiase tae¬ «. ta tae mevemeat ei t:ata

I I I
nat uasse:| s ç:e]eet . as t|e t:aaseeaceata| ça:a| |e| te ¡eyee s.
sae«s tae sa¬e :e| at.».ty ¡eyee s ç:e]eet. «a.ea a|se ç:eeeecec i:e¬
a ee:ta.a aat. ·a.ste:.e.sm aac a «. | | te a«ase i:em tae a.,|tma:e
ei |.ste:y.
" 1 1 2
a «. | | te ¬aste: taat a.,atma:e .a a teta| aac ç:eseat
:esamçt.ea. eea|c ea|y saeeeec -y a| |ett.a, .ts saa:e te aa.»ee.ty.
«aetae: .t ¬.,at c:a« i:e¬ a ,.»ea aa. »ee.ty e: t:y te ç:ecaee aaetae:
Otae:«.se. tae »e:y test ei . ts :eçet.t.ea «ea|c aa»e -eea aa.ate|| .,.·
-| e . at |east .t «ea|c |a»e :e¬a.aec se ie:e»e: aac ie: e»e:yeae
i.se«.se. uasse:| aac te ac¬.t aa .::ecae.-|e. ea:.ea.a,. aac a|«ays
:eaaseeat e¡a. »ee.ty . ate ça:e |. ste:.e.ty ia eaeet . a-se|ate aa. »ee. :y
.s . ¬a,.aa-|e ea|y . a t«e | . m.t.a, eases First: saççese tae ces.,aatec
ta.a, .s aet ea| y aa a-se|ate|y s.a,a|a:. .mmata-|e. aac aata:a| e-]eet.
-at a| se aa es.steat «aese aa.ty . . ceat.ty. aac O-]eet.».ty «ea|c .a
tae¬se| »es -e ç:.e: te a| | ea|ta:e Ne« .i «e saççese t|a| saea a t|. a,
e: çe:eeçt.ea es. sts. |.a,a.st.e .cea|.ty aac .ts ç:e]eet ei aa.»ee.ty-
.

e

. tae aet ei |aa,aa,e .|se|i. ate:»eae aac i:e¬ t|e eatset ç| aee
taat saççes. t. ea .a a ea| ta:e. .a a aet«e:s ei | .a,a.st.e :e| at.eas aac
eççes|t. eas. «a.ea «ea|c |eac a «e:c «.ta .ateat.eas e: «. ta |ate:a|
aac ». :taa| :e¬. aseeaees Сa.»ee.ty . s tae eea,eat.a| ¬a:s ei e»e:y
ea|ta:e 1a.s i:st ayçetaes.s ei a aa. »eea| aac aata:a| | aa,aa,e .s.
tae:eie:e. a-sa:c aac eeat:ac.ete:y
Second: .s aet tae :esa| t tae same .i. at tae et|e: çe|e ei | aa,aa,e. aa
a-se| ate| y .cea| e-]eet mast -e ces.,aatec: 1a.s t.me. tae eaaaee ie:
1
1 1
Husserl has always associated "Hegelianism" with "romantici sm" and wi th "hi s­
tori ci sm, " to which romanticism is led when "belief" in its "metaphysics of history" has
been lost. (Cf. especially " PRS, " pp. 76-77. ) Was not the e xpression Weltanschauung
frst Hegelian? (Cf. on this J. Hyppol ite, Genesis and Structure ofHegel' s "Phenomenology
of Spirit, " tr. Samuel Cheriak and John Heckman [Evanston: Northwester Uni versity
Press, 1 974] , pp. 469-70. )
1 1 2
James Joyce, Ulysses (New York: Random, 1 961 ) , p. 3 4 [ "Hi story, Stephen sai d, i s
a nightmare from which I am trying t o awake. "] .
104
Jacques Derrida
univocity would not be ofered by a precultural , but by a transcultural
object, for example, the geometrical object. In any case, uni vocity
corresponds to the very vocation of science. Husser! wri tes in the Ori­
gin: "In accord with the essence of science, then, i ts fnctionaries
maintain the constant cl ai m, the personal certainty, that everything
they put i nto scientifc assertions has been said ' once and for all , ' that i t
' stands fast, ' forever identically repeatable, usable in evidence and for
frther theoretical or practical ends-as indubitably able to be reacti­
vated with the i dentity of its genui ne sense
" ( 1 65-66 [modifed] ) .
But thi s identity of sense, the ground of uni vocity and the condition
for reactivation, is always rel ati ve, because it is always inscribed within
a mobile system of relations and takes i ts source in a infnitely open
project of acquisition. Even if those rel ations are, wi thi n a sci ence,
relations of pure i dealities and "truths, " they do not therein gi ve ri s
any less to some singular placings in perspective [mises en perspectives],
some multiple interconnections of sense, and therefore some mediate
and potential aims. I f, in fact, equivocity i s always irreducible, that i s
because words and l anguage in general are not ad can never be abso­
lute objects. 1 13 They do not possess any resi stant and permanent iden­
tity that is absolutel y their own. They have their l i nguistic being from
an intention which traverses them as mediations. The "same " word is
always "other" according to the always diferent intentional acts which
thereby make a word signifcative [signiant] . There i s a sort of pure
equivocity here, which grows in the very rhythm of science. Con­
sequently, Husserl specifes i n a note that the scientifc statement,
without being questioned again as to its truth, always remains
provisional , and that "Objective, absol utely frm knowledge of truth i s
an infnite idea" ( 1 66) . Absolute univocity i s inaccessibl e, but only as_
an Idea in the Kantian sense can be. If the uni voci ty investigated by
Husserl and the equivocation generalized by Joyce are in fact relative,
they are, therefore, not so symmetrically. For their common telos, the
positive value of univocity, i s immediately revealed onl y within the
relativity that Husserl defned. Uni vocity is also the absolute horizon of
equi vocity. In gi vi ng it the sense of an i nfnite task, Husser! does not
make univocity, as could be feared, the val ue for a language i mpover­
i shed and thus removed out of hi story' s reach. Rather, univocity is
both the apriori and the teleol ogical condition for all hi storicity; it i s that
1 13
That is why, as we noted above, Husserl could not inquire as to the absoLute ideal
Objectivity concering language itself, whose ideality is always that of a "thematic
index" and not a theme. This irreducible mediacy thus makes illusory all the safety
promised by speech or writing themseLves .
105
Introductin to the Origin of Geometry
without which the very equivocations of empirical culture and hi story
would not be possible .
The problem of univocity echoes i mmedi atel y upon that of reactiva­
tion. Its schema is the same , for, without a mini mal l ingui stic transpar­
ency, no reactivation would be i maginabl e. But if uni vocity i s in fact
always relative, and if it alone permi ts the reduction of al l empirical
culture and of all sedi mentation, is the possibil ity of a pure history of
sense to be doubted de jure? More particularly si nce, afer having pre­
sented the capacity for reacti vation, Husserl does not fail to ask the
serious questi on of itsjnitude. In a sci ence l i ke geometry, whose poten­
tiality for growth is extraordinary, it i s impossible for every geometer,
at every i nstant and every time he resumes his task after necessary
interruptions, to perform a total and i mmediate reactivation of the
"i mmense chai n of foundings back to the ori ginal premi ses " ( 1 66
[modifed] ) . The necessity of those i nterruptions is a factual one ( sleep,
professional breaks, and so forth) , which has no sense compared with
geometrical truth but is no l ess irreducible to i t.
A total reactivation, even i f that were possibl e, would paralyze the
interal history of geometry just as surel y as would the radical impossi­
bility of all reactivation. Husser! i s not worried about that: at thi s point
a total recuperation of origins is still only a teleol ogical horizon. For
under the extrinsic necessity that geometrical acti vity be intermittent i s
al so hidden an essential and internal necessity: since no pi ece of the
geometrical edifce is self- sufcient, no immediate reactivation is possi­
ble, on any level . That i s why , Husser! remarks, the "individual and
even the social capacity" for reactivation i s of an "obvious fnitude"
( 1 68) . I t wi ll al ways be denied immediate totality.
The obviousness [evidence] of that fnitude and of that necessary
mediacy could stamp Husserl ' s whole purpose as nonsense. Si nce that
fni tude i s in fact irreducibl e, should it not furnish the true starting point
for refecting on history? Without that essential concealment of origins
and within the hypothesi s of an al l-powerful reactivation, what would
consci ousness of hi storicity be? Al so, no doubt, that consciousness
would be nothing, i f it was radical ly prohibited access to origi ns .
But, so that hi story may have its proper density, must not then the
darkness which engulfs the "original premi ses" (i t can be penetrated
but never dissipated) not onl y hide the fact but also the i nstituting
sense? And must not the "critical " forgetfulness of origins be the faith­
ful shadow i n truth' s advance rather than an accidental aberration?
Thi s di sti nction between fact and sense (or the de facto and the de jure)
would be efaced in the sense-investigation of a primordial fnitude.
But for Husser! , as we know, that fnitude can appear precisely in its
104
Jacques Derrida
univocity would not be ofered by a precultural , but by a transcultural
object, for example, the geometrical object. In any case, uni vocity
corresponds to the very vocation of science. Husser! wri tes in the Ori­
gin: "In accord with the essence of science, then, i ts fnctionaries
maintain the constant cl ai m, the personal certainty, that everything
they put i nto scientifc assertions has been said ' once and for all , ' that i t
' stands fast, ' forever identically repeatable, usable in evidence and for
frther theoretical or practical ends-as indubitably able to be reacti­
vated with the i dentity of its genui ne sense
" ( 1 65-66 [modifed] ) .
But thi s identity of sense, the ground of uni vocity and the condition
for reactivation, is always rel ati ve, because it is always inscribed within
a mobile system of relations and takes i ts source in a infnitely open
project of acquisition. Even if those rel ations are, wi thi n a sci ence,
relations of pure i dealities and "truths, " they do not therein gi ve ri s
any less to some singular placings in perspective [mises en perspectives],
some multiple interconnections of sense, and therefore some mediate
and potential aims. I f, in fact, equivocity i s always irreducible, that i s
because words and l anguage in general are not ad can never be abso­
lute objects. 1 13 They do not possess any resi stant and permanent iden­
tity that is absolutel y their own. They have their l i nguistic being from
an intention which traverses them as mediations. The "same " word is
always "other" according to the always diferent intentional acts which
thereby make a word signifcative [signiant] . There i s a sort of pure
equivocity here, which grows in the very rhythm of science. Con­
sequently, Husserl specifes i n a note that the scientifc statement,
without being questioned again as to its truth, always remains
provisional , and that "Objective, absol utely frm knowledge of truth i s
an infnite idea" ( 1 66) . Absolute univocity i s inaccessibl e, but only as_
an Idea in the Kantian sense can be. If the uni voci ty investigated by
Husserl and the equivocation generalized by Joyce are in fact relative,
they are, therefore, not so symmetrically. For their common telos, the
positive value of univocity, i s immediately revealed onl y within the
relativity that Husserl defned. Uni vocity is also the absolute horizon of
equi vocity. In gi vi ng it the sense of an i nfnite task, Husser! does not
make univocity, as could be feared, the val ue for a language i mpover­
i shed and thus removed out of hi story' s reach. Rather, univocity is
both the apriori and the teleol ogical condition for all hi storicity; it i s that
1 13
That is why, as we noted above, Husserl could not inquire as to the absoLute ideal
Objectivity concering language itself, whose ideality is always that of a "thematic
index" and not a theme. This irreducible mediacy thus makes illusory all the safety
promised by speech or writing themseLves .
105
Introductin to the Origin of Geometry
without which the very equivocations of empirical culture and hi story
would not be possible .
The problem of univocity echoes i mmedi atel y upon that of reactiva­
tion. Its schema is the same , for, without a mini mal l ingui stic transpar­
ency, no reactivation would be i maginabl e. But if uni vocity i s in fact
always relative, and if it alone permi ts the reduction of al l empirical
culture and of all sedi mentation, is the possibil ity of a pure history of
sense to be doubted de jure? More particularly si nce, afer having pre­
sented the capacity for reacti vation, Husserl does not fail to ask the
serious questi on of itsjnitude. In a sci ence l i ke geometry, whose poten­
tiality for growth is extraordinary, it i s impossible for every geometer,
at every i nstant and every time he resumes his task after necessary
interruptions, to perform a total and i mmediate reactivation of the
"i mmense chai n of foundings back to the ori ginal premi ses " ( 1 66
[modifed] ) . The necessity of those i nterruptions is a factual one ( sleep,
professional breaks, and so forth) , which has no sense compared with
geometrical truth but is no l ess irreducible to i t.
A total reactivation, even i f that were possibl e, would paralyze the
interal history of geometry just as surel y as would the radical impossi­
bility of all reactivation. Husser! i s not worried about that: at thi s point
a total recuperation of origins is still only a teleol ogical horizon. For
under the extrinsic necessity that geometrical acti vity be intermittent i s
al so hidden an essential and internal necessity: since no pi ece of the
geometrical edifce is self- sufcient, no immediate reactivation is possi­
ble, on any level . That i s why , Husser! remarks, the "individual and
even the social capacity" for reactivation i s of an "obvious fnitude"
( 1 68) . I t wi ll al ways be denied immediate totality.
The obviousness [evidence] of that fnitude and of that necessary
mediacy could stamp Husserl ' s whole purpose as nonsense. Si nce that
fni tude i s in fact irreducibl e, should it not furnish the true starting point
for refecting on history? Without that essential concealment of origins
and within the hypothesi s of an al l-powerful reactivation, what would
consci ousness of hi storicity be? Al so, no doubt, that consciousness
would be nothing, i f it was radical ly prohibited access to origi ns .
But, so that hi story may have its proper density, must not then the
darkness which engulfs the "original premi ses" (i t can be penetrated
but never dissipated) not onl y hide the fact but also the i nstituting
sense? And must not the "critical " forgetfulness of origins be the faith­
ful shadow i n truth' s advance rather than an accidental aberration?
Thi s di sti nction between fact and sense (or the de facto and the de jure)
would be efaced in the sense-investigation of a primordial fnitude.
But for Husser! , as we know, that fnitude can appear precisely in its
106
Jacques Derrida
ç:.me:c. a| .|y ea|y ,.»ea |ae icea ei aa . aia.|e a.s|e:y 1aas . iaeec «.|a
|ae ia.|ace ei :eae|.»a|.ea. uasse:| cees ae| ,.»e aç. as «e sasçee| . |ae
i:s| c.:ee|.ea ei a. s . a»es|.,a|. ea ue çes|çeaes |ae ç:e||em aa|.| | a|e:
aac .a».|es lI S, «.|a a s| .,at|y ea.,ma|.e |:e». |y. |e ae|.ee |aa| |ae:e
es. sts aa .cea| . za|. ea aame| y. |ae :eme»a| ei |.m.ts i:em ea: eaçae·
.ty .a a ee:ta.a sease .|s .aia.t. za|.ea ( 1 68) . ~ seeeaca:y .cea| . z.a,
eçe:a|.ea |aea eemes |e :e| . e»e |ae :eae|.»a|.»e a|. | .ty ei .|s ia.|ace
aac |e|s . t ,e| |eyeac .|se|i 1a.s me»emea| .s aaa|e,eas |e |ae eea·
s|.ta|.ea. ie: esamç|e. ei |ae aa.|y ei |ae «e:|c s .aia.|e ae:.zea e:
, |eyeac |ae ia.|e .ate:eeaaeet.ea ei :e|ea|.eas aac ç:e|ea|.eas· |e |ie
eeas|.|a|.ea ei tae e». ceaee ie: a |e|a| aa.|y ei |ae .mmaaeat ras as aa
icea .a |ae kaa|.aa sease na| a|e»e a|| . ta.s me»emea| .s aaa|e,eas
|e |ae ç:ecae|. ea ei ,eeme|:y s esae|.|ace |ae çassa,e |e |ae .aia.|e
| .m.t ei a ia. |e aac ¡aa| .ta|.»e seas.||e .ata. t.ea st:.e||y sçea|.a,. e»ea
ae:e .| . s ,eeme|:.ea| .cea|.za|.ea «a.ea çe:m. |s .aia.|.z.a, |ae :eae·
|. »a|. »e a|. | .|y we:|.a, .a tae c.açaaaeasaess ei ça:e . cea|.|y. ta. s
a|.|.ty eas. |y aac ce ]a:e |:aas,:esses .|s | .m.|s. «a.ea a:e taea ae me:e
taaa tae aem.aa| | . m.|s ei ça:e iae|aa| .|y 1a.s . cea|.zat.ea. «a.ea aas
ie: .|s ee::e|a|e aa .aia.te icea. a|«ays cee.s. »e|y .a|e:»eaes .a tae
c.uea| | memea|s ei uasse:| s cese:.ç|.ea 1ae çaeaemeae|e,.ea|
sta|as ei .ts e». ceaee :ema. as :a|ae: mys|e:.eas 1ae .mçess.|.| .|y ei
ace¡aate|y ce|e:m. a.a, |ae eea|ea| ei |a. s i cea cees ae| aace:m.ae.
uasse:| says .a Ideas I, |ae :a|.eaa| |:aasça:eaey ei . |s .as.,a|ia| e».·
ceaee (Einsichtigkeit).

ue«e»e:. tae ee:|a.aty ei «aa| eaa ae»e: .m·
mec.ate| y aac as saea ç:esea| . tse|i .a aa . a|a. |.ea saea|c çese seme
se:.eas ç:e||ems ie: çaeaemeae|e,y ,ç:e||ems s.m.|a: |e |aese. ie:
esamç|e . ei |ae eeast.tat.ea ei tae alter ego |y aa .::ecae.||y mec.ate
.a|ea|.eaa| .|y· we «.|| eeme c.:eet|y |ae| te |a. s |a|e:. «aea |ae ç:ec·
ae|.ea ei ,eeme|:.ea| esaet.|ace |y .cea| .za|.ea «.|| |e ea: eeaee:a ~t
tae ç:eseat ]aae|a:e. uasse:| ç:e».s.eaa| |y a»e:|s ta. s c. mea| ty ue
«:.|es . 1ae çeea| .a: se:| ei e».ceaee |e|ea,.a, |e saea . cea| .zat.eas
«. || eeaee:a a s |a|e: ( 1 68 ¸mec.iec} ·
1ae eaçae.ty ei :eaet. »at.ea mas| |aea |e t:aasm. ||ec. . a e:ce: |aa|
se.eaee ae| ceeay |ate a t:ac.t.ea emçt.ec ei sease ~s |ea, as
1 1 4
Cf. Ideas I, especially §83, pp. 220-22.
1 1 5
Ibid. , p. 221 . [ I n hi s translation of the Origin, Derrida translates Einsicht by "evi ­
dence rationnel le . " In this he foll ows, as he says, the j ustifcation and practice of S.
Bachelard (see A Study of HusserI' s Logi c, p. \ 0). This helps elucidate the phrase "l a
transparence rationnelle de son evidence" as a "translation" of "Einsi chtigkeit . " I n his
Guide for Translating Husserl, Dorion Cairs suggests the fol lowing: i nsi ght, i nsightful­
ness, i ntellectual seenness, apodictic evidentness, evidentness. Note adapted by Tr. ]
107
Introductin to the Origin of Geometry
se.eaee me»es a«ay i:em .ts |e,|aa.a,s aac . |s |e,.ea| saçe:s|:ae|a:es
a:e aeeama|a|ec. tae eaaaees ie: saea a t:aasm.ss.ea cee:ease aat.| |ae
cay «aea |ae a|. |. |y aaççeas |e ia. |. uaie:|aaate|y |a. s .s ea:
s. |aa|.ea. aac |aa| ei |ae «ae|e mece:a a,e ( 1 69) . 1ae ac»aaeemea|s
ei se.eaee eaa |e ça:saec. e»ea «aea tae sease ei .ts e:.,.a aas |eea
| es| nat |aea tae »e:y |e,.ea| .ty ei |ae se.eat.ie ,esta:es. . mç:.seaec .a
mec.aey. |:ea|s ce«a .a|e a se:| ei eae.:.e aac .aaamaa a|sa:c.|y
D.c ae| r|ate cese:.|e |a. s s.taa|.ea: was ae| |ae e|e:a.|y ei esseaees
ie: a.m çe:aaçs ea|y aaetae: aame ie: a aeaemç.:.ea| a.ste:.e. ty:
Ceemet:y aac |ae stac. es [sciences ] |aa| aeeemçaay . | a:e es.iec ia:
i:em |ae.: iaacameata| .a|a.t.eas. 1aey a:e .aeaça||e ei ». s.ea
(idein) aac :.»e|ec te tae ayçetaeses ae|c as tae. : ç:.ae.ç|es Ceaias. a,
sym|e| «.ta t:ata. |aey seem te as |e c:eam (oromen os oneirottousi)
(Republic vi i . ···e·
·
1ae :e|a:a .a¡a. :y .s |ae:eie:e a:,ea| |a:ea,|
as aac ie: as .| «.|| :ea«a|ea se.eaee |e . ts ç:.me:c.a| sease. . e . as «e
|ae«. .ts iaa| sease
VIII
1aas tae me|aec aac tae sease ei tae ¡aest.ea eeaee:a.a, e:.,.as a:e
.||am.aa|ec a| tae same |.me as |ae eeac.t.eas ie: |ae |:ac.t.ea ei se.·
eaee . a ,eae:a| ia e|es.a, taese ç:e| .m. aa:y eeas.ce:at.eas. uasse:|
:eea|| s tae.: esemç|a:y aac ia| | y a.s|e:.ea| eaa:ae|e: ,.a |ae sease ei
Historie) : лe:y«ae:e |ae ç:e||ems. tae e|a:.iy.a, . a»es|.,a|.eas. tae
. as.,a|s .ate ç:.ae.ç|es a:e historcal (historsch) . . we s|aac. |aea.
«.ta.a tae a.s|e:.ea| ae:.zea . a «a. ea e»e:y|a.a, . s a. ste:.ea| . ae«e»e:
|.tt|e «e may |ae« a|ea| ce|e:m.aec ta. a,s nat |a. s ae:.zea aas .|s
essea|.a| st:ae|a:e taat eaa |e c.se|esec |a:ea,a me|aec.ea| . a¡a.:y
( 1 7 1 -72 ¸mec.iec}·
w.ta :esçeet |e etae: se. eaees. as «.|a :esçee| te |ae «e:|c ei ç:ese.·
eat.ie ea||a:e. e|ae: :eta:as te tae.: e:.,. as a:e |ae:eie:e ç:ese:.|ec
1aey a:e a|«ays çess.||e . a|taea,a as ç:e||ems |aey s|.| | :ema.a aa·
as|ec. 1a.s ie|c ei .a¡a.:y aas ae |.m. ts. s.aee a.ste:.e.|y em|:aees
|ae .aia.|e |eta|.|y ei |e.a, aac sease. Nata:a| |y. ç:e||ems ei |a. s
ça:t.ea|a: se:| . mmec.ate|y a«a|ea |ae |eta| ç:e||em ei tae aa.»e:sa|
a.s|e:.e.ty ei tae ee::e| at. »e maaae:s ei |e.a, er aamaa.|y aac tae
ea||a:a| «e:|c aac tae a ç:.e:. st:aeta:e eeata.aec . a |a.s a.ste:.e.|y
( 1 72) .
1 1
6 Plato, The Collected Dialogues, ed. Hamilton and Cairs (Princeton: Princeton
University Press, \ 96 \ ) , p. 765. The translation is that of Paul Shorey.
106
Jacques Derrida
ç:.me:c. a| .|y ea|y ,.»ea |ae icea ei aa . aia.|e a.s|e:y 1aas . iaeec «.|a
|ae ia.|ace ei :eae|.»a|.ea. uasse:| cees ae| ,.»e aç. as «e sasçee| . |ae
i:s| c.:ee|.ea ei a. s . a»es|.,a|. ea ue çes|çeaes |ae ç:e||em aa|.| | a|e:
aac .a».|es lI S, «.|a a s| .,at|y ea.,ma|.e |:e». |y. |e ae|.ee |aa| |ae:e
es. sts aa .cea| . za|. ea aame| y. |ae :eme»a| ei |.m.ts i:em ea: eaçae·
.ty .a a ee:ta.a sease .|s .aia.t. za|.ea ( 1 68) . ~ seeeaca:y .cea| . z.a,
eçe:a|.ea |aea eemes |e :e| . e»e |ae :eae|.»a|.»e a|. | .ty ei .|s ia.|ace
aac |e|s . t ,e| |eyeac .|se|i 1a.s me»emea| .s aaa|e,eas |e |ae eea·
s|.ta|.ea. ie: esamç|e. ei |ae aa.|y ei |ae «e:|c s .aia.|e ae:.zea e:
, |eyeac |ae ia.|e .ate:eeaaeet.ea ei :e|ea|.eas aac ç:e|ea|.eas· |e |ie
eeas|.|a|.ea ei tae e». ceaee ie: a |e|a| aa.|y ei |ae .mmaaeat ras as aa
icea .a |ae kaa|.aa sease na| a|e»e a|| . ta.s me»emea| .s aaa|e,eas
|e |ae ç:ecae|. ea ei ,eeme|:y s esae|.|ace |ae çassa,e |e |ae .aia.|e
| .m.t ei a ia. |e aac ¡aa| .ta|.»e seas.||e .ata. t.ea st:.e||y sçea|.a,. e»ea
ae:e .| . s ,eeme|:.ea| .cea|.za|.ea «a.ea çe:m. |s .aia.|.z.a, |ae :eae·
|. »a|. »e a|. | .|y we:|.a, .a tae c.açaaaeasaess ei ça:e . cea|.|y. ta. s
a|.|.ty eas. |y aac ce ]a:e |:aas,:esses .|s | .m.|s. «a.ea a:e taea ae me:e
taaa tae aem.aa| | . m.|s ei ça:e iae|aa| .|y 1a.s . cea|.zat.ea. «a.ea aas
ie: .|s ee::e|a|e aa .aia.te icea. a|«ays cee.s. »e|y .a|e:»eaes .a tae
c.uea| | memea|s ei uasse:| s cese:.ç|.ea 1ae çaeaemeae|e,.ea|
sta|as ei .ts e». ceaee :ema. as :a|ae: mys|e:.eas 1ae .mçess.|.| .|y ei
ace¡aate|y ce|e:m. a.a, |ae eea|ea| ei |a. s i cea cees ae| aace:m.ae.
uasse:| says .a Ideas I, |ae :a|.eaa| |:aasça:eaey ei . |s .as.,a|ia| e».·
ceaee (Einsichtigkeit).

ue«e»e:. tae ee:|a.aty ei «aa| eaa ae»e: .m·
mec.ate| y aac as saea ç:esea| . tse|i .a aa . a|a. |.ea saea|c çese seme
se:.eas ç:e||ems ie: çaeaemeae|e,y ,ç:e||ems s.m.|a: |e |aese. ie:
esamç|e . ei |ae eeast.tat.ea ei tae alter ego |y aa .::ecae.||y mec.ate
.a|ea|.eaa| .|y· we «.|| eeme c.:eet|y |ae| te |a. s |a|e:. «aea |ae ç:ec·
ae|.ea ei ,eeme|:.ea| esaet.|ace |y .cea| .za|.ea «.|| |e ea: eeaee:a ~t
tae ç:eseat ]aae|a:e. uasse:| ç:e».s.eaa| |y a»e:|s ta. s c. mea| ty ue
«:.|es . 1ae çeea| .a: se:| ei e».ceaee |e|ea,.a, |e saea . cea| .zat.eas
«. || eeaee:a a s |a|e: ( 1 68 ¸mec.iec} ·
1ae eaçae.ty ei :eaet. »at.ea mas| |aea |e t:aasm. ||ec. . a e:ce: |aa|
se.eaee ae| ceeay |ate a t:ac.t.ea emçt.ec ei sease ~s |ea, as
1 1 4
Cf. Ideas I, especially §83, pp. 220-22.
1 1 5
Ibid. , p. 221 . [ I n hi s translation of the Origin, Derrida translates Einsicht by "evi ­
dence rationnel le . " In this he foll ows, as he says, the j ustifcation and practice of S.
Bachelard (see A Study of HusserI' s Logi c, p. \ 0). This helps elucidate the phrase "l a
transparence rationnelle de son evidence" as a "translation" of "Einsi chtigkeit . " I n his
Guide for Translating Husserl, Dorion Cairs suggests the fol lowing: i nsi ght, i nsightful­
ness, i ntellectual seenness, apodictic evidentness, evidentness. Note adapted by Tr. ]
107
Introductin to the Origin of Geometry
se.eaee me»es a«ay i:em .ts |e,|aa.a,s aac . |s |e,.ea| saçe:s|:ae|a:es
a:e aeeama|a|ec. tae eaaaees ie: saea a t:aasm.ss.ea cee:ease aat.| |ae
cay «aea |ae a|. |. |y aaççeas |e ia. |. uaie:|aaate|y |a. s .s ea:
s. |aa|.ea. aac |aa| ei |ae «ae|e mece:a a,e ( 1 69) . 1ae ac»aaeemea|s
ei se.eaee eaa |e ça:saec. e»ea «aea tae sease ei .ts e:.,.a aas |eea
| es| nat |aea tae »e:y |e,.ea| .ty ei |ae se.eat.ie ,esta:es. . mç:.seaec .a
mec.aey. |:ea|s ce«a .a|e a se:| ei eae.:.e aac .aaamaa a|sa:c.|y
D.c ae| r|ate cese:.|e |a. s s.taa|.ea: was ae| |ae e|e:a.|y ei esseaees
ie: a.m çe:aaçs ea|y aaetae: aame ie: a aeaemç.:.ea| a.ste:.e. ty:
Ceemet:y aac |ae stac. es [sciences ] |aa| aeeemçaay . | a:e es.iec ia:
i:em |ae.: iaacameata| .a|a.t.eas. 1aey a:e .aeaça||e ei ». s.ea
(idein) aac :.»e|ec te tae ayçetaeses ae|c as tae. : ç:.ae.ç|es Ceaias. a,
sym|e| «.ta t:ata. |aey seem te as |e c:eam (oromen os oneirottousi)
(Republic vi i . ···e·
·
1ae :e|a:a .a¡a. :y .s |ae:eie:e a:,ea| |a:ea,|
as aac ie: as .| «.|| :ea«a|ea se.eaee |e . ts ç:.me:c.a| sease. . e . as «e
|ae«. .ts iaa| sease
VIII
1aas tae me|aec aac tae sease ei tae ¡aest.ea eeaee:a.a, e:.,.as a:e
.||am.aa|ec a| tae same |.me as |ae eeac.t.eas ie: |ae |:ac.t.ea ei se.·
eaee . a ,eae:a| ia e|es.a, taese ç:e| .m. aa:y eeas.ce:at.eas. uasse:|
:eea|| s tae.: esemç|a:y aac ia| | y a.s|e:.ea| eaa:ae|e: ,.a |ae sease ei
Historie) : лe:y«ae:e |ae ç:e||ems. tae e|a:.iy.a, . a»es|.,a|.eas. tae
. as.,a|s .ate ç:.ae.ç|es a:e historcal (historsch) . . we s|aac. |aea.
«.ta.a tae a.s|e:.ea| ae:.zea . a «a. ea e»e:y|a.a, . s a. ste:.ea| . ae«e»e:
|.tt|e «e may |ae« a|ea| ce|e:m.aec ta. a,s nat |a. s ae:.zea aas .|s
essea|.a| st:ae|a:e taat eaa |e c.se|esec |a:ea,a me|aec.ea| . a¡a.:y
( 1 7 1 -72 ¸mec.iec}·
w.ta :esçeet |e etae: se. eaees. as «.|a :esçee| te |ae «e:|c ei ç:ese.·
eat.ie ea||a:e. e|ae: :eta:as te tae.: e:.,. as a:e |ae:eie:e ç:ese:.|ec
1aey a:e a|«ays çess.||e . a|taea,a as ç:e||ems |aey s|.| | :ema.a aa·
as|ec. 1a.s ie|c ei .a¡a.:y aas ae |.m. ts. s.aee a.ste:.e.|y em|:aees
|ae .aia.|e |eta|.|y ei |e.a, aac sease. Nata:a| |y. ç:e||ems ei |a. s
ça:t.ea|a: se:| . mmec.ate|y a«a|ea |ae |eta| ç:e||em ei tae aa.»e:sa|
a.s|e:.e.ty ei tae ee::e| at. »e maaae:s ei |e.a, er aamaa.|y aac tae
ea||a:a| «e:|c aac tae a ç:.e:. st:aeta:e eeata.aec . a |a.s a.ste:.e.|y
( 1 72) .
1 1
6 Plato, The Collected Dialogues, ed. Hamilton and Cairs (Princeton: Princeton
University Press, \ 96 \ ) , p. 765. The translation is that of Paul Shorey.
108
Jacques Derrid
After having opened his question about geometry to its broadest
horizon, but before coming back to the determined origin of that sci­
ence, Husserl responds (as a sort of complementary clarifcation) to two
diametrically opposed methodological obj ections.
Certainly, the frst would proceed from a standard epistemologism
for which the return to primordial evidence and to its instituting con­
cepts is an indispensable task. But there i s nothi ng historical to that.
The illusion of history can be given to thi s frst objection only by verbal
or symbolic al lusions to some " undiscoverabl e" [ 1 72] but hardly
mythical Thales . Husserl hi mself had handled this classic objection
when, concerning the origin of science and geometry i particular, he
attacked empiricism and exteral history . 1 1 7 He now rejects it because
it misconstrues i ts own style of historical investigation, which is as
interal and nonempirical as possibl e. Is i t useful to recall that never has
it been a question of returning to Thales or the factual beginnings of
geometry? But to renounce factual history i s not at all to cut oneself of
from history in general . On the contrary, i t i s to open oneself to the
sense of hi storicity. And in a sentence whose stress, at least, contrasts
with that of his early phenomenology ( but which only confrms and
deepens, wi th an admirable fdelity, the i nitial distrust with regard to
conventional history) , Husserl specifes ( 1 72-73) :
The ruling dogma of the separation in prnciple between epistemo­
logical elucidation and historical, even humanistic-psychological
explanation, between epistemological and genetic origin, is funda­
mentally mistaken [is fundamentally turned upside down: Derrida 's
translation], unless one inadmissibly limits, in the usual way, the
concepts of "histor, " "historical explanation, " and "genesis. " Or
rather, what is fundamentally mistaken is the limitation through which
precisely the deepest and most genuine problems of histor are
concealed.
To investigate the sense of a science as tradition and as cultural form
is to investigate the sense of i ts complete hi storicity. From thi s fact,
every i ntrascientifc explication, every return to frst axi oms, to
primordial evidences and i nstituting concepts, is at the same ti me ' ' his­
torical di sclosure" [ 1 73] . Whatever our ignorance on the subject of
1 1 7
I n Ideas I, §25, pp. 84-86, will be found a long pissage i n which Husserl develops
on his own, and in curiously similar terms, the objection that he prtends to addrss here.
The confrontation of this text with that of the Origin can b rmarkably i l luminating as to
the sense and fdelity of Husserl ' s itinerary.
109
Introductin to the Origin of Geometry
actual history, we know a prori that every cultural present, therefore
every scientifc present , implicates in its totality the totality of the past.
The unity of thi s unceasi ng totalization which i s always brought about
in the form of the historic Present (the " Pri mordial in itself" [Primordial
e� soiD leads us, if correctly inquired of, to the universal Apri ori of
hIstory. As the Absolute unchangeable in itself of the Li vi ng Present i n
whic� it i s grounded, the hi storic Present i s at frst sight onl y the ir­
redUCIble and pure place and movement of that totalization and that
traditionali zati on. 1 1
8
The hi storic Present is the hi storical Absolute­
" the vital movement of the coexi stence and the interweaving (des
Miteinander und Ineinander) of pri mordial formations and sedi­
mentations of sense (Sinnbildllllg [lind Sinnsedimentierllng] ) " ( 1 74
[modifed]) .
Every particular historical i nvestigation must de jure note its more or
less i mmediate dependence on that insight i nto apodictic pri nciples
[evidence absolument principielle] . All habitual factual history "remains
incomprehensibl e" ( 1 74) as long as these a pri ori have not been expl i ­
cated and as long as factual hi story has not adapted i ts method to the
notion of intrinsic history, to the notion of the intentional history of
sense.
This leads us to the second riposte, thi s time directed against histori­
cism rather than empirical history. The schema of this cri tici sm i s anal­
ogous to that which underlies "Phi losophy as Rigorous Science. " But
the historicism Husserl now attacks, despite afnities connecting it to
Dilthey' s theory of the Weltanschauung, seems to have a more ethno­
sociological , a more modern style. And here what Husserl wants to
wrest from historical relati vi sm is l ess the truth or ideal norms of sci­
ence and philosophy than the a priori of historical sci ence itself.
In efect, ethnologi sm sets the abundant mUltipl icity of testimonies
attesting that each people, each tribe, each human group has i ts world,
its a priori , its order, its logic , its history, over against the universal a
priori , the unconditioned and apodictic structures , the unitary ground
of history, such as Husserl means to describe them.
Now, on the one hand, these unimpeachable testimoni es do not be­
l ie but, on the contrary, presuppose the structure of the uni versal
horizon and the a priori of history that Husserl designates ; these pre-
l IS Naturally, it is a question, as Husserl clearly states, of the hi storic Present in
general as the ultimate universal form of every possible historical experience, an experi­
ence which itself is grounded in the Living Present of egological consciousness.
Moreover, Husserl emphasi zes i n a footnote [ 1 74] that all of intrinsic hi story passes
through the intrinsic history of the totality of individual persons.
108
Jacques Derrid
After having opened his question about geometry to its broadest
horizon, but before coming back to the determined origin of that sci­
ence, Husserl responds (as a sort of complementary clarifcation) to two
diametrically opposed methodological obj ections.
Certainly, the frst would proceed from a standard epistemologism
for which the return to primordial evidence and to its instituting con­
cepts is an indispensable task. But there i s nothi ng historical to that.
The illusion of history can be given to thi s frst objection only by verbal
or symbolic al lusions to some " undiscoverabl e" [ 1 72] but hardly
mythical Thales . Husserl hi mself had handled this classic objection
when, concerning the origin of science and geometry i particular, he
attacked empiricism and exteral history . 1 1 7 He now rejects it because
it misconstrues i ts own style of historical investigation, which is as
interal and nonempirical as possibl e. Is i t useful to recall that never has
it been a question of returning to Thales or the factual beginnings of
geometry? But to renounce factual history i s not at all to cut oneself of
from history in general . On the contrary, i t i s to open oneself to the
sense of hi storicity. And in a sentence whose stress, at least, contrasts
with that of his early phenomenology ( but which only confrms and
deepens, wi th an admirable fdelity, the i nitial distrust with regard to
conventional history) , Husserl specifes ( 1 72-73) :
The ruling dogma of the separation in prnciple between epistemo­
logical elucidation and historical, even humanistic-psychological
explanation, between epistemological and genetic origin, is funda­
mentally mistaken [is fundamentally turned upside down: Derrida 's
translation], unless one inadmissibly limits, in the usual way, the
concepts of "histor, " "historical explanation, " and "genesis. " Or
rather, what is fundamentally mistaken is the limitation through which
precisely the deepest and most genuine problems of histor are
concealed.
To investigate the sense of a science as tradition and as cultural form
is to investigate the sense of i ts complete hi storicity. From thi s fact,
every i ntrascientifc explication, every return to frst axi oms, to
primordial evidences and i nstituting concepts, is at the same ti me ' ' his­
torical di sclosure" [ 1 73] . Whatever our ignorance on the subject of
1 1 7
I n Ideas I, §25, pp. 84-86, will be found a long pissage i n which Husserl develops
on his own, and in curiously similar terms, the objection that he prtends to addrss here.
The confrontation of this text with that of the Origin can b rmarkably i l luminating as to
the sense and fdelity of Husserl ' s itinerary.
109
Introductin to the Origin of Geometry
actual history, we know a prori that every cultural present, therefore
every scientifc present , implicates in its totality the totality of the past.
The unity of thi s unceasi ng totalization which i s always brought about
in the form of the historic Present (the " Pri mordial in itself" [Primordial
e� soiD leads us, if correctly inquired of, to the universal Apri ori of
hIstory. As the Absolute unchangeable in itself of the Li vi ng Present i n
whic� it i s grounded, the hi storic Present i s at frst sight onl y the ir­
redUCIble and pure place and movement of that totalization and that
traditionali zati on. 1 1
8
The hi storic Present is the hi storical Absolute­
" the vital movement of the coexi stence and the interweaving (des
Miteinander und Ineinander) of pri mordial formations and sedi­
mentations of sense (Sinnbildllllg [lind Sinnsedimentierllng] ) " ( 1 74
[modifed]) .
Every particular historical i nvestigation must de jure note its more or
less i mmediate dependence on that insight i nto apodictic pri nciples
[evidence absolument principielle] . All habitual factual history "remains
incomprehensibl e" ( 1 74) as long as these a pri ori have not been expl i ­
cated and as long as factual hi story has not adapted i ts method to the
notion of intrinsic history, to the notion of the intentional history of
sense.
This leads us to the second riposte, thi s time directed against histori­
cism rather than empirical history. The schema of this cri tici sm i s anal­
ogous to that which underlies "Phi losophy as Rigorous Science. " But
the historicism Husserl now attacks, despite afnities connecting it to
Dilthey' s theory of the Weltanschauung, seems to have a more ethno­
sociological , a more modern style. And here what Husserl wants to
wrest from historical relati vi sm is l ess the truth or ideal norms of sci­
ence and philosophy than the a priori of historical sci ence itself.
In efect, ethnologi sm sets the abundant mUltipl icity of testimonies
attesting that each people, each tribe, each human group has i ts world,
its a priori , its order, its logic , its history, over against the universal a
priori , the unconditioned and apodictic structures , the unitary ground
of history, such as Husserl means to describe them.
Now, on the one hand, these unimpeachable testimoni es do not be­
l ie but, on the contrary, presuppose the structure of the uni versal
horizon and the a priori of history that Husserl designates ; these pre-
l IS Naturally, it is a question, as Husserl clearly states, of the hi storic Present in
general as the ultimate universal form of every possible historical experience, an experi­
ence which itself is grounded in the Living Present of egological consciousness.
Moreover, Husserl emphasi zes i n a footnote [ 1 74] that all of intrinsic hi story passes
through the intrinsic history of the totality of individual persons.
- . ..
� i
i '
� ,
110
Jacques Derrid
saççes.t.eas ea|y eaase s.a,a|a: aac cete:m. aec a ç:.e:. te |e a:t.ea·
|atec tae:e. a it sauees. taea. te :esçeet taese a:t.ea|at.eas aac tae
eemç|.eatec a.e:a:eay «a.ea sa|m.ts me:e e: |ess cete:m.aec mate:.a|
a ç:.e:. te tae aç:.e:| ie:m ei aa.ve:sa| a. ste:|e.ty. On the other hand,
tae iaets. «a.ea a:e taas . ave|ec te saççe:t ta. s :e|at. v. sm. eaa |e
cete:m.aec as ee:ta.a a.ste:.ea| iaets ea|y .i semeta.a, | . |e a. ste:.ea|
t:ata . s cete:m.aa||e . a ,eae:a| .
· ·
xaa|e s ae« .t :ea||y «as
, | :-} . tae a|t.mate :eie:eaee ie: a| | iaetaa| a. ste:y. ç:esaççeses as . ts
ae:.zea a a.ste:.ea| cete:m.aa|.| .ty taat eve:y emç.:.ea| se.eaee. |y
.tse|i a|eae aac as saea. . s çe«e:|ess te ,:eaac. ~eee:c.a,|y. «e aeec
aet i:st eate: .ate seme |.ac ei e:.t.ea| c.seass.ea ei tae iaets set eat |y
a.ste:.e. sm. .t . s eaea,a taat tae e|a.m ei tae. : iaetaa|.ty a|:eacy ç:e·
saççeses tae a. ste:.ea| a ç:.e:. .i ta. s e|a.m .s te aave aay sease , | :-
,mec.iec} ,
ia e:ce: te |e a||e te esta|| . sa iaets as iaets of a.ste:y. «e mast
a|«ays a|:eacy |ae« «aat a. ste:y . s aac aace: «aat eeac.t.eas-
eeae:ete eeac.t.eas-.t |s çess.|| e. we mast a|:eacy |e ea,a,ec .a a
ç:eeemç:eaeas.ea ei a. ste:.e.ty. . . e. . ei tae .ava:.aats ei a.ste:y taat
|aa,aa,e. t:ac.t.ea. eemmaa. ty. aac se ie:ta a:e. ia e:ce: ie: tae
etaae|e,.ea| iaet te aççea:. etaae|e,.ea| eemmaa.eat.ea mast a|·
:eacy |e sta:tec «.ta.a tae ae:.zea ei aa.ve:sa| aamaa.ty. t«e mea e:
t«e ,:eaçs ei mea mast aave |eea a||e te |e aace:steec sta:t.a, i:em
tae çess.|.|.t. es. ae«eve: çee:. ei a aa.ve:sa| | aa,aa,e. 1ae etaae|e,.st
mast |e sa:e . açec.et.ea||y. taat other mea a|se aeeessa:.|y | .ve «.ta.a a
eemmaa.ty ei |aa,aa,e aac t:ac.t.ea. «.ta.a tae ae:.zea ei a a.ste:y.
sa:e. a|se. ei «aat a|| taat meaas .a ,eae:a| ta tae a|t. mate :eeea:se. .t
. s aeeessa:, te |ae« taat tae a. ste:.e r:eseat .a ,eae:a|-tae .::eaae. ·
|| e ie:m ei eve:, a.ste:.ea| esçe:.eaee-. s tae ,:eaac ei a| | a. ste:.e.t,.
aac taat t eea|c a|«a,s eeme te te:ms .a ta. s r:eseat «. ta tae mest
c.staat. tae mest c. ne:eat etae: ¯ ue«eve: st:aa,e te eaea etae: t«e
mea ma, |e. tae, a| «a,s a:e aaae:staaca||e-at tae | . m.t-.a tae
eemmeaa| . t, ei tae. : i. v. a, r:eseat . a «a. ea tae a. ste:.e r:eseat . s
:eetec 1aat eaea ei tae.: iaacameata| r:eseats . s. also, mate:.a||y
cete:m.aec |y .ts .ase:t.ea «.ta.a tae iaetaa| eeateat ei a t:ac.t.ea.
see.a| st:aeta:e. |aa,aa,e. aac se ie:ta. taat eaea cees aet aave tae
same sease·eeateat. ta. s .a ae «ay aaeets tae eemmeaa|ty ei tae.:
ie:m 1a.s aa.ve:sa| ie:m. «a.ea . s tae mest prmordial aac concrete
|.vec esçe:.eaee. .s saççesec |y a|| |e.a,·te,etae:. 1a. s ie:m a| se
seems te |e tae iaa| :et:eaeameat. tae:eie:e tae mest responsible seea·
1 1 \1
Some analogous developments will be found in the Vienna Lecture, "Phi losophy
and the Crisis of European Humanity, " i n C, p. 296.
1 11
Introductin to the Origin of Geomet
:.ty. ei eve:y çaeaemeae|e,.ea| :ecaet.ea ia ta. s a|t. mate jurdical
instant [instance] .s aaaeaaeec tae mest :ac.ea| aa.ty ei tae «e:|c.
1aas eve:y ç:e||em ei a.ste:.ea| iaets .ave|ves a.ste:.ea| .ava:.aats
tae ve:y memeat tae ç:e||em aatae:.zes a ee:ta.a relativism. 1 20 1ae
|atte: :eta.as a|| .ts va|ae. ç:ev.cec .ts |eve| ei materiality aac .ts aç:.e:|
eeac.t.eas a:e açç:eç:.ate|y cete:m. aec. 1ae ça:t cevetec te :e·
| at.v. sm .a tae ee|e|:atec iette: te i-vy·n:aa| eaa |e .ate:ç:etec . a
ta. s «ay r:em taat |ette:. «:.ttea a yea: ea:|.e: taaa tae Origin,
· ·
«e
m.,at t
¡
. a|. ea tae eeat:a:y. taat uasse:| :eaeaaeec tae a.ste:.ea| a
ç:.e:. c.seeve:ec |y . ma,.aa:y va:.at.ea ¬c :eee,a.zec taat tae ça:e
çaeaemeae|e,y ei a. ste:y aac te esçeet semeta.a, etae: taaa esam
ç|es i:em tae eeateat ei tae emç.:.ea| se.eaees. etaae|e,y . a ça:t.ea|a: .
1a.s .s aeta||y tae :eac.a, taat He:|eaa·reaty ç:eçesec ta a |ette: te
i-vy·n:aa| «a.ea aas |eea ç:ese:vec. uasse:| seems te acm.t taat tae
iaets ,e |eyeac «aat «e . ma,.ae aac taat ta.s çe.at |ea:s a :ea|
s.,a.ieaaee. it .s as |i tae . ma,.aat.ea. |eu te .tse|i. .s aaa||e te :eç:e·
seat tae çess.|.|.t.es ei es.steaee «a.ea a:e :ea|.zec .a c.ae:eat ea|·
ta:es . . . . , uasse:|} sa« taat . t . s çe:aaçs aet çess.||e ie: as. «ae |.ve
. a ee:ta.a a. ste:.ea| t:ac.t.eas. te eeaee.ve ei tae a.ste:.ea| çess.|.|.ty ei
taese ç:.m.t.ve mea |y a me:e va:.at.ea ei ea: . ma,.aat.ea.
·

O: a,a.a
Historical relativism is now no longer dominated at one stroke by a
mode ofthought which would have all the keys of history and would be
in a position to drw up a table ofall historical possibles before any
factual experimental inquir. On the contrar, the thinker who wishes
1 20
Is it necessary to underscore that the question here is not that of a criticism of
historical or socio-ethnological science as such? Husserl simpl y wants to cal l the problem
back to its presuppositions. Phenomenol ogy, whi ch alone can bring them to light as such ,
at times has been, moreover, taken up by the researchers themsel ves wi th various de­
grees of explication.
This precaution had been formulated as an hommage to history as human science i n
"PRS, " p. 1 29.
1 � 1
Letter of March I I , 1 935. Husserl there speaks notably of the "indubitable legiti­
macy" that "historical relativism" involves "as anthropological fact" (our emphasis)
and of the possible and necessary task of a comprehensi ve Einfiihlung with respect to
pri mi ti ve societies that are "wi thout history" (geschichtlos) . [A great deal of this letter i s
availabl e i n Merleau-Ponty' s articl es cited beiow. See notes 1 22-1 25-tr. ] He insi sts
v igorously on the fact that the rights of relativi sm thus understood are preserved and
"conserved" by "the i ntentional anal ysi s" of transcendental phenomenology.
122
Cf. "Phenomenology and the Sciences of Man, " pp. 90-91 . The sae interpretation
is presented i n Merleau-Ponty' s article, "The Philosopher and Sociology, " i n Signs, pp.
98-1 ] 3.
- . ..
� i
i '
� ,
110
Jacques Derrid
saççes.t.eas ea|y eaase s.a,a|a: aac cete:m. aec a ç:.e:. te |e a:t.ea·
|atec tae:e. a it sauees. taea. te :esçeet taese a:t.ea|at.eas aac tae
eemç|.eatec a.e:a:eay «a.ea sa|m.ts me:e e: |ess cete:m.aec mate:.a|
a ç:.e:. te tae aç:.e:| ie:m ei aa.ve:sa| a. ste:|e.ty. On the other hand,
tae iaets. «a.ea a:e taas . ave|ec te saççe:t ta. s :e|at. v. sm. eaa |e
cete:m.aec as ee:ta.a a.ste:.ea| iaets ea|y .i semeta.a, | . |e a. ste:.ea|
t:ata . s cete:m.aa||e . a ,eae:a| .
· ·
xaa|e s ae« .t :ea||y «as
, | :-} . tae a|t.mate :eie:eaee ie: a| | iaetaa| a. ste:y. ç:esaççeses as . ts
ae:.zea a a.ste:.ea| cete:m.aa|.| .ty taat eve:y emç.:.ea| se.eaee. |y
.tse|i a|eae aac as saea. . s çe«e:|ess te ,:eaac. ~eee:c.a,|y. «e aeec
aet i:st eate: .ate seme |.ac ei e:.t.ea| c.seass.ea ei tae iaets set eat |y
a.ste:.e. sm. .t . s eaea,a taat tae e|a.m ei tae. : iaetaa|.ty a|:eacy ç:e·
saççeses tae a. ste:.ea| a ç:.e:. .i ta. s e|a.m .s te aave aay sease , | :-
,mec.iec} ,
ia e:ce: te |e a||e te esta|| . sa iaets as iaets of a.ste:y. «e mast
a|«ays a|:eacy |ae« «aat a. ste:y . s aac aace: «aat eeac.t.eas-
eeae:ete eeac.t.eas-.t |s çess.|| e. we mast a|:eacy |e ea,a,ec .a a
ç:eeemç:eaeas.ea ei a. ste:.e.ty. . . e. . ei tae .ava:.aats ei a.ste:y taat
|aa,aa,e. t:ac.t.ea. eemmaa. ty. aac se ie:ta a:e. ia e:ce: ie: tae
etaae|e,.ea| iaet te aççea:. etaae|e,.ea| eemmaa.eat.ea mast a|·
:eacy |e sta:tec «.ta.a tae ae:.zea ei aa.ve:sa| aamaa.ty. t«e mea e:
t«e ,:eaçs ei mea mast aave |eea a||e te |e aace:steec sta:t.a, i:em
tae çess.|.|.t. es. ae«eve: çee:. ei a aa.ve:sa| | aa,aa,e. 1ae etaae|e,.st
mast |e sa:e . açec.et.ea||y. taat other mea a|se aeeessa:.|y | .ve «.ta.a a
eemmaa.ty ei |aa,aa,e aac t:ac.t.ea. «.ta.a tae ae:.zea ei a a.ste:y.
sa:e. a|se. ei «aat a|| taat meaas .a ,eae:a| ta tae a|t. mate :eeea:se. .t
. s aeeessa:, te |ae« taat tae a. ste:.e r:eseat .a ,eae:a|-tae .::eaae. ·
|| e ie:m ei eve:, a.ste:.ea| esçe:.eaee-. s tae ,:eaac ei a| | a. ste:.e.t,.
aac taat t eea|c a|«a,s eeme te te:ms .a ta. s r:eseat «. ta tae mest
c.staat. tae mest c. ne:eat etae: ¯ ue«eve: st:aa,e te eaea etae: t«e
mea ma, |e. tae, a| «a,s a:e aaae:staaca||e-at tae | . m.t-.a tae
eemmeaa| . t, ei tae. : i. v. a, r:eseat . a «a. ea tae a. ste:.e r:eseat . s
:eetec 1aat eaea ei tae.: iaacameata| r:eseats . s. also, mate:.a||y
cete:m.aec |y .ts .ase:t.ea «.ta.a tae iaetaa| eeateat ei a t:ac.t.ea.
see.a| st:aeta:e. |aa,aa,e. aac se ie:ta. taat eaea cees aet aave tae
same sease·eeateat. ta. s .a ae «ay aaeets tae eemmeaa|ty ei tae.:
ie:m 1a.s aa.ve:sa| ie:m. «a.ea . s tae mest prmordial aac concrete
|.vec esçe:.eaee. .s saççesec |y a|| |e.a,·te,etae:. 1a. s ie:m a| se
seems te |e tae iaa| :et:eaeameat. tae:eie:e tae mest responsible seea·
1 1 \1
Some analogous developments will be found in the Vienna Lecture, "Phi losophy
and the Crisis of European Humanity, " i n C, p. 296.
1 11
Introductin to the Origin of Geomet
:.ty. ei eve:y çaeaemeae|e,.ea| :ecaet.ea ia ta. s a|t. mate jurdical
instant [instance] .s aaaeaaeec tae mest :ac.ea| aa.ty ei tae «e:|c.
1aas eve:y ç:e||em ei a.ste:.ea| iaets .ave|ves a.ste:.ea| .ava:.aats
tae ve:y memeat tae ç:e||em aatae:.zes a ee:ta.a relativism. 1 20 1ae
|atte: :eta.as a|| .ts va|ae. ç:ev.cec .ts |eve| ei materiality aac .ts aç:.e:|
eeac.t.eas a:e açç:eç:.ate|y cete:m. aec. 1ae ça:t cevetec te :e·
| at.v. sm .a tae ee|e|:atec iette: te i-vy·n:aa| eaa |e .ate:ç:etec . a
ta. s «ay r:em taat |ette:. «:.ttea a yea: ea:|.e: taaa tae Origin,
· ·
«e
m.,at t
¡
. a|. ea tae eeat:a:y. taat uasse:| :eaeaaeec tae a.ste:.ea| a
ç:.e:. c.seeve:ec |y . ma,.aa:y va:.at.ea ¬c :eee,a.zec taat tae ça:e
çaeaemeae|e,y ei a. ste:y aac te esçeet semeta.a, etae: taaa esam
ç|es i:em tae eeateat ei tae emç.:.ea| se.eaees. etaae|e,y . a ça:t.ea|a: .
1a.s .s aeta||y tae :eac.a, taat He:|eaa·reaty ç:eçesec ta a |ette: te
i-vy·n:aa| «a.ea aas |eea ç:ese:vec. uasse:| seems te acm.t taat tae
iaets ,e |eyeac «aat «e . ma,.ae aac taat ta.s çe.at |ea:s a :ea|
s.,a.ieaaee. it .s as |i tae . ma,.aat.ea. |eu te .tse|i. .s aaa||e te :eç:e·
seat tae çess.|.|.t.es ei es.steaee «a.ea a:e :ea|.zec .a c.ae:eat ea|·
ta:es . . . . , uasse:|} sa« taat . t . s çe:aaçs aet çess.||e ie: as. «ae |.ve
. a ee:ta.a a. ste:.ea| t:ac.t.eas. te eeaee.ve ei tae a.ste:.ea| çess.|.|.ty ei
taese ç:.m.t.ve mea |y a me:e va:.at.ea ei ea: . ma,.aat.ea.
·

O: a,a.a
Historical relativism is now no longer dominated at one stroke by a
mode ofthought which would have all the keys of history and would be
in a position to drw up a table ofall historical possibles before any
factual experimental inquir. On the contrar, the thinker who wishes
1 20
Is it necessary to underscore that the question here is not that of a criticism of
historical or socio-ethnological science as such? Husserl simpl y wants to cal l the problem
back to its presuppositions. Phenomenol ogy, whi ch alone can bring them to light as such ,
at times has been, moreover, taken up by the researchers themsel ves wi th various de­
grees of explication.
This precaution had been formulated as an hommage to history as human science i n
"PRS, " p. 1 29.
1 � 1
Letter of March I I , 1 935. Husserl there speaks notably of the "indubitable legiti­
macy" that "historical relativism" involves "as anthropological fact" (our emphasis)
and of the possible and necessary task of a comprehensi ve Einfiihlung with respect to
pri mi ti ve societies that are "wi thout history" (geschichtlos) . [A great deal of this letter i s
availabl e i n Merleau-Ponty' s articl es cited beiow. See notes 1 22-1 25-tr. ] He insi sts
v igorously on the fact that the rights of relativi sm thus understood are preserved and
"conserved" by "the i ntentional anal ysi s" of transcendental phenomenology.
122
Cf. "Phenomenology and the Sciences of Man, " pp. 90-91 . The sae interpretation
is presented i n Merleau-Ponty' s article, "The Philosopher and Sociology, " i n Signs, pp.
98-1 ] 3.
. �
1 12
Jacques Derid
to dominate history in this way must learnfrom the facts and must
enter into them . . . . The eidetic of histor cannot dispense with
factual historical investigation. In the eyes ofHusserl, philosophy, as a
coherent thought which leads to a classication offacts according to
their value and truth, continues to have its fnal imporance. But it
must begin by understanding all lived experences. (Our emphasis) ·
i s saea aa .ate:ç:etat.ea ]ast. iec:
1ae ea|y :e|at. v. sm uasse:| ae|ae«|ec,es as va|.c . s taat attaeaec te
a.ste:.ee· aata:eçe|e,.ea| iaets ¯ as saea aac .a tae.: iaetaa| .ty uas·
se:| aeve: eeatestec ta.s va|.c.ty evea . a ra.|eseçay as x.,e:eas se.·
eaee. ¯ 1ae a. ste:.ea| a ç:.e:. te «a.ea ae aac a|«ays aççea|ec ,aac
me:e aac me:e . as a matte: ei iaet· «e:e aeve: ç:eseatec. .t seems. as
|eys ei a.ste:y¯ e: as a ta||e ei a|| a.ste:.ea| çess.||es |eie:e aay
iaetaa| esçe:.meata| .a¡a.:y. ¯ ~ac s. aee a.ste:y aac tae a.ste:.ea| çes·
s. ||es a|eat «a.ea He:|eaa·reaty sçea|s :eç:eseat tae mate:.a| aac
cete:m.aec eeateat ei a. ste:.ea| mec.ieat.eas , . . e. . tae iaetaa| çess.||e
:ea| . zec . a saea aac saea a see.ety. ea|ta:e. eçeea. aac se ie:ta· . te
.ate:ç:et uasse:| . a tae a|eve maaae: . s te ase:.|e te a.m tae ç:etea·
s.ea ei cecae.a, iaetaa|.ty .tse|i a priori. we eaaaet steç «. ta saea a
ayçetaes. s. «a.ea eeat:ac.ets tae ve:y ç:em. ses ei çaeaemeae| e,y.
uasse:| aacea|tec| y taea,at taat a|| ei a.ste:y s cete:m.aec çess.||es
aac te eeaie:m te tae aç:.e:. esseaees ei a.ste:.e.ty eeaee:a.a, eve:y
çess.||e ea| ta:e. eve:y çess.||e |aa,aa,e. eve:y çess. ||e t:ac.t.ea nat
aeve: c.c ae c:eam te ie:esee . |y seme e .cet.e cecaet.ea. a| | tae iaets.
a|| tae ça:t.ea|a: çess.|| es «a.ea mast eeaie:m te taese a ç:.e:. ei
aa.ve:sa| a. ste:.e.ty.
nat aet te cecaee iaetaa|.ty a prori, .s taat te | ea:a i:em tae iaets¯ :
Net aay me:e. .i taat s.,a. ies taat e.cet.e .ata.t.ea «. || aave te |e
a|aaceaec-evea ç:ev.s.eaa||y-aac iaets asec etae:«.se taaa as
esamç|es .a aa . ma,.aa:y va:.at.ea. 1ae ça:çese ei tae va:.at.ea teea·
a.¡ae . a e.cet.e :eac.a, aac aeve: |eea te esaaast tae ma|t.ç| .e.ty ei
çess.||e iaets ea tae eeat:a:y. tae teeaa.¡ae evea aas tae ç:.v.|e,e ei
|e.a, a||e te «e:| ea ea| y eae ei taese çess. ||es .a aa esemç|a:y
eease.easaess [conscience d' exemple] . 1aas. ta. s teeaa.¡ae aas aeve:
aac tae m.ss.ea ei c.sçeas,.a,} «.ta iaetaa| a.ste:.ea| . avest.,at.ea¯ .
e: at |east. .i .t cees ta. s. .t . s aet |y ç:eteac.a, te sa|st.tate ie: tae
a.ste:.ea| . a¡a.:y ,.a aat.e.çat.a, tae iaets· tae se|.ta:y :ereet.ea ei a
a. ste:.aa¯ . · ·¹ .t s.mç|y de jure ç:eeeces eve:y mate:.a| a.ste:.ea| .aves·
t. ,at.ea aac aas ae aeec ei iaets as saea te :evea| te tae a.ste:.aa tae
aç:.e:. sease ei a.s aet.v.ty aac e|]eet s. 1e cete:m. ae ta. s sease .s. ie:
1 23
Ibid. , pp. 9 1 -92 [modifed] .
1 24
Ibid. , p. 92.
1 13
Introductin to the Origin ofGeometry
uass�:| . se |!tt|e a ¡aest.ea ei |e,.a,a.a,} |y aace:staac.a, a|| | .vec
esç

e:�eaees. ei a|aacea.a, e: |.m.t.a, tae teeaa.¡ae ei . ma,.aa:y
va�.�uea. ta

a� tae |atte: .s esç| .e.t|y aac i:e¡aeat|y ç:ese:.|ec .a tae
O

lgm, a ,nta, taa

t eaa |e eeas.ce:ec eae ei uasse:| s |ast re: a.m.
ta.

s teeam¡ae :emaas tae metaec¯ aeee:c.a, te «a.ea «e e|ta.a a
a�. �e:sa| aac a| se isec a ç:.e:. ei tae a. ste:. ea| «e:|c «a.ea . s a| «ays
en,ma| |y ,eaa. ae ( 1 77) .
ra:�ae: ea. ae says. «e a|se aave . aac |ae« taat «e aave . tae
eaça..ty ei e?mç�ete i:�ecem te t:aasie:m. .a taea,at aac çaaatasy.
ea: aa�a� a.stene�| ex.st�aee . . . . ~ac ç:ee. se|y .a ta. s aet.v.ty ei
i:ee vanauea. aac a :aama, ta:ea,a tae eeaee.va||e çess.|.| .t.es ie:
tae |.ie·«e:|c. tae:e a:.se�. «.ta açec.et.e se|i·ev.ceaee. aa esseat. a||y
,eae:a| set ei e|emeats ,ea, ta:ea,a a|| tae va:.aats . 1ae:e|y «e
aave :emevec eve:y |eac te tae iaetaa| |y va| .c a. ste:.ea| «e:|c aac
a��� :e,
.
�:cec ta. s «e:|c .tse|i me:e|y as eae ei tae eeaeeçtaa| çes·
s.|.|.t.es ( 1 77) .
ue:e �,a. a. �e cea
?
t. .

ma,.aa:y va:.at.ea aac tae :ecaet.ea de facto
ta|e

tae.: sta:ta, çeat a iaetaa| .ty nat a,a.a taey :eta.a i:em iaet
?a|y .ts es�mç|a:.ty aac .ts esseat.a| st:aeta:e. .ts çess.|.| .ty¯ aac aet
.ts iaetaa| .ty.
ii t�e c�s�ev�:y ei tae aç:.e:. st:aeta:es aac tae .ava:.aats ei aa.ve:·
sa| a.ste:...ty .s

metae

e!e,.ea||y aac ]a:.c.ea||y i:st. ta. s c.seeve:y
teaeaes

as aetaa,-ta.s . s ev.ceat . aac i:st te uasse:|-a|eat eaea
:ea| see.ety s e: eaea :ea| a.ste:.ea| memeat s e«a sçee.ie eaa:aete:
ç:eçesec ie: tae s�e.e|e,. st s e: a. ste:.aa s aet.v.ty 1ae:eie:e. . t aas
aeve: |eea a �aest.ea ei taat. ae: ei eeast:aet,.a,} «aat ma|es sease
ei etae: esçeneaees aac e.v. |.zat.eas |y a ça:e|y . ma,. aa:y va:.at.ea ei
, eae s} e«a esçe:.eaees ¯
·

Neve:tae|ess. .i i «e:e a||e te eeast:aet tae sease ei etae: esçe·
neaees aac e. v.| .za�.eas ¯ . a taat maaae: . i «ea|c c.seeve: .a «aat «ay
taey a:e also esçe:�eae�s aac e. v.|.zat.eas. aac aet ae« taey a:e d(jer·
ent. i a e:ce: te attaa ta.s sease ei ever e. v. |.zat.ea e: ever esçe:.eaee.
1
25 Mer�eau-Ponty, "The Philosopher and Soci ology, " p . 1 07 [modifed] . Always
commentlfl� on the same letter, Merleau-Ponty wri tes: "Here he [ Husserl] seems to admit
t�at the philosopher �ou
.
ld not pos
.
s�bly have immediate access to the universal by refec­
tIon alone-that he � s m no posItIon to do without anthropological experience or to
�ons�ruct wha� c?nstItut�s the meaning of other experiences and ci vilizations by a purel y
Imagmary varIatIon of hI S own experiences" (p. 1 07) .
I n �e
.
rleau-Ponty' s Phenomenology of Perception [ t r. Col i n Smith ( New York:
Humafltle

.
Pre
.
ss, 1 962)] .
.
the w�ol e l ast period of HusserI' s thought was already i nter­
preted as t
,

Cl tly [ break� n�] Wlt� the phi losophy of essences, " a rupture by which
Huss�rl �as merely explICItly laYIIg down analytic procedures which he had long been
appl ymg' ( p. 49) .
. �
1 12
Jacques Derid
to dominate history in this way must learnfrom the facts and must
enter into them . . . . The eidetic of histor cannot dispense with
factual historical investigation. In the eyes ofHusserl, philosophy, as a
coherent thought which leads to a classication offacts according to
their value and truth, continues to have its fnal imporance. But it
must begin by understanding all lived experences. (Our emphasis) ·
i s saea aa .ate:ç:etat.ea ]ast. iec:
1ae ea|y :e|at. v. sm uasse:| ae|ae«|ec,es as va|.c . s taat attaeaec te
a.ste:.ee· aata:eçe|e,.ea| iaets ¯ as saea aac .a tae.: iaetaa| .ty uas·
se:| aeve: eeatestec ta.s va|.c.ty evea . a ra.|eseçay as x.,e:eas se.·
eaee. ¯ 1ae a. ste:.ea| a ç:.e:. te «a.ea ae aac a|«ays aççea|ec ,aac
me:e aac me:e . as a matte: ei iaet· «e:e aeve: ç:eseatec. .t seems. as
|eys ei a.ste:y¯ e: as a ta||e ei a|| a.ste:.ea| çess.||es |eie:e aay
iaetaa| esçe:.meata| .a¡a.:y. ¯ ~ac s. aee a.ste:y aac tae a.ste:.ea| çes·
s. ||es a|eat «a.ea He:|eaa·reaty sçea|s :eç:eseat tae mate:.a| aac
cete:m.aec eeateat ei a. ste:.ea| mec.ieat.eas , . . e. . tae iaetaa| çess.||e
:ea| . zec . a saea aac saea a see.ety. ea|ta:e. eçeea. aac se ie:ta· . te
.ate:ç:et uasse:| . a tae a|eve maaae: . s te ase:.|e te a.m tae ç:etea·
s.ea ei cecae.a, iaetaa|.ty .tse|i a priori. we eaaaet steç «. ta saea a
ayçetaes. s. «a.ea eeat:ac.ets tae ve:y ç:em. ses ei çaeaemeae| e,y.
uasse:| aacea|tec| y taea,at taat a|| ei a.ste:y s cete:m.aec çess.||es
aac te eeaie:m te tae aç:.e:. esseaees ei a.ste:.e.ty eeaee:a.a, eve:y
çess.||e ea| ta:e. eve:y çess.||e |aa,aa,e. eve:y çess. ||e t:ac.t.ea nat
aeve: c.c ae c:eam te ie:esee . |y seme e .cet.e cecaet.ea. a| | tae iaets.
a|| tae ça:t.ea|a: çess.|| es «a.ea mast eeaie:m te taese a ç:.e:. ei
aa.ve:sa| a. ste:.e.ty.
nat aet te cecaee iaetaa|.ty a prori, .s taat te | ea:a i:em tae iaets¯ :
Net aay me:e. .i taat s.,a. ies taat e.cet.e .ata.t.ea «. || aave te |e
a|aaceaec-evea ç:ev.s.eaa||y-aac iaets asec etae:«.se taaa as
esamç|es .a aa . ma,.aa:y va:.at.ea. 1ae ça:çese ei tae va:.at.ea teea·
a.¡ae . a e.cet.e :eac.a, aac aeve: |eea te esaaast tae ma|t.ç| .e.ty ei
çess.||e iaets ea tae eeat:a:y. tae teeaa.¡ae evea aas tae ç:.v.|e,e ei
|e.a, a||e te «e:| ea ea| y eae ei taese çess. ||es .a aa esemç|a:y
eease.easaess [conscience d' exemple] . 1aas. ta. s teeaa.¡ae aas aeve:
aac tae m.ss.ea ei c.sçeas,.a,} «.ta iaetaa| a.ste:.ea| . avest.,at.ea¯ .
e: at |east. .i .t cees ta. s. .t . s aet |y ç:eteac.a, te sa|st.tate ie: tae
a.ste:.ea| . a¡a.:y ,.a aat.e.çat.a, tae iaets· tae se|.ta:y :ereet.ea ei a
a. ste:.aa¯ . · ·¹ .t s.mç|y de jure ç:eeeces eve:y mate:.a| a.ste:.ea| .aves·
t. ,at.ea aac aas ae aeec ei iaets as saea te :evea| te tae a.ste:.aa tae
aç:.e:. sease ei a.s aet.v.ty aac e|]eet s. 1e cete:m. ae ta. s sease .s. ie:
1 23
Ibid. , pp. 9 1 -92 [modifed] .
1 24
Ibid. , p. 92.
1 13
Introductin to the Origin ofGeometry
uass�:| . se |!tt|e a ¡aest.ea ei |e,.a,a.a,} |y aace:staac.a, a|| | .vec
esç

e:�eaees. ei a|aacea.a, e: |.m.t.a, tae teeaa.¡ae ei . ma,.aa:y
va�.�uea. ta

a� tae |atte: .s esç| .e.t|y aac i:e¡aeat|y ç:ese:.|ec .a tae
O

lgm, a ,nta, taa

t eaa |e eeas.ce:ec eae ei uasse:| s |ast re: a.m.
ta.

s teeam¡ae :emaas tae metaec¯ aeee:c.a, te «a.ea «e e|ta.a a
a�. �e:sa| aac a| se isec a ç:.e:. ei tae a. ste:. ea| «e:|c «a.ea . s a| «ays
en,ma| |y ,eaa. ae ( 1 77) .
ra:�ae: ea. ae says. «e a|se aave . aac |ae« taat «e aave . tae
eaça..ty ei e?mç�ete i:�ecem te t:aasie:m. .a taea,at aac çaaatasy.
ea: aa�a� a.stene�| ex.st�aee . . . . ~ac ç:ee. se|y .a ta. s aet.v.ty ei
i:ee vanauea. aac a :aama, ta:ea,a tae eeaee.va||e çess.|.| .t.es ie:
tae |.ie·«e:|c. tae:e a:.se�. «.ta açec.et.e se|i·ev.ceaee. aa esseat. a||y
,eae:a| set ei e|emeats ,ea, ta:ea,a a|| tae va:.aats . 1ae:e|y «e
aave :emevec eve:y |eac te tae iaetaa| |y va| .c a. ste:.ea| «e:|c aac
a��� :e,
.
�:cec ta. s «e:|c .tse|i me:e|y as eae ei tae eeaeeçtaa| çes·
s.|.|.t.es ( 1 77) .
ue:e �,a. a. �e cea
?
t. .

ma,.aa:y va:.at.ea aac tae :ecaet.ea de facto
ta|e

tae.: sta:ta, çeat a iaetaa| .ty nat a,a.a taey :eta.a i:em iaet
?a|y .ts es�mç|a:.ty aac .ts esseat.a| st:aeta:e. .ts çess.|.| .ty¯ aac aet
.ts iaetaa| .ty.
ii t�e c�s�ev�:y ei tae aç:.e:. st:aeta:es aac tae .ava:.aats ei aa.ve:·
sa| a.ste:...ty .s

metae

e!e,.ea||y aac ]a:.c.ea||y i:st. ta. s c.seeve:y
teaeaes

as aetaa,-ta.s . s ev.ceat . aac i:st te uasse:|-a|eat eaea
:ea| see.ety s e: eaea :ea| a.ste:.ea| memeat s e«a sçee.ie eaa:aete:
ç:eçesec ie: tae s�e.e|e,. st s e: a. ste:.aa s aet.v.ty 1ae:eie:e. . t aas
aeve: |eea a �aest.ea ei taat. ae: ei eeast:aet,.a,} «aat ma|es sease
ei etae: esçeneaees aac e.v. |.zat.eas |y a ça:e|y . ma,. aa:y va:.at.ea ei
, eae s} e«a esçe:.eaees ¯
·

Neve:tae|ess. .i i «e:e a||e te eeast:aet tae sease ei etae: esçe·
neaees aac e. v.| .za�.eas ¯ . a taat maaae: . i «ea|c c.seeve: .a «aat «ay
taey a:e also esçe:�eae�s aac e. v.|.zat.eas. aac aet ae« taey a:e d(jer·
ent. i a e:ce: te attaa ta.s sease ei ever e. v. |.zat.ea e: ever esçe:.eaee.
1
25 Mer�eau-Ponty, "The Philosopher and Soci ology, " p . 1 07 [modifed] . Always
commentlfl� on the same letter, Merleau-Ponty wri tes: "Here he [ Husserl] seems to admit
t�at the philosopher �ou
.
ld not pos
.
s�bly have immediate access to the universal by refec­
tIon alone-that he � s m no posItIon to do without anthropological experience or to
�ons�ruct wha� c?nstItut�s the meaning of other experiences and ci vilizations by a purel y
Imagmary varIatIon of hI S own experiences" (p. 1 07) .
I n �e
.
rleau-Ponty' s Phenomenology of Perception [ t r. Col i n Smith ( New York:
Humafltle

.
Pre
.
ss, 1 962)] .
.
the w�ol e l ast period of HusserI' s thought was already i nter­
preted as t
,

Cl tly [ break� n�] Wlt� the phi losophy of essences, " a rupture by which
Huss�rl �as merely explICItly laYIIg down analytic procedures which he had long been
appl ymg' ( p. 49) .
1 14
Jacques Derrid
I wi l l frst have to reduce what there i s of my own (in the factual sense,
of course) in the experience and ci vi l ization from which I in fact start .
Once that sense of the experience or civi lization in general has been
made clear, I could legitimately try to determine the diference between
the various facts of civi lization and experience. This does not mean that
I should abandon every eidetic attitude from that moment on. Withi n a
much greater factual determination, other reductions are still possibl e
and necessary, reductions that must be prudentl y articulated according
to their degree of general ity, dependence, and so forth, yet always
respecting, as Husserl specifi es in the Origin, the rule of the strict
" subsumption" [ 1 59] of the singular under the universal . In proportion
to the increase of material determi nation, "relativi sm" extends i ts
rights, but, si nce it i s dependent to the highest degree, it will never be,
as Husserl notes in the same letter, " the last word of sci entifc
knowledge. "
Certainly the work of the historian, sociologist, ethnologist, and so
forth constitutes a kind of realized i maginay variation in the encounter
with factual diference; thi s kind of variation can be used directly for
access to the concrete and universal components of soci ality or hi storic­
ity. Since these i nvariants wil l teach us nothing about the specifc
character of a particular society or epoch, I will-especially-have to
" empathize" (einzufuhlen), as HusserI said to Levy-Bruhl . But thi s
empathizing (Einfuh lung) , as the factual determination of diference,
cannot exactly i nstitute science de jure. Einfuhlung itself i s possible only
within and by virtue of the apriori universal structures of social ity and
historicity. It supposes an immediate transcendental community of all
hi storical ci vi l i zations and the possi bil ity of an Einfuhlung i n general .
In the material determi nation of hi stori citi es, Einfuhlung, moreover,
strictly conforms with the method of all historical phenomenology,
since it penetrates hi storical signifi cations from wi thin and makes the
external inquiry depend on internal i ntui tion.
But, then, how do we reconcile the afrmation according to which
historicity is an essential structure of the horizon for all humanity (as
well as for every communi ty) and the all usi on to the "nonhi storicity"
(Geschichtlosigkeit) of certain archaic societies ?
1 26
Thi s nonhistoricity
seems not to have any pure and absolute signifcation for HusserI. I t
would only modiy the apriori structure of mankind' s universal hi storic­
ity empi rically or material l y. It would b the form of historicity that i s
only proper t o fni te societies enclosed i n their "l ocked horizons"­
soci eties as yet removed from the irruption of the " European" I dea of
1 21
Letter already cited.
1 15
Introductin to the Origin of Geometry
the i nfi nite task and tradition. Thei r " stagnation" would not be the
mere absence of hi storicity but a kind of fnitude in the project and
recollection of sense . Therefore , and onl y in comparison with the infi ­
nite and pure hi stori city of the Europeaneidos, do archaic societies seem
" without history. " In the Crisis, moreover, Husserl onl y recognizes an
empirical type in those societies which do not participate in the Euro­
pean Idea. N onhistoricity, then, would onl y be the lower li mit-mode of
empirical historicity . The ambiguity of an example which i s at once an
undistinguished sample and a teleological model i s sti ll found here. In
the frst sense, i n fact, we could say with HusserI that every community
i s in history, that hi storicity i s the essential horizon of humanity, insofar
as there is no humanity without social ity and culture. From this per­
spective , any society at al l , European, archaic , or some other, can
serve as an example i n an eidetic recognition. But on the other hand,
Europe has the pri vilege of being the good example, for it incarnates i n
its purity the Telos of al l historicity: universality, omnitemporal ity,
infnite traditional ity, and so forth; by investigating the sense of the
pure and i nfnite possibil ity of hi storicity , Europe has awakened history
to its own proper end. Therefore, in thi s second sense, pure historicity
is reserved for the European eidos. The empi rical types of non­
European societies, then, are only more or less historical ; at the lower
li mi t, they tend toward nonhi storicity.
Thus HusserI is led to disti nguish the ori ginal ity of vari ous levels
within the most universal eidos of hi storicity. In a very brief fragment ,
whose inspiration is very si milar to that of the Origin, HusserI deter­
mines three stages or steps of historicity. In proportion to the ad­
vancement in that hierarchy or to the progression in that development,
historicity assumes greater possession of i ts own essence . First , there
would be historicity in the most general sense, as the essence of all
human existence , inasmuch as human existence necessaril y moves i n
the spiritual space of a culture or tradition. The immediately hi gher
level would be that of European culture , the theoretical project, and
philosophy . The third level , fnal l y, would be characterized by the
"conversion of phi losophy into phenomenology. "1 27 Thus, at each
1 �7 "Stufen der Geschichtl i chkeit . Erste Geschichtlichkeit . " 1 934. Bei lage XXVI . in K,
pp. 502-03. El sewhere Husserl writes i n t he same vei n: ' " Human l i fe i s necessari l y, i n the
main and as cul tural life, hi storical i n the strictest sense. But scientifc l i fe , life as the l ife
of a man of sci ence in a horizon of a communi ty of men of science, si gifi es a new kind of
hi storici ty" (Beilage XXVI I , 1 935 , in K, p. 507) . Al so see "Philosophy and the Cri si s of
European Humanity, " in C, p. 279. Husserl speaks there of a "revolutionization of
historici ty. " [ I n the versi on that Paul Ri coeur translates (see note 1 49 below) , the li ne i s
rendered: " ' revoluti on i n the heart of hi storicity, " the emphasis by Derrida. ]
1 14
Jacques Derrid
I wi l l frst have to reduce what there i s of my own (in the factual sense,
of course) in the experience and ci vi l ization from which I in fact start .
Once that sense of the experience or civi lization in general has been
made clear, I could legitimately try to determine the diference between
the various facts of civi lization and experience. This does not mean that
I should abandon every eidetic attitude from that moment on. Withi n a
much greater factual determination, other reductions are still possibl e
and necessary, reductions that must be prudentl y articulated according
to their degree of general ity, dependence, and so forth, yet always
respecting, as Husserl specifi es in the Origin, the rule of the strict
" subsumption" [ 1 59] of the singular under the universal . In proportion
to the increase of material determi nation, "relativi sm" extends i ts
rights, but, si nce it i s dependent to the highest degree, it will never be,
as Husserl notes in the same letter, " the last word of sci entifc
knowledge. "
Certainly the work of the historian, sociologist, ethnologist, and so
forth constitutes a kind of realized i maginay variation in the encounter
with factual diference; thi s kind of variation can be used directly for
access to the concrete and universal components of soci ality or hi storic­
ity. Since these i nvariants wil l teach us nothing about the specifc
character of a particular society or epoch, I will-especially-have to
" empathize" (einzufuhlen), as HusserI said to Levy-Bruhl . But thi s
empathizing (Einfuh lung) , as the factual determination of diference,
cannot exactly i nstitute science de jure. Einfuhlung itself i s possible only
within and by virtue of the apriori universal structures of social ity and
historicity. It supposes an immediate transcendental community of all
hi storical ci vi l i zations and the possi bil ity of an Einfuhlung i n general .
In the material determi nation of hi stori citi es, Einfuhlung, moreover,
strictly conforms with the method of all historical phenomenology,
since it penetrates hi storical signifi cations from wi thin and makes the
external inquiry depend on internal i ntui tion.
But, then, how do we reconcile the afrmation according to which
historicity is an essential structure of the horizon for all humanity (as
well as for every communi ty) and the all usi on to the "nonhi storicity"
(Geschichtlosigkeit) of certain archaic societies ?
1 26
Thi s nonhistoricity
seems not to have any pure and absolute signifcation for HusserI. I t
would only modiy the apriori structure of mankind' s universal hi storic­
ity empi rically or material l y. It would b the form of historicity that i s
only proper t o fni te societies enclosed i n their "l ocked horizons"­
soci eties as yet removed from the irruption of the " European" I dea of
1 21
Letter already cited.
1 15
Introductin to the Origin of Geometry
the i nfi nite task and tradition. Thei r " stagnation" would not be the
mere absence of hi storicity but a kind of fnitude in the project and
recollection of sense . Therefore , and onl y in comparison with the infi ­
nite and pure hi stori city of the Europeaneidos, do archaic societies seem
" without history. " In the Crisis, moreover, Husserl onl y recognizes an
empirical type in those societies which do not participate in the Euro­
pean Idea. N onhistoricity, then, would onl y be the lower li mit-mode of
empirical historicity . The ambiguity of an example which i s at once an
undistinguished sample and a teleological model i s sti ll found here. In
the frst sense, i n fact, we could say with HusserI that every community
i s in history, that hi storicity i s the essential horizon of humanity, insofar
as there is no humanity without social ity and culture. From this per­
spective , any society at al l , European, archaic , or some other, can
serve as an example i n an eidetic recognition. But on the other hand,
Europe has the pri vilege of being the good example, for it incarnates i n
its purity the Telos of al l historicity: universality, omnitemporal ity,
infnite traditional ity, and so forth; by investigating the sense of the
pure and i nfnite possibil ity of hi storicity , Europe has awakened history
to its own proper end. Therefore, in thi s second sense, pure historicity
is reserved for the European eidos. The empi rical types of non­
European societies, then, are only more or less historical ; at the lower
li mi t, they tend toward nonhi storicity.
Thus HusserI is led to disti nguish the ori ginal ity of vari ous levels
within the most universal eidos of hi storicity. In a very brief fragment ,
whose inspiration is very si milar to that of the Origin, HusserI deter­
mines three stages or steps of historicity. In proportion to the ad­
vancement in that hierarchy or to the progression in that development,
historicity assumes greater possession of i ts own essence . First , there
would be historicity in the most general sense, as the essence of all
human existence , inasmuch as human existence necessaril y moves i n
the spiritual space of a culture or tradition. The immediately hi gher
level would be that of European culture , the theoretical project, and
philosophy . The third level , fnal l y, would be characterized by the
"conversion of phi losophy into phenomenology. "1 27 Thus, at each
1 �7 "Stufen der Geschichtl i chkeit . Erste Geschichtlichkeit . " 1 934. Bei lage XXVI . in K,
pp. 502-03. El sewhere Husserl writes i n t he same vei n: ' " Human l i fe i s necessari l y, i n the
main and as cul tural life, hi storical i n the strictest sense. But scientifc l i fe , life as the l ife
of a man of sci ence in a horizon of a communi ty of men of science, si gifi es a new kind of
hi storici ty" (Beilage XXVI I , 1 935 , in K, p. 507) . Al so see "Philosophy and the Cri si s of
European Humanity, " in C, p. 279. Husserl speaks there of a "revolutionization of
historici ty. " [ I n the versi on that Paul Ri coeur translates (see note 1 49 below) , the li ne i s
rendered: " ' revoluti on i n the heart of hi storicity, " the emphasis by Derrida. ]
� I
116
Jacques Drrid
stage, the revoluti on which overthrows the previ ous project by an infn­
itization is only the sense-investigation of a hi dden intention.
(Moreover, the equivalence of every sense-investigation to an i nfnitiza­
tion can be posited as a phenomenological rule. ) On the other hand,
since these three moments are stratifying structures of diferent heights,
they are not i n fact mutually exclusive: not only do they coexist i n the
worl d, but one and the same society can make them cohabit within
itself, in the dif erentiated unity of an organic simultaneity.
It is then straight toward the ei detic invariants and the teleological
absol utes of historicity that Husserl ' s refection is directed. The interal
and dynamic di ferentiation of those i nvariants must not l ose sight of
that fact ; thi s diferentiation is precisely the sign that the invariants of
historicity, the essences of becoming are real l y in question here. We
could then be tempted by an interpretation di ametrical l y opposed to
that of Merleau-Ponty and maintai n that Hussr! , far from opening the
phenomenological parentheses to historical factuality under all i ts
forms, leaves hi story more than ever outside them. We could always
say that , by defnition and l ike all conditions of possi bi lity, the i n­
variants of history thus tracked down by Husser! are not historical i n
themsel ves . We would then concl ude, l i ke Walter Biemel , that
" Husserl ' s essays which try to grasp hi storicity thematically can be
considered as failures . "
1
2R
But what would historicity and discourse about history be, i none of
those invariants were possible? In order to speak of failure i n the
thematization of historicity , must we not already have access to an
invariant and more or less thematic sense of hi storicity? And is not that
sense precisely what is announced in Husserl ' s last meditations, i ncom­
plete as they are?
If the thematization of the apodictic i nvariants and of the historical a
priori was at fault, would not that be in comparison with histor rather
than with historicity? The failure would then be fagrant if, at some
moment, Husserl was to become interested in something l ike hi story.
1 2H
"Les Phases decisives dans Ie developpement de la philosphie de Husserl" (al­
ready cited [see note 5] , in Husserl, Cahiers de Royaumont, p. 58) . [Thi s comment is only
found i n the French version of this essay. J Walter Biemel very accurately sees the Crisis
as a work of old age too easily interpreted as a turning point in Husserl' s thought, despite
the profound continuity which unites it to his previous i nvestigations. At the end of this
valuable lecture-while underscoring Husserl ' s fi delity-the author recalls the discom­
fort of Husserl who, in "an entire series of manuscripts from group K III , " "asks himself
why philosophy should need history" ( in The Phenomenology ofHusserl, ed. Elveton, p.
1 67) . And in Beilagen XXV and XXVIII of the Krisis, Husserl asks himself in particular:
"Why does philosophy need the hi story of philosophy?" ( in K, p. 495), and: "How is
Hi story Required?" ( in K, p. 508; i n C, Appendix IX, p. 389).
117
Introduction t o the Origin of Geometr
He never seems to h

ve done that . Would not, then, hi s original merit
be to have described, in a properly transcendental step (in a sense of
that word which Kantianism cannot exhaust) , the conditions of possibil­
i ty for history which were at the same time concrete? Concrete, because
they are experienced [vecues] under the form of horizon.
The notion of horizon is decisive here: "horizon-consciousness, "
"horizon-certainty, " "horizon-knowledge, " such are the key concepts
of the Origin. Horizon i s gi ven to a lived evi dence, to a concrete knowl­
edge which, Husserl says, is never "learned" [ 1 76] , which no empirical
moment can then hand over, since it always presupposes the horizon.
Therefore, we are clearly dealing wi th a primordial knowledge concer­
ing the total ity of possible hi storical experiences. Horizon i s the
always-already-there of a future which keeps the indetermination of i ts
i nfnite openness i ntact (even though this future was announced to con­
sciousness) . As the structural determination of every material indeter­
minacy, a horizon i s always virtual ly present in every experience ; for i t
i s at once the unity and the incompletion for that experi ence-the an­
ticipated unity in every i ncompletion. The notion of horizon converts
critical philosophy' s state of abstract possibility into the concrete infn­
ite potential ity secretly presupposed therei n. The notion of horizon thus
makes the a priori and the teleological coincide.
IX
After broadening hi s refection to include the problems of universal
hi storicity, Husserl narrows the feld of hi s analysi s and comes back to
the origi n of geometry. I n a few pages, he puts forward the most con­
crete descriptions of this text. Commentators have most ofen retai ned
these descriptions because, in short, as Husserl himself underscores,
they go beyond "formal generali ties " [ 1 77] and ( starting from human
praxis) draw near to the constitution of geometrical protoidealiti es i n
the prescientifc sphere of the cultural world.
The posture [situation] of thi s analysis seems rigorously prescribed
by the bearing of the meditation, despite i ts rather free style . As we are
going to see, its content is less novel in HusserI ' s work than at frst
apparent . After having determi ned the conditions for tradi tionality in
generl, we have the right to return to one of those traditions which
(serving just a moment ago as an exemplary guide) i s now studied i n
itself. After having fxed the sense and the method for all questioning of
origins, we ask a question about a single origin. On the other hand,
geometry has been recognized as a traditional system of ideal objec­
tiviti es. Now in ideal objectivity, both Objectivity and i deality must be
� I
116
Jacques Drrid
stage, the revoluti on which overthrows the previ ous project by an infn­
itization is only the sense-investigation of a hi dden intention.
(Moreover, the equivalence of every sense-investigation to an i nfnitiza­
tion can be posited as a phenomenological rule. ) On the other hand,
since these three moments are stratifying structures of diferent heights,
they are not i n fact mutually exclusive: not only do they coexist i n the
worl d, but one and the same society can make them cohabit within
itself, in the dif erentiated unity of an organic simultaneity.
It is then straight toward the ei detic invariants and the teleological
absol utes of historicity that Husserl ' s refection is directed. The interal
and dynamic di ferentiation of those i nvariants must not l ose sight of
that fact ; thi s diferentiation is precisely the sign that the invariants of
historicity, the essences of becoming are real l y in question here. We
could then be tempted by an interpretation di ametrical l y opposed to
that of Merleau-Ponty and maintai n that Hussr! , far from opening the
phenomenological parentheses to historical factuality under all i ts
forms, leaves hi story more than ever outside them. We could always
say that , by defnition and l ike all conditions of possi bi lity, the i n­
variants of history thus tracked down by Husser! are not historical i n
themsel ves . We would then concl ude, l i ke Walter Biemel , that
" Husserl ' s essays which try to grasp hi storicity thematically can be
considered as failures . "
1
2R
But what would historicity and discourse about history be, i none of
those invariants were possible? In order to speak of failure i n the
thematization of historicity , must we not already have access to an
invariant and more or less thematic sense of hi storicity? And is not that
sense precisely what is announced in Husserl ' s last meditations, i ncom­
plete as they are?
If the thematization of the apodictic i nvariants and of the historical a
priori was at fault, would not that be in comparison with histor rather
than with historicity? The failure would then be fagrant if, at some
moment, Husserl was to become interested in something l ike hi story.
1 2H
"Les Phases decisives dans Ie developpement de la philosphie de Husserl" (al­
ready cited [see note 5] , in Husserl, Cahiers de Royaumont, p. 58) . [Thi s comment is only
found i n the French version of this essay. J Walter Biemel very accurately sees the Crisis
as a work of old age too easily interpreted as a turning point in Husserl' s thought, despite
the profound continuity which unites it to his previous i nvestigations. At the end of this
valuable lecture-while underscoring Husserl ' s fi delity-the author recalls the discom­
fort of Husserl who, in "an entire series of manuscripts from group K III , " "asks himself
why philosophy should need history" ( in The Phenomenology ofHusserl, ed. Elveton, p.
1 67) . And in Beilagen XXV and XXVIII of the Krisis, Husserl asks himself in particular:
"Why does philosophy need the hi story of philosophy?" ( in K, p. 495), and: "How is
Hi story Required?" ( in K, p. 508; i n C, Appendix IX, p. 389).
117
Introduction t o the Origin of Geometr
He never seems to h

ve done that . Would not, then, hi s original merit
be to have described, in a properly transcendental step (in a sense of
that word which Kantianism cannot exhaust) , the conditions of possibil­
i ty for history which were at the same time concrete? Concrete, because
they are experienced [vecues] under the form of horizon.
The notion of horizon is decisive here: "horizon-consciousness, "
"horizon-certainty, " "horizon-knowledge, " such are the key concepts
of the Origin. Horizon i s gi ven to a lived evi dence, to a concrete knowl­
edge which, Husserl says, is never "learned" [ 1 76] , which no empirical
moment can then hand over, since it always presupposes the horizon.
Therefore, we are clearly dealing wi th a primordial knowledge concer­
ing the total ity of possible hi storical experiences. Horizon i s the
always-already-there of a future which keeps the indetermination of i ts
i nfnite openness i ntact (even though this future was announced to con­
sciousness) . As the structural determination of every material indeter­
minacy, a horizon i s always virtual ly present in every experience ; for i t
i s at once the unity and the incompletion for that experi ence-the an­
ticipated unity in every i ncompletion. The notion of horizon converts
critical philosophy' s state of abstract possibility into the concrete infn­
ite potential ity secretly presupposed therei n. The notion of horizon thus
makes the a priori and the teleological coincide.
IX
After broadening hi s refection to include the problems of universal
hi storicity, Husserl narrows the feld of hi s analysi s and comes back to
the origi n of geometry. I n a few pages, he puts forward the most con­
crete descriptions of this text. Commentators have most ofen retai ned
these descriptions because, in short, as Husserl himself underscores,
they go beyond "formal generali ties " [ 1 77] and ( starting from human
praxis) draw near to the constitution of geometrical protoidealiti es i n
the prescientifc sphere of the cultural world.
The posture [situation] of thi s analysis seems rigorously prescribed
by the bearing of the meditation, despite i ts rather free style . As we are
going to see, its content is less novel in HusserI ' s work than at frst
apparent . After having determi ned the conditions for tradi tionality in
generl, we have the right to return to one of those traditions which
(serving just a moment ago as an exemplary guide) i s now studied i n
itself. After having fxed the sense and the method for all questioning of
origins, we ask a question about a single origin. On the other hand,
geometry has been recognized as a traditional system of ideal objec­
tiviti es. Now in ideal objectivity, both Objectivity and i deality must be
118
Jacques Derrid
aeeeaatec ie:. cesç.te tae.: ceeç·:eetec .ate::e|atecaess aac tae.: :e·
e.ç:eea| eeac.t.ea.a,. taey eaa |e seça:atec ~aa| yzec in general aac
aet as ,ee¬et:.ea| ,as .a tae i:st ça:t ei tae test· . .cea|.ty eaeet.ve| y
eate:s .ate t:ac.t.ea |y . ts e|]eet.| eat.ea aac taas eaa |e i:eec. eaa |e
aaacec eve: we ea,at . taea. te |e,.a ,as uasse:| cees· |y aeeeaat.a,
ie: O|]eet.v.ty. . e . tae a. ste:.e.ty ei .cea| e|]eet.v.ty .a ,eae:a|

1ae
aç:.e:. st:aeta:es ei a.ste:.e.ty eea|c |e ¡aest.eaec ea|y |y :eeea:se te
|aa,aa,e . «:.t.a,. tae eaçae.ty ei :eaet.vat.ea. aac iaa| |y te ¬etaec
1aaa|s te ta. s ¬etaec. «a.ea a|eae eaa||es ee¬ç:eaeas.ea ei tae .a·
va:.aats ei a.ste:.e.ty in generl «.ta aa açec.et.e ee:ta.aty. «e eaa ae«
:eta:a ,ta. s s.ce ei se.eaee· te tae .ava:.aats of tae ç:e se.eat.ie «e:|c
ea tae |as.s ei «a.ea ,ee¬et:.ea| ç:ete .cea|. t. es aave |eea ç:ecaeec
aac esta||.saec 1aas. aite: aav.a, ceiaec tae eeac. t. eas ie: tae O|·
]eet. v.ty ei .cea| e|]eets. «e eaa t:y te cese:.|e tae eeac.t.eas ie:
,ee¬et:.ea| .cea|.ty .tse|i. |y a ae« :ecaet.ea ei eeast.tatec se. eat.ie
O|]e:t. v.ty aac a|| .ts sçee.ie a. ste:.e.ty Ða:|.e:. .t «.|| |e :eea||ec.
uasse:| as|ec a.¬se|i. ae« eea|c . cea| sease. already constituted . a
sa|]eet.ve .¬¬aaeaee . |e e|]eet.ve aac ea,a,ec .a a.ste:y aac . a tae
¬eve¬eat ei .ate:sa|]eet.v.ty: ue ae« as|s a. mse|i. ae«. .a a ç:ev.·
eas ¬e¬eat . eea|c .cea|.ty .tse|i |e eeast.tatec:
1ae aeeess.ty ei ta.s «ay ei ,e.a, |ae| [recursion] ta:ea,a a se:.es ei
z. ,za,s see¬s te ,a.ce uasse:| «aea ae «:.tes . 1a:ea,a ta. s
¬etaec. ,e.a, |eyeac tae ie:¬a| ,eae:a|.t.es «e esa.|.tec ea:|.e: . «e
eaa a|se ¬a|e tae¬at.e taat açec.et.e asçeet ei tae ç:e se.eat.ie «e:|c
taat tae e:.,.aa| ieaace: ei ,ee¬et:y aac at a. s c.sçesa| . taat «a.ea
¬ast aave se:vec as tae ¬ate:. a| ie: a. s .cea| . zat.eas ( 1 77) .
r.:st . «e ¬ast ce|.¬.t taese st:aeta:es ei tae ç:ese.eat.|e «e:|c
«a.ea eea|c .ast.tate a ,eemet:y 1a.s cese:.çt.ea .s a|«ays çess.||e.
s.aee tae st:ata¬ ei tae ç:ese.eat.ie «e:|c .s aeve: cest:eyec. ae:
ce| a.t.ve|y eeaeea|ec 1a.s st:ata¬ :ema.as . ataet aace: tae aa.ve:se
cete:¬.aec |y tae .cea| esaet.tace ei se.eaee ~ac. aeee:c.a, te aa
.¬a,e «a.ea uasse:| ases at |east t«.ee. .t .s aeta.a, ¬e:e taaa a ,a:|
ei .ceas ta:e«a eve: tae «e:|c ei .¬mec.ate .ata.t.ea aac esçe:.eaee.
,eve:} tae |.ie·«e:|c. ie: eaea ei tae :esa|ts ei se. eaee aas .ts ieaacat.ea
ei sease .a ta.s . mmec.ate esçe:.eaee aac .ts ee::esçeac. a, «e:|c aac
:eie:s |ae| te .t it . s ta:ea,a tae ,a:| ei .ceas taat «e ta|e ie: t:ae
ne.a, «aat . s aetaa||y a ¬etaec
"
1 29
1
2
!1
EJ
,
pp. 44-45 , in a paragraph which concers precisely geometry' s ideal exactitude.
The same image is used in C (§9h : " The life-world as the forgotten meani ng-fundament of
natural science, " p. 5 1 ) . Husserl ' s ambiguous attitude before science-which he val ued
utmost as project and l east i n i ts superstructural precariousness and ability to conceal
refects the very movement of the "historical" constitution of sense: creation which
discloses and sedimentation whi ch covers over i mpl y each other.
1 19
Introductin to the Origin of Geometry
1ae:eie:e . .t . s ç:eçe: te :ecaee tae .cea| sec.¬eatat.eas ei se.eaee
.a e:ce: te c. seeve: tae aa|ecaess ei tae ç:e,ee¬et:.ea| «e:|c 1a.�
ae« "epoche" ei tae e|]eet.ve se.eaees. tae ç:e||e¬ ei «a.ea .s
ceve|eçec .a tae Crisis, .s c.mea|t ie: seve:a| :easeas.
I :W
1 . 1ae |:st c.iiea|ty .s taat ei eve:y :ecaet.ea. .t ¬ast |e |eçt i:em
|e.a, a ie:,etia|aess aac a ae,at.ea. a sa|t:aet.ea e: ceva|aat.ea ei
«aat .t ¬etaec.ea||y ce·sec.¬eats e: aeat:a| .zes
2. ~s tae :ecaet.ea ei e|]eet.ve· esaet se.eaee. ta.s ae« epoche ¬ast
aet eaase as te :eaeaaee a|| se.eat.ieaess 1ae tae¬at.zat.ea ei tae
Lebenswelt mast |e se.eat.ie aac atta.a te tae a ç:.e:. «a.ea a:e ae
|ea,e: tae aa|.taa| eaes ei |e,.e aac e|]eet.ve se. eaee 1 31 uasse:| ertea
ç:eseats ta. s as a ça:aces . tae Lebenswelt, tae ç:ee|]eet.ve sçae:e
ei sa|]eet.ve·:e|at.ve s.,a.ieat.eas. aas a aa.ve:sa| . aaeeac.t.eaec
st:aeta:e . a st:aeta:e ç:ese:.|ec ie: .ts ve:y :e|at. v.ty
.
1 :12
1ae a ç:.e:. ei
|e,.e aac e|]eet.ve se.eaee a:e a|se :eetec aac ,:eaacec .a tae a
ç:.e:. ei tae Lebenswelt (C, §34 e , ç 1 30) . we a:e eeaiaec |y aa. vet- te
tae ie:¬e: aac |eçt .,ae:aat ei tae.: sease·:e|at.ea (Sinnbeziehung)
te tae |.ie·«e:|c w.taeat ta.s ,:eaac.a, :e|at.ea. taey a:e . a ¬. c·a.:
(ibid. , §36, ç 1 4 1 ) .
3 . r.aa||y. .t . s aet saiie.eat te c.sse|ve «aat uasse:| ea|| s. .a tae
|aa,aa,e ei ne| zaae. tae t:atas ei se.eaee. t:atas .a tae¬se|ves
(ibid. , ç 1 30) ; «e ¬ast eeat.aaa||y ma|e ç:e||e¬at.e tae :e| at.ea ei tae
Lebenswelt ' s sa|]eet.ve·:e|at. ve t:atas aac se.eaee s e|]eet.ve·esaet
t:atas 1ae ça:aces ei tae.: ¬ataa| . ate::e|at.ea ¬a|es |eta t:atas
ea.,¬at.e at eaee (ibid. , ç 1 3 1 ) . ia tae . aseea:.ty ei ta.s ea.,ma. . a
tae .asta|. |.ty ei tae sçaee |et«eea taese t«e t:atas. tae epoche ¬ast
|e st:eteaec |et«eea tae arche aac tae telos ei a çassa,e 1«e truths,
taat ei doxa aac taat ei episteme, «aese sease aac a ç:.e:. a:e aete:e,e·
aeeas .a taemse| ves . :e¬a.a .ate::e|atec (Aufeinanderbezogenheit)
(ibid. ) . se.eaee s t:ata .a . tse|i .s aet aay |ess t:ata-) tae
sa|]eet.ve·:e|at.ve «e:|c. .a «a.ea .t aas .ts |ases Ne cea|t tae:e
es. sts a aa.ve|y saçe:ie.a| |ase|essaess (Bodenlosigkeit) : taat ei tae
:at.eaa|.sts aac tae t:ac. t.eaa| se.eat.ie . avest.,ate:s «ae meve aaeea·
st:a.aec .a tae at¬esçae:e ei tae |e,.ea| aac e|]eet.ve a ç:.e:. aac ce
1 :1
0
Cf. notably § §33 to 39, pp. 1 2 1 -48, and the related texts appended there.
1 :1
1 Ibid. On the difculty and necessity for a sci entifi c thematization of the Lebenswelt.
cf. (§33] , p. 1 22. On the di stinction between the two a priori, cf. above all ( §36] , pp.
1 37-4 1 . I n the Origin, "logic" always has the sense of the "sedimented. "
1�
2
Ibid. [§37], pp. 1 42-43 . On the structural permanence of the presci entifc l ife-world,
also cf. [§9h] , p. 5 1 .
118
Jacques Derrid
aeeeaatec ie:. cesç.te tae.: ceeç·:eetec .ate::e|atecaess aac tae.: :e·
e.ç:eea| eeac.t.ea.a,. taey eaa |e seça:atec ~aa| yzec in general aac
aet as ,ee¬et:.ea| ,as .a tae i:st ça:t ei tae test· . .cea|.ty eaeet.ve| y
eate:s .ate t:ac.t.ea |y . ts e|]eet.| eat.ea aac taas eaa |e i:eec. eaa |e
aaacec eve: we ea,at . taea. te |e,.a ,as uasse:| cees· |y aeeeaat.a,
ie: O|]eet.v.ty. . e . tae a. ste:.e.ty ei .cea| e|]eet.v.ty .a ,eae:a|

1ae
aç:.e:. st:aeta:es ei a.ste:.e.ty eea|c |e ¡aest.eaec ea|y |y :eeea:se te
|aa,aa,e . «:.t.a,. tae eaçae.ty ei :eaet.vat.ea. aac iaa| |y te ¬etaec
1aaa|s te ta. s ¬etaec. «a.ea a|eae eaa||es ee¬ç:eaeas.ea ei tae .a·
va:.aats ei a.ste:.e.ty in generl «.ta aa açec.et.e ee:ta.aty. «e eaa ae«
:eta:a ,ta. s s.ce ei se.eaee· te tae .ava:.aats of tae ç:e se.eat.ie «e:|c
ea tae |as.s ei «a.ea ,ee¬et:.ea| ç:ete .cea|. t. es aave |eea ç:ecaeec
aac esta||.saec 1aas. aite: aav.a, ceiaec tae eeac. t. eas ie: tae O|·
]eet. v.ty ei .cea| e|]eets. «e eaa t:y te cese:.|e tae eeac.t.eas ie:
,ee¬et:.ea| .cea|.ty .tse|i. |y a ae« :ecaet.ea ei eeast.tatec se. eat.ie
O|]e:t. v.ty aac a|| .ts sçee.ie a. ste:.e.ty Ða:|.e:. .t «.|| |e :eea||ec.
uasse:| as|ec a.¬se|i. ae« eea|c . cea| sease. already constituted . a
sa|]eet.ve .¬¬aaeaee . |e e|]eet.ve aac ea,a,ec .a a.ste:y aac . a tae
¬eve¬eat ei .ate:sa|]eet.v.ty: ue ae« as|s a. mse|i. ae«. .a a ç:ev.·
eas ¬e¬eat . eea|c .cea|.ty .tse|i |e eeast.tatec:
1ae aeeess.ty ei ta.s «ay ei ,e.a, |ae| [recursion] ta:ea,a a se:.es ei
z. ,za,s see¬s te ,a.ce uasse:| «aea ae «:.tes . 1a:ea,a ta. s
¬etaec. ,e.a, |eyeac tae ie:¬a| ,eae:a|.t.es «e esa.|.tec ea:|.e: . «e
eaa a|se ¬a|e tae¬at.e taat açec.et.e asçeet ei tae ç:e se.eat.ie «e:|c
taat tae e:.,.aa| ieaace: ei ,ee¬et:y aac at a. s c.sçesa| . taat «a.ea
¬ast aave se:vec as tae ¬ate:. a| ie: a. s .cea| . zat.eas ( 1 77) .
r.:st . «e ¬ast ce|.¬.t taese st:aeta:es ei tae ç:ese.eat.|e «e:|c
«a.ea eea|c .ast.tate a ,eemet:y 1a.s cese:.çt.ea .s a|«ays çess.||e.
s.aee tae st:ata¬ ei tae ç:ese.eat.ie «e:|c .s aeve: cest:eyec. ae:
ce| a.t.ve|y eeaeea|ec 1a.s st:ata¬ :ema.as . ataet aace: tae aa.ve:se
cete:¬.aec |y tae .cea| esaet.tace ei se.eaee ~ac. aeee:c.a, te aa
.¬a,e «a.ea uasse:| ases at |east t«.ee. .t .s aeta.a, ¬e:e taaa a ,a:|
ei .ceas ta:e«a eve: tae «e:|c ei .¬mec.ate .ata.t.ea aac esçe:.eaee.
,eve:} tae |.ie·«e:|c. ie: eaea ei tae :esa|ts ei se. eaee aas .ts ieaacat.ea
ei sease .a ta.s . mmec.ate esçe:.eaee aac .ts ee::esçeac. a, «e:|c aac
:eie:s |ae| te .t it . s ta:ea,a tae ,a:| ei .ceas taat «e ta|e ie: t:ae
ne.a, «aat . s aetaa||y a ¬etaec
"
1 29
1
2
!1
EJ
,
pp. 44-45 , in a paragraph which concers precisely geometry' s ideal exactitude.
The same image is used in C (§9h : " The life-world as the forgotten meani ng-fundament of
natural science, " p. 5 1 ) . Husserl ' s ambiguous attitude before science-which he val ued
utmost as project and l east i n i ts superstructural precariousness and ability to conceal
refects the very movement of the "historical" constitution of sense: creation which
discloses and sedimentation whi ch covers over i mpl y each other.
1 19
Introductin to the Origin of Geometry
1ae:eie:e . .t . s ç:eçe: te :ecaee tae .cea| sec.¬eatat.eas ei se.eaee
.a e:ce: te c. seeve: tae aa|ecaess ei tae ç:e,ee¬et:.ea| «e:|c 1a.�
ae« "epoche" ei tae e|]eet.ve se.eaees. tae ç:e||e¬ ei «a.ea .s
ceve|eçec .a tae Crisis, .s c.mea|t ie: seve:a| :easeas.
I :W
1 . 1ae |:st c.iiea|ty .s taat ei eve:y :ecaet.ea. .t ¬ast |e |eçt i:em
|e.a, a ie:,etia|aess aac a ae,at.ea. a sa|t:aet.ea e: ceva|aat.ea ei
«aat .t ¬etaec.ea||y ce·sec.¬eats e: aeat:a| .zes
2. ~s tae :ecaet.ea ei e|]eet.ve· esaet se.eaee. ta.s ae« epoche ¬ast
aet eaase as te :eaeaaee a|| se.eat.ieaess 1ae tae¬at.zat.ea ei tae
Lebenswelt mast |e se.eat.ie aac atta.a te tae a ç:.e:. «a.ea a:e ae
|ea,e: tae aa|.taa| eaes ei |e,.e aac e|]eet.ve se. eaee 1 31 uasse:| ertea
ç:eseats ta. s as a ça:aces . tae Lebenswelt, tae ç:ee|]eet.ve sçae:e
ei sa|]eet.ve·:e|at.ve s.,a.ieat.eas. aas a aa.ve:sa| . aaeeac.t.eaec
st:aeta:e . a st:aeta:e ç:ese:.|ec ie: .ts ve:y :e|at. v.ty
.
1 :12
1ae a ç:.e:. ei
|e,.e aac e|]eet.ve se.eaee a:e a|se :eetec aac ,:eaacec .a tae a
ç:.e:. ei tae Lebenswelt (C, §34 e , ç 1 30) . we a:e eeaiaec |y aa. vet- te
tae ie:¬e: aac |eçt .,ae:aat ei tae.: sease·:e|at.ea (Sinnbeziehung)
te tae |.ie·«e:|c w.taeat ta.s ,:eaac.a, :e|at.ea. taey a:e . a ¬. c·a.:
(ibid. , §36, ç 1 4 1 ) .
3 . r.aa||y. .t . s aet saiie.eat te c.sse|ve «aat uasse:| ea|| s. .a tae
|aa,aa,e ei ne| zaae. tae t:atas ei se.eaee. t:atas .a tae¬se|ves
(ibid. , ç 1 30) ; «e ¬ast eeat.aaa||y ma|e ç:e||e¬at.e tae :e| at.ea ei tae
Lebenswelt ' s sa|]eet.ve·:e|at. ve t:atas aac se.eaee s e|]eet.ve·esaet
t:atas 1ae ça:aces ei tae.: ¬ataa| . ate::e|at.ea ¬a|es |eta t:atas
ea.,¬at.e at eaee (ibid. , ç 1 3 1 ) . ia tae . aseea:.ty ei ta.s ea.,ma. . a
tae .asta|. |.ty ei tae sçaee |et«eea taese t«e t:atas. tae epoche ¬ast
|e st:eteaec |et«eea tae arche aac tae telos ei a çassa,e 1«e truths,
taat ei doxa aac taat ei episteme, «aese sease aac a ç:.e:. a:e aete:e,e·
aeeas .a taemse| ves . :e¬a.a .ate::e|atec (Aufeinanderbezogenheit)
(ibid. ) . se.eaee s t:ata .a . tse|i .s aet aay |ess t:ata-) tae
sa|]eet.ve·:e|at.ve «e:|c. .a «a.ea .t aas .ts |ases Ne cea|t tae:e
es. sts a aa.ve|y saçe:ie.a| |ase|essaess (Bodenlosigkeit) : taat ei tae
:at.eaa|.sts aac tae t:ac. t.eaa| se.eat.ie . avest.,ate:s «ae meve aaeea·
st:a.aec .a tae at¬esçae:e ei tae |e,.ea| aac e|]eet.ve a ç:.e:. aac ce
1 :1
0
Cf. notably § §33 to 39, pp. 1 2 1 -48, and the related texts appended there.
1 :1
1 Ibid. On the difculty and necessity for a sci entifi c thematization of the Lebenswelt.
cf. (§33] , p. 1 22. On the di stinction between the two a priori, cf. above all ( §36] , pp.
1 37-4 1 . I n the Origin, "logic" always has the sense of the "sedimented. "
1�
2
Ibid. [§37], pp. 1 42-43 . On the structural permanence of the presci entifc l ife-world,
also cf. [§9h] , p. 5 1 .
.-j
120
Jacques Derrid
aet :e|ate taem te tae. : a.ste:.ea| ,:eaac .a tae |.ie·«e:|c. 1aey ae.tae:
«e::y a|ea t tae. : e«a responsibility ae: as| taemse|ves . what

m I in the
process of doing? Nor: from where does that come? nat tae

e IS, aaetae:
aa.vet- ]ast as se:.eas, |at «.ta a me:e mece:a sty|e. aa.vete ei ç
·

iaac.ty e: ceçta aac aet ei saçe:ie.a|.ty, .t eeas. st s .a :eceseeacm,
te«a:c tae ç:e se.eat.ie çe:eeçt.ea «.taeat ma|.a, ç:e||emat.e tae
t:aas,:ess. ea ( Uberschreitung) (ibid. , §36, ç 1 39 ¸ Ð1. sa:çass·
. a,¯} , ei tae |.ie·«e:|c s t:ata te«a:c tae «e:|c ei t:atas . a taem·
se|ves 1ae :eta:o te tae st:aeta:es ei ç:e se.eat.ie esçe:.eaee mast
eeat.aaa||y |eeç a|.ve tae questin: How can the a priori of scientic
Objectivity be constituted staring from those of the lie-world? w.taeat
ta. s ¡aest.ea, aay :eta:a, ae«eve: çeaet:at.a,, :.s|s a|c.eat.a, a|| se. ·
eat. ie ¡aa|.ty in general aac a|| ça.|eseça.ea| c. ,a.ty, evea .i .t m. ,at
aave t:.ec ç:ee.ç.tat.a, a |e,.t. mate :eaet.ea te «aat uasse:| ea|| s .ate|·
|eetaa| . st.e ayçe:t:eçay¯ (ibid. , §34f, ç. 1 33) . ii «e eeas.ce: ta. s
¡aest.ea te |e at once a.ste:.ea| aac t:aaseeaceata|, «e see te «aat .::e·
sçeas.||e emç.:. e. sm a|| tae çaeaemeae| e,. es ei ç:ese.eat.ie çe:eeç·
t.ea a:e eeacemaec, çaeaemeae|e,.es «a.ea «ea|c aet |et taemse|ves
|e |eset |y taat ¡aest.ea
we mast a|se |e«a:e ei ie:,ett.a, taat tae ç:ese.eat.ie «e:|c-
«a.ea tae ç:ete,eemete: aas at a. s c. sçesa| aac «a.ea «e taas
:eeeve:-cees aet aave tae :ac.ea|.ty ei tae ç:eç:ec.eat.ve «e:|c
te «a.ea uasse:| t:.es te :eta:a, a|eve a|| , . a Experience and Judg­
ment. 1 33 1ae ç:e se.eat.ie «e:|c . s a ea|ta:a| «e:|c a|:eacy .aie:mec
|y ç:ec.eat.ea, va|aes, emç.:.ea| teeaa. ¡aes, aac tae ç:aet.ee ei
measa:emeat aac .acaet.veaess «a. ea taemse|ves aave tae. : e«a
sty|e ei ee:ta.aty
1ae a|eve eaa||es as te çe.at eat a,a.a tae ceçeaceat statas ei
uasse:| s test, tae statas ei eve:y sta:t.a, çe.at aac eve:y e|ae ,a. c. a,
:ereet.ea ea aa.ve:sa| a. ste:.e.ty. Ce:ta. a|y, tae esseat.a| st:aeta:es ei
tae ç:e se.eat.ie «e:|c a:e c.seeve:ec |y a cea||e :ecaet.ea. taat ei a| |
cete:m.aec iaetaa| ea|ta:e aac taat ei tae se. eat.ie saçe:st:aeta:es
«a.ea esteac |eyeac ça:t.ea|a: ea|ta:a| a:eas . a e:ce: te |e i:ee ei
taem nat ta.s saea|c aet ma|e as ie:,et taat tae ç:ese.eat.ie ea|ta:a|
«e:|c eaa |e :ecaeec, .a . ts tan, . a a :ac.ea| "epoche" «a.ea «aats te
eat a çata te«a:c «aat . s a|:eacy saççesec. tae t:aaseeaceata| eea·
st.tat.ea ei tae e|]eet . a ,eae:a| ,|eie:e tae . cea| e|]eet «a.ea se:ves,
ae«eve:, as esamç|e aac mece| ie: O|]eet.v.ty, , tae ç:eç:ec.eat.ve
st:atam ei esçe:.eaee, tae stat.e aac ,eaet.e eeast.tat.ea ei tae ego aac
133 This work does not attain the prepredicative world i n its frst radicality. It supposes,
like Ideas I, an already constituted temporality. Cf. on this Ideas [, notably §81 , p.
2 16-1 7, and EJ, § 14, p. 68.
121
Introductin to the Origin of Geometry
alter ego, ç:. me:c.a| temçe:a| .ty, aac se ie:ta 1aese :ecaet.eas.
me:eeve:, a:e ceae .a tests ea:| .e: taaa tae Crisis . i a Ideas I, tae
|:eacea.a, ei tae t:aaseeaceata| :ecaet.ea a|:eacy esteacs by anticipa­
tion as ia: as tae e.cet.e ei a.ste:y, «a.ea uasse:| taea,at st.|| :ema.aec
te |e ceae . ~rte: aav.a, ]ast.iec a.s sasçeas.ea ei a|| t:aaseeaceat·
e.cet.e cema.as, aetaa| çays.ea| Nata:e, aac tae emç.:.ea| e: e.ce·
t.e se.eaees ei Nata:e ,,eemet:y, |.aemat.es. ça:e çays.es. aac se
ie:ta, , uasse:| «:ete .
Si
:
nilarly, just as we �ave suspended all experiential sciences dealing
With the nature ofammate beings and all empirical human sciences
concer

ing pers

nal beings in personal reltionships, concering men
as subjects ofhistor, as bearers ofculture, and treating also the
cultural formations themselves, and so forth, we also suspend now the
eietic sciences which corespond to these objectivities. We do so in
ovance and
.
in idea; for, as everyone knows, these ontological-:idetic
sCle
n
ces (ratonal psychology, sociology, for instance) have nt as yet
recelv

d � proper grounding, at any rate none that i pure and free from
all obJectIOn. (Ideas I, § 60, p. 162 [modied]; our emphasis)
we eea|c taea say taat uasse:| .a acvaaee sa|]eetec a.ste:y s e. cet.e
te

tae aatae

t.e t

aaseeaceata| :ecaet.ea-aa e.cet.e ae «. || t:y te eea·
st.tate sta:ta, a tae Crisis. 1aat .s «ay, ae cea|t, tae «e:c
t:aaseeaceata| , «a.ea uasse:| aea:|y a|«ays :ese:ves ie: tae ego ' s
ça:e eeast.tat.a, aet.v.ty, . s aeve: at.|.zec .a tae Origin. ii i myse|i
aave sçe|ea ei t:aaseeaceata| a. ste:.e.ty , i ce se .a e:ce: te c.st.a,a.sa
at eaee emç.:.ea| a. ste:y aac a s.mç|e e.cet.e ei a.ste:y ça:a||e| te tae
etae: e. cet.es ei Nata:e aac sç.:. t. 1ae eidos ei a. ste:.e.ty, as esç|. ·
eatec aue: tae Crisis, seems te eseeec tae | . m. ts ass.,aec te .t |e·
ie:eaaac |y Ideas I. its se.eaee .s ae |ea,e: merely eae aamaa se.eaee
amea, etae:s it . s taat ei aa aet. v.ty eeast.tat.a, tae «ae|e sçae:e ei
a|se|ate .cea| O|]eet. v.ty aac a|| tae e.cet.e se.eaees 1aat ta. s eea·
st.tat.a, a. ste:y may |e me:e ç«ieaac| y eeast.tatec .tse|i. saea .s, ae
cea|t . eae ei tae mest çe:maaeat met.is ei uasse:| s taea,at . a| se, eae
ei tae mest c.mea|t , ie: . t aeee:cs |ac| y «. ta taat ei a a.ste:.e.ty «a.ea
,as uasse:| sa.c me:e aac me:e ertea, t:ave:ses eve:yta.a, ta:ea,a aac
ta:ea,a , aac i:st ei a|| tae ego .tse|i ·
1:14
AI� these difculties seem concentrated to us in the sense that Husserl gives to the
expresslo� "transcendental histor, " which he utilizes (to our knowledge) only once, in
an unpublIshed manuscript of Group C (C 8 II, October 29, p. 3) : thus, the question
concers the intermonadic relation (always considered in itself, of course , as an inten­
tional modifcation of the monad in general in its primordial temporality) , a relation
thanks to which the constitution of a common world becomes possible. This relation
s�ructurally implies the horizon of the history of the spirit, past and future; the latter
discovers for us what perception cannot give us.
.-j
120
Jacques Derrid
aet :e|ate taem te tae. : a.ste:.ea| ,:eaac .a tae |.ie·«e:|c. 1aey ae.tae:
«e::y a|ea t tae. : e«a responsibility ae: as| taemse|ves . what

m I in the
process of doing? Nor: from where does that come? nat tae

e IS, aaetae:
aa.vet- ]ast as se:.eas, |at «.ta a me:e mece:a sty|e. aa.vete ei ç
·

iaac.ty e: ceçta aac aet ei saçe:ie.a|.ty, .t eeas. st s .a :eceseeacm,
te«a:c tae ç:e se.eat.ie çe:eeçt.ea «.taeat ma|.a, ç:e||emat.e tae
t:aas,:ess. ea ( Uberschreitung) (ibid. , §36, ç 1 39 ¸ Ð1. sa:çass·
. a,¯} , ei tae |.ie·«e:|c s t:ata te«a:c tae «e:|c ei t:atas . a taem·
se|ves 1ae :eta:o te tae st:aeta:es ei ç:e se.eat.ie esçe:.eaee mast
eeat.aaa||y |eeç a|.ve tae questin: How can the a priori of scientic
Objectivity be constituted staring from those of the lie-world? w.taeat
ta. s ¡aest.ea, aay :eta:a, ae«eve: çeaet:at.a,, :.s|s a|c.eat.a, a|| se. ·
eat. ie ¡aa|.ty in general aac a|| ça.|eseça.ea| c. ,a.ty, evea .i .t m. ,at
aave t:.ec ç:ee.ç.tat.a, a |e,.t. mate :eaet.ea te «aat uasse:| ea|| s .ate|·
|eetaa| . st.e ayçe:t:eçay¯ (ibid. , §34f, ç. 1 33) . ii «e eeas.ce: ta. s
¡aest.ea te |e at once a.ste:.ea| aac t:aaseeaceata|, «e see te «aat .::e·
sçeas.||e emç.:. e. sm a|| tae çaeaemeae| e,. es ei ç:ese.eat.ie çe:eeç·
t.ea a:e eeacemaec, çaeaemeae|e,.es «a.ea «ea|c aet |et taemse|ves
|e |eset |y taat ¡aest.ea
we mast a|se |e«a:e ei ie:,ett.a, taat tae ç:ese.eat.ie «e:|c-
«a.ea tae ç:ete,eemete: aas at a. s c. sçesa| aac «a.ea «e taas
:eeeve:-cees aet aave tae :ac.ea|.ty ei tae ç:eç:ec.eat.ve «e:|c
te «a.ea uasse:| t:.es te :eta:a, a|eve a|| , . a Experience and Judg­
ment. 1 33 1ae ç:e se.eat.ie «e:|c . s a ea|ta:a| «e:|c a|:eacy .aie:mec
|y ç:ec.eat.ea, va|aes, emç.:.ea| teeaa. ¡aes, aac tae ç:aet.ee ei
measa:emeat aac .acaet.veaess «a. ea taemse|ves aave tae. : e«a
sty|e ei ee:ta.aty
1ae a|eve eaa||es as te çe.at eat a,a.a tae ceçeaceat statas ei
uasse:| s test, tae statas ei eve:y sta:t.a, çe.at aac eve:y e|ae ,a. c. a,
:ereet.ea ea aa.ve:sa| a. ste:.e.ty. Ce:ta. a|y, tae esseat.a| st:aeta:es ei
tae ç:e se.eat.ie «e:|c a:e c.seeve:ec |y a cea||e :ecaet.ea. taat ei a| |
cete:m.aec iaetaa| ea|ta:e aac taat ei tae se. eat.ie saçe:st:aeta:es
«a.ea esteac |eyeac ça:t.ea|a: ea|ta:a| a:eas . a e:ce: te |e i:ee ei
taem nat ta.s saea|c aet ma|e as ie:,et taat tae ç:ese.eat.ie ea|ta:a|
«e:|c eaa |e :ecaeec, .a . ts tan, . a a :ac.ea| "epoche" «a.ea «aats te
eat a çata te«a:c «aat . s a|:eacy saççesec. tae t:aaseeaceata| eea·
st.tat.ea ei tae e|]eet . a ,eae:a| ,|eie:e tae . cea| e|]eet «a.ea se:ves,
ae«eve:, as esamç|e aac mece| ie: O|]eet.v.ty, , tae ç:eç:ec.eat.ve
st:atam ei esçe:.eaee, tae stat.e aac ,eaet.e eeast.tat.ea ei tae ego aac
133 This work does not attain the prepredicative world i n its frst radicality. It supposes,
like Ideas I, an already constituted temporality. Cf. on this Ideas [, notably §81 , p.
2 16-1 7, and EJ, § 14, p. 68.
121
Introductin to the Origin of Geometry
alter ego, ç:. me:c.a| temçe:a| .ty, aac se ie:ta 1aese :ecaet.eas.
me:eeve:, a:e ceae .a tests ea:| .e: taaa tae Crisis . i a Ideas I, tae
|:eacea.a, ei tae t:aaseeaceata| :ecaet.ea a|:eacy esteacs by anticipa­
tion as ia: as tae e.cet.e ei a.ste:y, «a.ea uasse:| taea,at st.|| :ema.aec
te |e ceae . ~rte: aav.a, ]ast.iec a.s sasçeas.ea ei a|| t:aaseeaceat·
e.cet.e cema.as, aetaa| çays.ea| Nata:e, aac tae emç.:.ea| e: e.ce·
t.e se.eaees ei Nata:e ,,eemet:y, |.aemat.es. ça:e çays.es. aac se
ie:ta, , uasse:| «:ete .
Si
:
nilarly, just as we �ave suspended all experiential sciences dealing
With the nature ofammate beings and all empirical human sciences
concer

ing pers

nal beings in personal reltionships, concering men
as subjects ofhistor, as bearers ofculture, and treating also the
cultural formations themselves, and so forth, we also suspend now the
eietic sciences which corespond to these objectivities. We do so in
ovance and
.
in idea; for, as everyone knows, these ontological-:idetic
sCle
n
ces (ratonal psychology, sociology, for instance) have nt as yet
recelv

d � proper grounding, at any rate none that i pure and free from
all obJectIOn. (Ideas I, § 60, p. 162 [modied]; our emphasis)
we eea|c taea say taat uasse:| .a acvaaee sa|]eetec a.ste:y s e. cet.e
te

tae aatae

t.e t

aaseeaceata| :ecaet.ea-aa e.cet.e ae «. || t:y te eea·
st.tate sta:ta, a tae Crisis. 1aat .s «ay, ae cea|t, tae «e:c
t:aaseeaceata| , «a.ea uasse:| aea:|y a|«ays :ese:ves ie: tae ego ' s
ça:e eeast.tat.a, aet.v.ty, . s aeve: at.|.zec .a tae Origin. ii i myse|i
aave sçe|ea ei t:aaseeaceata| a. ste:.e.ty , i ce se .a e:ce: te c.st.a,a.sa
at eaee emç.:.ea| a. ste:y aac a s.mç|e e.cet.e ei a.ste:y ça:a||e| te tae
etae: e. cet.es ei Nata:e aac sç.:. t. 1ae eidos ei a. ste:.e.ty, as esç|. ·
eatec aue: tae Crisis, seems te eseeec tae | . m. ts ass.,aec te .t |e·
ie:eaaac |y Ideas I. its se.eaee .s ae |ea,e: merely eae aamaa se.eaee
amea, etae:s it . s taat ei aa aet. v.ty eeast.tat.a, tae «ae|e sçae:e ei
a|se|ate .cea| O|]eet. v.ty aac a|| tae e.cet.e se.eaees 1aat ta. s eea·
st.tat.a, a. ste:y may |e me:e ç«ieaac| y eeast.tatec .tse|i. saea .s, ae
cea|t . eae ei tae mest çe:maaeat met.is ei uasse:| s taea,at . a| se, eae
ei tae mest c.mea|t , ie: . t aeee:cs |ac| y «. ta taat ei a a.ste:.e.ty «a.ea
,as uasse:| sa.c me:e aac me:e ertea, t:ave:ses eve:yta.a, ta:ea,a aac
ta:ea,a , aac i:st ei a|| tae ego .tse|i ·
1:14
AI� these difculties seem concentrated to us in the sense that Husserl gives to the
expresslo� "transcendental histor, " which he utilizes (to our knowledge) only once, in
an unpublIshed manuscript of Group C (C 8 II, October 29, p. 3) : thus, the question
concers the intermonadic relation (always considered in itself, of course , as an inten­
tional modifcation of the monad in general in its primordial temporality) , a relation
thanks to which the constitution of a common world becomes possible. This relation
s�ructurally implies the horizon of the history of the spirit, past and future; the latter
discovers for us what perception cannot give us.
122
Jacques De"ida
x
waat . taea. a:e tae esseat.a| aac ,eae:a| ee¬çeaeats ei tae ç:ese.ea·
t.ie ea|ta:a| «e:|c: O: :atae:. «aat a:e. . a taat «e:|c. tae . ava:. aat
st:aeta:es «a.ea aave eeac.t.eaec tae acveat ei ,ee¬et:y: ue«eve:
ç:e|eaac ea: . ,ae:aaee eeaee:a. a, a. ste:.ea| iaets . «e sae« «.ta aa
. ¬¬ec.ate aac açec.et.e sae«|ec,e-tae sease ei «a.ea eaa a|«ays |e
.avest.,a|ec-tae ie||e«.a,
i 1aat ta. s ç:e,ee¬et:.ea| «e:|c «as a «e:|c ei things c. sçesec ei
aeee:c.a¸ te aa aaesaet sçaee aac t.¬e
1 : 1.',
2. 1aat taese ta.a,s ¬ast aave |eea ee:çe:ea| Ce:çe:ea| .ty . s a
ça:t.ea|a: cete:¬.aat.ea ei ta.a, aeec (Dinglichkeit) .a ,eae:a|. |at s.aee
ea| |a:e a|:eacy aac te aave | eu . ts ¬a:s ea tae «e:|c ,|eeaase |aa,aa,e
aac .ate:sa|]eet. v.ty ¬ast aave ç:eeecec ,ee¬et:y, .
·
ee:çe:ea|.ty
cees aet esaaast. ve|y eve:|aç ta.a,aeec. s. aee tae aeeessa:.| y
eees.st.a, aa¬aa |e.a,s a:e aet ta. asa||e as ¬e:e |ec. es aac. | .se
evea tae ea|ta:a| O|]eets «a. ea |e|ea, «.ta tae¬ st:aeta:a||y. a:e aet
esaaastec . a ee:çe:ea| |e.a, ( 1 77) .
3. 1aat taese ça:e |ec.es aac te aave sçat.a| saaçes. saaçes ei
¬et.ea. aac a|te:at.eas ei ceie:¬at.ea [ 1 77] .
4. 1aat ¬ate:.a| ¡aa|.t.es ,ee|e:. «e.,at. aa:caess. aac se ie:ta,
¬ast aeeessa:. | y |e :e|atec te taese ç:e,ee¬et:.ea| . sçat.ete¬çe:a|
saaçes |y a saçç|e¬eata:y e.cet.. cete:¬.aat.ea
i a Ideas I, «a.|e esç|.eat.a, tae ç:.ae. ç|es ei :e,.eaa| a:t.ea|at. ea aac
.ate:aa| st:aeta:e. uasse:| t:eatec taese e. cet.e eaa:aete:. st.es as aa
.aces. «ae:eas taey a:e a c.:eet tae¬e . a tae Origin: 1ae eeast:aet.ea
ei tae a.,aest eeae:ete ,eaas ,tae :e,.ea, eat ei ,eae:a taat a:e ça:t|y
c. s]aaet.ve . ça:t|y ieaacec .a eae aaetae: ,aac .a ta. s ¬ataa||y . ae|�·
s.ve, . ee::esçeacs te tae eeast:aet.ea ei tae eeae:eta taat |e|ea, te

. t
eat ei |e«est c.ae:eaees taat a:e ça:t|y c.s]aaet.ve. ça:t|y ieaacec m
eae aaetae:. as obtains with temporl, spatial, and material determina­
tions, for instance, in the case of the thing " ,;72. ç i s- ¸mec.iec} . ea:
e¬çaas.s, . ' ·
ra:e ,ee¬et:y aac s.ae¬at.es ,aac a| | tae assee. atec se. eaees ie:
1
:\.' This idea, already developed in §9a of the Crisis, is more directly i nscribed within
an anal ysi s of the Lebenswelt . in §36 , p. 1 39, an analysi s identical to that in the Origin.
1 3fi Thi s j ustifes (at least on a specifc point) the anteriority of the Origin ' s anal yses
concerning language and being-in-community.
1 :
1
7
Al so cf. § 149, pp. 382-83 et passim.
123
Introductin to the Origin of Geometr
«a. ea t|e, a:e |ae esa¬ç| e |e:e· . taea. «. | | |e material e.cet.es . s.aee
tae. : ça:çese .s tae ta.a,| y. aac taas tae ee:çe:ea|. cete:m. aat. ea ei
e|]eets .a ,eae:a| . nat taey a:e abstract ¬ate:.a| se.eaees. |eeaase taey
ea|y t:eat ee:ta.a e. cet.e ee¬çeaeats ei ee:çe:ea| ta.a,s .a ,eae:a| .
c.s:e,a:c.a, tae. : . aceçeaceat aac eeae:ete teta|.ty. «a.ea a|se ee¬·
ç:.ses tae ¬ate:.a| (stojich), seas.|| e ¡aa|.t.es aac tae teta|. ty ei
tae. : ç:ec.eates . sçat.a| saaçes . te¬çe:a| saaçes. aac saaçes ei ¬et.ea
a:e a|«ays singled out from tae teta|.ty ei tae çe:ee.vec |ecy
ny .tse|i a|eae. taea. a stat.e aaa| ys. s eea|c a priori aac :.,e:eas|y
:eea|| ie: as taat tae ç:ete,ee¬ete: a|«ays a|:eacy aac at a. s c.sçesa|
aaesaet sçat.ete¬çe:a| saaçes aac esseat.a||y va,ae ¬e:çae|e,.ea|
tyçes . «a.ea eaa a|«ays ,.ve :.se te a ç:e,ee¬et:.ea| descriptive se.·
eaee 1a.s eea|c |e ea||ec geogrphy. re: saea a sa|]eet. tae :.,e: ei
e.cet.e asse:t.eas ,|.se taat ie: cete:¬.a.a, va,ae esseaees, .s aet at a||
aace:¬.aec |y tae aeeessa:y aaexaet.tace ei tae çe:ee. vec e|]eet we
¬ast .aceec |e«a:e ei se.eat.ie aa.vet-. «a.ea eaases ta.s aaexae·
t.tace ei tae e|]eet e: eeaeeçt te |e eeas.ce:ec as a ceieet . as aa
. aexaet.tace . uasse:| «:.tes ,«e a:e st. || ¡aet.a, i:e¬ Ideas I) : 1ae
¬est çe:ieet ,eemet:y aac .ts ¬est çe:ieet ç:aet.ea| eeat:e| eaaaet
ae|ç tae cese:.çt.ve se.eat.ie . avest.,ate: ei Nata:e te exç:ess ç:e·
e.se|y ,.a exaet ,ee¬et:.ea| eeaeeçts, taat «a.ea . a se ç|a.a. se aace:·
staaca||e . aac se eat.:e| y sa.ta||e a «ay ae exç:esses .a tae «e:cs
aeteaec. .aceatec. |eas· saaçec. a¬|.||.ie:¬. aac tae |.se-s.¬ç|e eea·
eeçts «a.ea a:e essentially and not accidentally inexact, aac a:e therefore
a|se aa¬atae¬at.ea| ,;:1. ç. 1 90 ¸mec.iec[ '
·
5. 1aat . |y a ç:aet.ea| aeeess.ty ei ca.|y | . ie. ee:ta.a saaçes aac
ee:ta.a ç:eeesses ei t:aasie:¬at.ea eea|c |e çe:ee. vec. :este:ec. aac
ç:e,:ess.ve|y çe:ieetec. ie: exa¬ç|e. :.,. c |.aes. evea sa:iaees. aac se
ie:ta Ðve:y ¬e:çae|e,.ea| . . . e. . ç:e,ee¬et:.ea|. cete:¬.aat.ea «e:ss
aeee:c.a, te tae ¡aa|.tat.ve ,:acat.eas ei seas.||e .ata. t.ea more or less
smooth sa:iaees. s.ces. | . aes. e: more or less rough aa,| es. aac se ea
1a.s cees aet ç:ea.|.t a :.,e:eas aac aa. veea| e.cet.e ix.a, ei va,ae
¬e:çae|e,.ea| tyçes. ia tae Origin, uasse:| «:.tes ,ça:eataet.ea||y aac
se¬e«aat ea.,¬at.ea|| y, taat |eie:e exaet.tace e¬e:,es. ç:eeeec.a,
i:e¬ tae iaetaa| . aa esseat.a| ie:¬ |eee¬es :eee,a.za||e ta:ea,a a
¬etaec ei va:.at.ea , i :s, . 1ae sease ei ta. s :e¬a:s |eee¬es e|ea:e:
ea tae |as. s ei Ideas I aac tae Crisis. ny . ma,.aa:y va:.at.ea «e eaa
e|ta.a .aexaet |at ça:e ¬e:çae|e,.ea| tyçes . :eaacaess . ie: exam·
1 38
This whole section, devoted to "Descriptive and Exact Sciences, " i s very impor­
tant for understanding the Origin .
122
Jacques De"ida
x
waat . taea. a:e tae esseat.a| aac ,eae:a| ee¬çeaeats ei tae ç:ese.ea·
t.ie ea|ta:a| «e:|c: O: :atae:. «aat a:e. . a taat «e:|c. tae . ava:. aat
st:aeta:es «a.ea aave eeac.t.eaec tae acveat ei ,ee¬et:y: ue«eve:
ç:e|eaac ea: . ,ae:aaee eeaee:a. a, a. ste:.ea| iaets . «e sae« «.ta aa
. ¬¬ec.ate aac açec.et.e sae«|ec,e-tae sease ei «a.ea eaa a|«ays |e
.avest.,a|ec-tae ie||e«.a,
i 1aat ta. s ç:e,ee¬et:.ea| «e:|c «as a «e:|c ei things c. sçesec ei
aeee:c.a¸ te aa aaesaet sçaee aac t.¬e
1 : 1.',
2. 1aat taese ta.a,s ¬ast aave |eea ee:çe:ea| Ce:çe:ea| .ty . s a
ça:t.ea|a: cete:¬.aat.ea ei ta.a, aeec (Dinglichkeit) .a ,eae:a|. |at s.aee
ea| |a:e a|:eacy aac te aave | eu . ts ¬a:s ea tae «e:|c ,|eeaase |aa,aa,e
aac .ate:sa|]eet. v.ty ¬ast aave ç:eeecec ,ee¬et:y, .
·
ee:çe:ea|.ty
cees aet esaaast. ve|y eve:|aç ta.a,aeec. s. aee tae aeeessa:.| y
eees.st.a, aa¬aa |e.a,s a:e aet ta. asa||e as ¬e:e |ec. es aac. | .se
evea tae ea|ta:a| O|]eets «a. ea |e|ea, «.ta tae¬ st:aeta:a||y. a:e aet
esaaastec . a ee:çe:ea| |e.a, ( 1 77) .
3. 1aat taese ça:e |ec.es aac te aave sçat.a| saaçes. saaçes ei
¬et.ea. aac a|te:at.eas ei ceie:¬at.ea [ 1 77] .
4. 1aat ¬ate:.a| ¡aa|.t.es ,ee|e:. «e.,at. aa:caess. aac se ie:ta,
¬ast aeeessa:. | y |e :e|atec te taese ç:e,ee¬et:.ea| . sçat.ete¬çe:a|
saaçes |y a saçç|e¬eata:y e.cet.. cete:¬.aat.ea
i a Ideas I, «a.|e esç|.eat.a, tae ç:.ae. ç|es ei :e,.eaa| a:t.ea|at. ea aac
.ate:aa| st:aeta:e. uasse:| t:eatec taese e. cet.e eaa:aete:. st.es as aa
.aces. «ae:eas taey a:e a c.:eet tae¬e . a tae Origin: 1ae eeast:aet.ea
ei tae a.,aest eeae:ete ,eaas ,tae :e,.ea, eat ei ,eae:a taat a:e ça:t|y
c. s]aaet.ve . ça:t|y ieaacec .a eae aaetae: ,aac .a ta. s ¬ataa||y . ae|�·
s.ve, . ee::esçeacs te tae eeast:aet.ea ei tae eeae:eta taat |e|ea, te

. t
eat ei |e«est c.ae:eaees taat a:e ça:t|y c.s]aaet.ve. ça:t|y ieaacec m
eae aaetae:. as obtains with temporl, spatial, and material determina­
tions, for instance, in the case of the thing " ,;72. ç i s- ¸mec.iec} . ea:
e¬çaas.s, . ' ·
ra:e ,ee¬et:y aac s.ae¬at.es ,aac a| | tae assee. atec se. eaees ie:
1
:\.' This idea, already developed in §9a of the Crisis, is more directly i nscribed within
an anal ysi s of the Lebenswelt . in §36 , p. 1 39, an analysi s identical to that in the Origin.
1 3fi Thi s j ustifes (at least on a specifc point) the anteriority of the Origin ' s anal yses
concerning language and being-in-community.
1 :
1
7
Al so cf. § 149, pp. 382-83 et passim.
123
Introductin to the Origin of Geometr
«a. ea t|e, a:e |ae esa¬ç| e |e:e· . taea. «. | | |e material e.cet.es . s.aee
tae. : ça:çese .s tae ta.a,| y. aac taas tae ee:çe:ea|. cete:m. aat. ea ei
e|]eets .a ,eae:a| . nat taey a:e abstract ¬ate:.a| se.eaees. |eeaase taey
ea|y t:eat ee:ta.a e. cet.e ee¬çeaeats ei ee:çe:ea| ta.a,s .a ,eae:a| .
c.s:e,a:c.a, tae. : . aceçeaceat aac eeae:ete teta|.ty. «a.ea a|se ee¬·
ç:.ses tae ¬ate:.a| (stojich), seas.|| e ¡aa|.t.es aac tae teta|. ty ei
tae. : ç:ec.eates . sçat.a| saaçes . te¬çe:a| saaçes. aac saaçes ei ¬et.ea
a:e a|«ays singled out from tae teta|.ty ei tae çe:ee.vec |ecy
ny .tse|i a|eae. taea. a stat.e aaa| ys. s eea|c a priori aac :.,e:eas|y
:eea|| ie: as taat tae ç:ete,ee¬ete: a|«ays a|:eacy aac at a. s c.sçesa|
aaesaet sçat.ete¬çe:a| saaçes aac esseat.a||y va,ae ¬e:çae|e,.ea|
tyçes . «a.ea eaa a|«ays ,.ve :.se te a ç:e,ee¬et:.ea| descriptive se.·
eaee 1a.s eea|c |e ea||ec geogrphy. re: saea a sa|]eet. tae :.,e: ei
e.cet.e asse:t.eas ,|.se taat ie: cete:¬.a.a, va,ae esseaees, .s aet at a||
aace:¬.aec |y tae aeeessa:y aaexaet.tace ei tae çe:ee. vec e|]eet we
¬ast .aceec |e«a:e ei se.eat.ie aa.vet-. «a.ea eaases ta.s aaexae·
t.tace ei tae e|]eet e: eeaeeçt te |e eeas.ce:ec as a ceieet . as aa
. aexaet.tace . uasse:| «:.tes ,«e a:e st. || ¡aet.a, i:e¬ Ideas I) : 1ae
¬est çe:ieet ,eemet:y aac .ts ¬est çe:ieet ç:aet.ea| eeat:e| eaaaet
ae|ç tae cese:.çt.ve se.eat.ie . avest.,ate: ei Nata:e te exç:ess ç:e·
e.se|y ,.a exaet ,ee¬et:.ea| eeaeeçts, taat «a.ea . a se ç|a.a. se aace:·
staaca||e . aac se eat.:e| y sa.ta||e a «ay ae exç:esses .a tae «e:cs
aeteaec. .aceatec. |eas· saaçec. a¬|.||.ie:¬. aac tae |.se-s.¬ç|e eea·
eeçts «a.ea a:e essentially and not accidentally inexact, aac a:e therefore
a|se aa¬atae¬at.ea| ,;:1. ç. 1 90 ¸mec.iec[ '
·
5. 1aat . |y a ç:aet.ea| aeeess.ty ei ca.|y | . ie. ee:ta.a saaçes aac
ee:ta.a ç:eeesses ei t:aasie:¬at.ea eea|c |e çe:ee. vec. :este:ec. aac
ç:e,:ess.ve|y çe:ieetec. ie: exa¬ç|e. :.,. c |.aes. evea sa:iaees. aac se
ie:ta Ðve:y ¬e:çae|e,.ea| . . . e. . ç:e,ee¬et:.ea|. cete:¬.aat.ea «e:ss
aeee:c.a, te tae ¡aa|.tat.ve ,:acat.eas ei seas.||e .ata. t.ea more or less
smooth sa:iaees. s.ces. | . aes. e: more or less rough aa,| es. aac se ea
1a.s cees aet ç:ea.|.t a :.,e:eas aac aa. veea| e.cet.e ix.a, ei va,ae
¬e:çae|e,.ea| tyçes. ia tae Origin, uasse:| «:.tes ,ça:eataet.ea||y aac
se¬e«aat ea.,¬at.ea|| y, taat |eie:e exaet.tace e¬e:,es. ç:eeeec.a,
i:e¬ tae iaetaa| . aa esseat.a| ie:¬ |eee¬es :eee,a.za||e ta:ea,a a
¬etaec ei va:.at.ea , i :s, . 1ae sease ei ta. s :e¬a:s |eee¬es e|ea:e:
ea tae |as. s ei Ideas I aac tae Crisis. ny . ma,.aa:y va:.at.ea «e eaa
e|ta.a .aexaet |at ça:e ¬e:çae|e,.ea| tyçes . :eaacaess . ie: exam·
1 38
This whole section, devoted to "Descriptive and Exact Sciences, " i s very impor­
tant for understanding the Origin .
124
Jacques Derrid
pIe , under which is constructed the geometrical ideality of the "cir­
cle . " 139 The notion of this operation of " substruction" is also repeated
in the Crisis . But the type "roundness" is no l ess already furnished with
a certain ideal i ty ; it is not to be confused wi th the multiplicity of natural
shapes which more or l ess correspond to it in perception. Only an
i maginati ve intending can attain that ideal ity in its pregeometrical pur­
ity. But thi s pure ideal ity is of a sensible order and must be distin­
guished carefull y from pure geometrical i deality, which i n itself i s re­
leased from all sensible or i maginative intuitiveness. The i magination i s
what gives me the pure morphological type, and it "can transform
sensible shapes onl y into other sensible shapes" (C, §9a, p. 25) . Ac­
cording to Husserl , then, pure sensible ideal ity is situated on a premath­
ematical level . Once constituted, pure mathematics will thus be accessi­
ble only to " understanding" (whose notion has no precise technical
sense i n Husserl) ; in any case , to an activity concei vable in the sense of
Cartesian intellectual ism, since this activity is at once freed from two
homogeneous faculti es, from imagination and sensibi lity. In some very
enl ightening l ines concerning thi s i n the Crisis, the precise content of
which does not seem to be found in any other of HusserI ' s texts , he has
written:
In the intuitively given surrounding world, by abstractively directing
our regard to the mere spatiotemporal shapes, we experience
.
"bodies " -not geometrical-ideal bodies but precisely those bodies that
we actually experience, with the content which is the actual content of
experience. No matter how arbitrarily we may transform these bodies
in phantasy, the/ree and in a certain sense "ideal" possibilities we thus
obtain are anything but geometcal-ideal possibilities: they are not the
geometrically ' 'pure" shapes whih can be inscribed in ideal
space-"pure" bodies, "pure" straight lines, "pure" planes, other
"pure" fgures, and the movements and deformations which occur
in "pure" fgures. Thus geometrical space does not signiy anything like
imaginar space . . . . (Ibid. , [modied]; our emphasis)
1 40
139 Cf. on this Ideas I, §75; and Notes 3 and 4 of Ricoeur in Idees, p. 238. We would fnd
anticipated in the Philosophy of Arithmetic the principle for an analogous distinction
between perceptive plurality and arithmetical plurality. On the other hand, a distinction
of the sae type between a certain " style" of causality or of premathematical i nductivity
and those of pure physics i s invoked i n the Crisis and appended texts, notably i n passages
devoted to Galileo.
1 40
An essential diference remains, even if here he outwardly echoes Kant ("the propo­
sitions of geometry are not the results of a mere creation of our poetic imagination, "
Prologomena t o Any Future Metaphysics, § 1 3 [ET: ed. Lewis White Beck (New York:
The Liberal Arts Press, 1 950) , p. 34] ) . According to Kant, geometry is not imaginary
ffantastique] because it is grounded on the universal forms of pure sensibility, on the
125
Introductin to the Origin of Geometry
Although geometrical ideality may be produced starting from sensi­
ble morphological i deality, this facto-historical departure point i s nul­
li fed as a ground within constituted geometry. Undoubtedl y, in i ts
turn, imaginati ve-sensible idealization (without which geometry could
not have arisen) poses some delicate problems of ori gin, of which Hus­
serl i s very conscious . Although thi s origin i s the origin of what pre­
cedes and conditions geometry, it is not to be confused with the origin
of geometry itself and all of its related possibilities ; it only authorizes
what we earlier called a "geogrphy. " In every phenomenological re­
gression to beginnings, the notion of a internal or intrinsic history and
sense lets us delineate some safety-catches [crans d' arret], as well as
articulate, i not avoid, all "regressus ad infnitum. " The internal sense
of geometry, which provides us with a static analysis, prescribes that
the question of geometry' s origin stop at the constituted sense of what
has immediately conditioned geometry. The source of pre geometrical
idealiti es can be lef provisional ly in the dark.
1
4 1 Thus , Husser! writes:
" Sti l l , questions like that of the clarifcation of the origin of geometry
have a closed character, such that one need not inquire beyond those
presci entifc material s" ( 1 72) .
The problems of origin posed outside that enclosure and concerning
the sense of preexact or preobjective spatiotemporality would fnd thei r
ideality of sensible space. But according to Husser!, on the contrary, geometrical ideality
is not imaginary [imaginaire] because i t i s uprooted from all sensible ground in general .
In accordance with Kant, it was sufcient for Husserl to be purifed of empirical and
material sensibility to escape empirical imagination. As for what concers at least the
structure of mathematical truth and cognition, i not their origin . Husserl remains then
nearer to Descares than to Kant. It is true for the latter, as has been sufciently em­
phasized, that the concept of sensibility is no longer derived from a "sensualist" defni­
tion. We could not say this i s always the case for Descartes or Husser! '
1 � 1
Access to the origin of sensible ideality, a product of the imagination, would also
require, then, a direct thematization of imagination as such. Now the latter, whose
operative role is nevertheless so deci sive, never seems to have been sufciently inquired
into by Husser! ' It retains [ garde] an ambiguous status: a derived and founded reproduc­
tive ability on the one hand, it is, on the other, the manifestation of a radial theoretical
freedom. It especially makes the exemplariness of the fact emerge and hands over the
sense of the fact outside of the factuality of the fact . Presented in the Crisis as a faculty
that is homogeneous with sensibility, it simultaneously uproots morphological ideality
from pure sensible reali ty.
It i s by beginning with the direct thematization of imagination i n i ts si tuation as an
original lived experience (utilizing imagination as the operative instrument of all eideticsL
by freely describing the phenomenological conditions for fction, therefore for the
phenomenological method, that Sartre' s breakthrough [trouee) has so profoundly
unbalanced-and then overthrown-the landscape of Husserl ' s phenomenology and
abandoned its horizon.
124
Jacques Derrid
pIe , under which is constructed the geometrical ideality of the "cir­
cle . " 139 The notion of this operation of " substruction" is also repeated
in the Crisis . But the type "roundness" is no l ess already furnished with
a certain ideal i ty ; it is not to be confused wi th the multiplicity of natural
shapes which more or l ess correspond to it in perception. Only an
i maginati ve intending can attain that ideal ity in its pregeometrical pur­
ity. But thi s pure ideal ity is of a sensible order and must be distin­
guished carefull y from pure geometrical i deality, which i n itself i s re­
leased from all sensible or i maginative intuitiveness. The i magination i s
what gives me the pure morphological type, and it "can transform
sensible shapes onl y into other sensible shapes" (C, §9a, p. 25) . Ac­
cording to Husserl , then, pure sensible ideal ity is situated on a premath­
ematical level . Once constituted, pure mathematics will thus be accessi­
ble only to " understanding" (whose notion has no precise technical
sense i n Husserl) ; in any case , to an activity concei vable in the sense of
Cartesian intellectual ism, since this activity is at once freed from two
homogeneous faculti es, from imagination and sensibi lity. In some very
enl ightening l ines concerning thi s i n the Crisis, the precise content of
which does not seem to be found in any other of HusserI ' s texts , he has
written:
In the intuitively given surrounding world, by abstractively directing
our regard to the mere spatiotemporal shapes, we experience
.
"bodies " -not geometrical-ideal bodies but precisely those bodies that
we actually experience, with the content which is the actual content of
experience. No matter how arbitrarily we may transform these bodies
in phantasy, the/ree and in a certain sense "ideal" possibilities we thus
obtain are anything but geometcal-ideal possibilities: they are not the
geometrically ' 'pure" shapes whih can be inscribed in ideal
space-"pure" bodies, "pure" straight lines, "pure" planes, other
"pure" fgures, and the movements and deformations which occur
in "pure" fgures. Thus geometrical space does not signiy anything like
imaginar space . . . . (Ibid. , [modied]; our emphasis)
1 40
139 Cf. on this Ideas I, §75; and Notes 3 and 4 of Ricoeur in Idees, p. 238. We would fnd
anticipated in the Philosophy of Arithmetic the principle for an analogous distinction
between perceptive plurality and arithmetical plurality. On the other hand, a distinction
of the sae type between a certain " style" of causality or of premathematical i nductivity
and those of pure physics i s invoked i n the Crisis and appended texts, notably i n passages
devoted to Galileo.
1 40
An essential diference remains, even if here he outwardly echoes Kant ("the propo­
sitions of geometry are not the results of a mere creation of our poetic imagination, "
Prologomena t o Any Future Metaphysics, § 1 3 [ET: ed. Lewis White Beck (New York:
The Liberal Arts Press, 1 950) , p. 34] ) . According to Kant, geometry is not imaginary
ffantastique] because it is grounded on the universal forms of pure sensibility, on the
125
Introductin to the Origin of Geometry
Although geometrical ideality may be produced starting from sensi­
ble morphological i deality, this facto-historical departure point i s nul­
li fed as a ground within constituted geometry. Undoubtedl y, in i ts
turn, imaginati ve-sensible idealization (without which geometry could
not have arisen) poses some delicate problems of ori gin, of which Hus­
serl i s very conscious . Although thi s origin i s the origin of what pre­
cedes and conditions geometry, it is not to be confused with the origin
of geometry itself and all of its related possibilities ; it only authorizes
what we earlier called a "geogrphy. " In every phenomenological re­
gression to beginnings, the notion of a internal or intrinsic history and
sense lets us delineate some safety-catches [crans d' arret], as well as
articulate, i not avoid, all "regressus ad infnitum. " The internal sense
of geometry, which provides us with a static analysis, prescribes that
the question of geometry' s origin stop at the constituted sense of what
has immediately conditioned geometry. The source of pre geometrical
idealiti es can be lef provisional ly in the dark.
1
4 1 Thus , Husser! writes:
" Sti l l , questions like that of the clarifcation of the origin of geometry
have a closed character, such that one need not inquire beyond those
presci entifc material s" ( 1 72) .
The problems of origin posed outside that enclosure and concerning
the sense of preexact or preobjective spatiotemporality would fnd thei r
ideality of sensible space. But according to Husser!, on the contrary, geometrical ideality
is not imaginary [imaginaire] because i t i s uprooted from all sensible ground in general .
In accordance with Kant, it was sufcient for Husserl to be purifed of empirical and
material sensibility to escape empirical imagination. As for what concers at least the
structure of mathematical truth and cognition, i not their origin . Husserl remains then
nearer to Descares than to Kant. It is true for the latter, as has been sufciently em­
phasized, that the concept of sensibility is no longer derived from a "sensualist" defni­
tion. We could not say this i s always the case for Descartes or Husser! '
1 � 1
Access to the origin of sensible ideality, a product of the imagination, would also
require, then, a direct thematization of imagination as such. Now the latter, whose
operative role is nevertheless so deci sive, never seems to have been sufciently inquired
into by Husser! ' It retains [ garde] an ambiguous status: a derived and founded reproduc­
tive ability on the one hand, it is, on the other, the manifestation of a radial theoretical
freedom. It especially makes the exemplariness of the fact emerge and hands over the
sense of the fact outside of the factuality of the fact . Presented in the Crisis as a faculty
that is homogeneous with sensibility, it simultaneously uproots morphological ideality
from pure sensible reali ty.
It i s by beginning with the direct thematization of imagination i n i ts si tuation as an
original lived experience (utilizing imagination as the operative instrument of all eideticsL
by freely describing the phenomenological conditions for fction, therefore for the
phenomenological method, that Sartre' s breakthrough [trouee) has so profoundly
unbalanced-and then overthrown-the landscape of Husserl ' s phenomenology and
abandoned its horizon.
, ,
126
Jacques Derid
ç|aee . as. ce tae ae« transcendental aesthetics «a.ea uasse:| ça:t.ea·
|a:|y eeate|atec . a tae Ceae| as. ea ei Formal and Transcendental
Logic ,çç. :ºi º·, · ··


ra:acex.ea||y. |eeaase . cea| ,ee¬ei:.ea| sçaee .s aei .¬a,.�a:y ,aac
iae:eie:e aet seas.||e, . .ts . cea| .iy eaa |e :e|aiec te tae ieta| a¬iy ei �ae
seas.||e «e:|c ~ac. ie: iae sa¬e :easea. açç|.ec ,eemet:y :e¬ams
çess.||e. ,e. a, se ia: as ie |e eeaiasec . a ea: eyes «.ia iae t:ae
aaia:e taai açç|.ec ,ee¬ei:y at tae sa¬e i.¬e eeaeea| s ' · i a eaeet . a
seas.||e . cea|.iy. «a.ea a|«ays sç:.a,s i:e¬ . ¬a,.aai.ea. eea|c ea|y
,.ve :.se ie aa . ¬a,.aa:y rantastique] sçaee aac aa . ¬a,.aa:y rant


tique] se.eaee ei sçaee. ie aa aaie:eseea||e aac .ae:,aa.e ç:e|.ie:ai.

e�
ei ¬e:çae|e,.ea| tyçes ia taai ease. «e eea|c aei au:¬. as «e |e,.i.·
¬aie| y aac «. ta ee¬ç|ete seea:. ty c.c. taai «e aave not two but
,

nlY
one universalform of the world: aei i«e |ai ea| y one geometr . . . (C,
§9 c
,
ç ·1,.
. .
,
1a.s seas.||e aac. te a ee:ta.a ce,:ee. e¬ç.:.ea| aai.e.çai.ea �a| ·
iaea,a .a ee¬ça:.sea «.ta iaeis sa|¬.itec ie va:.at.ea. . ¬a?..at.v

e
.cea|.ty ei iae ¬e:çae|e,.ea| iyçe eaa ae |ea,e: |e ¬e:e|� e¬ç.:..a|, .s
t:ae aet ea|y ie: ,ee¬ei:.ea| forms |at a| se ie: ,ee¬et:.ea| ¬easa:e·
¬eat 1ae |atie: ee¬es ie tae ie:e . a aac ia:ea,a ç:ax. s ie: exa¬ç|e .
«ae:e ] ast c. st:.|at.ea .s .ateacec , | :s, ~a emç.:. ea| teeaa. ¡ae ei
¬easa:e¬eat ,.a sa:vey.a,. .a æea.ieeta:e. aac se ie:ta, ¬ast aeees·
sa:. |y |e|ea, ie eve:y ç:ese.eai.ie ea|ia:e uasse:|

cees ae� �|a|e:aie
ea taai .a tae Origin. ia iae Crsis ae see¬s ie eeas. ce: e¬ç.:.ea| ¬ea·
sa:e as a sia,e ia:iae: taaa seas.||e ¬e:çae|e,y ea tae çata te«a:cs
ça:e ,ee¬et:.ea| . cea|.ty. Heasa:e . a.i.ates aa

acv

aaee . a ta� se�se ei
tae aa. veea| . .aie:sa|]eet.ve . tae:eie:e . cea|·e|,eei.ve ceie:¬mat.ea ei
tae ,ee¬ei:.ea| ia.a, (C, §9 c , ç ·1, IH He:eeve:. ea � e| ea:|y a.,ae: e:
sa|se¡aeai |eve| . tae a:.ta¬ei.zat.ea ei ,ee¬ei:y ".!| |e ev?sec

as a
ae« :eve|at.ea «.ta.a ,ee¬et:y. ue«eve:. iae en,m ei ia.s s..eaee
«.|| ea|y |e ¬e:e ceeç|y |a:.ec. aac .ts sease e¬çt.ec ·
1 42
These few pages are very i mportant, here in parti cular, for determi ni ng
.
the
.
�rchitec­
tonic situation of the Origin . On the sense of thi s "transcendental aesthetICS , al so cf.
CM, § 6 1 . p. 1 46.
1 4:l
"So fami l iar to us i s the shift between a priori theory ad empi rical i nqui ry i n
everyday life that we usual l y tend not to separate the space a�d t�e spatia
.
l shape
.
s
geometry talks about from the space and spatial shapes of expenentIal actualIty, as If
they were one and the same" (C, §9a, p. 24).
1 44 On surveying, see notably §9a, pp. 27-28. On surveying as "pregeometrical
achi evement, " which i s also "a meaning-fundament for geometry, " see §9h, p. 49.
W Cf. C. §9f. pp. 44-45. Husserl speaks there of an "arithmetizat�on of �eometry: :
which "leads al most automatical l y, i n a certain way, t o the emptymg of Its sense
127
Introductin to the Orgin of Geometry
we sae«. iaea. a priori taat iae çays.ea| ta.a,. tae |ecy. tae va,ae
¬e:çae|e,.ea| aac çae:eae¬.e tyçes. iae a:i ei ¬easa:e. iae çess.|. |.ty
ei .¬a,.aa:y va:.at. ea. aac ç:eexaet sçat.eie¬çe:a|.ty a|:eacy aac te
|e | eeatec .a tae ea|ia:a| ae|c taat «as eae:ec ie iae ça. |eseçae: «ae
c.c aei yet sae« ,ee¬et:y |ai «ae saea|c |e eeae-. va||e as .ts . avea·
te: , | :s,
1aas tae . asi.tai.ea ei ,ee±et:y eea|c ea|y |e a philosophical aei
uasse:| . «ae eriea sçeass ei r| aiea.z.a, ,ee¬ei:y (FTL, Ceae|a·
s. ea. ç :º:, . a|«ays ass.,aec te ia. s . ast.tat.a, aei a eeate¬çe:aae.t,
ei sense «.ta tae seaee| ei r|ate (Ideas I, ;º. ç. ·s,. r|atea. s¬ (C,
§9, ç :·, . iae C:eess ,a.cec |y iae r|aiea.e ceet:.ae ei i ceas (ibid. ,
;s. ç. : i , . ' · r|aiea.e . cea|.s¬. · ·· aac se ie:ia. 1ae ça.|eseçae: .s a
¬aa «ae .aaa,a:aies iae iaee:ei.ea| aii.iace . iae |atte: .s ea|y tae
sç.:.t s :ac.ea| i:eece¬. «a.ea aatae:.zes a ¬eve |eyeac ia.tace aac
eçeas tae ae:.zea ei sae«|ec,e as taat ei a ç:eaav.a,. . . e . ei aa
.aaa.ie ç:e]eei e: tass ( Vorhaben) . 1ae:e|y. iae iaee:et.ea| att.iace
¬ases .cea| .zat.ea s cee. s. ve çassa,e te tae | . ¬.t çess.||e. as «e|| as
tae eeast.tat.ea ei tae ¬atae¬at.ea| ae|c .a ,eae:a| Nata:a| | y. ia.s
çassa,e ie tae |.¬.t . s ea|y tae ,e.a, |eyeac eve:y seas. || e aac iaeiaa|
| .¬. i. it eeaee:as iae .cea| | . ¬.i ei aa .aaa.ie t:aas,:ess. ea. aet tae
iaetaa| |.¬.i ei iae t:aas,:essec ia. tace
sta:i.a, i:e¬ ta. s . aaa,a:a| .aaa.t.zat.ea. ¬atae¬at.es ee,a.zes ae«
.aaa.i. zat.eas «a.ea a:e se ¬aay .aie:.e: :eve|ai.eas . re:. .i tae
ç:.¬e:c.a| .aaa.t.zai.ea eçeas iae ¬atae¬at.ea| ae|c ie .aaa.te ieeaa·
c.i.es ie: iae C:eess. .t ae | ess frst | .¬.ts iae aç:.e:. syste¬ ei taat
ç:ecaet.v.ty 1ae ve:y eeaieat ei aa .aaa.ie ç:ecaet.ea «.|| |e eeaiaec
«.ta.a aa aç:.e:. sysie¬ «a.ea. ie: tae C:eess. «. | | a|«ays |e closed.
[modifi ed] . Formal algebrization was already presented as a threat for primordial sense
and the "clari ty" of geometry i n Ideas I. where the " ' pure' geometer" was defned as
the one "who dispenses with the methods of algebra" (§70, p. 1 82) .
1
41; As Husserl often remarked, the al lusion to Greece , to the Greek origin of phi loso­
phy and mathemati cs, has no external hi storico-empirical sense. It i s the factual
[ h' cncmentief] i ndex of an i nteral sense of origi n . Cf. on thi s parti cul arl y "Phi losophy
and the Cri si s of European Humanity" ( in C, pp. 279-80) . Of course, the whole problem
of a phenomenology of hi story supposes that the " indicati ve" character of such language
is resol ved.
Hi "Idealization and the Science of Reali ty-The Mathematization of Nature" ( Before
1 928) , Abhandlung in Krisis, p. 29 1 ; Appendi x I I in Crisis. p. 3 1 3. In addition to thi s text.
one of the most specifc sketches from the h istorical perspective concerning the relation
between Plato' s philosophy and the advent of pure mathematics by ideal ization and
passage to the limit has been publ i shed by R. Boehm in Bei l age VI I of Erste Philosophie
( 1 923124) . Vol . 1 (in Husserliana. Vol . 7 [The Hague: Nijhof, 1 956] , pp. 327-28) .
, ,
126
Jacques Derid
ç|aee . as. ce tae ae« transcendental aesthetics «a.ea uasse:| ça:t.ea·
|a:|y eeate|atec . a tae Ceae| as. ea ei Formal and Transcendental
Logic ,çç. :ºi º·, · ··


ra:acex.ea||y. |eeaase . cea| ,ee¬ei:.ea| sçaee .s aei .¬a,.�a:y ,aac
iae:eie:e aet seas.||e, . .ts . cea| .iy eaa |e :e|aiec te tae ieta| a¬iy ei �ae
seas.||e «e:|c ~ac. ie: iae sa¬e :easea. açç|.ec ,eemet:y :e¬ams
çess.||e. ,e. a, se ia: as ie |e eeaiasec . a ea: eyes «.ia iae t:ae
aaia:e taai açç|.ec ,ee¬ei:y at tae sa¬e i.¬e eeaeea| s ' · i a eaeet . a
seas.||e . cea|.iy. «a.ea a|«ays sç:.a,s i:e¬ . ¬a,.aai.ea. eea|c ea|y
,.ve :.se ie aa . ¬a,.aa:y rantastique] sçaee aac aa . ¬a,.aa:y rant


tique] se.eaee ei sçaee. ie aa aaie:eseea||e aac .ae:,aa.e ç:e|.ie:ai.

e�
ei ¬e:çae|e,.ea| tyçes ia taai ease. «e eea|c aei au:¬. as «e |e,.i.·
¬aie| y aac «. ta ee¬ç|ete seea:. ty c.c. taai «e aave not two but
,

nlY
one universalform of the world: aei i«e |ai ea| y one geometr . . . (C,
§9 c
,
ç ·1,.
. .
,
1a.s seas.||e aac. te a ee:ta.a ce,:ee. e¬ç.:.ea| aai.e.çai.ea �a| ·
iaea,a .a ee¬ça:.sea «.ta iaeis sa|¬.itec ie va:.at.ea. . ¬a?..at.v

e
.cea|.ty ei iae ¬e:çae|e,.ea| iyçe eaa ae |ea,e: |e ¬e:e|� e¬ç.:..a|, .s
t:ae aet ea|y ie: ,ee¬ei:.ea| forms |at a| se ie: ,ee¬et:.ea| ¬easa:e·
¬eat 1ae |atie: ee¬es ie tae ie:e . a aac ia:ea,a ç:ax. s ie: exa¬ç|e .
«ae:e ] ast c. st:.|at.ea .s .ateacec , | :s, ~a emç.:. ea| teeaa. ¡ae ei
¬easa:e¬eat ,.a sa:vey.a,. .a æea.ieeta:e. aac se ie:ta, ¬ast aeees·
sa:. |y |e|ea, ie eve:y ç:ese.eai.ie ea|ia:e uasse:|

cees ae� �|a|e:aie
ea taai .a tae Origin. ia iae Crsis ae see¬s ie eeas. ce: e¬ç.:.ea| ¬ea·
sa:e as a sia,e ia:iae: taaa seas.||e ¬e:çae|e,y ea tae çata te«a:cs
ça:e ,ee¬et:.ea| . cea|.ty. Heasa:e . a.i.ates aa

acv

aaee . a ta� se�se ei
tae aa. veea| . .aie:sa|]eet.ve . tae:eie:e . cea|·e|,eei.ve ceie:¬mat.ea ei
tae ,ee¬ei:.ea| ia.a, (C, §9 c , ç ·1, IH He:eeve:. ea � e| ea:|y a.,ae: e:
sa|se¡aeai |eve| . tae a:.ta¬ei.zat.ea ei ,ee¬ei:y ".!| |e ev?sec

as a
ae« :eve|at.ea «.ta.a ,ee¬et:y. ue«eve:. iae en,m ei ia.s s..eaee
«.|| ea|y |e ¬e:e ceeç|y |a:.ec. aac .ts sease e¬çt.ec ·
1 42
These few pages are very i mportant, here in parti cular, for determi ni ng
.
the
.
�rchitec­
tonic situation of the Origin . On the sense of thi s "transcendental aesthetICS , al so cf.
CM, § 6 1 . p. 1 46.
1 4:l
"So fami l iar to us i s the shift between a priori theory ad empi rical i nqui ry i n
everyday life that we usual l y tend not to separate the space a�d t�e spatia
.
l shape
.
s
geometry talks about from the space and spatial shapes of expenentIal actualIty, as If
they were one and the same" (C, §9a, p. 24).
1 44 On surveying, see notably §9a, pp. 27-28. On surveying as "pregeometrical
achi evement, " which i s also "a meaning-fundament for geometry, " see §9h, p. 49.
W Cf. C. §9f. pp. 44-45. Husserl speaks there of an "arithmetizat�on of �eometry: :
which "leads al most automatical l y, i n a certain way, t o the emptymg of Its sense
127
Introductin to the Orgin of Geometry
we sae«. iaea. a priori taat iae çays.ea| ta.a,. tae |ecy. tae va,ae
¬e:çae|e,.ea| aac çae:eae¬.e tyçes. iae a:i ei ¬easa:e. iae çess.|. |.ty
ei .¬a,.aa:y va:.at. ea. aac ç:eexaet sçat.eie¬çe:a|.ty a|:eacy aac te
|e | eeatec .a tae ea|ia:a| ae|c taat «as eae:ec ie iae ça. |eseçae: «ae
c.c aei yet sae« ,ee¬et:y |ai «ae saea|c |e eeae-. va||e as .ts . avea·
te: , | :s,
1aas tae . asi.tai.ea ei ,ee±et:y eea|c ea|y |e a philosophical aei
uasse:| . «ae eriea sçeass ei r| aiea.z.a, ,ee¬ei:y (FTL, Ceae|a·
s. ea. ç :º:, . a|«ays ass.,aec te ia. s . ast.tat.a, aei a eeate¬çe:aae.t,
ei sense «.ta tae seaee| ei r|ate (Ideas I, ;º. ç. ·s,. r|atea. s¬ (C,
§9, ç :·, . iae C:eess ,a.cec |y iae r|aiea.e ceet:.ae ei i ceas (ibid. ,
;s. ç. : i , . ' · r|aiea.e . cea|.s¬. · ·· aac se ie:ia. 1ae ça.|eseçae: .s a
¬aa «ae .aaa,a:aies iae iaee:ei.ea| aii.iace . iae |atte: .s ea|y tae
sç.:.t s :ac.ea| i:eece¬. «a.ea aatae:.zes a ¬eve |eyeac ia.tace aac
eçeas tae ae:.zea ei sae«|ec,e as taat ei a ç:eaav.a,. . . e . ei aa
.aaa.ie ç:e]eei e: tass ( Vorhaben) . 1ae:e|y. iae iaee:et.ea| att.iace
¬ases .cea| .zat.ea s cee. s. ve çassa,e te tae | . ¬.t çess.||e. as «e|| as
tae eeast.tat.ea ei tae ¬atae¬at.ea| ae|c .a ,eae:a| Nata:a| | y. ia.s
çassa,e ie tae |.¬.t . s ea|y tae ,e.a, |eyeac eve:y seas. || e aac iaeiaa|
| .¬. i. it eeaee:as iae .cea| | . ¬.i ei aa .aaa.ie t:aas,:ess. ea. aet tae
iaetaa| |.¬.i ei iae t:aas,:essec ia. tace
sta:i.a, i:e¬ ta. s . aaa,a:a| .aaa.t.zat.ea. ¬atae¬at.es ee,a.zes ae«
.aaa.i. zat.eas «a.ea a:e se ¬aay .aie:.e: :eve|ai.eas . re:. .i tae
ç:.¬e:c.a| .aaa.t.zai.ea eçeas iae ¬atae¬at.ea| ae|c ie .aaa.te ieeaa·
c.i.es ie: iae C:eess. .t ae | ess frst | .¬.ts iae aç:.e:. syste¬ ei taat
ç:ecaet.v.ty 1ae ve:y eeaieat ei aa .aaa.ie ç:ecaet.ea «.|| |e eeaiaec
«.ta.a aa aç:.e:. sysie¬ «a.ea. ie: tae C:eess. «. | | a|«ays |e closed.
[modifi ed] . Formal algebrization was already presented as a threat for primordial sense
and the "clari ty" of geometry i n Ideas I. where the " ' pure' geometer" was defned as
the one "who dispenses with the methods of algebra" (§70, p. 1 82) .
1
41; As Husserl often remarked, the al lusion to Greece , to the Greek origin of phi loso­
phy and mathemati cs, has no external hi storico-empirical sense. It i s the factual
[ h' cncmentief] i ndex of an i nteral sense of origi n . Cf. on thi s parti cul arl y "Phi losophy
and the Cri si s of European Humanity" ( in C, pp. 279-80) . Of course, the whole problem
of a phenomenology of hi story supposes that the " indicati ve" character of such language
is resol ved.
Hi "Idealization and the Science of Reali ty-The Mathematization of Nature" ( Before
1 928) , Abhandlung in Krisis, p. 29 1 ; Appendi x I I in Crisis. p. 3 1 3. In addition to thi s text.
one of the most specifc sketches from the h istorical perspective concerning the relation
between Plato' s philosophy and the advent of pure mathematics by ideal ization and
passage to the limit has been publ i shed by R. Boehm in Bei l age VI I of Erste Philosophie
( 1 923124) . Vol . 1 (in Husserliana. Vol . 7 [The Hague: Nijhof, 1 956] , pp. 327-28) .
128
Jacques Derid
The guide here is Euclidean geometry, or rather the " ideal Euclid, "
according to Husserl' s expression, which is restricted to sense, not
historical fact. Later, at the dawn of modern times, the apriori system
wi l l i tself be overthrown by a new i nfnitization. But the latter wi l l only
take place within infnity as the possibility of a mathematical a priori i n
general . Perhaps , then, we need t o distingui sh between, on the one
hand, i nfnitization as the i nstituting act of mathematics, i . e. , as the
disclosure of mathematical aprioriness itself-the possibility of
mathematization in general-and, on the other hand, i nfnitizations as
the enlargements of apriori systems . These latter would only have had
to add di mensions of i nfnity to the a priori , but they would not concern
aprioriness i tself. In the Origin, Husserl i s interested in infnitization in
the frst sense. That is why he reduced all the apriori systems of past or
present geometry, in order to reach back and grasp again the origin of
aprioriness itself at its source, i . e. , the i nstitutive infnitization.
Perhaps such a distinction accounts for a contradiction, pointed out
by Paul Ricoeur , between the Vienna Lecture ( "Philosophy and the
Crisis of European Humanity") and the Crisi itself, which, Ricoeur
notes, "goes back to Greek thought and in particular to Eucl idean
geometry, to assign the glory of havi ng concei ved of an infnite task of
knowing. . . .
' '
1
48
Moreover, the diference we propose to observe between the two
kinds of infnity would not at all completely eface what, in the literal­
ness of the texts, remains a fagrant opposition. Let us place side by
side the two most apparently irreconci lable passages:
A)
Only Greek philosophy leads, by a specic development, to a science
in the form ofinfnite theory, ofwhich Greek geometry supplied us,
for some millennia, the example and soverei{n model.
Mathematics-the idea of the infnite, of infnte tasks-is like a
Babylonian tower: although unfnished, it remains a task full ofsense,
opened onto the infnite. This infnity has for its correlate the new man
ofinfnite ends.
And farther on:
Infnity is discovered, frst in the form ofthe idealization of
magnitudes, ofmeasures, ofnumbers, fgures, straight lines, poles,
surfaces, etc . . . . Now without its being advanced explicitly as a
1
4H
Paul Ricoeur, "Husserl and the Sense of History, " i n Husserl: An AnaLysis, p. 1 61 ,
n. 1 5.
129
Introductin to the Orgin of Geometry
hypothesi, intutitively given nature and world are transformed into a
mathematical world, the world ofthe mathematical natural sciences.
A
.
ntiquity led the way: in its mathematics was accomplished the frst
dlscov
.
er of both
.
n
f
inite ideals and infnite tasks. Thi becomes for all
later times the gUldmg star ofthe sciences. 1 49
B)
Ofcourse the ancients, guided by the Platonic doctrine of Ideas, had
already idealized empirical numbers, units ofmeasurement, empirical
fgures in space, points, lines, surfaces, bodies; and they had
trnsformed the propositions and proofs ofgeometr into
ideal-geometrical propositions and proofs. What is more, with
Euclid

an geometr had grwn up the highly impressive idea of a
s

stemlcally

ohe
:
ent deductive theor, aimed at a most broadly and
highly conceived Ideal goal, resting on "axiomatic" fundamental
concepts and prnciples, proceeding according to apodictic
argume
!�
s- totality formed ofpure rationality, a totality whose
uncondltloned truth i available to insight and which consists
exclusively ofunconditioned truths recognized through immediate and
mediate insight. But Euclidean geometr, and ancient mathematics in
general, knows only fnite tasks, a fnitely closed a prior. Aristotelian
syl/ogistics belongs here also, as an a prior which takes precedence
over all others. Antiquity goes this far, but never far enough to grsp
the possi

ility of the infnite task which, for us, is linked as a matter of
Course wlth the concept ofgeometrical space and with the concept of
geometr as the science belonging to it. (C, § 8, pp. 21 -22; Husserl' s
emphasis)
We can note that the frst of the above texts only attributes infnitiza­
tion i n the frst sense to Greek phi losophy and geometry, 1 �
O
i . e . , the
creative ideali zation of mathematics in general-a fact they will not
be denied in the Crisis. There exi sts an infnity which equal i zes
1 4
9 [The fi rst part of thi s passage i s taken from " La Crise de J ' humanite europeenne et
l a philosophie, " translated by Paul Ricoeur. Thi s version (translated from Ms M I I I 5 I I
b) di fers i n places from the version ( Ms M I I I 5 I I a) publ i shed i n the Krisis and translated
i nto Engl i sh ( Lauer
'
s translation of this text i n the same volume that contains his transla­
tion of " PRS, " Phenomenology and the Crisis of Philosophy, also follows the latter
v�rsion). I have always cited the version in C, since here occurs the only signi fi cant
divergence between the two texts i n Derrida's use of them. The second part of the above
quoted passage is found on p. 293 of C. Note adapted by tr. ]
\ jO In this respect, it can be said that, by thei r intention, the Vienna Lecture and the
Origin are nearer each other than they both are to the Crisis . Both are interested in a
proto-origin prior to the "Gal ilean" origin of modern times. Cf. what we said above
about the reduction of the Galilean atti tude.
128
Jacques Derid
The guide here is Euclidean geometry, or rather the " ideal Euclid, "
according to Husserl' s expression, which is restricted to sense, not
historical fact. Later, at the dawn of modern times, the apriori system
wi l l i tself be overthrown by a new i nfnitization. But the latter wi l l only
take place within infnity as the possibility of a mathematical a priori i n
general . Perhaps , then, we need t o distingui sh between, on the one
hand, i nfnitization as the i nstituting act of mathematics, i . e. , as the
disclosure of mathematical aprioriness itself-the possibility of
mathematization in general-and, on the other hand, i nfnitizations as
the enlargements of apriori systems . These latter would only have had
to add di mensions of i nfnity to the a priori , but they would not concern
aprioriness i tself. In the Origin, Husserl i s interested in infnitization in
the frst sense. That is why he reduced all the apriori systems of past or
present geometry, in order to reach back and grasp again the origin of
aprioriness itself at its source, i . e. , the i nstitutive infnitization.
Perhaps such a distinction accounts for a contradiction, pointed out
by Paul Ricoeur , between the Vienna Lecture ( "Philosophy and the
Crisis of European Humanity") and the Crisi itself, which, Ricoeur
notes, "goes back to Greek thought and in particular to Eucl idean
geometry, to assign the glory of havi ng concei ved of an infnite task of
knowing. . . .
' '
1
48
Moreover, the diference we propose to observe between the two
kinds of infnity would not at all completely eface what, in the literal­
ness of the texts, remains a fagrant opposition. Let us place side by
side the two most apparently irreconci lable passages:
A)
Only Greek philosophy leads, by a specic development, to a science
in the form ofinfnite theory, ofwhich Greek geometry supplied us,
for some millennia, the example and soverei{n model.
Mathematics-the idea of the infnite, of infnte tasks-is like a
Babylonian tower: although unfnished, it remains a task full ofsense,
opened onto the infnite. This infnity has for its correlate the new man
ofinfnite ends.
And farther on:
Infnity is discovered, frst in the form ofthe idealization of
magnitudes, ofmeasures, ofnumbers, fgures, straight lines, poles,
surfaces, etc . . . . Now without its being advanced explicitly as a
1
4H
Paul Ricoeur, "Husserl and the Sense of History, " i n Husserl: An AnaLysis, p. 1 61 ,
n. 1 5.
129
Introductin to the Orgin of Geometry
hypothesi, intutitively given nature and world are transformed into a
mathematical world, the world ofthe mathematical natural sciences.
A
.
ntiquity led the way: in its mathematics was accomplished the frst
dlscov
.
er of both
.
n
f
inite ideals and infnite tasks. Thi becomes for all
later times the gUldmg star ofthe sciences. 1 49
B)
Ofcourse the ancients, guided by the Platonic doctrine of Ideas, had
already idealized empirical numbers, units ofmeasurement, empirical
fgures in space, points, lines, surfaces, bodies; and they had
trnsformed the propositions and proofs ofgeometr into
ideal-geometrical propositions and proofs. What is more, with
Euclid

an geometr had grwn up the highly impressive idea of a
s

stemlcally

ohe
:
ent deductive theor, aimed at a most broadly and
highly conceived Ideal goal, resting on "axiomatic" fundamental
concepts and prnciples, proceeding according to apodictic
argume
!�
s- totality formed ofpure rationality, a totality whose
uncondltloned truth i available to insight and which consists
exclusively ofunconditioned truths recognized through immediate and
mediate insight. But Euclidean geometr, and ancient mathematics in
general, knows only fnite tasks, a fnitely closed a prior. Aristotelian
syl/ogistics belongs here also, as an a prior which takes precedence
over all others. Antiquity goes this far, but never far enough to grsp
the possi

ility of the infnite task which, for us, is linked as a matter of
Course wlth the concept ofgeometrical space and with the concept of
geometr as the science belonging to it. (C, § 8, pp. 21 -22; Husserl' s
emphasis)
We can note that the frst of the above texts only attributes infnitiza­
tion i n the frst sense to Greek phi losophy and geometry, 1 �
O
i . e . , the
creative ideali zation of mathematics in general-a fact they will not
be denied in the Crisis. There exi sts an infnity which equal i zes
1 4
9 [The fi rst part of thi s passage i s taken from " La Crise de J ' humanite europeenne et
l a philosophie, " translated by Paul Ricoeur. Thi s version (translated from Ms M I I I 5 I I
b) di fers i n places from the version ( Ms M I I I 5 I I a) publ i shed i n the Krisis and translated
i nto Engl i sh ( Lauer
'
s translation of this text i n the same volume that contains his transla­
tion of " PRS, " Phenomenology and the Crisis of Philosophy, also follows the latter
v�rsion). I have always cited the version in C, since here occurs the only signi fi cant
divergence between the two texts i n Derrida's use of them. The second part of the above
quoted passage is found on p. 293 of C. Note adapted by tr. ]
\ jO In this respect, it can be said that, by thei r intention, the Vienna Lecture and the
Origin are nearer each other than they both are to the Crisis . Both are interested in a
proto-origin prior to the "Gal ilean" origin of modern times. Cf. what we said above
about the reduction of the Galilean atti tude.
130
Jacques Derrida
tae c. seeve:y ei tae aç:.e:.aess ei mataemat.es .a ,eae:a| aac tae
t:aas,:ess.ea ei seas.||e ia.taces. evea .i tae i:st aç:.e:. system .s .a
.tse|i closed, as tae seeeac çassa,e states Oa tae |as. s ei a ia.te aç:.e:.
system, aa . aia.te aam|e: ei m+taemat.ea| eçe:at.eas aac
t:aasie:mat.eas . s a|:eacy çess.||e . a taat s,stem. evea .i taey a:e aet
. aia.te|y e:eat. ve ~|eve a|| . cesç.te tae e|esecaess ei tae system. «e
a:e within mataemat.ea| .aia.ty |eeaase «e aave ceia.t. ve|y .cea|.zec
aac ,eae |eyeac tae iaetaa| aac seas.||e ia. taces 1ae .aia.te . a| a.ty
ei tae mece:a :eve|at.ea eaa taea |e aaaeaaeec .a tae ia.te . aia.ty ei
~at.¡a.ty s e:eat. ea wa.|e . avest.,at.a, tae sease ei «aat taey
e:eatec-mataemat.ea| aç:.e:.aess-tae C:ee|s s.mç|y «ea|c aet aave
. avest.,atec t|e sease ei a|| tae çe«e:s ei .a| a.ty «a.ea «e:e eae|esec
.a taat aç:.e:.aess aac. tae:eie:e. te |e sa:e . ei tae ça:e aac .a| a.te
a.ste:.e.ty ei mataemat.es 1aat «. || |e ceae ea|y ç:e,:ess.ve|y aac
| ate: ea. |y . ate:eeaaeet.a, :eve|at.eaa:y ceve|eçmeats eeaie:m.a, te
tae ç�eieaac a. ste:.e.ty ei mataemat.es aac te a e:eat. v.ty «a.ea a|·
«ays ç:eeeecs |y c.se|esa:e '
i i taat «e:e se. tae eeat:ast |et«eea tae t«e texts «ea|c |e |ess
a|:açt eae «ea|c taemat.ze mataemat.ea| aprioriness aac tae etae: tae
aç:.e:. system e: systems. e: :atae: mat|emat.ea| systematicity. w.ta.a
tae .a| a.ty eçeaec |y tae C:ee|s . a ae« .a| a. t.zat.ea . s ç:ecaeec. eae
«a.ea «.|| ma|e tae ç:ev.eas e|esa:e aççea:. aet as tae e|esa:e
ça:a|yz.a, tae C:ee|s on the threshold ei mataemat.ea| .aia.ty . tse|i.
|at as tae e|esa:e seeeaca:.|y | .m.t.a, taem within tae mataemat.ea|
| e|c .a ,eae:a| Ðvea . a tae sç.:.t ei tae Crsis, tae meceo .aia.t. zat.ea
«. | | ma:| | ess aa aataeat.e açsa:,.a, taaa a |.ac ei :esa::eet.ea ei
,eemet:y He:eeve:. ta.s se|i·:e|.:ta [renaissance a sol] «.|| |e at tae
sa¬e t.¬e ea| , a ae« obliteration ei tae a:st |. :ta ,ee:i. aeate) Aac. .t
¬ast |e +ccec. tae ç:eeess ei .at:a·matae¬at.ea| .aaa.t. zat.ea eaa taea
|e ,eae:a| . zec ad infnitum aac aeee:c.a, te aa aeee|e:

te

c :a,ta¬

1
.
52
nat .i eaea . aia.t.zat.ea .s a ae« |.:ta ei ,eemet:y .a . ts aataeat.e
ç:. me:c.a| . ateat.ea ,«a.ea «e aet.ee st.|| :ema.aec a.ccea te a ee:ta.a
1.;1
On thi s cf. the Crisis. notably §8, p. 22, and §9h, pp. 5 1 -52, and §71 , pp. 245-46.
1 :2
The text taken from the Crisis, which does not seem to put into question ever again
the "Greek" origin of mathematics as an i nfnite t ask, poses thus the difcult intra­
mathematical problem of closure, a notion which can have mul ti pl e senses according to
the contexts i n which it i s employed. On all these questions, we refer particularly to S.
Bachelard. A Study of Husserf ' s Logic. Part 1 . Ch. 3 . pp. 43-63 . Moreover, there i s al so a
closure of the mathematical domain in general in i ts ideal unity as mathematical sense, a
closure wi thi n which al l i nfnitization will have to be maintained, simpl y because thi s
infnitization sti l l concerns ideal-mathematical objecti vities. About the mathematical sys­
tem in genera\
'
Husserl speaks of "an i nfnite and yet self-enclosed world of ideal objec­
ti vities as a feld for study" (C, §9a. p. 26 [modifed] ) .
131
!
ntroductin to the Origin of Geometr
exteat |y tae e|esa:e ei tae ç:ev. eas system, . «e may «eace: .i .t .s
st. | | |e,.t.mate te sçea| ei an e:.,.a ei ,eemet:y Dees aet ,eemet:y
aave aa . aia.te aam|e: ei |.:tas ,e: |.:ta ee:t. | eates· .a «a.ea. eaea
t.me. aaetae: |.:ta . s aaaeaaeec. «a.|e st. | | |e.a, eeaeeai ec: Hast «e
aet say taat ,eemet:y .s ea tae «ay te«a:c .ts e:.,.a. . asteac ei ç:e·
eeec.a, i:em . t:
uasse:| aacea|tec|y «ea|c a,:ee 1e|e|e,.ea| sease aac tae sease ei
e:.,.a «e:e a| «ays mataa| | y .mç| .eatec ie: a. m ne.a, aaaeaaeec .a
eaea etae:. taey «.|| |e :evea| ec ia||y ea|y ta:ea,a eaea etae: at tae
. a| a.te çe|e ei a.ste:y nat. taea. «ay aave ,eemet:y |e,. a «.ta ça:e
.cea| .zat.ea aac exaet.tace: way aet aave . t |e,.a «.ta . ma,.aat.ve·
seas.||e .cea|.zat.ea aac me:çae|e,.ea| tyçe|e,y. s.aee exaet.tace . s
already aat.e. çatec tae:e: O:. eeave:se|y. «ay still ea| | tae systems
«a.ea «e:e teta|| y :.c ei eeae:ete ,eemet:y ,eemet:.ea| : 1a. s tyçe ei
¡aest.ea.a, aacea|tec|y relativizes tae sçee.ie.ty ei ,eemet:.ea| sease
as saea |at cees aet ¡aest.ea .t . a .tse|i 1ae ,eemet:.ea| telos . s ae
cea|t ea| y tae i:a,meat e: ça:t.ea|a: se,meat ei a aa.ve:sa| 1e|es
«a.ea t:ave:ses. ç:eeeces. aac ,ees |eyeac tae ,eemet:.ea| eae. |at
,eemet:y s acveata:e . s :.,e:eas|y a:t.ea|atec e: ceç|eyec . a [s' articule
en] taat 1e|es tae acveata:e c. c aet |e,.a as such |eie:e tae eme:,eaee
ei a|se|ate|y ça:e aac aeaseas.||e .cea|.ty. .t :ema.as tae acveata:eo)
,eemet:y as |ea, as ça:e .cea| e|]eet.v.t. es a:e eea| aec «.ta.a tae ie|c
ei aç:.e:.aess eçeaec |y tae C:ee|s ¯� 1aea uasse:| eaa at one and the
same time sçea| ei a ça:e sease aac aa .ate:aa| a. ste:.e.ty ei ,eemet:y
aac eaa say. as ae eitea cees. taat a aa.ve:sa| te|ee|e,y ei xeasea «as
at «e:| .a aamaa a. ste:y |eie:e tae C:eee·Ða:eçeaa eem. a, te eea·
se.easaess [prise de conscience ] , taat ça:e . cea|.ty .s aaaeaaeec .a
|eaac .cea| .ty. aac se ea 1aas. at tae same t.me ae saves tae abso­
lutely e:.,.aa| sease e: internal a.ste:.e.ty ei eaea t:ac.t.eaa| | .ae aac .ts
:e|at. v.ty «.ta.a aa.ve:sa| a.ste:.e.ty i a ta.s maaae: ae .s assa:ec ei
çeaet:at.a, aa. ve:sa| a.ste:.e.ty ea|y i:em «.ta. a. esçee.a| | y .i. |y
ç:eie:eaee . ae ta:as a.s :e,a:c te a t:ac.t.ea as exemç|a:y as taat ei
mat|emat.es
ra: i:em |e.a, tae aeeess te seme çess.|.| . ty taat . s .tse|i aa. ste:.e
yet c. seeve:ec «. ta.a a a. ste:y ,«|.e| «ea|c .a ta:a |e t:aasi,a:ec |y
.t, . tae eçeaaess ei tae . a| a.te .s ea|y. ea tae eeat:a:y. tae eçeaaess ei
a.ste:y itself, .a tae atmest ceçtas aac ça:.ty ei .ts esseaee w.t|eat
I :;;l
Thi s i s true, of course, onl y i nsofar as these objectivities are related, immediatel y or
not . to spatiality in genera\ , if geometry is considered in i tsel f and in the strict sense ; to
movement i n general . if kinematics i s considered in itself and in the strict sense. (But
Husser! ofen says that "geometry" i s an "abbreviation" for al l the objective and exact
sciences of pure spatiotemporal i ty. ) But i f geometry i s considered in i ts exemplariness.
thi s i s generally true for every absolutel y pure and "free" i deal objecti vity.
130
Jacques Derrida
tae c. seeve:y ei tae aç:.e:.aess ei mataemat.es .a ,eae:a| aac tae
t:aas,:ess.ea ei seas.||e ia.taces. evea .i tae i:st aç:.e:. system .s .a
.tse|i closed, as tae seeeac çassa,e states Oa tae |as. s ei a ia.te aç:.e:.
system, aa . aia.te aam|e: ei m+taemat.ea| eçe:at.eas aac
t:aasie:mat.eas . s a|:eacy çess.||e . a taat s,stem. evea .i taey a:e aet
. aia.te|y e:eat. ve ~|eve a|| . cesç.te tae e|esecaess ei tae system. «e
a:e within mataemat.ea| .aia.ty |eeaase «e aave ceia.t. ve|y .cea|.zec
aac ,eae |eyeac tae iaetaa| aac seas.||e ia. taces 1ae .aia.te . a| a.ty
ei tae mece:a :eve|at.ea eaa taea |e aaaeaaeec .a tae ia.te . aia.ty ei
~at.¡a.ty s e:eat. ea wa.|e . avest.,at.a, tae sease ei «aat taey
e:eatec-mataemat.ea| aç:.e:.aess-tae C:ee|s s.mç|y «ea|c aet aave
. avest.,atec t|e sease ei a|| tae çe«e:s ei .a| a.ty «a.ea «e:e eae|esec
.a taat aç:.e:.aess aac. tae:eie:e. te |e sa:e . ei tae ça:e aac .a| a.te
a.ste:.e.ty ei mataemat.es 1aat «. || |e ceae ea|y ç:e,:ess.ve|y aac
| ate: ea. |y . ate:eeaaeet.a, :eve|at.eaa:y ceve|eçmeats eeaie:m.a, te
tae ç�eieaac a. ste:.e.ty ei mataemat.es aac te a e:eat. v.ty «a.ea a|·
«ays ç:eeeecs |y c.se|esa:e '
i i taat «e:e se. tae eeat:ast |et«eea tae t«e texts «ea|c |e |ess
a|:açt eae «ea|c taemat.ze mataemat.ea| aprioriness aac tae etae: tae
aç:.e:. system e: systems. e: :atae: mat|emat.ea| systematicity. w.ta.a
tae .a| a.ty eçeaec |y tae C:ee|s . a ae« .a| a. t.zat.ea . s ç:ecaeec. eae
«a.ea «.|| ma|e tae ç:ev.eas e|esa:e aççea:. aet as tae e|esa:e
ça:a|yz.a, tae C:ee|s on the threshold ei mataemat.ea| .aia.ty . tse|i.
|at as tae e|esa:e seeeaca:.|y | .m.t.a, taem within tae mataemat.ea|
| e|c .a ,eae:a| Ðvea . a tae sç.:.t ei tae Crsis, tae meceo .aia.t. zat.ea
«. | | ma:| | ess aa aataeat.e açsa:,.a, taaa a |.ac ei :esa::eet.ea ei
,eemet:y He:eeve:. ta.s se|i·:e|.:ta [renaissance a sol] «.|| |e at tae
sa¬e t.¬e ea| , a ae« obliteration ei tae a:st |. :ta ,ee:i. aeate) Aac. .t
¬ast |e +ccec. tae ç:eeess ei .at:a·matae¬at.ea| .aaa.t. zat.ea eaa taea
|e ,eae:a| . zec ad infnitum aac aeee:c.a, te aa aeee|e:

te

c :a,ta¬

1
.
52
nat .i eaea . aia.t.zat.ea .s a ae« |.:ta ei ,eemet:y .a . ts aataeat.e
ç:. me:c.a| . ateat.ea ,«a.ea «e aet.ee st.|| :ema.aec a.ccea te a ee:ta.a
1.;1
On thi s cf. the Crisis. notably §8, p. 22, and §9h, pp. 5 1 -52, and §71 , pp. 245-46.
1 :2
The text taken from the Crisis, which does not seem to put into question ever again
the "Greek" origin of mathematics as an i nfnite t ask, poses thus the difcult intra­
mathematical problem of closure, a notion which can have mul ti pl e senses according to
the contexts i n which it i s employed. On all these questions, we refer particularly to S.
Bachelard. A Study of Husserf ' s Logic. Part 1 . Ch. 3 . pp. 43-63 . Moreover, there i s al so a
closure of the mathematical domain in general in i ts ideal unity as mathematical sense, a
closure wi thi n which al l i nfnitization will have to be maintained, simpl y because thi s
infnitization sti l l concerns ideal-mathematical objecti vities. About the mathematical sys­
tem in genera\
'
Husserl speaks of "an i nfnite and yet self-enclosed world of ideal objec­
ti vities as a feld for study" (C, §9a. p. 26 [modifed] ) .
131
!
ntroductin to the Origin of Geometr
exteat |y tae e|esa:e ei tae ç:ev. eas system, . «e may «eace: .i .t .s
st. | | |e,.t.mate te sçea| ei an e:.,.a ei ,eemet:y Dees aet ,eemet:y
aave aa . aia.te aam|e: ei |.:tas ,e: |.:ta ee:t. | eates· .a «a.ea. eaea
t.me. aaetae: |.:ta . s aaaeaaeec. «a.|e st. | | |e.a, eeaeeai ec: Hast «e
aet say taat ,eemet:y .s ea tae «ay te«a:c .ts e:.,.a. . asteac ei ç:e·
eeec.a, i:em . t:
uasse:| aacea|tec|y «ea|c a,:ee 1e|e|e,.ea| sease aac tae sease ei
e:.,.a «e:e a| «ays mataa| | y .mç| .eatec ie: a. m ne.a, aaaeaaeec .a
eaea etae:. taey «.|| |e :evea| ec ia||y ea|y ta:ea,a eaea etae: at tae
. a| a.te çe|e ei a.ste:y nat. taea. «ay aave ,eemet:y |e,. a «.ta ça:e
.cea| .zat.ea aac exaet.tace: way aet aave . t |e,.a «.ta . ma,.aat.ve·
seas.||e .cea|.zat.ea aac me:çae|e,.ea| tyçe|e,y. s.aee exaet.tace . s
already aat.e. çatec tae:e: O:. eeave:se|y. «ay still ea| | tae systems
«a.ea «e:e teta|| y :.c ei eeae:ete ,eemet:y ,eemet:.ea| : 1a. s tyçe ei
¡aest.ea.a, aacea|tec|y relativizes tae sçee.ie.ty ei ,eemet:.ea| sease
as saea |at cees aet ¡aest.ea .t . a .tse|i 1ae ,eemet:.ea| telos . s ae
cea|t ea| y tae i:a,meat e: ça:t.ea|a: se,meat ei a aa.ve:sa| 1e|es
«a.ea t:ave:ses. ç:eeeces. aac ,ees |eyeac tae ,eemet:.ea| eae. |at
,eemet:y s acveata:e . s :.,e:eas|y a:t.ea|atec e: ceç|eyec . a [s' articule
en] taat 1e|es tae acveata:e c. c aet |e,.a as such |eie:e tae eme:,eaee
ei a|se|ate|y ça:e aac aeaseas.||e .cea|.ty. .t :ema.as tae acveata:eo)
,eemet:y as |ea, as ça:e .cea| e|]eet.v.t. es a:e eea| aec «.ta.a tae ie|c
ei aç:.e:.aess eçeaec |y tae C:ee|s ¯� 1aea uasse:| eaa at one and the
same time sçea| ei a ça:e sease aac aa .ate:aa| a. ste:.e.ty ei ,eemet:y
aac eaa say. as ae eitea cees. taat a aa.ve:sa| te|ee|e,y ei xeasea «as
at «e:| .a aamaa a. ste:y |eie:e tae C:eee·Ða:eçeaa eem. a, te eea·
se.easaess [prise de conscience ] , taat ça:e . cea|.ty .s aaaeaaeec .a
|eaac .cea| .ty. aac se ea 1aas. at tae same t.me ae saves tae abso­
lutely e:.,.aa| sease e: internal a.ste:.e.ty ei eaea t:ac.t.eaa| | .ae aac .ts
:e|at. v.ty «.ta.a aa.ve:sa| a.ste:.e.ty i a ta.s maaae: ae .s assa:ec ei
çeaet:at.a, aa. ve:sa| a.ste:.e.ty ea|y i:em «.ta. a. esçee.a| | y .i. |y
ç:eie:eaee . ae ta:as a.s :e,a:c te a t:ac.t.ea as exemç|a:y as taat ei
mat|emat.es
ra: i:em |e.a, tae aeeess te seme çess.|.| . ty taat . s .tse|i aa. ste:.e
yet c. seeve:ec «. ta.a a a. ste:y ,«|.e| «ea|c .a ta:a |e t:aasi,a:ec |y
.t, . tae eçeaaess ei tae . a| a.te .s ea|y. ea tae eeat:a:y. tae eçeaaess ei
a.ste:y itself, .a tae atmest ceçtas aac ça:.ty ei .ts esseaee w.t|eat
I :;;l
Thi s i s true, of course, onl y i nsofar as these objectivities are related, immediatel y or
not . to spatiality in genera\ , if geometry is considered in i tsel f and in the strict sense ; to
movement i n general . if kinematics i s considered in itself and in the strict sense. (But
Husser! ofen says that "geometry" i s an "abbreviation" for al l the objective and exact
sciences of pure spatiotemporal i ty. ) But i f geometry i s considered in i ts exemplariness.
thi s i s generally true for every absolutel y pure and "free" i deal objecti vity.
132
Jacques Deric
this rif in the fnite, historical humanity, or rather historical civiliza­
tions, would onl y claim an empirical type of socio-athropological un­
ity. But, as we have clearly seen: empirical history i s essentially indis­
tingui shable from nonhistory.
Also, Husserl judges it no more necessary in the Origin than i n the
Vienna Lecture or the Crisi to account, historcaly, for the birth of
philosophy which has conditioned that of geometry. This was the birth
of pure history. The origin of historicity (Geschichtlichkeit) will never be
dependent on a history (Historie) . Although the theoretical attitude may
be secondary and intermittent on the order of factuality, 1 54 it would be
fruitless to describe the phenomenological and i ntri nsic genesis of what
preci sely establ ishes the possibil ity for such a description. Thi s does
not mean, moreover, that it is i mpossible or useless to try an extrinsic
and "parallel" historical approach to thi s subject, utilizi ng all the pos­
sible factual givens (geographical, economic, cultural , sociological ,
psychological , and so forth) with the fnest competence, the utmost
methodological security, and without yielding to causalism, atomism,
and so on. Likewise , a facto-genetic description of the most ambitious
transcendental reduction can be tried, with the hel p of all available
empirical tool s . Such attempts would have their ful l value only insofar
as they would be conducted with the certainty that everything is spoken
of then except the reduction itsel, except the origin of philosophy and
history themselves and as such. In the best of cases, we speak of what is
strictly "parallel" to them.
From the moment Husserl is given both the pre scientifc cultural
world and the philosopher as conditions for geometry' s origi n, the ab­
sence of all concrete description of the institutor' s acts should not be
surprising. Nor di sappointing. Those conditions were indispensabl e,
but al so sufcient . Also, i n some very al lusive lines whi ch add nothing
to the previous static descriptions, the sense of the inaugural operation
i s exhausted. The fnitudes, which the protogeometer philosopher has
at hi s disposal (among the highest are "bound" idealiti es) and which he
perceives on an infnite horizon, " as formations developed out of praxis
and thought of in terms of perfection, clearly serve only as bases for a
new sort of praxi s out of which similarly named new forations grow.
It i s evident in advance that thi s new sort of formation wi l l be a product
arising out of an idealizing, spi ritual act, one of ' pure' thinking, which
has its materials in the designated universal pregivens of this factual
humanity and human surrounding world and creates ' i deal objecti viti es'
out of them" ( 1 79 [modifed] ) .
1
;4 On this cf. notably EJ, § 1 4, p. 65.
133
Introductin to the Origin of Geometry
Here we are , then, as a last recourse, before an idealizing operation
whose activity has never been studied for itsel f and whose conditions
are never to be so studied, since we are deal ing with�a radically institu­
tive operation. Thi s idealization i s that which , on the basi s of a sensible
ideality (the morphological type of "roundness, " for example) , makes a
higher, absolutely objective, exact , and nonsensible ideality occur-the
"ci rcle , " a " similarl y named [but] new" formationY5 I n order to reach
back and grasp again the species ( i . e. , the original aspect of sensible
morphological ideal ity) , we must constantly get free from geometrical
habits which tend to obfuscate it. In The Poetics of Space, concerning
the chapter entitled: "The Phenomenology of Roundness, " Gaston
Bachelard evokes this troublesome but necessary deception: " The dif­
culty that had to be overcome in writing thi s chapter was to avoid al l
geometrical evidence. " 1 5
6
Unl ike morphological ideal ity, exact ideality has been produced
without the essential aid of sensibility or imagination; it broke away by
a leap from every descripti ve mooring. Undoubtedl y this l eap drew its
support or appeal from sensible ideality; Hussrl always speaks of
geometry' s sensible " support, " "substrate, " or "basis" (Ideas I, §70,
p. 1 83) . 157 But these foundations are not the fundamental s ones, al-
1
;.; The same principle and notion of substructive idealization, but without substantial
supplementary explication, is found again and again from one end to the other of Hus­
sert ' s work. In particular: a) in the LI, I , 1 , § 1 8 , p. 302. There we read among others those
lines devoted to idealization and to which the Origin will add nothing: "The image . . .
provides only a foothold for intellectio. It ofers no genuine instance of our intended
pattern, only an instance of the sort of sensuous form which is the natural starting-point
for geometrical ' idealization' . In these intellectual thought-processes of geometry, the
ideal of a geometrical figure i s constituted, which is then expressed in the fixed meaning
of the defnitory expression. Actually to perform this intellectual process may be presup­
posed by our frst formation of primitive geometrical expressions and by our application
of them in knowledge, but not for their revived understanding and their continued
sigifcant use" ; b) in Ideas I, §74, pp. 1 90-91 ; c) in "Idealization and the Science of
Reality-The Mathematization of Nature" (Before 1 928), Appendix I I , in C, pp. 301 -1 4;
d) i nEl, § to, pp. 41 -46; e) inFTL, §96c, and Conclusion, pp. 243 and 291 -93; f) in C, §9a
naturally, but also in §36, where in summary is said: "These categorical features of the
life-world have the same names but are not concered, s to speak, with the theoretical
idealizations and the hypothetical substructions of the geometrician and the physicist"
(p. 1 40; our emphasis); and g) in Appendix V: "Objectivity and the World of Experi­
ence, " in C, pp. 343-5 1 .
1
56
The Poetics of Space, tf. Maria Iolas (Boston: Beacon, 1 964) , p. xxxv.
157 All these formulas are also encountered in the texts we just cited. The sensible type
serves as the foundation for geometry in the process of being constituted. Next, it will
only serve as an illustrative "auxiliary" or "adjunct" to a geometrical activity which
goes through it toward pure ideality.
132
Jacques Deric
this rif in the fnite, historical humanity, or rather historical civiliza­
tions, would onl y claim an empirical type of socio-athropological un­
ity. But, as we have clearly seen: empirical history i s essentially indis­
tingui shable from nonhistory.
Also, Husserl judges it no more necessary in the Origin than i n the
Vienna Lecture or the Crisi to account, historcaly, for the birth of
philosophy which has conditioned that of geometry. This was the birth
of pure history. The origin of historicity (Geschichtlichkeit) will never be
dependent on a history (Historie) . Although the theoretical attitude may
be secondary and intermittent on the order of factuality, 1 54 it would be
fruitless to describe the phenomenological and i ntri nsic genesis of what
preci sely establ ishes the possibil ity for such a description. Thi s does
not mean, moreover, that it is i mpossible or useless to try an extrinsic
and "parallel" historical approach to thi s subject, utilizi ng all the pos­
sible factual givens (geographical, economic, cultural , sociological ,
psychological , and so forth) with the fnest competence, the utmost
methodological security, and without yielding to causalism, atomism,
and so on. Likewise , a facto-genetic description of the most ambitious
transcendental reduction can be tried, with the hel p of all available
empirical tool s . Such attempts would have their ful l value only insofar
as they would be conducted with the certainty that everything is spoken
of then except the reduction itsel, except the origin of philosophy and
history themselves and as such. In the best of cases, we speak of what is
strictly "parallel" to them.
From the moment Husserl is given both the pre scientifc cultural
world and the philosopher as conditions for geometry' s origi n, the ab­
sence of all concrete description of the institutor' s acts should not be
surprising. Nor di sappointing. Those conditions were indispensabl e,
but al so sufcient . Also, i n some very al lusive lines whi ch add nothing
to the previous static descriptions, the sense of the inaugural operation
i s exhausted. The fnitudes, which the protogeometer philosopher has
at hi s disposal (among the highest are "bound" idealiti es) and which he
perceives on an infnite horizon, " as formations developed out of praxis
and thought of in terms of perfection, clearly serve only as bases for a
new sort of praxi s out of which similarly named new forations grow.
It i s evident in advance that thi s new sort of formation wi l l be a product
arising out of an idealizing, spi ritual act, one of ' pure' thinking, which
has its materials in the designated universal pregivens of this factual
humanity and human surrounding world and creates ' i deal objecti viti es'
out of them" ( 1 79 [modifed] ) .
1
;4 On this cf. notably EJ, § 1 4, p. 65.
133
Introductin to the Origin of Geometry
Here we are , then, as a last recourse, before an idealizing operation
whose activity has never been studied for itsel f and whose conditions
are never to be so studied, since we are deal ing with�a radically institu­
tive operation. Thi s idealization i s that which , on the basi s of a sensible
ideality (the morphological type of "roundness, " for example) , makes a
higher, absolutely objective, exact , and nonsensible ideality occur-the
"ci rcle , " a " similarl y named [but] new" formationY5 I n order to reach
back and grasp again the species ( i . e. , the original aspect of sensible
morphological ideal ity) , we must constantly get free from geometrical
habits which tend to obfuscate it. In The Poetics of Space, concerning
the chapter entitled: "The Phenomenology of Roundness, " Gaston
Bachelard evokes this troublesome but necessary deception: " The dif­
culty that had to be overcome in writing thi s chapter was to avoid al l
geometrical evidence. " 1 5
6
Unl ike morphological ideal ity, exact ideality has been produced
without the essential aid of sensibility or imagination; it broke away by
a leap from every descripti ve mooring. Undoubtedl y this l eap drew its
support or appeal from sensible ideality; Hussrl always speaks of
geometry' s sensible " support, " "substrate, " or "basis" (Ideas I, §70,
p. 1 83) . 157 But these foundations are not the fundamental s ones, al-
1
;.; The same principle and notion of substructive idealization, but without substantial
supplementary explication, is found again and again from one end to the other of Hus­
sert ' s work. In particular: a) in the LI, I , 1 , § 1 8 , p. 302. There we read among others those
lines devoted to idealization and to which the Origin will add nothing: "The image . . .
provides only a foothold for intellectio. It ofers no genuine instance of our intended
pattern, only an instance of the sort of sensuous form which is the natural starting-point
for geometrical ' idealization' . In these intellectual thought-processes of geometry, the
ideal of a geometrical figure i s constituted, which is then expressed in the fixed meaning
of the defnitory expression. Actually to perform this intellectual process may be presup­
posed by our frst formation of primitive geometrical expressions and by our application
of them in knowledge, but not for their revived understanding and their continued
sigifcant use" ; b) in Ideas I, §74, pp. 1 90-91 ; c) in "Idealization and the Science of
Reality-The Mathematization of Nature" (Before 1 928), Appendix I I , in C, pp. 301 -1 4;
d) i nEl, § to, pp. 41 -46; e) inFTL, §96c, and Conclusion, pp. 243 and 291 -93; f) in C, §9a
naturally, but also in §36, where in summary is said: "These categorical features of the
life-world have the same names but are not concered, s to speak, with the theoretical
idealizations and the hypothetical substructions of the geometrician and the physicist"
(p. 1 40; our emphasis); and g) in Appendix V: "Objectivity and the World of Experi­
ence, " in C, pp. 343-5 1 .
1
56
The Poetics of Space, tf. Maria Iolas (Boston: Beacon, 1 964) , p. xxxv.
157 All these formulas are also encountered in the texts we just cited. The sensible type
serves as the foundation for geometry in the process of being constituted. Next, it will
only serve as an illustrative "auxiliary" or "adjunct" to a geometrical activity which
goes through it toward pure ideality.
134
Jacques Derrida
taea,a tae |atte: ea,at aet te ¬ase tae ie:¬e: |e ie:,ettea | t .s ça:e
ta.as.a, taat . s :esçeas.||e ie: tae |eaç.a, acvaaee ei . cea|.zat.ea aac
ie: ,ee¬et:.ea| t:ata as saea 1ae . aaa,a:a| eaa:aete: ei tae .cea| . z.a,
aet. tae :ac.ea| aac . ::açt.ve i:eece¬ «a.ea taat aet ¬aa.iests. aac tae
cee.s.ve c. seeat.aa.ty «a..a aç:eets tae aet i:e¬ . ts çast eeac.t. eas. a||
ta.s a.ces tae .cea|.z.a, aet i:e¬ a ,eaea|e,.ea| cese:. çt.ea
,

|i tae ea:|.e: tests ce aet teaea as aay ¬e:e a|eat tae process ei
.cea| .zat.ea. a:e taey ¬e:e ç:ee.se as te tae orgin of the abilit te
.cea| .ze: |t cees aet see¬ se |a . ts ¬est eeae:ete cete:¬.aat.eas. tae
eçe:at.ea . s a|«ays ç:eseatec as a çassa,e te tae | .¬.t sta:t.a, i:e¬
aa anticipatory st:aeta:e ei .ateat.eaa|.ty. «e ,e |eyeac ¬e:çae·
| e,.ea| .cea|.ty te«a:c tae . cea| aac .ava:.aat çe|e ei aa . aia.te
açç:es.¬at.ea
nat ie: tae .ateat.eaa| aat.e.çat.ea te |eaç te tae .aia.te . .t ¬ast
already |e . cea| waat ta.s .cea| . zat.ea ei aat.e.çat.ea at eaee aa·
I �H
I n the same sense Gonseth notes: "The passage from the i ntuitive notion: the
intended line, to the ideal notion: the straight line, i s something completely indescriba­
ble" (Les Mathematiques et la realite: Essai sur la methode axiomatique [Pari s: Lib­
rairie Fel i x Alcan, 1 936] , p. 76).
1 �!I
To us the most specifc passages concering thi s seem to be the fol lowing:
A) "Geometrical concepts are 'ideal' concepts, they express something which one
cannot ' see' ; their 'origin, ' and therefore their content also, is essentially other than that
of the descriptive concepts as concepts which express the essential nature of t hings as
drawn di rectly from si mpl e i ntui ti on, and not anything ' ideal . ' Exact concepts have their
correlates i n essences, which have the character of 'Ideas ' in the Kantian sense . Over
against these I deas or ideal essences stand the morphological essences, as correlates of
descri pti ve concepts .
" That ideation . .
.
gi ves ideal essences as ideal 'limits, ' which cannot on principle be
found in any sensory intuit ion, to which on occasion morphological essences ' approxi­
mate more or l ess, without ever reaching them . . . " (Ideas I, �74, pp. 1 90-9 1 ; Husserl ' s
emphasi s) .
B) The text which follows, taken from the Crisis (§9a, p. 26) , i s of a more genetic style.
Here Husserl also shows himself more sensitive to the difculty of a description which, he
thi nks, sti l l remains to be done: "Without going more deeply into the essential intercon­
nections i nvol ved here (which has never been done systematically and is by no means
easy) , we can understand that, out of the praxis of perfecting, of freel y pressi ng toward
the horizons of conceivable (erdenklicher) perfecting ' again and again' (Immer-wieder),
limit-shapes emerge toward which the particular series of perfectings tend, as toward
i nvariant and never attainable poles. If we are interested in these ideal shapes and are
consistently engaged in determining them and in constructing new ones out of those
already determined, we are ' geometers. ' The same i s true of the broader sphere whi ch
includes the dimension of time: we are mathematicians of the ' pure' shapes whose uni­
versal form is the coideal i zed form of space-time. In place of real praxi s . . . we now
have an ideal praxis of ' pure thinking' which remains excl usi vel y within the realm of
pure limit-shapes . " Husserl ' s emphasi s.
135
Introductin to the Origin of Geometry
tae:.zes aac ç:ese:.|es . s tae ç:eseaee ie: eease. easaess ei aa Idea in
the Kantian sense. 1ae |atte: .s tae e|]eet ei aa ideation, a aa¬e uasse:|
euea ,.ves te .cea| .zat.ea aac «a.ea ¬ast |e c.st.a,a. saec i:e¬ .cea·
t.ea as tae .ata.t.ea ei aa esseaee ( Wesensschau) .
l oO
1ae c.ae:eaee |e·
t«eea taese t«e .ceat.eas . s eae eaa eeast.tate aa e|]eet as a e:eat.ea.
tae etae: eaa cete:¬.ae .t .a aa . ata.t.ea r:. ¬e:c.a| ,ee¬et:.ea| .cea·
t.ea. ie: esa¬ç|e. |:.a,s a|eat aa esseaee «a.ea c.c aet es. st |eie:e
tae .ceat.ea 1a.s .ceat.ea . s tae:eie:e ¬e:e historical. nat eaee tae
.cea| e|]eet . s eeast.tatec «.ta.a :eacy·¬ace ,ee¬et:y. tae
Wesensschau :e,a. as .ts :.,ats |t . s aet |y eaaaee taat tae sa¬e «e:c
ces.,aates t«e c.ae:eat eçe:at.eas .a |eta eases. tae e|]eet .s aa .::ea|
esseaee. a|taea,a aet at a|| . ¬a,.aa:y [antastique] . | a eeast.tatec
,ee¬et:y. tae Wesensschau ea|y :eçeats tae ç:ecaet.ve .cea| .zat.ea |i
t?e ,ee¬et:.ea| Wesensschau . s çess.||e ea|y |eeaase .cea| .z.a, .cea·
t.

a aa

already ç:ecaeec tae ,ee¬et:.ea| e|]eet . eeave:se| y. t|e
çn

e:c.a| çassa,e·te·tae·| .¬.t .s çess.||e ea| y .i ,a.cec |y aa esseaee
«a.ea eaa a| «ays |e aat.e.çatec aac taea :eee,a. zec. |eeaase a
truth ei ça:e sçaee .s .a ¡aest.ea 1aat .s «ay çassa,es te tae | . ¬.t a:e
aet te |e ceae a:|.t:a:. | y e: a.¬| ess| y 1aat .s «ay ,ee¬et:y .s ta. s
est:ae:c. aa:y eçe:at.ea tae e:eat.ea ei aa e.cet.e | t ie| |e«s taat
,

e

et:y s .aia.te a.ste:y «.|| a|«ays see .ts aa.ty ç:ese:. |ec |y tae
e.cet.. st:aeta:e ei a :e,. ea. e: ¬e:e ç:ee. se| y. |y tae aa.ty ei aa
a?st:

et
��
¬eat � �sçat.a|.ty, ei a :e,.ea 1a.s aa.ty ee:ta.a|y .s aet
�.ste

oea|

. .t .

e.nea|| y aaeaaa,ea||e nat .t .s ea| y tae aa. ty of tae
mi¬te a. stenea| ceve|eç¬eat ei tae e.cet.e ea||ec ,ee¬et:y |t is no­
thing eats.ce tae a.ste:y ei ,ee¬et:y .tse|i
Ðsseaee·| .¬.ts saççese taea aa eçea |e:.zea aac tae |:easta:ea,a
te«a:c tae .aia.te ei aa " immer wieder" e: aa " und so weiter, " «a.ea . s
tae ve:y ¬eve¬eat ei ¬atae¬at.ea| . cea|.zat.ea .a ,eae:a| | i tae st:ae·
ta:
� �
i tae "again and again" . s iaaca¬eata| ae:e. tae ç:. v. | e,ec
çes.t.ea ei t|e ç:eteat.eaa| c.¬eas.ea ei .ateat.eaa|.ty aac ei taat ei tae
iata:e .a tae eeast.tat.ea ei sçaee .a ,eae:a| ¬ast |e aesae«|ec,ec
1 60
Cf. Idees, § 74, pp. 235-36, n. 1 of translator.
1 61
On t he "again and agai n, " t he iterative "over and over again, " or t he "and so
forth" as fundamental forms of idealization, "since de facto no one can always again"
[take all the ideal i zations into consideration] (FTL, p. 1 88) , cf. FTL, §74, pp. 1 88-89; and
�. Bachelard
:
A Study ofHusserl's Logic [Part I I , Ch . 3] , pp. 1 1 9f. The "and so forth, "
masmuc� as I t belon�s t o the evident structure of the noema of the thing i n general, had
been copIOusl y descnbed i n Ideas I (cf. particularly § 1 49, pp. 379-83 , which sketches on
thi s a comparison between ideation, i ntuition of the I dea and of the "and so forth, " and
pure intuition i n the Kantian sense, whose ideation would only be phenomenological
clarifcation) .
134
Jacques Derrida
taea,a tae |atte: ea,at aet te ¬ase tae ie:¬e: |e ie:,ettea | t .s ça:e
ta.as.a, taat . s :esçeas.||e ie: tae |eaç.a, acvaaee ei . cea|.zat.ea aac
ie: ,ee¬et:.ea| t:ata as saea 1ae . aaa,a:a| eaa:aete: ei tae .cea| . z.a,
aet. tae :ac.ea| aac . ::açt.ve i:eece¬ «a.ea taat aet ¬aa.iests. aac tae
cee.s.ve c. seeat.aa.ty «a..a aç:eets tae aet i:e¬ . ts çast eeac.t. eas. a||
ta.s a.ces tae .cea|.z.a, aet i:e¬ a ,eaea|e,.ea| cese:. çt.ea
,

|i tae ea:|.e: tests ce aet teaea as aay ¬e:e a|eat tae process ei
.cea| .zat.ea. a:e taey ¬e:e ç:ee.se as te tae orgin of the abilit te
.cea| .ze: |t cees aet see¬ se |a . ts ¬est eeae:ete cete:¬.aat.eas. tae
eçe:at.ea . s a|«ays ç:eseatec as a çassa,e te tae | .¬.t sta:t.a, i:e¬
aa anticipatory st:aeta:e ei .ateat.eaa|.ty. «e ,e |eyeac ¬e:çae·
| e,.ea| .cea|.ty te«a:c tae . cea| aac .ava:.aat çe|e ei aa . aia.te
açç:es.¬at.ea
nat ie: tae .ateat.eaa| aat.e.çat.ea te |eaç te tae .aia.te . .t ¬ast
already |e . cea| waat ta.s .cea| . zat.ea ei aat.e.çat.ea at eaee aa·
I �H
I n the same sense Gonseth notes: "The passage from the i ntuitive notion: the
intended line, to the ideal notion: the straight line, i s something completely indescriba­
ble" (Les Mathematiques et la realite: Essai sur la methode axiomatique [Pari s: Lib­
rairie Fel i x Alcan, 1 936] , p. 76).
1 �!I
To us the most specifc passages concering thi s seem to be the fol lowing:
A) "Geometrical concepts are 'ideal' concepts, they express something which one
cannot ' see' ; their 'origin, ' and therefore their content also, is essentially other than that
of the descriptive concepts as concepts which express the essential nature of t hings as
drawn di rectly from si mpl e i ntui ti on, and not anything ' ideal . ' Exact concepts have their
correlates i n essences, which have the character of 'Ideas ' in the Kantian sense . Over
against these I deas or ideal essences stand the morphological essences, as correlates of
descri pti ve concepts .
" That ideation . .
.
gi ves ideal essences as ideal 'limits, ' which cannot on principle be
found in any sensory intuit ion, to which on occasion morphological essences ' approxi­
mate more or l ess, without ever reaching them . . . " (Ideas I, �74, pp. 1 90-9 1 ; Husserl ' s
emphasi s) .
B) The text which follows, taken from the Crisis (§9a, p. 26) , i s of a more genetic style.
Here Husserl also shows himself more sensitive to the difculty of a description which, he
thi nks, sti l l remains to be done: "Without going more deeply into the essential intercon­
nections i nvol ved here (which has never been done systematically and is by no means
easy) , we can understand that, out of the praxis of perfecting, of freel y pressi ng toward
the horizons of conceivable (erdenklicher) perfecting ' again and again' (Immer-wieder),
limit-shapes emerge toward which the particular series of perfectings tend, as toward
i nvariant and never attainable poles. If we are interested in these ideal shapes and are
consistently engaged in determining them and in constructing new ones out of those
already determined, we are ' geometers. ' The same i s true of the broader sphere whi ch
includes the dimension of time: we are mathematicians of the ' pure' shapes whose uni­
versal form is the coideal i zed form of space-time. In place of real praxi s . . . we now
have an ideal praxis of ' pure thinking' which remains excl usi vel y within the realm of
pure limit-shapes . " Husserl ' s emphasi s.
135
Introductin to the Origin of Geometry
tae:.zes aac ç:ese:.|es . s tae ç:eseaee ie: eease. easaess ei aa Idea in
the Kantian sense. 1ae |atte: .s tae e|]eet ei aa ideation, a aa¬e uasse:|
euea ,.ves te .cea| .zat.ea aac «a.ea ¬ast |e c.st.a,a. saec i:e¬ .cea·
t.ea as tae .ata.t.ea ei aa esseaee ( Wesensschau) .
l oO
1ae c.ae:eaee |e·
t«eea taese t«e .ceat.eas . s eae eaa eeast.tate aa e|]eet as a e:eat.ea.
tae etae: eaa cete:¬.ae .t .a aa . ata.t.ea r:. ¬e:c.a| ,ee¬et:.ea| .cea·
t.ea. ie: esa¬ç|e. |:.a,s a|eat aa esseaee «a.ea c.c aet es. st |eie:e
tae .ceat.ea 1a.s .ceat.ea . s tae:eie:e ¬e:e historical. nat eaee tae
.cea| e|]eet . s eeast.tatec «.ta.a :eacy·¬ace ,ee¬et:y. tae
Wesensschau :e,a. as .ts :.,ats |t . s aet |y eaaaee taat tae sa¬e «e:c
ces.,aates t«e c.ae:eat eçe:at.eas .a |eta eases. tae e|]eet .s aa .::ea|
esseaee. a|taea,a aet at a|| . ¬a,.aa:y [antastique] . | a eeast.tatec
,ee¬et:y. tae Wesensschau ea|y :eçeats tae ç:ecaet.ve .cea| .zat.ea |i
t?e ,ee¬et:.ea| Wesensschau . s çess.||e ea|y |eeaase .cea| .z.a, .cea·
t.

a aa

already ç:ecaeec tae ,ee¬et:.ea| e|]eet . eeave:se| y. t|e
çn

e:c.a| çassa,e·te·tae·| .¬.t .s çess.||e ea| y .i ,a.cec |y aa esseaee
«a.ea eaa a| «ays |e aat.e.çatec aac taea :eee,a. zec. |eeaase a
truth ei ça:e sçaee .s .a ¡aest.ea 1aat .s «ay çassa,es te tae | . ¬.t a:e
aet te |e ceae a:|.t:a:. | y e: a.¬| ess| y 1aat .s «ay ,ee¬et:y .s ta. s
est:ae:c. aa:y eçe:at.ea tae e:eat.ea ei aa e.cet.e | t ie| |e«s taat
,

e

et:y s .aia.te a.ste:y «.|| a|«ays see .ts aa.ty ç:ese:. |ec |y tae
e.cet.. st:aeta:e ei a :e,. ea. e: ¬e:e ç:ee. se| y. |y tae aa.ty ei aa
a?st:

et
��
¬eat � �sçat.a|.ty, ei a :e,.ea 1a.s aa.ty ee:ta.a|y .s aet
�.ste

oea|

. .t .

e.nea|| y aaeaaa,ea||e nat .t .s ea| y tae aa. ty of tae
mi¬te a. stenea| ceve|eç¬eat ei tae e.cet.e ea||ec ,ee¬et:y |t is no­
thing eats.ce tae a.ste:y ei ,ee¬et:y .tse|i
Ðsseaee·| .¬.ts saççese taea aa eçea |e:.zea aac tae |:easta:ea,a
te«a:c tae .aia.te ei aa " immer wieder" e: aa " und so weiter, " «a.ea . s
tae ve:y ¬eve¬eat ei ¬atae¬at.ea| . cea|.zat.ea .a ,eae:a| | i tae st:ae·
ta:
� �
i tae "again and again" . s iaaca¬eata| ae:e. tae ç:. v. | e,ec
çes.t.ea ei t|e ç:eteat.eaa| c.¬eas.ea ei .ateat.eaa|.ty aac ei taat ei tae
iata:e .a tae eeast.tat.ea ei sçaee .a ,eae:a| ¬ast |e aesae«|ec,ec
1 60
Cf. Idees, § 74, pp. 235-36, n. 1 of translator.
1 61
On t he "again and agai n, " t he iterative "over and over again, " or t he "and so
forth" as fundamental forms of idealization, "since de facto no one can always again"
[take all the ideal i zations into consideration] (FTL, p. 1 88) , cf. FTL, §74, pp. 1 88-89; and
�. Bachelard
:
A Study ofHusserl's Logic [Part I I , Ch . 3] , pp. 1 1 9f. The "and so forth, "
masmuc� as I t belon�s t o the evident structure of the noema of the thing i n general, had
been copIOusl y descnbed i n Ideas I (cf. particularly § 1 49, pp. 379-83 , which sketches on
thi s a comparison between ideation, i ntuition of the I dea and of the "and so forth, " and
pure intuition i n the Kantian sense, whose ideation would only be phenomenological
clarifcation) .
136
Jacques Derrid
nai .a eççes.i.ea ie iae | .vec sçaee .a «a.ea iae .aceia.ieaess ei iae
acam|:ai.eas .s a i:aaseeaceaee iaai esseai.a||y eaa aeve: |e mas·
ie:ec, iae .cea| .zec sçaee ei maiaemai.es a||e«s as ie ,e .mmec.aie| y
ie iae . aia.ie | .m.i ei «aai . s . a iaei aa aaia.saec mevemeai. 1aas, iae
i:aaseeaceaee ei eve:y | .vec iaia:e eaa |e a|se|aie|y açç:eç:.aiec aac
:ecaeec .a iae ve:y ,esia:e «a.ea i:ees iaai iaia:e ie: aa .aia.ie ce·
ve|eçmeai. Haiaemai.ea| sçaee ae |ea,e: sae«s «aai sa:i:e ea| | s
i:aasçaeaemeaa|.iy. 1ae ceve|eçmeais ei maiaemai.ea| sçaee «. ||
aeve: de jure eseaçe as. iaai . s «ay .i m. ,ai seem me:e :eassa:.a,,
me:e our own. nai .s iaai aei a|se |eeaase .i aas |eeeme me:e ie:e.,a
ie as:
we:e «e i e :esçeei aac i e :eçeai iaese aame:eas mec.ai.eas eaee
a,a.a, «e «ea|c iaas |e |ec |aes eaee me:e ie«a:c ç:.me:c.a| iemçe:·
a|.iy 1ae a,a.a aac a,a.a «a.ea aaacs eve: exaei.iace .ase:.|es iae
acveai ei maiaemai.es «.ia.a iae eia.ee·ie|ee|e,.ea| ç:ese:.çi.ea ei iae
.aia.ie iass. ~ac iae |aiie: . s ,:eaacec, iaea, .a iae mevemeai ei
ç:.me:c.a| çaeaemeae|e,.ea| iemçe:a|.zai.ea, i «a.ea iae i.v.a, r:e·
seai ei eease.easaess ae|cs . ise|i as iae ç:.me:c.a| ~|se|aie ea|y .a aa
.aceia.ie ç:eieai.ea, aa.maiec aac aa.iec |y iae icea (in the Kantian
sense) ei iae ieia| aax ei |.vec exçe:.eaee. · · ~s «e aave seea, iae
i.v.a, r:eseai .s iae çaeaemeae|e,.ea| a|se|aie eai ei «a.ea i eaaaei
,e |eeaase .i . s iaai .a «a.ea, ie«a:c «a.ea, aac sia:i.a, i:em «a.ea
eve:y ,e.a, eai . s eaeeiec. 1ae i.v.a, r:eseai aas iae .::ecae.||e
e:.,.aa|.iy ei a Ne«, iae ,:eaac ei a ue:e, ea|y .i .i :eia. as ,.a e:ce: ie
|e c.si.a,a.saa||e i:em .i, iae çasi Ne« as such, . . e . , as iae çasi ç:e·
, ,;� Cf. the important §83 of Ideas I : "Apprehension of the Uni tary Stream of Experi­
ence as ' Idea, ' ' ' pp. 220-22. Thi s Idea i s the common root of the theoretical and
the ethical. Finite and objective ethical values are undoubtedly constituted and
grounded, according to Husserl, by a theoretical subject. Thi s point has been very accu­
rately brought to light by Emmanuel Levinas (The Theor of Intuition in Husserl' s
Phenomenology, tr. Andre Orianne [Evanston: Northwester University Press, 1 973] ,
pp. 1 33-34) and by Gaston Berger (The Cogito in Husserl's Philosophy, pp. 8082). But
on a deeper level , theoretical consciousness i s nothing other, in itself and thoroughly
understood, than a practical consciousness, the consciousness of an infnite task and the
site of absolute value for itself and for humanity as rational subjectivity. Cf. , for example:
"Philosophy as Mankind' s Self-Refection, " Appendix IV in C, pp. 335-4 1 . There we
read: mankind "is rational in seeking to be rational . . . reason allows for no diferentia­
tion into ' theoretical , ' ' practical , ' '
a
esthetic' . . . being human is teleological being and
an ought-to-be . . . " (p. 341 ) . Also cf. CM, §41 , p. 88. The uni ty of Reason in all its
usages would manifest itself fully for Husserl in the theoretical project (rather than in the
practical function, as would be the case for Kant). On this point , a systematic confronta­
tion between Husserl and Kant on the one hand and Husserl and Fichte on the other
would be necessary.
137
Introductin to the Origin of Geometry
seai ei aa a|se|aie e:.,.a, .asieac ei ça:e|y aac s.mç|y saeeeec.a, .i .a
aa e|]eei.ve i.me nai ia. s :eieai.ea «.|| aei |e çess.||e «.iaeai a
ç:eieai.ea «a.ea .s .is ve:y ie:m i:si, |eeaase .i :eia.as a Ne« «a.ea
«as . ise|i aa e:.,.aa| ç:e]eei, .ise|i :eia.a.a, aaeiae: ç:e]eei , aac se ea.
aexi, |eeaase iae :eieai.ea .s a|«ays iae esseai.a| mec.ieai.ea ei a
Ne« a|«ays .a sasçease , a|«ays ieac.a, ie«a:c a aexi Ne«. 1ae
~|se|aie ei iae i.v.a, r:eseai , iaea, .s ea|y iae . aceia.ie Ha.aieaaaee
,iae Ne«aess} ei ia.s cea||e eave|eç.a,. nai ia. s Ha.aieaaaee . ise|i
aççea:s as such, .i .s iae Living r:eseai , aac .i aas iae phenomenological
sease ei a consciousness ea|y .i iae aa.iy ei ia.s mevemeai .s ,.vea as
indefnite aac .i . is sease ei . aceia.ieaess .s announced .a iae r:eseai
, . . e . , .i iae eçeaaess ei iae .aia.ie iaia:e . s, as saea, a çess.|.|.iy
experienced [vecue ] as sease aac :.,ai, . Deaia «.|| aei |e eem·
ç:eaeacec as sease |ai as a iaei exi:.as.e ie iae mevemeai ei iem·
çe:a|.zai. ea. 1ae aa.iy ei .aia.iy, iae eeac.i.ea ie: iaai iemçe:a|.za·
i.ea, masi iaea |e thought, s.aee .i .s aaaeaaeec «.iaeai aççea:.a, aac
«.iaeai |e.a, eeaia.aec .a a r:eseai. 1a. s iaea,ai aa.iy, «a.ea mases
iae çaeaemeaa|.zai.ea ei i.me as saea çess.||e, .s iae:eie:e a|«ays iae
icea .a iae kaai.aa sease «a.ea aeve: çaeaemeaa|.zes . ise|i
1ae aaia. saecaess ei uasse:| s :eaeei.eas ea ç:.me:c.a|
iemçe:a|.iy-iae.: :.eaaess, |ai a|se, as . s sa. c, iae c.ssai.siaei.ea iaey
|eii iae. : aaiae:-aas |ea, |eea aace:see:ec ti iae maaase:.µis ei
Group C iaas ]asi|, iase.aaie Hasse:|
·
s eemmeaiaie:s , . s iaai aei |e
eaase iaese maaase:.µis ieaea ea iae mesi µ:eieaac :e,.ea ei
µaeaemeae|e,.ea| :eaeei.ea, «ae:e carsaess :. sss |e.a, ae |ea,e: iae
ç:ev. s.ea ei aççea:.a, e: iae | e|c «a.ea eae:s .ise|i ie çaeaemeaa| |.,ai.
|ai iae ie:eve: aeeia:aa| sea:ee ei iae | .,ai .ise|i: ~:e aei iae icea aac
iae . cea|.z.a, a|.|.iy, «a.ea exemç|a:. | y eeeaçy as ae:e as iae e:.,.a ei
maiaemai.es, seçi |aes .a ia.s esseai.a| ca:saess:
1ae icea .a iae kaai.aa sease, iae :e,a|ai.ve çe|e ie: eve:y . aia.ie
iass, assames c.ve:se |ai aaa|e,eas iaaei.eas iaai a:e cee.s.ve ai sev·
e:a| çe.ais a|ea, uasse:| s .i.ae:a:y. raa| x.eeea: ve:y ç:ee.se|y :ee·
e,a.zes .a iae icea iae mec.ai.a, :e|e |ei«eea eease.easaess aac
a.sie:y. ' Ne«, «a.|e eemç|eie| y ma:s.a, .i «.ia iae a.,aesi aac
mesi eeasiaai ie|ee|e,.ea| c.,a. iy. «a.|e eemç|eie|y ,:aai.a, a |e|.ev.a,
aiieai.ea ie «aai .i eeac.i.eas, uasse:| aeve: mace iae icea itsel iae
theme ei a çaeaemeae|e,.ea| cese:.çi.ea. ue aeve: c.:eei|y ceiaec .is
iyçe ei ev.ceaee «.ia.a çaeaemeae|e,y, «aeæ 'prnciple ofal prnci­
pies" aac a:eaei,µa| ie:m ei ev.ceaee a:e iae .mmec.aie µ:eseaee ei
1 63
"Husserl and the Sense of History, " in Husserl: An Analysis, p. 1 45.
136
Jacques Derrid
nai .a eççes.i.ea ie iae | .vec sçaee .a «a.ea iae .aceia.ieaess ei iae
acam|:ai.eas .s a i:aaseeaceaee iaai esseai.a||y eaa aeve: |e mas·
ie:ec, iae .cea| .zec sçaee ei maiaemai.es a||e«s as ie ,e .mmec.aie| y
ie iae . aia.ie | .m.i ei «aai . s . a iaei aa aaia.saec mevemeai. 1aas, iae
i:aaseeaceaee ei eve:y | .vec iaia:e eaa |e a|se|aie|y açç:eç:.aiec aac
:ecaeec .a iae ve:y ,esia:e «a.ea i:ees iaai iaia:e ie: aa .aia.ie ce·
ve|eçmeai. Haiaemai.ea| sçaee ae |ea,e: sae«s «aai sa:i:e ea| | s
i:aasçaeaemeaa|.iy. 1ae ceve|eçmeais ei maiaemai.ea| sçaee «. ||
aeve: de jure eseaçe as. iaai . s «ay .i m. ,ai seem me:e :eassa:.a,,
me:e our own. nai .s iaai aei a|se |eeaase .i aas |eeeme me:e ie:e.,a
ie as:
we:e «e i e :esçeei aac i e :eçeai iaese aame:eas mec.ai.eas eaee
a,a.a, «e «ea|c iaas |e |ec |aes eaee me:e ie«a:c ç:.me:c.a| iemçe:·
a|.iy 1ae a,a.a aac a,a.a «a.ea aaacs eve: exaei.iace .ase:.|es iae
acveai ei maiaemai.es «.ia.a iae eia.ee·ie|ee|e,.ea| ç:ese:.çi.ea ei iae
.aia.ie iass. ~ac iae |aiie: . s ,:eaacec, iaea, .a iae mevemeai ei
ç:.me:c.a| çaeaemeae|e,.ea| iemçe:a|.zai.ea, i «a.ea iae i.v.a, r:e·
seai ei eease.easaess ae|cs . ise|i as iae ç:.me:c.a| ~|se|aie ea|y .a aa
.aceia.ie ç:eieai.ea, aa.maiec aac aa.iec |y iae icea (in the Kantian
sense) ei iae ieia| aax ei |.vec exçe:.eaee. · · ~s «e aave seea, iae
i.v.a, r:eseai .s iae çaeaemeae|e,.ea| a|se|aie eai ei «a.ea i eaaaei
,e |eeaase .i . s iaai .a «a.ea, ie«a:c «a.ea, aac sia:i.a, i:em «a.ea
eve:y ,e.a, eai . s eaeeiec. 1ae i.v.a, r:eseai aas iae .::ecae.||e
e:.,.aa|.iy ei a Ne«, iae ,:eaac ei a ue:e, ea|y .i .i :eia. as ,.a e:ce: ie
|e c.si.a,a.saa||e i:em .i, iae çasi Ne« as such, . . e . , as iae çasi ç:e·
, ,;� Cf. the important §83 of Ideas I : "Apprehension of the Uni tary Stream of Experi­
ence as ' Idea, ' ' ' pp. 220-22. Thi s Idea i s the common root of the theoretical and
the ethical. Finite and objective ethical values are undoubtedly constituted and
grounded, according to Husserl, by a theoretical subject. Thi s point has been very accu­
rately brought to light by Emmanuel Levinas (The Theor of Intuition in Husserl' s
Phenomenology, tr. Andre Orianne [Evanston: Northwester University Press, 1 973] ,
pp. 1 33-34) and by Gaston Berger (The Cogito in Husserl's Philosophy, pp. 8082). But
on a deeper level , theoretical consciousness i s nothing other, in itself and thoroughly
understood, than a practical consciousness, the consciousness of an infnite task and the
site of absolute value for itself and for humanity as rational subjectivity. Cf. , for example:
"Philosophy as Mankind' s Self-Refection, " Appendix IV in C, pp. 335-4 1 . There we
read: mankind "is rational in seeking to be rational . . . reason allows for no diferentia­
tion into ' theoretical , ' ' practical , ' '
a
esthetic' . . . being human is teleological being and
an ought-to-be . . . " (p. 341 ) . Also cf. CM, §41 , p. 88. The uni ty of Reason in all its
usages would manifest itself fully for Husserl in the theoretical project (rather than in the
practical function, as would be the case for Kant). On this point , a systematic confronta­
tion between Husserl and Kant on the one hand and Husserl and Fichte on the other
would be necessary.
137
Introductin to the Origin of Geometry
seai ei aa a|se|aie e:.,.a, .asieac ei ça:e|y aac s.mç|y saeeeec.a, .i .a
aa e|]eei.ve i.me nai ia. s :eieai.ea «.|| aei |e çess.||e «.iaeai a
ç:eieai.ea «a.ea .s .is ve:y ie:m i:si, |eeaase .i :eia.as a Ne« «a.ea
«as . ise|i aa e:.,.aa| ç:e]eei, .ise|i :eia.a.a, aaeiae: ç:e]eei , aac se ea.
aexi, |eeaase iae :eieai.ea .s a|«ays iae esseai.a| mec.ieai.ea ei a
Ne« a|«ays .a sasçease , a|«ays ieac.a, ie«a:c a aexi Ne«. 1ae
~|se|aie ei iae i.v.a, r:eseai , iaea, .s ea|y iae . aceia.ie Ha.aieaaaee
,iae Ne«aess} ei ia.s cea||e eave|eç.a,. nai ia. s Ha.aieaaaee . ise|i
aççea:s as such, .i .s iae Living r:eseai , aac .i aas iae phenomenological
sease ei a consciousness ea|y .i iae aa.iy ei ia.s mevemeai .s ,.vea as
indefnite aac .i . is sease ei . aceia.ieaess .s announced .a iae r:eseai
, . . e . , .i iae eçeaaess ei iae .aia.ie iaia:e . s, as saea, a çess.|.|.iy
experienced [vecue ] as sease aac :.,ai, . Deaia «.|| aei |e eem·
ç:eaeacec as sease |ai as a iaei exi:.as.e ie iae mevemeai ei iem·
çe:a|.zai. ea. 1ae aa.iy ei .aia.iy, iae eeac.i.ea ie: iaai iemçe:a|.za·
i.ea, masi iaea |e thought, s.aee .i .s aaaeaaeec «.iaeai aççea:.a, aac
«.iaeai |e.a, eeaia.aec .a a r:eseai. 1a. s iaea,ai aa.iy, «a.ea mases
iae çaeaemeaa|.zai.ea ei i.me as saea çess.||e, .s iae:eie:e a|«ays iae
icea .a iae kaai.aa sease «a.ea aeve: çaeaemeaa|.zes . ise|i
1ae aaia. saecaess ei uasse:| s :eaeei.eas ea ç:.me:c.a|
iemçe:a|.iy-iae.: :.eaaess, |ai a|se, as . s sa. c, iae c.ssai.siaei.ea iaey
|eii iae. : aaiae:-aas |ea, |eea aace:see:ec ti iae maaase:.µis ei
Group C iaas ]asi|, iase.aaie Hasse:|
·
s eemmeaiaie:s , . s iaai aei |e
eaase iaese maaase:.µis ieaea ea iae mesi µ:eieaac :e,.ea ei
µaeaemeae|e,.ea| :eaeei.ea, «ae:e carsaess :. sss |e.a, ae |ea,e: iae
ç:ev. s.ea ei aççea:.a, e: iae | e|c «a.ea eae:s .ise|i ie çaeaemeaa| |.,ai.
|ai iae ie:eve: aeeia:aa| sea:ee ei iae | .,ai .ise|i: ~:e aei iae icea aac
iae . cea|.z.a, a|.|.iy, «a.ea exemç|a:. | y eeeaçy as ae:e as iae e:.,.a ei
maiaemai.es, seçi |aes .a ia.s esseai.a| ca:saess:
1ae icea .a iae kaai.aa sease, iae :e,a|ai.ve çe|e ie: eve:y . aia.ie
iass, assames c.ve:se |ai aaa|e,ea