The Tain of the Mirror


The Tain of the Mirror
Dewida and tbe Philosophy
of Reflection

* l-4 #

RodoIphe Gaschi

Harvatd University


Cambridgq Massachusetts and London, England

Gpy.;ght 8 1986 by rhe Raiht and helb af Hnwmrd C o l g Nl ri&s mmd kinred in rhe Unrtcd h a t - of America Fifth printins 1997

This book i s p r i n d an a d - f m paper, and ia bindii mmdali hmw brm c h m m for s t m & and dmbitity.
Library af Cenpss Caabgaa-in-P.blL.rian Data


The nin of the mirmr.
Bibliography: p. Indudes index.
1. Dcmdp. Jactpes. 1. Title, BZ430.iMU4C37 1986 194 a64673 ISBN 0-674-86700-9 (dorh) ISBN 0-674-86701-3 (paper)



I am grateful t o David B. Allison, Man Bass, Barbara JobJohn P. b v y , Gayatri C. Spivak, and others who have translated Derrida’s wotk into English. Thanks to their expert trandations, I was able to complete my own work without dumring the text with numerous refuencrs to Dcrrida’s French. G r a c e f u l acknowledgment is made to the Johns Hopkins Univcrsity Press for permission to quote from Jacques Derrida, Of Grmnntatology,mans. Gayaui C. Spivak, as well as m the Northwcsrrrn University k e s r for pmnission to U M Jacques Dcrrida, Speech mrd Phenomenon. trans. David B. Allison. Acknowledgment is also made to the University af Chicago Prns for lines quoted f r o m the following works of Jacques Dmida: D*mninntim. trans. Barbara Johnson, copyright 0 1981 by the University of Chicago; Marghs ofPh’hilosophy, tram. Alan Bass, copyright 8 1982 by ‘ 7 h c University o f Chicago; Posirions. trans. AIan Bass, copyright 0 1981 by The University of Chicago; and Writing old Diflmmm, trans. Alan Bass, copyright 0 I978 by The University of Chicago. 1 am ptehl m Jacques Dmida’s English publishers for permission to q u a frwm his work, as follows: T h e Hancsrcr Prcnr, Murpinr of Philosophy, t r a m . A l a n B a q Rouddlg and Kegan Paul, Writing und Difference; and T h e Arhlone Press, Pusitions and Dissenriwrion. I would also like t o thank the Stare University o f New Yo& h s s for pemissiw t o q u m from the two following works by Gcorg WilhcIm Wedrich Hcgel: The Diffbetwmn Ficbte’s a d Scbelling’s Systm offpbihopby, trans. W.Czrf and H.5. Harris, translation copytight 0 1977 by State Universiq of New York; and Fdth m d Kriwledge, trans. W.W a n d H. S. Matis, translation copyright Q 1977 by State University of New York.



Afirstdrafttfthefitsttwopamafrhis book warwrittenin 198182, while 1 held an American Council of Learned Societies fellowship. Without the assistance and support o f the State University of New York a t Buffalo, it would not have been easy ta complete this project. Several sections of rhc book h a w bwn published independently. A first version of Chapter 6 has appeared in Italian under the title “Eterologia e decostrurione,” ‘tram. Stefan0 Rosso, in Rivista di Estetiur. 25, no. 17 (1984). A section of Chapter 9 entitled “Infrastructures and Sysremaricity” has becn publishcd in Deconstruction and Philosophy, ed.John Sallis (Chicago: University o f Chicago Press, 1986). Part of Chapter 1 I has been printed under the tide “Quasi-Meraphoricity and the Question of Being,” in Hermmsurics a d DeconshrrEtion. cd. Hugh J. Silverman and Dm lhdc (Albany: Statc University o f New York Press, 1985}. Very special thanks are due ro TWO ppIe-ChcryI Lester and Philip Barnard-for the mericulouscarcandconrinual gcncrosiry with time and advice with which they prepared the manuscript for publication. Many ,improvements in style and substance are the resuit of their discerning eye. Finally, I am deeply indebted to Bronislawa Karst for the patience with which she awaited this b w k , and f o r so much more.



Toward the Limits o f Reflection
I. DdiningRRdleaion 2. The Philosophy o f Rdkcrion 3. The Sclf-DcmUcd~ Of R ~ t l d ~ n Isobted Reflection 35
Pbiloropbiurl R&ction 36 Spccvlatiw or Abrolufe R&ctiou




4. Identity, Totality, and Mys~ic Rapnuc 5. Pon-Hqdian Criticism of R d k x i t i q 6. Beyond Reflection: The Interlacing of HetcroIw



On Deconstruction
7. A h , DrrmrLtEon. DccommKtion

8. Dcconsmmctive Merhodology
The Pmpnedentics of Dcconrtmction 124
Aaoinst Nentrnlify 136
Inhartrvcrvrnl Acanmtmg 142 7hc hfarpnl IrrCrriptmn offbe Ground 154 Thr B l p a r r e Operarmn of Dcmrmvnia 163


.Vttl .. The Inscription of Universality Writing 271 Text 278 Metophor 293 255 271 Notes Bibliography Index 321 336 141 . 9. Literature in Parentheses I I . A System beyond Being CONTENTS 177 T h e Infrastrucrurat Cham 185 The Generol Theory of Doubling 225 The General S v s t m 239 PART THREE Literature or PhiIosophy? 1 0 .

Dismhatim . philowphy king iscapableolimcribing (mmprchcnding)what isoutsidr ir curhemkc r h m through rhc appropriating rsrimilation o f a ncptivc image of it. Jnquw Dd&. rhc /om o f an aposteriority or an empiricism.The Tain o f the Mirror Thcb&mughnnvrrdndicllothamrr(wi& ITS+ to tfit philomphid amapt--of the concept) always n k a within philosophy. and dissemination is written on the back-the f a i n of that mirmr. But his is an &MI of the speculrr nature of philcmphicnl rekction.

S. mns. C. Johnson (Chicago: Univmiy of Chicago Press. 111. AF Duqucsne.. trans. 1980) followed br page citations. rrans. 1976) Positions. A. A. B. Wcbcr (Balrimore: Johns Hopkins University P r a s . P. 1981) “Limited Brc. pp.1978) P. Allison ‘(Evancron. 162-254 Margins of Philosophy. B.ARBREVIATIONS OF WORKS B Y JACQUES DERRIDA T h e abhwisdnns that appcar in the text. Lcavy (Stony Brook. J. 1977).Y. J. Bass (Chicago Univmiry of Chicggo Press. trans. N. rrans. 19az1 Edmmd Husserl’s Origin of Ceometty: An Snrductiori. B. Bass ‘(Chicago: University of Chicago P . Spivak (Baftimore: Johns Hopkins D L? M 0 OG Universiry Press. iranr. 1971) S Spars: Nietrrchc’s Styles. . refer to the following worts by Jacques Derrida: The Archmrogy of rhe Frivolour. trans. Harlow (Chicap: University of Chicago Press.” in Glyph 2.: Nicholas Hays. 1973) VP L a Vgriri en peinrure (Paris: Flammarion. rrans. G. 1978) W D Wriring and Differace. 1978) Of G r u m m t o b ~trans . P . D . Bass [Chicago: University o f Chicago Prcss. Ixavy (Pittsburgh: Distmindion.: Northwestern University Press. 1979) SP Speech and Phenomena. trans. A.

Above all. by mntrast. For the philosuphcrs in question. For the lirerary critics. such an assertion is one of uncompromising . Yet my exposition of Derrida’s w r i t i n g s is manifestly philosophical.Inrroduction I Any attempt to interprcrJacques Derrida”swritings in chc perspecrive of philosophy as a discipline is bound to stir controversy. what Dertida has tu say is mediated . such problcmatization is identified with one special technique of argumentation. b a d on the fact hat Derrida has writren extemively on literary works and has also thmatized a number of concepts crucial to the literary-critical enterprise. If philosophy is understood in this manner. To miect such a characterization of Derrida’s work does not.” writing as literary-to exclude them from the sphere o that is. If philosophy is understood as mnstitutcd by a horizon o f probiematizariw exclusively determined by the traditional desiderata o f a canon o f issucs. First. for It is bawd on what they perceive as an incompatibility with philosophical sobriety. Indeed. many philosophers and literary critics alike agree that Derrida’s work is literary in essence. a lack of philosophical problematics and argumentarion. then Dcrrida’r writings arc certainly not philosophical. language. one that cannot do justice to the complexity of the Derridean enterprise. or to recuperate them for literary criticism-is a feeble attempt to mastcr his work. howcvcr. the purpose of this book camat be simply to reapprupnatc Derrida for philosophy. imply that it must therefore be philosophical. in particular. philosophical discussion. the qualificadon l i m q refers to what is viewcd a5 Derrida’s playful style and fine sensibility to the very matter o f literature: that is. however. the epithet literary is a mark of distinction.reproof. and if. Yet to judge Derrida’s f ‘krious. for at least two reasons.

Second. more important. my exposition o to the exrenr rhac we understand his debate with the condirian o f philosophical generality to be “philosophicat’* in intent. whereby f perception themselves become the philosophical gcsture and mode o f Derrida’s work is philosophical thematic. bur rather to an atrempt at positively recasting philosophy’s necessity and possibility in view of its incvirable inconsisrencies. reading Derrida requires not only the rraditional surmounting or bracketing of rhe natural amrude. my study is philosophical because it aics to prove that rhe specific displacements of rradidonal philosophical issues by deconstruction amount not to an abandonment of philosophical rhaughr as such. Therefore. Indeed. even if his work cannot be fully situated within the. bur. In short. meaning o nomrioun transgrcsIts difftculty stems not simply from phi~osoaphy’n sion of commonplace representation. The philosophical f such an intcllcctual entcrprisc is certainly nor easy tograsp. Indeed. however. f what has comc to be known as particularly. and emphasizes the manner in which his wrirings address not only particular philosophical problems and ihtir tradirional formulations.confines of that canon and history. to question the laws of posribjliiy of that transgression itself. Apart from the fact that I ’believe that Dcrrida’s thought can be adcquately understood only if approached philosophicaIy-that is. but from an attempr. Undoubtedly dcconstruccive criticism has grcdtly profited from Dertida’s thought. many I . ordinary consdousn m . shown to bc engaged i n a constant debate with the major philosophical themes from a primarily philosophical perspecrive-it must also be f my emphasis on thc philosophical dimensions adrnittcd chat some o of Derrida’s work is clearly a function o f his receprion in this country. without. Derrida’s inquiry into f philosophy is an investigation into the conditions of the limits o possibility and impossibility of a type o f discourse and questioning that he r e c ~ g n i z eas ~ absolurely indispensable. both thematically and merhodologically.L INTRODUCTION by rhecanon of the traditional problems and methods of philosaophical problem solving. the philosophical itself. My interpretation is philosophical insofar as it focus= on Derrida’s relation to the philosophical tradition. aiming to do away with it. as well as by the history o f these problems and methods. But to quarry from Derrida’s writings i a not auromatically to become deconstmctive in the eminent sense. bur above all an additional retreat or absmnion. or habitual modes of thoughr that all approaches K) a philosophical work rcquirc. by the proponents o dcconsrruclive criticism. made in full respect o f all the classical requirements o f philosophical argumentation and development.

nor with cstablishing the distinctive spedficity p r o p t o this type of P. Yet since this book is concerncd neither with the history o fd m mructionist criticism and its miscomprchmsion o f deconstruction in a smct sense. it i s a continuation o f his American-bred literary scholarship. hardly any dcconsmctionist aitic could lay daim tothat titlt Yet my sometimcr harsh judgment o f that sort of c r i t i c i s m is not meant to be a wholesale njcction. Deconstructionist criticism must be understood as originating in New Criticism. In short. as the double infidtliry of dcconsrrucrionisr critiasm. deconmuctionist aiticim is the offspring o f a heritage rhar has licrlc in common with that of k r i d a ’ s thought. which. through irs incursion into the exotic-the seducdvc foreipncss of Derrida’s thaught-comm to remember what it was thar had appealed IO it in what i t was being unfaithful t ~ that : is. From the pmpectivr of what 1establish here as to the naturc of de~onsmctim. in an ekgant phrase. Undoubtdy demnstrucdonist criticism has brought frah air and imagination into the otherwise stuffy a m o s p h m of the critical cstablishmcnt. In order to undertake such a debate at teast w o things would be required. and a d c h t i o n o f a criticism that would yield to deconstruction as dcvelopcd herein. Ncw Criticism. Indeed no one was more aware o f &is discrepancy benvecn venturn than Paul h Man. neither of which this book could hope t o achicvc: B determination of the autonomy o f this rypc of critiasm. Rather this book confines itself M an analysis af the philophid background and implications o f deconstruction.IMRODUCTION 3 dmstnrctionist ctiticp have c h m simply m ignore the profooundly philosophical thrust of Derridean thought.2 Bur all rhcsc t a t s are dependent preascly on a prior elucidation o f that which . anyone will undoubtedly be deceived who me to establish what a “true’” deconsrmaianist criticism wauld be.ti&m. that some o f my emphasis is directed. but also against many philosophers’ misreadings o f Derrida as literary humbug. I havc avoidcd all dctailcd debate with decmsrmdwe criticism. tt is against this criticism’s appropriation o f a philosophical~y p q e d notion OF deconstruction. it obeys laws and foIIaws intentions that arc nor at all those that underlie Derrida‘s philosophical enterprise. and have consequently misconstrued what deconstruction consists of and what it seeks to achieve. bcyand what Barbara Johnson has diagnosed. as I have tried to demonstrate elmvhtm’ Moreover. It has led t o exciting and highly valuable readings o f literary tern. But d m n s h u c tionkt criticism also has a spDdficity of in own. and to a discussion of some of the prernisa of a criticism b a d on it.

insofar a5 Derrida comes ro speak on subiects hc had nor taken up beforc.exhausrive. if the making of arguments in a literary or poetic manner is itself . I havc adrnitrcdly given greater prominence to the marc philosophically discursive texts. he rcmarks thar “all of the probIema worked on in the Introduction to The Origin ofGeomehy have continued to organize the work I have subsequcntly atrempted in connection with philosophical.feasiblein the caw of his earlier work. which is obviously philosophicd and conteprual in a technical sense. mosr notably that of pictorial work. The diffcrcnce between the more “philosophical” and the more “literary” approach consirts. But has not Dcrrida insisted time and again on the continuity of his intellectual mterpriw? For instance. not to mention earlier or later. is whether the analysis of the supposedly earlier and more philosophical texts has any bearing an Derrida’s later writings. in making philosophical arguments in P nondiscursivc manncr. The question. It has not been my intention to mver the totaliry of Derrida’s oeuvre up to this point. and textual organization. could be succcssful wirh the later work only if this portion of Derrida’s writings wcreviewed somewhat selectively.“’ Indeed 1 believe 6rmly thar all rhc motifs of the earlier iexrs continue to inform and direct Dertida’s more “playful” texts. This hook cerrsinly does nor claim to be . But rnorc imporram is the intcnsivc wolurion rooted in Derrida’s dcconsrrucrion o f the constintrive rhetorical and literary dcvices nf philosophical argummtation. r o m the Platonic syntax. To affirm such continuity. and thus shows these texu to beconcerned with problems similar to those discuscd in a technically conceptual manner in the cxplicirly philosophical works. An cxtcnrive cvolurion is widmr as one passcs from thc carlicr to rhe later work. however. this book is based o n atmost the enrirery of Derrida’s writings up to La Viriti m peinrure (1979)wirh rhe exception of Gbs-as well as on a host of essays. primarily. although perhaps . in “The Time of a Thesis: Punctuations” (19821. Some may argue that my attempt to present Decrida’s thought in a perspective of disciplinary philosophy. and rhat i s all I want to cstablish here. o r to speak for what he may publish in the future. literary and even nondiscursive corpora. Indeed.4 INTRQUUGIION deconstructionist criticism is onfaairhful to in Derrida’s writing. As a matter of fact. such a proccdutc is itself thoroughly philosophical. Purring aside the delicate question of whar is to be counted as more philosophical or more tirerarily playful. A5 is well known f dialogues. on rhe level of the rignifier. is not to deny difference and evolution. then.

The sophical concept o reasons for this choice arc dearly drcumstantiial.situate and i n m p m Derrida’s phiIosophy with respect to one particular philosophical problem and its history: namely. I also link rogcrhcr a mulrirudt o f motifs in Dcrrida’s oeuvre in ordcr to demonstrate the consistent nature of this philosophical enterprise. regardless of whether “literary” is understood as merely l i m r y .not to mention m a i n histories bordering on the phantasmic which some philosophers and critics have devised. This thrmfold intention broadly corresponds r o the three para o f this book.INTRODUCTION ~~ ~~ P eminently philosophical. especially insofar . o r in the apocryphal histary o f t h t grammatological (Jean Grksch). Third. and I clarity their philosophical status in Derrida’s work. To q o s c rhc esmtial wits and the philosophical thrust of Derridean thought. and mporality of its texts. the criticism of the notion o f reflexiviry. Derrida’s mimicry of these devices m e t h e lcss outdoes philosophy’s manery ofthe aignifier. Unlike orhen who have aitemprrd to situate Dcrrida’s thought in the history at the grand disputcs concerning the question of being (Girard Granel]. This explication is necessary if one wish. I further devtlop these concerns. I discuss Dcrrida’s philosophy in terms o f the criticism to which the phiIa f reffedon and reflexivity has been subjected. In his so-called literary texts. spatiajity. that proceeds by logical dependency. Neglecring to d o 50 leads to the unfortunatt designation of the latcr prorcan t e x t s as literary. the l a m work adds to rhis the dimension o f the problems that follow f r o m philosophy’s involvement in the come to grips with what amounts to a deconsuuction af the phiImophinl rules for staging an argument in texts. and to attempt t o sysmnatizc some of its they impinge on the problem of universality. His earlier work is very much concerned with the inevitable problcms of concept forination and argumentation. Although in some d e g m 1 indicate an approach to thcse texts. while choosing that formof presentation. developcd since Aristatle. Fint. Indeed the dominant rnimnception o f Derrida is b a d on the confusion by many literary . for the most part 1 have limited myself r o expounding the more argumcnrativc side of Drrrida’s wrirings. Dcrrida pursues the same problems on yet another level. a level that adds both a quantitative and a qualitative aspect to his Iater mrrk. by analyzing a scries of Drnidean concepts thar have been abwrbed into deconstructionist criticism. Yet this complication itself becomes intelligible only if we first eluadate the &rust ofDerrida’s philosophical debatcs. I have chosen a triple approach. 1 . Second.

which I undertake in Part I[. undoubtedty. privileged means of acces to this thinker’s discourse. Ar stake rather is what in these aurhors touches on the enterprise of philosophy as such. Hegel’s speculative criticism o f rhe philosophy of reflection is bven what mme may consider inordinate importance. is nor a straightforward history. But neither Hegel nor Husserl is truly at stake. from Shadworth Hodgson to Sydney Shoemaker. according to the OED. refers to the tinfoil. Tbe Toin of the Mirror.6 INTRODUCTION critics of dcconstmction with rcflcxivity. indecd to interpret Dtrrida i s to confronr the whole tradition of Western thought. because of their ~trategicimportancc for Derrida’s wrEtings as D whole. in spite of my contention rhar Derrida’s philosophy must ‘be relatcd to rhe modern bistory of the concept of reflection and to the criticism it has drawn. are precisely what will not fir in Derrida’s work-not because he would wish ta refute or reject them in favor o f a drcam of immcdiacy. the reat terms of rcfcrence and the adequate horizon of thought o f Derrida’s philosophical enterprise. are. nor is any other regional or historically limited form of philosophy. but because hi5 work questions reflection’s unthought. as I have tricd to show. the lusterless back of the mirror. rather than being a philosophy of reflection. These arc. however. and even their I-lusserlian or Heideggerisn phenomenological farm. Detrida‘s philosophy. but which a t the same time has no place and no part in reflcction’s scintillating playYer my hislory of the critique of reflection. alludes 10 that “beyond” of the orchestrated mirror play o f reflection t h a t Derrida’h philosophy sccks to conccpmalizc. the silver lining. is engaged in the systematic exploration of that dull surface without which no reflection and no specular and spcculativc activity would be possible. and they alone explain the rad- . Nor d m it refer m Anglo-Saxon and American authors who have broached this problem. but as a rradition roored in and yielding to a set of unsurpassable rherr rctica1 and cthical themes and dcrnands. But Part I is intended not as a total history of that problem. The speculative form in which Hegel cast the unvarying philosophical topoi. and thus the Iimiis of its possibility. Tak. but merely as an oriented history that f Derrida’s serves as a theoretical prelude to the systematicexposition o thought. outhned in Part I. This book’s ride. however. It does nor describe the full range of answers suggcstcd with respcm to this question. not so much as a cumulative series ofphilosophical figures. By contrast. 1 seek primarily to bring into view Derrida’s debate with the traditional paradigms of philosophy in general. Refltcrjm and reflexivity. 3 ward altered from the French it&.

is engaged in the construction of the “quasi-synthetic concepts” which account for the economy of the conditions of possibility and impossibility of the basic philosophemcs. In Pan 111 I inquire into the problems of philosophical gcnerality and universality from a daanstruaive point of view by way o f a discussion of Dcrrida’s use of the terms writing. The notion of infrastructures has not yet been picked up by any o f those who have written on Dcrrida. My goal is to demonstrate that h i d a ’ s philosophical writings display a subtle economy that recognizes the essential requirements ofphilosophical thought while quesrioning the limirs of rhc possibiliry of thcre requirements. In short. and thus to determine what philosophical task they are meant to paform. Derrida confrontsthe philosophical qumt for the ultimate foundation a5 a necessity. ycr ‘‘infrastmmre’’ bas the suppiemenrary advantage o f allowing for a problematization of Derrida’s debate with structuralism and with the Platonism thar it ha$ inherited from conseruativc strata in Husscrlian phenomenology.lNTRODUCTlON 7 icaIity and contemporary attractivenes of his writing. As an investigation into the irreducibly plural eonditiom of possibility o f all major philosophical. Derrida’s philosaphy. whcther discussing Hegel. as I shal1 . however mi5 construed they may have bcen. Itrfrartrlrctures. or Heid-. and ethical dcsidcrata. mmcd to represent the mast economical way to conceptualizeall of Derrida’s proposed quasi-synthetic concepts in a general manner. Here roo I s u p t some o f the criteria that a possible dewnsrructionisr literary criticism would have to observe. a word used by Derrida on sevcrat -ions in refacnoe m thesc quaskynthm’c constructs. Conrnry to those philosophers who naively negate and thus remain closcly and uncontrollably bound up with this issue. dcconstmction is eminently plural. as well as of their u n q u e tionable necessity. how it is carried out. Yet his faithfulness to intrinsic philosophical demands is paired with an inquiry into the inn. as 1 show in Pam 11. In each case I try to reconstruct the precise context in which r h m conceprs b w m c operational in Dcrrida’s work. however-its necessity. Demda is primarily engaged in a dcbatc with the main philosophical question regarding &c ultimate foundarion of whrr is. Husserl. “Undecidabla” would have been an alternative. and of what irs conclusions consist-the occurrence of the word infrostrrrcflrre in Derrida’s writings is mare than a coincidence. textuality. From the perspective of my analysis of deconstruction. theoretical. and metaphor. Deconstruction.limits of t h e e demands themselves.

This plural nature. his work is not yet completed. Bur in addirionro rhe danger of being ma obvious in dernonsrraring the philosophical thrust at Dcrrida's work. In this b w k I hope that I have found a middleground h e e n the srmctural pluraliry o f Derrida's philosophy-a plurality rhar makes it impossible ro elcvarc any 6nal essence of his work into irs iruc meaning-and thc srricr criteria to which any inrerpretation of his work must yield. Indeed. or for its adaptarion to any particular need or interest. Obviously this is the risk I encounrcr with the professional philosopher. is plural. Apart from rhe always looming danger of opacity and crudity owing to insufficient philosophical renritivity on thc part nf thc inarpretcr. a more serious risk is involved in attempting a retranslation. Indeed. philosophica[ and not literary in nature. Incus. and dfcct of a dcmnsrructivc inrervcntion in the traditional fieldof philosophical prob- . and thus doctrinal r&$dity. which SO many readers have overlooked. since he is P living author. in referring Derrida's philosophy back to the ctassical and technical vocabulary in order ro determine prccisely the level. o f Derrida's philosophy makes it thoroughly impossible m conceivc of his work in terms of orthodoxy. is precisely what givcs special significance to Derrida's so-called abandonment of philosophy and its rechnical language. secretly monological. if it is to be about that work and not merely a private fantasy. but primarily because it resists any possibleclosure. as I shall show. ycr not pluralistic in the li'beral senst-that is. Nor are all the inrerpretations of Derrida's thought that seek legitimacy in such openness equally valid. Still. such openncss and pluralism do not give license to a free inrerpreration of Derrida's thoughr. at ccnrer stage in this book. are. These criteria. as HegeI knew. it is one that focus= on what Dupin describes."' Yet this excasively obvious aspcct of Derrida's work. for essential reasons. or openness. I f this is a retranslation at all. Yct such a proccdurc cart hardly hc called a literal rctranslation. Some might want r o call my efforts a rctranslation of Derrida's writings back inro the technical language of philosophy and its accepted set o f questions. the major danger i s thar this opention may be understood as an end in irseIf. I have had to emphasize their tcthnical aspects. as rhat which escapes "obscrvation by dint o f being excessively obvious. in order to show at what precise point rhe questions and demands of philosophy are transgressed in Derrida's thought. nor simply because. since "philosophy" is spellcd out in capital letters throughout Derrida's work.8 INTRDDUCTI OH show. refcrring in The Purb i n d Letter to a certain gamc. his seemingly more playful texts includcd.

9 lematics. . my “mansIation” may even create a series of new abstacls to undemanding Derrida’s reference t o such Derridean concepts as ariginary synthesis and transcendentality t o indicate the lml on which his debate with philosophy m r s . if I have been succcssfuI in providing some insights into a number o f ditficult matters not prcviously a d d w e d . . f o r instance.m y determination o f the level and the scope of the debatc may be mistaken by some for that which is at stake in the debate inelf.INTRODWCTIDN. as Dcrrida’s philosophy maintains. one may well confound the assignment o f that locus with the debatc itsclf. And it is a risk that I happily assume. In this sense. a risk that. is always possible and thus a nccasary possibility that has to be accounted for. rather than clarifying extremely intricate problems. Yet this is the risk any interpretation must take. In spite of all the precautions I have taken-regarding. and Especially if this book helps set forth more rigorous uiteria for any future discussion of Derrida’s thought.


PART ONE Toward the Limits of Reflection .


set free from all . Why. with such a bending back upon the modalitits o f obiect perception. Second. borderson the trivial. 1 am concerned here instead with the philosophical concept of reflection. principle of philDsophica1 &inking. DRczrtcs establishes t h e apodictic certainty of self as a result of the clarity and disrinctncss with which it perceiver itself. which from the outset has turned away from the immediacy and contingency of the reflective gatwe by which philosophiaing bcgim in order to reflect on the beginningof philosophy itself.1 Defining Reflection I ReOcction is undoubtedly ar old as the discourseof phiIosophy itself. self-relation. howmer. Without such action. Through self-reflection. reflection show itself to mean primarity =If-reflection. the self-the ego. The mnccpt of philosophical reflection is. a name for philosophy's eternal aspiradon toward wlf-foundation. self-mirroring. as we shall see. it has signified the turning away from any straightforward consideration of objects and from thc immediacy o f such an experience toward a considcrarion of the very experience in which objew are given. did reflection become an outstanding. perhaps a n unsurpassed. as meditation or carcful consideration o f some subject by turning or fixing o n e ' s thoughts on it. A statement such as this. no philosophical discourse could gcr off the ground. then. and in what way are we M undersrand It? First of all. if one de6nes reflection in its most common senst. the subject-is put on its own feer. By lifting the ego out of its immediate entanglement in the world and by thematizing the subject ot thought irrelf. Yet only with modern philosophy-philosophid thought since D e s c a m r a i d reflection expliatly acquire this status o f a principle par excellence. from the momcnt it became the chief methodological conctpt f o r Cartesian thought.

By severing the self from the immediacy of the obiccr world. of thought. it also appears to be the very motor of history as progress toward a frec sodety. self-reflection marks the human being’s risc m the rank of a subject. Self-reflection has informed all philosophy af spirit since Descams. ir also constirums the modem mnccpr a l hisrory and is the alpha and omega of political philosophy.Id ~~ ~~ ~ TOWARD THE LIMITS OF REFLECTION unmcdiated relation to being. a m o f freedom by bracketing of all thetical positioning o which thc rhinking subject reflects irself inro irself. tranwendcntal philosophy not only hematites the forms and categories that make objective knowledge possible but aIso makcs the transcendental subject “not merely . Yet Descartcs’s attempt to doubt anything. tr makcs the human being a subjectivity that has its center in itself. it is the very condition by which the world can turn into a world of objects. This is the Crst epoch-making achievement of the concept of refleaion. In giving priority t o the human being’s determinarion as a thinking being. the thcory of reflexivity also inaugurates the particular kind o f philosophical investigation thar with Kanr came to be known as rransccndental philosophy. indctd. makcs masrery of the world dependent on the status of the world as a world of obicas for a free and self-conscious subject who bears thc promise o f a free world. Liberum est quod cuusa sui &. But self-reflection in modern philosophy not only grounds the autonomy of the individual as a rational being. not to mention German Idealism. “rranscendtntal” referring to that son o f philosophical reOection that brings to conxiousncss the inner condirions that consuture the objects in kenera1 thar present themselves 10 our experience. As I have mentioned. then (and this is another o f its maior modem characteristics). Because such a subject is seen as providing the foundation. Although rhe principle of self-reflemion risks the danger of solipsism. of the subiecr. Only rhe subjea rhar knows itself. and Husrcrl’s eidetic f the world. has had an minently emancipatory function. reflection as the self-thinking o f though5 as sclf-conKiousncss. sin= the bcginning of modem metaphysics reflection has represented the sole means by which an ego can engender itself as a subject. From Descants to Huvjerl. and rhus finds the center of all cemrudc in itself. do nor abandon the world ofobiects. reflcction helps give the subiea freedom as a thinking being. a self-consciousness certain of itself. Self-reflection. and it chancrerim modern rneraphysia as a rnaaphysia o f subjectivity. is free. lt constitutes the autonomy of the cogdo. thesolid and unshakable ground of all possible knowlcdgc. Indeed for Kant.

At the very heart o as a metaphysics of subjcctivity. tranffendntta philowphy-sclf-reflexiviig remains an a priori structural precondition o f what we undcrstand by knowledge ioelf.”’ From Dcscartes to Kant. tranmdmtality. despite i n capital importance. thcvery origin of philosophy itself as a discourse o f radicaI autonomy. reflexivity is the very medium o f its unfolding. and the foundation by which philosophy gmunds itself within itself.DEFlNlNG REFLECTION 15 a logical condition o f possible xlf-consdoumss. philwphy becomes its own content and returns into itself. . All modern philosophy has an essential relation to itself such that all rdexive analyses are analyses of the essential nature o f things themselves. thereby conlrrming its claim to bc the “first” philosophy. nor is it simply one of philosophy’s major concerns. the philosophy o f philosophy. and thus become rhe mtdium of the self-retlection o f philosophy. the task of determining rigorously what reflection is is not an easy one. Through such a rdlecrion upon irself. Yet. As chis implies. In othcr words. all reflmion by philosophy upon itself represents an essential act of freedomin which. freedom. but that which rea1 consciousnsr knows to bc the subject of all possible reat consciousness. the impfications ofself-decrios go beyond subjec-. T h e scope of reflexivity is not cxhaustcd by in role in constituting subjsdviry. self-consciousness as the ground of deduction o f the systems o f knowledge represents a still u n a n a l y d presupposition. it is the method and substance. f r d o m . as Huswrl claimed with respect to phenomenological reflection. as Fichte maintains. %If-reflection grounds the autonomy of philosophy as the knowledge that i s most free. To the extent that transcendental philosophy laysdaim to reflecting the a priori conditions of all knowledge. the analysis of its structure bemmcs a m a a l preoccupation of modem philosophy only wirh Fiche.1 In short. and f modern metaphysics philwophy us philosophy. in the sort of invstigation latent since Descartes and beginning with Kantnamely. tivity. Here. one can best grasp that self-Amion is not only method or medium but foundation as well.self-reflection is not merely L key concept denoting a method specific to modern philosophy. In the thinking of thinking-what Aristotle called noesis norseos-rdlexivity serves at once as a medium. the method. the philosophy capable of furnishing the foundation o f all other sdcnccs. the philosophical discourse xckr to achieve complete clarity concerning its m csscnap and complete freedom from any assumprions. and rtanscendenralicy. Nonetheless. it must also reflect on the ground proper o f philosophy. in the philosaphy of philosophy. furthermore.

and gained systematic significance as early as Descanes. is transposed to it. when designating the mode and operation hy which the mind has knowledge at itself and its opcrarims. One can. Still. Reflecterp means “to bend” or “to turn back” or backward. In this vein the Stok. In this sense. such a procedure is not without merit as a beginning. inaddition to designating theaction o f a mirror reproducing . Unlike thc common notion of reflection.” Yet this turning back is significant for understanding reflection only if one recalls that in both Creek and Latin philosophy o the action by thc term has optic connotations.16 TOWARD T H E LIMITS O F REFLECTION Since reffection is a5 old as philosophy iself. try to explain this incongruiry by pointing a t rhe in fact very diffcrent meanings o f reflection throughout the history of philosophy. in terms analogous to perception. Any ammpt to circumscribe 3 definite meaning of these different uses of the term by zracing it back to its etymological roots in the Latin verb re-/here is certain to be of little help. this rnctaphysics of light. it is surprising that it has not been fully conceptualized. camc to undersand the m u s as a =If-reflecting and self-illuminating light. with the effect that sdf-consciousness has come to suggest 8 beam of light thrown back upon itself aFter impact with a reflecting surface.’ A5 500n as consciousness is said to reflect the w o r l d and itself by turning upon itsclf. From thc beginning. and later the Neoplaronists. self-consciousness as constirured by self-reflccrion has been conceptualized in terms of this optic operation and. as well as “to bring back. and rhus to bc conscious o f itself in this act of coiling upon itself. reflection signifies the process that takes place between a figure or object and its image on a polished surface. of course. and in particular a mirror’s exhibition or reproduction nf obiccts in the form . Recognizing the convcrgcnce ofthe word reflection’s etymological meaning with the rnccsphoriciry o f light. one could venture a prcliminary dchirion: rcttection is the structure and thc pronss ofan operation that. m5re generally. a5 we shall sec later.of images. which sees itself by mirroring obiccts. in that it refers t ITIirrOringsUrfacKnfthrowing back Fight. since it will suggest some of the mom formal characteristics of the movements that compose reflection. becomes analogous to the process whereby physical ljghr is thrown back on 3 reflecring surface. reflection. but one would still confront rhc necmsicy of eoncepmatizing rhcsc dilfcmces. as well as some of rhc fundarncnral imagery associated with this concept. As a consequence of this optic metaphoriciry. reflcction as a philosophical concept requires that the action of reproduction also be thrown back upon itself. or photology.

No longer does rhe essence of rhe human being reside primarily in grounds ontologically and thcologically independent o f him. rhe phiIosophy o f reflection is generally considercd to have begun with Desc a r t e s ' s prbna pbilosopbia. one could scho maticatly ascertain the different and ohen concravcrsial forms a l the philosophies of reflection in posr-Catresian philosophy up to Kant as d i k n t modes of determining the me roghre. by which the mind becomes aware ~f its own doiny. aithough they may all share the optic memphor predominant in the conapt of reflection.' from here on. is basically a sensible. such that it is impossible to make out clearly whether this act is scnsible or inteliigibk. T h i s is partjculedy true o f modern philosophy from DeKartes to Kant. inasmuch ms it is the sole means o f dimvering logical categories. in which the thinking self appears to itself as me cogitare. belonging by right to psychology and nor to philosophy. reflection is an . the history o f the development o f the philosophy of reflection becomes almost predictable.cogitrmsbecoming its own copital~nl. by which process the mirror is made ro see itself. whereby reflection. the self-certainry o f the thinking subject-a certainty apodicticafty found in the cogito me rogi*rre-becomes the unshakable ground of philosophy itself. Whar arc the major events in this history of the philmaphy of reflection?Although it is true h a t the Augustinian notion of rediws in se ipswnr-a return upon and into oneself constituting rhc medium of philosophy-prefigures rhe modern concept o f reflection. Such a minimal definition. For Leibniz too. apart from the formidabb ptoblans it p c s . a strange ambijyity. and of the ensuing philosophy. can hardly Explain all the different theories o r philosophies of reflection throughout the history of philosophy. is set forth. a major paradigm of reflection. this source of cognition. as Hubert Schnldelbach has convincingly demonstrated. In fact. empirical operation o f internal perception or inner experience. Reflection here is empirical d e c t i o n . Take. For in k c a r m the scholastic idea of the reditus undergoes an epochmaking mnsformation. implies that mirror's mirroring itself. With Cartesian thought.DEFINING REFLECTION 17 an object. There are good 1eax1~5 for this assumption. the case of Locke. With the ego a$ . and ro some extent Hegel. The status of the founding reflexive act in Dcwrtm retains. for instance. But for Lucke. for whom reflection is also the fundamental method of philorophizing. an rm#mtio recta direcud upon thoughr a5 an internal realiry. instead of being merely the medium of mctaphysjq becomes its very foundation. DeMarres discovers ir i n the iogically and ontologically prior phenomenon of the rogito me cogitare.

”3As truwcendetrirrl r e f l e c t i o n . but it is a process that rakes place i n turning from everything sensible toward an intellectual anualization of innate ideas. UnlIkc inner or outer reflection. for whom f emotional self-affecrion self-consciousness is grounded in a state o which stands as the precondition of all propositional activity-that is. Unlike Lockt’s empirical reflection. which is the result . Ixibniz’s refleaion must be termed logical. a5 regards this history of the concept of reflection. what is Kant’s pasirion? As the famous addendum to Trrrnscmdmtd Anulyric-the chapter entitled “On the EquivocaI Naturt of Amphiboly”-demonstr~tes. Transcendental reflection I s dcfined as the inquiry into the ground ofpossibility of sensible intuition in general and of the objective comparison of rcpracntations. and which detetmine whether a givcn conception belongs to pure understanding or SC~SUOUS intuition. and it is thus very $ifferent from empirical and Logical refleaion.rg TOWARD THE LIMITS OF REFLECTION aKCnnOn directed upon self. these characterizations are not straightforwardly historical but arc schematic at best. but is that state of mind in which we lirst set ourselves to discover the subjective condirions under which (alone1 we arc able to arrive at conccpts. of thc passing of judgments. of these two types of reflection. yct I do not mean them to be more.of Kant’s twisting the founding certainty of cogito me cogitore into the subjective dimension for the mndilions of possibility of dl knowledge. Needlessto say. All 1 am concerned with a t this point is evoking this dominant motif of reflection as a founding principle of modern philosophy. Now. at the same time. But what is most decisive for the turn refleaive philosophy taka in post-Kantian thought k that tra-dcnd reflection is also the thinking of the unityof the operation of reflection .reflection examines and distinguishes the faculties of cognition with which conceptions of objects originatc. neither of which aixounrs for the faculty of cognition to which the conceptions belong. Kant is critical of both logical and cmpiricat n the name of what could be conreflection. H i s criricism is a function of trartscmdental rcflection. A first synthesis of these opposite positions on the status of the me cogitmecan be found in Rousseau. transandental reflection anciapatcs the deeply conccaled hunscendentdl unity. a total innovation within the Cartesian paradigm of reflection. Kant writes: “ R d e d o n (refkcio)does not concern itself with obiects themselvce with a view to deriving concepts from them directly. His criticism is rnadc i sidered a return to Desurtes. to usc Kant’s words.‘ Trans~endcntal rcflmion grounds both empirical and logical reflection in the unity of a more fundamental reflection. yet which is.

With Hcgel’s attempt m supersede thae oppositions h e e n subjective and objeaivc sohtions to the problem of self-consciousness and seIf-rcfIeCtioo. Since Kant recognized that neither cmpirical nor logicat reflection accounts for the r e m m that would prove their cppistemolagical validiry. W h i l e Fichte radicalid Kantkidca o f the transccndenral unity ofappermprion in terms of a subjective idealism. In this sense. First are those we have already mcounnred: logical.DEFINING REFLECTION 19 itself. and transcendental refleuion. understood by Fichfe as the bring driven inward o f the endlessly outreaching activity of self. which aqrrirbd a new and original meaningwith Husxd’s phenomenology in p e a l . is the sourm o f all psychological howledge. Schelling. a new form of mtlection-nanmdmral reRmion--takes over the rask d determining and securing the conditions of possibility of valid cognition. in his philosophy of nature. Since such an investigation into the srruccum o f reflection. and w h i B Kant was led to assume as a m l t of his transmdenral deduction o f the carcgoris.and the relations among the concepts of these objects. Empirical reflation. With the pure synthetic unity of the I tbkk that must at least virtually accompany all of the experiencing subject’s repreenmion$. rhii is not rhc only meaning of manscendcntal reflection. Hegel could view Fichte’s demonstration of a self-positing “I. What this a l l TO shon ourline of the history of mtlcction suggesf~ is that we need t o distinguish between differmr ryp. *car reflection is a turning backward o f thou&. not until Fichte did anyone begin M explore systematicallyrhe strumre a f selfreflexivity that constitutes df-aonsciousncss.” the indispensablepresupposition of any objective “1” o ro f any objective positing (Non-I). brcame possible only afrcr Kant had recognized rhc synthetic narufc of teflectioti. developed an o b j d v e variation on the sanlc problem.of reflection. he achieved a first. howcvct hypothetical f the different moments that constitute rhr minimal dcfunification o inition ofreflection as xlf-dcctian. as bending i n upon what takes p l a a within us. or for rhe origin of the concepts they examine and compare.the philosophy of reflexivity reached a climax. away from its relation to objccrs (including imclf as an empirical reality] to the mamination of the relations among objects. transendental s an inquiry into the a pti~a principles of the cognition of reflection i o b i . Of course. empirical. Although since Degeartes self-consciousness has been the ground of foundation and deduction for aU systems of knowledge. Reflection for Husserl has a . as a direct continuationo f what he termed "speculative gemIS” i n Kant’s philmphy.

Yet a philosophical analysis 01 reflection is bound to live up to the universal requirement lor unity. whereas Kant’s tnnscendenral reflection is essentially concerned with the validity of reflections or thoughts. Hegel’s norion o f absolute reflection represents the most complete typc of reflection-the concept at reflection itself-refleaing the totality of its formal movements. The mirroring mbiect’s self-mirroring is rhe goat of the whole process. Therefore. bur it i s far from clear how these two moments relate. and by which rhe phenomena of this sphere: can be grasped and analyzcd in the light of their own evidence. is what Hegel called absolute and speculative reflection. Kant’s concept of rransccndental reflection is a first attempt to realize this demand.’ Insofar as the fundamental merhodological irnporrance of reflection for phenomenology is based on iB invarigation of the rcflcxivc acts of consciousness-that is. although this implies that rhe mirror’s selfreflection cannot be a part of that whole comparable to the moment of objective reflection. In addition.’ own rncthod for thc knowlcdge of consciousness gcncrally”-that is. rcflection as sclf-reflection coincides in rnodcrn metaphysici with the powerful motif OF subiectivity. whereas Hegel’s concept of absolute reflection fulfills this requirement. it is in subjectivity thar we must look for the source of unification of the reflexive process’s separate elements. and to contain two distinct moments. it is important to note that it i s a first ctitiquc of the paradigm of reflection. turning on the acts constituting the intentional objects of thought in general. Hosserl’n assumption of a r e d conncction between reflection and what is reflected makes Husserlian transcendental reflection an analysis a1 the production and constitution of thoughts by a thinking subject. In what ways must one determine thc two distincr moments of reflection in order to make them the living pans of a harmonious whole? As w e have seen. .Such refleciion can be considcrcd nocmaric reflection. o f all the modes of immanent apprehension of the essence and of all modes of immanent experience as well-it is a transcendental reflcctian.‘ Before promeding. a mirroring o f the mirror as well. Reflection thus s e e m st o yield to a double movemcnt.20 TOWARD THE LtMIT5 OF REFLECTION ~ “univmd methodologiml function”.which will preoccupy us morctxtcnsively than the previous four. how reflection as a unitary phenomenon can at once be refleaion of Other and refleaion of the mirroring subject. ir is “ ‘mnsciousnw. Yet. Consequently the quesrion is. Icr us first circle back for a rnomcnt to the minimal dcfinition of reflection as the process and structure of the mirroring of an ohject by a polished surface und. how can the . The last typc of rcflcction. a method immanent to’rhe sphcre of being which it analyzes. at the same time.

as metaphor. both the same as and diffcrcnr frwm i integration of the two previously distinguished mammts o f rcflcaion into the unity created by the self-revcladan of the mirroring subject. In Hans Hcinz HoIz’s analysis of thc strumre and logical meaning ofthis dialectical unity o f self-reflection. its reflection truly bemmes an act o f bringing back. a rccapruring recognition. E is found in the remgnition that the object reflected by the mirroring subjar is IIOT just any object but rahR this subject’s symmetric Otherf ics alienared self. leaving absolutely no remainder outside.DEFINING REFLECTION 21 Ictlecrion o f objects lead or be related to self-refledon? Obviously a third mommt is required t o unite all the dments of d c c t i o n into one whole. if rhe lamr is understood in terms of subjectivityy. which triggers the unifying dialectic beween the mirror and i s o b j e q as well as between the mirror and itsclL T k i s dialectic. T h i s conceptual totality salvages even the reflective mirroring process as its alienating meraphoric detour to i d f . Moreovu. the One is species o f itself and rhe rnanifold.explains why it faas an object in the first place and why it returns dcxively to itself. In the rcflection of h e mirrorazbjcct as an annulment o f the mirroring subject’s former f Other becomes a reflmion of sdf. a rcprcsenurion o alienating positing of irseIf as object. which . Indeed. With such an in orher words. the reflection o mirror’s self-reflection is the embracing whole that allows it m release itxlf into Other. allows for the mirror itself. the lamr being the same as what is mirrored and yet an other. in addition to the two moments outlincd in the minimal definition. in his essay “Die SeIbstintcrprctation des Seinq” the mirror metaphor is shown m be constinrrive of being.”Y T h e paradigm of d c c t i o n thus requires. such a reflection m momenraf reflection provider the missing link. a third element. the rhird. Holz concludes: “The doubling of what is mirrored in the mirrored. Thomas Aquinas had remarked in De Y n i m that refleaion i s directed both at the reproduced image or concept of an object and at the act of reflecting itscif. by means of which the mirrored objecr is seen to be that into which the mirror opens out as an image o f the t . hence ‘represents the d i a k i c a l relation according to which the species encompasses itxlf and irs opposite: k i n g is the specis of itself and of nonbcing. The alienation. In the metaphor of the mirmr the concept of being can properly appear to itself. Although we now havc a more mrnplctc minimal definition o f . it is itself a moment in the pmccss of the self-interpretation of the concept o f being. in rruth. The alienation of the mirror in its Other and the reflection of the object arc linked together in such a way a5 to form a totality in which they are reflected into one another.

Hegel’s critique of rhc philosophy of reflection was carried out in the name of this speculative definition o f reflection. of this more encompassing definition of reflection is that it brings the problem of reflection to a certain end. and onc that must be rendered more concrete. In historical terms.22 TOWARD THE LlMlTS OF REFLECTION reflection. it remains an abstract concept of rcflection. I hope to prove that mosr o f the later . it only encompasses other. this definition can be found only in the philosophy of German Idealism afrtr b n t . more narrow definitions. of E a basic ingrdiena and their dialectic. then. .definitioncannot serve to identify all the philosophies of reflection. to the extent that it representsa more complete exposition of reflection’s formal movements.criticismof mflcction was carried out in the name of this definition as weU. Such an abstracr . The irony.

Kant had publish4 a declaration against his follower Fiche.2 T h e Philosophy of Reflection y1 In the following three chapters I hope to clarify the mncepr of reflecrian by analyling Hegel’s nation of absolute rdtccdon. The Diffbmce betwem Fiche’s and Scheliilrg’s System of Philosophy and Faith and Knowledge. indispensable beforc I claborate what HegeI understands by “philosophy of reflccdon. in a different form. His mncept of abolua refleaion repments the first attempt to address a number of problems which were left unsolved by the pR-Hcgetian philwphcro of ccflection. Although Schelling still conceived of h t work as no more than a . repudiating all affiliation between his own thinking and Science of Knowledge. dificulties. which pretended t o be nothing other than a rigorous explanation of the spirit of Kantian philosophy. When Hegel arrived in Jena in 1801. the p m of diffrrmtiation within German Idealism w a s already well under way. and in particular The Diffmme. special consideration. A very succinct oudinc of the historical background and at least some of the major theoretical stakes in that debate ir. as well a5 later. It is important to note at the s t a r t that Hegel developed rht notion of absolute rdlcaion. This analgsis should provide UP with the totality of the formal movements of d e c t i o n .” what his critique consisted of. and what concept of reflection he d c v e l ~ c d to ovemme its. It is therefore only fitting that we should give these two essays. Hegels debate with h e x phiIosophcrs of reflection-with Kant. as the mutt of his mnfmnmadon with what he calls the philosophy of reflection. and Fichre-is located in the rwo long essays wrimn in Jena between 1801 and 1802. Jambi. Two years before. in The Science of Logic. or speculation.

and in order to appraise the critical achievement of his notion o f ahsolute reflection. in spite of its schematic character. in the philosophy of identity. made his thcomical difhrenm with Fichtequite clear. by sharply distinguishing berwccn thinking and being. which he and Schelling founded as a forum for promulgating objcctivc idcalism. and then. Now. when Kanr denicd all similarities betwcm Fichre’s philosophy and hisown. only moments in rhc objective process o f self-devetoping rhought. Hegel accuses Fichtr of subjenivc idealism in Science of Knowledge. which Schelling rightly understood to be a catcgoncal critique of his own thought. in Tlre Di{fermce. H e g e l immediately became invalvcd in the dcbatc.4 TOWARD T H E LIMITS OF REFLECTION supplement to Fichte’s philosophy. that philosophy has to proceed beyond the difhrrnce benvcen subjective and objective idealism toward a subjective-objcctivc. Although Hegel seems entirely partisan. while valorizing Schelling’s philosophy of naturc and systcm of identity as objective idealism. Both texts represent a global and systematic sertting of accounts bcrwccn what was at that moment the position of subiective idealism. Fichtc. in Krirische Joumul dw Philosophie. In The Difemnce. In order to undcrsrand what Hegel means by philosophy o f reflection. and Schclling. and men more so in Hegel’s absolute idealism. a dcbatc in which Hcgd seems M have sidcd almost uncritically with Schelling. Although in his essay “Uber die wissenschaftliche Bthandlung des Narurrecha” hc had already declarcd the superiority of thc spirit to nature (by spirit 1 mean the intelligible reality of the moral world of frccdom. As Hegel defines it in The Dif/erence. the essay Faith and Knowhfge. Schelling’s System af Tronscendental Idedirm. and nor the immatcrial substance called spirit in prc-Kantian theo-rationalistic systems). he was both right and wrong. thc stakes in this pmcess of differentiation muit be summarized briefly. the philosophy of reflection is the kind of thought that. the break with Schelling became cffective and final only with the appcarancc. idealism. By contrast.3. Science of#huru/- . Hegel makcs use of a ScheIlingian formula which. T h i s rriparticc idealism is f their own rooted in the three philosophers’ differing appraisals o critical developments of Kant’s philosophy o f rcfteceion. a5 opposed to that of objecrive ideatism. in explaining what distinguishes Kant. Indeed. which appeared in 1800. On hisarrival atjena. detcrmines objects through a suhicaive assessment of experience. describes the situation quite well. one cannot temain inscnsitive to his implicit declaration. Hc publishcd The Di/fermre. or absolute. hcing and thinking are one. in 1807. o f Phetrowrenofogy of Spirit.

since “the activity of dissolution is the power and work of thc wmdmrarrding.” as Hegel remarks in Pbrnomcnol~gu. This impossibility of coming to grips with dualism characterim Kant’s philosophy as a philosaphy of TCkction. and so on which Kant’s philosophy appears unable to ovcrcome might be bridged. Fichre’s. 1 hope to prove that this use of the term &dim to designate the duality of o p p i t i o n is nor at all incompatible with the methodological concept of reflection as previously outlined. a t the same time. however. such a characterization implies in general that Kant’s thinking remains caught in a mavemcnt of mdlcss duplication which it is unable to overcome. any attempt to ground thinking in the speculative germs of Kant’o cnterpriK must bc viewed as a critiquc of reflexivity. thmry and praxis. the new kind of philosophy that starts with Fichtt and lcads through Schelling to Hcgel. ahcr having stripped away its natural immediacy and returned into itself.W E PHILOSOPHY OF REFLECTTON 2s edge develops out of Kant but is. and disringuishcs itself from ir. Bhforc moving on. and Wegel’s philosophies dcvelop the speculative and dialectical elements in G a t . thar auld be overcome only at che price of a radicalization of rcflccrion that is itself a dcparturc from the philosophy olreflection from Dcscam to Kant. let us f o r the moment define it as characterizing the act by which the ego. takes its impulse from what in K a n t reaches beyond a wcre critique of knowledge and beyond his reflexive d i s t i n c t i o n betwpen rhe dinking being and that which is being thought. let us first consider some of Hegcl’s objections t o K a n t According 10 Hegel. Furthermore. though. I shall have t o explain what must be catled reflexive in Kant’s thought and what are in Kant the so-called speculative germs of the diakctical bridging of dualism. Kant’s phitosophy is a “metaphysic of refleaion. an entirely new mode o f philosophizing. In historical terms. scnsIl~iliiyand understanding.~ But what are the major separations brought about by understand- . promising that the gap opened up bctwcen thinking and bang. becomes conscious o f its subjectivity in relation to counnrpositcd objccriviry.”’ Before analyzing in some detail Hegcl’s dcccrminanons o f retlecrion. Schelling‘s. an inconsisrency. Hcgel brought to the b r e a logical inm5htencyin the rnethodologicalwnoept of reflection. For Hegd. By formulating the probiem of reflection in terms of dualism. who brings it to fuffillment. which was shown to constitute modem metaphysics. because the activity o f doubling is rhc result at an act o f separating. In order to make this argument. the philosophy of reflection i s shown to be in cssmce a philosophy o f understanding ( Y a d ) . mnstquently.

it necessarily fails todo so. and since reflection is at the heart of the ideas o f subjectivity. T h i s opposition i s caeval with that of subject and object. a5 thinking.”4 To put it in rhe language of thr greater Logic.26 TOWARD THE LIMITS OF REFLECTION ing? Fiat and fonmost. It cannot do so because.’ This knowledge splits into two irreconcilable forms: reflection leads either to empirical knowledge. on the other hand. fkedorn. in the last instance. according to Hegel. Reflection.differma between the objcct to be explained and the explanation. it confers its own power of dissolution upon them. it i s unable to quation its own premises. with a mode of thought related to existing singular rhings yet lackingconceptuality-is subjective. Kant i s unable to bridge the gap b e e n rcflcaioninto-self and reflection-into-other. knowledge of the transcendental presuppositions of knowledge and of what is given. from its own object. i t cannot give . Yet as subjectivity. since reflection. or the intellect. or to an undemanding of the a priori conditions of knowlcdgc. In both cases it depara from and fosters irreducible oppositions. Hegel stigmatizes rhe knawIcdge of understanding as mere formal knowledge. which Hegd assmiares in Faith and Knorvledge with Spinoza’s conapt of imagination (Einbildungskra/t)-that is. as belonging to understanding. from being. can speak of a failure of reflcction owing essentially to its fundamental prcsupposition of an irreconcilable . an activity by a knowing subject. that is. Reflection gives birth to an endless and undetermined multiplicity o f facts a d o r to a coherent systcm o f a priori conditions. Wegcl. Because reflection is unable to overcome the separarion it presupposes. understanding separates itself. reflection i s a h %If-knowledge and. because understanding. insuperable finitude of human Reason. A philosophy of reflection is similarly marked by an unbridgeable gulf between reflection and that which it mflects. Although refleaion i s critical of everything. wherever it uics to unite itself to i t s object (be it the given or the ego itself) in order to account lor it. reflection becomes enmeshed in unsolvable contradictions. therefore. as a movement o f the ego. void o f concepts. opens differences and pcrperuates them as fixed and unalterable oppositions. independent of what empirically exists. unable to overcome the merc abstraction of these concepts. and transcendcntality. reflection is as antithetical as when it is seen as an activity by a subject upon the world. Because of this @If. as Eugkne Flcischman remarks: “Reflexion cannot recognize that i t s objects exist in its imagination alone without at the same rime giving itsell up. however. As a transcendental inquiry. both forms of knowledge are i n an antithetical relation. is for Kant “the absolute immovable. And.

Kant was again a viaim of his philosophy of reflection. faith.”’ Still. and that is what Hegel credits it for.”’ It must be emphasized hem. This rcffmion pcnevatcs indeed into what maka it possible-and that i s its speculative sidebur it refuscs to give up its rdcnive rigor. that this failure is not simply a wcakncss of Kantian thought but i s itsclf the result of the dissolving power o f understanding. since they arc witncss only to the a m k c of separation that is at their basis. without its knowledge. the speculative germs within Kant’s thinking that carry the promise of overcoming the metaphysic of reflection. whose (relative) merit Hegel was the fiatto acknowledge. logically speaking. could nonetheless conceive of such a totality only as a hypotheticalnemsiry. Whar.THE PHILOSOPHY O F REFLECTION z7 itself up. that is. however. o r as an abstract and absolute beyond ~mseitr). as an object only o f human faith and strife. and intuitions without con- . Kant contends that thoughts withour mmnt arc empty. although Kant’s mediations are purely hypothetical. Lct US concern ourselves h e x w i t h only two:the rranscendenral unity of apperception in Crifique of Pure Reason and thc assumption of an inrekcms mchetyprrc in Critique ofJudgmmt. What are these spcculative germs in Kantian philosophy? There are many. sinm-and always according to its imagination-cognition (orexplication) would not be possible without the subject-object distinction. who was well aware o f this exigency. pmupposa an original unity within which the fragmenting and antithetical power of understanding can become effective. which scwes t o mediate sensibility and understanding. and dissolution arc fdecmeaningful only with r q e c t to a totality. to f o l l o w HegeI. which mediatrs the world of the phenomena and the m d u s intelligibilis. are the prccisc limits o f rcflmion? For Hegcl the limits of reflection are rooted in its neglecting to recognize that. coward the begnning o f his First Critique. among which one must mention schcmatism. yet it provcs unable to avcrcome reflection by refleaion and. Kant. The metaphysic o rim.”‘ This judgment is canfinned by Fleischmann when hc claims that “Kant’s thought is fuli of unsuccessful mediations. In 5hart. remains chained to reflective opposition. and others. in its abortcd attempt to mflect the very presuppositions of its dualistic philosophy. or have the character o f an absolute and unfathomable beyond and are in essence reflexive. doublinb separation. they are. “represents the deeming ofreflectiun in ulI its dimensions. one a n wnclude with Jean Hrppolite t h a t Kantian thought. In thus removing the original unity from the realm of what can pmpedy be known. then. thus. When.

he implicitly suggests that a common tie must reunite the very different faculties of scnsibility and understanding. As Hcgcl remarks. Hegel comments an this absolute identity in Fnith and Knowledge: “This is how Kant truly solved his problem. as the unconditioned. absolute. 70). T h I s identity. as nor belonging r o sensibiliryKent wchcs back to rhe common source o f both intuition and undcrsranding. it contains the beginning af a rrue apprehension of the nature of the Notion and is cornplctcly opposed to that empty identity or abstract universality which is not within itself a synthesis. a5 originary synthcric unity o the highsr reason and ground. rhc f the transcendental ego. original identity o f oppmires” (p. but as a truly necessary. “This original synthetic unity must bc conceived. which in itself has no necmiry whatsoever. or what Kant calls in this mnrext the originary unity of transcendental apperception. In developing this idea of pure self-consciousncss as neither an inner nor an outer an-in short. is the origissry unity of rhe cogiro. or particular and universal. Indced. And in the gWaFer Logic: “This original synthesis of apperception i s one of the most profound principles tor speculative developmcnr. not 8s produced out of opposites. and appears 3s stparatad into the form o f a judgment. implicitty overcomes rhe dualism inevitably con- . to be chancterixed by uriiuer5~71 predicates of thoupht.28 TOWARD THE L I M l f S OF REFLECTION cepts blind. cxplains the validity o f scientific propositions. Thc ultimate stmcture of synthesizing understanding. The same Stnse of unity i s at work in his inquiry into synthetic a priori judgo say. into the reasons that permit rhe base term. according to Hegcl.”m But Kant explicitly broaches the idca of such an original identity only when discussing understanding (Vmiund] with respect to the transcendcntal deduction of the categories. this expcriencc must be one’s own and must draw on a prior logicd representation of unity rnadc possible precisely by the ego’s self-cornprchcnsion. In order to be possible. This unity. must not be mistakcn for the subjecrivc unity o f individual consciousness. of mum.”’ Kant’s insight into the spontaneous 3 priori synthcsiring faacdty of pure self-consciousness. as subjen and predicate. ‘Howare synthetic judgments a priori possible?‘Thcy are possible through the original. or ments-rhat is r rhc suh/cct in its paniculariry in a synthetic judgmenr. rhe mosr originary a priori of cognition. what bccomes obvious at this point in Kent’s argumentation is that in order for there to be a coherence in thc expcricncc of the manifold. absolute identity o f the hererogeneous. a unity that. synthetic judgments-the judgments by meanr of which naturc bccomes knowable to a subject-must presuppose a hidden ground. sunders itself.

Ir i s an intellect that itself givm existence to its objects. as to their character and intrgration is dependent on the whole. 88-89). Under the name o f intcllectual intuition (not to be mistaken for th$ hornologously termed concept in Kant). whereby the particular is condemn4 to remain contingent. of a sensiblc understanding--in short. “The . By o p i n g up the dimension of rranscmdentat imagination.of teflmion in Cririquc ofJudgmmt. is inadequate to nature as a whole.THE PHILOSOPHY OF REFLEGTION 29 n dw i r h reflection. I will consider only thc famous paragraph 76 of thc Third Critique. then SEhdling. a sorr of intellectus archcrypus anterior to the antinomies of understanding. linking things as heterogeneous as the intellect and the intuition. ete. and finaily Hegcl. and especialIy in the notion o f a rrflectivc faculty o f judgment. k a m e programmatic for the whole o f German philosophy in the wake o f Kant’s thought.. The idea of a transcrndmtal imagination. in cunrrasr t a the derivative rndc of human intuition. after having rcmgnized that ordinary human knowledge is reduced to subsuming the parricular within the universal. a facu1cy that gives itsclf the transcendental prinaplc of the unityof the manifold.’ Kant also recognizes char we are necessarily driven to this Idea. Here Kant. c a mode of intuition beyond the antinomies of understanding and reflexive thinking. o f a pure a p p m p r i o n which impEdtb scrves t o bridge intuition and undemanding. This intellect is characterized by intuitive intellectia or indkcnd inmiurn [ k t e k k ~ e l lAnschmcrrtg). in other words. The intelkectm wcherypus. as in Critique of Fwe Reason. dedarcs himself compelled to posit hypothetically the f possibility of a higher fonn of cognition for which this opposition o the universal and the particular would no longer exist. as we11 as the kypothcricnl assumption of an ilrtsllcaus mrhebypus ‘beyond the antinomi. The Idur of this archetypal inwitiw intellect is a t bottom nothing elw but the Idea of the transcendental imagination” (pp. Hue. the idea of an original and synthetic knowledge. Kant s m forth the very prinaple of speculation. Apart from the fact that Critique ofJildgmmt i s itself conceived as a bridge linking d x two heterogenmus worlds of the Fiat and Second Critiques. which for Kant i s the privilege of the primordial being alone. the speculative germs oi rhe Third Critique are co be found in the hyporhcsis o f an immemorial identity of pleasure and cognition. and that this kind of knowlcdg. o f Reasan-led m thc development of the systems o f Fichte. is original. It is. Hcgcl notes in Faith und Knowledge: “It is an ‘archetypal (urbildlich) intellect’ for which ‘the pmsibiliy ofthe parts. a nondiscursivc intellect.

Intellectual intuition is the uniry of self-consciousness. in his Sysrm o(Tmn- . T h c intuition o f anything ar all as alicn ro pure conKinusmss or Ego. Both the wmplaint and the madnss were no doubt occasioned by thc name o f the thing. Since intellectual inmition is a key term in all of German Idealism. As a matter of fact. (pp. the foundation of all thrce idealisms. WE must further clarify this issue. 157-158) Intektud intuitionin khelhg’s objective idealism bceomes the “organ of 111. A h c t i n g f r o m everything alien in consciousness on the other band. In Fairh andKnodedge. pure apperception is Ihe Kanrian figure for rhc Carresian ego cogito. whcre intellectual intuition designates the inner stateof the self and its waysot knowing itself which p r c d e rhc separation into an objective e l f and a nonsclf. as Fichte puts it. the only difficulty being perhaps to mnvintc o n m l f that it really is just this simple everyday rhing. nor by rhc thing itself. this i s pure absolute Lnowlcdge. H g c l rcfcrs to Fichtc’s concept of inteilecrual intuition in the following words: The difficult rcquircmcnt of intellectual intuition has amued gcncral Eomplaint. i inttIltcrua1 intuition. becomes after Kant the identical subject-object. and in the dialectia of an absolute subject-object identity A la Hcgtl). This becomes even more clear with Fichtc.” which means. pure apperception-that Is to say. the self-reflection OF the self as the possibility of a priori cognizance: it is the mode of cognition specific to cogito me cogitme. which Fichrc describes as mmmon and easy enough. knowing only what is formal in knowing. the Idea of a n intuitive intellect as the ahsoiutc middle” (p. equally given in common consciousness. is empirical intuition.30 TOWARD THE LIMITS OF REFLECTION still purer Idea of intellect that is at the same t i m e posteriori. which Kant w a s compelled to posit in order to be able to proceed to the categorics of understanding or to thc determination of the cpistcmological baundarics o f the faculty of judging. to quote Hegel. the most cncompassing. in the objective dialectics of nature according to Schdling. &cause inretlemal intuition-the principle of speculation-can be grounded in three logically different ways (in the sell-positing self of Fichte’s Science of Knowkedge. and since it i s the gcrm of rhc speculativc critique o f reflection. Intelltmal intuitionoverlaps with the original and synthetic unity of sensibility and understanding. Abstracring from the determinate Content in any rn o f knowlcdgc and knowing only pure knowing. though the Ego too is. it gives birth to the three systems o f German idealism. the last o f which is the most complete. and thinking oncrclf. transcendental thinking. and we have sometima heard tell of people who went mad in their efforts to produce h e purc acr of will and the inrcllcctual intuition. SO).

With this objection in particular. Furthermore. intcl!ectual intuition for Schelling bccome an objective rtaliy. P unity o f the intellea. but a h ~IXCS the formal Ego in an opposition with an always unfathomable beyond. the wg. but he objects to Rant’s duction of this unity to the purciy formal I &ink that must acfompany all rcprrsentation. we must not take the Iamlty of [productive) imagination as the middle tcrm that gets i n s e d bawem an exisring abgolua subject and an absoluteexisting world T h e produmivc imagination mug rather be recognized as what is primary and original. For Kant. as that out of which sulbiccrivc Ego and objective world first a& chcmsdva into thc rtectrssrity bipartite a p p r a n a and product.t@ Although i n c c l l m a l intuition is also the starting point of Hegel’s philosophy. Hegcl wrircs in Faith mtd Know!edge: T h e w h D k transmdenmt deduction b w h of the f o mo f intuition and of the u t c g ~ r y m gmcral annot be u n d d without distinguishing what Kant d t r thc hculiy of the original synthcfic unity of appemption k o m the E p which does the rtpmmdng and is the rubim-the @ which. or sclfsanxiausnw. it don not esc9pc his criticism. (pp. synthetic uniry. 72-73] Hegel’s objections to Kant’s handling of rhe “ m e a prior?’ i s that the law’s reduction of chis a priori m the pure formal unity of the I think not only robs the true a priorj o f its character as an original. merely accompanier all r c ~ r a r i o n s [Sccrmd] . absrract] identity. 148). Fichte’s. and Schelling’o treatmcnm o f infcllectual intuition fall short of solving rhe problems engendered by the memphysics of rekction. and to Fichtc’s Iimirarion of it co thc m l m of subjectivity. and as rhe sole In-ioclf. Hegel ridcs with Kant when t h e latar characterizes this original synthesis a% the unity of the I thmk. in his aitique of the unity o f apperception as daboratcd by Kant. To $urnmarire Hegel’s criticism of Kant’s theory of mediation in an elcnmcntary way.” or “it m r s as a merely possible thought which cannot acquire any reality in thinking because reflcction is to be dominant without quaMacion” (p. and o f the demonstration of the Oneness of nature and human knowlodge+ I n wntraat to Kant’s hypothmcnl assumption of an intellectual intuition. for Hcgcl.m of adequate comprehension and disclosure of objective reality.W E PHltDSOPHY OF REPLECCION 3x scmdentul Ideulim. HcgeI argues. the speculative Idea which OCCUFS in uncorrupted and pure form in the deduction o f the ~rrgaricr of undcrstanding“bemrncs a t o n a (t pure [that is. Kant’s. . Hegel’s argument dcmonsmtcs that Kant’s attempts to mediate apparendy irmncilable opposites falls prey to his philosophy of rctlcaion. as Kam says.

Although this sort of criticism &o Effects Kant. since it is opposed to e m pirical consciousness. it is aimed here especially at Fichre. Thought as such-the totality o f both cmpirical intuition and pure self-consciousncss. the unsolved problem arises from turning the original unity of apperception into mere formal self-reflection. Such an opposition. transcendental deduction in the original synthesis o one opposition rcmains intact: the opposition of . and as a. then they must both partake in the communal sphcrc of thought as such. result created the . and thus rcrnains abstract and formal.derivative moments of an opposition which the true a priori was incant to ovcrcome. If intellectual intuirinn as a formal activity remains apposed to other intuitions. within the pcrspective of Hcgclian thought. like all oppositions. and thus. they absrractcd intellectual intuition from its inrrinsic relation to consciousness of Otherness. presupposes that its moments share a common higher sphere.intellectual intuition to othcr forms o f intuition. But.3z TQWARD THE LIMITS OF REFLECTION Hegels radical critique of reflection becomes manifestr although it m r a c w the original synthesis-a synrhcsis of which subjcct and world are the necessarily bipartite appearances and products-the meraphysia of reflection proves unabte to lift thc self-refkcring subjcct ont o f its opposition to the world of objects. a totality i n which 411 separation and apposition is sublad-is philosophical knowledge itself. To limit the idea of a pure apperception tn an escntially accompanying phenomenon of a subject reflming upon itself and upon a world of phenomena is not only to fall hack into a Lnckean critique af knowlcdgc. Unlikc the unhappy syntheses of the metaphysics of reflection. Since the opposition that rcmains is that between self-consciousness and empirical or objecrive consciousn~ss. Hegel’s critique of Kant’s and Fichte’s intcrprctation o f the intellcctual intuition demonstrates that they had not understood this Eoncept as a frue totality. only a conccpt. In identifying it as the self-knowing of selfconsciousness. but also to reinstate and even solidify the . He argues thar. Hcgcl formulates thc same objections. it is n o t yct that knowkdgc itself. although intuition and understanding are grounded in the course of the f apperception. such as those of empirical consciousness. philosophy (Denken iiberbnupr) becomes a reflection on reflection’s unsolved appositions. thc end of rekction in absolute reflection or spcculatiori. In The Dif/ermce between Fichtc’s and Schelling’s System of Pki/osophy. Hcgel agrees rhat the idea of the ahsolure act o f the free self-activity of a sclf-positing self-consciousness is indeed the condition of possibility o f philosophical knowledge as such.

of course everyone knows that he knows. intellectual intuition. step forth as the Absolute! Why is the Absolute [in Fichte] surncthing that is recognized as being only a part and as deficient? No reason can be found €or i t exapt that this pan has empirical certainty and m t h . o reflection is its inground. True intclEcctual inmition r q u i m rhar the reflcxivc oppositions of an experience. lie in empirical-that is. by cntering into opposition with one another. enmeshed in empiricist immediacy. ratha than k i n g a totality. as well as of what makes such experience possible.” It is evident at this point that Hegel’s crinque o f the metaphysk o f reflection take place under the aegis of the canccpcs of totality. always the result of a prnious unity apprrhensiblc . can one prevent intellectual intuition from falling hack again “into inert simplicity” and from depicting “actuality i t d f in a non-actual manner.Genuine intcltmaI intuition would call for the subtation of empirical experiena [ o fthe gjvenness of objects or sates of mind) and o f analyzing thought. Hegel radically rcinterprcts the speculative germs of Kant’s philosophy in such a way as to show rhar all thex principles. isonly part o f P mtaliry. as Hcgd makes quire clear in Faith and Know[.dge. whose major preoccupation is to esrablish a variety o f autonomous unifying principlcs. According to Hegel. Unlike Kant. Only through such a rwounding of the reflective oppositions BS bifurcations of an original synthetic unity. constitute the unity formed by their dialectical re1ations. Since any separation is. Empirical truth of this sort is given preference over the absolute truth of the totahy!” [p.” as happens in Schelling.THE PHtLOSOPHY OF REFLECTION 33 problem of reconnecting it ‘to its Other again. 159). the only possibic mediation-a mediation that leaves nothing unrncdiated-rnusr be bawd on the idea of totality. l h a c objections rcvcal that Hcgel’s uitiquc of the philosophy of reflection questions the very titles of t h b philosophy. be rrfleaed back into h e common ground fmm whjcb these oppositions grow. for Hcgel. which encompams both thc opposition o f that unity and that which it reunites. Heptl’s principal objectian t ability to reflect itsclf-to reground its opposed moments-in t k rotality presupposed by the antithetical terms. the measure against which pure knowing shows iaclf to be incomplete. The reasom for their failure m conceive intellectual: intuition as the true a pion. and unity. he chastises the mcraphysics of reflection for io inability to achieve that end. Interpreted in this manner. nonphilosophical-cxperience: “Why does not this idea of the totality itself. &cawphilosophy in gmcral is most intimately determined by the quest for unity.

insofar as it engenders and solidifies opposites. Within absolute reflection. is the unity o f the opposing terms. one can contend that Kant's transcendental reflection. It is k i n g that knows itself through man. reflection properly speaking and rransrendenral reflection coincide with what as mere reflection they could not but presuppose: the inhitcly reflected totality. and not man who reflects on being.1' . T h e immediate itsclf rcflccts i t s c l f . Reflection is no longer lost in the bipartite moments o f its appcarance or in rhe pure and transcendental a priari which the dualism o f reflection necessarily presuppses. Yer since reflection docs not rcflem it. to reflection properly speakingir a relation Of partid c r i t i c i s m and pamal justification. this unity remainspurely formal. Anrhropology is overcome. this unity is the m e ground of these momenrs. Absolute refledon. but in an immediare manner only. although a solely subiective reflection. anticipata and calls For the elaboration of an absolute reflection. and this idenrity of mtldion and rhc immediate corrcspnodr r o philosophical knowlcdy as such. Wegel's criticism o f reflection puts reflection into the Absolute. Absolute reflection mrnprchcnds contmr imtf as reflmioo. to quote Hyppolite. thereby sublating thc dualism which it seemed unable to overcome by itself. Reflecrion coincides with mere human rctlectjon on experience and on its mnstimtion. m n m d s reflection. Canscquendy. The passage from reflection to the thinking a1 rotaliry is the passage from reflection t o absolute reflection or speculation.34 TOWARD THE LIMITS O F REFLECTION through the opposing moments. or absolute reflection. Reflection in Kanr. This specularive reflection-or absolute teflcctionreplaces the old dogmatic meraphysics. yrr the a x n c e i s not turned into a secand world that would explain and ground the first." The relatian of philosophicat knowledgc.

ISOLATED REFLECTION Isolated r d l d a n . Representing the force uf limitation (die Krufr . In outlining the logiw-dialectical process o f the passage of reflection from undcrstanding to Reason. o r common tetleaion. a$ outlined in the “Logic of Essence” section o f the greater Logic. T h e word appears in a variety of contexts that determine its meaning and is used in a t least three different TheDiffmcebetween Fichre’s mrd Scbellmgs System of Philosophy. it is nccessary to study the passage from reflection proper to absolute or speculative reflection. also called simple. we can distinguish benvten reflection as (1) the dissolving f o m of undersrandin& (2)the totalizing power of the specularive proms. Such an invatigarion requires us to distinguish cIearIy among the several types of reflection m which Hegel refers. Absolute reflccdon. which is itself a speculative reinterpretation o f the reflexive process of understanding.3 The Self-Destruction ofReflection M Inardcrto undernand what Hegel.’ Therefore. I shall skip the critical and dialcctiml reappropriation of reflection in the greater Logtc and limit my discussion to the major features of this problem by following the distinctions HegeI made in The Diferenre bctwccn isolated and philosophical reflection. and (3) one moment within that process. calls the self-dstrucfion of reflcction. is the mode o f thought characteristic o f the positioning {Secwr] particular to understanding. must be distinguished from rmified rcfltction. as characreristic of rhc speculative profess as a whole. the notion of rcflmion is nor a unified concept. pure. Indeed in Hcgel. Each o f these diffetent notions o f reflection is itself divided into a number of aspects.

. isolated reflection is a mode of thought that has no relation to the Absolute. philosophical reflection must entertain some form of relation to the Absolute. philosophical reflection continues the scparating activity of rhis mode of thought: it can behold only thc ~ d y t i form ~ ~ lo f absolute synthesis. or totality. philosophical reflection conceives the totality or the Absolute. to the unity or totality ofwhat the h c d opposites prcsuppore as their common medium or element. philosophical reflection inverts Reason as the unifying faculty inro something merely reasonable (Verstiindiges). for consciousness.36 TOWARD THE LIMITS O F REFLECTION des Beschrunkens). it can conceiveof the original synthesis as a union only in the form of an antinomy of absolutely dualistic tcrms. Consequently. and what are the ways in which E t surmounts thc dualism of isolatcd reflection? Whereas simplc rcflcction. it can grasp the truc and real synrhesis of opposites only if it invens (Yerkehren) that synthesis inro something apposcd to that which it is the nynthcsis of.” When philosophical reflection expounds the true nature of this identity. How. Because it is indebted rn understanding. Yet in order t o be able to tender pure reflection fluid and thus overcome in obdurate oppositions. is “the instrummf of philosophizitrg. undmranding only posirs opposim (Entgegengeserzte). as their “beyond. It posits this unity in opposition to the initial dualistic structures. it remains isolated. in a merely formal manner. or above whar it is opposed to. chat is. according to The Ditfercnce.”‘ Since t h r task o f philosophy is the construction of the Absolure. philosophical rcflcction is called upon to mediate b m e c n isolated reflection and the divided totality char it produces.then. Philosophical rcnecrion originates in opposires. Because philosophical reflection belongs to thc realm o f understanding. isolated reflection rcmains incapable d raising itself above itself. Isolated reflection thus perpetuates the dissolving activity o f understanding by fixing those t h i n g that understanding posits as being in opposition tn each orher. PHILOSOPHICAL REFLECTION Philosophical reflection. or. perpetuates the opposites posited by understanding. Lacking such a relation. According to Hegel. it sets it forth { D d r s t d h g ) as the binding powcr o f irreducible opposites. a5 Hegel expresses it. or rcflcction without relation to the Absolute. however. Since it has no rclation to the Absolute. dws this relation to the A b d u t c become manifest in philosophical refiemion. In short. and the formal insight inro the necessiry of a unity of opposite tcrms. it does so.

But determination pmoccds through negation. Being and everything limited. By analyring the specific sort o f contradiction that exists b e c n thcsc reflexive determinations. that is. which separares absolutely. which arise through abstraction from absolute identity. for the determinate must be bounded by an indeterminate. for philosophical reflection. in the very positing and dererrnining that have occurred there .” a knowledge without t r u e intellertual intuition. e t c .T H E SELF-DE52RUCflON OF REFLECTION 37 “the purely formal appearance o f the Absolute. a synthesis o f opposites. Iris morality whose anrinornic narute is grounded in what Hegel calls reflective dererminatians (RefTexhnsbesrimmwttgm). It i s a unity thoroughly determined in itself. are reflective products o f the same sarr. f r o m the indeterminate to the determinate. for reflection. The transition as synthesis becomes antinomy. These reflective determinations. indeterminateness and determinateness. they are thought to be irreconcilable. being and everything limited-is dererminate. help philosophical reflection set forth iG antinornic synthesis of opposites. because they are determinate. Thus the detcrminate n s t s o n nothing.The knowledge that flows horn philosophiml reflecrion is “pure knowledge. it is a mere bqond. but also the second reason for which this unity must remain contradictory. o r in what Kant calls the mtegories of rcndmkmding. Hegel condudcs. a “nullification [Vernichtmg] o f rhc opposim in contradiction” (p. by positing an opposite to what is given. There is no transition from the infinite to the finite. All that is posited by understanding-that is. Hegcl writes: “Infinity and finitude. 95). according to Hegel. one can better grasp not only the exclusively formal quality of the unity to which philosophical reflection is capable of raising itself. Yet in the perspective OF understanding. must consequently have an indeterminate before and after. 1091. 158-159).” Indeed. the Absolute is a t most an antinomy. Since the reflective determinations are abstracred by understanding from the absolure identity. since philosophical reflection “aims a t thoroughgoingdetermination” (p. “Thus its [understanding’s] positings and determining5 never accomplish the task. But why do these reflective determinations lead only to a purely formal and antinomic union? A t least two reasons must be mentioned here. cannot allow a synthesis of the finite and the infinite+of the deterrninatc and the indctcrminatc to be brought about. and it is reflection that legislates here” (pp. Yet the purely formal or antinomic synthesis to which phi[osophical reflection raises itself is not just any unity. that indeterminate is norhing.

and how it compares to thc other forms of rcflmion. What makes that passage possible i s that understanding is alrcady a fore-form of Reason. “kills the living elemenr of rrue identity in it” (p. 146). says Hegel. philosophical reflection nullifies not ‘only its own principle but also the idea of a unity itself. a compulsion Hegel compares to he activity of policing. no concept at all. “The highest maturity. that ofthought itself. i t cannot keep Rcason away: “it sccks ro protcct itself against the feeling of its inner emptiness. With this faiture to conceptualize the Absolure. and hcna the task o f positing and determining recurs perpetually” (p. and from the Seccet fear that plagues anything limited. by extending the f determination t6 infinity. as soon as philosophical reflection recognizes that the things it oppnses in a dualistic fashion are only ideal factors. Such a possibility arises. which anything can attain is that in which its . as real opposites-philosophical reflccrion bccomes Reason and makes the leap into absolute o r speculative reflection. the highest stage.3 f thinking the Having reached its inner limits with the impossibility o identity o f the determinate. 95). 149). Wirh this recognition that the opposites of understanding are thoroughly relative terms. as long a5 they are nor undcrstood with respect to rhe true absolute identity.38 TOWARD T H E LlMlTS OF REFLECTION lies a nonpositing and something indeterrninare. we must first understand the manner in which the transition of philosophical reflccrion to speculation OCCUI‘S. . or opposites of Thought alone. that is to say. the mraliry to which ir is able to raise itself is not solely the formal unity of antinomies. philosophical reflection reaches the point where it begins r o dissolve and pass over into its Other. Becausephilosophicat reflection is “bound to fall into the making of endless dererminarions” (p. and with thcdetcrmination of the oppositcs philosophical reflection within the limits of the Absolute-that is.” Hegel wrim. Indeed. Indeed. the simple abstracc concept of a unity that. Without knowing it. by whitewashing its particularities with a semblancc o f Reason” (pp. according to Hegel. It is also an abyssal concept o f unity. philosophical reflection faces the necessity of passing over into another mode of thought or reflection that will accomplish what it wt out to do. understanding copies Reason. SPECULATIVE OR ABSOLUTE REFLECTlON In order to understand the nature of abdute reflection. since it remains opposed to what it reunites.downfall begins. by reducing ir M an endless proprocess o cess.

95). But understanding not only copies Reason unknowingly insofar a5 it scts forth a merely formal identity. as we have seen. As philasophid dcction. It is seduced by Reason“into producinganobjacrivc totality” (p. 95). Although it is not conscious of doing so. Thus. because it is Reason rhat “makes thcinrcllmboundless. Let us recal1 that the opposites of philosophical reflection arc only opposites of thought. it is a charaaeriscic of Reason as only the cxpliat formula. Although the infinite task of determination thar ruins philosophical rcflcction is a charactcristic of the Iowcr srandpoinr from which the absolute synthesis is considered. 108). because “the Ego is [thus] placed in absolute opposition to the object. the putcly formal synthesis o expression (fomrellen Ausdmck).. but is something thought. the torality of philf “the Ego. whose objeaive pole. and in this infinite wealth the intellect and its objective world meet their downtall” (p. philosophical reflection is unable to think an organic relation between the opposim it sets forth. a pure product of reflection.THE SELF-DESTRUCTION OF REFLECTION 19 92-93). When philosophical reflection remgnizcs that its anrinomic f opposit. indctermiosophical rcflmion is cornpod only o . a mere form of cognition. hdeed. the infinite that it cannot avoid juxtaposing to the finite-an opposition that throws philosophical reflecrion into the endless process of determination-”is [already] something rational [belongingtothe order ofReason] as posited by the intellect. Because it is indebted to understanding. it makes a place for &ason. conceptualized by philosophical refleaion under the form o f the Ego. it is nothingreal. 158). 90). it also lets itself be seduced by Reason into nullifying its own principle in the endless task of reflectively determining the formal totality in question. they remain in absolute contradiction to one another. “has (already] brought the formal essence o f reflection undcr its control” (p. u n b d i n g takes on the task of thinking the originary unity of thc dcterminatc in a formal manner. Yet. This infinite task shows understanding to be manipulated by Reason. the indeterminate that it must ncmsarily oppose to dmrminatc being i n order to determine it fully.e.“ Hcgel argues (p. it merely e x p ~ the s negating of the finite” (p. is determined by a host of addimand ideal opposites. of trurh.” k u s e “taken by itself. what caum the downfall of philosophical reflection. as Hcgel mrnarks. Their merely ideal nature is a function of the indetcrminate. i. which is turned into the correlate o f the totality of the determinations of king. moreover. At that point Reason.. understanding as the fore of separation alrcady prcsupposa an identity into which its dissolving power CUB. As ideal opposites.

the objm. “Being the [aculty of being and limitation. but as reflection it stands in opposition to it” (p. an ohjcaive idcntity. and . Let us analyze this process of self-destruction in more derail. . says Hegel.” rcflecrion. “Ukc everything else. whosc r o m the totality of which they are parts. 94). With such an obieaivc interprccarion of absolute idcntity. or in 3 subject-object relation that is primarily subjective.” beyond whose play of reciprocity it cannot reach (p. it connects [itself and] them with the Absolute” [p. this concept of the Absolute coincides with Hcgel’s philosophic.. Indeed. to Fichtc’s subjcaivc one in order to overcome the subjective and rncrcly ideal determination of the opposites. [as soon as]. Bcforc analyzing absolute or spcculativc rcflccrion in itself. in Hcgel’s terms. The negative power of understanding. By conceiving of the totality o f all determinations 3% an antinomic unity in which the opposir. What takes place is the self-destruction of reflection. we must Crst consider what happens to reflection in the transition to absolute reflection. t a k e the totaliry of its logically possible determinations into acmount. . and r o overcome with the same stroke understanding and philosophical reflection. . and its distinction from mere philosophical reflection. is consequently thc manifestation of the positive powcr of Reason.are desrraycd preciwly to the CJrtcnt that they arc in a relation of antinomy. In a clear mfcmcc to Fichtc’s transcendental philosophy. ~pcculativc. or sclf-determination. it bnmrncs. because only this determination o f absdure synthesis. Hegcl shows the purely formal and antithetical synthesis of understanding to be rooted in a hypostasis o f the Ego.~ But it truly becomes speculation only when it conccives of the absolute identity as thc subjective and objective suhjccr-objccr. in the antinomic dcstruction o f opposites. by destroying itsclf in the process of self-reflection. According to Hegel. The hitherto ideal opposites. reflection has standing only in the Ab5alute. S c h e h g opposes an objective subjectobject relation. thc totality of moments a t play in philosophical reflection begins to come into v i m .ll enterprise. As soon as philosophical reflcction turns to the conceptualization of the absolutc idcntity of subim and object. determinateness. 139). a destruction that leads to the establishment . The self-destruction of reflection rcsulting from the reflcction upon reflection takcsplace a t the mornent 31 which rhc limited is rclared to rhc Absolute. 96). Needless to say. refleaion reveals itself as Reason by pointing toward an nbsolute synthesis.40 TOWARD THE LIMITS OF REFLECTION natencss. "nullifies irself and all being and everything limited. signification now derives f appear as real opposites in Schelling’s philosophy of nature as the theory d nature’s self-construction.

Thus. in it.T H E SELF-DESTRUCTION OF REFLECTION 4f of a formal mtaliry. in its own abyss: and in this night of mere reflection and of the calcularing intellect. The abyss of Reason is destructive of dll forms of relcction. Only by dattoying itself can reflection achieve this goal. aII separation is overcome. ir has thrown irself into the abyss o f its perf&on” (p. Bur ir is also the abyss of Reasan. that is. like everything else. 96). as long as philosophical reflection and understanding are still its opposites. T h e truth o f reflection i s thus “the truth of its nullification” (pp. to use Hegel’s words. in this night which is the noonday of life. common sense and speculation can meet one another” (p. “must give irself the law of self-desttuciion. and speculation fist meet in indifference. is the medium of the sublation o f all self and everything o p p o d to the self. insofar as the latter s w e s the opposing force of understanding. an identity in which neither a subjective nor an objective synthesis of the subice-object relation prevails. In short. “Reason thus drowns inell and its knowledge and its reflection of the abaohce identiry. 97-98). By working at its own destruction. all opposites are reunited. And since this sublation rakes place when reflection destroys itself by making itself its own reflective object. By destroying itsclf in making itself its ownobiem. the tcflection on this connection d m away with all o f reflection’s work. Since reflection. and it has not maintained but nullified [the claim1 that it is itself the Absolute and the eternal. [is1 given to it by Reason and [is] moving it to become Reason” (p. But what does this colorful expression mean! T h e abyss is the negative image by which Reasonappears to and in reflection. has standing only in the Absolute. the abyss of Reason. 103). into the abyss of its own petfedon. It i s ~ t h c element in which reflection. reflection throws itself. in order to be at once opposed to and m1ed by Reasan. as standing in opposirion to Reason. philosophicaI rcflcction “has not maintained but f the wo terms or of either nullified the opposition and the standing o of them. but stands as reflection in an adverse relation to it. in which alone it has a standing. of d l opposition. 140). then reflection. The abyss i s the abyss of Reason.&cause tellenion is Reason onIy to the cxtent that it is connected to the Absolute. the process of the becoming of Reason coincides with the overcoming of the last possible opposition. With this total identiry of subject and objm. and the realm of the Absolute is reached. Reason is rhe abyss into which reflection throws itself 3s a self. inm which reflcrdon throws itself in a gesture of self-destruction. Reflection rnusc become this abyss.” This law. which is “its supreme law. The self-destruction of reflection . common sense.that is. that ofthe self to itself.

The term beats a connotation o f recklessness only for thought that is caught in a “naturalistic” prejudice against rhoughr irself. of so-called a priori conmumions or. by its destruction o f itself as standing in opposition to all objects. contrary-to-fact hypotheses. The same applies to the German Idcalist philosophers. and.J Such speculation. to the extent that philosophical reflection transcends the facrual given and moves toward its ultimate determining grounds. Since Manin Luther’s c then the pejorative sense o f specuIariw has rcferted primarily to those propositions of Christian theology that evasively transcend the given. The term speculntion is rwted in rhe Latin specio.of speculation in Carmian and post-Cancsian philosophical thought has not only signified the necessary transcendenm o f what i s given in a sensuous manner. has little to do with that deforming rcprmtation meaning that which is mcre fancy of thought. speculation coincides with the necessity of philosophical thought as such. for Thomas Aquinas. and ro itself a5 well. was of coursc rmtriaed to the interpretation of ail finite substances as deriving from the one divine subsrancc. which together with contmplutio makes up the Latin translation of the Creek conxpcpr of thheoriil. but has begun to signify as welt the necessary dcmonsrration of the givenness of being. the meaning . “IO look. of the cognitive objectivity of the world and its absolute ground.* It is in this amplified sense that Kant’s positive use o f rhe concept of speculation should bc understood. it is from that perspective that speculation must bc understood and evaluated. is the main obstacle in the way o f becoming speculation or absolute reflection. Undoubredly scholasric philosophy and German Idealism have indulged in speculative aberration. rhe principles. The self o f reflection.” “to behold. tp the construction o f idle thoughts about idle subjm.” The specularive discourse is. What. o r S p e C U ! d O . “the discourse that cstablishes the primary notions. is specuiation? Speculation is a word that has fallcn into dccp disrcputc since r i t i c i s m of system-oricnted scholasric theology.12 TOWARD THE LIMITS OF REPLECTlON rcprcxnts a regrounding of rcflmion in the Absolute. in thought alone. This regrounding takes place in reflection’s self-annihilation-that is. then. more broadly. Bur s i n e Descartes’s recasring of the concept of rruth. Yet. the theoretical discourse par exccllencc-that i5. Thus. But spccuIation. of what is believed to mean the same. Hegel inctuded. the hypartssis af the Ego or subjm. since speculation as rheorio m a n s cssentially the pursuit of knowicdp for knowledge’s snke. or reality. since it was tied to thc scholastic and theological form o f philosophical thoughr. as Ricocur remarks. that articulate primordially .

it appears as the very condition of the possibility o f philosophical knowledge and thought. hcreinafcer.Cansqucndy. just as the one is the one of rhe other. specuhtive bas meant the p’cmss of constant exchange between a mirror and irs m i m r image. One calls a relation speculative when an object first m a i n s fixed in a purely phenomenal state. or indeed a f o r i t s e l f . “the speculative is the condition of the possibility o f rhc concepntal. but must be thought d as a mirroring. evcn the absolute nacssity o f the speculative element of philosophical thought. in which the reflection is the pure appearance o f what is reflected. since concepts cannot effectively bc deduced p e t i d l y from perceptions or images. and the other i s the other of the ont. knowledge-a knowledge that kind o free f r o m all subjective and practical ingredients-that is also the knowledge of itself. but especially in C m a n Idealism. Hans-Gwrg Cadamer can write that “a thought is speculative if the relationship that it expresses is not conceived as the unambiguous assigning of a determination to a subjcct. Since German Idealism. derived speculatio from specuhris. than its mirroring herion. speculocive designam f pure. When Hegd writes in Scimce . a p r o m t o a Mvcn thing. in order to emphasize spmrlation’s capability of indirect wgnition of the Divine. The one I s h a l be most concerned with-Derrida’s criticism of speculation and absolute reflection-is a position that recognizes the well-foundcdncss. and bezausc it is thus 6rsc in the order of foundation. speculation o h n the reflective distance that allows a conceptual space to constitute irself. the cxigcncies. the mirroring aspea of speculation takes on a new and additional meaning. Speculativc knowledge is rhar son of knowledge that constitutes itself in self-refleaioa.”e Bur GadamcrS d-on of speculative &ought is nor precise enough TO account for what really distinguishes absolutc rcflmion or specda~on from philosophical reflection. positions which in -rice represent radical attacks on what rhc tradition has meant by philosophical thought.THE SELF-DESPRtlMJON OF REFLECTION 43 the space of the concept”-and. we review a srrics of critical positions on speollations and absolute reflection. Ytr not all critiques o f the tdKnce ofphilosophid thought are of equal pertinence. But what is ir rhar m a k e speculation such a privilegcd discourse? Nothing Icss. Scholastic philosophy referred m specsrlimr as well. w i t h respect to ordinary and scientific languages. apparently erronmusly. . or purely thcorctical. “in the manner of a mirror” (speculum). indeed. S i n a Kant. But with post-Camian philosophy. Cicero. but is then also recognized as being for a subject-an in-itself.”7 Because. This must not be forgotten when.

*’ it becomes obvious thar speculative thought i s concerned with reconsrituting the unity of what is diverse. and contradiction. its own self. Itsstandpoint is that o f absolute identity. the ulrirnars foundation of d l poniblc diveniry. Speculmim. “the identity of which sound scnsc i s not conscious into consciousness’* (p. and Reason itself is the Absolute under the form of knowing. then. Hcgel contends that “for speculation everything determinate has reality and truth only in the cognition of its connecdon with the Absolurc” (p. rogiianr and cogitatrrm. It coincides with the reciprocal mirroring and unification o f the conflicting poles. and irs mode of cognition that of pure reasonablc (vmiinftige] knowing o f the Absolute. Now. comprising borhdifFmnce and unity. T o speculation . unlike that of reflection.P In contrast to philosophiul reflection.’” It has thc boldness ‘toconceive of opposites in their unity.44 T O W A R D THE LIMITS OF REFLECTTON of Logic that “spccu~uriucthinking consists solely in the fact rhat thought holds fast contradiction. The standpoint of speculation. The mirroring that constitutes speculativc thought amculates the divem. Its standpoint is thus the standpoint of Reason. In the radii the focus is positcd and in thc focus the radii” (p. 99). is the movcmtnt that consiiturcs the mmr complerc uniry. 1 I 1). which according to traditions[ logic is unthinkable and should thus be nonexistent. says Hegcl. whose essence resides in the highest and mosr complete synthmis. thought and nonrhought.rhe finirudes arc radii of the infinire focus which irradiates them at the same time thar it is formed by them. as Hegel puts it. and in this manner relating. is a structured and absolutely encompassing totality. In The Differmre.because the thought of such unity requires a bcho[ding of what is opposite as such-that is. Speculative thought is the systematic accomplishment uf the unity presupposcd by reflection. and in it. the boldnerc to tbinb contradiction. in such a way as to exhibit the totality of which this diversity is a pan.But . loo). speculatioa must a l u . abolish the opposition hcnvccn thc conscious and the nonconscious. opposition. one thing to another-and which there fore cannot conceptualize the unity of what i s in opposirion-speculative thought poliscsste. It lifts. .. where i a dctcrminations arc rcsolved by contradiction only into other dctcrminations or into nothing. SpecuI . but docs not allow irsclf ro be dominated by it as in ordinary thinking. and the contradinions that exist between its elemenrs. the being in opposirion of the oppositm as well as the mutual reflection by which these opposites becomc unified in the idea o f the 5pirit-speculative thought is grounded in ihi5 reflective mirroring of what is positively in opposition.

in Hcgclian terms. or absolute refleaion. At thevery moment thar language is understood a5 more than a pragmaric roo1 for rcprcscnting what is (although this view does nor a p e the philosophical concept of language).THE SELF-DESTRUCTION f l F KEFLECTIDN 4s lation wwequentpl also demands the nullification of mere consciousness through the self-destruction of reflection. and of expressing it in language. and the beyond of the object that for such a consciousness must always remain indecipherable. or transcendental selfreflection of the subject of cognition (the thinking being) and the reflcctcd objcct o f this epistemological endeavor (what is thought). as hermeneutic philosophers such as Gadamer and Ricbeur remind us. is a movemenr of thought thar permits ar once the overcoming of the purely formal and constitutive function o f self-consciousness in the process of knowledge. Speculation is rooted. By establishing this speculative rorality. who brought the Greek philosophy of the fogos to its full completion. Bcforc we move on to funher discussion of the philosophical f reflexivity. is a critique of reflection and. Only at this point does philosophical thinking achieve its telas. formal. because the momenr a t which all opposition is abolished mincidm with the total self-penetration and self-deterrninarion of thought. in language itself. or to be more precise. in the philosophical concept of language. particularly. speculative thought can conceive of the object o f its thinking as nothing Icss than thc xlfdetermined movement of its own selfcomprehension as thought. the logical presuppositions of dividing philosophical reflection itseIf. Bccause language realizes meaning in speech or writing. explicitly and exhaustively. in philasophica1 terms. To sum up: Speculation. as the image of the subject thrown back by the arion of h reflecting mirror (or. of philosophical reflection insofar a s its mirroring function permits rhe overcoming of the major antinomy of reflection. Undoubtedly HegeI. at first conceived of . philosophical thinking expounds and devclops. be thought o f as a totalizing medium. The determination of the abject of cognition in term5 of a sclf-alicne subiect. Indeed. The higher unity 01 spirit is achieved only a t thc prim of a ruspcnsion of all opposition. ir may be useful ra assert achievements of this critique o rhat speculation is not a diffuse and occult enterpriw. speculation achieves its totalizing efforts when it recognizes its own achievement as the achievement of the self-determination of the Concept. it vouchcs for the possibility o f articulating a relation r o the whotc of being. because it makes communication and mderstanding possible. it must. Ar rhis point of completion. that between the cmpirical. as an itself thar is in fact a for-anself).

with its possibility of absoiutely isolating and separating subjccr and predicate. as well as i n a number of passages from his Enqdopedia. it cannot be altogether xvcred from the mcdium of language. Although Hcgel discusses the speculative proposition in rhe preface 10 Phenomenology and in the last pages of Scimce of Logic. it presupposes rhe possibility of linguistic utterance and exposition. Indced. Yet thc content of speculative thought is such that it destroys rhestructure of thcordinaryproposition. is adequatcly cxpresred within the usual structures of thc common proposition. The conrcnt of the spcculative proposition i s the identity o f the sclf-determinjng Concepr and thought itself."" The sprmlativc proposition is thus said to alter radically the relation between subjectand predicate in predicarive sentences or empirical propositions. a bypokeimmon. f Subjecr and Predicate. Let us look more closely at whit Hegel understands by the "speculative propo~ihon. argues Hegel. are rhc ways in which speculativc content dntroys the traditional form of judgment? First. because it conceivcs of the content of its thought in the same way as it conceives of the subject of the proposition-that is. differences in rhc content of speculation such as subjcct and object or subject and attributes are determined within the totality of which rhey are the bipartite manifesrarion. But since speculation is effective or real only where it finds ia exposirion in rhc speculative proposition. whose arrribures are by definition clearly distinyishable. Thcreforc. the common proposition.'2 Bur what. I shall consider only the discussion in the preface.secrnsan inappropriate form of expression for specularive co:irenr. as an underlying substance. from an Aristotelian and Cartesian perspective. The common strumre of iudgmcnts or propositions consists. But why should it be important to overturn the srruaure o f predication. since it i s here that he is most explicit on this subject. and the proposition of identity which the former becomes contains the counter-thrust against that subiectprcdicatc relationship. then. of the predication o f a subiect within the horizon of a dererminarion of truth as certitude." which destroys thc ordinary notion o f the proposition.46 TOWARD THE LIMITS OF REFLECTION speculative mediation as an operation o f thought alone. "The general nature of the judgment or proposition. despite the fact that thc specutative critique of the form o f predicative propositions is a cririque . As we have seen. Speaking of the specularive proposition. is destroyed which involves the distinction o by the speculativc proposition. Hegel writes. and what happens to that srrucrurc in specularive proposirions? Ratiocinative rhought.

Kant admits that ht i s not satisfied with the logician’s definition of judgment as a reprcscntarion o f a relarion bawecn two canccpts. ‘The spaulativc m t m t o f the proposidon “God is being” reds “Being is Gad. sincc rhe medium of self-consaousness i s not for b u t a concept.~~ m a r . “his s o to speak quaternary inrepmation of triplicity”-quaternary because Hegel’s replacing wlf-consEiousncsswith a third concept does not da away with sclf-oonsciousna but reinstates it as a fourth position f r o m which it grounds and animates rhc triplicity itself-is only a more consistent devclopmmt of Kant’s own discovery. and in which the subject. at rhc beginning of paagraph 19 of the second deduction o f ‘Transcendental Logic” in Cririquc ofPwe Rearon. This third term. being. which destroys its character as a prcdicarc. For Kant. or judpmenr. explains the synthetic characrzr of propositions. a specdative sentencc is one in which the predicate of the propsirion is made a subjm. the f o r m of the d i n a r y pmpositioa is not ovcrtly destroyed. according to Kant. becoma dissolved Aaording M &is example. At f i a t . this medium is self-monsciousness. does such an inner destruction of the uaditional form of the ptoposition amount to?Hcgcl‘s own example of such an inmr dcstruaion of the common figure of the propasition by a speculative mntent is the staremenr “God is being. remains formally a binary synthesis of subim and predicate-Kant’s hypothais of a ternary strumre of the propairion serves as the stardng point for Hcpl’s dcvclopmcnr or the spccularivc propasirion. God. Even if HegeI 6nds faulr with this h t i a n cxplanatiun of iudgitm-which. His speculative inarprcration of judgment.” Spccuiativethought does not pmcctdby affirming or denying .’’ Hegd writes in Fuitb und Knowledge. and it ties the relation b m c n the two conapts to thc originary synthetic unity o f apperception. in the proposition “God is being. that despite the incongruity between the specularive contenr and the ordinary smctllfco b the proposition. Hegel develops the simple proposition of judgment into the syllopism.” In contrasrta thc conventional relation between subject and predicate in propositions. Wc recognizes that for a judgment to be possiblq a third element or medium must bc added to the two relating concepts. then.T H E SELF-DESTRUCTION O F REFLECTION 47 of Kanr.” has acquired an cssenrial substanrisliry. as Werner Marx has argued. “The g m of speculation lies in this triplicity alone.“ Yet ir is imporcant to rcalizc. Hegel‘s speculative minrerprctarion o f rhe s m m m o f judgment is pmiblc only as a result of Kant’s insights into the ternary s t r u m r e of the proposition.speculative thought is simply p r o j m d inm the traditional form o f the propo~ition.’*Indeed.

it expresses an identity that is itself both passive and transitive. On the level o f judgment. it is still absorbed in thc content.appearance. Ir expresses the Absolute iaelf-the Absolutc that is thc rorality of the Conccpr. is rhrown hack on to the thought of the Subject. as rhe beingot essence which exhausts the nature of the Suhiecr. I r is the vcry subsrance.n l c is has radically changed meaning: it no Eongcr stcurs the attribution o f predicatts to a subject. In what ways. the inner revolution of the proposirion. is not limircd to a simpkc rcversal of subject and predicate. the essence of rhe subject. a n idenrity that makes thc bounds uf reflection disappear. missing it. m3de possible by a spccularivc contcnt. a sensible gcncraliry. and. thc spcculativc pmposirion represents rhc solution ofthc Kantian reflective diffcrcncc between thc empirical proposition as a formal relation of rwo concepts and self-conscious- . Such rncdiation as a toralising proccss of dcwrrnination srands for absolute reflection. instead o f being is a position whcrc i t has frecdorn for reality ferlsitsclt chcckcd by thc loss of thchbjtct. the dificultics of reflection insofar as they pertain to the strumre of judgment are overcome. it is destructive o f the binary and rcflcctivc form of the relation of subject 3nd predicate. Hegel argues. since the Predicate itsclt has bmn cxprswd as a Subiect. The subject of the ordinary proposition becomcs lost in rhc subsranrial cssencc of rhc prcdicntc in the specularive proposition. having returned into i t r l f in rhe P d i c a t e . of univenals to the particular. Or.1b In other words. what is changd by the speculativc contcnr in thc usual suhjcct-prcdicatc rclation of propositions is not only the respecrive positions of subject and prcdicare but thc very status ofrhc copula in the iudgrncnt. a universal dcterrninarion. or at !cast is faced with the demand that It should be. With this idcntity of subject and prcdicatc.” The copula of the proposition thus k a m e s the real subjcct o f the speculative proposition. mcdiation becomes thc tmc subject of thc proposition. Within the speculativc proposition. Hcgel remarks: Here thinkink instead of making p r a m s i n the transition from Subject to Predicate. In 3 speculative proposition. and now. then. Hence.48 TOWARD THE LIMITS OF REFLFCTION prcdicatcs ahnut a subjca that would rcmain a stable and solid base throughout the pmcms of detcrrninarion. is the specularive propasirion different from the empirical proposition?Although a speculativc proposition resembles the empirical proposition in . the predicate is no longer a class. instead. thinking finds rhe Subieo immediarely in the Predicate. but a category. Thc counterthrust o f which Heget spcaks makcs the speculative proposition a proposition of idcnrily.

this solution is the result of the synthesizing function o f the copula. a singuEnr proposition is xrrncthing “fixed” and “positively dead. and only rhe expression o f this movement is a spcculativc exposition [Darstellung]. however. through mediation. Dialectics. While the young Hegel used speculation and dialectics synonymously. . and completing irself as a whole. With dialectics. this opposite rnovemcnt must find explicit expression: it must nor just be the inward inhibition mentioned above. T h i s alone i s the specularive inncr (wirhlicbcJ. Within the pramration of the whole as truth.‘? Since thepredicate in a speculative proposition mustexhibitie nature as subject. in his h e r work he dimtinguishcr between these concepts. “the speculative C uct [Urirkliche]. i s the dialmica1movemental the proposition itsceIf. A5 Werner Marx has shown. This rnovcmcnt which constitutes what formerly rhc pmof was ruppoxdto accomplish. the specdative expresses itself in an efiective manner as well. herein lies the sole possibility of showing how the totality of dcterminations is fused inro a true association.” T h e solely inward destruction of the empirical proposition. Hcgel writes: The sublation of rhe form of the proposition must not happcn only in an inmcdiute manner. of the dialectical self-reflection of mcdiation in which subject and predicate become identical. in the preface to Phenommology. In the speculative judpnent. This i s why the true speculative.porttayaE o f the life of rrurh. absolute reflection achieves its essence only in such a speculative exposition of the specularive conrent.’’ In thc. and since this can occur only dialectically. n c spcculative presentation must take command of an cntire system o f pmpoeitions. This m r n of the Notion into itself musr be set forth [hrgestellrl. On the contrary. signifies the mode of exposition of the speculative conrenr. The single proposition becomes a link in e chain of proposirions.” In speculative exposition not only is the speculative content devoted ro rhc immcdiare or inward destruction of the common form of the proposition.2’ The passage from the sfcumre of the single speculative proposition M the tcxrure and torality o f sentences marks the transition from spcculation m dialectics. one proposition alone is incapable of explicitly expressing the speculative.’%and hcncc something “wrong” The simple proposition can ar bcst denote a “fixed result. The propositions are linked together as p m u p p i n g and as positing. the proposition in its particularity i s sublaid.THE SELF-DESTRWIXION OF REFLECTION 49 ness as h e judiciary medium of the synthetic function of judgment. through the mere content of rhc propsition. is still insufficient.” requires what H e g e l calls “speculative exposition.

Language exteriorization o is used in the dialectical exposition of speculative thoughr only to the extent that the proper meaning of the words is entircly superseded by the categories. i n particular t o the reiermtial h m i o t v far it i s the knowledge t h a t accompanics the referential function i t s e l f . A useful marring point is Ricocur’s account of what makes the speculative discourse possible and of what it is to achieve. as it is called d a y .the privileged medium by which the Concept can acquire the total transparency. that is. It is then no longer a function that can be oppsed to othcr hnaians. which themselves form a “logical” totality. Ricocur’s definition of speculation could easily be considered Kantian. represents an essenf the totality o f t h s Conccpr. it is important to tress the menrial link of Ianguage to borh speculation and absolute rcflection. or opening. its altered state. the knowledge of its being-related to being. because language passacs the rej7eche capacity to place itself at a distance and to mnridcr itwlf. be it empirical orrranscendental. but articulates it in another discourse. Language tial moment in the complmon o thus becorn. o r everything that the Notion docs not comprehend. Yet since the dialectical exposition of the specularive in m sysrcm of proposirians empties t h m propositions o f everything that is not the Notion or Concept. the absolute intelligibility that characterizes ir as the totality of the reflected moments of the proccss of its own becoming. the passage to dialectics does not correspond to a simple f speculation in the medium of language. must be siruated. In Hegelian and hermeneutic philosophy. One reason for this is that Rimeur . a relarcd ro the mraliry o f what is. and in which thcy appear only as moments of the self-determining Notion or Concept.” Froma Wcgehan pcrspcctive. as such and in its mrirety.1 Despitc the difference between thc hermeneutic and the Hegelian concept of language. shown to har once p s i b l e and limited i n its unpe. Although thedialectical mediationof thespeculativetakes place only in thought. T h i s rcflcctivc character extends what linguistics calls mcta-Iioguistic functioning. Language designates itself and its othcr. Ricacur writes in The Rule of Metaphor: Sprcularive discourse is possible. within which philosophical reflection. This exposition o f the specularive totality as the resolution of reflective oppositions can be taken one step farther. language plays a fundammral role in establishing the specularivetotality. speculative disMUM. language.TO TOWARD THE LIMITS OF REFLECTION rpculation turns from a putely inward tevoludon into an active demonstration of its content.

Through this gesture of thought. According to Riaxur. as a discoursc that thematites and extendsthe meta-linguistic function that accompaniesrhe function of refermce. when articulated in speculative discourse as language’s consciousness o f in openness to what is. presented by Kant’s transcendental philosophy. and that the immediate object of its reftecdon is merely the reflection at chat which grounds cxtcrior reflcbion.” which must aocornpany not so much all one’s represenrations as all one’s linguistic acts. But if this is so. Therefore. Ricoeuc’s discussion allows us to determine more clearly what Hegel achieves with absolute reflection. in which thou&t knows itself to be in the position of a content for itself. recognizes that it must presuppose itself as xtf-reflection. In order m be all-enmmpassing.THE SELF-DESTRUtTION OF REFLECTION 51 h t Innguage’s discernible and multiple functions. Ahbough Ricoeur strrsscs that language’s reflective character. The imtc~tiow&y of conx i o u m w which is turned toward prmisting k i n g and which rclgam . or the reflection of objccrs. spemlative or absolute reflection succeeds in reuniting both the dogmatic o r naively empirical mode of thinking characteristic o f mpiriasmwhich consists of identifying absolutely a content ptior to its formal reflection-and the critical attitude. which cncompasxs through sublation the two distinct linguistic functions of the ineta-linguistic and the refcrtntial. opposed to language. Ricocur would have to expound spccutativcly the ways in which the two functions within language ate superseded by the totality o f language itself. If R i m u r escapes such criridsm. in Hegelian terms. The identity of these two pasitions occurs a t the moment when exterior reflection. each of these functions can be dearly and absolutely distinguished from each other. it remains. In any evmt. If the spcculative discourse is restricted to the smculation of these functions. can no longer be opposed to the linguistic functions. he seems to reduce undentandr the speculative discourse itself a5 a discourse a the reflective character of language to a formal synthcsis similar to the Kantian “I think. rhe speculative discourse cannot k about the functions of Ianguagc. it is because he also views language as a totality comparable m the Hcgelian Absolute. Hcgclian speculative knowledge demonstrates the identiry of self-cognition and the cognition of the world of objects. Jean Hyppolice makcs rhis quire dear when he writes t h a t speculative knowledge implies the synthesis of rhc dogmark aII5Nde and the critical rnitudc as p m m n d in Kant’s mwccndcntal philosophy. and that it is incommensurable with such hncdom.

in the perspective o f the entirety o f logical detwminationc-of thc still rrflcctive opposition of empiricism and tranwxndentalisrn. may be neither subjective nor objective for it. Only by refleciing those two positions into idenriry can rhc synthesis of absolute reflection bc brought ahout. 109).and in this respect it is something subjective” (p. given. 173-1741. reflcction and cognition. “thc a priori sponruneiry that both presuppose. . and which one discovers in them .and that the subjcciive aspcct of transcendental mnsciousness has its rruth in the objectivity of the thing-in-itself. intuition posits subiect and obiea by opposing them absolutely to one another. hut pure transcendental intuition.Speculativerdcaion is not the mechanical synthesis of thc two previous positions on TOWARD THE LIMITS OF REFLECTlON reflection to its subjectivity. and for which the twisting n f the soul. philosophical reflection must further ahstram from chis subjective aspect 50 t h a t transccndcntal intuition. spccularivc or absolute reflcctiort bccorncs. This is done by dcmonsrrating that . here. As a resulr o f such a mediation. . Thi5 a priori synthesis is that of the self-positing Absolute that entighrens itself by its own light. as the foundation of philosophy. and transcendental rcflcnian. nor matter as o p v c d to self-consciousness. that is neither subjcctive nor objective’’ (pp.empiricalconsciousness presuppose itselfin transcendental consciousness. “to suspend the apparent opposition of transcendental and crnpirical consciousncss” (p. so to speak-that is. Thc task of speculative philosophy i s . above all.” In empirical consciousness. [as] is the nullification of the opposites in cantradiction” (p. which in hoking at being looks at ixwlf and vice-versa. neither self-consciousness a$ oppnwd to matter. i s itself expressed in a new logic. Far this reason intuition is. consequendy. nothing bur “pure knowledge. must bc confounded in speculutiw &nowing. 110). by contrast. which would be knowing without intuition. lZO). non-mnKious” (p. which reflects thc sclfof knowing by rclcgating hcing to the thing-in-itsetf. “empirical. ‘*entersmnsciousnss through free abstraction from the whole manifold of empirial consciousn~m. Hegel wrira in The Difference: “In order ro grasp transcendental intuition in its purity. as Hegel states in The Diffmmcc.This suspension . 173). absolute identity. as Hyppolite notes.”” Heget’s speculative reflection thusgathers into one what Kant h3d conceptualized under the ride of the rranscendmral and formal unity of apperception m d thc empirical consciousncss made possible by rhe latter. ofthecontent as =If. Transccndental intuition. I t is. o f rhe rwo opposed and conrradirtory positions of empiricism and transccndentalism. Specularive reflection is the analysis sub specie aeterni.which is df-knowledgein thcmntcnt.

Or. (p. rhe original idmriry. “produces the consciousness of this identity. 111). This intuiting o f intuiting is. it is ”the pure thinking chat thinks itself. the philosopher ap pnhmds the activity o f intuiting. In The Difference Hegel writes: In empirical i n t u i t i o n . as well is mnsccndmtal subjectivity. it is rhc Abrotutc. 81). On rhc orher hand. subject and object are oppositzs. as Hcgel also notes. “Speculation. has btcome known ar intellectual intuition. this mnscmdental intuition is at the %me time the objcct of philosophical dection. Speculation is absolute intuition. philasophim1 reflection and a5 suchapposcd both t o ordinary nflectionand to theempirical mnsciousntsd in gcntral which docs not raise itself above itself and it$ oppositions. on the om hand. To sum up: spcularion or absolute refleaion resulting from the self-dtsrmcrion of rctlcction-the annulment o f such reflexive ~p positions as the tdiltologicd knowledge of formal thinking and the hererologicd knowledge OF empirical thought.THE SELF-DESTRUCTION QF REFtfCTION 53 is achieved in thc mly a priori q m h & of absolute reflection. philosophical reflection is raised to the status of a ttanscmdtntal intuition. o f the a p i o n of the . Empirical subjectivity as a subjectivity riveted to objem. which coincids with the self-determination ofthe Concept or Notion in the exposition of the process of i~ logical unfolding. the idcnciry o f subim and abject” (p.purely formal identity and the vcry possibility o f an a posteriority. it is intuition” (p. then.” writes Hegel. since Fichte. or retlcrtian. which is a truly a priori spontaneity ‘bccausc it conrains in itself both the a priori as a . and in distinction from Rant’s homologous use of the term. 173). which in it arc n o longer ahsolutely opposed. and intuition.absolute reflectionor specularion is “the activity of the one universal Reason directed upon itself.” grasping “its grounding within itself” (p. 88). This true a priori sponraneity of atwoiutc reflection also represents the ovetcorning o f the absolute reflective opposition af subject and object. Speculation. he intuits intuiting and thus conceives it as an idcntity. Inothcrwords. h a u x “philosophical reflmion makes i d f [in this manner] into the abject and Is one with it: thisis what makes it spcculation” (p. T h c suspension of the empirical and the transandcntal is achieved in speculative reflection by means of the dialectical exposition of the idrnriry af undemanding. is overmrnt in this m e a priori. 120) When transcendental intuition as the intuition of intuition becomes rhe object o f philosophical reflection. is the true hlfillmenr of transcendental imagination o r of what. and because ideality and riality are one in it.

Absolurc reflecrion is the full expasirion of all the logically possible momenrs of rhe logos.54 TOWARD THE LIMITS O F REFLECTION transcendental and the a posteriori of the empirical. the opposition of the self r o itself and to what it is not-is the self-intuition of Reason in “absolute indifference.a process rhar is cornplered a5 soon as the logos is folded back into irself. . of subjectivity and objectivity.” as the young Hegel called it. of theory and praxis. The self-destruction of rcffcction in a b d u t e reflection coincides with the self-begemng of Reason in infinite inruition. using a Schellingian term. as well as of the last logicaily possible oppositions. of freedom and necessity.

Speculation simply articulates and develops what reflection. But in contrast to absolute r e f l e c t i o n . philosophical reflection only prcsuppoxs such a totality. Let us fitst negativeiy determine the true synthcsis at which speculation aims. . philasophicaI rdlection.. as rhc activity o f dividing. Such an interplay o f mutual conditioning would in no way reduce thc opposition o f the oppasim. which. as a function o f understanding. absolute reflection. “must bc more than a mcrc fitting together. is also based on this totality. Yet this is also IO acknowledge that the difference between rcflemionand speculation is based on the different wholes they promote.4 Identity. Totality. must i d f pmuppope-the prior wholeness of the divided. or knows of it only in an instinccivc way. says Wegel. Nor is &is a whole in which . dcliberatcly pursues a todizing goal. speculation is not in a rcladon of apposition to reflection. o r speculation. An absolute synthcsis. and Mystic Rapture x Unlike reflection. perpetuates division and absolutely W oppoeiiion. Neverrhclms. n i s idea of totality whereby absolute reflection measures itself up to rht idea proper of philosophy-that is. The best way m expound h e Hegcliian concept of totality is to demonstrate that rht passage from philosophica1rcflcctian t~ speculation is also a passage from one way o f mediating opposites to another. Wecbselw+ tung). ics daim to complercnmhas constituted philosophy since its inception in Grccce. ’ ” Because it is not supposed to be a whole composed of discrete paw.for the Absolute is no [ m m ] juxtaporid o n . whereas speculation throws this regulating idea o f philosophy into relief and elaborates on it. to the extent that it is philosophical. Indeed. the mode in which irs pans m i a s to one anorhcr cannor be one of reciprocal detenninarion (WechsdbssrhmuHg.

56 TOWARD THE LIMITS O F REFLECTION parts are connected in conformity with the law OF causality. Identity is only one aspccr . absolute totality . the idca of cornplctc totality in t e r n s of the two sciences of the Absolute-that is. for they arise through abstraction f r o m the absolute identity which can only relate itself to them immcdiately through nullificarion. and in this perspective the two sciences appear as the progressive evolution. Hegel w r i t s in The Differenm. and totaiiry the othcr. and are held together forcefully. by the rniddle. Identity and totality are not the samc. A5 long as the “prducts of merc rcflccrion” are not relaced to the absolute identity. they are the poles of the indifference [point] and cohere with one another at this point itself. rather they detach themselves . see also p.158). they arc themselves the lines which link the pole with the center. absolute reflection is based on a demonsrration of the conrinuiry of ics constituting elcmcnn. 35 Plata says. “the claims of separarion must he admitted [within the totality itsclfl just as much as those o f identity” (p. A t r u e totalky is a medium of continuity in which hitherto oppmcd terms. the rranscendental science (of Kant and Fichte) and the science of Nature (of Schelling) which have to be reunited within it-Hegel remarks: “Inasmuch as both scicnccs arc scicnccs of thc Absolute and thrir opposition is real. o r sdf-construction. Bur such a roraliry is also differentiated in irself. *‘so rhar uniry and manifold do not supervene each to the other in it.from one another within it. they appear incapable of engendering a true totality. a truc totality cannot be constructed from mere produrn of reflection.oftorality. “Our o f products of mere rcflccrion identity cannot construcr itself as totality. But more important. 146). A totaliry o f that sort would onlyprotongthercignof rcflcction. In order for a toraliry to be complete. The identity of opposing poles does not suffice to make a totality. 170). 138. and infinitely extended (p. What. as long as they remain pure determinations ~t understanding. of identity into totaliry” (p.” thus making lordship and bondage absolute.” in which one of the poles would be placed “in subservience to the higher. 156). For Hegel. identity hcing qne. i s a true synthetic rotaliry? While philosophical reflection and its exclusively formal concept o f unity are characterized by discontinuity. then. in Tbe Di/‘fereme.”l Discussing. for such a synthesis would be a “synthesis hy way of domination. are lost in each orher. R true synthetic tnraliry is nor characterrzed by an Enfinitc or cndlcss process o f either mutual dctcrmination or subservient domination of the parts. nor through consrmcrion” (p. by being related to &he Absolute and hy being dcstroyed in their isolated one-sidedness. The center is itself doubled. however.

To quote again: “Since a duality is now p i t e d . line. cvery cognition is a mrth just as every speck o f dust is an organization” (p. With this inclusion of nonidcntiry. 156). the ultimate ground o f everything singular. o following formula. as Hegel remarks in Science of Logic. that identity as absrraa identity is essential. being opposed and being onc are both together in it” (p. valid.‘ . is nothing but a point at which “relations” cross. Totality. on the other hand. then. Everything is at once pole. Since everything that is in counterposition tosomething else is also opposed to itself in this developed whole. and hcnoe consists only in this unity. and that as. everything singular. every part of the subject and cvery part of ahc obiem is itself in the Absolute.” H e continurn When awning that &is identity is imperfect. namely.I D E N T m . but since. idcntiry is rigidly held to be absolutely sparate from diffetcmc and in this separation is taken to hc something asenrial.’ In order to achieve the continuity that mnstitutco true t o t a l i t y . tttc perfaxion one has vagucly in mind is this totality. This is why HqcI makes ux. of the negative moment presupposed by identity. which brings together the conflicting thoughts on unity: “the Ahsalute itrelf is the identity of identity and nan-identity. in The Diffrrctrce. identiry itself i s rcprcsrntcd to be. and the totality is thuscomplete. totality must. Indeed. a middle of intersecting lines. In its full exposition. to the extent that it has standing in the AbsoIute. and center. embrace both identity and nonf the idcntity. such it is equally imperfect: the lack of awarcncss of the ncgauvc mornenr which. i s the unityof itself and of the disunion that such a unity must presuppose. 1571. no other negative determination m a i n s possible. TOTALITY. measured against which the identiry is imperfccr. Hence. true. and thus destrayed in its singularity. an idmtiry of subiea and object. then the only t b i v to be s m in these conflicting assertions is the failure to bring togcther there thoughts. A totality in which the poles “arc themselves the lines w h i h Iink the pole with rhe center” amounts to a rncdium of mediation. “tnrth is complete only in the rrrity of idmtiry with differern. the totality encompasses the last logically possible moment without which thc passage from identity to totality would not bc complete. this medium is the very completion o f Reason. in these assertions. as the substratum. each one of the opposim is opposed to imlf and rhc pamrion g w on ad infiniturn. AND MYSTIC RAPTURE T? is the result of a self-mnstruction in which identity turns into totality by maintaining the identical pole’ nonidcntiry. By including that moment of negativity.



Now,let us elaborate, ar least briefly, on a major difference bctwwn f toraliry as employed by Hegel and [rhe later) Schelling. the concept o Although Ncgcl sterns, in The Differme, to endorse futly Schelling’s f torality as an obiective subiecc-object identity, it follows from idea o everything we have sccn that. to conform with Hegel’s radical critique of the philosophy of reflection, a true synthesis has to, be a synthesis of a subiective and objective subject-object, to usc his language of that period. Despite rhe fact thar Hegel refers m mraliry in Schellingian f terms as L “point of indifference,” he also evokcs rhe “true point o indifference”-that is, a totality that, unlike ScheIIing’s, does not imply thc complete annulment or extinction of all opposition (p. 172). For Schelling, the cririque of the rigidity of the reflective determinations and thc categories of understanding led to thcir complete dissolution in the rategoria of Reason. understood as immediate and unmediated intellectual intuition. In Hegel, by contrast, the mediation of the opposites replaces Schelling’s originary synthetic unity. Therefore, Hegel’s concept of totality contains the nonidentiry as well as and apart tram the identity o f the QppOSitC5. He writes in The Difference: “In the absolute identity subject and objcn arc suspended, hut because they are within the absolute identity they both have standing too. This standing is what makes a knowledge possible; for in knowledge their separation is posited up to a point” (p. 126). A totality such as Schelling’s, which exdudes all negativity and has no roam for that which is limitcd, is, according to Hegel’s later language, an abstract totality. In Phenomenology ofSpiril hc refers to it as the night in which all cows are black. Such a philosophy is satistied “by simply penetrating. to the principle of nullifying all fixed opposition and connecting the limited to the Absolute“ (p. 1.12). T h e “colorless light” of such a n intuition confined to the abstract side of cognition culrninares in “the mystic raprure” 50 familiar to the Romantics. Indeed, Hegel’s critique of the abstract totality aims not only at Schelling’s philosophy bur, in The Difftrence, at Jacobi, and at Schlegel and Novalia as well. By heavily relying on Fichte’s notion ofa self-positing self, the early Romantics developed a conccption of the Absolute in terms of what Walter Benjamin calls the “medium of reflection.” Although Schlegel and Novalis were not cnrirely without pretensions concerning the systematic cxpsirion of their philosophy, they contented themselves with what Hegel calls, in The Differmce, the “negative side, where meryrhing finite is drowned in the infinite” (p. 156). What Hegel objects to in such an understanding o f the Absolutc i5 its lack of intcrnal coherence, and thus the Romantics’ failure 10 achieve an objective totality of knowledge.



Although such an absrncr notion of totaliiy could, o f course, be made concrete, H c g c l claims that, for the Romantics, it is merely “a
matter of subjective mntingmcy whether this kind of philosophizing is bound up with the need for a system or not” (p. 156). In other

words, Romantic philosophy, although no longer “abstract reasoning,’’ and already a form o f overcoming the reflcciivc determinations

of understanding, falls back again into the rigid Kantian opposirions by leaving the opposition ofthc Absolute and the manifooid intact, or the object o f a (mcreIy) contingenk subicaive act of mediation. A philosophy, however, that aims at a radical critique of the metaphysics of decriort cannot b e satisfied with h e mystic rapture rhar the alldevouring Absalurt o f the Romanrics invircs; it must expound the intrinsic links between the Absolute and its content, and it m u s t iry to posit this manifold as internally connected m the Absolute. Yet such internal connection coincides with producing a totality o fh o w ing, that is, a sysmn of science. A “philosophizing that dots not construct itself into a system is a constant flight h m limitations” (p. 113); true philosophy, according to Hegel, renders the Absolute concrete in the form o f the system. Such an exposition o f the content of the Absolum, however, cannot remain dependent on a subjective and contingent act, as is the case in Rommticism, sin= it cornsponds m an objmivc need of the Absolute itself. The sysrcm must be understood as the “pure self-exposition” o fh e absolute totality. Hegel stam, “In rhis self-production of Reason rhc Absolute shapes itself into an objecriw totality, which is a whole in itself held fast and complete, having no p u n d outside i d f , but founded by itself in ics beginning, middle and end” (p. 113). The self-production of the Absolute requires, moreover, that “the philosophy of the system and the systcm irsclf da . . . minade” {p. 114), that “the product.. .correspond to the producing” (p. 131). and that “the result o f the system. . .return to its beginning” (p. 132). Having failed to mediate t h e oppositions, Fichte, Shellin& and the Romantitics ham not scapcd the metaphysics of reflection. Only a b d u t e reflection or speculation a n be consistent and succ d u l in surmounting the aporias and antinomia of rcflcction manifest in philosophy from Dtscam M Kant.


Post-Hegelian Criticism of Reflexivity

Reflcction, according to Hcgel’s critique, is an almost entirely negative concept. As thc mdde of thinking particular to undemanding, it is a force of separation incapablc hy itself of thinking the unity prcsupposed by this activity, Fnr t h e critic of Kantian philosophy-that is. Hegct-everything dependent on rhe notion of rcflection-subiectivity, freedom. transcendentality, and so on-is also affected by the inability o f rcflcction to mcct the most fundamental o f all philosophf unity. In dktinction from other reprewntaiives ical demands, thar o o f German Idealism and early Rommcirism, who also conceived o f rhcmsclves as lollowcn and critics of thc Kantian philmophy of reflection, only Hcgcl succeeded in ovcrcoming the Kantian dichotomies. Hegcl indeed [iquefics cvcn the ultimate reflective distinctions left sranding by both Fichtc and Schclling. A s we have seen, Hegcl i s critical of rhc rnctaphysics nf reflection because it tcavm the dcmand for totality unanswered. Heget’s spcculative dialectics mighr he calted a first critique of the philosophy of reflection, but not because he opted for an irnmdiare response to the qucstinn of unity and totality, rhercby relegating rcflccrion with all its problems to the trash heap of thought. Unlike some of the Romanrics Hcgcl docs not discard this idea, so fundamental to m d c r nity, but, by historidzingthe logicat categories constituting teflexivity, hc shows reflection to bc tied u p in a process in which its own aporias are overcome by reflection itself. His critique culminates in a demonstration of rcfieccion’sdcvclopmcnt towards its own sublation. Rooted in the unthought of the metaphysics of reflection-that is, the idea of totality-Hegcl’s critique is made in the name of a reflection that has overcome i t s shortmmingsr absolute reflection, or spccularion,



which Hegel oppose t o the ,narrow p h i h o p h i d concept o f reflec tion. CriticaI of rhe metaphysics of reflection and yet containing it insofar as it brings the unhought of the philosophy of reflection to bear on that very concept, absolute rciI&on rcprcscnrs the fulfillment o f reflection, its completion, its coming into its own. It is important to note that the concept of reflexivity found in contemporary philosophical debates or in the discourse of literary criticism rarely refers to the pre-Kantian or Kantiafi definition of reflection. Rather, the concept of reflection in wntemporary debates, which surfaces in an affirmative or critical manner, is basically indebted to the speculative critique of the rneraphysia o f reflection. Indeed, what is generally meant by the arms rtflectim and self-refiction is either absolute reflection o r its Romantic sense-what Bmjamin called “tbe medium of reflection."' This implies that thc critique of what is called, in contemporary Gcrman philosophy, the “theory (or philosophy) of reflection” is either tributary to or CriticaI o f the speculative project or of the idea o f Romantic absolute refleetion. In any case, whatever d i m i o n this sort of criticism takes, for historical f and systematic reasons, it raises i t d f , unlike the positivist critique o reflection, to the heights of speculation, which is a 5 we have seen distinguished by its awareness o f the problems posed by reflexivity. Yet what is true of the German critiquc of the philosophy of reflcction-namely, is consciousntss of the philosophical exigencies of speculation, whether or not Hegel’s own solution to thc problems o i reflexivity are seen t o have lost their persuasive power-is men more m e of the debate with reflexivity that stretches from Heidegger to Derrida. This debare takes off against the backdrop of Hegel’s speculative thought. Wore 1 embark on a teview o f both t y p o f criticism. it seem5 king t o refine the minimal definition of reflection, outlined at the beginning of Part 1. It now appears that this definition, which unites the mast important farmaf movements of reflection, mrrcsponds to the speculative notion of reflection. To recapitulate: The prc-Kantian theory o f reflection is charactcrized by the assumption that the cognitive subject bccomcF a self-rclatingsubjca by making itself an obiea for imlf. The identity that springs forth from such an activity is a result of mrning char kind of attenrion originally directed upon objects back upon the knowing subject itself. T h i s act of throwing thc subject o f represenration back onto itself i s rhc act of idlemion, By detaching rcflcction from human reflection, Kant , c h a t s transccndental rcflection to the rank of a constituting principleof all the forms of thinking



and experience. Reflexivity thus becomes an essential characteristic of thought itself. Yet Kant's transcendcntal ego is dominated by rhc dualism characreristic of reflective ntetaphysia from Descartes anthe dualism of an active subject and a passive obiea. Only when reflection is raised to the rank of the Concept or Notion, and thus radically separated from the realm of human self-retation and its arrenrion m objects-in other words, when thought as such becomes rhc subjccr o f thinking-is the dualism of reflection wercome. How does Hegel bring about the reflecrion o f the absolute subject, or spirit? The possibility of a sublation of the dualism o f reflection becomes a reality only at the moment a t which the thesis of an object and the antithesisof a subject can be viewed as partaking in a totality. As we have seen, Hegel's criticism of the meraphysiw of rdlection is guided by the notion of totality. If reflection is an operation produced between a figure and irs image in the mirror, between a subject and an objecr, then rhc poles or extremes o f the process of reflection are no longer the essential part o f that process but its mean,o r the whole o f all of the relations o f thc prm ss between thcm. The medium in which reflection takes place, this middlc which splits into opposed poles and from which they borrow their meaning, becomes the real subject of refleaion. This subjecr, rhe spirit or Concepr, is what, as pure activity, produm both the opposed moments of subjcctivc rcflecrion-the subjert and the ,objcct--and itself as the totality of the mcdium of reflection. To ihc exrenr that this medium gathers into one synthesis the whole of thc mornems thar characterize reflection and itself as the mean af these moments, it is thetrueSubject, absolute reflection. Its achievement is to unite in one whole that which is opposed. This unity as a developed whole is the radical answer to the quaestio iuris, which, with the inception of the idea of reflection in Descartes, was reflection's guiding idea, but which had not yet revcaled all of ib conscqucncs. tn the same way, Hegel's critique of reflection, and his intensification af ir to absolute reflection by elevating the major themes of reflection to the levcl of the Concept or Notion. represents a radical completion of subjectivity, freedom, autonomy, self-certitude and certitude, transcendcntality, nnd PO on. The speculative determination of the meaning o f these concepa takes place in the development ofa philosophy of absolua subjectivity and absolute reflection that breaks away from the theories and philosophies of cognition and knowledge, and from the dualisms with which they are k c t :empirical and transcendental experience, apriorism and apostcriorism,



subject and objccr. In w m o m i n g thest conceptual dyads, which arise from the kind of positing that characterizes understanding, Hegel’s critique of the philosophy of reflection and hi5 development of a philosophy of absolute reflection try to achieve thc goal of philosophy f a totality o f knowledgc, itself free of contradictions, irself, the goal o thar accounts for all contradictions and oppositions. h t us consider this totality and its essential mnstitumts onc last rime. It is a unity of self-relation and O t h e r n e s s .of immanent refleaion and reflection-into-Orher. A “metatheory” of rcflmion o f sons, the theory of absolute reflection ratores the immediacy of being that is lost a t the moment when immanent reflection severs the subjm from the world. This immediacy is reestablished as the movement of the f the antagonistic modes of rctlection-that is, reflectionreflection o into-Orher and reflection-into-self. Absolute reflection--“chc movement of reflecting itself into itself,” as Hcgcl rcmarks in P b m a e nologyl-becomes the totality embracing both types of refleaion, which thus remain entirely immanent and interior to one another, to the extent that it also reflects itself in the form of the refleaion-intoself it now comprises. With this self-inclusion of absolute reflection, which Pscapa any further reflection, not only is reflection overcome, for ir is comprised, bur also absolute reflection becomes the ultimate totality of all possible reiations, the relation to self induded. Because what is rdlccted within it has lost its power of separation and hation, it has become, so to speak, a self-relating relation without related poles. It is identical to Rtason, or logos;it is Reason in its cornpietion. To circIe back, then, to the minimal definition of reflection, Iet us add that such a definition must contain, in addition to the three moments already distinguished, the thought o f refleaion‘s own reflection in the form o f that mode o f mirroring that is opposed to objects or images. To achieve the totality of all the rnovcmena o f reflection, it is not sufficient to poinrro the diaIectics o f self and Other which take place between mirror and object. This dialectic is possible only on condition that the mirror o f self and Other is itself only a f absolute rekction. Refleaion’s reflection requires that r e form o flcction be contained within reflection, that mirroring itself include the mirror’s mirroring. This can be achieved only by demonstrating f itself and Other is a still insufficient that the mirror’s mirroring o reflection and that in its fixation, which opcns a pmccss of endless sell-mirroring, the mirror’s mirroring is dependent o n a positing by absolute reflection, which at the same rime makes this mirroring prccess a n alienated, and thus tecuperable, momenr of absolute reflection.

6 . 4


Only at this point is the toraEity of reflection's constiturive features defined. Reflection is complered-rhar is. inclusive of all irs constif reflection tutive moments-when it includcs itself in that form o which is reflection o f self in opposition to reflection of Other. In the afrermath of Hegel's speculative overhading of the metaphysics of reflection, all rigorous debate wirh reflection has been a debate wirh this conccpt of r e f l e c t i o n ,in which setf-reflection is also the rtflccrion of that S D o ~ f self-refleaion that stitl faces objects. But since Hcgel's critique of the philosophy of reflection addresses the demand that characterizes philosophy as philosophy, the demand for unity or rotality, a debate with his speculative concept of reflection is a debate not only ahaur rhe fundamental themes of modern philosophy-subjectivity, freedom, autonomy. transcmdentaliry-but also about the rhemcs consrimring thc vcry projcct ofphilosophy since its inccprion in Greece. Indeed, wben Hegel subjected rhe mosr imporrant methodological conccpt o f modern philosaphy, as well as the rhemcs cocvd with rhe birthof rhisconcept, to his spcculativccririque, he rncasurcd thc achievements o f reflection against the demand for a totalizing understanding of thought and being, a demand as old as philosophy irserf. Any rigorous cririquc of rcflcxiviry must face this chatlengc to values, without which therc would be no such thing as a discoursc of philosophy. ethics, or politics. B u t are these not the difficulties faced by any cridque of refledon and rencxivity? Such a critique must recognize that reflection is a n unsurpassed principle o f philosophy for which naive resistance is certainly no march. This is cven more true of absalute reflection, The rradirional arguments against absolute reflection or speculation do nor seriously affect such reflection, even where one would be inclined to acknowledge that some of its historical consequences have been abcrranr. Total dialccticd mediation as it characterizes absolute rcflecrion, is, in principle. of unequaled superiority. As a result o f this e e m to bc without logical preeminence, a11 polcmics againsr it would s ground. Ahsolute reflection. as articulated 'in the greater Logic, for instance, mricipares all the logically possibk adverse stands and integrarcs rhcm as moments within ics spcculativr totality. Cadamer expresses this very well in Truth and Method: "The Archimedean poinr from where HcgePs philosophy could be toppled can ncver bc found rhrnugh reflection. This is precisely the formal quality of reflective philosophy, rhat thcrc cannot be a posirion that is nor drawn into the reflective movement of consciousness coming to itself,"' This superiority o f absolure reffection is one of principle. I t cannot bc




challenged by the aberrational mnxqumas to which it has led. and which are t o a great exrent responsible for bringing speculation into discredit. Nor can absolure reflection’s superiority be challenged by a demonstration o f its imperfections or alleged indefcnsibilirics, as, for example, in Hegel’s Pbmommo!ogy. Science of Logic, or heyciopedb. Such defiaencim become manifest if one atternpa to penetran the microstmctum of the argumentation that develops absolute reflection. Subjected to close mutiny, the passage from one logical

moment m another a h appears imprecise. Buq as Dieter Hcnrich has most convincingly demonstrated, “the deficimcics in the dcvelopmrnr . .. arc not harmful to the firmntss or soundness o f The architecture of rhe origina1 draft [of Hegel’s Science of Logic] nor as far as the fundamentally important outlines of its aceortion are concerned.”‘ What Hcnrich has been abL to show in a most persuasive manner, in what he calls “mmctions” or “remnstructions” of He gclian argumcnrarion, is rhar Hcgel in fact had all the means ncccrsary to make his arguments logically faultlss, and that one can supply m t a i n weak microstructures with more powerful reasonings chat remain entirely within rhc spirit of Hegdian thoughr.l These deficiencies, consequently, have no impact on the acrual concept o f absolute decdon. If ir is true, as Heluich contends, that the degree of perfection that Hegel actually achieved in his major work divergcs quite a bit from the ideal, but that it can nevertheless bc measured up to H e g e l ‘ sown origencits, then the work‘s imperfmion can be accounted far+as Hcnrich shows, by the discrepancy beween Hegel’s vimosity in developing logical relations and his merhodological reflmions on this development. Where, then, docs this leave us with regard to the problem o f absolute reflection? If absolute reflection cannot bc radically put into question by reflection itself, because all possible points of criticism arc already moments o f reflection, and if acrual deficiencies of the system of a h l u r e refleion pak i n t o insignificance when compared to its potential elaboration, does this mean that reflection cannot be c r i t i d y evaluated, and that Hegel’s speculative critique and interpretation of reflection are the only one5 possible?Does the succes of the principlc of absolute reflection closc off all further questioning? Lct us step back for a moment into history. As early as Plato, reflection, in the sense of self-refleaion. has been subject to criticism. lo the dialogue Chmnrides, a part o f Plato’s critique of the Sophists, Socrates makes the at h t surprising move of declaring rhar sopkms y n t cannot cxisr becauz it is a conrradimry notion.6 Sophrosync,



an idcal stmnd to nonc in irnportancc for the Crceks, was held to be L science or knowledge distinct from all other knowledge since, cornp a d m other sciences, which are sciences only of something else. sophrosyne was a science both of other sciences and of itself. Sophrosyne-wisdom, temperance-corresponds esse~~tially to self-knowledge. But Socrares’ argumentation shows rhar a relation to self is altogmher inadmissible, and hardly credible, because it i s impossible for a property of something to relate m itself. One example is the impossibility o f a seeing that would be the seeing of itself. Socrates asks f vision which is not like the Cririas: “Suppose that there is a kind o f orher sorts of vision, and ordinary vision, but a vision of itself and o of thc defect of them, which in seeing sees no color, but only itsell and other SOKS of vision. Do you think that there is such a kind of vision? Certainly nor.”’ For the same reason, Socrates believcs a knowledge of knowledge-rhat is, a knowledge chat would nor relate to anything in particular-to be irnpossiblc. H e wcn goes so far as m question the u s e d this knowledge of knowledge if it were ro exist, a use he dcclares null because such knowlcdge would be empty knowledge, relating to nothing. Indeed, if knowledge is always relational, knowlcdge of knowledge would have to be knowledge of knowtedge of, a. srrumre which, cpisremologically speakink is void. Socrates’ demonstration is surprising at first because it sccrns to contradict other passages i n Plato in which a dynumb is shown to relate not only to what its powcr is the power of but also to itself. These passages, however, concede self-relationality only to the soul, which, as the primurn mowns of the cosmos, is dctennined by rhc property of self-movemmr, and has litrlc in common with what is undcrstood by soul in modem philosophy.o Consequcntly, although f the soul, or of divine being, hc Plato recognizes a self-relationality o denies such a possibility to the knowledge of knowledge. Indeed, insread of anticipating the Cartesian self-relationality of reflexivity, sophrosyne, in the conrext of Cbamrides, is at best a knowledge o f good and cvil. Socrarcs’ argumenrs, therefore, do nor impinge on rhc possibility of conceiving of absolute reflection, in particular since, on othcr occasions, hc recognizes self-rclationaliry as that which constitutes rhe soul.‘ As a matter of faa, Soctateec‘questioning o f sophrom e . by presupposing thc possibility of thc self-relationaliry of thc soul, is a kind o f criticism that would not hc possible without the higher form of a dynamis by which the soul relates to itself. I t is in this znsc rhar we understand Sacram’ critique of the knowledge of knowledge to be implicitly speculative. Socrates’ interrogation of the



reflexivity of sopbrosyne, by implying that reflection is truly possible only in the form of the self-movement of the soul, leads us d i r d y o Hcgel's spectllaiivc correcrion of the contradictions oc reback r flection in absolute reflection. In contrast to skeptical or empiricat critiasm af reflexivity, which concludes from rhc aporeric nature o f $elf-rcflection its thorough impossibility, the sort of criticism Plaro directs against selCreRection-which informs many later objections to the philosophy o f reflection, Hegel's objections included-is, in essence, speculative. It points cowards the aparias of =If-reflection in the name of a higher form of sclf-reflection. It is imporrant to recognize that where the criticism of reflection is not simply skeptical, it is overtly o r latently specdative. But what if all genuine skepticism must also presuppos what it puts into quation? To outline an answer M this question, we must first establish the nature o f the authentic criticism that skepticism levels against reflection. Sextus Empiricus formulates these objections in the following passage:

For if the mind spprchcnds itdf, cithtr it as a whole will apprehend itself, or it will do so not as a whok bur emptoying for the purpose a part of inclf. Now it will not be able as a wholc to apprehend italf. For if as a wholc ir apprehends imlf, it will be as a whole apprchcnsion and apprchen'ding, and, the apprehending subim being the whole, rhe apprehended object will no longer be anything: but it is a thing most irrational that the apprehending subinr should mist while the object of the apprehension d o a not exist. Nor, in facr, can thc mind cmploy for this purpose a part o f itself. For how does the part itself apprehend itsell? If as a whole, rhe object thought will be nothing; white if with a pan, how will rhac pan in mrn d i m itself? And s o on 10 infinity.l0

The aporia i s obvious: either reason knows itself as Other, and this means that it does nor know itself, or it becomes caught in a neverf self-approximation. ending process o Yet these contradictions arc not final obstacles t o elaboraring the self-reflection of the Absolute, because they can be seen to be moments ih self-knowltdge as a process. The Other, which the sclf can only know itself as, thus b e c o m e s the result of a self-alienation of h e self before it recognizes thI5 Other as itself again. The skeptical contradictions in this pcrsptcrive arc seen sub s p e c k acremi, thar is, with regard to the unity they pmuppose. Certainly one cannot refute this skeptical doubt concerning the possibility of self-knowledge or wlfreflection in the same way that one refutes skepriasmt calling into
question the cpistemologicd signification of reflection in general. In-

6 R


deed in refuting scll-knowledge, it does not presuppose what it is doubtful about in the same way that it must presuppose the signifif reflection when putting, in a reflective manner, reflection cation o into question, B u t it r m a i n s to bc seen whethcr the skeptical evidence concerning thc impossibiliry o f self-knowledge must not, in the last resort, also bc groundcd in the cvidcncc of a self-knowing subject. Hegel's specdative criticism, as we have seen, displacs the quation o f the aporias by admining that rhcy can certainly nor be solved on the level of psychological and epistemological self-reflection, but only on the higher Icvel of absolute knowing. Such a totality of the Notion or Concept is something that the skeptical argument, a t least from a spmlative pcrspcctive, must prcsupposc, since it setvcs as the unity in rhe tight of which its aporetic demonstrations make sense in the first place. Thc samc is truc of a varicry of other obiectinns to the f self-reflecthn. W e shall consider several o f thse objecpossibility o tions in a discussion of the critique of the philosophy of reflection as it has been developed in contemporary German philosophy. This critique branches o u t into two different sets of arguments. T h e firsr ser is heavily indebted ro Russell and Whitehead's dernonstration of the formal antinomies that characterize the idea of selfreference or reflexiveness, as well as to Wittgenstein's theory of types. Among this set of objections is Dietcr Hcnrich's demonstration o f the incvitably circular consrrurtion o f wlf-rcfledon. This type o f argument was f i r s raised by Fichte's disciple Friedrich Hetbart, whose polemic against his master demonstrated not the impossibility of selfconsciousness but rhe inadequacy of rhe model of self-represenration to describe it. Henrich follows this line of thought inasmuch as his whole argumentation conccrning self-reflnrion is a function of his desire to show that self-reflection is an inappropriate tool for explaining self-consciousness. Yer, is rhar not prccisely what a theory nf rcflcction hopcs to achieve? With basically two arguments, Henrich dcmonstrates thccircularity of all the forms of the theory o f reflection up to Kant, including rranscendcntal rcflmion. He borrows his first argument from Fichre, whom he considers t o be the first r o have felt the inadequacy o f the theory of reflection to cope with the problem of self-consciousness. This argument may be summarized as follows: The theary of selfreflection contends that a Subject-Self comes to know itself when it rums its reffecrion upon itself. Yet, since one can speak of a SubjectSelf anly where there is already self-consciousness, the theory o f rcffcction presupposm what it hopes to explain. Indeed. the act of



reflecting must bc rhe act of a d f in possession of imIt Henrich writes in “Fichtc’s Original Insight”: “Thus anyone who scts reflection into motion must himself already bc both the !mower and the known. The subjeet o f reflection on its own thereby satisfies the wholc equation ‘I=I.’ Yet, reflection alone was supposcd to bring about this cquarion.”l‘ From this the corollary folfown that r d m r o n of thc self will never produce self-consciousties if that self i s somerhing other than a reIf-aonsciousncss. “If the Subject-SeIf is not the Self, then neither canthe Self, of which we come t o have knowledge,thar is the f reflection Object-Self, cver be identical with it.”’*In short, a theory o f self-consciousness must presupthat pretends to explain the origin o pose what i t IS suppossd to explain. If self-reflaion is to lead to selfmnsciousnesr, the reflected self must necessarily aIready be conscious o f itself. At k s t , a theory of reflection can account for an explicit self-arperience of a self, but it is unable to expIain the self-knowldge of a knawingsubjectivicy. Compared 10this primordial phenomcnon, refledon is only a secondary phenomenon.13 Henrich’ssccond objection takcs off from the theory that retlemion assumes that the *If-knowledge o f a subject originates in an act of self-menion. Yet in order for such self-knowltdgc m be possible, the subject must know in advance that the objm rcfleded is ia own self, identical with itself. tt is just rhat identity-that is, the knowledge thar the object turned upon in reflection is oneself-that the theory of reflection is supposed to amount for. Henrich writ- “But how can sclf-consciowness know that it has grasped itself, if an ObjcctSelf had come about only via the Selfs act of reflection? Obviously it can know this only if it already knew irsclf beforc. For only on the basis of previous knowledgc is it possible for self-consciousness to say: ‘What 1 am grasping is 1 myself-’ But, if it already knows itself, “ 1 ‘ This second objection reaches then it aIready knows &at ‘I =I.’ the samc conclusion as the first: the theory of reflection already ptcsupposes the dution of the problem it sets out to explain. The theory o f reflection is based on a prtitio primripii. Now, what is important here is that Hrnrich’s critical arguments concerning the circularity of reflection, as well as hi5 confining reflection’sepistemological significance to a secondary phenomenon, d o nor at all discredit self-consciousness itself. Sclf-reflection only sccms an inadequate tool with which to think self-consciousness proper. As a matter of fact, the attempt to exhibit teflcction’s antinomical f properties is grounded in the azwmption of a primordial identity o sclf-conshusness. It is in the very name of self-consciousness that



Henrich’s whole argument takes place, especially since he shows that the theories o f reflection presuppose, in their very failure, such an originay df-identity. It is this intimacy with oneself-that is, this intimate knowledge of oneself, aa Hmrich calls it-that makes thc secondary, reffexive mode of self-relation possible, for this secondary mode is irself derivative, and cannor serve as irs own origin.12 In “Fichte’s Original Insight,” he writes: “This primordial selfhood first allows a Self to work itself free from its connection with the world and to grasp itself explicitly as what it must have been previously, namely, knowledge t h a t what it is, is knowing subicctivity. Tbc passibiliry of reflection must be understcad OR the basis o f this primordial essence of the Self.”l* Despite its prereflexive connotations, which bring it near to H u r serl’s and Heideggcr’s attempts to circumvent radically the regressus ud ittfmitum caused by rhe idea of self-relation, which I discuss later in this chapter, such a notion of the original identity of selfhood, based on an intimacy with oneself and presupposed by self-rcflection, is perhaps, with its insistence on genuine identity and totality, rhe major theorem of speculative philosophy. Henrich seeks to conceptualize this originary idenriry in thc inevirably paradoxical terms of “an (implicitly) self-less consciousness of self,’* precisely ‘to avoid the circularity of reflexive theories.” Primordial selfhood is to be thought of a5 a nonreflexive identity.’* Thus, although Henrich’s critique of the theories d reflection cannot be called speculative in the sense oi an ancmpr to solve the aporias of reflection by absolutizing reflexivity, it is nonetheless an attempt m solve these aporias by deducing reflection from an original totality of which it would be a secondary rnodc. Hcnrich does not explain the nature oithenonrcflcxivc rclarion which constitutes the fundamental fact of such 31 original identity. Thus, as long as this nonreflective totality is not expounded explicitly, its connatation ol identity and rotality b r i n e it near to what Hegel calls a spccularEvc germ. Although a nonrcflcctivetotality, this original identity is, with respect to reflection, in a relation of constitution and derivation similar to that between absotutc reflection and the sphere of essential reflection. In short, Henrich’s critique o f reflection-a critique that seeks nor to rid itself of consciousn~ssor the subject, but rarhrr to think such phcnomcna by avoiding the classical aporias of thought-abandons reflectionon the ground of arguments that arc basically skeptical. Yct he docs so to the benefit of a different and, because it avoids the antinomies of thought, higher mode of relation to self. Although this higher mode of identity to self, of a selfless

Pothast shows. Self-reflection is possibIc in the mx of an arrentional experience. far principal reasons. The same observations can be made in rhe case o f Ulrich Pothast’s ammpr m come m grips wirh the aprias of self-relation mnceptualizcd reflexively. but it is also xmantically void. . By ma king use of the tools developed by andytical philosophy. it can only be thou& of as “an entirely ‘objective’ process. Yet.” Consciousness becomes. What is important for us is whar fotlows from such a basically skeptical and even empiricist approach ro the problem of refleaion. because within conxiousnms there are no perceptions properly speaking. Yet Pthasr links the concept of consciousness. Toward the end of his study. inshort consciousness. as a predicate developed in rhe proccss o f whar he understands as a dcsrrunion of rhe traditional philosophicai theories of subjectivity. in short. it is logically impossible to avoid the regressus ud libitum. would not coincide with what the Idealists ailed “intellectual intuition. the major aporias that haunt the reflexive model o f consciousness arc due to a projecrion of analogies of perception onto psychic relations.This issue i5 nothing lcss than thc synthetic unity of apperception. ldsclf-reflection as attentional experience.of a prior dichotomy of subject and object (the subject as . Not only does a relation of reflexive turning upon oneself lead m an infinite rqges. consciousness cannot be a [reflexive) sclf-rclation. such an interpretation is illegitiman. a predicate. Pothast remarks that his critique does n o t . says Pothast. or a pmpricty that refuuscs all further analysis. Alrhough Pothast does not want m understand this originary uniry. making wlf-relation a function .POST-AEGELIAN CRITICISM OF REFLEXIVITY 71 consdourness of self. bur this is not to be conceived as self-perception.obim). As Pothast puts it% a bit ambiguously. in the sense that it is not accompanied by a howingself-relation at any moment. and which he wants to defend against any further attempts at desmEtion. exclude all turning backward of attention. that the aporias rhar result from the attempt to think consciousness with the help of concepts o f reflexivity are analogous to the antinomies of logic. is thus to be thought without conrradicrion. as did Kant.that is. As Pothast has demonstrated with g e a r accuracy. in terms of cognitive self-relation. Because consciousness is thus interpreted in terms o f spacialiry. even more clearly than Hcnrich.” the critique is indubitably spccuiative in nature. M one area of that tradition which has h m e questionable in almost meiy regard.?’ At this point one may object that there is no reason to view a critical approach such as Poihast’s as implicitly specularive.

it alone explains how a being can develop a srrmure asdiffcrcntiared and as . cannot be conceived in itself. according to its nature. irs very possibility is ncvcr cxarnincd as such within the tradition. Then it cannot serve as a grounding principle. and thus Pothast’s skeptical arguments against rcflection. let u s t u r n m another aporia. Thc second type of criticism of reflexivity proceeds f r o m the assumption that reflexivity i s not to be relinquishcd but must be saved by reflection itself. lndecd.farrcrnoved from its initial nature as a happening. hecause it is in itself a cnntinuous df-transgression that endlessly presupposes its own self-psiring. like Henrich‘s. This rcmains thc case e w n if spcculation is no longer undccstood as rhe rcflection of reflection. Henrich‘s and Pothast’sdiscussions of thc aporias of reflection suggest a non-Wegelian mode of speculation. in which thc demand for unity and dcduction is to be achieved o n nonmflccrive grounds. According to Schulz. cannot possibly bc conceived. ippcar to bc functions of a speculative understanding of philosophy. he holds that “probably. Reason. the aporia is that absolute reflection. Spirit) is of prevailing importance to thoughr. although it is supposed to function as the principle of a transparent construction o f what is. it is nonetheless an explicitly speculative approach to the aporirs of rcflection. Even though Hegcl’s reflection o f refleaion is not itself sufficient to overcome all the problems inherent in reflection. of the absolute subject. by and through itself. This aporia has been pointed our hy Walter Schulr in his srudy entitled DQS Problem der Absolurm Reflexion. hecausc chis grounding funnion of absolute rcflmion (of self-consciousness. To begin. a piece of the rndition ro be saved. this time conccrning rhc self-cngendermenr. Yet. in Pothast’s argument. it must not be derived from anything clsc.’ ”m The idea of a synthaic unity of apperception is not Simply. the entirety o f Porhasr’s reasoning takes place in i t s name. But if absolute reflcction cannot be fixed. it cannot serve a5 thc ground o f all that is. Paradoxically. the idea of an originary unity of consciousness is a specularive germ. and although h e claims that it nced not always already be inhabited bya represenration ofits own self nor be compdscd synthetically of discrete and singular things. I t affccts thc very possibiliiy o f absotute reflection's achieving a grounding function. like inrellecnral intuition. Schulr writes: “Absolute renemion is indeed superior to mundane beings. Ungraspablc bccausc it cscapes all fixation. but this superiority . as the structure of our ‘knowing. which is the purpose for which it was developed in the first place.72 TOWARD T H E LlMITS O F REFLECTTON as the highest point in the sense of a deduction. of the self-positing Self. since.

and whose essence thought cannot.POST-HEGELtAN CRITICISM OF REFLEXlVlTY 73 exists only if one accepts the Absolute to be what it is. whose Romantic and abstract tendencies Hegcl had radically criticized in the preface to Phenomenology. of rendering this acprowrrd Limirarion f the principle intelligible but. while a t the same time keeping the antithetical anthmpologifal option in che& since the latter is as metaphysical as that which it attCInptS to dislocate. I n d d . in describing absolute refleaion in the absolute fashion mmtioned earlier.”” In addition. hope to think in a satisfactory rnanner. in h e Absolute as the true beginning i 5 not only incapable. in truth. or so-called reality. which. makes the essence of man. since such a deduction would equal a limitation of the Absolute. khulz writes. avoids the aporias Schulz has pointed out by understanding and developing the Notion or Concept as the concrerc . Hegel’s own norion of absolute reflection. Schufzpoints out that such an Absolute.u T h i s awarcncss of the apolwjc nature of the concept of absolute reflection as a grounding principle leads Schulz to criticize teflection’s claim t o absoluteness without. Heeel was concerned with Schelling’s attempt to overcome the unhappy choice between absolute reflection and anthropological immediacy. but reflection as the x l r s confrontation with what is. also undercuts the possibility of deducing being from it. he contradim the purc thought o which-lxuuw ab~olutdy unconditionaknnot wen be subjected to the form of stlf-limtation. and that bcing cannot L C I derived tram it. But what this means is that the insights that the absolute principle cannot be made into what is conditioned by that prinaple. with respect to the world. that is. for the immcdjatt. the principle that repeatedly and mndnuausly pansgrmcs itsctf. belong rogcther. as Kant has already demonstrated in theanrihcsirof h e thirdantinomy. self-limirarion hidcs the fact o f the present world. however. and would indeed cancel out the privileged status of absolute reflection as a principle: Onc rvho p a i r 3 a’limitation. Schulz wants to contain the idealist gesture that brings about the absolute self-positing of rcflmion as the principle of at1 things. as we have seen. opting for the p d a r opposite 5 f reflection. above all. and it is this fact w h i c h calls for self-limitation a5 the rcsrriaion o f the Absolute. Schulz merely summarizes a position o f speculative thought that was heId by Schelling. as a principle o f all beings yet 50 absolute that it i s entirely beyond comprehension. as rhc ground ofall being.“” Yet. “Neither ahsolun reflection nor an unreflected being.

even this S D of o f reflection is latently speculative. an argument that ascribes. yet negatively s o .” Ir bccomcs obvious that the insistence a n the immediate. of reflection-recourse to Hegel’s speculative and dialectical solution is unavoidable. t h a t it appears impossible to bypass the Wegelian speculative solution to rhc difficultks of absolatc rcflccrion. i s what Wegel callcd external reflection. and that of Schulz. insisting an the im~ naive criticism mediate is irself a reflecrive act. “cvcrything bad to reflection generally. of consciousness and self-wnsciousnes-that is. Any attempt to challenge absolute reflection through svmc notion of Immediacy is bound to fail. If one is to address the principal deficiencies of the theories of subjectivity. always already refures itself. Let me: emphasize. If rhere is any differenoe benvecn Hegel’s critical account and speculative appraisal of the aporias of reflection. in Hegel’s words. Thus. it is also critical of the subjectivity constituting the modern metaphysical solution of that essentially spcculative and philosophical problem. that Schulz promota.?A ~~~~~~ ~ TOWARD THE LlMITS OF REFLECTION mtality o f all the iogically possible relations h e e n rhe abstract and the particular.This istosay that although Schulz’scritiqueoftheaporia~ of absolute reflection is in essential agreement with the mediating spccularivc solution of these contradictions. with no internal boundarim. The “critical reducrion” of Idcaiism that he proposes is nothing short of what Hegel has in mind in Science of Logic. Hegel was unwilling r o consider the unity preceding the disxnsion in quation as a state of unity that “really” and “actually” precedes the given state as its mctaphysically original beginning. Hegel thought chat the romliry of the possible relations b e e n polar oppositions are immanent in them.not only . o r philosophical anthropology. is precisely that kind of dialogue betwtcn the self and what is. regarding it and all: its works as the polar opposite and hereditary foe of the absolute method of philosophizing” disregards the fact that such a reflection. For instance. the reproachful argument that immediate perception dissipates when reflected upon. since it is not itself an immediate kind of relaring. Like Schulz. it is nonerhelcss very much a speculative account. while Schulz’s critical account of the aporias of reflection avoids the pitfalls of a philosophy of immediacy. Indeed. because it admits as its unrhought premise what it hies to put into question: reflection itself. which starts with something ahen to it. In other words. it is that for Schulz. in 3 Hegelian sense. where he develops his concept o f absolute reflection. between the ego and being. the dialogue snms to be an opm debate. which develops into absolute reflection where that dualism is superseded. then. and thus one moment in the dialectics of reflection.

and foremost. Russcll and Whirchcad’s phobia of what Russ. or. It i s an approach that takes the Hcgelian solution most Mriously and i s highly conscious of rhc Philosophical txigcnacs translated into the speculativeovercoming of the deficiencies of reflection. must.this is implicitly the case with che sort of criticism that makes rcferencc to skeptical argumma conmrning h e aporetic nature o f reflection. for that mamr. Yet. whatever its answer to these problems may be. null and void.embarrassed and meaningless response by the thesis o f immediacy. “The systematic place in which. T h i s particular approach sccb to account forreflection a d absolute reflection from “presuppositions” of both that traditional philosophical thought has not found it nemsary to thematire. but for &e pre-Hegelian attempts to cope with this problem as wd1. the possibility opens up of avoiding the fundamental f reflection as it concerns sclf-cansciousncss deficiencies of the theory o as well as the . as we shall 9ct i n the next chapter. of absolute nflection. This WIT of problemaric is an inmaphilosophical demand and calls for a radical deepening of the reflection of reflecdan. and in which alone. It is to affirm. Turning to WcgeI prompts us to give sharpened attention to problems unthought of in refleaion and in the speculative solution as wcll. such as constimcing what SchuE caUs the dialogue benvcen the self and the world. It is all the more thc case for those attempts that aim at saving reflection by trying tn assign it a proper function.must take its standards from the Hegelian project.l. i s a science of pure meaning that proceeds according to the dialectical rncthod. all attempts to come m grips with what has traditionally bccn viewed as reflection’s aporctic s t n ~ c t u i e . as did the logical positiiyists.lI termed the paradars of rcflexivity--rhat is. can legitimately try simply to destroy reflection.’ As Crama no-. that all criticism of reftection. Exorcising reflexivity from the discourse of philomphy through positivistic or analytic arguments could only be a short-lived and ~ h 0 ~ 4 g h tway t d of dealing with the problem of reflecrion. for the moment only. Yet i t would be t m n m u s to bclievc that the inevitable pathway through Hcgcl mcansrhat one has no choice but to accept the Hegelian solution. o f rhc sunanric and logim-marhemarim1contlicrs .POST-HECELIAN CRITlClSM OF REFLEXIVITY 75 for all post-Hcgelian theories o f reflction. and second.”u As we have seen. T h i s means that na critique of reflection. as Konrad Cramer strongly sugipts. It is also necessarily the case with all a m p s to overcame the dilficulties in thinking reflection by reflection as a method inelf. or to declare it. an entirely different approach to the problem of reflacdon is possible. mcasnre up to the speculative solution givm by Hegel.

Eeforc turning to a discussion of the type of criticism of reflexivity that I c h a r a m r i d as dealing with ccrtain unthought “presupposidons” of rehaion. which. M spcak of immediate identification as a cognitive achicvemcnt is sheer nonsense. are a result of the absurd starring point that informs traditional rheories of reflection. in spire of bcing inspired by the analytic perspective i n philosophy. and the impossibility of solving them. Following Henrich’s and Pothast’s analyscs. The first concerns Emst Tugmdhar’s critical appraisal of thc aporias of reflection as poinred out by Henrich and Porhasr.Tugendhar. Ict me menrion bricfly two attempts to cope with thc problcm of reflection and absdute mflection.76 TOWARD THE LIMITS OF REFLECTION that result from propositions that speak of themsdves. In addition. which characrcrizcs consciousness as a representational strucrure. and ( 3 ) the assumption that all immediate knowledgc is ronrcd in perception. and if. under no circumstances. His revolution consisted of hinging the entire representational function of language. a priori impossible. with rhe result rhar self-refleaion is understood as a relation in which the subjecc rums upon itself as upon an object.”The interplay of thcse three models required f self-consciousness. To speak of the “perforrnarivc function” o f speech a c ~ s is ro apply a new word to a very old problcm. moreover. with which Russell and Whitehead were exclusively concerned. But the “pseudoproblems” they had hoped to eliminate by striafy prohibiting the use of linguistic reflcxtvity soon crept back. idcntity cannot . and that self-rdlcction must therefore be understood as inner self-perceprion. says. (2) rhc subjcct-object relation. Austin’s so-called rwolutIon of analytic philosophy amounts to nothing more nor less than the surreptitious rcintroducrion of the pmblcm of rcflection in order to solve the problems left in the wake of logical positivism. produce self-cansciousness. Thus. if the three models can. from predicates o rhernselves. of the subject and itself as objecr is. on a constituting self-rcflexivity of the linguistic act. do not altogether sacrifice the philosophically fundamenral aspects of rhat problem. self-reflection. and absolure reflecby the idea o tion as an identity of the knower and what is known. Tugendhot argues that t h c x sporias. into the discoursc of analytic philosophy. or from classes rhat contain rhemelvesthat apply r led to thc banning of thc very concept of reflexivity from much of the philosophy to which they gave rise. amodeIdeeply rooted in the subjccr-predicate structure of (ordinary) language. Tugcndhat argues rhar rhe following three models animate these theories: (1) the ontological model of a substancc and its modifications. disguised by a new terminology. Indcrd.

one deprives oneself of the possibility of thinking the very foundations of propositional knowledge and truth. Tugendhat contends that this kind of ~ l f . By eliminating altogether the ontologicat dimension o f self-identity in self-consciousness (and. for that matter. it is because for Tugendhat and the analytic tradition he represents. is e n t i d y linguistic. there is no ground f whatsoever. or to ponder its speculative echoes.truth requires that kind of immediate identification Tugendhat rejccts as contradictory to all cognitive achievement proper. It is not my intention M discuss in dctail Tugendhat’s theory of epistcmic or theoretical self-consciousness. To rejea the concept of sell-reftenion or absolute reflection on the basis that it leads to contradictions is precisely to reject that kind of necessary gmund. On the contrary. . and arc thus incommensurable with any form of self-identie concludes that “a structure of the form ‘I know myselF fication. Tugendhat accuse Henrich of disposing of xlf-consciousness. It is a knowledge not of oneself o r o f one’s states in themselves bur only a knowledge rhar one has those states. of subject and object. This form of self-consciousness. as well as of the very idea of epistemic self-conwiousness. o f the knower and o r any propositional attribution what is known. knowledge and truth can only be propositional.~ ~ t i sciousncrs can be thought without aparias. one must embark on a &tical inquiry into the nature of that ground. Without the presupposition of ontological or formal-ontoiogical identity of being and thought. since itr concept can be elaborated without the three models that inform traditional theories of self-rcflccrion. Since one cannot abandon such a ground without hesitation. an inquiry capable of accounting for the aporeric structure o f the ultimate principle.” Instead of rclinquishing what he calls “selfless consciousness o self-consciousncss. despite the fact that Henrich’s rfgms from self-consciousness to mnsriousness is a srep toward the deduction of self-consciousness as a secondary phenomenon from f self. it is grounded in the immediate knowledge one has of having certain states.POST-HEGELIAN CRlTlClSM OF REFLEXIVITY 77 be taken as knowledge.’ ‘‘28 Yet it does not follow from all this that self-consciousness itself would be an impossibility. in abmlutc reflection). What I want to stress here is that the theoretical ascetism that springs from confining oncsetf to linguistic and propositional truth is self-defeating. Tugendhat intends to give an analytic account o f what he calls “epistemicself-consciousness. The very possibility o f propositional . without necessarily yirtding to the Hcgclian solution of these aporias. H is in itself impossible and ‘contradicts the very meaning o f ‘knowing.” in particular in irsimrnediate form. the only one that Tugendhat concedes.

Schnadelbach reestablishes rcflcction as the medium at selffoundation of philosophy. SchnIdelbach writes: “Merely rnetalinguistic spcech is. . If reflection were to be translated into metacommunication.”’0 With this theory of discourse. Fragen einer Logik der PhiloSophie.”29 In order ro rranslatc the traditional problem of reflection into linguistics. Schnidelbach’s attempt 10 reformulare ihe tradirional problem of reflection linguistically does not consist ofconfounding it with metacornmunication. understand by discourse is precisely a language game which is simultaneOUS[y a process of communicarion and metacommunication. and thus subiect to the danger of psychologism and solipsism. What Habcrmas. .78 TOWARD W E PtMlTS OF REFLETTION This is what Herbert SchnSdelbach seems to have achieved in his superb study Reflexion m d Diskurs. in fully reinstating this notion to its spcculativc hcights and to its role as a principle free o l the aporias its critia have pointed out. The attempt to grasp its constituting rules in z metatheoretical fashion leads to the well-known endless hierarchy of metalanguages. such a solution can bc satisfactorily reached. and evcn mom so Schnadclbach. and within its rules and standards for an ultimate overcoming of contradictions. in which the reflective structure of discursive modes of thematizing does not entail an endless progression of superimposedlevels of speech. On the historical premise that reflection has been the major methodological concept of philowphy since Descartes-thc very means by which philusophy must seek to ground irself a5 philosophy-rhis characterf philosophical reflecrion 3s discourse leads Schnadclbach to izarion o call for the development ofa philosophy of philosophy which “secks to clzrify the conditions o f the logon didomi in philosophy and to xcure them from a normative point of view. SchnHdelbach embarks on a new explication of the concept of reflection by manslaring the phenomenon of reflection into linguistic terminology while at the same time conserving the full scope and depth of the traditional problem of reflection. in which reflexivity has no place. per dehitionem nonreflexive. one would miss the specificiry o f reflection while at the same timc projecting o n it a number of unsolvable problems that beset the theory of meralanguages. He succeeds while warding off r h t pitfalls of mentalism that affecr rhe traditional concept o f reflection. While contending that the problems affecting traditional theoris of reflection are rooted in their “mentalistic” terminology. Schnidelbach‘s reformulation o f the pmhlcm of reflection is a most persuasive demonstration that within traditional philosophy.. Schniidclbach chooses a modified version of Habermas’s pragmatic theary of discourse.

the approach 1 shaIl be concerned with cscags the norms and c x ~ r i o n classically s a m . Let us now cum to a d i f k n t approach to the problems o f sclfionsEiousncss and. could state that m ask why something is itself (ti uuto estin auto) is to inquire into nothing or not to inquire in the first place. an approach of this sort makes no sense. absolute reflection. and recognize as well the logical superiority o f speculative thought over all attempts to criticize it in a rcflexive mode from a position crroncously considered to be outside it. at Icast as far as the horizon o f ocpectation o fphilosophy IS mnocmed. as we shall see. mbtk m t u n d i s . or in a modified speculative thtoo of discourse. o f course. are susceptible of k i n g su-fully overcome in absolute rcflcction. On rhc contrary. within the limits of the standards o f philcsophical problem solving. Such an a p proach conacda that. a mmmon ground capable o f superseding apormcal propositions can be found. But ths approach also grants the possibility rhat rhc aporias of reflection. then one can just as easily contend that to qustion the success o f rhc spccuIntive so1utiws to rctkxivity is not to question at all. It is an approach that recognizes rhe previous one as philosophically well founded. T h i s docs not.6 Beyond Reflection: the Interlacings of Heternlogy w Up t o this point I have dim& a mode of dealing with thc aporias of reflection that still seems to prevail. imply rhat succcss is taken for grand or left unquesrioncd. Indacd. discussing form as primary being. If Arjstotle. I shall question the very succcsshulnas of succcsrfu~ philosophical mlucionn to the aparias af &&on. in which a m r n to Hegel's speculative thought is 5etn as the only way to come to grips with the shortcomingso f subjectivity.' From a mdirianal philosophical pcrspeccive. Whether or not these would be definite solutions i s not really the question.

And yet new and unwonted mmifs also make o r instance. Therefore. although Hegel anempted to overcome the reflexive aporias of the Cartesian and Kantian paradigm of thought through a return to the Creek concepa o f being and substance. although Hegel’s immanent and. and the carly Heidegger-in short. that ofJacquesDerdda.80 TOWARD THE LIMITS OF REFLECTION ciatcd with thc discourse of philosophy. the tradition begun by the Cartesian philosophy of subjectivity expcrienced a cenain dampcning. T h e critique of reflexivity and speculation enacted by these philosophies (which at their best house a philosophically irreducible and radical “empiricism” unlikc the philosophical doctrinc of crnpiricism grounded in experience. without philosophy’s knowledge. the latcr Husscrl. it also dicitcd this criticism as a reaction to itaclf. in a type of philosophy that cannot comfortably be placed within the usual philosophical classifications. namely. I do not rncan this to be a straightforward historical presentation of thc antcccdents of the approach now to bc discussed. When. this return took the form of a total subjectivieation of these concepa. Dilthcy. o n the orher.” or k t t e r yci “structures. For this reawn. in his sense. on the one hand. Nichsche’s thernsclves heard in thesc philosophies. It i s an approach that is attcntarive to a set of what one could call “presuppositions. These a r t philosophics that unwind out of the philosophy o f subjectivity.”’ ”prepositions. its meatrnenr ol the problem of the aporetic namre of reflection and in possibly successful sublation by absolutc rcflcctinn. nnnrcflexive philosophy can be seen as originating rhe type o f criticism on which I shall clabontc. and which can be easily aceammodated by traditional philosophy as its nonphilosophical Other) is mingled with much more traditional rhcmes. which places a necessary gap between knowledge. in an effort to avoid the aporias that such a philosophy carries with it. a criticism from which the approach to be presented derivcs same of in major impulses. Hc writcs at the bcginning of On rhe Genealogy ofMora/s: . f critique o f rcflcction and self-consciousness. Take. in the aftermarh of Kanr’s transcendental solution to the problcms o f rationalism and empiricism. as well as against Hegel’s speculative solution. Those landmarks can be found in thc philosophies of Nicnschc. selfcognition.” which inform. Hegel’s philosophy must he viewed above all as the complcrion of Cartesian thought. Yet. First we must wake yet another Qpe of criticism directed against thc philosophy of reflection. and. Hegel’s radically immanent philosophy emerged as the major chnllenge to the philosophy of reflcction.

as well as Niensche’s. narrower. Tlis also explains why life. Here. What Nierzsche and Dilthey thematize as life is something h a t escapes. . misundmtatrditrg oneself. self-reflection loses all foundational capacity with respcct to knowledge. m hove $0 rnirund m t a n d ourselves. 81 . making oneself smaller. Iacks rhe asp~cr of toality. We have never sought ourselves-how could it happm t h a t we should ever fi~dourselvcs? . of which self-knowledge is an alienated product. with r w p m r o which self-consciousness is a falling away. What concerns us is only Dilrhey‘s.. is history. It is a whole which can never be mrnpletcd.THE lNTERLACINGS OF HETEROLOGY . sr lcasr up to a certain poinr. but it is also seen as the necessary gap between oneself and one’s knowledge. it forever escapes reflection. life. forgemng oncself. rhe classical opposition of the rational and the irrational. s u g g d o n thar life and lived experience-in other words. mediocre. As thc source of alI reflexivity. become reason itself.” in which Ni&c declares thar to become what one is. cmotional. one must avoid knowing oneself: “Where msce te Ipsm would be the recipe for ruin. for us the law ‘Each i s . 1 mean rarher to emphasize thar the noncognirive and nonreflexive state.”’ Self-reflection is seen in both cases as a flower o f decadena and mundanity. which breaks radically with the philosophically con-red mode of accounring lor the knowledge that one claims r o posscss by grounding it in the self-canscious and publicly accountable subject. we do not comprehend ourselves. “We arc unknown t o outstlvs. which is so decisive for all self-rcflcaivtmriries! “The realm of Life. It i s not my purposc to evaluate the extent to which such a turn in interpretation remains indebted to the tradition under attack. something of an order other rhan that of self-consciousness (individual or cultural)-serve as rhc groundof sclf- . cannot simply be conceprualizcd in terms of the irrarional.”‘ Whether DiLhey can really conceptualize the essential incompIeteners of the wholc of life i s not the point here. as a phenomenon deriving from a primary state free of self-awareness. So wearc nmssarilystrangcrs to ourselves. in Dilthey.furthest from himsclf‘ applies to all eternity-we are not ‘men of Knowledge’ wirh respect to oucseIvcs. Is if nor after all because he called the vital link brween understanding and lived experience irrational chat Dilrhey’sconcept of life has been greatly misundersrood? In many ways mercIy a substitute for what Hegel called objective spirit. is essentially thc nonrefiexivc source of reflection and self-reflection. and inruirivc. . we men of knowldgc-and wirh good reason. mated a$ a temporal and causal construction objectified in time. for Dilrhey.”~T h e same morif can be said r o underlie his “autubiography.

Heidegger comes to assume. Heidegger in Being and Time powerfully continues this type of criticism of the philosophy o f reflection. can take place. Let us consider briefly his analyses of the modes o f understanding proper to Dasein. that the essencc of man does not lie primarily in the subjectobject relation.characterized as being-in-the-world. because it is not simply a more true. effcct the required opening within which subjectdbject rdations.’ which is essentially understanding” (p. modes that structurally precede all thematic. Heidcgger characterizes the b o w i n g peculiar to states-of-mind as follows: “This ‘knowing’does nal first arise from an immanent self-perception. but belongs to the Being of the ‘here. propositional. mom essential sclf-consciousness. Hcidegger’s concern in Being md Time i5 to demonstrate that man is never simply a subircr relating ro objects. by first disclosing the world as a whole. it is also heterogeneous to that which depcnds an it for its possibility. and hence reflexive operations. more fundamental. Husserl’s critique of the abstract nature of the Cartesian cogilo. It is presupposed by all immamnt reflection. without. his opening of the stream o f experience to inactualities. however. but also because it is incommensurable with all reflexive appropriation. serving merely as what I have hirherto caltcd a ground. by a disclosure not o f ohiccts f whar is ready-ro-hand within-rhe-world (innerzucMch Zubanbut o denesJ. such as intellectuai intuition. on the contrary. is a n unconcealing in a primordial sense. as a “kind of apprehending which first turns round and then b a c k ’ can only come upon “experiences” “becauw the ‘there” has already been disclosed in a state-of-mind. and reflexive cognition. first and foremost. not to a reflecting subject hut to a bcing . and his general return from logic to the prepredicative. Hence. Analyzing the existential 5tmcturcs of Dmeiv. and Jaspers’s invesrigarions into the psychology o f world views. 184). counrerpostd to the isalating and abstract operations o f reflective life. that man‘s reiation to the world is constituted. which. This disclosure. but at the same time. What Dilthey calls life is undoubtedly anorher name lor spirir.”” The states-of-mind that characterize man primordially. By drawing on such issues as Brcntano’s claim that predication is not the essence of judgmenr. Self-consciousness can ncver hope to encompass that ground. T h e thought of such a consfifutivc heterogeneity af self-reflection and self-consciousness inaugurates the type of criricism to which I refer here. Schelcr’s phcnomenological analyscs. ir is a knowing by the Dasein that is not grounded in a subject’s relating .82 TOWARD THE LIMITS OF REFLECTION consciousness. which takes place through statesof-mind (Stimmrmgen).

his ktures a t Marburg folIowing the publication o f Being mrd T i m . To a t e again: “In existing. on the contrary. 187). the ego. Self-consciousn c a and its constituting self-refldon relate to t h s c more primary f o mo f prereflcxivc selfdisclosure as to their lost foundation. To condude his development o f this subject. T h i s a h explains why Ddseirr’s selfunderstanding tahs on many diffctmt f o r m 5 in conformiry with tht things by way of which it encounters itself. 158). presupposes thc prereflcxive transparency Of man’s viewing “himelf‘ in contemporancity with thc world. it finds i w t f in the things by which it is surrounded in the world of what is ready-tehand. dn what sense. is only a mode of self-upprehmriott. 174). Heideggm entirely excludes the possibility of making an appropriate theoretical responx to the question o f existential self-under- .sincc Dscrrtes. but nor h e mode of primary sclf-disdosure” (p. in identity. Heidqger writes: ”Wecannot d d n c the Dascin’s ontological constitution with rhc aid of selfccmsciausnas. in the sense of a turning back. Reflection. then. In The Basic Problem of Phmotncnology. one’s relating to oneself in rhc mode in which a subjcct rclatcs to an abject. It is not a knowing chat would arise primarily from a lone subject’s d . hasbecn conceived of as “the ontological constitution of the person. 174. “ t h mocintcd unveiling ofrhc self‘ accompanyingthe Darein’s relation is not a givcn “as might be thought in adherence to Kant-in such a wag that an ‘1 think’ accompanies all rcprcscnrations and goes dong with the acts directed at extant beings. self-conscious being. 1S9). on the contrary. Self-reflection. wore all refidon. in short. and by way of which it i s disclosed to itself in in own self.d d o n . zhc subject” (p. The Dusein docs nor find itself within itself. entities sight ‘thcmdvs’ [sichcet ‘sidl’] only insofar as they have become transparent to thcmxlves with equal primordidty in those items which arc constitutive for their existence: their king-alongside the world and their king-with-Others" (p. These multiple means of selfunderstandingcannotbc equated with what. is the %If given to itself? Heidgscr anrwcrs: “The self i s there for the h e i n itself without rcflcction and without inner perception. but.THE lNTERPACINGS O F HETEROLOGY 81 to itself i n the mode of a subjcct-objm relation. The Darrin’s =it. Heidegger made this quire dcar: “W-unhnding should not be equated formally with a reflected ego-ntperiencc”6 Indeed. we have to clarify the diverse possibilitits of self-understandingby way of an adquately darified structure of existence” (p. as self-consciousness. which &us would be a rcfltctivc act direacd at rhe first act” {p. cannot be u n d c r s d as that o f a seIfknowing.

hcre. from wirhin the tradition iaelf is not insignificant. Even in a brief outline o it becomes obvious t h a t rhc philosophies of Nictzsche. If Hcgel’a turn toward the philosophy of being resulted in an ahsolurcsubjccrivizationof being. and so on. but also as acollection o f complexes o f various and changing spontaneiries of mnsciousness. that o finally. It is thus not astonishing that Hei- . they carry o n the philwophy o f subjcctivity rypical of modern phiIasophy sincc Descartes. They are phIlmophIcs. on rhc contrary. of selfreflexivity such as Dasein’s self-disclosure. or rather puts it in its proper place. evcn hire conccprs o f the subject such as Descin. understood as the radical conaction o f the universal and abstract metaphysical concept of subjectivity. o f the “object. o f the transcendental such as the existential structures of Dasciti. Self-consciousness as a self-reflarive state can then also be derived through abstraction from the initial disclosure of the world and the self in state-of-mind. especially in light of the fact that Descartes himself conceived of the cogito not merely as the pure act o f a reflexive recoiling upon one’s thought. and Heidcggcr before the Kehre are attsmpts to account for the problem of subjectivity. f this other type of criticism of reflexivity. rhcsc arc philosophies of finitude. of freedom such as the concept of Sein-konnen. and. But i s Hcidegger’s concretion o f rhc subiect in terms of Dusein really as radical a break with rhe Cartaian paradigm as i s believcd? That Heidegger borrows all the conceptual tools with which he criticizes reflection. a solution independent o f the question of whethcr the aporias of reflection have been solved. It is true that the traditional problems of reflexivity and self-reflcxivity-that is. do not radically break with thc paradigm of subjectivity. life. Nonerheless. in a rnannmsubstantia1ly different from f Heget. It is for this reamn that Hcidegger’s circumscription of self-consciousness and self-reflection has justly been considered a relinquishing of the Cartcsian opcningot thc problem o f reflection and of the quesrions to which it is linked. O n l y by rcgrcssingtoward theprerdlevivestructutureoolunderstanding characteristic of the Dasein as being-in-theworld can one account for primordial self-sighting. Mom prccIscIy. Yet the manner in which thmc philosophies account for subjectiviry is no longer subjective. In this sense. the wortd. wc find that the oricntarion toward the object. Bcing. the lifc-world. Dilrhey.84 TOWARD THE LIMITS OF REFLECTION standing by rcflecting a n it in terms o f a reflexive relation to setf.” rhc world. or Being serves to desecratc rhe concepr o f thc suhjccr. their constitutional role with regard ro the subject and objm-arc overcome by grounding rhese modes of knowing in primary and prcreflcrivc mode5 of discl~surc.

Heideggerk theory of self-cansciousncss is not concerned with the aporias of reflection. the contradictory.refleaion. for philosophers from Dcxartes to Husserl. They offer the primal matrix F o r the i m d u a b k difference between mbjm and o b j m constituting the d r rivativc mode of that sort of self-apprchcnsion that is self-reflection.and wlf-consciousness that triggers the Kehe-that is. What he objects to are nor iogicrl deficiencies in a narrow sax. Self-consciousnessis a mode of self-apprehension in terms of a reflexive subjbct-objcct relation. it is Heideggrr's insight into the unsatisfamry nature of this handling of the problem of subjecdvity .mncept of. hcrcrogcntous "beyond" of the aporetic or anrinomic. do nor fail simply because . Last but not least. more originary than the classical obiecrs of thought. B goad enough solution in terms of what the philosophical discourse expects of itself. without m m p n d i n g to the truly synthetic and speculative. is laid out (and held topether). C&&. and absolute reflection as well. But by ddihaly turning the original mode o to rhe quesrion of Bein& Hcideggcr grounds the Dasem's df-undcrstanding marc fundamentally. therefore. With this he begins an cntircly new way of questioning the phenomenon of rdccrian. These smmm are the inmmrncnsurable. and so on) serve as pa&-breaking. indeed. by making it a function of the history of Being. btcaching traces. the contradictory. and one that is moreover historically l i m i d . Heidegger's turning away f r o m the analytia of Dusein toward the question of Being. selfreflection. t h s e structures (such as Zug. a s the vcry cssmce of man. and Hddcgger docs not question what was. Heidegger's later cancerning the aporias or antinomies o f Being toward stmctures philosophy reaches our under the name o o f thought rhat are not easily rtcupcrable in terms of m a n t i = and that arc. the aporetic into one speculative whole or totality. Instead of synthesizing the manifold. according M which the manifold. h e DaKin's prereflexive self-understanding.T H E INTERLACING5 O F HETEROLOGY ~ ~~~~ ~ 8t dcggcr's exploration of the srmcrurcs of consciousness in daily life could produce only a mom original and primordial . From the perspective o f Being. namely. Unier-Schied. and the vcry nature o f the thing now themarizcd under the tide of k i n g even more radically displace the traditional problems f reflexivity. Fuge. If it is problematic for Hcidegger. it i s not because such a relation could not be rhougbr without our h m i n g enmeshed in unsolvable problems. but rathcr that thesc phiIosophics erect only one mode of self-apprehension. In Being and Time this particular mode of relating to onesetf is grounded in f D d s sdfdidixlosure. The manner in which the tradition has conceptualized sclf-consciousncs is pxsuasive.

unity of apperception is itself foregrounded in the ~truu~llltes instead of representing a reflexive or speculative solurion to rhe problems of self-rcflecrion. for the problem of reflexivity. o f self-reflection-Derrida's approach aims neither to dismantle nor to annul reflection in a skeptical. like Heidegget. From the perspcctiveof Being. the philosaphical method has consisted in starting off from difficulties and conflicting arguments that seem to offer no way out-in other words from uporios-and exploring various routes. The passage through thc hopelessnas of aporetic situations or propositions in search of philosophy’s own way constitutes the philosophical method. “presuppositions. Since Piam. and specially since Ariscotle’s Metaphysics. nor does it aim to solve reflection’s notorious problems in a speculative fashion. for better or worse. Dcrrida is nor concerned with dialectically solving intraphiIosophica1 problems according to the canonized forms of philosophical procedures. but thcy also show it to be a reductive figure of the modes in which relation to self takes place. must nccesarily yield. assuming the features of a dialectical procen. and their speculativesolution.the synthetic of king. As the opening for any originary self-perception.” “pre-positions. empiricist. these structures remain strangely external to it.” or “structures” to which the exposition of this problem. It is not easy to define the nature and the status of what 1 have called.86 TOWARD THE LIMITS OF REFLECTION they cannot be praperly thought. The structures of Being offer thcmselves to the confining abstraction that leads to the historical event of the surge of self-consciousness. Itsaporias. But to put method aside does not necessarily imply that one rambles arbitrarily. withour o f course declaring these situations unsolvable.” The term pre-supposition is nor to he understood to mean mere assump- . Like Heidegger. To relinquish all efforts to master these situations or propasitionsserdng aside the problem of the aporctic-is also to relinquish method. as well as irs evenmd speculativesolution. ultimate impossibility. or positivist manner. beyond traditional aporccics and speculation. The manner in which he tackles the problem o f reflexivity thus takes the form of an investigation into the “pre-suppositions. Concerned with demonstrating both the possibility and essential Iimitsthat is. Although Derrida is not interested in (dialectically) finding the way o u t o f hopeless situations. until a way out lercporia) is found. These structures account for the possibility 06 self-reflecrion. Hcideggcr paved the way tor Derridn’s even more effective accounting. he focuses on an entirely new set of issues on rhe margin of thc philosophIca1 path that leads from aporias to their harmonious uniry. By freeing the structural articulations of Being.

’ The position of idcalist philosophy is to capitalize OR the diffcrcncc within self-relation a t the bcn& of a whole for which difference. it cannot have the status ot an effective acrualiry. b o n d rhe omniparence of reflection. on the conrrary. and s i n a this is evcn more thc a s e f o r the approach that I am outlining (and which is concerned with the entirety o f the argumentivc structures that lead from the aporias to the dialemid fluidization). It is not an inquiry in dre service of a greater . and actuality itself. since both t y p s of actuality. What sounds ar first like a parody o f speculative thought is nor. as 1 have s u p & . either real or ideal. are themselves reflexive concepts. Since. is the m m comprrhrnsion of the difference that still breaches the idea of self-relation.THE INTERLACJNGS O F HETEROLOGY 87 dons rhar chc philosophical discourse would have allowed m pass without demonstratingtheir truth.diffcrencc. or wen of an exclusion of all diffcrmce. becomes. (2) One cannot expect to be able to think a self-refation that would bc the m u l t of a simple diffcrcncc. that very whole itself.a n-ary truth that is either implicit or explicit in thc philosophical discourse.’ What disf idealist tinguishcs Heidegger’s and Derrida‘s positions from that o philosophy is primarily their inquiry into what may be called the difference beoveen identity and its speculative layout. from whore solution one obtains the solution of all its other tasks. beween the totality of what is and the difference that inhabits self-relation. the insurmountable reverse of speculation is a rhcology o f the Absolute. As Heidtsger has pointed out. Nor is pre-supposition to be taken t o mcan Iogical pmupposition. What distinguishes the positions is that Heidegger’s investigation is into difference itself. not into difference that would simply be the same as the whole o f Being (let 0 5 not forget that the later Heidegger relinquishes the namc of Being) . all new accounts o f reflexivity must measure up to Hegel’s speculative and absolute reflection. let us take as a starting point the methodolopica1 directions that D i m r Henrich h B shown to characterize the position o f idealist philosophy. There is nothing such as an immediate and yet closed self-relation. Henrich writes: (1) The first a s k a f philosophy. the development of rhc difference that it conrriminroa form whichissocomplex thatitEannglongCTbedirringuirhed from thc totality o f what is. into the true essence of differencc. its negativc counterpart. rather than irremediably dividing it. As far as its ontological status is concerned. however. Real cclftclation incltldes.

This dcrour through Flach’s study. which. ceaselessly differs from itself. Ict us consider thc unjustly ignorcd work of Wcrncr Flach entitlcd Negution urrd Andersheit: Ein Beitrog zur Problem& der Lcirtimplikntion. alt inquiry inro the truly ultimale pcinciplcs o f thc foundation of knowlcdge is of ncmsity a “pure heterology. although unwittingly. which will reveal a vaticty of striking resemblances to certain topoi of Derrida’s thought.88 TOWARD THE LIMITS OF REFLECTION and that would unite what is set forth within it. thisdifference links idenrity b a d on self-relation to differcnce. and in such a manner that what is held rognher does nor form a whole. In k r r i d a . combine with these pre-suppositions or strucrurcs. must noncthcless. as we haw said. but because thcy are inscribed within that difference. Toward that end. Within thc ncrwork of relations of this difference. In othrr wards. whereas Dcrrida’s inquiries are concerned with a differcnce that is no longer phenomenulogizable.’ Flach’s devclopment of hercralogy is onc of rhc most radical attempts possible within the rradirional boundarics o f philosophy’s rhinking of Otherness. as a discourse that is an argumcntativc cntcrprisc within rhc horizon of rorality.thcirtssential limits. each time in a different manner. Yet. of the pre-suppositions or strutturcs that both philomphcrs build upon-structures conccrning the passage from differcnce to identity. strangely extraneous to the discourse of knowledge. from the aporiasol: self-reflection to absolute reflection. will have the additional advantagc of providing the n ~ c s s a r y fail against which the radicalityaf Derrida’s hercrology can be clearly 5et off. As thc conrcmporary neo-Kantian German philosopher Werner Fhch has pointcd OUT. the difference Dtrrida is concerned with i s a condition of possibility constituting unity and totality and. into rhc principles of the ulrirnare [omdarion of 3 1 1 possible knowledge. But what are we to understand here ‘by hetemlogy? Is Dcrrida’s philosophy a hetcrology bccausc it would ravcal thc fundamental grounds of knowing. and so forth-Dcrrida’s appcar more rernotc from the logos of philosophy. wholes can bc sct out. . especially s i n e the structures t r e a d in his wirings are. at the same ttmc. or rathcr becausc the s t m c t ~ r it c~ develops are in a relation of a certain alrcriry to the discourse of philosophy? To give a satisfactory answer to there qustions it is ncccssary first ro establish firmly what hcteralogy means in tcrms of traditional philosophy irself. in its irreducible plurality. they remain forever incomplete. in a new sense.” nerrida’s philosophy can be viewed as a hctcrology as well. Both Hcidrgger’s and Dcrrida’s a p p r o a c h could therefore be viewed as inquiries. that has n o “itselF’ to itself bur that.

toward grounding it in an absolute principle f reflexivity. as the principle of thought. conceives of itself as a critique af HcgEl’s notion of absolute refleetion. aswell a5 the thinking as being (positing refledon). it is supposed to make possible. Flach whose self-rrlationaliry is no longer of the realm o i s compelled to follow such a direction because he tccognizes that Hegel’s detcrmination of the ground of reflection-f the originary synthetic unity--is not amrmpanied by a determination of that ground as a principle. Yet if a ground is M ‘be an absolure ground. which grounds refkction more radically. o f what can. ir is a sort of . Hegel’s concept of thc reflection of rcflection undcrsrands ground in the senst of homogeneity. as ground. and can alonc be understood by ’prinaple’ Through his pure heterology. a heterogeneous sphere of conditions must be a t issue that preceds thinking as the thinking of meaning {dcrerminak reflection) and rhc thinking as the thinking o f being (external reflection).” Flach notes. 64). Flach purporrs ro achieve the goal of establishing rhe &mate and radical ground o f determining thought. as Flach understands it. Flach’s enrerprise elaborates a n the structural moments of the absolute relation (ubsofutes Verbihir). Flach’s enterprise is geared toward a more radical understanding of reflection. or rationalist critique of reflection (it takes speculation in a Hegdian sense very seriously indeed) but as a n accusation against Hegel for having failed ro give a radical salurion KIrhe problem o f oridnary synthesis. f reflexivity. cannot be grasped by methodical retlecrion sinct. H e writes: “The caesura lies in thought itself: with the thinking of the meaning of meaning (total reflection). Instead of determining that ground as radically hererogeneous 10 what. Since Flach’s enterprise docs not start as either a skeptical. I t is the sphere of ‘pure heterogeneity’ which Like both constitutes itself in itself as the logical beginning” (p. that is. Durn hct- erology. or as refiedon o f rcflecrion. ir is supposed to account precisely for the nature of reflection. falls short of establishing the ultimate ground for derermining thought (besrimmmdes Dmken). ir must be.hmrogcnmus. irrationalist. as an invesrigation into the final implications of logic. in the sense of what the ground is to account for. Flach‘s hererogeHeidegger’s and Demda’s critiques o neous and principal condiiioning relation of thought. is aimed a t demonstrating that Hegel’s interpretation of synthesis as reflection. “Pure heterogeneity. dbes not issue from a debate over the aporetic nature of refleaion but is based on a rigorous understanding of what a ground is supposed to achieve.THE INTERLACINGS OF HETEROLQGY 89 I t i s important to note from the outset that Flach‘s pure heterology.which. “contains nothing less than the thought of the principle.

In demonstrating what he terms the "reflexive conatitutivitfa of the htterological principle. yet must be capable of accounting for those principles. by which synthais the homogeneity o sphere o f reflection is esrahlished. the terms required to conceptualize rhc ultimare srructure of thoughr musr be very different from rhose o f negation. but only by a pure hererology. The same is true of contradiction. But this comparison will also demonsrrate the essential differences benveen the rwo rypes of heterolcigi-.90 TOWARD THE LIMITS OF REFLECTION debate with reflection that does not try to get rid of the larrer. In claiming that the different forms of reflection cannot bc logically accounted for by a reflection of refltcrion. for these concepts are inadequare lor formulating the purc structure of hecerogeneiry. thc inevitably contradictory nature of such a relation necessarily anticipates its dialectical f thc sublation in a third term. which govern the homogeneous domain of rcflmion and judgment. in order to determine the absolute synthetic unity al this originary correlation. it cannot achieve this goal by detcrmining the absolute ground in terms of negation. By pinpointing the various motifs shared by Flach's and Dcrrida's philosophies. and haw he conccivcs of its inrercourse with determining thought and reflection. If the absolute synthesis i s to account for the play of the moments in which reflcction and dialectics are grounded. contradiction. belongs to the sphere o ment a5 well. and dialectics. From the pure hemology of Flach. in the sphere of must bcdividcd in itself. f iudgbecause it is connected to predication. dialectics must also be situated in the sphere of determining thought. questions the originarity of negativiry and contradiction constiruting the relation benvern m e ments within reflection. an index of determining thought charaacrisric of the sphere 'of judgment. or dialectic. we shaIl see beyond doubt that Derrida's philosophy must also be understood as a heterology. . Flach recalls thar negation is a structural concept of reflection. Since the Hegelian cancept of negation links morncnta in a relation of sclf and Other. Thus. wc shaH have to distinguish Derrida's philosophy as an unconditionally pure and impure heteralogy. Let us sec how Flach determines the pure heterogeneity of the absolurc reladon. Flach aims only ar a more originary understanding of the srructural characrerisrics o f the absolute retation rhar makes reflection possiblc in the first place. and which they mcdiateinta a n undivided whole. Hence. which.contradiction. It follows from this that it a hererology is to establish the identity of the absolute ground as the purc logical beginning. Flach. The absoIurc .

as well as to a controversy that rook place in the menties beovecn Rickcrt and Kroner. in which the opposite rnornenq without negating one another. What t h i s means is simply that the coupled moments of the absolute relation stand in a relation of mutual exclusion. Aach SKS the absolute relation as comprising the one and the Otber. As a result. with recourse to Ricken’s development of the notion of hetecothesis. h e originrry synrhais of the absolute relation appears to be irrecrtcvably divided. yet without hampering i a originary consrimtivity with respect to rcflection.THE It+TERLACIHCS OF HETEROLOGY ~ QI synthesis. and rhis precisely insofar as ‘pure heterogeneity’ m a k e reflexivity possible in an originary manner” (p. determines the structure o f rhar division to bt hmmlogical. Since there is no negativity in the one’s relation c o its mrnplcrnrntary Other. Flach. In this minimum o f the pure logical relation. they do not stand in a telation of contradiction. The inseparability of ‘pure heterogeneity’ from rcflexiviry is a ncccssary determination o f its structure. and vice v m a . Having banned conaadinion from hctmlogy. Flach remarks: “Othmtss is not a ‘plus’ but a ‘less’ than negation. in which negativity plays as yet no pan. both the one and the Other are equiprimordial. in which the Other is not the negation of the one but an exclusive Other of the same. can fulfill this task only if it is divided to such a degm that all mediation is radially excludd from the realm of pure logic. another the deccrmination of this ‘duplication’ by refltxivity. Hence. In order to subtract this originary division and duplication horn the principles that reign in the homogeneous realm of rdlecdan. indeed. 4 4 ) . FolIowing Rickert’s determination of the heternthetical prinaple. according to Flach. Athough this originary division of the pure Iogical beginning is insf rdection that it makes arable from the dividedncos at the base o passiMc. it is a relation of rhc onc to thc Other. Rach also ernpries it nf rhc unifymg and homogenizing W i b i l i t y of reflection and dialectics. the momena that enter the originary synthesis must be irrevocably disjunctive-their nature must he one o f “full disjointedness” (p. Y e t ir is prcdsely because ir does not mntain contradiction &at the sbsalute relation can become a gmuine principle of thought and reflexivity. complete each other to form a totaiicy. it is also very dihrenc and thus cannot be thought in terms of reflection: “One thing is the inseparability of this ‘duplication’ from rctluivity. it belongs to the minimum o f what can the- . 43)-if they arc t o furnish a justifying explanarion for the duplication constituting unifying reflection. Neither has any ascendancy over the other.

is one of purc positing thought. determination. a particular principle of thoughr. and reflection. It is certainly not to be mistaken for that sort of heterogeneity grounded in hornogmeiry that stems from the structural leveling of pure hercrology ro rhc Othcrncss rcquird in detcrminarim. this role dws not suffice to endow negativity with any priority regardEng Otherness. whereas this originary Oneness is itself a funcrion of its cmbracing nonconrradictory and contradictory Otherness. in spite of its importance. what Flach calls a constitutive koinotriu. whose philosaphy of spirit is an arrcmpr to subsume under the One the thinking of the sclf and the thinking o f the Other. minimal principle of rhoughr. and grounds its charactcr as a moment" (pp. 36-37).91 T O W A R D THE LIMITS O F REFLECTION oretically be thought. Instead o f being a fundamental principle of thought. I t hinges on the mcntial Oneness o f rhought. negation is doubly derivative. how hctcrological is FFach's hctcrology? Flach Icavcs no doubt 8s to his heterdogy's also being a heautology. but also insofar as the heterogeneity that characterizes that primary relation i s linkcd in an embracc with the principles governing the realm of cognition. unlike the sphere of cognition. Ar this point we should be in a position to assess the implications of Flach's conccpr of hercrology.'" . Betwren these 'IWO distinctivelogical domains also reigns a communion of being. and reflecrion. it is. As a pure. Ncgation and cnntradiction belong to the sphcre of reflection-that is. dctermination. Otherness logically precedes the possibility of negation. ir belongs r o rhe hererologiul medium of thc originary relarion. But i n truth. To . The hctcmlogy of the originary logical spherc does nor merely ground the homogeneous sphere of judgment. Notwithstanding the formidable role played hy negation as a methodical tool of reflection. It must be noted that his concept of pure hctcrogcncity as bcaring upon thc originary sm~rtllm o f thoughtupon thought's hererothetical positings-has a very distinctivc and singular mcaning. That spherc. In a manner similar to Hegel." F l a c h ' s heternlogy is a unified and unifying scicncc of the Other. to thac of cognition-whereas the hetcrothetical principlr of Otherness is a function of pure positing. a science o r a logic that thinks itselfjbeuuton) and not exclusively Otherness. by which or in which very diftcrcnt principltx come togcthcr to form the unified nature o f thought: '"as eine Denken. Flach's hcrctology becomes a heautology notonlyinsohr as the originary and absolutc relation to itself i s concemcd. and since nor all Orhemess lends itsclf to negation. As Rickert had insisted. No negation would be possible wirhour a prior Othcrnew. This is what makes its originarity.

opens the meaning of v p l o h e to the heterogeneous. that Flach stresses the themes of mmbinanon. As a result of thenatureoftheoriginary~lationasonemOthcm~s in general. and ro the heterogeneity of the nonconrradictory Other. its uniry is not dialmicai. 54). it is one in its very division. the domain o the domain of what is grounded. T h e unity that holds thought together in iu primary principle. Thc unity of that whole stems from an amculation (GefGge).One the hcremlogical and the homogeneous f the absolutely diHermt ground and realm of judgment. Flach. as a whole. in the hoinonia. the herurology in question can only be a heterologicat whole itself. is that of “a hncrional clnsurc o f the principls” as well as o f “the whole ofthought” (p. totalig and foundation (in their unifiahility) as the uniform and unified speculative chararmof the absalutc relation. or interlacing-in technical terms. the om thought bemmcs constituted. by tying into one whole the ground us ground to what this ground in its very Otherness makes possible. aommunion. difference. who set out to ground reflection in the hornagenmus (nonlground of thc reflection of reflection. in this cast tinking into . Flach asks: “tn what manner does the heteroIogy come to grips with the problem of rymploke? In the only sufficient one. is not equal to identity or indifference. boinonia and symplobe-and that he conceives a I his hetcrology as an essential freeing of the idea of symploke to include Otherness. irretrievably divided. then. the opening o f rhe question of symploke to 0 t h - . and since its parts are complementary only tu the extent that they arc mutually cxdusjvc. It is in itself. But in distinction from Hegel. N o wonder. 45). as well as in thought 3s a whole.” And.” (p. as wcl[ a5 the idea of unity itself. in the symploke alone of the hctcrothctical and the principle of contradiction as well as of the other principles of thought. But apart from this narrowing down o f Othcrness--of the heterotogical-to these t w o forms of Otherness. Oncncss o f thought. to ihc heterogeneity of the ground as the radical Other.This unity of the heterological is the rrsult of an f union that weaves the very different moments encampaising bond o and principles together iota onc totality that prwerves differencethe difference of the Other-as complementarity in the whole. ’7hc one thought i s constituted by all the principles of thought” (p.THE INTERLACINCS O F HETEROLOCY 91 cite again from Negation und Andmlrcir: “In the communion. on the contrary. opposed to itself. namely by conceiving of uniry. 601. Flach‘s ambition is clearly to bring TO a fulfillment what Hcgcl began: the Iinkagc of the entirety of all principles. f o r Flach. D relationship and connection of the parts.

which cannot be turned into a moment of the process o f deierminarion whether o r not it is limited 10 the sphere of judgment. in particular inasmuch as Hcgclian thought exemplifies the requirements of philosophy as such. because it is itself a logicdprcsupposition o f the logicof speculative determination. Symplokc becomes subject in this manner to a trim o f allampre hensive inclusion as far as the principles of thought are concerned. bccause tbc relation of the one to its complementary Other in the absolure relation is not conceived. in terms of a logic of derennination. because unheard OF. o r dialectics of the real. It remains unclear whether Flach really does justicero Htgcl when. Although it may be a Oncncss no longer owingto dialectical mediation of opposites. I mean only to outline the similaritics and differences between their concepts o f hcterology. Yielding nonetheless to the imperatives of Hegelim thought.94 TOWILRD THE LIMIT5 OF REFLECTION erness remains itself a function of the idea of the totality o f all relarions. specificity. Flach’s concept o f an Otherness logically antcrior to negation. Oneness nonethekss is the horizon o f Flach‘s hetemlogy. and of the corollary problem of Sympfoke. or originary duplication. although such a comparison would help clarify many details. in intcrpretingthe Hegelian canceptof negation as belonging to the sphere of judgment alone. What m a k a the absolute relation different from all simple Hegclian Otherness is t h a t its relation between thc equiprimordial one and O t h e r is 3 w h i m Qf pure difference. and thus the Other is nor the Other ofthtone in spite of their complementarity. I do nor mean to engage in a detailed comparison of Rach‘s d c termination of nondialeaical Otherness with Derrida’s hctcrological venture. his inquiry into whar I have calIcd pre-suppositions or structures of reflection and the reflection of reflection represents a standard against which Dcrrida’s hetcrology can be measured and thus determined in what one can no longcr call its radical. But in spire of Hegel‘s most powerfulelaboration of theenriretyolthe logical scnscs of Othcmcss. from a speculative viewpoint. however negatively. Derrjda acknowledge an irduciblc . is in principle capable of accounting for Hcgelian dialectics and spcculative thought t~ the exrent that it does nor fall under rhe jurisdiction of what Hegel calls the abstract or wen harmless Other. to !he sphere of knowledge based on judgmcnr. to such a logical determination of simple Otherness. In a manner similar to Hach. neglecting in this manner the all-important ohjcctive dialectics. and thus his hcnrology as well. he is compelled to restrict the realm o f dialcairn to dctcrmining thought alone. It is nor a rclarion of mediation. Ftach’s Other docs not yield.

Bath also share the insight into the solidarity between the t m s of negativity. sublation. his heterology is not a hcautology either. as well as thc relatian they . dialectics. Lct us consider for a moment the classical treatment of the problem of symploke. . Y e t .” ”difkrance. and not only of the one of speculative thought? But if this is the case. a camra at the heart of the grounding principles and o f the principal conditioning relation o f thought. values the German philosopher rightly holds to constitute thought as such. In addition. a solidarity in the service o f the evacuation of the hetcrological from the speculative unity of the totality o f all oppositions. Derrida’s rrcanncnt of the problem o f Eymplokr is not governed by toraliry and Oneness. cornpard to relation to Otherncss in F e r a l . But t h i i is as far as the similarities go. Flach’s heterogeneity is an ~ S S m t i d heterogeneity. Unlike FIach’s. Consequently. The dialogue on the Sratesrnan is onc of the most important Platonic dialogues dealing explicitly with this problem.rntertain with what rhcy constitute. of the generality of Oneness.’’ to name only a few-to founding principles. mmplemcncs the one. and homogeneity. Bur is it n o r precisely thought ar such that i s the issue in the second rypc of criticism o f reflexivity to which I have f r c k i v i t y in particular alluded? And arc not the “pre-suppositions” o prcsuppositiom o f thought’s Oneness. which serves in t h i i instance as rhe leading paradigm t o define such kingly activity. As we haw seen. in the One. following in this a philosophical r h m c a5 old as philosophy itself.THE INTERLACINGS OF HETEROLOGY 95 doubling of thc IogIca! origin. their own nature.. both Flach and Denida open up the concept of symploke to include rhc hererogcnmus. can no longer bethematized in 2trms of csscnm.’’ The objective of this dialogue is to determine the activify of the true statesman as “a kingly weaving p m e ” ( h i l i k e n cymp/okFn) (306a). then Flach‘s recasting of the traditional definition ofsyntploke remains a revolution within the conccptuat limits of the tradition itwlf. Dcrrida’s heterogeneity i s not confined to the csxntial.” and “suppkmmtarity. Although one may at fim justly compare the presuppositions e x h i b i d by Dcrrida’s philosophy-in other words what he calls “infta-suumres” o r “undeeidables” such as “arche-uacc. Like Ha&. Both philosophers question the hndamentality o€negativity and contradiction as structural concepts o f absolute rcflcxiviry. in Rach h e heternlogical is basically limited to the Otherness o f the prinaplcs and to the Orhcr which.compared to the craftsmanship of the weaver. contradiction. .asI shall try to prove. whereas. he conceives of this caesura in terms of alterig rather than in terms of ncganvity and contradiction.

the kingly weavcr’s web i s smooth and ctosc woven. On the cantrary. and that rhey combine i n such a manner as to form one organic whale. To understand fully Dlato’s handling of the problem olsynrplokeand hy exrcnsion its intcrpreration throughout the madition-it i s irnperativc to realize that the unity. find themselves in inevitable conflicr? The examples to which Plato refcrs arc different kinds of virtues that . thus exempli$ing the many in the Onc and the One in the many. the s o r to f plaiting togcrhcr that nwaiathe kingly weaver ismuch morecomplex. he rejects rhe bad marerial as fat as passiblc.96 TOWARD T H E LIMITS O F REFLECTtON the statcsman’s task is a much more formidable challenge. because they are rnurually exclusive. which “unitcs the elements of goodness which are diverse in nature and would else be opposing in tcndency“ (310a). The task of the Staresman consists of tying together that inimical values. Each at the extremes is a negation of the orhcr. it i s “thc finest and b a t of all fabria” hecause “in its firm contexture“ it wcavcs together hitherto OPPVSCC~ strands into a Nnified character (31 Ib-c). into which the opposites or extremes are plaited together (ti$ a m O ~ O sumgo~ Q gein) is a function of theextrernes’ negative derermination with resptn M one another (267b-c). rhc statesman makes sure that the gentlc VirtUCS are never separated from the brave ones. with respca to its oppositc. is supposed to plait together opposites that arc at war with one another. But what m e these opposites that. for unlikethe weaver. they become violendyexcluded from the scope of the rymploke. asscrts the stranger in the dialogue. the statesman cannot limit himsclf to combining what already Icnds itsclf through its inherent substance (mi0 urrfois syndeta) to combination.eame. such as moderation and couragc.clash with one another. in contrast. be dctermincd as negative lcaves a variety of other possible relations unreckoned. Compared to thc cloth WOYCR by the craftsman. W a r the weaver weaves rogcthcr is compacted in its own substance (emtois syndoumetton) (27%-28Da). caught up in a family quarrel. No artiat who works by combining materials would ddibctately choose to make any o f his products out of n combination of good materials and bad. Whcrcas the weaver combinm &reads into cloth. The kingIy weaver. to rcstrict rbe operation of the symploke to the weaving together into m e totality of what mwt. a statesman would never “choose deliberately to con- . or rhc one. Similarly. T h i s is the condition under which they can bc dialccrically linked togerher by the divine bond rhit the statesman draws between them. Or rather. with what Plnto calls a “supernatural link” or bond ltht-io suna*gmosonrene). In doing s o . Obviously.

thespectrum of what lends itsdf to farming a part in a whole.” Y tality of the Oneness o f thought is that of the principles. lndeed. and organic totality. Flach’s pure hctemlogy.THE INTERLACINGS OF HETZROLOGY 97 strum rhc life of any communiry out of a combination of good characters with bad chafactcn” (308d). But above all. He punthemto death or banisherthcm orclxhcchast i s a them by the Severest public disgrace” (308e).of rymploke is a major fil condwcreur in Dcrrida’s writings. Flach seem at first to broaden . can contribute to brming a whole. despite i t s stress on a heterogeneity beyond mediation and reflection-a heterogeneity constituting thinking. in order to achieve rhc fineit and best o f all f a b r i n in w h i c h oppowd strands art d e d in one ore c whole. These the king expels from thccommunity. is bound to climinate &OKirrcduEible orhers rhat do not bend to negativity. In La Viritd en peinture he claims that “c’est vees la pensee du fi1 et de Pentre- .. Sympl6ke can achieve ia goal only if it expels from the mvisioncd totality those opposites that cannot be determined in terms of negativity. As we have secn. It culminates in a heautology of al[ the principles of thought. it i s a h a etogcneity that. The m e statesman. what keeps Hach’s interpretation of symploke within thc limits of its Platonic determinatian is the teleology (and theology) of Oneness. unity. and dmcrminatian-remains an attempt at establishing the (however nondialectical) idcntiry of the Absolute. is in puri materia with what follows from these principles. The totality woven by the rymploke-a totafty of concurring and cvmplemenrary opposires-is thus a tunaion o f the expulsion o f absolute hettrogcneity.those children who ”cannat be taught to be courageous and moderate and to acquire the other virtuous tmdencies. reflection. e t . Thus. as well as a principle. the equality of matter i s the condition on which a complementary Other. in spite of a11 the difference between ground as ground and what it makes possible. Thc hmrogcneous that he includes in the minimal unit o f rhe absolute relation is of the order of an Orher that i s not in but that is a complementary a negativeopposition to the one (or same]. that is. But In what ways i s Derrida’s work concerned with the problem of ryntploke? Any attentive reader will notice that the problem .thesevalua are intrinsically part o f the traditional understanding of the concept As a result. for instance. in terms of dialectical Othemm. In distincdon to this Platonic interpretation o f synrploke. although this whole will not be the result of a dialectical process of sublation of opposites. since the heterogeneity that he includes within the toOther. but arc impJlcd to godlrssrless and to vaunting pride and injustice by h e drive of an evil nature.

which is 10 rhe lnsr ierm whnr rhe Crar term is to it. forth have been the focus of his arrenrion. For whrncver in any t h m numbers. and thus one of . unifying i t d f and the Other in Onc whole. and having bccornr thc same with one another will be all one. From Plato to Kegel such relations were considered arbitrary and lawless. From his first work to his most recent publications. interlacing [in the writings o f Husserl. by the way. because they are at war with m e another. and proportion is best adapted to effect such a union. the bond (lo bande in Gh).98 TOWARD THE LIMITS O F REFLECTION Incemmt que je voudrais VQUS conduire*’ (VP. a science of the symploke” (0. are also posited in the Absolute. Such a bond alone cffectuara the uue boimtiu with the Other. . Dialectical interlacing takes place berwccn terms that. and the first and last becoming mean%they will all of them a t necessity mme to be tht same. The opposite mornenrs rhat ir plaia mgether are not moments in a relation o f capricious or contingent exterionty. As Plato indicates. Hegel also refers to in The Differenceat thcprecise moment a t which he describes thc dialcaical identity of opp0sites. the topoi of VMechhmg. at one point in Timaerrs. the fairest bond is that of mntinucd geometrid proportionin short. to the same. p. consequently lacking any meaning. In this unity. Derrida recognizm this essentially dialectical nature of sympioke when he writes in Dissemination “that dialectics i s also an art of weaving. and so . Real opposites are absolutely identical. a d again. 24). analogical. Gefltcbt. caused by the fairest bond.” and which. Only between real opposition docs the dialectica1 art of sympbks weave what Plam. Freud. (31c-32a) The fairest bond is nor only the fundamental bond o ft s s m c c that penetrates and unites a plurality a communion in which the one cncroachcs upon the Orhcr. 122). whcn t h e mcan is t o the first tcm a5 the last nrm i s to the man-thcn rhc mean becoming first and last. and others). and eminenrly.~. which assume the function of fcgitimizing itself and the Other dependent on it. calls “the fairesr bond.That the interlacing of d i a l e d . It is not only the bond created by the interlacing par excellence that is being. there i s a mean.’L The discussion of the a r t of weaving o f the statesman shows chat umplohe is dialecrical in essence. whether tube or square. grafting (grefie).l’ Plato writes: The fairest bond i s rhat which makes the most complete fusion o fi m E f and the things which it mmbina. the Other (and Otherness) find their rightfuul place as they become justified in their role of an Other to the one. Heidegger. the union according to analogy.

the science of grammar. It is no longrr governed by truth valacs.W E I ” E R U C 1 N G S OF PETEROLOGY 99 being. through inmrlaang. p . in analyzing Plam’s distinction in Tbcactetus b a n drc science o f grammar and diakcda. i s a? least irnpkitly assumed in such essays as “White Mythology” in Margins or Philosophy. are linked to . lndccd. dialectical and grammatical interlacing. and with it analogy. and. are somehow only forms o f symploke among others. more originaiy form of plaiting tugether. and thus with the n o n m t h of the othcr science o f qmplokc. Since both sciences. As we shall see. compound with relation. but the necesity o f a generdimtion of symplobe also begins to be felt. o f what has been called by that name in the tradition. and in The Archm/ogy of the Frimhs But this recognition that diakaics is an art of intcrlacing . the mcdiration must arriculatc h e m as a double scietr~e. Indeed. as one can gather from the Sophist. This meditation can no longer choose berwccn one of the two sciences of interlacing. and his thinking of radical alreriry-are subversive of rhought itself.” but w i t h clcady different resutk f r o m Flach‘s opening of q m p b k e to a more fundammtal. Focusing on what tics them together and what unties them into their unstable difference.a science simultaneously playing on ttua stages during tum sessions.also implies that dialectics.each other-Interlaced-a rncditarion on rhc gtncraliy of synploke becomes inevitabie. DerridaG deconstruction o f symplokc-his gncralization of interIacing. mth this insight i n t o the structural dependence of dialectics as one art of weaving on rhc . a science traditionally seen as inferior to dialectics. mush in fact and always. 166). Arirtotle w t h c standards of thought when he stated that one doR not think at all if one does not think . thar there is a nondialecdcal h a r m of linkage. namely the thinking not only of sorncthing specific but of one d m m i n c d thing. As Derrida demonsrrates. and it tscapcs regulation by the ideas of toraliry and unity. of a thing in its Oneness. this is what M d a sets out to prove in “Plato’s Pharmacy. The new art of weaving suggcstcd by Dcrrida’s hctcrology is thoroughIy different hom that of Flach. n o t only dots rhe $istinction bmvrm the two sciences begin to waver. as Fladr has contendad. of gmerdity. the genttakation of symplokc by this double science is nothing other &an the production. nonpresence. the science o f interlacing rcpresmd by dialectics-u Kicnce guided by the value o f truth-instcad o f k i n g able to distinguish itself clearly fmm of grammar as another. “the very mndition of dipcoum-tme or false-is the diacritical prindple o f sprploke” (D.

“account“ for structurally nonroralizable arrangemenrs of heterogeneous elemcnrs. Hererology means “science OF’or “discourse on” the Othcr.Rs from this perspective. Heterology is indeed a highly charged term. the archesyntheses would not find its justification by bcing embraced by the One. But first. wirh rhe rcsult that the system of predicates that they form is also essentially incomplete. since the force o f knotting the manifold is no longer that of thought. on how principles and nonpresence are welded rogcrher. The Ocher tied into.” It is. In an Aristotclian view. a literary undertaking). and so on-are not cumulative opcrrtions o f roraliwdon. Bur the question to be raised at this point is whether this unheardof heterology can still be calted by that name. thcreforc. this heterology does not think anything at all. supplementarity. is a science or theory o f “archcsynthrses” possible. an alrerity that separates the principle from what it is supposed to accaunt for. Dcrrida’s hererology is not ro be seen as a search for more fundamental principles of thought and cognition.100 TOWARD THE LIMITS OF REFLECTlON thing in its essential unity. and from itself. by dcmonsrrating how ir is brcached by that which ir makes possible. These “synthem. and by itself docs not adquately designate what I want it to say in this context. their Other. Thhc s o r t of synthesa produced by Derrida’s heterology-consider the *‘arche-syntheses” of rhe arche-trace. differance. especially if one takes into account that the pure hcteroloSy we have cxarnined deals exclusively wirh rhe Orherncss o f the absolute relation constituting knowledge and rhe sclf-knowledge of knowledge. It follows from rhis rhat the interlacing produced by this unheard-of hcterology doesnot stand in a relarion of constitutive koinoniu to whar it “accounts lor. of principles and what they justifyy. it is. also incorrect to spcak of in interlacing simply as one o f founding. that is. I t is. Derrida’s hererology is nor only different from rhe pure hererology af Fiach. no longer a philosophical enterprise (nor is it. grounding. for that matter. Thus. and so on. strictly speaking. sinceall such scienceor theory presupposes them? Second. these “syntheses” do not belong to the register of the grounds: theirs is en alterity beyond that which characterizcs the f principles to what they rule. unless the nature o f both were to be radically redefined. accounting. Facusing in a nondialccrical manncr on rhe ways in which m r h compounds with nontruth.” on the contrary. considering the significance o f the concept o f the Other in one rhing-the . It is thus an alrerity that represents ’both a condirion o f possibility and one of impossibility. one could venture to relation o say.

can one conceptualize the infrastruccural syntheses in terms of Otherness? And third.THE INTERLAClNGS QF HETEROLOCY I01 the philosophical tradition. To circle back to the problem from which we set out-the problcm of reflexivity-it must be said that. sp[im what it doubles. but no longer a roum. perhaps for the first time. since heremlogy is not only the science of the Otherness o f the l o g i d principles of thought. If one avoids the dangcr and the almost inevitable temptation of construing hetcrology as the truth of philosophy-that is. since what we understand by thought is nothing but such a pmiect. but a h the $ c i a = of a mote radial satmi than the one w i t h which the discourse of knowledge is believed to be concerned (one thinks hem in particular of that irrationalist movement of thought which leads from the Romantio to Rudolf Otto’s derermination o f what he . Derrida’s hctcrology does not function as a reflexive sonstirutivity. For what is reflected is split in ihdfand not ~ n l as y an addition to itself of is image. such a httcrology would not only help to understand thought. an infinite reference from one to the othct. T h e origin o f the speculation becomcs a difference. for both intrinsic and strategic reasons. rhtdoublt. but for reamns of srructurc. this is not h a u s e rhe Other in question would be ineffable. open thought-which could then no longer be called by that name-to a confrontation with Otherness that would no longer bc its o m . In Of Grammatology we read: There ate things like nflcctingpools. a spring.called“the Absolute Other” in tcms o f the sacred or numinous) might it not be advisable to avoid the word heterology altogether? Still. to think something other than itself. snd images. the thinking of thought. such a possibility hinges on the insription within thought of its structural limitations-limitations that do nor result f r o m the deficiencies of ‘the cognizing subiea as a finite being Thought. and especially. which make it always other than itself). s m s an adequate name for the investigation of the “pre-suppositions” of Western philosophy. unlike Flach’s pure heterology. more true mode of philosophy-and if one remains aware of the fact that the alterity with which heterology is concerned is not a positive Other given in any way. it would also. theimage. What can look at itwlf . Indeed. betemlogy. or itself in itself. T h m is no longer a simple oripin.” would in this manner become able. something other than itself in its Other. T h e RRstion. since Western philosophy is in essence the amernpt 10domesticate Othernss. as another. whose enigma could be solved o n e and for all (as w e shall see. or a t h e r “thought. of what is understood by Bought and by what is called noesis noeseos.

like Flach’s pure hctcrology. themfore. negativity and contradiction are sublared. As the underside and accomplice of positivity. blinded himself to that . o f onro-rheology and onto-teleology. For this rea5m the sphere of heterologymust. purs negativity to work. of a constituting homogeneous principle. p.’ Hegel. The alteriv that splits reflection from itself and thus makes it ablc to fold belf into itsclf-to rcflecr itseif-is also what makes it. or thc relation t o Otherness. “ncgativity is a resource. of the thing to in image. Ir opens itself up to the thought ofan alterity. through precipi&aiion. Before I engage in a detailed exposition of such an unconditional hererology. for both. As w e have secn. (OC. or of a heterogenmus principle B la Flach. incapable af closing upon itself. internalized in the syllogistic process of speculative dialectia. by which ncgativiry remains within the enclosure o f mciaphysics. The difference that such negarively characterized Otherness makes to thought is that it allows for reflexive determination in a developing dialectical system. relation to the negative. As Dcrrida dcmonsrrares in Writing m d Difference. and of the “method” o f deconsmction associated with it. is conccrncd with Othcrncss not cxclusivcly elicited in terms of negation. But. principle and what is derived from it. the one and the Other.tionaI heterology. Thc very possibility of reflexivity is also rhc subversion of its own source. understood as contradiction. a difference that remains unaccounted for by the polar opposition o f wurce and reflection. The dialecticization o f negativity. or of the absolute idea. up in a n endless p r e s s of rcfetence to Other. the generalization ot reflexivity becomes at the same time the cnd of refleaion and spccularion. makes negativity one face o f positivity within the process and rhc system of the self-exposition of absolute knowledge. since such a reflection is caught. 361 Derrida’s unconditional hcrcrology questions the vcry possibility of a source of reflection. preventing all ultimate recoiling into self. meaningful differen-xclusivcly as contradiction. of infinitely reflecting mirrors. In naming the wirhout-rtscrvc of absolute experience ‘abstract negativity. it is appropriate to insist oncc more on the fact that Derrida’s uncood.roz TOWARD THE LtMlTS OF REFLECTION is nor onc. and the law of the addition IYF thcorigin to ia repmentation. for srrumral reasons. is rhar one plus DMC makes ar lcasr thrcc. bcmrnes. Derrida’s critique o f reflexivity must thcrefore at first take the paradonical turn of a generalization of rdection. Hegel dcrermines difference-that is. Difference.beclearlydistinguished from that of eflexivc determination. Difference.

that which makes ir the ramring0th d a c e o f the positive. It is more than negativity becaux it is the “medium” (the nonmcdiating me. The Otherness of unconditional heternlogy is mare and less than negativity. it is a “negativity without negativity. a moment. It i s Irrs because it has no meaning. rcprcsented. that which mn no Ioonga bc called wptim. . Untih Flach’s Other. and . or a condition of meaning-as work-Dcrrida’s philosophy. and hence put t o work by the system of metaphysics. Rather than being a more profound ground of rht systems of whir can bc known and thought.which he bad laid base under tlrc rubric of negativity. 95). nor rhe sdll meaningful ltytfx side of the positivity of the Hcgclian Conccpr or Nodon. I n do f being m e essential aIterity.&urn) in which philosophy comes to carve out its (dialectical. it i s precixIy the alterity of the structural conditioms of that which is determined a$ knowledge and ia grounds wirhin the tradition. 86. pushes the negative to its l o g i d cod.alIy more fuunhcnral Otherness compared to negativity.” fearing “that the category of hegation’ reinaoduas thc Hcgdian logic o f the A # f i e h g ’ * (P. a l0gic. of what is meaninghl. or thought us such. the -ce o f Orhemess. And did Y) through pdpimtion toward the scriousnm o f meaning and the security o f knowledge” (WD. bccause it literally can no longer lobor and ler i d f be inm-mgad as &c % w o r k of dtc negative. k i d a cxpmsa reservations as m the use of ‘?the metaphysical or romantic pathos of negativity.259). to that point where the negative seems an afnrimap of something that misn all salvage by t h e system of meaning. Dertida formulatea t h e task in the following way: It is convulsively t o war apart the ncgativc side. pp. And can no longer be alld negative precisely beuuu it has RO reycmd underside. Instead of dmrmining negativity as only a k . digested. p. an a b x n a wscrptible of determination. M d a ’ s Othernca is. no signification. ncirher a lack. 143. 259- 260) The Orhtmcss with which uncanditional hmralagg is concerned is not even a negative. a substantial mid. because it ‘canno longer cdhboratr with the continuous linking-up of meaning. Dcrrida’s Other-let US call it the getera1Other-is an altcrity that has nothing o f an csscncc or truth. pp.p. conccp4 time and truth in discourse. msequcntly.and it is to d u b i t d i n the ncgPrivs i n an inltant.” to quote Dsrida IVP. which is only Otherness in gmcrrrl. it i s irreaicvably plural and cannot be assimilated. like BatailIe’5.” (WD. In his essay on Ehtaille.

This “radical” alterity thus marks a “space” of exteriority a1 the border of philosophy. Alrcady inhabited by diffcranec. precisely because the ncgative no longer dorninatcs i t . whether or not philosophy is explicitly phcnorncnological. and that we call radical only for reasons of convcniencc. there is no place cither as an essential moment of theprinciples. It is situated on the . I t is distinguished by “synthcses” that. For rhis reason it is an impure heterdopy. by soldering and grafting predicates. The Otherness of unconditional hcterology doer nor have the purity of principles. even rhough it preexists differcnm as cffecrr. that escapes prewnrarion of itself in propria persona. or as that which these principles shape or constitute. without being anything in icsclf. this rnilicu does not homogeneously knot or interlace. p. I t is an Qrhernrss thar divides rhc principle against itsself. contradiction-mod= of difkrmce that cannot be made meaningful by bringing them to a s ~ inpnegativityis not merely of the order o f what Flach calls the heterogeneity of the principles. The pbamalon. with thc nonncgarive diffcrcncc thardivides them in themselves against thernselvts. that is more originary than it. even irrcducibty aporeric. which is refercntial to oihcr. o r in thc totality of what Flach calls rhc one rhinking. 127) Such a n Otherness. even though ir “precedes” the opposition betwccn different cffms.TQ4 TOWARD T H E LIMITS Of REFLECTION hence sublatable) contradictions. reserve.. Opcn co hercrologiml modes o f dating. do not apply here. For theradical alterity that Derrida rhematizes. It is from this fund thsr dialectia draws irs philosophcmcs. It is concerned with the principks‘ irrcduciblc impurity. this reserve. instances. must neccsw i l y appear contradictory. or Icveh of various orders onto one another. does nor h i v e the punctual simplicity of a cuincidmtio opposirorum. But rhcsc catcgories. that even divides a double principle likc thatofFlach. Bur it is also an impure hctcrology hccausc thc “mcdiurn” of Otherness-more and less than naativity--is also a mixed milieu. concepts. conflictualiry. more alim modes of difference. hccauke the syntheses in question are nothing less than the conditions o f possibility and impossibility of such logic. born from philosophy and it5 logic of contradiction. (D. dcfemng. always exceeds them in consriiuring rhcir botromlm fund. diffcring. theminimum oftheabsolutcrelation. The Otherness of unconditional hetcmlogy is rhc vndrcidable rcscrve of negativity. Thc impure and uncondirional hetcrology focuses on an alterig rhar docs not lend irsolf ro phcnommologizarion. Derrida remarks: Conrradicrions end pairs of opposircs arc lifrcd from rhe bottom of this diacritical. Speaking of the pbar- mahon as onc othcr name for this Otherness.

this border is not simply external m philosophy. In presenting it in negative images-as rhc opposita of valorized metaphysical concepts-specular reflection seeks to account for. but aIso maker possible. the sort of altcrity that aubvem ia hope of reflexive or speculative seif-foundation. . the dream of autonomy achieved through a reflexive coiling upon self. it is also void of the meaning conferred by an absence of meaning.THE INTERLACINGS OF HETEROLOGY so5 margin of what can be meaningfully totalized. Although this “radical” alteriry docs not present itself rls suck. neither does ir for that matter lend itself to theconceptual grip of absence. the history of philosophy in i t s entirety is. sinre it mmcs a structural precondition of such a desired state. This altcrity forever undermines. Y e t . although i t docs not bend to the Eancepr of presence. a precondition that represents the lrmit of such a possibility. lackingall meaning. indccd. since. the unintcrmpted attempt to domesticate it in the form Qf its delegates. and do away w i r h . But as we ha11 see. It dms not encompass philosophy like a circle but traverses it within.


PART TWO On Deconstruction .


in spite o f some menrial differences.and thus later than Heidcggcr’s notion of Destfubtion in Being and Time (1927). It is important to understand the context in which Husscrl speaks of Abbau i n Experience and Judgment if ant is to ase55 the meaning of this notion. for. Such an inquiry into the provenance and style o of what e m s to be a methodological concept of sorts should provide the historical and sysrematic background for the subsequent arternpt to demarcate “deconstmudon” radically from i~ antecedents. Destruktion. it is in large part anather name for phtnomcnological reduction. let us first examine the conceptual filiation of this motion of deconstrcrion. it should be disc u d first. which for many has come to designate the content f hrrida’s thought. Deconstruction st Before engaging in a detailed analysis of Derrida’s philosophy and determining in what manner his “mnhod”of deconstruction is critical of reflexivity.‘ Although Huserl’s notion o f A b h u appears lor the first timc in Experience and jttdperrr (1938). Engaged in a genetic exploration of the conditions of rhc validity of judgment. Heidegger’s f destruction in Beingond Time must be viewed against the method o backdrop o f the epochal process of discovery. This would require a “necessary retrogression ra the m a r . Thz main concepts ta which deconstruction can and mu5t be rcaaced are those o f Abbau (dismantling) in the later work of Husserl and Destnrbtion (destrucrion) in the early philosophy o f Heidegger. it is certainly legitimate to discuss the method of Abbm f i r s t .7 Abbau. Sin. in particular since thosc features that distinguish it horn orthcdox phenomenological reduction make it part of h e history of the critique of reflexiviry. Husserl conrends that neither logic nor psychology i s capable of revealing the true foundations of predicative evidence.

one cxpcriences ir. to the pretheoretical world and prepredicarivc experience by which it is characterized. transcendental reflection. as well as transcendental subjectivity. whose tradition determines its mode of givennes and informs the way . It cannot he performed by psychological reflection.z To achieve this goal. and another thar rcachcs through thc life-world toward the transcendental subjectivity consritutiveofboth life-wor1dand“objeaive” world. Yet perhaps Husserl rejects psychological redcction only because Irs scope docs not go beyond that of which it is itse[f 3 part. the operarion of rctrogrcssiort through dismanrling is not a rcflccrive operation.” In paragraph 11 of Erpcrimce and Judgment.” a world inseparable from the natural sciences. Consequently. A retrogrcssion r o the original life-world. as David Carr has a w e d in Phenomenology a d the . This toundation represents the sourcc. d o not “lie open to the view of reflection.’a to a stratum of experience that is never thematized by either logic or psycholo$y. in a manner thoroughly consistent with the whale of his phenomenological enterprise.” and which must be dismantled if one wants to gain access to that more “effective subjectivity” that “is not the subjeaiviry of psychological reflection” but that. The objective world “is them as that on which contemporary science has f exact determination. And yet. grounds it. it would be a mistake to conclude that the method of Abbau is nonreflcxive.” In other words. according to Husserl. Husserl proposts a double retrogression: one that leads from the pregiven and ‘‘objective” world to the original lifeworld. Hussed rejects psychological reflection in the name of a more radical reflection.LIO OH DECONSTRUCTION original self-cvidencc ofcxpericnce. Husrerl explains that the original life-world. of course. The retrogression that it achieves would have to be understood simpIy in terms of a more fundamcntal mode of reflection. thus requires a radical dismantling of the theoretical world.” In fact. It may well be that. that is. reflecdon appears to he not only an inappropriate mode o f access to the life-world and thc constituting subjectivity. which is an aspect QF what Husserl also calls “theoretical convicrions. on thecuntrary. but 3150 one of those idealizations that conceal rhc origjnaty foundation o f all sense-sedimentations. which Husserl refers to as A b h . an undoing of the idealizations out of which it is waven. T h i s dismantling. In that case. o f “the origination o f this garb of ideas thrown over the world. it is thc “thealready done its work o oretical world. i s supposed to produce a “breakthrough to the concealed foundatian” o f these idealizations or “sense-scdimentations” in the most original experience.

as well a5 from that of the early Husserl. a world with which our historical world has lost all contact. it is not an wmediated ap. as a nonreflective approach to the origins of the idealizing superstructures of the prcgiven world.which operate in concert with a nonpsychological mode of reflection. O n the other hand. Abbuu seems to stand for a nonreflenive way of reaching the roots of the pregiven world. in order to achieve the sort of grounding one expms from them.Problem of H i s t o r y . On the one hand. is precisely the kind of retrogression required for a reactivation of origins. and the sense-constituting structures of transcendental subjectivity. but in a sense thoroughly different from that ofKant. T h e method of dismantling is nonreflective because it allows for a retrogression to something t h a t cannot in principle be given as such.’ Abbuu i s ccrtainly a method o f transcendental investigation. But sin= Husserl’s proccdurc in Experimce und ludgment consist5 of dismantling the idealizations that cover up the original life-world. Heidegger may have borrowed this concept f r o m Husserl. canseqamtly. Therefore. Becaux rhc conditions of prediaxive evidence with which it attempts to make contact cannot be beheld in an intuiting act. Abbm is a mcdiand approach. Unlike all previous forms o f reduction. appropriate to assume that.a strange ambiguity sets the opcration of dismantling apart from all other forms of phcnornenological reduction. Husscrl repudiate both psychological and transcendental reflection.” remarks Carr. . . which m u s t remain essmritially dissimulated. its idealization. such as hisrorica1 origins. proach. it is no contradiction if the method of retrogression through dismantling is at once mediated and nonreflecrive. In this sense it can bc said to anticipate deconstruction. The very idea of dismantling is clearly “a far cry from the phenomenological insistenceon grasping in original intuition the thing itself.the traditional equation o f nonreflexivity with immediacy. Abbuu. in Erperimce and Judgmmr. The nonreflexivity that characterizes Huserl‘a notion o f Abbuu is undoubtedly a major fcamre of what in 1927 Heideggcr called Dcshktion. the operation of Abbuu in its paradoxically mediated nonreflwtive gesture is particularly suited 10 achieve what is at stake: to rcach back to origins that must remain esxntially conmaled if they am to function as the original historical premises o f history.‘ It is. the operation of Abbm is not infomed by a fully reacdvatable end point o f rbe retrograding process. or what Husserl in !&us calls mcntal dcstnraions (gedanklichr Desfruktioti).’ Obviously the paradox Carr refers to results from. It is a nonreflective turning back. then.

with the problematic of Tcmporality a s . as Husserl had first dcvcloped it in Ideas (1913).” as he explains in his 1927 lectures entitlcd The Bnsic Problems of Phenomenology. It i s inrereting too that. in his F 927 lectures. issues from a debate with Hussrrl’s early philosophy. Hcidegger comesto see it as “lendingphenomenologicalvision back from the apprchcnsion of a being. In the projected second part of Being and T h e he intended to outline the “basic features of a phenomenological destruction of the history of onmlogy. wc arc to destroy [Desmtkrion]the traditional conrent o f ancient ontology until we artivc at those primordial expericnca in which we achieved our Iirst ways of determining the nature of king-tho ways which hare guided us ever ~ t n c e . to the understanding of the being of this being. the whole history of ontologythat is. of the previous doctrines of Bcing-appears to hare determined Being in the perspective o f one singular mode of time.[the] clue. no longer toward the sense-constituting scructurm of a trassccndcntal ego OKthe prepredicatory experience o f cvidcncc in the original life-world. once Hein 8eing and Time that the trancendcntal horizon degger estabtishes i for thc explication of Being is time. Indeed.’ Hcidegger writes: “We understand this task as one in which by taking tbe question of Being as our clue. thccnd terms of the . whatever may bc the character of that apprehension.’ This retrogression.” in order to reestablish the elementary conditions under which the question of Bcingcouid be taken up again in a productive manner. but aIso the entire philosophical tradition since antiquity. Heideggcr speaks of dcstrucrion as a ‘‘critical dismantling” (4ririrCher dbbarr). destruction serves to lcvel o f f not only the force of tradition to the extent that it is dominated by the sciences.” But it is only with Being and Time that destruction acquired the status o f a philosophical concept. becomes for Heidegger a rncan~ of regaining the original metaphysical expericncc of Being. As a cansequence of the more fundamental understanding of this phenomenological gaze. thus anticipating the cnnccpt that Huserl was nor to make his own until 1938. or e p o c h as “mental destructions. . ” ~ As orthodox phenomenological reduction goes hand E n hand with a (transcendental) rellecrion concerning its goals. represents the method o f bracketing the natural attitude toward the world in order to focus on the transcendcntat subjectivity that constitutes it. Whereas phenomenological reduction. the mode of thc prcsent.b The concept of desrrucrion. . and especially with the rncthod o f phenomenological reduction.I12 O N DECDNSTRUCTION who referred to the forms of reduction. a s coined by Heidegger. bracketing.

as o p p d to its Latinization in Being m d The.”” According t o Heideggct. it is inttrcaing to note h a t in the antext o f the public debate between Cassirer and Heidegger in April 1929 a t Davos. “must not be t a d . char is. Such a destruction. Reason). as he would later call It. its aim is positive. as Hcidtggcr o h insists.t’ A t any rate. Hcideggcr employed the much more forceful Guman word Zerst6rrmg. its negative function remains unexpressed and indirect.operation o f retrogression. which at first must necessarily be employed. the destruction of the history o f ontology that hc calls for in Sting and Time.”’d Heidcgger remarks. violent am. Only by means of chis dmrucrion can ontology fully assure itsclf in a phenomenological way of the genuine character o fi t s concep. Swiacdand. and this always means keeping it within its limits. because the tradition remains rich i n truth. arc not. simiIarly thii “guidance of vision back h m beings to being requirc[s] at h e same time chat we shnuld bring ou~clvcs f o m r d to beinp itdf. “To bury the past in nullity i s not the purposc o f this destruction.” The loosening of the hardened madidon. are de-constructed (kritircher A b h ) down to the sources from which they were drawn. and the dissolurion of the concealment it has brought about.”’~ This unavoidable lnoaming up of a h a r d e d tradition. must “stake out rhe posirive pmibiitier of that tradition. a meaning with regard to which traditionai ontology docs not simply become relativized but in which it is rooted and from which it acquires its own cpochal meaning.”” This positive intent o f destruction conskts o f a ~ysrmatic removal or dismantlingat rhc canccalmcncs perdecblurgen) of the meaning o f Bdng by the history o f ontology.”’O Heideggd calls this movement o f projection of what is prcgiven loward its Being and its s t ~ c ~ u c c s not reflection but ‘cpbmomenologiEIIl construction. or the overcoming (VmimfungJ or dcrnchmr (Loslhmg) from the madition. D a m d o n i s the necessary correlate of both reduction and construetian: “It i s far rhis reason that there necessarily belongs rwthe conq t u a l irmcrprccation ofbdng and its sirucnms. a desrructialr-a critical pin which the traditional concepts. as long as. Noneheless. says Hcidcppcr. and destructionor the dismantlingo f tradition. to designate the radical dismantling of d i e foundations of Oecidcnml metaphysics ( t h e Spins L o p . i s positive. ro the rcduaive construction of being. rhc phmornmological method is distinguished by three telated momma: reduction or retrogression h m what is to &in& c o n s h d o n of Bdng. i s well as the dissolution o f the concealmenrs it necessarily produces. it i s carried out along the guidelines .

such that the philosophical inquiry into Being is. But what distinguish= reductive constmcrion from reflection is that instead of providing a level that no longer needs to be dissolved. releasing the first and subsequently guiding determinations o f Being paves the way for a transsubjective beginning vf a meaning o f Being. Reductive construction would thus appear t w correspond to Husserlian transcendental reflection. Heidegger cmphasizes a fundamental shik from a subjective transcendental peKpedVe toward thc question of Being as the transcendental question par excellence. it may well be of a different t h a t ontology represents the oblivion o f that first gaze into the destiny of Being. Although this correlation scems to parallel Husscrl’s correlation betwcen reduction and transcendental reflection. transcendental or not. Instead of further engaging ia a demonstration of the nonreflexivity of the operation o f destruction. as it sets limits and a goal to the movement of destruction. as well as in the vcry conmption of the modalirie o f his phenomenological method. I want to camment briefly an three orher methodological notions i n the later work o f Heidegger that clearly support the nonreflcxive conception of destruction: Schritt nniitk. The movement that characterizes . By avoiding the terminology of reflection with respect to reductive construction a s ir rclates to dcsrmaion. such as the Hunerlian essences and forms. historical knowledge. insofar .114 O N DECONSTRUCTION of the question of Being. Andenken. T h e leveling off that it accomplishes equals a positive appropriation of the tradition. dcrtruction ir the necessary reverse of the reductive construction of the question of Being in philosophy. and Bssinnvng. In short. can he grasped in Heidegger’s turn toward the question of Being. reduction in Heidegger seems to refcr to nothing more than a qualification of a construcrion that takes place within the space created by the leveling off of the traditional intcrprmations of Being. through which ontology from antiquity to the present Cnds its possibility.Thisshift from egological thinking. First. in a specific and important way. this question-the ontologically fundamental investigation into the meaning of Ekirtggains its true realization only in the performed destruction. Destroying what conccals the original cxpcrience. What takes place in rhc passage Imm phenomenological reduction to Heidegger’s concept of destruction of the history o f ontology is a decisive turning away from the questionof reflexivity. At the same time. I have already stressed the necessary correlation between destruction and reductive construction. it constructs a radically original ground. giving truflso?ndentda historically new meaning.

Epugoge is seeing and making visible what already stands in vim-for exampIe. The gesture o f such a reaching out cannot but appear suspicious to reflective and empirical thought. as it seems co rely on a pctitio principii. as analyzed by Heidtgger in his essay on pbysis. At what? At king. Andenken. which nccffssrily bafflesboth the philosopher of dkction and the empiriast. would provide a present ground for the operation o f retro-ion? The movement that distinguishs the three notions of Scbritt orriicb. ss pact of that tradition. The movement characreriaricohhis reaching back to the withdrawn ground membla that of the C r a c k epagoge. only if we already have acenws in view can we identify individual m c s . L e t us m E l that what is being turned m in the operation of dismantling is not of the order of the subject.”” Now.ABEAU. and Besinnung must ensure that the detachment f r o m tradition makes contact with the hidden and -tially withdrawing gronnd of that tradition. For example. Epgoge. Yet the very movement o f the petere prkcipium. since pbysis is not t a be undersrood as motion per se but as being in motion. Instead. to which it fmds. first bringing s o m d i n g into v i m and then likewise establishing what has been seen. treents5. the universal that the epugoge brings into view. it is as near to us as the unthought o f our forgetting o f it. “Epagoge means ‘leading rowards’ that which comes into view insofar as we have previouoly looked away. DESTRUKTION. The epagoge dots not lead to a ddinabk essence and therefore d a s not imply a priiiio principii. an abstract universal. “it i s what we aurselvei are not and least of all could ever Yct at the same time it is not only within our confines.” does not mean the scanning o fa scrim of facts in order M induce what they have in common. often misleadingly translated as “induetion. The quation &at rhcse thrtc “methodological” devices answer is. with a ground that is thus not simply forgotten but whose oblivion is forgotten as well. however transcendental it may be. over and beyond Individual beings.On the contrary. the retrogression toward it does nor assume a d e h i t e end point of the turning back. Epugoge i s ‘constituting’ in the double of. being s the fundamental mode o f being o f pbysir as it comes into in motion i view in epagage. nor of the order of rnyrhing constituted by such a subject. For instance. which. As such. as - . as Heidegger puts it. It is not something that would come into view through reflecting on oneself. How can the ontological tradition be dismantled without recoucse to a concept such as reflection. DE60N5TRWCTlON If F rhese thm notions involves a certain obscurity. is never given in the mode of the present.

or the quation of Beingacreappear fa. that which is worthy .”” What. from o m o f which rncraphysics obrained and rerains iu ongin.116 O N DECONSTRUCTION “the reaching out to the supporting ground.’’zl By unwinding our of representin& reflecting.”” . as Heidegger puts it. ‘“may well remain wholly without an objccr. and thar is rhe realm.“the ‘whither’ m which thestep back directs us. Scbritt ruriitk.’. its positing. ”the only move that philosophy makes. is the step back? It is a modc of dealing with the history of philosophy conceived by Heideggm in opposition m Hegel’s process o f the sublation of the truth-moments of that tradition.”*‘ T h e retrogression does not hinge on the prior assumption of a present term of its movement but is itself thc reaching out for a ground. which comes into vicw only by means of retrogression. It is the ‘offensive’ that breaks open [dcrerijffnande Vorsross] the terrirory within whose borders science can first scttle down. then. according to Heidegger. Through this stepping back. All three 3re modes of disclosure of this ground. rhc step back lets [hat locality and what charit-the onticbdntologiml difference. a thinking which. for. n which they comaccording to their differences and to the manner i plement each othcr.*o What is constructed E n the: step back from metaphysics is “that lowhy (rhc oblivion o f Being).to fa= with thought. The misinterpretation particularly to be avoided i s that o a historical r m r n to the earliest Occidental philosophers. instead o f making it the obiect in the habitual opining that characterizes philosophy. h t mc try to dcrcribc these three movmcnts more succinctly. It is not an attempt to revive the past f artificially.of being questioned is set free into a confrontation with thought. the step back from rradirional ontulogythat is. “which until now has been skipped over. and thought can cntcc into a qucstioning that experiences or lets itself he addressed by what it confronts face to face. they occur as one makes the step back through recollective thought. develops andshows itsclfonly in thccxmtion of the step. or Besinnung (a mm which I prefer ro lcave untranslared). but it is a beginning that never occurred as such.” of the essence of metaphysics. horn metaphysics as a whole-toward its hidden essence does not sipify a rcturn to the past.” is. and explicatory thinking. It undoubtedly represents a return to a beginning. First. This is how the step back turns thinking into “recollective” &inking. toward what we ourselves are not. which it constructs as it retrogrades. Adenken and Besinnung are the different modes in which that which shows itself in and by itself becomes the object of thc rctrogmsive reaching our for the grounding ground. as Heidegger narcs in Identity end Difference.

insofar as it is. in i s opposite. self-posscsscd surrender to that which is worthy of qucstiming. c thus articulates a different mbment in the opcrarion o f rctrogression: “Through BeEinnung [since ‘reflection’ is misleading. one is able to grasp how the movement of retrogression h o n d the tradition of ontology i s at the same time the conmuction and the letting be of the hidden ground of rhar metaphysical tradition. which frees that toward which one steps back into an opposite for thought. because thrown by Being into the prcserrationof itstruth and claimed forsuch preservation. ” writes Heidegger. a . since we haw here neither a subject nor an object but rather rc~ollectivethought and its opposite. consequently. nlthoough this proax.”~4 Bcsinnung. As we have seen. Belonging m Being.” “Besinnung’.”” Besinnurrg. Besinnung corrqonds t o the movement by which thought become involved in what it belongs tc-that is. which it meets facc to face-“instead of objectifying ir through subiect presentation.What is being reached out for in both the step back and in racollcction does not exist independently of these movments. like the step back and the idea of ~ l l K t i v thought. The qualitative difference of thought in the step back from a11 subsequent prescntation ( V o r s t e h g ) of mllacrion’s facing its opposite is that this face-[&face confrontation ro which ir. but also as concerns its major methodological concept o f reflection. if rtcolleaive thought brings what is c o n s u u d into a position facc to face with thought. ~ . without having experienced it and without having seen penetratingly into it. we have long been 50iOUming. recollection o f king and nothing else. is Besinnrcrrg? It must not be uanslatcd as ‘‘reflection. “is caIm. It io achieved in the p r o m of being posited. is the tern by which Heideggcr ah the nonrdcxive capturing of what is turned back to through a destruction of the history o f ontology. Hue. and by which it lets itself be addressed. what. . 1x7 . belongs to what it constructs in the very moveinent of retrogression. as the origin of that tradition. DESTRUKTtON. would be of the same order-an csscncc.’’ a w n a p t that p m u p p o s a the subjocr-obje division. In Berinnung w e gain access to a p l a a from out o f which there first opens the space traversed at any given time by all our doing and leaving undone.itthinks Being”’> Recollective thought. is something to which it itscIf belongs as recollection. I have substituted the original German word] so u n d m t d we actually arrive at the placc whcre. Now. i s itself a function of that which is constructed in this manner. it is nor a refl&ve return to something rhat. then. not only insofar as its repmentations of Being art concerned. DECOWSTRWCTION .XBBAU. Hcidegger formulates this relation as follows: “Such thinking is.leads back.

all thrce are in essence positive movements. grounds o f greatcr generality for what is to be acwunted lor. Cannot bccornc thc cnd point of a reflection. Beforc discussing the similarities.>cIt is a word. and all three attempt to construct. More precisely.” Only after others valorized thc word in rhc context of strucmralism-which. As such a differentiation. never negative in the usuat sense. As one reaches out for it reflectively. In the debates following the presentation of “L‘Oreille de I’aurre” in 1979 in Montreal. a secondary word. moreover. To the extmt that Hcideggcr’s concept o f destruction appcars to ‘be a nonreflexiveconcept. for instance. a retrogression manages the radical space of the ultimate ground o f what is. and especially [he differences. and dismantling. and with the understanding that it was only one word among others. since it can never be given. it withdraws. and whose fortune has disagreeably surprised him. of the regressive differentiation and dismantlingof the tradition.I18 O N DECONSTRUCTION past-prmcnt or a prcgivm. of an appearing through retreat. a5 docs Huscerl’s concept of Abbau. in a mom or Ecss systematic fashion. Derrida rccalled that when he employed the word deconstmction in his early writing. however. let us first consider what Derrida himself ha5 said about the word deconstruEcion. he hassaid elsewhere. translating Hcidegger’s terms for destruction and dismantling. Bur by outlining chis history 1 do nor mean 10blur the fundamental differences bctwccn deconsrmcrion. desmmion. Yct. and certainly not “purely negative”. his critique of the basic tendcncies of their work also .” so to speak. although Derrida’s notion of deaonstn~aion continua to address the quesrions raised by the philosophies of Husserl and Hcidegger. it can besaid to prefigure. That ground is a ‘‘hnction. All three are nonreflective merhodological dzviccs. Derrida claims. did not primarily determine his usage of thc word-did Dcrrida try to define deconstnrctioion in his own In this short inquiry into the origin of the concept of deconstruction I have already hinted a t tbe lwel of abstraction required 10undersrand the concept and the problems it i s meant to confront. it is itself of the order of that dismantling rmgression. between deconstruction on theone handand Abbm and destruction on the other. This ground grounds when it i s set free in the very am ofrcrurning r o ir. Such a ground. that he has never likcd. Rctcogmsion is the very movement o f differentiating (brinein) between what shows itself in and by itself and what does not-what is in all its forms. Derrida’s concept of deconstruction. the operarion of dismantling is itself grounded therein. hc did so only rarely.

h e very conceptual rt5ources that he 1154 to criticize and dclimit metaphysia’ naive concept o f time. Dcrrids criticizes Husserl’s phmomcnological reduction. The very conapt of a s e n a that acmmpanics the operation o f destmcrion is only a more radicaal. p. This is possible btcausc “cvery text of metaphysics carries within itself. p. 481. [the dcsmrction of that tradition] still m a i n s within the grammar and lexicon of mcraphysid (M. 63). . “In attempting to ptoduce this other concept. one rapidly would come to see that it is constructed out of other metaphysical or onto-theoIogical predicates. p.” Hcre Dcrrida argues that Hcidcggcr’s break with mctaphysics remains. . the destruction o f ineraphysic. as it had Id Husseri. Likc Heidcggtr. Thus any concept af time that one would wish to oppose IO a naive one remains metaphysical. then the same can be said o f Heidcgger‘s dcstnrction o f the Occidental tradition of on- f his focus on &in#. H e writes. for systemadc masons. referring to the Cmrerian Mediraiiorrs. The phenomenological reduction of which Heideggcr’sdesrrucrion aimed t a be a more radical interpretation led Hcideggcr. DESTRUKTION. that “in criticizing classical metaphysicp. mom r a d d concept of t i m e belongs t o the very possibilitia o f metaphysical conccptualiry. as Derrida writes in Writing m d Difwtnm. phenomenology acwmplishcs h e most profound project of metaphysics” (WD. but he a h q u & m Heidegpp’s inmpmation of that method as a method of inquiring into the meaningof Being. only making expliat its prinaples” (M. more original concept o f essence than the naive onto-thedogid concept of it. “the cxrraordinary trembling to which dassical ontology is subjected i n . because the very idea of a more fundamental. “At a certain point . If. both the M called ‘vulgar’ m n q t o f time md the rcsou~ccs that will be borrowcd from the system o f metaphysics in order to criticize that concept” (M. for example. In fact. more universal. remains within metaphysia. p.AIBBAU. Phe- . .” As a conscquenae. DECONSTRUCTION TI9 muches on theii notions of dismantling and dmruction. to an ever more fundamental notion of the essence of what is under consideration. . what D d d a him tu dcmonstratc in this essay Is that Hcid w r ’ s destruction in Being und Time o f the metaphysical mneept of time bomrws unm‘ricdy from the discourse o f metaphysics itself. tology and o Derrida’s objcaions to Hcidcggcr’s destruction of traditional ontology (aswell as t o Heideggef’s “solution” of the problem o f reflexivity by caking it back to the more radical idea of a prercflcxive understanding) are perhaps m o s t forcefuuy expressed in “Ousia and Gramme. i t h f u I to metaphysics. 60). 166).

because it r m gresses to something that is not prcscnr in any way wharsaevtr. thc ultimate foundations for which deconstruction reaches out are no longer simply part o f the grammar and lexicon o f metaphysics. They are in a certain way.” so to speak. we shall address these questions specifically. Yet these foundations. p. dismantling. For this reason. as we shall see. Surely dcconstruction sham with Abbnu and Desrnrbtion the goal of attaining rhe “ultimate foundation” of conccpts (OG. But for the same reason. Further. not the demolition but the de-xdirncntation. as wc shall set. of all the significations that have their source in that of the logos“ (OC. it inaugurates the destruction. The Husscrlian notion o f Abbau already sccmed to preclude reflection. The Heidegeerian notion of destruction is manifestly nonreflective.I ZQ ON DECONSTRUCTION nomenology in general. in rhe sense rhar I havc applied this wrm to Abbm and destruction. in an even more radical manner. is by definition a mcthodkal passage to essentiality. neither reflexivity nor any morc radical concept of it is capable of didosing such foundations.p. and destruction arc in agreement with such a systematic transition toward e 5 m c ~ . and thus for a world and for stmctures of which there is no experience within that tradition. Deconstmction is. it may well be that deconstruction cannot be rermd nonrcflexive. For the same reason. In what follows. and thc operation of deconstruction t h a t rmches out for them is no iongerphenomenologic. H e r e thc diffcrenccs betwcm deconstruction. Thc “rationality. hut t h a t constructs itself in the vcry process of stepping back. The resources necessary to conceive of the ultimate foundations that deconstruction seeks arc not a positive part of mrraphysical conceptuality but are given in meraphysics in a ncgarive manner. and dismantling start to cume to light. nonreflexive. Reduction. destruction. are no longer essences.l in any strict sense. . In other words. these ultimate reasons are no longcr primordial. exterior to metaphysics. of the “ultimate foundations” to be discovered by dmnstruction ‘*no longer issum from a logos. 10). however radical. . hecausc retlection can reflecr only whar is imrnanenr r o the logos. 60). since the laner represcnts a methodological concept that belongs precidy to that tradition beyond which the opcrarion of dismantling tries to reach in its search for an original life-world (and for the tcansccndental egological 5tructum that constitute both rhar original world and ics rransformarion into the world OF the natural sciences). whether in its Husscrlian form or its more radical Heidcggerian form. the dcconstruction.

The philOQophica1method. In the sciences. and the necessity c om l m . which have their Boura in the rcgion to which they apply and which arc dcpcndmr onthenaturcands~fidtyotthatrcgion. Such a statement. It i s an insrrumcnral approach iu knowledge from an entirely subjective pasition. is not to say that methodical thought should be replaced “by the non-method of present i m e n t and inspiration. impliesphilosophy’s self-implication. This.Forthisreasantheultimate mahod-that is. it is on the side of the subject and i s an ucamal refkction of the object.” as Hegel puts it. 8 Deconstructive Methodology at If dmnsrmction reach= out far “ultimate foundations. as well as in the philosophies that scimtific thinking patronizes.’ For gcnuinc philosaphicat thought. as the mad toward truth i n a domain that i s itself determined in tcrms of trueh.’’ “road”} to knowltdg~.crary t o truth-uat bc one that describes the intrinsic and spontaneous movement OF truth itseIf. bur scientific p m d u r e of all kinds. must bc rendered more precise and scchxl against a numbcr o f misundcrstandinkr. however. . or by the arbitrariness of prophetic uttcranct. methods arc always determined methods. the m&od that qrcgeno the philosophical itin. Methods arc p c r a U y understood as mads (fmm hodos: ”way. and it i s applied to that field from the outside.” it may b said to represent a methodital principle of philosophical houndation and grounding.. All the concepts implied in chis staarcmcnt will have to bc put in quotation marks. bath of which dapisc not only scitnrific pomposity. Ytr such a relation o f scientific representation as a form extcrior to a given content is in principle extraneous to any thinking philosophy. That is. however. method is an instrument for representinga given field.

” attains its most complex and complete fulfillment in the Notion or Concept wherein that acrivity achieves full sclf-determination. as “rhc soul of being.I ? . cntitlcd “The Absolute Idea. its “method” is certainly not characterizedby any exteriority ra its object. is no longm simply the way to truth. Obviously. It is thus not a formal procedure or rule separate from the content of truth. insofar as thought is also the sysrematic and genetic f the successive moments that constirure it as a whole. consequently as the pure corrtf the Notion and ia reality. which claims to have achieved that . in particular as that knowledge culminates in the Wcgclian Conccpr. in the last resort. As a method. such a procedure ‘nor only makes it impossible to give the usual methodological or logical intraorbitary assurances for an operation such as deconsuucdon. Since Plam such a method has been called dirllektike. method for Hegtl is idential to the stmcturc of thought. This is what Hegel means when. but it also raiss the question wh& deconstruction can be thought of in terms of method. To the extent rhat Derrida’s work is a genuinely philosophical inquiry that takes the standard rules ofphilosophy very seriously. it i 5 truth itself. since dmmstruaion also manifestly includa the deconstruction af dialectics. In exposirian o Hegel it coincides with the self-experience o f thought. Method.”J What is called “method” in Hcgcl is thus the totalizing dynamic dcscriprion of the inrellemal acdviry that. deconstruction is very much determined by the region and the regions of philosophy to which it applies. Taking off from a ccrrain poinr outside the roraliry of the age ot logocentrism. then. the science o f dividing (diairesis) and reunification (synngoge). Such a method is nothing other than the patient pursuit of the conceptual activity of m t h as it develops its own coherence. the totality consriturive of philosophy. Yet Derrida has argued rhar deconstruction is exorbiranr r o the totality o f philosophical knowledge. in the lasr chapter of rhc greater Logic. In other words. far its strbject matter. + ON DECONSTRUCTION itsclf into self-wnsciousncss.-that is. But is this t a say that. it would tend to coincide with the movement of the self-exposition of truth as Cancept? Undouhtedly not. and in particular speculative philosophy.” he finally thematizes the concept of method: “From this course the method has emerged as theself-knowing Notion rhat bas itself. 11 procccds from a cenain point of exteriority to the whole of the region of all rqions of philosophy so as to reinscribe or reground that totality in or with regard to what is exorbitant to it. PS a cancretc existence that spondence o is the Notion itself. in b t h a Platonic and a Hegelian sense. both subjective and objective. as the absolute.

But as w e shall see. According to Heidegger.’ Yet it would be a great mistake to condude drat becausc dcconsrruaion is critical o f the discourse o f metaphysics and irs mnccpt o f method (scientific or philosophical). preciscly. In his debarc with method.’ ‘beginning. according to which the methcd must not be irreducibly alien to the leld tbrough which it leads.DBCONSTRUCTIVE METHODOLOGY 123 totdity-deaonstruaion m s to flirt with the ECienti6c iSea of d o d that is characterid precisely by its exteriority to its o b i m . it is so in a different sense than for Heidegger. tor example. What provokes a damnstmaion i s rather of an “objective” nature. since it does take plam from a ccrtain point ounide such an identity.a h ‘opening. It is a “must. as Hegel would say]-it is nor sbictrr s m u methdical. w h i c h is not a voluntary decision or an absolute beginning. p. however. indulge in uncontrollable free play. in total disrespca o f all levels. it would. cannor ’be mistaken for anything resembling scientificproccdural mlm. or in an absolute elsewhere. has cept spiteof itrdeparturc from a certain point outside philosophy. by the discrete steps it takes to . by inaugurating the tcchnologization o radically disfigured the essence of the road (hodos) as the proper mode o f philostrphical thought. 82). Although a deconstruction o f method. an f dcconsmcinvitation m wild and private lucubrations. Therefore.” s o to speak. Although dcconstrucrion is an eminently philosophical operation. Dcrrida does not attempt to oppose a more fundamental notion of method to scientific or philosophical method.’‘broaching’] o f deconsaucdon. Deconstruction is never the effect of a subjective act of desire o r will or wishing. rhis point of cxreriority to the totality is not that of the subject. as a methodical prinaple. it can be made only according to lines o f form and ioms of rupnrrc that are localizable in the discourse to be dewnstructed” (P. docs not take place just anywhere. “The incision [Penm e . the conf thought. nor does it yield to philosophy’s classical definition o f method. deconstruction is not a nonmethcd. Decunstmction. an operation o f extreme sensibility toward the immanence or inherence o f the ways of thought to that which is thought-the subjea matter (the identity of method and concept. the scientificand philosophical conccpa o f method a r t reductive concepts for Derrida. The rigor o tion is cxempli6ed. whether it is fundarnenral or only derived. If mcthod f o r Derrida is a reductive concept. and has t As in Heidegger. deconstruction is also the deconstruction of the concept of mcrhod (both scientific and philosophical) o be determined accordingly. An incision. method is by nature reductive. For Dcrrida.

Yet for the most part. we must clarify its theoretical presuppositions. p. of course. Before we can discuss the methodical aspect of deconstruction. W i t h this.. philosophy reachm its completion and its end. the steps of dcmnstrunion. . Even if the operation o f deconstruction also affects the conccpt of method. nothing prevents our formalizing to some extenr the different theoretical movements that make up one rigorous notion of deconstruction. Ir is therefore important to emphasizc rhc systematism o f deconstruction. d a rcmainder or a beyond to the system. Hegel’s discourse is thought to have takm account o f all possible Otherness to that totality. More generally speaking. THE PROPAEDEUTKS OF DECONSTRUCTION Gadamcr’s contention that absolute reflection as it is amculated by Hegel anticipates all logically possible reflective stands o n the specdative totality of philosophy by turning them into particular moments of that tonlIty. the different steps that lead wp to that point. nor ]=dads from a k n n i n g to an end . by making them eirnplc elements in the process of the wlf-elaboration of truth.“ A rnerccvocation of some of thcsc memcnts. and finally by appositional qualifications it now and again appears m differenriate h e m a mukiplidty of operations. Derrida wakes varied use of the term deconstnrdan. Derrida tec- tct us recall .at . and finaily the aims of deconstruction. will never lead ro any true insight into what deconstruction purports to achieve. Only against such a background can the formal cb~racrerisiirs of deconstruction be lully undersraad. including the concept o f Otherness and exteriarity. Thus deconsmctive “m~hodology”as a whole cannot be characterized by any imprmsfonistic or empiricist appropriation of one or two ofirs “moments. however. determining the specific point a t which it becomes compelling and operational. the term has a very dchnite meaning. It represents a procedure all of whose movements intertwine to form a coherent theoretical configuration. In the early writings especially. says Derrida. nor proceeds from the simple to the compler.other times it metonymically namm its own different movements or steps as well.121 ON DECONSTRUCTION deconstruct method. 271). or of some of the themes with which deconstruction is concerned. We here note a pninflack of method [poki de mkrhode]: this [however] d o a not rule out a certain marching order” (D. demmtnution sometimes merely translam Abhu or Desmr&rion. “allow for (no) method [pas de m&hodel: no path leads around in a ~ircle toward a first step. Like those of dissemination.

which in the wake of Hegel‘s completion of the metaphysical projecr of philosophy became aware of the dilemma p o d by Hegd’s thought. as 1 have shown in Part I of this srudy. After Heideggcr’s desrmction.s Like all other philosophies. Hegel’s speculative system included. which ariv fmm a naive adoption of a set of inherited conaptual oppositions. That brid segment of the f history of the tradition of contesting metaphysics in the aftcrmarh o Hegel. DECONSTRUCTIVE METHODOLOGY I +S ognizes this completion o f ‘philosophy in speculative thought as well when he wrim that “in completing itself. Derrida . by consaucdvely destroyingthem in a purely conceptual genesis. Derrida’s approach to theproblm?Hcgd’sphilwbphy must be deaibed as an attempt to overcome the aporias o f traditional philosophid positions. o f its practice of arguing toward and exposing its concepts. as welt as to an equally increasing vigilance concerning all the methodological m l s and themes that purport to unhinge the dmurse of a h l u t e bowing. aB the formsand resources of its exterior. on the contrary. it is a blindness without which them may be no hope of ever solving them. arc we t a characterize.252). Dcrrida’s deconstruction is the latest and most complex development of that tradition. This naivety is an essmtid one and is a function of the logical (dialectical or not) consismcy sought and achieved by the philosophical discourse. who is particularly conccrncd with the discursive strategies constitutive of the spcculativt solution {in all . Ir is not a naivety rbat would hamper the solution o f traditional philosophical problems. a blindness constitutive of pbilosophical thought. such a tradition.’ . srarting with the Hegelian Ich. Derrida. dearly show what is at stake. Instead of ignoring the task. Dcrrida’s concern is with a naivety unthought by philosophy in general. -which. [philosaphy] could both include within itself and anticipate all the figures of its beyond. This naivety is thar of the phiIosophical discourse. then. How.‘ The compelling problem at that momenr is how to b m k the silence without falling back behind the Iogical achievements of Hegel’s position when in the end here is nothing left to be said. in as succinct a manner as possible. Obviously that challengc cannot be met cirher &mu& a ddibaare decision to overcome Hegel’s completion of mctaphysia or by simple indifference. t e s t i f i e s to the increasing urgency of m e e t i n g that challenge. and could do s o in order to keep thew forms and resources close to itself by simply taking hold of their enunciation” (WDp.acknowledges that Hegel’s superior solution of the traditional problems of philosophy is a terriblechallenge to philosophical thought. on the contrary. began with Nitrzsche.

and of everything invesrcd in them. I . Conrradicrions are in principle susceptible m a (dialcctical) solution. The very s u m of Plaro’s dialogue hinges on such inconsistenaes.It4 ON DECONSTRUCTION its forms)of the aporias to which the traditional brmation of concepts leads. ( M . corresponding intraphilosophical norms of the coherence and cohesion of the philosophical discourse. the rhetorical. What Derrida is pointing out here is an inconsistency on the level of philosophical argumentation t h a t cannot be mended. Thew naiveties are conrradinions owing neither m an inconsistency in logicat argumentation nor to the rhetorical farce of the discourse of philosophy. but that nevertheless makes It possible to obtain the desired authorirarive results. Derrida warns us”not to be too quick ro call [it] contradicrory’” (D. In irs apparent contradiction to the logical exigencies of philosophical discourse. in rhespcificity and diversity of its textual rypes. It is even misleading. for organizational reasons concerning the text of Phikbor. figural. in jts models of exposirion and praduaion-band what previously wccc calkd gcnrcs-and also in the space of irs wises en sche. Plato’s conrcntion of a priority of thc imitated over imitation is problematic in the rext itself. To call these naiveties logical deficiencies or to make them dependent on the inevitable rhetorical use of language in philosophy is tn dcscribc only very approxImatcly the sorts of problems exhibited in what may be called the propacdcutia o f deconstrucrion. precisely. in a syntax which would be not only the anicularion of its significds. in is rherorical organization. whose unthought is being focused upon here. p. after pointing out in “The Double Scssion” that. 293) The naiveties brought yet to light by such a study-a study that is not the deconstruction of the philosophicnl text but only its negative and prior momcnt-arc not. 190). but also the handling of in proceedings. its rdcrcnc~ to Being o r m truth. logical deficiencies. task is then prescribed: m study the philosophicat text in its formal s m c NIT. because the logical and the rhetorical arc. has described theappmach of singling out thisdiscursive naivety as follows: A. Thhas. p. and improper use of language combine with rhe logical use o f language to achicve the desired conceptual transparency. In ordcr to understand the full impact of the shift from one sort of criticism of naivety to another-from the philosophical criticism of thc unscientific and unphilosophical consciousness and its “natura! attitude’‘ (from Parmenides to H u w t l ) to the critique of the naiveties . propcrly spcaking.

pp. eirher in rhe form of ‘hem a m of illusion. again and again. what makes nonwntradiction possible and successful within the Iimics o f philosophy’s cxpecradons is precisely the evasion of insighr char results from the failure to question the discrepancies and inconsistencits o f phiImphy’s mise m sche. since even the most empirical description in philosophy of what is is normative. arc rarhcr mnstitucive of its successful completion.236).This is the naivety that is them a t i d in Derrida’s writings. statcs of peace and reconciliation. instead o f simply belying the philosophid enterprise. As desiderata. As Derrida has shown. states that lack. If one could venture to say that Hcidegger reveals a theme unthought by metaphysics-the question o f the ontim-ontologid . It would be simplistic to reton that such would he rme only of. 137138). and t m a l production of noncontradiction in the philosophical dimursc. they rcprtsmc whar Dcnida calls erhi~tclmlogical ontologicalvalues (LZ. and by all rights precedt.” which. ophy are thus c o n c e p ~ states of noncontradiction. o n the contrary. This inquiry into the p r o w of philosophial conceptualization. Hence the hisrory o f philosophy in the expmsion of the n d to think thcx mnceprs.according to the prinaple of nonconadiction. Yet Derrida’s contention is not simply that it wouid be impossible to think nancontradiaion in a noncontradictoiy way. brings UI light a whole new field o f “contradictions” and “aporias. all dissension. By focusing on rhe formal. idenriry. All thesc desiderata of philoso f unity. as well as into €he pracda of discursive exposition and the s t r u ~ ~ t l l ~ s o f philosophical argumentation.inevitablyaxiological dimension of the concepts used in description. pp. the charlatans and rhaumaturgs (in the Republic for instance). even were it only for the . in which thc negative has bem absorbad by the posirive. and separation.idcalist philosophy. or in the form of the unrep-table and unnameable.DPCONSfRUCflVE METHODOLOGY ~~ ~~ I 27 implid by the discursive pragmatics of the firsr type o f aiucism (spxdative or not)-it is necessary t o recall that at least sin= Plato. against which it is said that wc strive with all our might (set D. that is. all major philosophial concepts have rcprsrnrcd desiderata. organizational. he shows that.i Moreover.plenitude. rouliy. difkrcna. which in Kant’s Third Critique is thematired undet the name o f the disgusting. cohesion. values not of what is but of what wgbt to be. sin= its inception philosophy has been mnuived of as an antidote to the Ocher of phjlosophy. in a satisfactory snd desirable manner-satisfactorg. 217. all ofphilosophy’s concepts and values arc d n m s of plenitude. all philosophical concepts arc in a way utopian and or ethicoampic.

Aporio and contrddiction must be undcrsmod in Dcrrida as referring to the general dissimilarity benveen the various ingredients. "always consists in destroying rnersphysical discnurse by rcduction to aporias. conceptual atoms. they cannot bc construed as conrradictions or aporias proper. rigorously speaking. Dcrrida'r parallel inquiry into the formation of philosophical c o n c c p and thc argumentative. and textual stmztureps of philosophy leads to the recognition of a n esrenrial nonhomogeneiry brnvecn the concepts 3nd phitosophica1 texts or works thcrnsclves. . as respectable 3s they may be. 35 Ricocur puts ir.I 18 O N DECONSTRUCTION diffcrencc-one could certainly say that Derrida discloses the UHthought synia* (a word that 1 shall have to render more precise) of philosophical conceptuatization and srgumcntotion. As we shall see. elernem. First. hc contends. a rradition rhar throws doubt upon philosophical knowledge only from the petspecrive of a higher mode of truth. Philosophical concepts wauld be entirely homogeneous if they posscsscd a nucleus ot rncaning that thcy owcd exclusively to themselves-if they were. 139). or constitucnts of the discourse o f philosophy as such. Neither are these concepts borrowed from the conceptual arsenal of the skeptical tradition in philosophy. But. Yet since concepts are produced within a discursive network o f diffcrenccs. [their] own condition o f origin" (OG. but thcy also. sincc undemanding dcmnsrruction depends on it. since a conrcpt i s not a simple point but a . Since the "contradictions" and"aporias" that spring from this unthought dimension of philosophical practice have never been thcmatized by philosophy itself and are thus in a certain way exterior to the traditional and coded problcms of philosophy. p. discursivc.' Derrida'r own occasional use of the words aporia and rotltradiction (see. Let us outline several ways in which the rel~llogialvalue of the f concepts is disproved by the very proem o f thc forhomogeneity o mation of concepts. are ethico-teleological values of unbmached plenitude and presence. p. Indeed. Derrida does not limit the notions of aporia and contradiction to fallacies of philomphical description and predication. They exist preEisdy on a disregard far their own bipalar opposite." without further clarification. in a hndamenrat way. in other words. M which they deny a vatuc similar to their own. it is mislcadingta dcfine dtconsmction as an opcration that. thcy not only are what they are by virtue o f other concepts. . they "live on a delusion and nonrcspccr f o r . for instance. All major philosophical concepts. Therefore. M. inscribe that Otherness within themselves. SO) does not render such an cffort toward clarification dispensable.

all concepts are in a sense paradoxical. the wndition of the *is~ m r as r philosophy or Ifience-is mntndimtily coherent. YR that is as much a5 to say that h e concept-of ethics. ?he m t c r is not thc center. without absence. True.within thc strumre and outside it. includingthe concept of ethics (‘1There is no ethics without the presence of the other but also. This is why dassifal thouht concerning stnicmrn could say that h e c m mi s . Second. This citational play.Andfourrh. The center ir a t the centct ofthe totality. No conccpt. thc conccpr of the center: It has always been rhought &at the center. A concept is thus constimhd by an interval.” OC. each concept is part of a concephra1 binary opposition in which each rtnn is believed to be simply exterior to the other. pp. And as always. It may function as a citation of itself as well as of anaher meaning that this same concept may have in a different place or stratum oron another occasion. T h c concept of centered structurc-al&ough it rcgrcrcnts m h m u itself. which is by definition unique. the different meanings 10 which any one monccpt may be subiccred . since the center does not belong to the toraliry (is not part of the totaliry). As a result o f this law canstituiive of concepts. by im difference f r o m anorher concept But this interval brings the concept inn. Y e t rht interval that separate cach from its opposite and from what it is nor also makes cach concept what it is. also affects the ideal closure of the concepts. the totaticy bus its m t t r E/s&. Take. but all other concepts as well-inciudcs within itself the trace of that to which it 5trives (teleologically) to oppose itself in simple and pure exteriority. concepts arc always (by right and in ha) insaibtd within systems or conceptual chains in which they wnsrantly relate to a plurality of other concepts and conceptual oppositions from which they rcaive their meaning by v i m e o f the differential play of SMSC consti~tion. p. the determining predicate is itself mnditioned by the backdrop of the others. The propcity of a concept depends entirely on irs difference from the excluded concept. and conse quendy. cKapcJ smcturality. (WD. w h m c t in aontradinion rxprt*us thr fom of a desire. 139-1401. 279) Third. for example. mnstihrd that vcry thing within a SRUCIU~ which while governing the strumurn. far instance. irs own by simultaneously dividing it. can be thought rigorously without including the tram o f its difference from i s Other within itself. differance. detour. one single conccpr may be subject ro different functions within a text or a corpus of texts. writing.DECONSTRUCTWE METHODOLOGY 129 mmrt of prcdicam clustered around one central prrdicate. dissimulation. far from being innocent.andwhichthrrsaffeEtthemintheirverycore. paradoxically. and yet.

The essence o understood in terms o f o m of the determinations only. ler us refer to Kmt’s distinction berween pulchrido wuga and p u l c h r i d o adb e r m s . pp. For Kant there is no single common sourcc of rhc two forms of bcaury: “We do not pre-understand the csscnce of bcauty in the commonality of the two types. philosophical concepts arc not homogeneous. usage within a single context. caused by rhe very process of concept formation and concept use. of which rhe other is but a derivation. If philosophy does not simply ignorc the question. But the morivc o f homcgencity-a rcleological morivc par cxcellence (P. Derrida’s investigation of philosophical works . We must note. Although these two determinations of beauty are o f a prdiaung nayure. rhe question o f beauty in general-that is. that thesc diffcrcnt incohcrcnces constituting concepts. however. 86)-not only blurs the incoherence within concepts but also organizes the philosophical conception of texrs. p. p.(and ofliterary texts as well) brings into view a variety of d i p c q a n c i a betwecn the various strata that rnakc up a work’s argurncntation and description. Let us first consider how philosophy regulates differences in homogeneity telatlve to philosophical description and the construction o f an argument. What Derrida calls the “regulated incoherence within mnceptualiiy” (OC. be thematized in philosophy. as an index of a more profound and hidden meaning. it solves it hermeneutically. Their nonhomogeneiry is manifold. Iris the most beautiful that allows us to think essenaal beauty and nor the less beautiful. but rather from the perspective of the free beauty that gives rise to a purc aesthctic judgement. or it solves h e qucstion of d a t i n g rhc two kinds of meaning of one concept by clcvating onc of t h a e meanings into the more true. arc overshadowed by philosophy’s desire for cohcrcnce. and that make it thoroughly . themfore. complete meaning. the pure telos of bcauty (as a nontelosi. which remains a groping approximation en vuc de I’muwce” ( VP. or seemingly contingent if they 5tcm from a varicd. 114).130 ON DECONSTRUCTION within the same c o n m t are not a problem for philosophy. which arc either absolutely fundamental insofar as concepts are formed within a differential play. It is thc pure that gives us the meaning of beauty in general. As an examplc. Yet the variety of dissimilarities that turn mnceprs into paradoxical structures must not concern us furrher. of h e common root that would precomprchend the two concepts and make them f beauty is communicate-is denied consideration. In short. then. if not contradictov. 237-238) cannot.sincc a t this point I am intcrmtcd only in accenruaring thc generality of their contradictory and aporetic nature.

As a result of this crhico-rhmrerical decision. “There must (should) buue been plcnitudt and not I s & . the o r i g i n . I have &oxn to d l discursive inequaIities or dissimilarities. 215). 243). p.simpleoneunbroached by any difference. p. Let us dwdl h r a moment on rht specitic nature o f what. as being more originary than the origin-is turned into s e w n * . Rousscau’s ddared intentian is to think the origin as a . based on what b C lows from his own description of the origin. that from the o u w difference has corrupted the origin. everything that had emerged in the dcscripdon o f the origin as already broaching it-that is. Another example is the tension between gesture and statement in Rousseau’r . 2151. inm s o m d i n g itself from the oarside 0s evil und lack to happy and that “Q& innocent plenimde. Conscqucndy. in the sense o f bcing confused with. “would come from an ousidc which would be simply the outside” (OG. “Should [dcwuitl: it is the mode and m s co f a rclcoological and eschatological anticipation that supetin- . “But in spite of that d d a r t d intention.discussian of the origin of language.and a phonoacntric valoritation . then.DECONSTRUCTWE METHODOLOGY Ijl illusionary simply m maintain the metaphysical desire for the purc coherence o f their volume.” The dangaous supplement. Yet instead of cancludhg. far from resulting in mutual annihilarion conmburcs to the cohenncc o f rhe r i m by means o f rht grid o f the “ought to he. i ih e light of Alhusxr’s concept of uncvm dcvclopmrnt. the tension b mgesture and statemen& desaiption and declaration.ofspmh cohabit in this discourg as well as another scientific stratum that is a radical questioning of the former orientation. which valorim originarity as a desideratum. bclies his strong condemnationin C o w 5 of writing as harmfd to speech.’ Their nature i s manifold too. p. p m c e without diffcma” [OC. This contradiction stems from the fact that Sausurc. in daermining thc object of structural linguistics according m the prinaple o f diffcrendality as a system d marks &mparable to writing. Rousseau prefers to believe that the supplmenz “ m t (should) have” bttn encloscd in. Dcrrida disunguishcs between Rousscau’s explicit dcctararions as to how he wishes to think the origin of language and his matteraf-fact &sniption of it. In OfGr~-tdogy. which are due to these conflicting strata within the coherence of textsor works. Both a logo. One example of such a disparity bctwccn IevtIs of argumentation is Derrida’s demonstration o f a contradiction within Saussure’s scient& project.’’ or the conditional mood. Rousszau’s discourse lets itself be constrained by a complexity which always ha5 the form of the supplement of o r horn the origin” (OG.

the origin and the supplement. Hence.” writes Derrida (OC. which otherwise wouId be intact. in spite of the admitted as soon as it is a matter o principle of identity. p. and because living speech was alrcady finite before it became supplemented by writing. it is insufficient simply to say “that Rousseau thinks the supplement without thinking it. his descriptions and his declarations” (OC. or contradictory arguments held together by the desire for unity. (2) they are harmful because they are separate from the origin and thereby corrupt living speech. see also S. simulraneously. speech and writing. the contradiction is regulated. which are thus not affected by them and remain inncc.132 O N DECONSTRUCTION tends Rousseau’s entire discourse. 45).245). in the following passage: ‘ ‘ I n his attempt to arrange everything in his favor.incompatiblepossibilities. or of thc excluded third parry-the logical time of consciousness” (OG. it is irself the uniry ofa desire. On the p. 67). stead o Rousseau. But this organization of incompatibles into a unity dominated by ethico-teleological values. p. p. which gives thew texts thcir very coherence and totality.” differcncc. was already deficient. 111). anyway” (D. which mainrains and contains the adverse arguments and srrata in the very act of . as Freud analyzes it.origin and the cupplemcnt. incompatibles are simultaneously f satisfying a dmire. that he does not match his saying and his meaning. 111. p. and Rousseau can think the two . As the conditional mood reveals. o r the supplement (OG. p. (2)The holes were aiready in it when you lent it to me: (3) You never lent me a kettle. Iike Saussure “ammulata wntradicrory arguments to bring about a satisfactory decision: the exclusion of writing. the defendant piles up contradictory argurnenis: (1) T h e kmle I am returning ID you Is brand new. 245)+These discursive contradictions are united by d&rc into a conuadictory coherence regulated by what Freud calls the sophistry o f the borrowed kettle. it is not becausc of their intrinsic valuc but because the origin. The various argumcnts concerning the. and ( 3 ) if one needs to fall back on the supplement or on writing. they mend thc ddlcicndcs of origin and speech (D. p.’ Derrida sums up t h i s kind o f reasoning which according to Freud is suppascd t o illustrate dream logic. Rather. &cause of this logic within discursive contradiction. 2951. contrary. supplement and writing do not harm origin or speech at all. Through this mood the contradiction is made to be no mom than apparent. “As in the dream. Derrida writes. are organized by Saussure and Rousseau in 3 similar rnanncr: (1)The supplemcnt and writing are torally exterior and inferior to the origin and to speech. Inf permitting these contradictions to cancel each other out.

Mow could Plato.m-wlf of diction as i t oppopeo itsclf to saiprion. (0. scope. The analysis of philosophical diswursa reveals that they a m ram- . says what he dcm nor wish to say. In each instance it comprises a multipIicity of very different and radially incommensurable layers. is possible only through the evasion of a number of qustions and implicatiam that follow horn the fact that “Rousscau. agcnds. faaual practice concerns the often Krccived contradiction in the Platonic condemnation of writing in writing. describes what he docs nor wish to &ncludc” (QG. But the analysis preceding deconsrrucrian-the prapaedeutics ot decommction-is not limited to bringing into prominence conceptual aporias on the one hand and. nor only in isolation but especially when taken rogcrher.DECONSTRUCTWE METHODOLOGY 733 decision by which philosophy institutes itdf. it becomes evident that the philosophical concept o f conaadiction or aporia is incapable of covering and comprehending t h e rypes of inconsistencies. as ir chases itself (away) in hunting down what is proply its trup-this mnrradiction is not contingent. like the logic of identity. A last example of such contradidom concerning the gap beween dccIaration and. Romeau. dismpanaes between explicit s t a t e m e n t s and the &idcram o f thought. then.Through thematizing this kind o f conrradicrion or aporia in the philosophical text. have not becn problematized in the perspective outlined above. and others subordinarc wtiting to ‘. on the other. as well AS h the imdudbly dispmpordonatc and dissimilar nature of various constituents o f these parts or elements. 246). p. which. l e t us.or sedimena that invariably make up discursive wholes. There is a third type of discursive heterogeneity which in fact defies categorization properly speaking. thest disuepancim srem from differences in the importance. look a t some paradigmatic types of this sort of discursive inequality. this time. between declaration and hctual p n a i a .” which is nothing other &an the rclation. p. witbirr the graphic o f supplementariry. discursive inequalities of all sons. 156) The sort of discursive inequalities that I have pointed out concern contradictory strata of description within the argumentation o f a single work. o f a dicrum rhar pmnouncu iaclf against itself a5 m n as it finds its way into writing.pee& while writing thernselva? Derrida asks: W h r law governs this “mnmdiction:’ this opposjtion to itsclf of what is said against wridng. Ended. contrary to appearances. as scan IS it wrires down its self-idmtiry and ~rrics away what is prop” to it ugafnrt this ground of writing? This “conmdiction. caught. and stams of parts or eierncnts of philosophical dismums.

” is an instance of such a chain. It may a150 point out the cohabitation in onc text or corpus of OHO or mare irreducible types atone general thing (such as pulchrihido ndhuerm and pukbritudo vogn in rhe Third Critiquc. yet they necessarily combine with c o n u p . This sort of analysis may also throw inta relict unsubtatcd and unmediated statements or propositions about one particular h e m e within a text or a corpus of texts. The analysis may dm focus on a chain of words similar to one another. T h e e multiple different usages o f thc same term in one work or textual unity mnst thus be analyzed as the background against which the hermeneutical search for an u1timatc signified rates place. Such an analysis may also accentuate a leximlogical inconsistency arising from the diffcrent and repeated use of one particular mo-called key word or key signification in a texc The emphasis of such an analysis is an the singularity and inextricability o f the juxtaposition of thcw significations in onc ensemble.” for instance-is mot so much the way in which philosophy tries to master its relation to myth or to figures a$ the manner in which this intimate combif such dissimilar elements as conccpts and nation. philosophcmes and rnyrhemcs. Derrida’s concern is with the irreducibility and inevitability of the combination of opposite genres in the philosophical discourse. In . p. As discursive elements. analyzed by Derrida in Spurs. 256). analyzcd by Dcrrida in “Parergon”). Phurmakeinphom$on-pharmokeus in Plato’s Phoedms. Certainly the relation between myth and logos is a philosophical problem of long standing. whose purity as to rnyrhical and figural residues should be beyond all question. instead o ing absorption into the homogeneity o f the concept contributes to the creation of an effect of such purity.other words. which may have the same etymological mot but are nonetheless nor supposed to communicate within the text. within a whole o f simply resistnonconccpts. in which caw they resist all hermeneutical solution. which Derrida analyzes in “Plato’s Pharmacy. the last two are o f an entirely different status from that of concepts. the same must be said of the relation berween concept and figure. Bur what Derrida is concerned with-in “Plaro’s Pharmacy. of a variety o f information in a text and a context.” writcs Derrida (D. “There cannot be any such thing as key words. for instance the theme of the “woman” in Nietz-schc. bur rhcy can also be simply dissimilar and irrduciblc to one anather.I34 ON DECONSTRUCTION ~ _ _ _ w e d not only of pure concepts and philasophcmes but also of metaphors and mythemes. The different citations o f one and the same word within one text or context can be opposed to one anarhcr.!Q or .

p. argumentation. between the title and thc main pan of the text. they arc consequently not contradictions prOpRly speaking. treated in “COtobiographie de Nicasche. for ucample a preface and the main body of a met.”” For p m t r y t o accumulate further cvidcna of such purposq it is not n discurbivc disazpancics arising from a grafting of thoroughly hmrogcneous elements upon one another. h w n s m d o n is thus the ammpt to acmunt for the hcterogmcity constitutive of the philosophical discaursc. or between two stgmcns of a text dividcd by an intermediary space which is marked either by a blank. paradoxes. not by trying to overcome irs inner diMerenccs but by maintaining them. Nor are t h c ~ n r y inmnsisrcncies rhc result of inquality between form and conrent. Their urdusion from the canon o f philosophical themes is precisely what makes it possible to distinguish beorrcen form and mntcnt. It is not a question o f reduang t h e e variegated discursive and conceptual disparitis to one model o f divergency. Under this condition only can the second step of deconstruction take place. canoists ofsuch an assessment of the various heterogeneous levels of philosophical discouse. and different in essence. as thematid in “Tim pddser”. a distinction that takcs place solely against the horizon o f the possibility of their homogeneous reunification. cspccially not m that of contradiction as the major criterion of the necessary f a l x h d of statements. as d i m m e d by Dcrrida in “Outwork. .DBCONSTRVCTIVE MEMODOtOGY 132 simply of fit repeated and dissimilar functions within om text or cantcxt o f mere signifiers. Lct us rccalI for the morncnt that rhcy are multiple. and aporias constitutive o f coanccptuality. Yet these discrepanacs arc not logical contradictions.282). incon&tenci~. . properly speaking. as in Blanchot’sL’Arra de mod. inconsistencies. Other such discursive inequalities can be found bermen pam of a rexr. the only discrepanda for which the philosophical discourse can aauunt h d e d by the logic o f identity. as well a~ of the hctcrogcncous clemcnts or agcncis that combine on these levels. analyzed in “Living On: €?ordmLines.’’ or marked by an inmpolated t e x t a5 in Nicawhc’s Homo. Nor is the question one of how to reduce these disparities. such as the I m s i and r in MaIIarmt (sn D.and dissimilarities through any of the traditional procedures. The analysis p ’ t s u p p d by all deconstruction. Prrfacing”. different in status. and the disamivencss o f philosophy. To sum up: decansmction srarfs with a systematic elucidation of contradictions. What is at stake is the assessment of the generality and irreducibility of these various incqdiues.

A. which. certain. pmpositions may be acid as inrcrprctations o f other pmpositionr thar we are. &her bceause they are not. isolate A from it$ interpretation into B. Such naivety complies with and is a function ofthe ethical orientation of theorizing and is i n no way a naivety or deficicncy owing to the finitude o f the philosophizing subiect. Rousscau says A. for q u a l l y legible modvn. Demnsrmaion thus begins by taking up broached bur discontinued implications-discontinued because they would have contradicted thc intentions of philosophy. ( O G .A into B. up to a certain p i n t and with rcrtain precautions. f r e to read oihcnvisc. but were not produced or exploited by him. f o r instance. 307) T h e dcmonsrration of these uncxploited possibilities and t c m u r c q which contradict the ethim-theoretical decisions characteristic of conceptualization and philosophical argumentation and haunt the conceprs and the texts . without leaving Rousuau's r a t .of philosophy. deconstruction thus presupposm a cuncrtrely developed demonstration of the fact that concepts and discursive totalities are already cracked and fissured by necessary contradictions and hmrogeneitics that thr discourse o f philosophy fails to take into account. and diswver parsibilitics and rcrourccs there that indeed belong t o Rousseau's text.136 O N DECONSTRUCTION As its Grst step.we may. o r because a reguIatcd (conceptual) economy must avoid them in order to safeguard the ethico-theoretical decisions that orient i t s discourse. corresponds to the rhematization of a naivety unthought by discursive philosophical practice. rigorously speaking. he interprets . in it. which was alrndy an intcrprctation. then for reasons thar we must dcrerminc. such naivety is the very possibility of theory. kfrcr raking cognizame of it. On the contrary. Derrida formulates this p d u r e as follow% Rousscau's text must constantly bcmnridered asa m m p h a n d many-tevclcd smcmrc. Rousseau or Saussure. he preferred to cut short by a gesturc neither witting nor unwirting. logical mntradiaions. i s reinterpreted into B. These fissures become apparent whcn wc follow to its logical end that which in the pmcess of concepruaIizarion or argumentation i s only in a cenain manner said. AGAINST NEUTRALln Although philosophy's blind spot may 'be locared in the discrepancies mnstitutivc of the philosophical discourse. it docs not ncccssarily follow that the philosophical protect itself would be unsettled by attempts to show that these contradictions or aponas cancel each . p. In the case o f Rousseau's text.

Such an annulment or neutralization of mnccptual or textual inconsistencies. and dyadic stcuctllrcs of concepts. thereby preventing any means of intervening in the 6eld effectively" (P. paradoxes. Deconstruction begins with demonstrating such inequalitics within concepts or texu. bur would . Such a purported dcrnystification o f phiiosophy amounts to nothing more (nor less) than the Romantic attempt to re&.‘iTbus. texts.” as even Friedrich Schlegcl well knew. Derrida insists timc and again that “in classical philosophical opposition we are not dealing with the peaceful coexistence of a u i s 2 vis. crc. That deconsuucdon h s nothing in common with such an operarion of annulmmr is spclIed aut in capital letttrs in Derrida’s work. To mistake deconstruction for an operation aiming at an f thcsc conccptual ot textual discrepancies is ta confound annulment o Ievels of thought and texts. One of the two terms governs rhe other (axidogically.” writes Dcrrida. is to expose the impossibility of clear-cut genres. and panicularly philosophical tern. as o p p d to literature in particular. no simplemllapsingof opposite rerrns is possible. leaving one no hold on the prnious opposition. “Deconstruction. But this dissymmetry is not only one of conrcprs opposed binarily within the discourse o f philosophy. In the lamer case they cannot be collapsed. Exactly the opposim is true. “there is no dualism without primacy. but rather with a violent hierarchy. and r h a r rnultipk argumentational levels are nwm symmnetrieal. are meant to achieve. p. “cannot limit itself or proceed immediately to a neutralization” (M. in the last analysis. 329). or implications and t h a t which is valorized or explicitly developed within discursive toaliucs. by overlooking the canflictuaI smcturc of oppositions. p.DECONZTRUCTIVE METHODOLOGY 137 other out. or that exist betureen suppressed possibilities. i t is also true of the aporias. philosophy’s dream of homogmeity by a shortcut. The primary reason for this i s that the contradictions. oppositions. Even if dcmnsauction’s intention. Such neutralization would not only renounce all active intervention in thc texts to be dtconstrumd. p. or has “rhc upper hand” (P. and thus the ultimate failure of a distinct genre such as philosophy.). 41). its point o f departure remains an extreme awarenessof the projectparticularto the genre of philosophy. because they belong to entirely different levcIs of thought and argumentatidn. but it aims as little as the texts thcmxlvcs at an annulment of that which is in opposition. tog+cally. RSOUM. to overlook the axiological and logical subordination of its concepts. would in p r u d e “leave the previous Ccld untouched. Indeed. 41). and contradictions that constitute the concepts themselves. and to demonstraw an insensibility to what texts.

63). whether of literary. it is produced within discursive knowledge. in this manner pointing our the inadcquacy ot either as a universa1 statement. 274). in which ultimately all the contradimions and all the oppositions o f classical logic are avercome in thc work of neutralization. by showing that one posiEion partakes in the other it opposes {and vice versa). i s a negative image of deconstruction within discursive knowledge. it would be imprudent just to canccl out the pairs of metaphysical oppositions. o r cancellation of all bipolar oppositions within these texts. in the major form of experience it transgresses the law or prohibitions that form a system with discourse. rmd e m with the w o r k ofneutrulizatiott” (WD. then.simply to m r k off from them any text (assuming this to be possible). bur would also be a “free shot which aims nonetheIess 10 collect its interests” (S. In the case of Mallarmi. is rhe negative side of transgression” (WD. p. Dcrrida insists on a dissymmeiric sharegy in demnstruction in order to control and “countcrbalance the neutralizingmoments of any deconstruction” (D. such an operation would not only stabilize these torccs in an economy of decidable polarities.” (D. Therefore. . Indeed. 274). What Detrida says in Writing und Difference of Bataille’s sovereign operation is valid for deconstrucrion too: “The sovereign operation is not content with neurralizing the classical operations in discourse. neutrality ”has a negative essence (nr-uter).‘J Since the identifying Q f deconstruction with the neutralization o r mutual annulment of contradicting concepts or textual strata is still one of the dominant misconccptions about deconsmution. philosophical. and it has come ta be known as the theory of self-retlecrion or self-d-deconsuuction of texts.138 O N DECONSTRUCTION w e n scryc the pu’poscs and interests of traditional interpretation. In a long fmmote t o “The Double Session” he writes. p. in its ncgative form paves the way for thc most classical and suspect attempts at reappropriation. a deconstruction.p. p. ‘Just as the motif of neutrality. p.. neutralization. it may bc useful r o pursue its implications. A s annulling and equalizingall oppositional forces inrhe mode of pro and contra. Dewnstrction is nor neutral. Neurrafizarion. o f oppositional dyads would fieme only r o confirm the hitherto idealist interpretation of that author. for example. 207). 207). or critical texts. This misconceprion has informed most deconstrucrive litcrary criticism. Such a principle of annulment also informs critical enterprises that oppose conflicting and mutually exclusive positions wirhin critical theory or philosophy in order m demonstrarc their identity. in the sense of a ncutralizaton or annulment. This self-reflection is understood to take place by a mutual annulment.

philosophy. and s on-is such a dramatization of adthetical positions o f criticism possible. and neutrality. The m l t was to be a medium afrefiriudy. from an abdute point of o f all oppositions and particularities by means of objecriveirony. the suspicion that anrappnistic positions or opposite canceps are identical ariscs from a negIcct o f the historical and pragmatic aspects o f thc contexts r in which they are expressed. Such a p~errywas t o be created through a fluidization Qr liquefaction (Ve-$iissig. or criticism? Firsr. In osdcr to break the idealist arcularity of such an interaction. whether rhey deal with texts of literature. and thus opposite. let us remember rhat this kind o f criticism originated in early German Romantiasm. form. stands would achieve total reciprocity. 3'19 Whcrhcr this mutual neutralimrion is seen as a final coming to rest o f the antagonistic positions or as an endless conilict betwen the two positions. the RomanriG singled f interdetermination (Wecbselbestimout Fichte's synthetic concept o munp) and rum4 it into the one constitutive movement of annulment. Idealist) philosophy. First. the principle is the same. which this criticism promotes. In their attempt to define this medium. . The reciprocal dissolution of opposing concepts or contradictorysmta within a text.DECONSTRUCTIVE METHODOLOGY . It is a suprahistorical criticism that pretends to speak from a position free of ideology-that is. bath in general and in pardcular of thc ideas of reciprocity. annulmenr. But innrderermination in Fichte's Science of Kttowledge is not the only form. Only through such a simplification o reduction o f this context-that is to say. T h e medium of neurraliradon or dissolution (mewmum uniuersale) was thought to result from the reciprocal determination of all the t m 5 that partake in it. he exablished the necessity o f a further determination o f interdetermination through selfdeter- . however major. By neglecting the pragmatic and historical context o f the utterance of what is dramatized in such a manner as to cancel it out." Second-and this point too can only be presented schematically-it is necessary to &all Hegel's criticism o f Romanticism. in a certain interpretation. must be traced back to the Romantics' attempt at a transcendend poetry o represent an amalgam nor only of all different genres but that was t also o f all the hithem separate disciplines. the criticism in qucstion reveals its origins in Romantic (as well as. anly when historical and theoretical dispiamments within a tradition arc no longer seen as o corresponding to real theoretical problems. in which all individual. of determination. But what theoretical pmuppositions do these different critical enterprises share. ideologies. This last point needs to be developed a bit further.

Instead of destroying thcmsclves in a unity o f nullity.” serves roproduce a unity {Einheit) created precisely by the self-destruction of the opposed tcm5. but also the positive. Indeed. the canceled-out op- . rhc sclfcxcluding tetleaion is at the same rime positing reflection. “stops shorr at the onef it inro norhirrg. and fails to recognize rhc posirivc sided resohion o side of contradiction where it becomes absolute activity and absolurc ground” (p. from thc perspective of speculative consciousness-thar is. the dissolvcd contradiction.140 O N DECONSTRUCTION ~ mination. Hegel develops this Fichtean critique of a self-contained reciprocity. 442). tht result of contradiction is not mcmly a nullity. is dealt with in “The Logic of Reflection. representing (vorsreUmdes) consciousncss.” While discussing the penultimate reflexive determination-in other words. Thc positivc and negative constitute the posiredtresz of the self-subsisrence. and in what way can a xlf-dissolution of opposites lead to a positive unity?Hegel wrim: “But contradiction contains not mercly the negative. Especially in his Logic. Their own negation of themselves sublam the positedncss of the self-subsistence. How are we then to think the positive side of contradiction.” in which each of rhc polar oppositions “is simply the transition or rather the self-transposition of itself into its opposite. which consriruces rhc Romanric medium of reflection as much a5 the contemporary idea of a self-destructing text. or. a reciprocity that avoids its own detenninarion. the “ceaselm vanishing of the opposites into themselves. “Thq destroy thcnrselws [sie rithro! sich urgnmde] in that they determine themselves as self-identical. from a detcrmination of interderemination in selt-deterrninarionthe mutually derestricting play of opposites docs not simply result in a zero outcomc. yet in this detcrmination arc rather the negative. 433). unlike speculative consciousness. It is h i s which in truth perishes in contradiction” (p. This further determination of reciprocity and inrcrdetctmination takes placc in “The Doctrine of Essence” in the second b m k of the first part of Tbe Science of Logic.’lThissprmlative concepr of determinarion is the very backbone of Hegel’s critique of Romantic philosophy. the contradictory terms that “fall to the ground” (zugrmdegebm) in self-liqucfaction articulate a wnity o f rcflcction in which the opposed terms ate rooted and of which they are the bipolar representation. an identity-with-seIf that is a relation-to-other. As a matter of fact. As Hegel puts it.”‘r This unity in which the contradimions mutually dissolve is therefore a unity of nullity (Nd!). contradiction-Hegel concludes that the reflective dissolution of contradiction. ’Ihe problem o f reciprocal determination.

but in this prows it at the same time only unircs with itoclt. Romantic self-reflmion and deconrtructive criticism would represent a fulCllment of the telos of metaphysics. such a unity cannot be achieved in a logically satisfactory manner within a lagic o f eSEenaor reflection but only in the logic of the Concept or Notion. self-subsirtento p p s i h n was therefore already imlf ground. i s “ground. fails to achieve what it sceh: a unitary ground or essence in which all xlf-subsistent opposites dissolve in order to ground themscIves.seU-subsismt oppositc~ oublatcs itself a d makcs imlf into i t s opposite. Unless one temgnizes with Heidegger that nihilism is the very e s x n r e of metaphysics and that consequently all the concepts of wencc. in its positcdnar or negation. -ct as unity o f the positive and mgative” (p. a ings and. (p. But Hegel’s speculative critique ot the movement o f contradiction. W e r e they to achiwc this goal. which results from the fact that each of the. it is only in falling to tht pound [irr scimm Untmgmgt-]. ground. k me repeat.435). &at h c oppositc is really the essence that is retlected into and identical w i h itself. were within the realm o f truth. shows that this movement produces only the simple o r abstract idea of such a ground. As this disassion ofreciprocal determination or the self-canceling of bipolar oppositions has demonstrated. and unity as rhought within onto-theology are nihiIisticconcepts to which both Romanticism and mntemponry literary critiasm and those ideological positions that a c m s them o f being nif the medium of reflexivity hilistic are indebted-Hegel‘s critique o shows thar what the Romanda aimed at was not 50 nihilistic after all. &us falling to the pound [zugrundc gehr]. Hegel’s speculative critique rcvealr that both the shortcomf the Romantic dissolution of contradimion.ambitions o dissolution that prestppows diffirena and rcsula only in the negative arnQof :be mtrd (a unity of nullity). all thar was added 10 it was thc derermination o f unity-wirh-sdf. that deconsmction has nothing in common . METHODO LOGY 141 pasition. As Hegel shows. 435) In short. the Romantic idea of the medium of reflexivity. since only here can the determination o f interdetermination by self-determination be completed. as well as that of the text as B medium o f neutralization and annulment of concepts and strata. which applies both m Romanticism and t ocnnremporary deconsuuctivc literary c r i t i c i s m .llECONSTRUCTIVE. hcreforc. then. that is. But this can be recognized only if conscjousnlss docs not stop shorn a t the concept o i interdetermination but determines it further: T h e sclf-contadicroty.

It is a contrihurion that displaces the logic of philosophy and inscriber ir within a general heterology. at1 reasonable speech has been held M be that which not only assern bur also always accounts for what is asserted.” “grounding” (as it differs from thc metaphysical operation of grounding). although it is often confused with it.142 ON DECONSTRUCTION with this sort of philosophical or criticat practice. The propacdeutia of deconstruction reveal that ir is not mnccrncd with what has hitherto been called contradictions or aporias. or unity beyond all singular and opposite rerms or beyond thc htstorical and pragmatic aspects of the concepts 01 positions whose dramatization is staged in Romantic philosophy and in related literary criticism. Let us address specifically the three general concepts that 1 have put in quotarion marks in this. of what is asscrred.” In addition to Derrida’s philosophical style and the multifarious infrastmcrures to which his analysts lead. Deconstruction docs not engage in the annulment or neutralization o f opposites.a s a conciliatory putting to rest or as rhc opening of an infinite war bfrrvten them-how then is demnsrrunion different? What does it do with the contradictions. and “structure. regardless of the way in which ncutratizatian at annulment of differences is u n d e n t d . Ir must also take place.” Since Plato. We have seen that this cannot be the case. and hence the claims to knowledge of reasonable speech.definirion of deconstruction: “accounting for. as the formd rule that each t i m e regulatcs diffcrcntly the play of the contradictions in quation. which lcnd themselves to a mutual self-dcstruction or to dissolution in an all-embracing ground or essence. cannot be mistaken f o r such a metaphysical operation. by reasons or grounds. . INFRASTRUCTURAL ACCOUNTING If decomtruction. Yet such a substantiation. by stating the grounds or reasons for it. conrequeotly. the very concept o f infrastructure. It is not a practice in search of an essence. aporias.and inconsistencies that it so eagerly pinisto in the formation of concepts or the argumentative and discursive structures of texts of all som? A firsr schematic answer is that de*lnstructian attempts to ”account’* f o r these “contradictions” by “grounding” them in “infrastructures” discovered by analyzing the specific organization of these “contradictions. is an intflnsic part of his original contribution to philosophy. ground. d m nor proceed cxclusivcly by empirical and logim-mathmatical justification.

capable ofdrmonstrating philosophy’s claim to self-legitimfzation. all accounting-that is. it will soon bccome clear certain determinate contexts” (0. and the legitimacy o f the grounds of explanation receives its . In this process the individual’s self-consciousnesscoalcsccs. that the infraastrumral grounds that account for the differences in question and correspond to problems that do not belong to the cia* sical canon o f philosophy are no longer simply grounds in the philosophical sense. I have maintained that deconstruction consists of establishing “infrastructures’’ to accaunt f o r differences as far as they pertain t o canceptF and texts. establishing such nongrounds can no longer be viewed as an act o f philosophical accounring."^^ As hgon d i d m i . or a rendcring o f accounts.claim universality. Clarifying what 9tructure and infiastrucrure mean in this wntcxt may give us a better grasp of rhc episttmologgicaI . Consequently. The individual also rkssponds to the demand of accounting for himself before the community in arder to receive recognition of his status as a self-conscious pubIic being. involves much more than merely stating grounds in the process of substantiating what is asserted. in a “free and public lamination. reasonable being. if only because to do s n “wouid run the risk of defusing the nemsary critique it perrnia in p. in which the subf truth claims hinges on rhe public constitution of the stantiation o individual as a self-conscious.’~ Derrida’s anernpt to “ground” the contradictions in concept formarion as well as in the argumentative and rcrmal m a n of philosophical ensembles in “infTastructurc5” has many consequences for the rraditional concept o f accounting and its structure of wholenesmore consequences than can be analyzed here.DECQNZTRUCTIVE METHODOLOGY 141 as Kant w r i m at the beginning OF Critique of Piwe Ru*m. without which philosophy could not . Just as in ancient G r e e c e the individual f the agora to ranivc laid his entire life bare in the public square o the civic stamp of approval of the whole community. rhm. which ultimately hinges on the lagon didomi. They show the pro f accounting to be a unitary proms. 2081. The concept of accounring’for. so too the appeal to public approval is a n m r y and intrinsic clement of philosophical accounting. without which his life as a citizen would have been incomplete.of the pounds of what is asserted-comprises a practical and publicaspectin which thcthinker justifies himself before others. all stating . Only in unison can all thcx moments o f accounting establish the artitudc o f truth. Although it is irnportam to rcalim rhar Dcrrida d m not simply craw the metaphysical concept of accounting and of a Iasr instance.officialstamp of recognition from the public.

bur also to the fact that the traditional concept of structure is always thought to hc cenrered. as onc example of “infrastmaura. quantity. T h e concept of structure has always been thought with regard to a point of presence o r fixed origin which turns . especially in phenomenology. p. p~ 159). “it would not be difficult rr. closure. or catastrophe. He has insisted on the affinity between 5tructurat and eidetic reduction and on the problem t h a t follows from both: the systematic privileging of one of the rwo series that characterize rhe system of metaphysics-rhc xrics concerned with form. hamrd.’ Gestalt.’ ‘Idea. ’ ctc.What the norion of structure shares with all thcsc concepts i s closure. I t i s important 10 note that this closure is due not only to the bracketing of facts t h a t a structuralist perrpecrivcrequim. it is all the more urgent to clarify the concepr of srructure as used by Uerrida. it always refers to a constructed system functioning perfectly within itself.” ‘construction. genetic analysis. “To know why one says ‘structure.’ ‘correlation. Thus. Throughout his writings Denida has acknowledged the pertincnce of the structuralist enterprise.’ ’totality. . 28). show that a certain structuralism has always been philosophy’s most spontaneous gesture” (WD. Yet in this sensethe term structure borrows heavily from several other traditional concepts.’ ‘composition. Yct he also claims to have dcvcloped “the most legitimarc principled migcncies of ‘structuralism’ ’* (P. Whether one retraces the traditional meaning o f stmctwe back to the origin of its present usage in the calculus of variations o f the 1870s and in topabgy at the turn of the century. history.or to its synonyms in Creek thought.’‘form.=44 ON DECONSTRUCTION achievement of deconstruction. One must understand not only why each of these words showed i r d f to be insufficient but also why the notion nf structure continues to borrow Some implicit signification from them and to be inhabited by them” (WD. aod so on as opposcd to that concerned with content. as far as a norion such as “differance” is CORccrned. according to which the passage from one structure to another can be rhoughr only in tcms o f chance. an analysis pretending to exhaust the meaning of rhe modern concept of structure would have to begin by explaining why it wcrned necessary at o n e point m replacc more traditional concepts with this new term.” Cansequcntly. *essence. internal organization. in whose shadow modern structuralism has grown and flourished. Therefore. But he has also regularly pointed out its ethico-metaphysical provenance.’ is to know why one no longer wishes to say eidos. that is. p. Derrida concludes.” ‘organism. static analysis.’ ‘ s y s t e m .’ ‘complex. quality.301). ‘ensemble. opcnness.’ ‘sate.

” a s D d d a says in Pmitians (P. which thus makesesthcsrrucrure an ideal model rather than a de fact0 consmction. cinematic model. gnicnr SCIISU. in the bnt d c a s e s . is also emphasized by the metaphorical origin of structure in the concept o f spatialiry. the order o f forms and sitcs. Consequently. As a matter of fact. the predominantly figurative spatiality associated with the term smcrure neutralizes and obliterates the thought o rmcturality of structure and what it is to achieve. Subsequently.mctaphor of stmcnue. p. a work i5 gmcrncd by a unifying pnndple.p. one runs the risk. One risks being interested in the figure itrclf m the detriment of the play going on within it mctaphori- cally. Derrida m i n d s us that .DECONSTRUCTWE METHODOLOGY f4 5 i s botders into the arcumfmncz of a totality. gmmeuic o r mor- phological space. morphological. The task is to interrogate the metaphoridty of the term structure in order to prevent irs geometrical and rnorphobgical connotations from taking dre upper hand.. a ccrtain nonspatialky or original spatiality of thc concept of structure comes into focus. the nrchiiecirre that is bdit and made visible in a location.firstof all. the muon ofsuumre r c f e ~ only ~ co space. In short.asremblagc. The kind of work to which Derrida refers is lccated. of confusing meaning w i t h its gmmeiric.Derrida writes in Writing nnd Diflermce: As long sthe mctaphorial scnsc of the notion of ~ c t u r is c not acknowledged as such. pp.. The morphological and gcamerric rneraphoricity of the notion of s w c t u r e not only fails to . Srmuurc is hnt the structure o f an organic or artificial work. 16) By bracketing in rhii manner all the figurative connorations of the original model of structure-&at is.. Only metaphorically was this topogruphical literality displaced in the direction of iro Aristoulean and topi d signification (the t h m r y o f mrnrnonplaccs in languagc and thc manip ulauan of rnorifs or arguments) {WD. or. “cvcrythirtg depends upon how one sets ir to work. the conocpt of s r m c t u ~ i s a highly charged and ambiguous one. in^ the spatiality waked by thc. through a Kind o f sliding as unnotiad as it is efficacious. This aspen of a d o s c d mmlity. that is t o ‘say interrogated and cvm dcsroycd as concerns its figurative quality so that tbt nonsparialiry or original spatiality designad by it may be mivcd. 24). thc inumal unity of an. a conshrctiorr. 15-16) . In W r i h g mzd Dflmrcnre. withdrawn from all possibIe &change from ourside. by thematizing and excluding from the term its geometrical representation of a unified a n d centered space-the “structuralicy of structure" may come into v i m . (WD.

155).” a transcendental of sorts that allows the minor Structures to comc to the fore (WD. to be another name for the tsscncc o f sttrutture. It is the principle that guides the decentering and centering ofstructures. To spcak of the rrrucmrality of structure is to speak on a level entirely other than the lcvcl on which the conccpt o f ”the (necmarily closed} minor smucture” exists. is this more “fundamcntar” stnrcture? What is i n srructurality? I t is thc opening or possibility o f what opens up closed structures. ifonly in the mere anticipation of iis subscquent reclmure. which comes into view as s w n as the spatiality that informs the mctaphor of structure is set aside. The transcendentality of this structurality of an opening is therefore both the condition of possibility of a systematic structuralism and “‘theprincipled. Yet each of thesc concepts excludes the other. 26). it is as little static as it is genetic. p. What. p. to think its openness. That which risks stifling force under form” (WD. But this “fundarncntal” or “cssential” stmcmre is in truth “the structurality of an opening. QT the smcturrlity of an opening. is the thought of the law according to which the notion of strncture has always been svbjccted to a center. nor from a combination of both points of view. thus. This structuralicy ofsrructurc is the “fundamtnral 5tructure” (WD.oridnary metaphorical meaning of shchrre is recopitad and put between quoration m a r k s . it allows a dostd-off totality to open itself. It can be understood neither from a genetic nor from il structuralist and taxonomic point of view. he aims ar thc structurality of structure. o r 10 think what remains open in an otherwise closed structurc. pp. For rhc moment it should be clear that whm Derrids operates “positively” with the conccpt o f structure.146 O N DECONSTRUCTION exhaust the meaning of the term bur also depends on the structurality of s t r u m r e for its very meaning. It is thus as little a structure as it is an opening. essential. It is an opening that is nrucrural. as little structural a5 it is historical. but it is also that which risks enclosing p’ogression toward the future-becoming-by giving it form. then. It is also a n attempt to decenter structure. Why essence is not the proper name for the atructurality o f s t r u m r c wit1 become obvious as we go on. a thought that bcm e s possible as soon as the . and what closes structures off against any exterior intcrfcrence. and structural impossibility of dosing a structural . T h e thought of the strumrality of stfuchlre. 155. “This opening is certainly that which fibcrates timc and genesis (even coincides with them). Thc stmcturality of structure sccms.261.

90).ofinkastructurc. Sinm Derrida has never explicitly outlined this particular transformarion. 162). wc may immcdiarcly pracecd to a characterization of the major fea- . is an infrastructure. The infrastructures. contradictions. Dcrrida notes rhat the concept . what makes the infrastructures in general capable o f explaining and judiaally grounding the aporias and contradictions o f philosophical discourse? Let us consider three reasons indicative of the exceptional rank o f the infrasmmrm: (1)theirprmnmbgical and prclogical status. “ H e r espurnre means the irreduable complldcy within which one can only shape or shift the play of prcscncc or absence: that within which metaphysics can be produced but which rnaaphysia cannot think” (OG." Dcrrida defines infiastructure when he writes. we must first of all come to an understanding of the philosophical tide of such an operation. levels. as used by Derrida. . which as we shall see are irremediably plural. p. and to the codicting strata of argumentative and discursive totalities-the infrastructure is the “open matrix” in which tficsc oppositions and contradictions arc engendered. aporias.’ . p. and so o n that drtracrerize rho discourse of meraphysics. (2)their synthetic character. Now. of mursc. to the aporias that become visible in the formation of concepts. m mcraphysical conceprs. so that in expounding one.1~ With regard to concepts in bipolar opposition-that is. to a non-Mandst notion of infrastructure (P. as he uses it several times in Of Crummarolagy. we may have m presuppose another. 1 have daimed that by means of such infrastrumrcs deconstruction accounts for the differenm that &we the discourse of philosophy. an ‘inkasmmcture’ of which the gmerul rert would no longer be an effect or a reflection.” char is to say. Iinkcd. argumentative and texmal arrangements. Pumng aside for the moment the questions concerning the technicalities of such a way o f accounring. m m of the notion of infrastructure. and (3) their economical and strategic nature. rdo. camsponds to a ”transfarmed concept of ‘inframmure.p. or inconsisrenciei count5 f b m m n mncepts.To sum up: shsrrfrrw in Derrida has the meaning of a nonregional and tranMendrntd opening that represents the condition of possibility of the minor structures and the accidents t h a t they suffer. represent the relation-connection. Shctrrre. In Positions.DECONETRUCTIVE METHODOLOGY ~~~~ IA 7 phanomenology” or any systematic strumralism of whatever kind (WD. 167). All these qualities are. rapport-that organizes and thus aco r the differenccs..indeed. and any othcr discourse dependent on it.

or of other oppositions derivative o f them. rigoroudy speaking. of presence and abscnce. of being and nothingness. does prmtrtologicd mean in terns of infrastructurcs? As a judiciary ground. as Derrida shows in “Diffecance. in the sense in which I use the rerm here. to the character of one particular infrastructure with regard to the opposition in philowphy of being and nothingness. the determination prtonrologicafwill rtonerheless help u s characterize infrastructum in general. then. I shall have to continue to speak of infrastrucrures in general in order M name everything that can account for the differences that I will be iddressing. rigorousty speaking. into question can an infrastructure achievc what it is supposed to achieve. one encounten the Same problem. as thc specific complex organization responsible for the philosophical opposition of structure and gcnesis.” If an infrastructurc is to assumc thc explicatory status of a ground. is only one possible infnsrructure. Only by putting the authority of prcscncc and its simple symmetrical counterpart. as I havc done until now. and o f the nntice ontological difference as well. infrastructures must nor bedescribed in terms of these bipolar opposirions. and for rhar vcry reason it cannot have the simplicity of a IogicaI principle. In spiteof these strategic limits. in a nontemporal way. improper m refer to infrasrrunures ar such. what. the alternarivc of being and norhingness. however. a b m c c or lack. must he thought of as preceding. it must be a radical altcrity in excess o f that which it accounts for. T h e laws that it formulates for the discourse of phitorophy must belaws that account for the difference between the philosophimi logos and all its Others. Now. But Ict me caution against any misunderstanding of preontoiogical either in terns of temporal interiority or in terms of Heidegger’s fundamental ontology. The infrastructure. For thc same reasons. presence and absence. becausc of thcir conrexmal and historical dctermtnarion-it is. For reasons o f exposirion. an infrastrumrc must not be of the nature of the opposites for which it accounts: otherwisc it would bclong to the order of what it comes to explain.r48 ON DECONSTRUCTION Preaniolagical and Prelogical Status of Infrdswuctures Bemuse of the strategic predicamenr of the infrastmcnws-rhat is. thc infrastructure must bc prelogical. conscqucntly. owing to the fact t h a t thc qua[ification preontdgicol establishing thc prcontological status of infrasrructures in general. With regard to the traditional and canonical oppositions of presence and absence. Of course this is not to say that the infrasrmcture would . The infrastructure.

no ideal . sin= E r is not dependent on any category of rhar which is present or absent. provide a decision o r impost its n o m upon these prelogical possibilities o f logic. “It is not a being-present. 153). is it simply absent. all realism with regard to them is avoided. thc infrastructure belongs to a space ‘‘logically’’ anterior and alien to that of the regulated contradictions ofrnetaphysia. Being present in neither a sensible nor an intelligiblemanner. They are (topologically?) alien to it. Such possibilities are not ‘logically’ primary or secondary with regard to logic itself. that resists philosophy’s founding o p position benvcen the sensible and the intelligible” (SP. but not as its principle. the infrastructure acquires its interpretive efficiency with regard to the specific problems it clarifies through being in excecs of the opposition af Sense and non-wnse. Nor. the concept of infrastructure exages all nominalist philosophy as well. or ineffable mode of being it5 own. or transcendent one makes it. DECONSTRUCTIVE METHODOLOGY 149 be irrational. is not an essence. and thus belonging to no region whatsoever. principal.p. It’fallawsfrom rhic that: 1. . Therefore. Nor i s it a supraessentiality beyond the finite categorics of essence and cxistence. inconceivable. Although nor a k i n g (an]# it ia not a nonbting (ML an). p. no autonomy. thcn.. 2. however excellent.” the infmstructural Iaws are those that govern the possibility of every logical proposition. meaning and the absence dmeaning. moreover. 133). Having no meaning in i t s c l f (in contrast to the fundamental Heideggenan question concerning the ontico-ontological difference as a question about the “meaning” of Being). Its preantoIogica1 nature aside. A s Dcrrida has made amply clear in “Limited Inc. it is in a position of anterioriry to the epoch o f meaning and the loss of meaning.. condition of possibility. TOquote again: ”Wetnust laoursclvcs be referred to an order that no longer refers to sensibility. An infrastructure i s not an existent. By t h i s deontologization OF thc infrastructures. since the irrational as one of the many Other0 of phil~ophy i s alwr only “the abomve offspring of the unthought rational. But we are not referred to intelligibility either. It is not. It has no stable character. unique. or ‘radical’ foundation“ (LI.p. An infrastructure.” as Hcidcgger purs it. Ir doe5 nor call any higher. We must associated with the objectivity of rhewein o be referred to an order. to an ideality not formimusly r undemanding. however. As it wil1 become dear. “no wnsrituttd logic nor any rde of a IogimI order can. 2351. 3.” writes Derrida in “Differance” (SP.?’ The infrismctufal analysis concerns both the deciding instance of the logos and that which is derivativc of it..

One could venture the following dcfinirion: infrastructures arc the “CSsences” of the structural-genetic difference.150 QN DECONSTRUCTION identity. but it threatens the authority of the us such in general. Hcnce. it is clear that the qualification e5scnce cannot be bestowed on infrastructurcs. “They cannot. InfrastruFturcs appear or manifest themselves only 4s the differerrcr of. never us such. say. they escape phenornenologization to the extcnt that they rcfuse ro appear in person or present themdves to a phenorncnological gaze. They cffaccthemselves. In other words. 210). to the archetypal form of widen= of the immediate presence of the rhing itself in propriu persona.p. theywithdraw. and is thus not a substance. The infrastructures dissolve the comprehension of the thing itself. and they do not yield to the “principle of all principles. By accounting for thc metaphysical opposition of the ideal and the nonideal. If infrastructures are not essences. They are not tlomu o f perception. Yet it is precisely this alrerity. that qualifies the . 157). constantly disappearing as they go alang. But since such an explanarion makes illegitimare use o f the concept of esscncc. which prevents them from ever prcsenting themselves in pmon. in classical affirmation. be it that of traditional metaphysicr. in a position ro render “the project of idealization possible without lending. of Husserlian phenomenology. as Derrida insisrs. They are not a correlate of phmomcnologically reduced perception. simple. be affirmed without being negated“ {D. p. p. what Derrida assew of “differance” is true of all other infrastmctures as well. not only can it not allow itself to be taken u p into the us such o f its name or i n appearing. and jdealizable conceptualization” (LI. 48-51). Instcad ofoffcringthemselvcs. but this is not to say that an infrastructure is for thar reason an idealization. T h e relations of irreducible complexity to which it rcfers arc not merely fortuitous. And yer an infrastructure is endowed with a certain universaliry. Husserlian or not. “There is no essence of the differance. but never in person. as wcll as of the practice of Wesensscbau in general. or hypokeimmon..” that is.Spurs IS. Therc is no bt such to thc infrastructures. then they cannot be the object o f wen the mosr refined form of the intuiting of essences that is the Husserlian WCSeWSChQU. under what he names “women” in . 158). pp. structure and genesis. as Demda has illustrated it. infrasmcturs are. thc thing’s presence in i s essence” (SP. . What thus makes its entrance into philosophy is thc very possibility of a disappearing of truth. Its “essence” is m havc no essence. or of fundamental onrology. [thmselves] to any pure. Infrasrrucrures do not offer themselves as such to any theorein.

as we shall see. It is also distinguished from the Romantic fashion of eliminating contradiction in terms o f a reciprocal self-dwruction and annulment o f oppositions widin the s p h of. these original qnthcxs. on rht other. and of the differenm crucial to phenomenology. without considering such contradictions to be pemnarr-as present und absenr. and s o on. sensible nor inteliigible. Infrastructures. what explains this strange logic is that the infrasuucrures must be originai syntheses if rhey arc to live up to their judiciary ask.DECONSTRUCTIVE METHODOLOGY inframctorrs as an aplicandum o f the difkrmcc Bawrrn the thing in general and its essence. sensible m d intelligible. aporias. concordant f i c t i o n s and. Csptdally in Kant. No differf the encc-craoing complementarity or ontologization or idealization o war between opposites-bath Romantic alternatives ta sptculative sublation-is sought in infrasmctural grounding. fictions o f eternal strife between pairs of oppitcs. o f perception and what is perceived (indepmdmdy of the existence o f the perctivcd). without eliminating that difference. compared tn thc original syntheses ar work in the discourse of mcraphysics. in escablishing the infraatrumrcs a$ instances that account simultaneously for both p o l s of a bipolar opposition. one rhinks of them wirhour concradi&on-thar is. whose art dms not simply belong to the realm of the . empirical nor transandental. are analogous to what in traditional philosophy. Thcy cannot be secn as third terms that eventually initiate solutions in the form ofspeculative diaIecticr. daconstrucdve interprcration o f the contradictions. p 5s). Rather. cnnwned with a middle in which the diffcrends arc s u s p d c d and preserved. inconsistman. h z been relegated to transcendental imagination. bur which is not simply a dialectical middle. says Dcrrida. conceptual o r discursive. Hence. and in particular in G u m a n Idealism as a whole. on the one hand.procirely because the infrastructures are neither present nor absent. empirical and transcmdental. Yet. arc instances o f an intcrmcdiary discourse. the difftrentrs of appearance and appearing. and s o onr ’ Syffthaic Chmrrntr of Ir&astmctrrres The inftastructutal proass of aaounting is distinguis~cd from the specularive mode of resolving mncradirrions insofar as it maintains contradiction and resists its sublation into a ‘higher unity. Indeed. t h e syntheses can only be “unities by simulacrum” (P. and so on that are revealed in a scrutiny of the formation of concepts and the discursive structures o f philosophy will speak within contradiction without contradiction. of the nomco-nocmatic difference.

152 ON DECONSTRUCTION sensible and the intelligible. or agency ofany son. f h c y do not simply carry implications of positing. contradictions. involves a complicity and caimplication that maintain together an underermined number o f possibilities. thus accounting for their contiguity in a given context while also maintaining their irreducible diffcrence. and s o on. and synopses (rather than to tableaux) tothe extent thartheydo notcliminatedifIcrence. more "originary" syntheses than any classical origin. 138). constituted syntheses. or arrangemeor to the benefit of homogeneous unity. Synthesis. and that they make these communicate in a minimal organizational unit. strata. significations. lexicological disparities. rhc opposins and the differmds that the p m m s o f discrimirration will come to carve our. For t h m msons. 126).general o f thc heterogeneous possibilirics. or mare . stagings. l r is rhc locus o f what Heidegger calls the some. Thus. with respect to the inhasrmmres. what makes the origjnaty syntheses of the infrastructures only simulacra of syntheses is not merely their nature as arrangements of possibilities. 1 1 1 holds in rescrfe. They represent n mode of synthesis that is older. "rhc mmbar zonc hcovmn philosaphy and ir5 other" {D. nor are they merely passive. on the contrary. which need not necessarily be in a relation of antithetical contrast with one another. whaher specularive or not. activity. nores Derrida. Theachicvment o f t h m original synthtscs is that they tie together a variety of "contradictory" or heterogeneous concepts. hut their task of accounting for contradiction as such. spatialiry. as opposed to what Hegel calls speculative germs. thc differenccs inro which it fragmcrits itself. in its undccidcd shadow and wigil. As the medium of differentiation in general. This medium of all possible differentiation-the common clement of all the oppositions." than the mode of uniting that is charactcriatic of philosophical synthesizing. as is the case in the classical concept of Synthesis. It is a unity of combat. it precedes u n d i f f m r i a d unity and the subsequent bipolar division. and discrepancies-is not a medium rhac would precede. T h e infastmaure is what knots ragcthcr all the threads o f correspondence among certain hetcrogmcous points of presence within a discourse o r text. without turning it into the force of thc negative in the scrvioe of totality. simple. instances. the passive and the active (xe D. the infrastructural syntheses can be compared to 5cene5. p. as disrincr from the identical. and so on.p. contradictory strata. Con- . It must be understood as the medium ofdiffeteniiotion in . They arc. as an undiffcrentiated plenitudc. An infrasrmcturc. The adverse t e r m s are not liquefied or mixed within it.

These originary arrangements or compositions of conflicting possibilities are economical. even though it prccxistsdiffcrcnar aseffms. p. or a web. in spite of successful discursive totalization.” T h e y are economical inmfar as they represent clusters of possibilitics indicating “that the kind of bringing-together proposed here has the structure of an interlacing. p. which would allow the &&rent threads and different lines of sense or force to separate again. and because it maintains contradictory possihiliries together. in that they are characterized by a artain calculus whereby the possibilities to be accounted for are summed up by being p u t aside. as syntheses thar do not erase contradiction and aporia. We must r e a l l a t this poEnt that the contradictions among concepts o r argumentative patterns that i b h e infrastructures explain are cmtradictions to which philosophical totalizations arc oblivious. Their synthew are economical too. It is from this fund that d i a l d c r draws in pftilosophernes. Economicul mid Strategic Ndiure of Snfmstrucmres The last explanation I shall consider for the judiciary privilege o f the infrasrmctllres concerns the specific nature of the arrangement of the conrradimry possibilities in original synthcxs. The original synthesis o f infrasrmctures m u s t thus explain the possibility o f unity. 132). nonsublated. and synthesis against the backdrop o f these nonsublimatcd. in which everything communicates with everything within the h u l presence of the soul of the world. in the same way that one puts money aside as a reserve. speculative totaliry. deferring r e w e . docsnor hnvcrhcpunmal simplicity of a coincidmrid oppositorurn.DECONSTRUCTWE METHODOLOGY 153 tradictions and pairsofappasircrarelifted from thcbotrorn ofthisdiacritical. as well as being S F ‘ . Already inhabired by differme &is rrscry4 even though it ‘precedes’’ Ihc o p p i t i o n h c t w m diffetent tllms. 127) But the rtservc of the infrastruaum as the medium of all possible differentiation is also distinct f r o m the Romantic medium of reflexivity. The infrastructures reveal this goleral Economy as . nonrecollccted conrradicrions-that is. djkring. Inhasctuctures fulfill the ready to bind others together” ( economic prinaple of successful expIanation by accounting for a maximum of phenomena with a minimum of concepts and lagical traits. (D. a weaving. Such a synthesis is originary prccisely because it is not dosed. and that survive in spite of the miry o f the concepts. They are economical synrheses according M rhe sense of oibommos as “arrangement. Such a “synthesis” must explain synthesis. in wcry sense o f the word.

sine this similarity is no more than a rcsembtance.Indecd. pp. this means that deconsuuaive interpretation affirms the play o f thc positive and and the negative. an active hispractice of annulment and ncutralization o torical form of intervention in historically specified contexts.154 ON DECONSTRUCTlON organizing thhe relations between heterogeneous possibilities. Deconstruction repeats or mime5 grounding in order to ac- . on the contrary. The affirmative character of deconstructive interpretation. inhanrucrures can be called grounds. 1S9160). such that they constitute. Yet what may appear to be a limitation is actually what makes deconstruction. rigorously speaking. THE MARGINAL INSCRIPTION OF THE GROUND At this point we must ask ourselves whether. is not to he confused with positivity. contrary to the ahiscork and purely aesthetic f opposites. and we must quation as well whether that which deconstruction achieves can in fact be comprehended and comprisd by the traditional opcration of grounding. far from being nihilisric. evcrythingthar Heidcgser stated in his antinihilisricstand on dcstrucrion in "The Letter on Humanism" can be repeated with regard to deconsrmcrion. if deconstruction is dcscribed as an attempt tu account by means of infrastructures for the contradictions and differences that the traditional discourse of philosophy accepts without question. But in order to asses the true namrc o f dcconstrucrion. Demnstrucrivc interpretation is affirmative in a Nimschean sense {see SP. InSpurs.enterprise documents precisely the earnstness and rigor characteristic of the philosophical operarion d foundation. the similarity between dcconrtruciion and the philosophical operation o f grounding must not be overemphasized. the last instance. is. destructive. dmnsrmaion. however. or negative. 37).affirmative. p.In the context of the present attempt to define it as the production o r reconstrunion of infrastructures. Considering decanstructive interpretation as the production o f infrastructurm capableof groundingcanrradictions and inconsistencies. Dmida insists that deconsauctive interpretation is affirmative interpretation (XE S . in a sense still to be elaborated. then this . nonidealizing explanatory scope of decanstnraian and the intervention of its strategic dimension to only one particular dimrsive space and time. what makc5 the fnfrastrucrurcs economical-a$ the consideration of all the faaow of possibility present within a certain thcoretical configuration-is also what limits both the nonethical. No doubt. In addition. and thus it wards off the ethical temptation to liquidate negativity and difference.

which i s a non-fundamentalone. without. p. deeper grounds. Even as it is carried away of itself by its desire. as conditions o f possibility and irnposibility. Hierarchy is no& however. f a ground t o be in eccm of what Since it is in the very nature o it accounts for. In Spurs we read: “In its turn. The relation ofaltcrity b t r w c ~ r infra5tructures r and t h a t which they account for is not the relation o f opposition between the ground and rhe grounded. at once s u p d c i a l and bottomless.DECONSTRUCnVE METHODOLOGY 755 a u n t for the difference between a ground and that which is grounded. howmet. Infrastructures. a nonfundamental structure. 117). as opposed t o surfacc.. is not in a relation of opposition to that which it makes possible. Nor for these same reasons are the inEraascructures deep. For all rhcse reasons. The inhastructure. absenr. which would be in opposition to what they make possible. or what I shall call the space of inscription. it founders there in the waters of this its own desire. on the contrary. It is. But. pp.’ the property [propre] is Iiterally sunk. an infranmumrc is nut what is called a ground in traditional philosophical language. there is nothing proFornd about &MI. or an ab-1 srmcture. mctum. the infrastructure--the difference h e e n the ground and what is gmoundcd-cannot be understood simply as a ground. then the relation of metaphysics to its other can n o longer be one o f opposition” (S. still and always ‘flat. . They are not. it is differently structured. the very limit of that apposition and of apposition’s form. . the opposition between metaphysic and non-metaphysic encounters its limim here. s t e m from the CffOK to think into “one” the metaphysical opposition o f the ground and that which it grounds.” The neccsity of the apparently incongruous staternem to which such rePsoning leads can be hlIy accounted for only by considering what in Derrida corresponds m a gcncral theory o f duplication. ifrhe form of opposition and the opposidonal s t r u m r e are themsc~vcsmetaphysical. 117-119). to the extent that it is without a bottom. strictly speaking. turning it into an identity. of what Placo would have called logirtno t h i notho. The n-icy of such hfiridorspurions reasoning.= The hicratchical relation between infrastructures and what they make pssible (insofar as they also make it impossibIe) i s not that o fa hierarchy bascd o n opposition and contradiction. Yet it i s not itself the b o t t o mo f anything either: “ln such a structure. uncncounterable-of i w l L It passes into the other” (S. with what can no longer be m l l d a ground. consaquently. must bc understood in a necessarily equivocal manmr-that is neither as the mult of florid language nor 08 fallacious reasoning-as simultaneously grounds and ungrounds.

of signified meaning. unbroached origin. rigorously speaking. p.p. Dertida’s hints. if they ace neither of the order of subjectivity or essentiality nor. there cannot be any doubt as to the Icvel on which infrasmcrur= have r o be situated or as M t h c goals toward which deconstruction i s aimed. this p. he invim us % speculate upon the power of exteriority as constitutive of interiority: of specch. o dictions. the reconstruction o dbes nor fall simply under philosophical jurisdiction. with its emphasis on the infraasttucrure. at “a new transcendental aesthetic” (OG. This explains why infrastructura cannot be concepts. although dcconstruction. it shows that the infrastructurc is no more than the open but comprehensive fund-the system of predicative differences-in which the opposition between ground and that which is grounded is carved out. how. resembles what is called in traditional philosophical language a search for a constituting. 313). For chis very reason. But mote important. infrastructures are only “general and formal predicative structures” that repremr the “common root” for all predicates characterizing opposing terms.156 ON DECQNSTRUCTION As we have seen. as to a n origin present M itself. prbf infrastmctures duang. then. then. a thing in general. conditions of possibiliry. because such a process still constitutive o presupposes a prior. such as Of Grammutology. of rhe present as such” (OG. engender. the infrasrruccural accounting does not correspond to an operation of grounding. p. do they relate to them? If the infrastructures arc n o t to be understood as causalities. Hence. the infrastructure is not a subject o r a cause. 64). thus meeting all the rcquircrnenfs of traditional philosophizing. By tyingtogerher in an infrastructure things as different as a ground and that which is grounded. or an essence to which everything that is could be rewaced. active or passive. neither docs the infrasttmaure dmignate the processof division and separation f differends and difference. values of origin. but rather have the status of “philosophical quaiconcepts“ (VP. and ielor. 290) . on the contrary. deconsrnrction does not proceed according to a strategy of finality. Derrida a t times speaks o f the relation becwcen the infrasttucturcs and that which t h q arc infrastructures of in terms of constitution and production. are we to rhink their intercourse wirh t h a i of which they are infrastmcrures? In his early work. 137) questions the very “operation which is not a n opration” (SP. hen. and originary causality. The infrastructure is therefore also rhe s y s t e m of differenccs from which a11 constituting finality draws its resources. In what tams. are we to understand the achievements of deconstruction? If the infrastructures r prcduce these differences or contrado not constitute. how. Moreover. in Of Crammarohgy. Thus. archue. For instance.

Without the possibility that an origin can he Iost. The possibility of i n d p t i o n is thus a neccsliary possibility. Inrcliption is one o f the tcms that both continue and break with the transcendental question of production or constitution. what docs the word inscription designate? Inscription. constitution. but at the same t i m e . hen. consequently. actively or passively.DECONSTRUCTlVB METHODOLOGY 157 strongly support rhe dew that dcconstruaion aims at a theory of originary constitution. so to speak. Dcrrida writes: “A new mnsccndmtal acsthctic must I a itulf bc guided not only by mathf inscription in general. the letter--in show to writing in the common scnsc of the term. or more precisely. Derrids enclam all t h e terms in quotation marks. or rather. “for the mnsdtudon of nrbjecrs and. or dienared into what springs f o r & f r o m it. Derrida had written that “the very concept o f constitution itself must be deconstmmd” (SP. Aftcr Of Grmmfology. p. o r insofar as it can engender o r constitute samething. Without inscription in genwul. In what ways.and w h a t is derived from it) displaces the concepts o f production. which are tributary to and characteristic of metaphysics and transcendental phenomenology. is the name for a possibility that all spccch must presuppose-that marks all speech-Mort it can be linked m incision. and M on. 281). Indeed we say of inscription in gmeml. but inscription within o+ and inscription as habittation always already situated” (OC. desigaam the passibiftits that necessarily affect all origin insofar as it can factually be the origin of something. p. insmption in gmeral. inrcnpiian is another name for canstiturion. Of Grummatology as a whole mnsisrs o f a dcconscruEtive critique o f the philosophical mncept of. no actual notation would be possible. an origin could not bc an ongin. of consrirurion itself’ (OG. 85). dots the notion o f inscription both continue and displace the transcendental qustion of constitution? First. drawing. not ematical idealities but by the possibility o befalling an aiready constituted spacc as a contingent accident but producing the spatiality of space. without an bstitwted truce. L e tu s also recall that in the earlier Speech and Phmumenu. engcndcrmtnt. in order to make it quite clear that it is not simply the notation of a prepared s& representing i t d f . Inscription in g m m l is the mode in which . forgotrea. 290). whether or not that possibility is ever actualized. In OfCrumm&ology the notion of“inscription” (of both ihe origin . one that must always be possible. engraving.ori@. p. without archewriting or protowriting affecting speech as the posiibility of its notation. gcncsis. of genesis and hismry. Inscription. and thus o f the idea o f a linear genesis.

Indeed. into thespacc of inscriprion beyond such oppositions as sensible and inrelligiblq as Derrida remarks. and indeed. This implies that rhe relaton of phif opposition. 290). of the relation of the same and the Orher.Position here translates the Hegelian concept o f Setruwg. an origin is an origin only if it can pmsibly be the origin of something. Inscription. p. Pusition is thus a form of constitution by means of which something becomes what it is through its relacion to something other. Yet such an investigation into the **conditions of possibi1ities”of origins. on thc contrary. or to something in contrast with it. neither in the Kantian. are wc to characrerize the achicvemmts of inscription? Thc alterity in gmerd to which inscription refers is the possibiIity of sameness. Inscriprim. Thus inscription is what “con5titutcs” origins as possible constituting origins. Inscription in this sense refers to an irreducible reference to Other.sense ofthwe words” (OG. the determination of one with regard to an Other. anterior TOan already consritutd subjccr rhar pmupposes this rcfcrtnce as well as that which such a subject constiturcs through posirioning. “is not a simple position: it is rather that by means of which every position I s ofitself conformded” (P. suffice here to characterize the differences between the philosophical operation of consritution and rhar of deconstruction. deconstruction is an inquiry neither into the a priori forms o f sense perception andobject constimrion charaaeristicof a subject in general nor into the meaning o f thc prcpredicativc and preobjectivc spatiotcmporahy that Husserl envisioned in the conclusion of F o m l dad Tramcmdmtul Logic as wcll as in the Curtesiun Meditations.p . says Derrida at the end o f Positions. does not signify such 3 relation. This one cluster of dererminations must. for it demonstrates that this relarion refers to something that cannot in any case be posited-the alterity of the Other-since this alterity is itself the ground of pssibility of a positing self. whether or nor that possibility is actualized. lnscriplion is only one name for the way in which infrasrmcrurcs ground or constitute.I58 ON DECONSTRUCTION infrasrmcnrres qua nccmary possibilities relate to that o f which they are infrastructures. 96). however. For that very wason it is also the possibility of becoming different. It describes only one cluster o f determinations according to which this particular mode o f founding i5 to be thought. however. then. nor in the Husserlian. such a possibiliry must affea all selfprcsenr and selfsame origin if it is to be rhe origin o f something. An origin has . losophy to its Others cannor bc one o How. it is the determination of posirional constirution. “ought no longer to call itself a transcendental aarbetic. other. Indced.

the relation of this system to what it constirutcs can no longer be described as a linear genesis. or any constititring principle. rs9 no rnaning whatsoever w i t h o u t such a possible space that it engcnd m and orients. It follows from this that an origin is necessariIy an inscribed origin. p. The origin and its constitutive opention arc themselves “situated within P syntax without origin” (OG. The infrastructures teIated to the origin. of what exists. Inscription. a function of which the origin then appcan to be. since it would rcprcscnt a bracketing of the function o f origin and o f Qe meaning that origin confers on what derivcs from it. lnsaiprion is a gcsnvc of comprehension which comprises rhc origin. or any function of origin. Dcrrida cancludq “Thc inscription is the written origin t r a a d and henceforth iffsnibed in a system. 115). docs nor imply the annulment o r dstrucrion of rhe origin. with alterity in general. which m u s t be prcsuppod if the origin is to be the origin of general. possibilities represent an irreducible plurality in contrast with the uniqueness OF the origin rhat they make possible but also impassible. On the contrary. in a figure which it no longcr govern” (WD. conmmalizcs rhat which . Thus inscription. In order to be a selfsame origin. &nscqucntly.pig o r Tstmof posribilitics engender o w line. p.alpossibilities. they arc more and lcss than an origin. insread of cnpmdering. but it would be the opposite of a phenomenological epoche. In Writing and Diffmmce. how could a . or the a priori through inscription are in excess o f phenamenaliry in general-that is. and in order to be the origin of somcthin& it must harbor the pnsibility of becoming other. Indeed. it must irreducibly d a t e to an 0th. flow. inscription is the reduction of the phenomenological reduction. 2431. since the origin can never dominate their s y s t e m . is inscribed within such a system of inftasmcrum. in excess of what represents the absolute possibility of the meaning of what is. the principle. a system that is not a rows merm or a mpm ourmios. but docs not produce or constitute. In conuast M the phenomenological epoche.lsrmctura. moreover. Since an origin.DECO NSTWJCTWE M ETHODOLQGY . the origin o r constituting principle i s put into relation with the infrasuuctural rnibilitics of an origin. In a cerrain way one could speak of inscription as an gochc of the origin. within a configuration of marks o r inIr. which is carried our in the name of and in view of origin and meaning. the play or system o f possibilines rhar any function o f origin must prtsupposc (and rhar therefore limit its gossibility as wcll). could a qstern of inscription “engender” in the first place? What Dcrrid? claims ofdissemination is m e of inscription in general: it only a f i m . or beam? How. Thc infranructunl.

under the name of the margin. i t 3 transccndcntaliry so to speak. Derrida has thematized this relation. and nowhere does it excrcise any authoriry. It is not marked by a capiral Icner. An o r i ~ i n presupposes this play a5 a text presupposes its Context. Indeed. in relation (en ruppoa] to the bundles of infrartructurcs that they prcsuppose. But because of the irreducible plurality of these infrastructures. Inscription is not a relation instituting the dependence of thearigin or of any principle on another. or command the origin.” which is one such srructural possibiliiy nf origin-an infrastructure in short-Derrida contends: “11 commands norhing. 153). it is now clear that inscription as the relation entertained by a function of origin to the mnrexr QF it5 structur. . or the causes liable ro be called upon. if thcy did not subvert such an idea as well. Not only is there no realm of differance. Derrida‘s asswment o f Bataible’s notion of sovereignry is also true o f inscription: it does not command in general. Rathcr.160 O N DECONSTRUCTION claims uniqucncss and oncness. a book i s m a r g k . Moreover. The relation ta the Other of philnsophy is one of a ccrrain cxtcriority. inscription puts thc origin. bur diffcrance is even the subversion of every realm” (SP.which i s precisely ro bc cxpccrcd o foundations.rY. which would serve exhausrively as the primary cause of causes. and even rhough this system of possihtlity docs not control or command the origin. a painting its frame. is no longer of the order of production. Deconstruction reinscribs the origin into the context or tern of its infrastructurd possibilities. Oi “diffcnnce. if it did not also anticipate the metaphysical difference between active and passive.p. origins. or any unity its border. in the stria sense. The system o f infrastructural possibilities inscribes both the arigin and its function o f command. the borderline. or conditions of possibility. more fundamental principle o f rcsponsibility. Throughout his works. yet thc specificity of that relation. To speak the language of philosophy. it follows that the system of structural possibilities does nor conrrol f grounds.ll passibiliiics rcveals rcpressed presuppositions and nonthcmatized conditions of poseibi[ities. the origin presuppows it as its (limiting) possibility. one could say that this context of infrastructures-the space of inscription of the function o f origin-is an &OfUte passivity. for they give a hint o f how inscription is to be undersmod. command. the frame. and so forth. since a function o f origin is piuively inscribed within a system of structural possibilities. cngenderment. Yet to mention these possible detenninationr in order to discard them immediately is not without purpose. rules aver nothing. they could also be said to rcprmenr an rbsoluie mtiv.

knowledge and the non-smir. By bringing the origin o r a priori principles in relation to what exceeds them. as a priori conditions. profit. It accounts for them by relating the traditional principles o f accounting to the infrastructures. inscription has been called B putting into rrlarion. supracssmrial origins. If they are said to ground origins. or affinity. it significs a report. which discount. i m a d o f constituting or produang origins. from t k principles what they have necessarily lefr out o f account. the rerm rapmfl s e r y ~ to Iink two forms o f writing.61 yet to which they are not subordinate. inkasuucturcs were seen to inscribe them. the modes by which philosophical discourse is repaid f o r its investments (refrouver ses ronrptes)-arc . rupport is characterid by scmanric ambiguity a s to its activity o r passivity. Yet if. mastery and sovereignty. Inscription pun the origin in relation t o that which is nor controlled by its judiciary function. yet without which it could n o t pretend t o responsibility in the first plrcc.IlECONSfRUCTWE METHODOLOGY 1. circle back to the problem of accounting. Indrasmmrcs arc not deeper. 1n French it has addidoral meanings. howwer. Inscription. In the m a y on Bataillc. the operation of demnsrmction par excellence. accord. as well as the revenue. is thus a f o r mo f amounting. minor and major. none is the principle or ground of this inscription. By inscribing a function 01origin. or m*e 01 rapport. d e r c d and gncral. Through inscription. Yet what . or rcturn on a rucccssfd aperation. or subtract. First o f all. Finally. infrastructures d o not simply r e p rcscnt transcendcntaiia that. as well as rhe known and the unknown. dusters of marks. or rather err rupport. rhcrefore. or account. some of which we must take into consideration. Consequently. two economies. it must be added that they ungmund than a t the same time. information. without which grounds and banscendcntal a prioris could not exist and could not exercise the Eonstitutional function cxpected OF thcm. ~nfrasmcrum are structures. would rule over origins. None of the terms of these rclations. the mise en rapport state5 its reasons. lnlrastructurcs are conditions as much of the impossibility as of the possibiliry of origins and grounds. the traditional modes of philosophical accounting-that is. dominates the other.doesr d p p o r ~ mean? In English it mcans a relation marked by harmony. ir refers to the sari0 or proportion characterizing a relation. then the d m n s r m a i v e explication of rhe fissurts and cracks that chara& the philosophical discourse would no longer simply be &ought of as an enterprise af accounting. meaning and nonmeaning. Lct us. I t signifies such an operation insofar as it is productive. or mke m ruppppart.

they cannot be accounted for. would account for itself. The action secms to raemble Plato’s logismo tini notho. “is nor a self-consdousness. in contrast to origins or principles of Irgirimacy. they do not mmmand in general. It is impossible ro account for somerhing that inscribes the operation of accounting in a cluster of structural possibilities that cxclude their own self-domination and sclf-reflccrion. triies to subject something to itseIf. indeed. thar Is to say. it must subordinate nothing (direct object). or wise en rapport. be subordinated to nothing or no one (servile mediation of the indirect obicct)” ( W D . They are. As soon as the infrastruclures. That i s why Derrida can say h a t rMs is a tapport in the form o f nonrappon (WD. Yet it is precisely this impossibility af accounring rhar allows inscription. p. The economy of the infrasrmctutes rakes into account that which cxceeds accounting. an abitity to be near oneself. itself included. no account or reason can be given. irrcrnediahly plural bur. We are not in thc element of phenomenology” (WD. There cannot be ‘the slightest symmetry bctwmn inscription and what is inscribed. p. “In order not to govern. because what the philosophical mode of accounting is k i n g related co is beyond accounting. It follows from this that inscription. Precisely by refusing to command itself nr . To inscribe. as I have mentioned. 151). Indeed. o r mist en rappot?. i s thus to speak without any philosophical sccurity. is never repaid in accounting (nrunque d retrower son compte. the principle of legitimacy and rcspansibility. thrrefort. in otder not to he subjugated. It is also 3 rupport thar does nor tolerate any rapport. see SF. to maintain and to warch oneself. p.” writes Derrida. For rhe infrasrrucmres to which the origin is accauntablc or owing. that which. between an origin and the syntax of the infrastructures against which i t comes into relief. or mertre en rapport. the de jarre conditions. or the dcconstrucrivc operation of inscription. the infrastrumres do not command rhernselva. as a result. 264). a5 we shall see. that is to say.K62 ON DECONSTRUCTION shown to haw betn accounted for by that which excccds them. or mise en rapport.anything eke. it turns into what it purports to account tor. “At stake in the opcration. like the principlcs it inscribes. . since they cannot be counted in the first place. p. this opcrarion can function as that alreriry rhar absolutely escapes the logic of philosophical accounring while ar the same time “accounting” for it. to explain what it inscribes-the origins. 265). and they represent a capital that cannot be cashed in or turned into an account. 268). abyssal and undecidable as well. is not a mode of accounting that.

in which he emphasizes char a transgression of the contradictions. Thus to deconstruct. be useful r o emphasize &at the determination of deconstruction as an operation immanent or inherent in the discourses or t e x t s does not ncccssady .mrk) (OG. nor does it entail any flirtation with irrationalism. because what the o r i g i n s refer ro-thc spsterns of infrascmcrural possibilities-arc not supnorigins. it is an attempr. Inscription is beyond teasan. On the contrary. it must remain within the iexrs or discoursts under cxamination. however. Insaiprion. far thc difference between rationality and irrationality. and must.or signifying structure. . p. does not aim at something outside the discourse or tern in which they are encountered. paradoxically speaki n g . This io not. beaux the philosopher who puts origins into relation with what rhey pmuppme as dusters o f unthought pmdbilitia speaks tKyand the Murity that philosophy can. or inscribe. DErrida provides a primarily ncgativc elucidation af such an exorbitant pmduction in the chapter entitled “The Questions of Method” in Of Grmnmrrrology. The explicatory power o f inscription spring0 from the radical Othmcss o f the inframvctural marks to the philosophial m o m yo f accounts. is beyond accounting.DECONSTRUCTIVE METHODOLOGY 16? and s o on. co “accauht” far cfie ratia. Deconstruction must be intrinsic. one need not stress Derrida’s ultimate justification-the absence o f any transandental referent or signifiedfor the tequiremmt that deconstruction take the dassial d i s c o m o r the tcxt as its point o f departure. didomi that is the ground o f reasonable sptcch. . THE BIPARTITE OPERATlON OF DECONSTRUCTION I have d t a r a c t e r i d decomciion as an attempt t o account by way of inbmmres for a variety of wmtial differenas and contradictions within the philosophical disraurse. Ler us now consider the way in which an infrasmmrc-or as Derrida also calk it a signifying structure (strrtcme signif. nor do they account f o r themselves. disaepanacs. however. in a gesture that both fulfills and transgresses the most insistent and intimate goal of philosophy. Sin= the interpretive efiicicncy o f the infrastructum or signifyiig smctutes depends on their insistence witbin a given text or discoursr. 158)-is produced. or put inm rdation the mnwmdental conditions o f passibilitia with their structural possibilities is to displace radically rhc l o g . confer through h e sclf-rdIaction of i e ~ discourse. and differencesin question toward their unifyinginhastructure. as I have said. to annul o r discard reasonable speech. It may.

New Criticism included. which accounts for the problems it set5 out to tackle. is thus an opcration that remains intrinsic to the classical discourses and texts without. “The security with which the commentary considers the self-identity aftbe text. pp. It i s true that Derrida himself may have encouraged his critics to conclude that deconstruction is self-contadictory. towdrd its presumed content. Derrida has fomulatcd thc problcm to which thcsc critics refer in thc following way: But all thme destructive dismurm and all their analogues are mapped in a kind o f circle. that deconstruction is a se1f-defeating method since it can transgress metaphysics or logocentrism . is a circle into which one has to come in the right way if one wmts to think dr QII. Dmnsttuction is a production that avoids bath traditionally opposite but complicimusly linked methods of reading. Perhaps at this point it would be useful to address the argument. and the implicit postulations of precisely what i t scckr rn cont a r . the logic. and t h a t he links thc very meaning of dccanstruction to this kind of circularity. which. We hi ve no language-no syntax and no lexicon-which is foreign to this history. far from k i n g a circrrlw vitiosus. however.only by continuing to speak the language of that tradition. This circle is u n i q u r 11 describes the form o f the relation bctwcen the history of metaphysics and the destruction of the history of metaphysics. in the diredon of tbe pure signified” ‘(OC. There is no sense in doing without the conccprr o f mrmphyrics in order to shake metaphysics. (WD. we can pronounce not a single desituaivc proposition which has not alrcady had r o slip into tht form.p. m be avoided at all costs. 280-2811 But what does this insight into the inevitable involvement of demnstrumion in metaphysics mean? For the moment let us note anly that Derrida calls it a circle ofaorts. the confidence with which it cmwes out its contour. for examplc by speaking of the “aporias that appear to engage anyone who takes on the task Qf defining the constraints which Limit philosophical dkcoursc: for it is from the latter that the noncritical notions which arc . raiscd by some uninformed readers o f Derrida. Thus the circularity of logocentrism and dmnsuuction may well be akin to Heidegger’s hcrmeneutic circle. T h e deconstructive production o f signifying structurn. 159). not merely a circle. positing rhe formal identity or closure of the rexq as does all formalist criticism. goes kond in bmd with the tranquil m ~ r a n c c rbot leaps over tbe ter.I 64 O W DECONSTRUCTION imply their thematic or formal closure.

329). which are never simply juaapcsirions of terms but hierarchies and ordm of subordination. 180). SI) that one xrs our with an awareness of at least rhrcc principlrs: (1) that mnceprs in metaphysics are viewad as self-sufficient units. no longer a concept.p. 57.” says Derrida. wirhin which ir refm to another and to other concepa. to bc concepts ar all. “Every conapt is ncassariiy and essentially inscribed in a chain or a system. and consequently in andof itself.k u p e these infrastructures. Now. 329). No concept i s by iisclf. but in overturning and displacinga conceptual order. have somnimcs been dcsignarcd by a word or concept that belongs r o the tradition 10be deconstructed. Two consequenm follow horn this. which are the outcome of deconstruction. The infrasmcture produced by deconstruction is. and (31 that furrhtrmore. all concepts srand in relations of solidarity.DECONSTRUCTWE METHODOLOGY 165 applied to its delimitation must be borrowed’“ (M. p. there are no metaphysical conceps in rhemselvex As Dcmda writcs in Pasitionc: “1 have n e w bclievcd that there were metuphysicul concepts in and of thrmsclves. since the infnstructurtswith which it aims to account for the specific apotias and differences bctwccn the concepts must also account for the inability of concepa to be purely metaphysical concepts. p.wnsist in passing h r n one conapt to another. 281). The awarcIKss of rhcsc rhree aspemof conccpts implies that a concept can never be a self-sufficient unity. concepts in philosophical discourse cannor kinnocrntly separated. metaphysical. This rcveaal and displament require that one be solidly installed within traditional conceptuaiicy. the concepts and gcsnrra of thought are taken in a syntax and systcm. scc a k a M. by the systematic play of diffcrcncs. “does not. then. As a resulr of chis Iasdcredennnination. the critics have charged rhat d m n s m c t i o n is inefticienr and futile in ia attempt to . that is. p. Because of this systFmaticand hisroricai solidarity. p.And second. First. in an adequate presenw &at would rcfcr only to itxlf” (SP.” with the tcsult that a concept “is never present in iself. “every particular bormwing brings along with it the whole oc rneraphysia” (WD. as mctaphysica claims. as well as the noncancepmal order with which the conceptual order is articularcd” (M. deconstruction cannor sirnpiy rcprcscnf a shift from one concepr to anather. outside all the Mtrual work in which it is inscribed” (P. Bur the critics ought M have been aware that rhse aporias a r t aporias only as long as rhe concepts borrowed fmm the dismursc o f rnetaphrsics go uncriricizcd. 140). “Deconstruction. Instead of being d i m e elements or atams. (2) yet thcy appear only in oppositions.p.

Derrida at one point calls these representatives “phantoms” or “ghosts. Derrida calls the provisional and strategic reawns for which an old name is retained to designate infrastructures the “logic of paleonymics. Detrida justifies the usc o f the name writing. of the schemes under which the inframucrures abandon themselves to the discourse of logic. and which 1 continue ta call writing only because it tssmtially comrnunicatcs with thc vulgar mnfept vf writing. T h c t a m could not have . pp. All I shall try to clarify is the spccific manner in which an old concept can come to designate something entirely different from its previous significd. in the sense o f arche-writing. these representarives betray their subjection to the logic that they ungraund (D. The ghosk representing the excluded Other from the system arc always construcred within rhc system in a rauralogical and symmerric form as “the negative key (le propre tnkgdgotifi to the sysrcm. the old name that i s retained serves to designate something that is of a Certain exterioriry to the discourse of metaphysics. it must be noted that. although deconstruchon does not aim at something outside t h t discaurse of metaphysics. this is not to say that such an unnamable would not be represenrcd in one way or another in the discourse of metaphysics. Although there is simply n o name for what the infrastructures designate. as we11 as the theoretical and practical impact of such a designation.” The names of these ghosts. to the extent that it is of the order of an unthought structural possibility of that discourse. This is not the place to review rhe different forms this argument has taken and to retrace it to an inability to understand the stakes of deconstruction. 103-104). are the only names according to which that which exceeds mmaphysical conceptuality can be named within the hisroricat closure or limits of scicnce and philmophy. Since the infrastructum are implicitly presupposed by that discourse. the rcprcsentatives of these srruchlral mmplexiries can be identified more or less easily. As merely the shapes o f he infrastmaures. Although thc old name t h a t is mobilized to name the infrastrumral X initially designates somcthing entirely different from it. still. The reasons for which the X designated by the infrastructurm is given a particular name arc entirely strategic. as fallows: An arche-writing whose nccessity and new concept 1 wish to indicate and outline hem. t h a t is to say historical.166 O N DECONSTRUCTION reach beyond metaphysics. Writing is an old name for such an infmstrumral cluster of passibiiitics.” in shotr. such as a last signified. a5 its Other.” Phantoms are the shapes of that from which logic proceeds. it neverthelm is entitled to do so if the name communicates in an essential way with thar X .” First.

graft. In Posiriotts. Derrida formalizes the logic of paleonyrnics as follows: What. the name X being maintained as a kind of h e r of intrrvmtion. n m c d X . Demarcated in this manner. (OG. extraction. 71) What follows from this description OF the formal modes i n which an old name is transformed so as t o designate precisely what it reprcsscs-modss 1 shall later discuss in thmrlvcs-is that the use of traditional language by deconstructive interpretation is much more . p. writing was. destined rn signify the most formidable differem. in order to maintain a grasp on rhe previous organization. but rather a sysmn of predicates defining a conapt. a conceptual 5trumre mt m d a n a given predicate. (P. 70).DECONSTRUCTWE METHODOLOGY i m p 4 167 i d f hPstaricatlp except by the dissimulation of the arche-writing. p. it marks the repression of that X and therefore essentially communicates with it. yet it is also a function Q( the singularity of a topic. historical. therefore. one might bcgin to dcccribc this operation. we pmcccd: (1) to the extraction of a reduced predicative trrjt that is held in rrserve. iris bccausc. The reasons for retaining an old name to name the entirely new reality of the i n f r a m c t u m is. despite the fact that it isvcry different from what has a h y s been called writing. 56) Writkg i s thus a phantom name for the s t r u m 1 X. it will permit an intervendon within this discourse. The justification for ia use "cormponds r o a condition of fotccs and transIates an historical calculation" (OG. What make it susceptible to. the grafting and regulated extension of the extracted predicate. by its situation. within the work 01 historical repression. Tbercforr. borrows its notions. the borrowed concepts not only designarc something entirely different from what they referred to before but also suffer a mutation of meaning. names.bcingnamed X is that. e x m i o n . Yet such an operation of borrowing is instantly followed by an effort to mark this operation as plagiarism. by the desire far a speech dispIacing its other and itr double and working t o reduce im difference. within the discourseof mctaphysics. Taking into account the fact that a name docs not name thc punctual simpliary o f a mnupt. limited in a givcn conceptual s m m r c (limited for motivations and relations of force to be a n a l y d ) . (2) to the delimitation. Deconstruction. which is to be transformed effectively. If I persist in callingthat differencewriting. And since deconstrucrion'sconccpts have been taken from the given discourse of philosophy. w n SequentIy. p. o r "conceprs" from philomphy in order to name what is unnamable w i h i m closure. is the '*smtegic''necessity that q u i r e s the d o n a 1 maintcnancc of an old flume in ordcf to launch a new conctpt? With all the rcservarions imposcd by this classical distinction betwm the name and the conapt. then.

and that which also tries powerfully toannd it. or inscribe within itself. The quality and fecundity of a discaursc 3cc pcrhaps mcasurrd by thc critical rigor with which this rdaiion to thc history of mctaphysim and to inherited concepts i 5 thought (WD. from one that. It must doso because deconstruction is an opention that situates itself in a hisrorical manner with rcgard to the different forces that. p. and if no m e is thcrefore responsible for giving in to it.168 ON DECONSTRUCTION complex than its critics ‘believe. whosc discourses are teleologically hound to achicvc homogeneity. It is the very condition under which deeonstruction can be successful and effmively intervene in the discourse of metaphysics. accommodates contradictions in an otherwise homological discourse- . The necessity under which deconstruction borrows its notions from the discourse of philmophy secures the very possibility of a subversive foothold-arways strategic and thus historicalwithin rhe historical closure of that discourse. as some have betieved. 281). Y e t the contradictions that arise in a discourse critical of the premises of metaphysics from the necessity o f inscribing within itself these very same premises are not all of equal pertinence. This heternlogical dimension o f Detrida’s work is undoubtedly one o f the main obstacles to its assimilation by either the philosopher or thc literary critic. a nonhomogeneous discoursc-can be effective only if this discourse constantly compounds with the forces that tend to annul it. owing to theoretical weakness or to deliberation. but is rather the very condition of finding a hothold in the discourse ro be deconstrucrcd. produce the closure of its concepruality. p. Derrida’s attcmpt at dcveloping a hcterology-that is. “We cannot give up this metaphysid mrnpliciry without also giving up the critique we are direcring against this compliciryy. however little hc may do s o . Indeed. the necessity of borrowing one’s resources from the logic to be d e c o n s r m d is not only no inconveniencc o r calamity. that which it tries to displace or unhinge. It rnusr do so precisely because it is a hetcmlogy. at each pamcuiar moment. Generally speaking.” writes Derrida (WD. in Wrirhg mrd Diflerence. this does not mean that all the ways o f giving in to are of equal pcmncncc. 282) A hereralogical enterprise that compounds with the forces that try to annu1 it while simultaneously unhinging them by inscribing or generalizing them differs h o r n a contradictory discourse-that is. Derrida remarks: But if no onc can escape this necessity [of aceammodating wirhin his own discoursethe premise he is dcnouncingl. which a5 such must include.

One of the ways in which dcconstructivc interpretation assumc6 its responsibility as a discourse is to question unremittingly the solidarity and systematic relation among conccpn in metaphysics: Within the dmum by an obIique and always pcrilousmnvcmcnt. and h e limits o f their effmivcncrs and to-designate rigorously rhcir intimate . historically finite-fashion. and..” to speak the language o f traditional philosophy. in the Same proms. and in particular. In any case. decided at the margins of the dosure only. because the outside belongs to the catcgorics of the inside. in order to afhm iaelf as is necessary to surround rhc critical concepts with a ferrhrl and thorough dixourrc-to mark the conditions. deconstruction is profoundly suspicious of the cavalier assurance of those who think Chey have successfully crossed the line. Now.rclaiionrhip to the machinc whov deconstruction thty permit. insofar as it is only with rspecr t o rhc limit ir crosses. in an always strategical-that is. Deconstruction is neither neutralized by the annulIing form of the conceprs it borrows from the tradition it deconsrmcts. nor deluded by the illusionary possibility of simply stepping outside of philosophy. therefore. conme and c o n h in one way or another that which it exceeds.DECONZTKUCTIVE METHODOLOGY I 69 in that it q l i c i t l y assumes a critical responsibility by unflaggingly problematizingits own status asa discourse borrowingfrom a heritage the very resources required for the deconstruction of that heritng itself. Deconstruction as an attempt to stcp outside thc always historical closure of philosophy not only produces this “outside. The excess or transgression of philosaphy is. is the meaning of such a transgression OF the discourse of metaphysia? It should be obvious that demnstruction cannot be an anrmpt to reach a simple outside or beyond o f philcwphy and metaphysics. To m c d the dismursc o losophy cannot possibly mean to step owtsidz the closure. then. Nor c a n such an outside be iaelf an outside w i t h regard t o an inside. since a transgression must. the operation by which ir must produce rhis “outside“ of the discourse of philosophy can no longer be u n d e r s t d as a parsagc from an interior to an cxtcrior. wnstandy &king falling back tvithin what i s being drmnstructcd. the deconstruction of the genuinely metaphysical opposition ofinside and auaide. it can only consist of a sort o f displacemcnr o f the f philimits and cl05ure of the discourse. in a finite fashion. but since it is also. dnipare thc c m i c c &mu& which the ye# unnameable glimmer byand the closure can bc glimpwd. . 14) What. the medium. (OG. p.

which is not a voEuntary decision or an absolute beginning. p. Defonstructive interpretation. one never lives clscwherc. wc arc consorting with a code to which metaphysics is t i d irreducibly.e*ceed9mcaningandmtaningar-hearing-oncsclf-spalt by interropcingthcrnrhis thou&. at a point which also would be. Nonethelm. As 1 have cmphasized. is given precisely a5 h e rhought for which thcrc is sure opposition bctwcen outside and inside.” In other words. BUG by means of &he work donr on one side and the other o f the limir the field imidc is modified.p. announced in gramrnarology. p d s in a radically ernpiricist manner-that is. Now. when he writes: The incision of deconsrruaion. cvcn the conccpts of excess or o f transgression u n become suspect. let UP nor forget. does not take plam just anywhere. and a transgression is produad that conwquently k nowhere prcscnt as a fdil dcmmpli. broaching a deconstruction depends on a historical hermeneutics that justifies its beginninE as “subjea t o a certain historical ncccssity” (OG. it can be made nnly acmrding t o line o f form and forces of rupture that a r c localizable in the discourse t o bc dccon- . “We must begin wherever we ore. Derrida summarizes these argumenrs in Positions. O n e is never installed within transgression. An incision.the “thought-rhat-means. Now. the admitred lack o f an ahsolure beginning does nor mean that the beginning is arbitrary or subjective. w c can return to analyzing the modes in which the “outside” oi meraphysics-that i s to say.nothin&”the thought that . even in aggresJions or nansgrcssions. firm of alt a point o f language or wriring. In Positians. 162). nor is it an absolute act capable of providing the rotatity of its methodological justifications. At the conclusion06 a certain work. in its search for what cxorbiranrly exceeds the totality o f h e conceptual oppositions constitutive of metaphysics. (P. 12) There With rhis clarification of the way in which we are to understand how dtconstrucrion transgresses the discour= of phiIosophy. in a manner incapable of justifying itself entirely-but not because of empiricism’s recognized philosophical inability to do so.” says Derrida.r7o O N DECONSTRUCTION For this. Transgression irnplics rhrt rhc limir is always ar work. “Wherever we me: in a text where we already believe o u m t v e s to be. reason it is i n c o m a to speak of a transgression or excess at all. Derrida continues. or in an absolute clscwhcre. such that every transgrcssivt g c ~ n reendoss r ~ us-precisely by giving u5 a hold on the closure o f metaphysics-within this closure. Derrida remarks: i5 not a t r a n s F i o n . if onc understands by that a pure and simple landing into a kyond o f metaphysics. the infrastrucnrrfi-are produced. a deconstruction i s not a function of a subjective desire o r act ofwill. precisely.

”= This transfornation ot the hierarchical scheme is not aimed at bringing about an inverse order or a total neutralization of the oppositc terms in an anarchical state free o f all hierarchy. ac least as it pertains to the discrepancies and differences a f h i n g concepts and philowphica1 argumcntation. is f revmnl o f rhese binary oppositions.p. or reconstruction.DECONSTRVCTIVE METHODOLOGY 17l m a d .sin= a mere neutralization of thc dual opposidons. or put. for reasons t o be hismridydcrermined. the reversal . The general strategy of dtconstmccion. 82) h e r a l l y spakin& one could say chat dmwmction stam within rfie texts t o be decmsmctedby fonising on traits within wnccptual stlllCtuteS. “A new Iuerarchy and new valuation mean that the ordering-structure must be changed. ’ ’ (P. w to speak. but rather in Itransformation of the very value ‘of hierarchy itsclf” IS. whereas the conagt of supplemenrarity relies o n philosophy’s refusal to give equal consideration to the totality of its traits or predicates. Heidcgger w r i m in Nicrtdw. nor is it a simple change or reversal in the terms of any given hierarchy. on =me. Rather. p. is such a concept within the bipolar opposition spaechhuriting. p. 81). 81). Nor can the reversal simply limir itself t o reestablishing f reversing the given an invme hierarchic11 ordet. Irvcrs. This second phase is necessary because the first operates wkly within the concepruality of h e system to be dcconstrucnd. but a t a recasting d the traditional concept and structure of hierarchy: “What must occur then is not merely a suppression of all hicrarchy. --in a bvm situation dcpcnds upon an historial andysis. the second stcp consists o f what is called a reinscription. which arc dc t a m and de jure hierarchical structurez. ot on concepb within conceptual dyads that. and is never exhausted by tht c~nrCious ulculation of a “subj e c t . have been c o n h e d to a secondary mle. Writin& for instance. The phase of rtvcrsal of the hierarchy o f prcdicatts or concepts is only the first step. characterid first’by a p h w o This is a sm~cn~rally necemrg-gaturc. In darifylng this issue. Without such a second movement. Dcrrida approvingly quotes Heideggcr’s discussion o f NiemEhe’s pmblemaucs o f a d(Unrdrrhung)o f Platonism. the Umdrehmg must be a tnnsformation o f the hierarchical structure itself‘ (S. would Ieavc the field intact and con6rrn what is to be d a o n s t r u d . for an-archy onIy consolidates jut as purely the established order of a metaphysical hierarchy. The operation o hicrarchics docs not consist “in a renewal o f the hierarchy or the substance of values. This analysis is m& in the p ~ e r a movcmtnt l of the field. displacement.The Idpicar and ndnrical dcnnainadon of thc l O 5 t n a e g ay s i m and opcmtorr-bogtnnings. hold9.

deconstrucrion traces the irreducible difference berween its rwu gesrurcs. or traits held in reserve. Within the unity of such a practice. These repressed train. erc. proceeds by a “double gcsture.” can be grafted onto the traditional concepts or names privileged in the first phase of reversal. consequently. a double writing. o f the X. and to their generative force. the double gesture that characterizes dcconstruction is to be conceived of a5 a systematically unified operation thar simulraneously marks the difference bemeen irs TWO geihres. since the word suggests a chronological sequence. leading through their generalization to the formation of new “concepts.” a phase of rcversal and a phase o f reinscription or f phases here could. key.26 To speak o ing. unequal. T h c x concepts refer to something t h a t could never be comprehended. but k a u s e there is in it. one of rhe points exrcnding . or displacement? In this second phase the hitherto rcprcsscd traits of concepts. I t is not to be understood as such. grid. then. however. T h e w “philwophical quasi-concepts” arc what I have up to now termed infrastructures.p. according to a unity that is both systematic and in and of i t d f divided. It is in this sense that Derrida speaks o f deconstruction as a double science or a double staging. Dcrrida writes. in Derrida’s words.’ a kind of fork (thc scrics cms5rwd5. intercsts me a great deal. deconstruction cannot stop with them. rather. Deconstruction. War.) thar is moreover. p. n t w “concepa”erupt into the territory of philosophy. is the function of reinscription. “We must p r m d using a double gesture. 95). 41). With rhis liberation of the traits held in mcrve by the concepts within philosophy. a writing t h a t is in and of itself multiple’’ (P. It is only by grafringonro their names rherneaning o f which they are the repression rharrhe operarion o f deconsmctian becomes complete. This step produces conccprs previorrsly unheard o f in the tradition and in the discourse of metaphysia.172 ON DECONSTRWCTlON would be “nothing more than a clamomus declaration of the antirhesis” (S. quadrrfrrrcum. rrellis. be misleaddisplacemenr. But since the newly f revemd conceptual hierarchies arc onlyrhe ghass privileged terms o nr spurious images o f a beyond within the discourse o f philosophy. as I underline in ‘La disrkninotion. that ‘is. In Positions the relation ofthcst two gcsrum is furthcr determined in terms o f a chiasmatic doubling or crossing: “The form of the chiasm. to their power of generalization. are resrored to their generality. that could never have been an “object” within the discourse of philosophy. nor as the symbol o f the unknown.

n e y are hetemgenmus gesture. The chiasmatic relation of the two heterogmcous gestures of deconsmumion is characterized by a structural asymmetry that defies all reflection. this dissymmetry is-rial in preventing any neutralizationof the bipolar oppositions of the aporias or other contradictions resulting from discursive inequalities and disparities. grafted upon one another in the “one” but irreducibIy split o p t i o n of deconstruction. which occupies a . the double gesture appears t o maintain the distinction between its two movem e n t sh u s e o f thdr diss)mm&cal aornmunimtion. thc intersection’’ (P. moreover.p. The dissymmetry. It is ‘k kind o f fork. is p ~ t c i s ~ the l y o p i n g for the difference between the wogestures. the “regrounding”-of the conccprs o f metaphysics i n what reprants the generality of its Other. As I havc mentioned. 70).” The formal f deconstruction makes it radically dissimilar from redissymmerry o flection. the two gestures of deconstruction arc incommensurate. the two phases o f deconswuction panidpate in one another in a crosswi3c manner. which remains within the boundaries or closure of what is t o be demnsmcrcd. the infrasmcturts produccd f d c c o n m a i o n arc unheard-of mncepo during the m n d phase o within the limits o f philosophy. r e v e d o r nor. A5 the operation that leads to the pmduction of that spa= of possibility. “in dissymmmical fashion. however. Determined as chiasmatic. since it d w s not mean identity. . The relation of the conceptual dyads to t h infrastructures ~ is one of presuppositions.DECONSTRUCTIVE METHODOLOGY =73 its nngF further than rhc other: h i s is the figure o f the‘doubltgesture. Indeed. Whereas the first gesture plays estircly within the dosure o f metaphysics. . is not only formal. the scmnd altFmptS a breakthrough toward a Cerrain outside of philw0phy:These two gestures arc o f different bearing and scopc. ensures thc rcinhption-that is. it is the matrix o f both thc possibility and impossibility. b do f being simply a mimure that confounds the w o gestures. This space of inscription of the symmetrically organized binary concepts is the space of the infrasrmctura. unequal. But sameness.despite their difference. thus emphasizing heir sameness . Yet what interests us here in particular is the fan that this’chiarrnatic structure of deconstruction is not symmetric. This need for dissymmetry. as well as the hetcragcncityof the two movements of this double-pointed operation o f deconstruction. the second movement of deconstruction is entirely heterogcncour t o the f k t moucmmt. p. the ground and unground. 327). Compared to chc conceptual hierarchies. one o f the points artending i t s range further than thc other. of h e general space of their possibility” (M.

All these aporias. These are not contradictions and aporias proper. freedom. Yet since theseinfrastructure are a sort of repressed reerve. As rhe notion of tho old names of the infrastmcrures has demonstrated. they also by virmc o f their encompassing power delimit the conccpcr of metaphysim. infrastruchlres mainrain a fwthold in the mnceprual order. truth. and disparities characteristic of the discourse of philosophy. Yet tbese same disparitia also limit c thcsc gcsturcs and o f the purity and coherence of the thc ~ o p of philosophical concepts or themes. As a way of summing up. making them. yet which do not seem m disturb the logic of philosophy. 3 hcb. presence. They represent thc rwrplur o f the conceptual dyads or o f the totality of 3 discourse as well as what prevents them or that rotaliry from achieving closure. as the open matrix of the cancepmal differcncm. the spacc of inscription. however.let us review the problems that distinguish deconstruction. of manscendental farms. And yet. they are without the stability and plenirudc “of a form or a n equation. t k two orders communicatc in various ways. differcnccs of Ievcls. since the discourse o f philosophy awommodam them without difficulty. origin. mnsccndmtality. rigorously speaking. All the gestures of philosophy-reflection and transcendentalization. deconsrrucrion addresses many ocher discursive and conceptual inequalities that have never before been questioned by philosophy. They are. and that make it a significant undcrtakinp. the infrastrucrures function as their grounds o f possibility. impossible. is thus in no sense an opening into an inexhaustible realm o f meaning. inequalities of dcvclopmenrs. all the themes of philosophy. As such. in other words. which pertain to the formation o to the development of philosophical argurnenb. In addition to these contraf concepts and dictions and aporiaz. p. These minimal ~ t r u ~ t u r are e s both the . Although entircly differcnt. and the proper-are imposstblc without the differences and discrepancies chat permeate philosophical texts. in the stationary correspondence of a symmetry or a homology” (P. or of a transccndcntal semantic excess. also contribute to the stablishrnent of that logic. Dcmnf contradictions srrunion starts with an interrogation of a variety o and aporias in rhc discaursc of philosophy. and must continue to do so if they are to intervene in it effccrivcly.174 ON DECON5fRUCTION lateral and asymmetric rclation with respect to the r c a h of rhe cona p e . The space occupied by the infrastructures. Deconstruction is an attempt to account for thcse various and essentially h e t e r o p w u s aporias and discursive inequalitis with what I have called infrastcumres. bur primarily those of subjectivity. 46).

The infrastructures achieve this double task. that which makes them impossible. As in Hegel’s speculative thinking. by reinscribing philadophicai argumentation. the space they occupy is not uniform or homcgeneous. Demnstruction does not merely d y metaphysical conEept9.” and whcre. thus. such as. This Is one o f the reasons w h y Demda can say rhat they all entertain a r i t i n g . radically displaces it.o f the canonical philosophical gestures and themes and their ungrounds. the inhstructurcs are incapable o f accounting far themselves. it a n n o t dominate these infrastructures with either its gcstum or i s themes.inframucntres of the formation of concepts. duansbuction exhibits such an absolute other ground as “constitutive” of the canonical philosophical problems. they are akin to writing as it has been dmrmincd by Occidental philosophy sincc Plaro. rcturn to them as to surnahing that. m a i n essential relation to w In addition the infrasmctura are heterogeneous. 08 the devehpment of philosophical argum e n t s . No reflection can reach our for them. These suuctum limit what they make possible by rendering its rigor and purity impossihk. As a solution QF sorts to traditional philosophical problems. Lacking the ability to justify themselves or answer for themselves. where “dialectic has bwn separated from proof. that is. the problem of how something absolute can possibly have a generating. it shows how rhese concepts and t l ~ m c s draw their possibility from that which ultimatdy makcs them impossibIc. engendering. Extending the f philosophy that a ground mmt be different from what requirement o it grounds. like a solid and prcsent ground. or comdtuting function. As an invatigation o ft h w irreducibly hetcrogcneous infrasmctum.” dcconsmction. for instance. and although they form ‘&aim. deconstruction is in -ce a heterology. The inhastructures arc in a dissymmctrical and hetcrogmcous rclacian to what they make possible. The infrastructures arc the internal limit from which classical philosophical concepts and themes take their f o r c e arid ncassity.J7 As a critique of philosophical argumentation and o f reflection as the . Since philosophy has p w n out of these . deconstruction both conserves h e immanence of philosophical argumentation and canept formation while sirnultaneoudy opening it up to that which scructurally disorganizes it. In contrast to the founding concepts o f metaphysics. “the notion of philosophical dcmonsmation has hecn lost. chcy d o not relate to chmselvcs in an identity-producing manner. They are not reflected into themselves.DECONSTRUCTWE METHODOLOGY = 75 grwnds of possibitiri. of the tcxtuaiity of the d i ~ o u r s cof philosophy. would make reflection possible.

Yet witbout in the least trying to do away with philosophy. It is. dcconsttucticin pursucs the formulation of problems that. uritbin philosophy. dcconstnrction is consequently also a critique of the Cartesian dream of a selffoundation and self-justificationo f philosophy. Deconstruction opens philosophy to its Others. Deconstruction traces the inner limits of the project o f a philosophy of philosophy. although 'apparently more easily accommodated by the discourse of literature and critical stylistics. the margin of infrartructural possibilities. arc nonetheless not of that order. drhough it p r o c d s in a new way. This quest into the infrastructures is a philosophical quest.176 ON DECONSTRUCTION major methodological concept of modern philosophy. Literature is only one o f these necessarily plural Others. nor simply to the side. with the rigor o f classical log& and without ever dreaming the empiricist-that is. its style of argumentation. It i s an Othcr which is not simply beyond. the symmetrical-dream of a final impossibility of accounting and founding. .

This SOUKC is iaelf “not essence bur still pansccpds cssence in dignity and surpassing power. pp.” or rather the chains in which they are linkd together. for Derrida.ness is. The “source” o f bcmg and beine. the uguthon. for instance in ‘‘Plmro’s Pharmacy.l DPrrida fo1lows Hcidcggtr’s lead as mll as his warning when.” he demonstrates rhar rht “roum” of all being beyond being is generalized.”’ It i s something more cxalred than being (orrria). opened up in a dcconsuuctive vista. he thinks of the Good as the source of all possible knowledge. form an i r w duciblt “space”-in Platonic term. to that idea (of all other ideas) that is to the objects of cognition and to knowledge irsclf what the sun i s to all visible objects. Yet it is doubrful whether one can call it a form or idea in the first place. as Hcideggcr has pointed out. Furthermore. epekcinn tcs owi--beyad bcing. Con-ly. writing. and the production of discursive totalities The “nature” of the infrastructures can be further clarified by exploring thc “system. whose essential nonrmth and nonptescnu is the fundamentallyundecidable condi tion of p i b i l i t y and impossibility ofpresence in its identity and of identity in its prcsencc (D. Tradjdonally it is assumed rhar when Plato refers in the Republic to the idea mu agnthou. which thus becomes the ultimate source of being. cannot be hastily determined in cthicc-metaphysical tcnns eithcr. succcsshl concept formation. the system or chain beyond being of the various indrasmtcturcs or undcddablrs. argumentadon. becauseof its fundamental indeterminacy. i t is the idea of all ideas. which. infrasimctum are the “grounds” by means o f which deconsnuction attempts to account for rhe ‘saontradictionr”and dissimilarities in. or rathergmernl.9 A System beyond Being 1 Aswe have seen. the idea o f a . 167-1681. from a philosophical standpoint.

pp. the aesthetic of the fragment presupposes the earty determination of philosophy as epistme. Let u s first briefly examine the ways in which Derrida assumes certain systematic intentions without. yielding to tho . for instance.” . pp. Yer at the same time. As proved in particular by the later renewal of antisysternaric thoughr in Hamann. and hence the systematic exposition and construction of systems. W e have already seen thar Derrida’s effom to reach a beyond of the classical opposition of logic and a[ogic do not lead him to abandon all rigor in argumentation. see also S. however. Take. which is btyond the traditional oppositions of c o n q t s and of the argumentative and discursive discrepancies to which dmnsrmmion has made us sensitive. l24. he admits his relunance “for obvious reasons. Niemchc. fragmentary practice is in no sense radicaliy subversive of the idea o f science or o f systcmaticiry as characteristic of the philosophical enterprise. philosophy has contained the two absolutely symmetrical alternatives o f a systematic and a nonsystematic approach ta truth. Yet thc claim thar Derrida’s philosophical clforts arc not without systematical intentions needs immediate clarification.Among the numerous instances of theconcepr of system in the rexts o f Dcrrida. owing to the general assumption that his philowphy is antisystematical. of which fragmentation gives a t best a very oblique image. rather.iotraphilosophical determination of the fragmenr. 3-4. the beginning af Positions.178 O N DECONSTRUCTION general sysrem is inseparabie from this space. where Derrida refers to “a certain system [of his work! somewhere open to an undecidable resource that sets the system into motion” and determines it to be an interrogation of the order of reasons t h a t traditionally informs systmaric enterprises. a genuine possibility wiibin philosophy itself.134). From its inception in Greek thought. one must G e m rhe temptation-made possible by ces~urccs within the codified inf philosophy itself-simply to determine it as terpretive possibilities o antisystematic. I shall mention onnly the following passages from the c s a y “Differance. In order to come to grips with Derrida’s thought. and others. Given the complicity between pretentions to systematiciry and the antisysremaric practices in philosophy. and it carries out the systematic requirements of philosophy in its own way. the Romanr i a . with ur without quotation marks. it is. Neither does his critique of the idea of rigorous science as the timeless telos of all genuine philosophy entail a mere renunciation of scientificity and systematic intentions. to call lthe text o f that system] fragmentary” (P. we must presume thar Dcrrida’s exploration Qf the infrastnrmrcs both continua the 5ystematic tclos of philosophy and attempts something entirely differenr. This antisysrcmatic.

but without asserring the opposing [and contemporaneous)value o f the fragment. circumscribed function” (SP. As an intemption of the rot& of reflection. This classical rejection of rotalitadon underlies the Ramantic theology o f the fragment. without rcnrs a critique o revetting to a Romantic gesture d fragmentation. only by means of a faultlm exposition of the sysrem of totality of all determinations of thought coufd Hcgel hopc both to ovcrcume the antinomies of reflection. Derrida’s undertaking is to be v i m 4 as ”broaching the deconstruction of the greatest totulity-the concept of the episteme and logocentric metaphysia” (OG. Derrida outhes a different objection to the possibility of totalization: way: no Iongrr fmm rhc Nontoulizrtion can atso be dercrmintd in a&r standpoint of a concept of finitude as relgatiom m the empirical. There i s too much. mom than onc can say” (WD. punmal. for deconstruction is an operation that also qu-tions the possibility o f totalization. and immediate intuition.p. becomes an included. but from the standpoint o f h e conccpt of p h y . translation slightly modified). 289). which had become obvious w i t h “a system of ciphers that is not dominated by truth value. insofar as that totality is constituted by the value o f the system. Derrida’s philosophy is often seen as indiscriminately critical of the epistemic and systematic exigencies of philosophy. If totafiution no longer has any mcening. which is itself dependent on the possibility of apprehending totality and system in a pointlike. legislation by mtalizanon is the speculative answer to the aporis of reflection. As we have Seen in Hegel.the i n b i a n a r o f a field cannot bt covered bi a finite glance o r a finite discount. which judges mtalizacion impossible on account of man’s finitude: “One then refers t o the empiricai endeavor of tirhcr a subjca or a finite diswursc in a vain and breathless quest o f an infinite richness it can never master. L 149. languageand a finite languagr-cxcludcs totalilation.T h i s field is in cffcct . to make it tremble in its entirety. bur b m u x thc nature o f h e field-that is. Derrida’s intention must thus be viewed a5 aiming at a more encompassing system which inscribes the value of systematicity while criticizing thar very value. which in this manner 4 7 . inscribed. deconstruction also repref the concept and possibility o f system. DcconstruEtion has h n explicitly constmcd by Derrida as an attempt to shake toraliry. it is nor baa.pp. 461. and to carry out and fulfill radically what had u n t i l then bcen only reflection‘s promise. p. Yet this critique of the h i t s of tonhation does not procecd by means of a dassical refutation.A SYSTEM BEYOND 8EING 1 7 9 where he speaks of the space of the infraspuctures as “a spstcm which is no longer that of presence but that of differana” or .

i n Of Gromrnatology. there are sources. Here. that t h i s mm- . thc space of infrastrucrurcs. 277). as thc space of structurality in general. can a single origin be rigorously delimited. rhc infrastructures do not form a homogcntaus body. infinity and the opposition o the finire. however. the space opened up by the deconstruction. it also consrirutes rhe systemaricity of irreducible multipliciry of infrastmctural instances. 289) But this deconsrructive interpretation o f totality and system. p. faithfully repeats this totality in its totality while simultaneously making it trcmblc. from ant source's refctral to another. perhaps. that of the infrastructures. they can and musc bc syscentariztd. rhcre is something missing frum it: a center which arrests and grounds the playotsubairutions. making i t insecure in its most assured evidences. satisfy itsclf with the mere intuition of originary plurality. whole and part. Deconstruction does not. up M a certain point. despite what fundamentally inhibits its eventual totalization is not without structure or systematicity. is also the space o f the general *tern. the infrastructures form chains. thar is to say. Since it lies beyond f system and fragment. the totality of onto-theology. as in the classicaf hyparhcsis. is not unifarm or formed from one substance. Their space has no simple structure. baausc instcad of bcing an inexhaustible field. instcad of bcing roa largc. it is a hetcrolugical space o f . but begins to determine the taw of the complicity of origins. When Derrida writes. one can bcst begin to understand deconstruction's critique of the classical concept of origin as a point of presence and simpliciry to which reflection tries to rettlrn as t o a n ultimate ground from which everything else can bc deduced. As we shall sec. The pluralization of the origin i s a f i r s step toward a demnstruction of the value of origin. p. it does not content itself with opposing thc manifold to the one. But bccause it is situated beyond the common opposition of structure and gcncsis. Moreover. As 1 have suggested. and is not composed throughout in the same manner. a t the bcncfit and in the pcrspcaive of the nontotalizable field of the infrastructures. (WD.f 80 ON DECONSTRUCTION chat ofphy. that is t m say. Only by abstraction from rhar plurality. the source i s other and plural" ( M . B field of infinite substitutions only bcwuae it io finite. This deconstruction begins with the recognition that the 50urce or origin is characterized by a certain heterogeneity: "at first. The deconsrructive undoing of the greatest tomlity. one of the very conditions of finding its foorhold within the logic being deconsrmcred. The mimicry o f totality and o f the pretension to systcmaticity is an inseparable clement of deconstruction. d w s nor preclude a11 sysrrmaticity.

make t h e phenomena structural phenomena. In a negarivc hshion. or k i n g in-the-World. to the general system i n which single Qrigins arc carved out.c: The Quesrion of Truth. o f murse. mukpliciry.’ ’I4 The irrcducihly multifarious charaEnriscics o f k i n g that simultancously CMlStitlloe an underivable phcnomcnon like Jking-in. but as yet we have not aaid anything about the unity of rhis plurality . all one can say rrgardingthe question about the unity of thcsc plural m ~ c t u r c s . nothing has brm dnidcd regarding thc question whether there is only one kind of unity of this pluraliy or w h e k unity ir nm agrin the ride for a m a i n palaibiliiicr rhar belong M Dmeh i d f . “Being-in. he is m a n i b t l y referring to t h e infrasmtctural chain.” H e writes: ‘*The fact t h a t something primordial is underivable does not rule out thc possibility that a multiplicity of rharacteristia of king may bc constitutive for it. the multiple and constitutivc existential characteristics (Seinschmuktrre)of an underivable and thus imduably original phenomenon such as h-seirt. a simultaneity of equally original instances or smcrum. in the context OF II p l e m i c against German Idealism’s pretcnrions to having deduced the oneness o f origin. If these show themselves. He is continuing a tradition that s t a m wid Husscrl and Heidcgger. and he curies ir up to a decisive ruraing point. underivarivcnss.. then existentiaIly they are equiprimordid (g/eichrsp&g!icb). at mnrrmcdng one an mp of the other. M d a i s not alone in rhis effort to formulate an organizcd multiplicity o f origins (which i s not. the same thing as an abxncc o f origins). we have alrcsdy warded off rhe possibility of deriving onc fmm thc ather. In his lectures of 1 9 2 5 4 6 entitled L0p. . what is oomprisbd by cquiprirnordiality can be understoodonly under the btk of structure. tndeed.A S Y S t P M BEYOND BETNG 181 p l i c i t yo f originsmay be caIled arche-writing. b t h Husxrl and Heidintroduced the idea of GIeichrsp+glichkeir. The phenomenon of the cquiprimordhlity of constitutive items has often been disregarded in ontology. i na fundamental and ontological pcffpective. Above all. because of a methodologically unrestrained tendency to derive everything and anything from one simple ‘primal ground. Heidcggcr intraduces this concept in order M dtscribc. and srmcnrra1icy arc t h e prime characteristics o f cquiprimordiality.’ Let us restrict ourselves to one example o f this “equiprirnorddity” in Hcidegger alone. Heidcgger further refines the concept of equiprimordiality: In a g c n d mode we say that the 5o-allcd structures that shows plurality pcidcgger m Besorgm and Wirsaqe as quipdmordial possibilities o f D&] are equiprimordid In this way. In Being umd Time.

With this it is shown. For Heidcgger.”‘ But although these principtes arc dctermined as pairs in a process of limiting exclusion between complementary alumativts such as the one and the Other.182 ON DBCON5TRWffTOH is that this unity is not il sum total in the ynsc &as as a unity. in other words. Flach writm ‘The One and the Other are logically equiprimordial. thc plurality of thc in thernsetves hererothetical. As a result. according t a5 a unity of one und the Other. Yet for Heidegger these simuianeously coeval and originary srruccures are still contained within a unity. as a beginning. consequently. and although one must recognize a multiplicity o f such principles. The absolure minimum ofthe purely logical obiect is the unity o f the equiprimordial moments of the one and rhc Other. so IO speak. in which the elemcnrs would be at once themselves and their opposites. amtained in oneness.isa positively intinite thought. and hence the plurality of thought. p d c s plurality and. the onc is not disringuiqhcd hy prioricy over rhe Orhcr. which I discussed foundation o toward the end of Part 1. coeval o r i ~ n s arc. o f general simpliciry. because the one and the Other arc simultanmusly original in the last principles of thought. Flach comes r o the candusion that these principles cannot be unities of idcntiry. Equiprimordial structural phenomena are therefore hmrogeneous. the irreducibly heterogeneous strunural possibiiitics form a totality that. k. they must also be related a 5 moments to a totality-the totality of the originary sphere-in which they receive thcir final determination. can only be thought hctcrologically. . in a well-founded manner. the unity of this. plurality is a totality that. rhat is. Moreover. . they are also logically totally cquivalcnr’ . In his investigation o f the ultimate principle of thought. T h e ultimate prino Flach. ultimate principles of thought is I . ‘they do not only logically belong to onc another. m e n by the possible plurality o the multiplicities may give rise. that what we can think as the last instance represents at least a duplicity. Plurality. ciple. On the contrary. in an originary fashion. But this can also be wen in Flach’s hcterological f the fundamental principles of logic. it would follow its parts as their rcsulg so t o speak. precedes its Severance into amultiplicity. as Flach remarks. Quoring Rickerr. In spite of their plurality. pam from itself. first and foremost.’ The plurally structured origins are thus characterized nor only by the fact that they cannot be derived but also by the fact that the elements that enter their composition cannot be dcrivcd from one another. It seems that the unity and totality o f the multiplicity are not put into f rhe unities to which quation as such.

it is because Flach‘s haemlogical principic implics a homogeneity o f that which enters into conjunction. either by what they make possible or by themselves. which prcmeds from an awareness of this paradox. that is to say. grounds radically quesdons the philosophical gesture by which the structural multiplicity of the cocval and underivable origioary phenomena is tamed into one whole. in distinction from Flach’s contention that principles are endowed with a constituting function oniy if they are linked together in the totality of rhc originary oneness of thought. which also underminw all domination of the system by one single infrastructure. their sysrem cannot be absolutcly dosed OHinto a unity. or Fl&s heternlogical prinapls. Undoubtedly thc infrastructura resemble dx Heideggcrian s u u d possibiiities. if Flach’s ultimate principles contain rhe one und the Other. Yet precisely becauw they cannot be dominated.” e t if the equiprimordialicy of the one writes Flach. Precisely k u s e of this paradox.of the same ontological order. ultimate stmctum. hetcrologjcal principles (onelmultiplicity) to rhe srams o fa m a t r i x for all principles and thus confers unity upon their plurality. As w e shall see. the initially heternlogical rnultiplicky of fundamental p r i n a p k is turned into a synthetic uNry. Now. 1t prcsupposcs not only the equivalence of rhc one and the Other but also their similarity in nature. Derrida’a hecerological doctrine of inframctural. from the positions discwed up to this point. one must distinguish Derrida’s investigation into the hetcrological i n h a m c tural grounds. AIthough the plural infrastructures’ lack of final unity indicates that . This possibility. each of the inframuctures can claim to represent all rhe others and thus to function as thc matrix of possibility for them all. Indeed. h o m e r . unity and muttiplicity.israiscdnonEel~sto a principleofprinciplcs. which raises one of the dually structured. constitutivc of thc very nation o f equiprimordial principles. what allows him (orHwserl or Heidcgger) to raise any of these principles to a position o f dominance over all the other principles? One principle. multiple and underivablc.A SYSTEM BEYOND BEING IS? synthetic “The absolute is therefore this absolutely synthetic unity. consequently prevents its evenma1 closure. and also in distinction horn similar statements by Husserl and Hcidcggcr. By this paradox.’ Y and the Other lends itself to such a synthesis. none of whose components has any priorityovcrthe otherP. in which it also partakes. in conclusion. What is equipdmordial thus a150 appears to be. one heterothctical opposition of h e sysrem o f the equiprimordial structural and minimal principlcs of thought is turned into the possibility of the system of all principles.

40). and their chains too can enter into multiple mmbinations. slightly more effervescent crucibles” ‘(P. Each infrastructure partakes in a chain or in several chains. sites o f pasage necessary for a very largc number of marks. are not simply metonymic operations “that would leave intact the conceptual identitics. that the chain would be happy just to translate. they are not synonyms for one identical nrm. as we have seen. become necessary according t o context.endless infinity. k i n g sysremarizable themsectves. Let u5 not forget rhar the infrasrructures are the conditions o f possibility (and impossibility) of rhc conceptual differences as well as of discursive inequalities. It is more appropriate to understand this proccss of substitution as one of supplementation. or atuoms. because they have no identity in themselves. however. Yet thcse substitutions are not synonymous substitutions. for examplc. The m m p t of equiprimordiality is thus not sufficient to comprchend the irreducible multipIidty of the universality of the infrastructures. the signified idealities. but rather focal points o f economic condensation. First. Strictly speaking they form no . 8 4 ON DECONSTRUCT I0N they arc not principles properly speakin& this is not a privation. The system is best conceived of as one of chains. chat is. allhough nor in the sensc of an . simple elments. for it allows the infrastructures. withour. and even less does it constimtc a lexicon. ir is an open system. to accounr for the “antinomies” o f philosophical discourse. or rcscrve/remark/retrdiz/ restnncelretard-each term can be replaced by or substituted for the othct. p. because these are nor atom. The substitutions within chains. which. T ~ E infrastructures can he linked together in diffcrmt ways. 141. One such antinomy i s the paradox consrimrive of a doctrine of Last prinapla. but which it nmcr dominatm tn such a chain-arche-trace/arche-wntingldifferance/supplementarity. thus. Derrida notes in Positions: “By definirion the list [of the infrastrucruresl ha5 no tavonomical closure. they are what makes rhe project ~f systematization possible. Although the rems o f rhe chains are mulogous to each other. The system o f the infrastructures is not a unity or totaliry. Because the infrastructures are not atoms.p . what Hegel called bad or spurious infinity. the irreducibly mulriplcchains cannot be garhcred once and for all upon themselves in some ideal puriry. since the infrastructures are nor simply principles.r . it simply means that their system cannot be closed upon itself by means of some dominating center. to put inro circulation” (P. or mmge/marqve/rnarche.’ Nor is it a finite sysrcm. Derrida contends. Yet this is not to say that a certain systematization cannot apply to them.

A SYSTEM BEYOND BEING *s5 system. In what follows. or on what makes systemancity as such both neeesFary and impossible. on rhc uni- . or s y s t e m a h d because it is precisely its play that makes t h m projects possible.” demonstrate i s the g m r d system. clarity. T H E INFRASTRUCTURAL CHAIN 7hc concatenation t o w h i h the infrastructures lend themselves is nor the result o f an aIlcged plenitude or abundance Qf transformations. what the infrutructual chains. Indeed. my d b s s i o n o f infrastructure US archc-mce. rhcrcfolc. paradoxically. ideslizcd. the chains af a number of “sites of passage necessary for a vcry large number of marks. and certitude o f rhc infrascrcturc. T h e 0s of these individualizations is meant to bring to the fore different Fades o f the breadth. As a result. To say that they arc irreducibly singular. T h e s y s m of the infrastructures cannot be formalized. 46). the conjunction CIS seeryes to restore this irreducible singularity and plurality. lls differancc. of the revealing of an esscncc. “can ncvcr be s t a b d i d in the plmicuh ofa form or an equation. their * “-’ cannot be fctmlizcd. in the etationary correspondence of a symmcay or a homology” (Pp. and not the expressions of a prior infrastructural cssence. Infrastructure i s to be thought of in the plural. and I shall show that deconstruction is a medit a t i o n on the general system.. it m e 9 a very d i f f m n t purpose here. The infrastructures. Let us now inquire into some infrasmraral examples in order to demonstrare rhar sysrematic intentions are n o t foreign M rhc field of infrasrrumm. Demda remarks. in what 1 shall cali a gmeml r h e q of doybling. and so on entails no predication or limimrion of rhc infrasmccurc ifselfi I have already insisted on the purely expository grounds f o r my gcneralizarion of the term inpamrrctwc. k univcnaliry to which philosophical concepts must Compared to t pretend. rhc infraasaucturc is not a leading mnccpt or genus which could be distinguished fram its subordinate species. Atthough as traditionally serves as an operator ofphenomenologization. appearing each time as diMrmt unitirs reflected into thcmselvcs. docs not impinge on their universality. infrasmmctural legitirnanon hinges. as supplementarity. where it is meant to indicate spcci6c inhastructural syntheses or “functions” that ate imdudbly dn@ar. an investigation o f the gmwul system amounts to a sort o f classification of a variety of such synthcss. I shall a150 b c u n z e the field of infrastrucmm as a spaa o f repetitionand self-doubling.

o f something 1 shall initially reEer to as a radical ernpiricity. one must keep E n mind that they arc nor a s p a s or facm of a unity that offers itself as such in their disguise. T h e cancatenations between various infrastructurm-bctwcen. the word f which the metaphysica1 concepts of trace and designates something o presence are rhe erasure. From Derrida’s analysis o f Heidegger’s canccpr o f die [riibe Spur. to a ccrrain s f r a t i t i d systematization. ir follows that rrace is the necessarily mctaphysical concept that names an originary uacing and effacement. p. or rather the generality.andFreud‘s.trucemakes reference to Nietzsche’s . nor can they be ried together retrospively. suupplementarity. For essmiid reasons. and their organization changes according to whar they are supposed to account for. tzppr&-coup. thc infrastructural synthcses okcn appear complemcntary or overlapping. synopses. they have the appearancc of scenes. diffetance. Dtrtida indicates a number of givens in the f philosophy that motivated his choice o f contcmponry discourse o the word truce 10 designate a specific inkasmumural amcuhdon. of which the traditional conceptual dyad of trace and presence within f effacement (M. or for that matter of dialectical time. k i n a s ’ s and Heidcggdr preoccupation with a critique of the value of presence as constitutive o f classical ontology. for cxarnplc.r86 ON WECOhlSTRUtTION versality. 66). All I want to show is that the infrastrucrures tend themselves to a certain systcmaticity. the infrastructural syntheses ace nor phenomena in the first place but represent an articulation “older” than the difference between bcing and appearance. from which it is derived. then. Moreover. This f these can be acbievcd by S-CKiItg side by side a limited number o undecidables and exploringsorne of the ways in which they implicate one another. What. It must be noted that trace is a metaphysical concept on the same ground as the concept o f pmscna as self-praence. archctrace. the metaphysical text is the tram o then. The word . stagings. iterability. T h e signifying chains of thc infrastructures are voluminous. Yet for Derrida. The inhasrrucrural r a i n are not the traits ofsomething. there is no such prior unity. don the word truce signify? . My goal here is more limited. and re-marking4o not obey the linearity of logical time. I cannot hope ro achieve any definitive premtation o f the “system” of the infrastructures. The hfrusrructurc as Arcbe-Trace In Of Grummorolqy. If. appearance and appearing.



As I have indicated, it n a m a somahing of which presence and w c e , or more gmeraIly self and Other, are the crasun Within the discourse of philosophy. Whereas philosophy traditionally considers the Other t~ be SKondary to the self, the Other of the self, thus annulling the Other in its own right, Demda’s inquiry into their difference leads to the recognition of a certain irreducibility of the
Other with respcct t o the self. Indccd, dtspitc the s r l f s traditional i the Other to itself, its own identity is a function of Its subjection o dcmarcarion from the Ocher, which thus becomes endowed with an mscntial autonomy. The archetrace is the consrituting possibiIiry of this differential interplay h e e n scIf and Other, in short, of what is traditionally understood as difference. Most generally speaking, the originary tram designam the minimal rburtuie required for the exisancc of any difference (oropposition) o f urns (and what they stand for). that is, f o r any relation to alterity. Withi metaphysics, the difference b e e n two t e r n is invariably pcrccived from the pcrspcctivc ofone of the terms, the term o f plcnitude, from which the second term ,of the opposition is held t o derive; the first term is not taken to bc affmcd by h c fact that it appears in opposition to another, less valorized term. In contrast, the arche-trace stems from ZH insight into the mnstiruting function of diffcrcna, the bol$irrg-against-anotber,of perspective variations (AbrchaMtngen), to use a Husscrlian term. The problcmatic o f the archc-trace articul a m the recognition that the privileged term in a difference of opposmon would not a p p r as such without Ihc difference o r opposih that gives it form. Consequently, the archetrace is a reflection on the form that a term or entity of plcnitude must take, insofar a5 it can appear only in oppitians or dyadic muctures; it is a meditation upon the indissocisblc uppeahg o f what mmcs m the fore with another, lcsscr term or entity. The archetrace explains why a concept ,ofpltnirude or presencecan be thought only within dyadic canccptual

Lct us attemptto imaginea mncepcthat has never bcen held against rdation. Entirely undemmincd, it would another in a di~hotomous bc altogether unintelligible; moreover, it would not yet be a concept. Now, supposc it appcarcd once and only oncc, as if by accident, in a differential relation to another term or entity; then, the very possibility of that accident would have to be accounted for by dcrnonmating what made it possible for it to suffer such an accident. Such a demonstration would reveal that that concept or entity indudcs, in one way or another, what it is opposed to, and also include most



fundamentaIly, the mark of the negativity characteristic of difference. Yet conccptualized entities appcar always simultaneously with other concepts in hierarchically determined (conflictual) oppositions. To say that a concept appears simultaneously with its polar opposite, which is usually in the lower position, designating the simulacrum of the value referred ro by the first, is to admir char that concepr can be what it is suppmed to be onIy fn distinguishing itself from another term that it adds to itself. T h e identity of the leading term, therefore, requires that the possibility of its own duplication and of its reference to another bc inscribcd wirhin itself. Otherwise it could nor enter into opposition with another term, in comparison with which it is what it is. Arche-truce is the name for rhe universality of this diffmence, for the necessary possibdiry of inscription in general, which ItIMSt affect a concept and value of plenitude insofar as it appears as such only within 3 difference or opposition. Since a mnceptual entity is, by right, sclf-identical only insofar as it calls upon its lower self in a dyadic structure, this difermce is not accidental but is the possibility af both its identity and its difference from an Other. Any difference or opposition between rerms, concepts, thing%and so on presupposes rhis difference, which intimately affects everything that enters into a relation of difference o r opposition-that is to say, everything-because it is the condition as such of thc possibility of entering into a

Since, within the sphere of metaphysics, a trace is dcrivarivc of. and opposed to, an instant or instance of ful1 presence, the tram rhar names the d i f f m c e , and char must inhabit that agency of full prcsence in order to distinguish it from its rrace, must be called archetrace. It is a trace of which the rraa is only a trace, and it has breached the moment of hll p r a n c e , which can thus appear in all its plenitude, in opposition to the lack of plenitude conceptualized by the mnvcntional trace. What the arche-trace thus allows to appear in a difference af values, concepts, or entides is its own effacement ifi the form of the valorized value and in the form of the absence of that value, a n absence which is the only possible rcpresentation of the archetrace within the realm of appearances. The trace is indeed consdrurtd by the possibiliry of such an effacement. ‘The trace is the erasure o f sdhood, of ant’s own presence, and i s constituted by the threar or anguish ofits irrernediabtc disappearance. of the disappearance of its disappearance. An unerasable trace is not a trace, it is a full prcsencc, an immobile and uncorrumible substance. a ,son of Cod. a sien ” of parousia and nor a seed, that is a mortal g e m . This erasure i s dcath itself‘’ (WD, p. 230).



The possibility of erasure wnstiturivc o f the me shows itself in

b e tram’s effacement of what could maintain the tram in prscnce.
The tracing o f
the tram is

identical with that effacement, and &us

w i t h the self-erasure of the trace. Through the effacement of what a u l d maintain it in prcscna, rhe ma- consticures itself as relation ~6another tract. Hmcq “SinGC’the trace can onIy imprint itxlf by referringto the other, to another uaa . . by letting itself be upsraged and fOrgoKCn, i s force of produdion stands in necessary relation to the energy of i a erasure’’ (D, p. 3311. Tracing and effacing are not

simply in u relation of cxreriority; what constitutes the trace in depth is precisely the relationto Otherness by which the trace’s self-identity and df-prescncc are marked, and thus effaced, by the detour through rhc Other. Also, bust of this soiidarity between tracing and cffacing, the archetram can never be prtstnrcd as such ouside the differences that it maltes possible and as which it itself disappears. “It is itself a trace that can nevcr bc prcsmtcd, that is, can never appear ,and manifest itself as such in its phenomenon, It is a trace that lies beyond what profoundly ties fundamental antology to phenomcaology. AIways deferring, the trace is never ptescntcd as s u h . In prrxnting itself it becomes effaced” (SP, p. 154; translation slightly modified). Indeed, if the truce is relation to anorher trace in selfeffacement only, then ir has nothing thar could be called its own or that could, as its proper es6cnce. be made to appear as such. Fot essential reasons, nothing of the infrastructure arche-traa as such can become present. Itfollowsrhatitisimpassiblerr,arkwhatrhearchc-tfacc~, because this would imply that it couId appear, come into ~ i min , its essence. To s k what the arche-traw is is to pmuppox a differcnce, between appearance and essence for instance, which the arche-trace is intended to explain. Although this i n f r a s m m r e cannot, for these reasons, be 6xcd within the definirc and fuIly decidable contours of an eidos, a deseriptian of its main fcamres is nor thereby precluded. No one would challenge the nuclear physicist’s assumption of the theoretical “txistence” of such particles a5 quarks or gluons, an assumption required by quantum chromodynamics to explain artain properties o f matter on the subatomic level. Such a hypothesis could never be mhrantiared rhrough rhe perception of such a single, uncombined particle, aithough its “existence” can bc i n d i d y inferred from cxpcriencc, since it leaves dcrccrablc signatures. Yet since rhtse signamrts do not rand fat rhe eximnce of the partide as such, as &c sclf-prescnt entity, but only justify its assumption as that of a necessary possibility or mathematical function, the ontological status



of these particles is most peculiar. In an anahgous way, an infrastructure such as the archvcrace must be assumed if one is to explain the difference asxlciatcd with concepts and entities We begin to 5ee, writes Derrida, that ‘‘difference cannot be thought without the mce” (OG, p. 57). The arche-tracc, or difference in itself, is not B difference with respect to an already constituted presence. On the conrrary, as “an originary synthesis not preceded by any absolute simplicity,” it ie before all determination o f a particular ditkrence “the PWE movement which produces difference” (OG. p. 62). Since it produces differends as an effect, the arche-trace is thus mow originary than the diffcrends it consritutcs. As the origin of differencc, however, the archemace also undermints the value of origin, for reasons discussed in previous chapters. “The trace is not only the disappearance of origin-within the discourse that we sustain and according r o the path that we follow it rncans that the origin did not even disappear, that it was never constituted except reciprocally by a non-origin, the trace, which thus hecomes the origin o f the origin” (OG, p. 61). Similarly, and for the same reasons, the arche-trace is no longer a principle properly speaking. If the mace cannot be submimd to the onto-phenomenological quesrion of essence, it is because i n irs case one can ‘*no longer trust even tbc opposition of tam and principle, which, in a11 its metaphysical, ontological, and transcendental forms, has always functioncd wirhin rhc system o f what is” (OG. p. 75). Although no difference a n be thought without presupposing the archetrace, its conaituring funcrion can no longer be cast within the framework of such concepts as origin or principle. It cannot be fully anti appropriately accounted for with the traditional judiciary questions. How, then, is the archc-trace, as an irreduciblyoriginary synthesis, capable o f cansumring differences? The arche-mace has already been described a5 the minimal scructurc of all difference, and hcncc o f all alrerity between rerms or entities. Given the solidarity between tracing and cffacing. thc infrastructure arche-trace can now be made more precise by detcrmfning it in t a m s of what Derrida calls a “strucnIre de renvoi generalisit? (M. p. 24). T h e notion o f rhucture de renvoi translates the German Ve‘cl.lueismgssttuRturand has been rendered by it5 English translators as “referential smcrure,” *‘structureof referral,” or “structure of reference.” The archetract is a minimal structure o f generalized refercnce, whcreby r e f m c e must be understood, in the broadest scnseofreferring, as alluding or pointingto Eomcthing other. The arche-rnce is a minimal structure of refcrral to the extent that it constitutes difiercncc betwccn tcrms or cntities. Indeed, what



it dcsaibwis that all reference ro 5elFakcs place by way of a detour through an Other and thus prcsuppoxs an originary df-cffaccrnent. The arche-trace unites the double movement of referrncc (to self or Other) and o f self-diversion. Derrida conceprualizcs this structure of t e C f a m I , a structure closely related to what Husserl calls “fomard c f e r e n m ”(Hin-md Rlicktvrisirngen], in Speech and and backward r Pbmornma, as p a n o f a discussion of Hwerl’s C m investigation in h g h l Imstigaiiom. Aidad by the disaqancy betwom various strata o f description within the work of Wusserl, Derrida proceeds, against Husscrl’s cxp’css wish, m a dwnsmrctive generalization of inditarion, which this philosopher had attempted to dist.inmish from a p e s sion as one sip-hnction from another. For Husserl, indication is a made o f assadation of ideas characterized by empirical modvadon; f any truth value. In indication, a thing d O C g consequently, it is void o not count scparaoly but onIy insofar as ir helps to present and point M anothwthing. Husscrl writes, “The single item itself, in thme various forward and backward references, is no mere experienced cuntcnr, but an apparent objm (or part, property, etc., of the same) &at appears only in so far ss experience (Erfahrung) endows m t e n t s with a new phenomenological cburacter,.so that they no longer count separately, but hdp to present an objea different from themselvcs.”’ According to Husscrl, exprtssion and its meaning function arc entirely different from indication. In solitary m e n t a l life, where .it a c h i m s total purity, expression is free o f all indication and intimation. Derrida’s argument in Speech and Pbrnonrena demonstrates that this essential Hurserfian distinction (essential because the privileging o f expression over indicadon inauguram the specific domain of phenomenological mearch-intentional consciousness and cxpcricncc) cannot ultimately be upheld, since indication, in the form of selfintimation, must inhabit expression even in its pure form of mental soliloquy. Obvioudy enou&, the ensuing genetalirion of indication f indication, which, implicr the nrccssity for a cornplm rethinking o in the essential Husserlian distinction, had ban entirely determined from the pcrspxivc of expmion-that is, as a deficient and derivarive made of exprcrsion. The arche-uaa &us n a m a a ndical gcncralization o f the indicative function. As an originary nonpresence and dterity at rhe root of what Husserl mccptualized under the name expression-the ideal self-presmce of meaning without the mediation of signs-the arche-trace is thought as the mndition of the ideality of meaning and of self-prcscnce in gencral, insofar as both must he infinitely repcatable in order to bc


what they arc supposed to be. This necessary possibility of n-petition in irs most general form-without which the ideality of meaning or seIf+prescnce, that is, of the domain proper of phenomennlugical investigation.could not come about-is the “trace in thc most universal smw.” The irreducible and unavoidable nonpresence and alterity within self-pmmce and meaning strikes. says Derrida, “at the very m t of the argument for the uselessness of signs [of indication, intimation, and so on! in the self-relation.” Indeed, for a n idcal entity to repeat irself, it must be able to intimate itsdl in contrasr to an Other from which it is different. T h e trace that makes possible such reference to self by way o f an Other is “more ‘primordial’ than what i s phenornenologically primordial,’’ or pristine to cxpression-that is, meaning. self-presence, evidence, and M on. T h e originary trace is thus the: constituting impurity or alterity, the constituting nonpresence, that allows the phenorneno’togically primordial to come into its own by providing the phenomenologicaIly primordial with the mark of a minimal difference within which it can repeat itself infinitely as the same by referring to an Other and to (an Other of) i t d f within itself. In short, the archc-trace must be understood a5 the foldaf an irreducible “bending-back.” as a minimal ,(setf--)difference within (selh)identity, which secures xlfhwd and self-presence through the detour of oneself [as Other) to oneself. The arche-trace is both thc minimal difterencr requited by selfrepetition, and thus by ideality, and the minimal relarion 10an Other (the reladon of indication). wirhour which a self could not bc self, As the very condition of being a self, the archctrace is the inscription within the stigme o f self of “the other point toward which it cantinually drifts” (D, p . 241). Yet clearly enough, in this most universal sense, the tncc is also that which forever prevents a self from being self, since the reladon IO Other is “older” than selfhood. The structurc o f generalized reference that is the archc-tracc is also the limit of the f self-Identical referent. In irs capacity as such a general structure o referral, thc archc-trace constimtcs the minimal synthesis of self-presence and self-idcntity through self-deportation. The arche-race is this minimal unity of being at oncc oneself and an Other; it i s the minimal and general structure of the constitution of an identity through relation to alterity; it is, consequently, a strucfllfe o f the retention o f thc mark o f rhe Orher by the self, by which the sclf is what it is only insofar as the interval that constitutes it simultaneously divides it. This double movement is not that of a n already constituted identity or personality, but is the minimal logical 5tmcture of relation to



a l k t y that such a constitution must presuppose. The difference that such a consdrution entails is the trace ofthe archc-aacc. the trace a s which the arche-trace appcars; but the minimal rcfcrendal structure that is the arche-trace dDcs not appear us such in what it mnstitures as the trace of its effacement. As we have men, it rather disuppeam in what it makes possible, since effacement, from the start, constitute the trace as a trace. Effacement belong to the structure of the trace, f the rcbrtntial strumre makes selfsince the minimal synthesis o diverring and being marked by rhc Other a condition o f self-identity, For rhe same reason, the irreducible dupIicity of the synthesis of this structure of rcfetral is the origin of repetition and thus idealization, &cause “this trace is the-opening of the Srsr cxterioriry in general, the enigmatic relation of the living to its other and of an inside to an outside: spacing,” it is also the origin o f spacc (OG, p. 70). Moreover, bccausc the doubling characteristic of the structure o f referentiality is a proms of tcmporalization as well, it functions equalIy as the origin o f what is called time. These different implications of the infrastructure, or general S~UCNCC o f referral, will be anal+ in more detail. As archctcace, the general structure o f reference-that is to say, the minimal unity of self and Other before all relations between constituted personalities, entities, o r idenritics-explains the n m sary insaiption of all of phiIosophy’s axial concepts (and of what they designate) within differential structures or sysrcms. Also calling the a d e - m c e arche-writing, Denida notes: “To think the unique within the system, to inscribe it there, such is the gcstureof the archewriting: arche-violence, loss o f the proper, of absolute proximity, of sclf-pmcncc, in truth the loss o f what has never taken place of a self-presence which has never been given but only dreamed of and always already split, repeated, incapable of appearing to itseld except in its own disappearance” (OG, p. 112). In its capacity as archc-trace, the gcncral struucfllrc o f reference, whereby constitution o f self a n rake place only through relation to Other, aaoun!s for the fact and the necessity that all concepts a p p r in opposition to other concepe and are, in fact and of ncccssiry, fomd by h e difkrcnct in which they appear. “Such would bc the originary trace. Without a retention in the minimal unit o f temporal cxpcrimcc. without a cram reraining the other as other in the same, no difference would do its work and no meaning would appear. It is nor the quesrion of a canstitured difference h m , but rather, before all determination o f the content, o f the pure movement which producca diftercncc” (OG.p. 62). As the minimal unit of differential

the condition of possibility and.”wrjtes Derrida (OG. which divides self-presence so that it may fold itself into itself. once Husserl admits that auto-affection is the condition o f self-prescnce.I9d O N DECONSTRWCTIOH determination. as arche-trace-the general smcttlre of referennality is. 62). which. for . yet to g a n t that without df-affection no present muld truly be self-present is to admit a minimal and pure diffcrena (and hence. differanm is a heterogeneity whosc movement cannot be bounded within a definitive setting. is therefore ‘‘not something that ‘happensto a transcendental subject. of all mediation and relation to Other in the sphere of solitary mental Me. as the unity of the double movement o f xlf-effacemmr and relation M Other-that is. as Hwerl does. without such auto-affection. then. this impossibiiity f differancc. it produces ir. is cleariy a . then. The Infiasfruciure 0s Differamce For rhe same reasonsthat the archetract could not bt fixed into place once and for all. Ir produces sameness as sclf-relation within selfdiffemcc. as pure difference. relation to Other) into presence as the vety hinge upon which it turns into itself. Indeed.p. It is i t d f rhe general system-thar is. in accordana with the logic of the infrastructures. concludes Derrida. docs not preclude us from outlining the nuclcar traits o The arche-synthesis o f the arche-trace is the minimal structure of a relation to atteriry.the first time Detrida i s compdlcd to think of differance as both a pure and an impure difference. without decidable poles and without independent o r irreversible polar terms. 82). To say. that self-affection makes selCprcsence possible is also to say that self-prcsence can never be pure. But the interval of this pure diffmna. p. After showing how Husserl achieves sense and presence through a transcendental reduction of everything indicative. that the very difference that allows self-presence m cum into itself also makes it former differ from itstlf. produces differends as an effect “The (pure) trace is differmce. it produces sammtas as thc nonidentical" (SP. no p r w n t could reflect irsdf into itself. rhe fabric fmm which systems can be cut. Nonetheless. Aum-affection. of impossibility of the systematic exposition 5fconcepts. like the pure self-presence reached in transcendental reduction. also harbors everything that Husscrl hoped to cxctude from xlf-p-ce as a threat to its purity. Derrida argua that this same transccndental reduction aIso yields difkrance. In Speech m d Phenontenu. Auto-aftacrion is nor a modality of cx@cnoc that characrerim a being that would already be itsdf (autos). Differance. then.

diffcrana. More strikingly.Differance is not simply deferring. Liktsa m n y otherinfrasmctum. however. difemce knots togetherthedifferent rnunings o f tbcworddiffcmccwith theentidy different significations of the verb t o defcr (diff&er). 88). it is not a homogeneous unity o f hcterop e a u s fcaturrs. it “is to be conceived prior to the separation h e e n deferring as dday and differing as the acdvc work o f difference’’ (SP. is an emomica1. not all of which s t e m from theoriginal verb dijyircr. As wc know. 88). diffcrancc is a nonunitary synthesis of heremgcnmus featurn.” and hence why no pure transcendental comepts arc possible either (SP. docs diffmancc h m c the possibility of the difference b m c n the ideal and the nonideal? In Positim. thus enabling it to occupy a place beyond what phmomenology would distinguish as active and passive constitution or synthesis.In addition m ddcrrin~ differancc neq5sarily i m p k difference. bccause an a a of delay daes not n-rily entail a rnwemmt of difh m .” ”to postpone. &en. and is wen “inconocivable as a mere homogeneous mmpliutian o f a diagram or line of time” (SP.p.A SYSTEM BEYOND BEING 195 transcendental concept. 82). As an intnsrmciurc. it is mom primordial than deferring and . Derrida opcns h e semantic fieldof chis noun t o a variety of meanings.of the fonna! h u m s of d i h n c e . since r h e diffcrmcc between the nvo row& cannot be heard (it is a difference that dcpcnds on the mute intervention of a written trace. and for rheir difference. 88).h o r n whoK parriciplcthe noundiflermce was derived. As an infm~~cturc.differencetaken separately. conceptual. w h i l e it m a k s wlf-prrscnce p i b I e . and thus of a trace t h a t tics diffcnnce inwith the functioningof t h e arche-trace). thus. yet there is no etymological . p. in h a v i q m account for a varietp of thmdfal phenomena. t h e -unw ending o f diff‘erance already Icavcs undcddabic whether this word i s to be understood a6 active o r passive. It acconnts a t oncc for ideality and noni&aliry. How. ~ a tthe same time“fissures aud retards presence. rubmining it simultancnusly to primordial division and dday” (SP.” “to adj a m ” In creating his unusual noun. Like a 1 1 other infrastructures. tfrc word wwmce is b m e d by mbrtantivizing the parduple o f the verb d i f f h r . but it is iust as clearly h e reason why “no pure transcendental reduction is possible. p .p . ?to defer. formal s t r u m r e to the m n t t h a t it draws togctbcr a configuration of signifying movcmcncs from a variety o f heterogeneous resources. in which ‘heII substituted for the t remains purely graphic. Bcrrida has given the most exhaustive aaaunr. The pure difhence of dt-affection.

” which the infrastructure differance is intended to achiwe.p.196 ON DECONSTRUCTION justification for doing s o . on the contrary. (P. instead of being a misfortune for the intended coherence. However heterogeneous the different concepts that enter the structural configuration named by the plural noun diflerunce may be. and level of argumentation. spherc of origin.“ or carria Jcsire nr will out in a way that annuls o r tempers their cffcct. I h e lack o f harmony bcnveen such different things as dcfcrment and difference. 2901. P rcserve. rhc action o f postponing until lam. “timc opens itself as the dclay of the origin in relarion to itself’ (M. rhen. its trace. to the temporal and tcntporaliung mediation of a detour that suspends the acmmplishmcnt or fwlfillmcnt of a “dnirc” or “will.they act in unison to form a systematic and irreducible ensemble of possibilities rhar economically accounts for a variety of distinct concepts of difference simultaneourly at work in the discourse of philosophy. a dclay. diffcrance tics together in one archesynthesis much more than rhe movernenr of dclerral and difference. entirely heterogeneous concepts of difference. reprieve. in order to dcterminc what this strange linguistic formation is intended to achieve: Fits?. it is composed of at lcast rhrec additional. is the very basis on which presence i s announced or desirrd in what rcprcscnrs it. the taking-account of timc and form in an rrpcratim that implics an cmnomic reckoning. . a detour. rculrving. rehml. Furthcrmorc. which owe their incommensurability to their scope. namely. a reprcworarion-all the mncepts that I will rum up here in a ward . in one synthesis that accounn for them all. ddcgation. differonce i s not prccedcd by lhcoriginary and indivisible unity of a present pussibility that I muld rmervc. its sip. The sort of linguistic abuse at stake here is required by the necessity of good economic “formalization.p. Differance ties together five concepts. (SP. Let us. consciously or uneorsciously. 136) With differawe as deferment. of raking inra account. tmporulizing [tmporiwtiotr]. detour. p. Let us now see in more detail ~ D W rhis temporahzing aspecr of . In this sense. discuss thmedifferent concepts of diflcrcncc to which dif/erance rcfcrs. ‘To differ” in rhis sense is to temparaliu. .Only by means of quasicatachrestic violence can the nmlogism differurrce be made to refer to the semantic field of the word difference. Derrida make USE of onc of the meanings o f the Latin verb diffme insofar as it refers to time. t o rcsarr. 8 ) In this first determination o f differance. postponement. W h a t defers prescnct. likc an expenditure that 1 would put off calculatedly or for revons nf economy. diffmmce rclcrs to the (active mid passive) movcmmt that consists in deferring by meam of delay. a rcspitr. is preasely what the term differawe Kwes to account for.

however.or rather as t e m p o n l i n g (temporisntim) is n o t . what Derrida is attempting here is to think the pmcnt based on time as differma. “To defer [dif?rm]. presence. diffcrana as r i m e points at an “absolute past.Cannot m a n to retard aprcscntpossibili~.” as it would be c a U d withii the conccpwal s y s t e m and according m the f meraphysia and transcendental phenomeclassical requircmcnts o nology. ycr the retardation in quetian is originary and thus not a relation between two moments o f presence. accords itself’ (WD. as Derrida argues in “Ousia and Gramme. according to Heid-. which belongs to the pmjccrof a transcendental phenomenology. cannot avoid thinking the time of the inner-time canscioumcss accarding m the modci o f mundane time. no longer a present-past. as the minimal acriviry o f postponing. temporality.” a past that is na longer a modification of a present. and time-their “primordial COO5tiNtiOn.toputoffaperccption already now possible.h SYSTEM BEYOND BEING 197 d i k n a is the condition of possibility of rernporalization (ienrpwdisution). to essenceingeneral. p . Differaim as rime.” the very question concerning the meaning of time aupprcsscD time by linking it to appearing. Indeed. truth. is related m something omcr than i t d but rctains the mark of a past element . does not complicate time by looking for its origin in the imcrdmc cxpedenm of consciousness. Instead. to the extent that they are only modifications OF the now. a more simple and authentic time mompared to the vulgar time progammatic of the philosophy o ftime from Aristotlc to Hcgcl.” If the am of deferring relared only to such a moment. and fmm H e i d e w ’ s notion o d authentic temporality.topostponeanaa. To think difkrance as tsrnporalizing. such an attempt. The operation o f deferring implicated by the 0 of diffcrancc dacs not refer m the delaying of any already constituted or anticipated moment of presence. That possibility is possible only through a diflwmcc which must bc conaivcd of in orhcr terms than those of a calculus or mechanics of decision. a present moment must rekr in ordcr to be what it is: Diffcrana is what makes the movement o f signification pc&ble only if each rlcmmr char h said to be “present.. it would rcprexot nothing but “rhc lapse which a mnKiousness. In distinnion has from the vulgar concept of time [which.hen. a ‘&If-prcsence o f the p e n t . 203) snd would derive from the prcscncc. Differance a5 t i m e . according to the logic of the archemace.. but a past to which. informed the philosophy o f time since Aristotlc). as wcll a$ o f past and turnre. is to be understood as COnStiNtiVe o f presrnoc.” appearing on the smgc of pr-. f r o m Husscrl’s concept of an inner consciousness of time.

and it constitutes whar is called tbe p r m t by this vcry rclation ‘to what it is the condition proper of spacing. o f diffcrmds and differcncs. In this second determination of differance.p. 142-143) As a result of this radical alterity. 10 the extent that what is referred to is a n absolute past. then consriturion o differance allows time to come to the fore only a5 limited by what makes it possible. that which Cfferentistes. that is. pp. So if differance is conceived of as the primordial f temporality and rime as commonly understood. spread abroad. this reference M alteriry. differ. without which presence could never come into existence. is also the becoming-time of space. to take only a few examples. disperse. Indeed. 230). nor lost timenor time regained. be different). as an c f f m . ISP. m h is i tram relam no less ro whar is called the future lhrn to what is called the part. since the ‘becdming-time o f spa.198 - ON DECONSTRUCTION and already Im itself be hollowed our by the mark o f its relatian to i future elemenr. diffcrancc as spacing. separate. not even in thc form o But since the reference to an absolute atterity required by the consrif a space inm the sup mtion o f a present now is the insinuation o posedly self-sufficient present. a past that has never been prcsent. sensibldintelligible. . or mnccpts whercby hierarchical relations are installed. P past o/ time. of a polemos based either on dissimilarity o r allergy between poles. But since this production of differences takes place through the opening of an inbetween. as one would say in tradirional philosophy. pmence is always belated with regatd to itself and comcs ex post. is the common r w t o f all the oppasirional concepts that mark our language. intuitiodsignificatian. which translates the Greek diuphorein (to carry diffcrent ways. While time has always been thought f r o m the present now. itself there. such as. Differance as temporalizing names the irrcducible temporal movements rhat thus affm the idea of presence itself. scatter. its spacing. this is a time anterior to time. erc” (P. that which produces different t h i n g . and still less the moment or eternity. to what it ahlurely is mot. 9). nature/ culrure. This is why Derrida can contend t h a t “the intermission or interim o f rhc hymen does not establish time: neither time a$ theexisrcnce o f rheconcept (Hegel). though not identical to. No prcscnt in truth presents f its self-concealment” (D. Diffcrance is here understood as the producrive and primordial constituting causaliry. “Second. not cvm to a past or k t u r c considered as L mdified present. the rnovemcnt of differunce. p. Dcrrida refers to the second meaning of the Latin verb differre. to the absolute past t o which it must relate in order to bc constituted. the etymological root of the French dif{erer. differance as temporalizing is inseparable from.

I n that m e . In the same way. as h i l i a r i t y itsclf. also names the difference that insinuam itself within the self-Riation of a self-identical cntity and that prevents this cnrity from cycr relating only M itself. From the pempoaive of difhrance. ‘spatial’ and ‘objective’ cxteriority which wc believe we know as the m o s t familiar thing in the world. this possibility musvbe inscribed wirhii that entity. the staging o f conccpcp in an “arche-scene” at rhc origin o f and. L e t us try t o undustand how differancc as spacing renders possibic spatiality and space in the common m e . 70). p. without which “the outside.A SYSTEM BEYOND BEING 199 ditfcfancc is here determined primarily as spucing (espamtmt]. 219). and with a certain perseverance in repetition” (SP. thcreforq the condition of posibility o f conccpmal signikation. p.bath presupposes and pddufcs the intervals between conapts. spacing “is the opcning of the first exteriority in general. differana as the production o f a polemical space of differen. Spacing in rfiis sense is cxteriority in gercrd.Since spatializarion-king befallen by space-is a possibility m which any entity is subject.rhe different dcmcnts and occur actively. and s o on. Spaang is the spae in g ~ ~ m or~ “that l . would not function” (P. 136-137). C a w qucnrly. dynamically. Spacing is neither time not space. Spacing. iris necessary rhar interval. the falling into space o f an enwry is never accidcnral-it never happens by surprise-because its interiority i 5 already inhabited by its outside as the possibility of an outside befalling it.’ whethm referring to the alterity of dissimilarity or the dhrity o f allerg or of polemics. Rccail that the mlation to an Other constitutive o f a self. 70-71). distance. whose minimal unit is the archetram. production of the irltcrvals without whih the ‘fuil’ terms would not signify. 27). notions. The intervalsopened by spacing allow . archc-mace and differantach in a difkrent manner.pp. would not appear” (OG. pp. minimum ofascntial spacing” that any entity (real or canccptual) must contain o r bc inhabited by in order to fall into a space ‘ e x t e r i o r ’to it” (WD. As this n-ary possibility--that is. rhe enigmatic relationship of the living to it5 other and of an inridt to an outside” [OG. p. . “This spaanb” notes Rcrrida. “In ‘differents. spacing ocau among . are spacing. sprang i s the f o mo f rupture by which concepts are r p a r a t d f r o m one anodxr. From the perspective ofthe acchc-trace. “ i s the sirnuleamusly active and passive. a possibility that must always be pwpible--spacing ensure the spatialization o f enritie. terms.. presupposesan intenraI which at once a f h and rnakcs possible the relation of self to Other and divides the self within i d . then.

it is the emergence of concepts as already marked by their relation to other concepts in the primal Scene of signification. as Derrida points out in Dissemimtiort. insofar as the constitution of concepts as hierarchical: or differential terms grounds thcir itenbiliry. a displacement that indicates an irreducible alterity” (P. is in every instance the discrete synthcsis of (1) the movement by which the self-idcntiry of an entity is interrupted and (2) the passive constitution by inscription as habitation. but preciscry as different fields. (This aspect of the infrastructures whose name is that of another infrastructure or undecidable. 82).) I have consrrued spacing to mean the originary constitution o f exteriorit). how. differance. no presence at a distancc. with archerram. then. As should be obvious .p. p. And its oprration is different each time.and space as it is known in a sensible o r intelligiblemanner. H c wrires in Positions.nothing chat is. 317). p.Spacing. This is also true of all the other infrastrumrcs. is analyzed later in this chapter. and tach time differently. or of an entirely new kind. The very nature o f spacing does not permit its own syntheric structure to be anc of remnciling the two aspects it rcunitcs. the space constituted between two thing (which is the usual sense of spacing). Husserlian. is the dimension neither of o surface nor of a depth. f the cxit of Space in general. ever. whosc purification and idcatization is impossible because the specific surt of synthesis that they achieve is context bound. “Spacing certainly operates in all fields. spacing cannot serve as one expIicative principle for dl differences and for all specific spaces. Still. 106). the movement o f sating aside [d I’icart]” (P. and at thesame tirnea movement. o r in any event. and other undecidables. Another result of this kind o f synthesis is thar the function represented by each infrasrrucrurc also spplics to itsclf. as the condition of possibility o any entity outside of itself and of signikation. “spacing is not the simple negariviry o f a lack’ (M. Spacing is the synthesis without reconciliation of this passive and active aspeck “it is not only the interval. 81). “Sprrcingdesignaresnothing. it is the index of an irreducibltexterior. Yet this is not to say that the “transcendental” question conccrning space elaborated here falls within a transcendental acsrhctics-whcrher Kantian. p. the operation. literally nothing. which blends in part. but also spacing. articulated otherwise” (P.zoo O N DECONSTRUCTION the different conceptual elements to enter into relation without. so that it remains essentially dislocated from itself. It is. to elevate spacing into a theological function of total accounting is a mtradicrion in rerms. the re-mark. permitting them to coincide. For this same rcason.

As that according to which any .’ ” conaisa o f the foreunderstanding o f separatcncss and manifoldncss in genml. whether Wegelian o ro f an entirely new kind But could spacing bc tributary to a hcrmencutic philosophy? Is it the hermencutical concept of that openncs~ that primarily provides the space in which space as we usudly understand it can unfold? This htnncncutical concept of space. Spacing is not a form Qf (pure) intuition that structuma a mbjcct’s cxpcriena of the world. in which the unthinkable absolute incoherence characteristic of the phenomena of nature is transkmod into a m c mrod totality. The hermtncudal concept o f space thus nams the meaning or truth of spaa. where h e d i s c u s e the udstentiaf ground of contingency a$ that which prevents nature from being rtducible to logical coherence-the “impotence o f nalure”-Hegel develops an ontological substratum wherein all the p b nomena that lack affinity and arc totally indifferent to one another can be gathered topfther.order of unthematized preundcrsmnding. Yct spacing is not o f the . this foreunderstanding.A SYSTEM BEYOND BEING 201 at t h i s poine.” According to Heideggcr.“‘ The birth of rhc logical mnccpt of space serves to makc the existence o f incoherencelogically possible. this cannot possibly be the case. in that it r e p a 3 medium o f cohabitation o f what is logically incoherent and indifferent. the “transcendental“ qumion of spacing has t o be situated beyond what Huwrl calls the logos o f the anthhctic world. spacing aurharim such d i e m by limiting them. is imperative to any The notion o possibility of sensible and inteIligible. is not theobjaafa philoscrphyof nature. Although spacing has this one ftature in common with l o g i c a l space. is not governed by the relos of logicality within the boundaries of which space i s onc moment. or ideal. Nor does spacing follow from Husscrl’s radicalization o f the Kantian question. In his Emcyc!opopedk. spatiahy or space would never bc g k n to us. Nor docs spacing wincide w i t h the logical concept o f space developed by Hegel. which concerns the prehistoric and prccultual level of spacia-temporal experience a5 a unitary and unjvcrsal ground for all f spacing as the condition of subjectivity and culture. Spacing. unlike logical space. this ideal d u r n of luxtaposition. nor is it a truer meaning o f h e common meaning of spatiality. spacc undercuts the very possibility of a self-present subject of intuition or of universal and absolute expcrieuce. This substratum. spacing.derstanding o f spatiatity and space. without it. thcmatized or not. is space. 5 i n e it questions the veq possibility o f the distinction k e e n sensibility and pure sensibility. “the pnspatial region which fim gives any possible ‘where.

as Its primordial constitution. Derrida makes difticity-into the predicative cluster o fcrancc also serve as rhe principle of m i o n c and linguistic inoclhglbilicy.the differends under consideration here arc thc differential or diacritical characterisria of signs and sign sysnms. Tbkd. of rhe diacririciry that the linguistics gcncarcd b y stussure. code and message. bcforc any dissociation o f language and speech. a systematic production o f diffmmces.20 2 ON DECONSTRUCTION entity is what it is only by being divided by the Other to which it refers in order M constime irstlf. and dl the structural sciences mdeled upon it. in a way. (F. Insinuating an intervd in each presenr moment because dependent on a movement o f retention and protention (since that moment is present only with rcgard to a past and a future). by abstraction and according to determined motivations. will be able ro demarcare a linguistics of language and a linguistics o f speech” (P. Clearly. or o f the translating that distinguishes any hermenewin. the production o f a system of differences-a di{fmmce-within whose effects m e eventually.p. It dividcs the present moment af the now within irself. (and everything that goes along with such a dissociation).p. as well as the becoming-time of space. 28). etc. which does not mean that they ate produced by the activity at some spcaking subject. are the elementary components of possible signification. the possibility proper of ternporalization. In ia capacity as a manix for there diffcrcnccs of inrclligibiliry. for example. nor in the brain. diffcnncc i s thus the condition of signification. have recalled i s h e condirion for any sipiCcaiion and any structure. Spacing as a presignifying openness is the very possibility of “laying out. spacing $50 affects the now constitutive o f the metaphysical concept of time. As the movement by which any possible mtity is scparatcd within itself. T h e . 9) By tying the “scientific” conccpt o f differcncc-diffemce as diacrif differana.differcnms--and. thc raxonomical sciencc which thcy may occasion-arc thc cffas o f d+ance. The differtncta at the basis .” of bringing to understanding.of intelligibility arc not to be confoundcd with those constimtiveof concepts. the spaang diastema is also the becomingspace oi time. spacing is also the pmignifying opening of concealed and unconcealed meaning. serving. as . Derrida notcs. situated in a horizontal srructure o f dissimilarities (in contrast to the hierarchical nctwork of tbc concepts). if it can still be put his way. diffcrmcr is a h the production. thcy arc neither inscribed in the heavens. af these differences. “Om has to admit. These differenriaF fearures.

been thought othctwise than as prcscna. between Eking and beings. This mote than the differencc between king and beings” (M. as concealing itself in what is. thisdi~~ce. it is impossible to name this more originary difference. p. or difference in short. 67). “Difmunce-fourth would name provisionally this unfolding o f difference. as Being no longer conceived within the perspcctivc of what is present.A SYSTEM BEYOND BEING 203 the principle of diacritical diffmtiality. differace is thought within the horizon of the question o f the meaning of Being.. 1431. which grounds in rhc tranf the being-there (Dusxin). “BeyondBeing and beings. economically accounts for the dissimif the diverse functionsthat such an originary difference would larity o have to carry OUI. originary difference is not yet determined as the difference berween Being and what is but precedes it as the possibility of difference as such.. the difference between king and what is. 10). difference as Being is determined in terms of the differences betwccn presenting and prsence (Anwesen and unwe$emf). would tram (itself) .p. insinuates itself of necessity. After all. p. a difference anterior m the onticoontological difference or to the truth or meaning of king. According to Hcidegger. differanct is made into the preopening. coincides with Being in an scendence o authentic way. i s described in terms o f intrinsically metaphysical determinations. an opening by right anterior to the ondcwnmlogical difference. Considering rhc metaphysical concept of the name and what it is supposed to achieve. Yet this implies that the onrimontological difference. by emphasizing the active movement of difference that is comprehended by this infrastructural construction but that does not exhaust it. presence and absence. inasmuch as mnceprs are n e sarily and c~scntially inscribed within systems and s ~ ~ c t l l ’ c c wherein 5 they refer negatively to other concepts. o f the onticoontoiogical difference” (F. “Perhaps difsince Bting has never ference is older than king itself‘ (M. a difference which would be the trace of the trace that is the ontico-ontological difference. The name differunce. in parricular. . In this sense the concept of differancc “is what not only p d e s mctaphysia but aIsa extends beyond the thought of being” (OG. Here. and Being and what is. differance also overlaps w i t h its meaning as m n q m a l spacing.(by inelf)-rhis diffeerancc . is Being as rhe opening in which Seing ~m itsclf forth as absent in what is present. which. Thus.then. 67). or Erst o f all. i s nothing other than metaphysics.eeasdesslydifferingfrom and deferring (itself). the ontological and rhc onuc. but nor only. Dif-fmmce. for Derrida. “Thew may be a differenre sdl more unthought p.

1. difference as diacrikal differentiality. Because differance is a synthesis of incommensurable modes of diffcrence. to contradiction-which would make it possible ro resolve them in one unity. is more originary rhan difference modeled afrer the law of thought according t o which the opposite of a True proposition is necessarily false. By insisting on the irreducible . for such a synthesis necessarily defers its own closure. filth. Ditfcrance as a synthesis is precisely “an altering diffcrcnce” (M. differance must also bc construed as the condition of pssibility of Being. destined to subjugate all other kinds of difference. differance is a difference o r trace preceding all possible dissociation and within which the ontko-ontological diffennce eventually cafves itsetf our. p. The list of these incommensurable and heterogeneous kinds of differmcm is. whwc difficult and urgent darificadon Heidegger took upon himself in his epoch-makingwork. an archesynthesis that n o Iongcr privileges contradiction as the one outstanding and dominating mode of difference. for structural reasons. and hence one moment in the becoming of truth. o r afrer the dialtcrical law according to which the ncgativity o f tcuc contradiction wakes it the spcculativc Other. the ontico-ontological difference is not as absolutely originary as Hcidegger believed. in this sense. lhm. 67)’. ifyou will. here. rhcir unity cannot rcprcxnt the sublation of the conflictualtty that dietingoishe each differmcc in itself or in relation to the other kinds of diflcrenccs. . of origin and end” (M. difference as ontico-ontological difference.34 ON DECONSTRUCTION would be the first or I a a trace if one still could speak. “Since i t can no longer be subsumed by the generality of logical contradiction. open. p. Compared to the ontico-ontological differencc. Since this passibility is diifemncc. their synthcsis as differance is not complete. Derrida refuses 10 reduce them to logical difference-that is. diffcrencc as spacing. in the sense of a tempor3lizing and spacing of itself. are the different kinds of differences drawn synthezicaIly together in the term differmcei difference as ternporalizing. which thus cannot be a synthesis in the classical sense. 101).p. Differance. because ir knots predicates of logical (Arkroteltan and H e gelian) differenccdf contradiction-into its synthesis. and so on.or. diffnunce (the proccss of differentiation) permirs a differentiated accounting for heterogeneous rncdesofconflictuality.difference among differences. since its form as difference depends on the possibility ofthat form.”(P. These. 290). differan. In distinction M diffetance. difference as the result of opening a polemical rift between conceptual poles.

differa n ~ promoas e the plurality of diffcrmae. among others. h a t the aaivc movement o f the production of differenas i s not simply called difiermriation. the interruption. “Supplementarily is in reality diffcrmrce. 1 have attempted m dininguish dilfemnce (whwe n marin. without eventual dissolution within the irnmanencc o f the Canocpt capable of interiorizing its own exteriorization or nfgauviry. Wirh rhis. the opcration of differing which at one and the same time both fissures and retards presence.p. Dilfr*rmce(ar a painr of alrnosr absolun proximity to Hcget -. (P.. The Infrusrrumrre as Supp!mentm’ty supplemcnr. p. determines diffefercnct as contradiction only in order m resolve it. submitting it simultanmusly to primordial division and delay. m inteciorize it. of a mnflicrualify that dcxs not culminate in dntradiction but remains a conmadicrion without mntiadidon. in the greater Logic. it is for this reason. name for differana” (OG. . as such. che’dtsttucdon of the Hegelian relhe wherever it operates” (P. difIcranm must also he ddincd as “precisely the limit. Apart from the fact that such a denomination would eliminate the temporalking aspect of diffcrancc. 150). it would also suggest the existence prior to in division of an originary hamogmmus and organic d i t y . ti lift it up (according to the syIlo&tic pmms of spcmlstiv~ dialcctio) ‘intothe sdl-prescncc of an onm-theological or onto-teleologid synthesis. T h e d o g i s m d#emm was m i n d in order m undercut rhe possibility of such a unity as rhe origin and tclos of differences. d i k a n c e appears r o be a concept at odds with the Hegelian notion of difference as well as with the process of Aufiebung made possible by the interpretation of diffcrcnce exclusiveIy in m so f negativity. the matrix from which they draw thci r cxisrcnce . among other thingP. p .” because thc supplementing difference “vicariously stands in f a r pmence due to its primordial self-deficiency” (SP.pp. It is thc nonunitaty synthais of all thew very different types of difference and. its pmductivc and mnflictual characteristics) fmm Hqelian diffcrence. 40-41) As the essay “Difkrancc” notes. that is.A SYSTEM BEYOND BEING w 5 As a spthtsis of differenm of incommensurable identity. and have done s o precisely at the point at which Hcgel. 44) AIthough differana entertains deep relations of affinity with the Hegelian discourst insofar as it i s a “qmthcris”’ of differences. says W d a in Of G ~ m t m t r r t ~ l ~ ise ‘*another y. I must sign the point ar which one breaks with the system o f the Auficbung and with spetll~tive dialcctia.

we must beawarc that it represents an attempt to account for a certain contradictory logic characteristic of the philosophical discourse on origin-in the caw of Rousscau. supplcmentarity could also be said to be a variation of the arche-trace. nature. everything else (speech. supplirifl) and m a k e the signifieds play on the register o f PIUS and minus. (4) t h e e additions themselves function a5 secondary origins. supplcmentarity aatibures the structural need of adding an Other to the vicarious nature ofpresence itself. ro be subsritured [suppldm. Rousscau displaccs and dcformr “rhc miry of ihc signifitr and the signified. verbs (to supply. Nor will I cnrich the exposition of that logic rhrough recourse to analogical structures such as the phannakon and the parergon. But unlikc diffcrance. ( 5 ) these secondary origins are dangerous to the primal origins to the extent that thcy pervcrt and undermine them. society. As Dcrrida has argued in Of Grurnrnutology. and so on. I do not intend to develop the “logic of supplcmentarity” by following Derrida’s rich and detailed analysis of Rousseau’s work in Of Crarnmtology. etc. 8 7 ) . It places greater emphasis on the structural necessity of the addition of a difference to a “full” entity such as an origin by showing it to be a consequcnce ofthe fact that ”fult“ rerms compensate lor their lack of anorhcr origin. explicirly accounted for. . 245). (2) compared to these pure and fully present origins. however. In this sense. The logic of sup- plernenrarity developed from Rousseau’s own use of that term to dcscribc thc rclarianship ktwecn origins and thc additions to origins accounts for the coherent incoherence of these statements within Rousseau’s discourse. supplctory [supplimentaire. In his use of the term supplement.206 ON DECONSTRUCTION 88). these srarements make rhe following assertions: (1) origins.) and adjcctivcr (supplementary. r c a ~ o n i)s an crterior addition which leaves their purity unbreached. substitute [srrpplhm.12 In order to understand this particular infrastructure. but again.p. which is r o o t e d in thc “primordial nonself-prescncc” of “full” terms (SP. and so on arc pure. suppliutir]). primitivism. in such a manner that this contradiction is not oblireratcd but. But t h c x displaccmcnts and deformations are regulated by the contradictory unity-idf supplemmtary-of a desire” (OG. animality. p. supplcmentariry 5 t r c s ~ mom ~ cxplicitly the function o f substitutive supplementation in general. instead af referring to Other. on the contrary. (3) the necessity of these additions is not rationally explicable. The idea of supplementarity ammpts to reunite in one structure a number of contradictory statements and propositions on origin. childhood. as it is aniculared among nouns (supplement. se substisue*]. on nature as origin.

death. ‘Wbm is added is nothing because it is added to u fiil presmce to which it is exterior”(0G. ctc. 167). Thii structure is construed as a field of relations that inscribes withh itself the function and value of the philosophical . as’the nothing o f a simple uneriority. In this way the addition is annulled (it i s insignificant). Rousszau can only decompose them and dissociate them inta rwo rimpte u h . Falling back on thevalue o f a simple ourside. p.he must also describe the supposedly pure plcninrdc of the origins in terms of seduction and threat-in t e r m of the negarivc. Rousscau. Rousscm p‘wccds to define the supplement (in this case. writes Dcrrida. wishcs on the OM baud to u(finn. The supploncnt k i n g Be articulated structure of there two pussibilitim. Having thus dissaciad the two possibilities into two mnflicring units. that is to say of an originay differancc that is neither absence nor pmnce. But he intends m affirm sirnulamusly all that is cancelled by articulation (acmx. the logic of supplementarity is the ammpt r o ric all t h e diffmnt propositions together into a ~trtlcture that explains bmh their possibility and the I h ho f their scope. absence. p 167). W M c the origin r c m a k umouched.concepto f origin. But f play o f supplmcntariry. 24s-246) . Nnw. logically conrridimry yet allowing an intact purity to b o b the negative and h e pmitivc. . T h e logic of supplementarity is r o o d in a recourse to two conflicting meanings intermined within the term. not only must he assert the danger that follows from the supplement. and so on). passion yet agmin. Originary differance is supplemenrarity as s h c b r e ” (OG. I t i s the myth ofrhc effaccmenrof the trace. Yet. everything o f which articulation isthc principle] as a mereexterior addition. life. man. by making the value of origin possible. neirba negative nor positive. mrgrhing of which aniculation is the principle or everything w i h which it wnstruns a sysmn [passion. Rousseau can simultaneously a h .I SYSTEM BEYOND BEING w7 Dnrida’s ancmpt to construct supplemrntarity as an i n h c t u l e in order to amount for that . pp. language. Ict us see how Rousscau limits the sourocs of tbar word. “The concept of origin or narurc is nothing but the myth o f addition. but it also makes UBC of the entire consdlation of concepts dependent o n its system. Let us try to draw the basic features o f this infrastructure which. a h imposes its limitations on it. o f supplementarity annulied by being purely additive. by it a positin value. it shows how the myth ofan unbreached origin is dependent on the eHacement of the logic o f that supplementarity.rrgulatcd unity draws upon aU the rei r s t . society. both the origin and the supplement.1. (OG. in tom1 isolation.

It is not. a surplus. . a continuous and homogenous reparation and modification o According to irs second meaning. It is thus that art. makes up for a deficiency of plenitude. Somewhere. representation. The new and thoroughly unnatural synthesis . It adds only to replace. 144). rechne. In this sense. the supplement “adds itsefffrom the outside as evil und luck to happy and innocent plenitude“ (OG. According to the first meaning. B suppfmmt is some- the supplement supplements. it is by the anterior default of a presence. It cumulates and accumulates presence. the operation of supplementation i s not a break in presence and plenitude hut rathct f both. its place i s assigned in the structure by the mark o f an emptiness. only by allowing itself to bc fillcd through sign and proxy. It intervcncs or insinuatcs itxtf in-rhopbce-of... . image. 144-145). the ~upplcment is an adjunct. W h a t are these two heterogeneous meanings harbored by the term slcpplemerrt. p. is not a 1 . ctc. the f u l h t measure oi presence. which seemingly adds itself like a plenitude to another plcnitude. howevcr. (OG. instead o f playing aEternately on these two meanings of supplernmr and juxtaposing thcm in a contradictmy fashion. The vicariousrms of the supplemcnr or the surrogate. a plenitude enriching another plenitude. This kind of supplementarity determints in a certain way all the conceptual oppositions within which f Nature t o the extent that it should Rousseau inscribs the norion o bc self-suflicient” (OG. something can be fillcd up ofitsdh can accomplish inclf. 215).As substirUte. because of semantic ambiguity that “supplementar- ity” qualifics as an infrastructure. Yet if one combines the two meanings of supplcmmt. howcver.of the two conflicting meanings o f supplemcnr qualifies as an infrasrructurc only if the “proxy” aspect of “supplement” i s genf identity and the principle of oneralized. then the supplernenc. howevcr. Compensatory [supplirmt] and vicarious. it is not simply added to the positivity o f a presence. pp. it is as if one 611s a void. it produccs no relief. i f i r fills. convention. as does Rousseau-a possibility contingent on the fallacious determination of the relation o f the supplement m t h a t for which it compensates [a full plenitude or an absence) as one o f exwriority-Derrida draws the two meaning of suppkmnt together in a structural manner. It it npnscnu and makes an image. “whose cohabitation is as strangc as it is nccrssary”? (OC. 145) Now.20 a ON DECONSTRUCTION thing that “adds itself. come as supplements to nature and are rich with this entire cumulating function. alsb fills an absence of ptcnitude. p . p. a subaltern instance ’ which tubes-(tbe)-plu [timt-lieu]. According to the logic o tology.

5incc the supplement repFaces or t a k a the place o f an abmt. Supplemmmrity. that the Other and the lack come to add themselves as a plus that replam a minus.origin. is the minimal structure required to explain the contradictories that reulr f r o m assuming the simple ntcriority o f the supplement and. it paniapatcs in the evil chat it should repair” (OG. etc” (OG.draw its major pdcatcs. as the action of addition to and vicarious substitution o f an absmt origin. but also accounts far the possibilities f r o m which it . p m w ) are always already additions o r surrogates cornpcn$ating for a more origisary absence of plenitude. describes. In shorr. for h e possibility char such additions can mdangr so-called origins. p. the ddiaency in q u a i o n is much more d i d . the supplement is inwmplm. sirnultaneously. which would have it that the outside be inside. unequal to the task. p. 2151. Al&ough the supplement is a plus. As h i s minimal organizational unit. then this danger is a clear function o f the lamer’s belatedness. to the extent that it substitutes for a lack on thc part of the origin. since it is itself in need o f compensation. Whar fallows from the law of supplemrnrariy is that origins (plmihldcs. consequently. and fnr h e possibiliry that the opcr- . as the outside of the inside. it is also less than an origin. the danger of the supplement stems from ics smcruraI ability to replace and takc tkplace of what it ir addcd to. it lacks something in order for rhc lack to bc filled. that what adds itsdf to something taka the place of a default in the thiig. then. &his “logic of supplmenrarity. that the default. S i m thar unity which coma to substitute vicariously and compensate for a lack of a full uniy must be at once sufficiently the same and sufficiently diftermr to replace that absence. it is not only absolutely fint. An origin. should be already withii the inside. substitution of an origin that had fallen short of itself f Only under this condition can one explain why an origin a n haw supplements and also why it must call upon them and repel them at once. Its dangerow threat rn self-presenr origins. 226).A SYSTEM BEYOND BEING m9 function of somerhing that smehow preexists ir. then. within a lo& o f belatedness. an infrastructure that accounrs for the emergence of origin as an &reffec~ It accounts for the possibility & a t such a reconstituted and reconstructed origin can i d f be supplemenred by addidons. If. “As always. according to Rousscau. Only as a supplement for another origin aIready impaired can an origin itsclf require a substitute. is an effect brought about ex past by an originary r o m the start. the origin bclatcdly reconstituted as plenitude and p m ence in the absena of another origin is also affected in i s interiority by the lack for which it compensates.

within the system of presence. “The supplement occupics the middle point benvcen total absence and total presence. this economic intermediary that is supple f identity. this inability is constitutive . which would conform with the logic o f into the opposite o idcntity and thus be less irritating and waylaying rhan a structure that refuses determination in terms of what it makes possible. p. zS9). origin and what is derived from it. The infrastructure o gether into one structure the minus and the plus. yet as an instance epekeinn tes DUSIUS it is. Instead o f being simpry an opacity within the system ofrationaliry.supplemenr “should allow us to say the contrary at thc same time withouc contradinion” {OC. and all differences.157). a structurc of jointcd predication. the infrastructure is absolutely first. it is nanrational. within which “all p m ences will be supplemenm substituted for an absent origin. 259). Reason is . f reason..210 ON DECONSTRUCTION ation of supplementation and the function of vicarious substitution f supplementariry. the lack of origin and the supplementation of that origin. as its irrational Orhcr according lo that very logic. It is not something that is either absent orprcsent. p. its logic is not simply irrational. Therefore. rnentarity is inconceivable to reason and to its own logic o Although rhe logic of rhe . p. or ulmost nothing. by knotting toare unlimited. 167). I .p. does not choose bcnveen either one of them but shows that both functions are depcndmt on one another in one srructure of replacemcnrs. like all other infrastructures. will be thc irreducible effect of what remains epebeina tes . as an absent-presence. presence and absence.of the very possibility of the logic o f identity.” writes Derrida (OG. nothing. Not that thir inability of reason to understand its origin in what it is notin the nonrational play of the structure of supplementarity-shows a lack of power.ousius” (D. is inconceivable to reuson” (OG. 179). which woutd thus be comprehensible by it. but which it also makes possible insofar as it ties both together in the p d u a i o n of origins as supplemcnrs and o f h e supplmrnts of origins. Reason is structurally incapable of comprehending its origin in the possibiliry ofsupplementsrity: “The possibitity of reason the supplemcntny possibility. Compared to the play of absence and presence on which it rests. It isa nondialectical middle. “as the origin of reason must” be (OG. reason cannor turn the strumre of supplementariiy inro simple irrationality. rather. Still. It is a last instance. which cannot itself be comprchended b y the predicatcs which it distributes: origin and supplement. p. inner and outer. although it could be said to be absent on the condition that absence is not understood as a rnodificarion of presence. and of what appears o f netmiry to reason.

but is inhabited a& i w a by this is already inhabited by their negativity and is not simply an origin but a substitutive supplement for a lack. Moreover.” D. it has ncwr rakm place i t is never prcsmt. becaw of which it can supplement itself and can w e as a supplement. In its positivity. “It is the suange esscna o f the supplement not to have csscntislity: it may always nor have taken place. The supplemaration is &us also a cornpensadon (supp l h c e ) .its m ~ t implies l l ~ that the supplement iself can be ‘typi. IlwtC consequences follow: (1) a generatization of the structure of supplcmentarity. makts up (for) space and repcan the facr o f o p i n g ” (D. an origin compensates f o r the lack of mother origin. Supplmtnrarity as an infrastructure is also the possibility of a . in in own inside. and (3) the impossibility of going “back fmm the slrpplmmt to rhr smrtl: one must rccagnire that there i s a nrpplemtnt at the source’’ (OG. p. which thus appcsrs more originary than the substituta or supplements and what thew substiturn repIaoc. or supplcmcnr. 2351. supplmcnurity is the essential nothirrg from which this whole and its doublcs can surge into nppurancc. 314). p. of the i t h i e and indefinite play o f rrpctitiwt and substitution (“As soon as the supplementary outside i s opolad. kpossiblc and nausary. that is. compensate €or. the origin. If it werc. a supplement. lirmlly. L e t us sum up. Supplementarityenassume t h t role o f an origin mom originary &an any origin. k u s e supplements m supposedly full origins (supplements which the discourse of philosophy is bound to recopnk. 3043. By denoting wbat saucturally exaffds any toraliry ar whole. 109). taking and keeping the plact of the other” (06. Thus. p. and which it cxpcrienai as threatening to the origin to which de lure ir should remain indifferent) are pluscs that cornpeware for a minus in the otigin.p. as “the excess of a signifier which. supplemenrarity has no sense and is given t o no intuition. plcnitudc. supplementaricy a h firnits this whole in its plcnitude by restricting ir m semndarinem or belatcdncss. hem and now.I SYSTEM BEYOND BEING 21 I blind t o the supplement as one is blind to the source of seeing. but. ( 2 )the possibility of a sugplemcnr to the suppIcmenq that is i o say. It b o t h explains the possibility of origin (presmu. Since an origincan invite supplements. and that a supplement to the supplement. a surrogate for the surrogate. it would not be what ir is.‘ replaced by its double. The a t r u m r e of supplemcntarity makes h e mnstimtion o f an origin dcpendcnt on an originary subatirurion of an absnt Other (origin]. and so on) and mrrim it to a function of sccondarinas.

and rhus ir simultaneously accounts for a variety o f philosophical problems. lterubility also partially overlaps the idea of arche-trace. to the “repetition of repetition. a repetition t h a t muld possibly tuke place. or the like.” or reperition in generul. lter comes from ituru--“other” in Sanskrit-as Derrida has pointed out on several occasions. Like most o T the othcr infrastructures. rcpeatabiliry. singularity. like empirical repetition.andthatwouldbecapabIe of accounrtng far thc fact-the possihiliry and the necessity-that any singular and unique momcnt must be repeatable in order to exist. becausc it names the relation to Othcr as constitutive of the relation . which presupposes the uniqueness. and integrity of a “Erst time. kfore: investigating the nuclear traits of the mark itefdbiliry. moment. meanings: the possibility of iterarion or repetition.Z13). One must think o f a repetition that “already divides thc point ofdeparmreofthefirst time” (WD.since it is only a pretext for condensing a variety of concepts in one linguistic m a r k in order to exhibit a set of necessary relations between them.” I t is not. instance. but this name d m more h a n just designate the possibility of iteration. however. o r rather incommensurable.p. and also the porsibility of alteration. Since the validity o f etymology is of an exclusivcly empirical nature. Iterubility reunites two opposite. to the f cxrenr rhar the lartet is already rhc space of duplication and thus o repetition. a mpetirion prinr to common repnition. Dcrrida calls it not iteration bur iterabiliry. In order not to mistake this possibility for the always accidentaIly occurring Tepetiiion of common sense. The lnfrasmcture rzs 1terrrbiliiy The issue of iterability has to do with “original repetition’”-that is. rather. it cannot positively or negatively affect the infrastructural relations. . herability is also another name for diflerdnce. is thematized as the minimal structure o f itcrubitity. which are conceived as necessary relations between possibiliries. the dcsignation iierubility draws upon a cluster of concepw. this aspect o f the infrastructure. This “original mpetirion” is not of the same order as repetition in thc ordinary sense. Whether this etymology is correct is beside the p i o r . Ict us recall that herobility is anorher name for supplemenmrity.ItL O N DECONSTRUCTION doubling repetition. with which it shares the structural deferring of the possibility of a present instant or entity. The term refers. rhc lartcr k i n g alwayi the repetition of an already constirured entity. a subject to which we now turn.

Therefore. o f a o n a or at one time self-prtscntpcescna. however. If the unit to bc repcatad were totally present and present to itself. Iterabbility i s also the condition o f possibiliry of re-production. the possibility o f iteration divides the identity of all units. It is not the absent presence o a full plenitude. Repetition thw h i n p on the strudural possibility of an absence of the repeated. the at once” (&I. We can distinguish five different functions o f iterabilip: lrcrubiiity a the origin of iterdion or repetition. T h i s m c t u r a l pssibility make its factual rcpetirion possiblc.’’ and even more powerfuUy in “Limited Inc.A SYSTEM BEYOND BEING z=3 to self. what is in quwion here is not iteration or repetition bur only chdr possibility. as Dcrrida has argued in “Signature Event Context. prohibits the full and rigorous artainment o plenitudeof a unit. breachedby a certain lack o This abscnce. to the pmsibiliiy of being absent. from the start. the first time. which tun occur as a possibility to any unit and is. re- . The mere possibility of the absence of a unit c o m p n d s to “the rime and place o f the other t i m e [lirutre fois] already at work. then. in a new and original syncheis. even if it occurs only once. But the possibility of itcrarion inhabits the unit from the start in such a manner that if its repetition does occur. But despite these overlaps. As we saw with supplcmentariry. iterability is an original infrastructure insofar as it links its various filiations. it is an absence owing not to an empirically effective and hence accidental occurrence of abscnce but. thc supplementing unit both repats rhc abscnr unit and bemrnes an aiterity that takes its place. Such an absence makes it possible for that unit t o be repeated. it will not be accidental and will not affect ir only ab extra. a neassary possibiliry that must be inscribed within the w c e o f that unit itself. A priori. p.”is what breaches f even the mosr unique and dividts the plenirude o r self-pmnce o and singular event. is not to bc understood as a continuous and f ontological modification of pmence. o r iterability. iterabiliy is the impurity of an absence f the that. no repetition could ever occur. if it were not f pIenimde. on the contrary. This possibility. each of which actualizes a slightly different aspm from those stressed by the other infrasmcturcs. 200). which serves to muster a unique set of phiIosophical phenomena. and that in principle subvertsits =If-identity. which is of course nor to say that it must be repeated. consequently. At chat moment. a repctition becomcs possible only if a unit that i s both sufficiently similar and suficiently different to occupy the place o f another c a m s to fill in the lack created by its absence. iterated. altering from the s t a r t the start itself.

and can bt read as the generalization o f rtprescntation. independent from thc mnmt and thc factual and multiple ments of its occurrence. p. Death is understood here as the condition af iterability without which no unit could bc cxchanged. within presence itself. and citation must be inscribed in any entity. undecomposable. invariable. hence. yer rhc minimal. and so on. ‘begins. . reproduced. And in O f Grummotology he concludes his essay on Rousscau b y stating “that the very m n a of presence. transmitted. thcre would be no tmth.=r4 ON RECONSTRUCTION presentation. most ideally conceived in thc form o f the ideality of the eidos: “the truth of the eidos as that which i s identical to itself. 190). metaphorical meaningo f death. “Everything begins witb reproducrion. citation. represented. p. if i t must always be repeated within anorher presence.’ then. yet repetitionconstitutes thcse very marks in their identity. The idcaliry broached by iteration is a breached ideality. Since “iterability suppsm a minimal remainder (as well a5 a minimum of idealizadon) in order that the identity o f the sdfwme be repeatable and identifiable irr. ar speech act to be possible in its singularIry in thc Cra place. then this i s not merely a metaphorical manner ofspeaking.” he writes in Dirreminlrtion (D. and even in view of its altmtion” (Ll. mutoris m u t a d i s . always the same as itself and therefore simple. Everything. through. or a c t o f speech in order for an entity. with citation. idcntity prcsuppod by iterability and the minimal identity chat ir makes possible ir necessarily a divided identity.” writes Derrida in Writing md Difiermce (WD. thc structure of representation” (OG. the possibility o f reproduction. since iterabiliry “ruins (even ideally) the very idendcy it ren- . itcrabdiiy 0 s the origin of idedinztion and identificution. p. incomposite ( a s w h e t o n ) . 316). 2111. reproduction. opms originarily. to a figural. sign. and so on. “Everything. p. If Dcrrida calls the inscriptian of these possibilities the death from which l i f e with i t 5 limitations and finitude spring forth. referred to.. sign. remembered. This i s a meaning of dcarh prior to the proper meaning of what wc commonly understand by death and. it can bc construed as the origin of idealization and idtntification. citation. The ideality and invisibihy of rbc eidos are is power-t&e-qeated” [D. Without iterability. 123). The possibility o f repetition depends on the recognition of sclf-identicalmarks. 311). p. A repeatable ideniiy is an ideal idmticy. rcprcxntation. however. begins with repmentation. Only an identity that already inscribes in itself the possibility of nonidentify wodd lend itself to iteration. Thc eidos i s rhar which can always be repeated as the some. a lirnired ideality.

of an elementary translation or transference by which the thing is always already transported “within its . the vital from the morral. The infrastructure itcrability ties these OHO repetitions together in such a way that their separation m s a violent decision. and cannot even be thought except together: “These two typcr of rcpctirion relate to each orher according 10 [he graphiu of supplernentarity. think of either one apart from the other. it alters it by repeating it. p 175). 217).truth. and a bad rcpctition thatrepeats repetition. merely repeating itself instead of the living. It docs not heIp to try to distinguish betwcen good and bad repetition. irs finimdc. Irthe r erability. of redoubling. as Platonism has done since i t s incipience. that unit is always already something other than it purports to be. As a result of the diffcrenm inscribed in each ideal unir as the possibility of its iteration. of metaphoricity-that is.p. ‘label’ them. etc” (0. i s at oncc the dcarh of mrh. p.can no more ‘separate’ them from each other. to differentiate between a good repetition that g i v a and presents the d o s . the origin ofaltcration. Iterubility us duplication. itcrabiliry is rhe possibility of xlf-duplication. implicate one another.A SYSTEM BEYOND BElNC 2=5 ders possible” (LI. Although ircrabiliry as such is the becowitfg o f intelligibility and ideality. the first from rhe second. these two repetitions relate to one another. T h e inhastrumre iterability-an Orher which is mrjrcly hercragenmus t o what it grounds. whether or not such a repetition actually happcns. which results iri the coincidence: of the beginning o f philosophy with rhr forgetting of the mndirion d origin of it5 valucs. the time and the place of an orhm time must f outset affect the first time if the latter is to be suwcptible to repetition a 5 a first and unique momcnt. the good from the evil. As I have r o m the mentioned. without which the ideality o n which truth is based could not be achieved. Which means thar one . the possibility o f a displacement by iteration implies that “iteration alters.and trnttr and the dead repaition of death and nontrurh bcouse. idcntity and di&rcnce-affccrs the grounded by altering it. Since iterability mnstitutcs the minimal identity of the repeated as something divided by the possibility of repetition. the very possibility of repetition as o o to f truth also prohibits truth from ever bcmrning itself. 169). the ideal and unchannging self-identity of truth. something new takes place” [LI. Itnabihy a . the true from the fake. Now. than ane can in rhe pharmacy distinguish the medicine from the poison. rhe inside f r o m the outside. One Cannot choose between the living repetition of life . as the infrastructure iterability demanmates.

308). 292). 3 ‘‘twofold mt. Like all other infrastructures. in Derrida‘s words. in rhe strict sense.” writes Derrida (D. p. As I emphasized in my treannenr of rhe arche-race. nor a n csmce or suhsrancc clearly distinguishable from phenomena. One cannot even speak of it being fundamental or radical in the traditional philosophical sense” (LI. or accident$. also impossible. iterability is a univcrsal and necessary structure. iteribiliry is neither a transcendental condition o f possibility. It now appears that . be it linguistic or not. For i t cornpans an internal and impure limit that prcvena it from being idcntified. awing tu the f a a that repeatability.216 O N DECONSTRUCTION double (that is to say already within an ideality)’’ (OG. p. p 234). Because of this nonsimplicity. attributes. by v i m e of is twofold radicaliry. and idcalizable conceptualizarion. lterability is not a pure principle. If it is a principIc at all. simple. rhere radicality” (LI. or reappropriatcd. Although iterability is such a law. This is one manner in which iterability marginally overlaps the arche-trace. Since it is what makcs idealization (the production of the differenr forms uf the eidos) poreible and.suchan cffacemenr. iterability does nor lend *‘ ‘itself ‘toany purc. I have limired myself here to these fcw remarks about this particular nuclear trait of iterability. double in itxlf. rhraugh its repicion as an identical and a t the samc time different momenr o r endry. Since I investigate this originary duplication and doubling in greater detail in the following chapter. the possibility of an originary effacement is an essential trair of the trace. p. just as it excludes thc rcappropriation of that whose ireration . Its simplicity is thoroughly cr~sscd our. No process or project of idealization is possible without iterability. Iterability u s the possibility of the effacement of the truce. a “transcendmtal” law on which rhc c f f m listed depend. it is. lrenbiliry is a dupIication or reduplication which redoubls the first rime. It is a reduplication in which the repeated is already separated from itself. synthaizcd. “As soon as there is a double borrom. is no bottom or ground ar all in process o f formation. is also a decisive mark of iterability. this “does not amounr r a saying that this law has the simplicity of a logical or transcendental principle. This impurity stems from the fact that an infrastructure ties heterogeneous threads together into “one” law. or rhe ideal idenriry. and yet itcrability ‘itself‘ cannot bc idealized. 203). 234). Let me add a few remarks cnncerning ircrabiliry in general.”Y e t “twefold mots cannor play the role of philosophical p.itcrability “can only bcwhat it is in thc impuriryof its selhidentity (reperition altering and alteration identifying)” (LI. as a necessary possibility of each instance.

I want ’to offer a brief definition and a succinct circumscription of the maior r murchprobkms the remark address-.k SYSTEM BEYOND BEING +f 7 it nonetheless btoaches and breaches” ILL p. p. which constantly adds o r withdraws a fold from h e series.” is the break that intervcncs in the mark. or propriety. Bcforc trying to give a detailed account of the different movements that enter into its composition. they make philosophical mastery possible. and itcrability in pamcular. “According to the structurc o f supplcmmtarity. supplementation always m n s i w of adding a mark to another mark. traces. passing between the re. plenitude. 270).of the repeating. The Infiasmrmre as Re-Mark TI-e re-mark mts a m s all the other undecidabks that wc haw cxamined up to this point. speak of the remark as a form o f articulation of the “differential-supplementary smcture. T h e re-mark is also a form of the minimal StNCture of referral that I have analyzed as arche-trace. whether or not it re-covers all of them by merging wirh them. As the remark demonstrates. 262). p.o f the repeated and the re. But the re-mark is also a form of thegmeral law ofiterability.the re-mark.” thusdisruptingall prescncc in the mark (D. p. The mark (or mrgin. ”every d t m i n a t e fold unfolds the figure of another. therefore. what is added is thus always a blank o r a fold: the fact of addition gives way to a kind of multiple division o r subtraction that enriches itself with zeros as it races breathlessly toward the infinite.” wirh thc effm that no possible heme of the fold is able “ro consrimte the system o f its meaning or present the unity of its multiplicity” (D. thc next-to-nothing of the hymen” (D.conqts. Therefore the infrastructures. 270). is nemsarily a very complcx structurc. . “That which is rcmarkablc in the mark. 210). A mark has the form o f repetition and duplication because the remark by which any mark is marked in advance i s part of the mark i t d . Considering the multitude of its intersections. As I shall attempt to demonstrate in discussing the remark. It i s a form of the general law of supplemcnrarity which dislocate all presence. but they themselves escape mastery. Derrida can. ’More’ and ‘Icss’ are only scparatcd/unitcd by the inhimima1 inconsistency. p. arc at once the condition and the limit of theorizing. 190). “Condition or effect-take your pick-of iterability” /LI. o in the sensc of “boundary”-all of which belong to the same scrim of words) as re-mark i s that parrimlar infrastnmural fcaturc that prohibits any diacridcally constituted series of rims.

The rc-mark is also that which opens up the possibility o f referentiality f applicarion of one mark ro anorher. which a finite consciousncss would be unable to master. Yet thc economic scopc of this infrastructure is not limited to the sole problem of totalization (and reflection). distinguish the basic traits of the re-mark. first.” is which represcnrs part of the conrext o whtch Dcrrida develops this notion o f remarking. or token. B trace that turns back into a presence (or a sign). Derrida notes in Dissemimtion that the structural place o f the theological map is prescribed by the remark: de marque] produced by the “The mark-supplement [le s~rpplirnmt rcxt’sworkings. it gives birth 10 i t and nourishes it in the vcry act o f separating from it”(D. The term m r k refers. a trait. or angle on which. to rhe . such as the fan. 258). It combines of the t e r m mark and two distinct moveat lcast four diffcrent E C ~ S C S ments. in fallingoutsidcofthetextlikc an independent object with no origin other than itself. I shall nor take advantage of rhc examples of rhc remark. in such within rhe play o a play. on the contrary. As in our prcvious analyscs. Or rather. it hinges on the existence o f a certain nerve. Second. the referent is wt asidc (a I‘icurt) in infinite rcfercnce. the n general. then. to the empirical objm commonly known by that name: a sign. metonymic) twist. fold.218 ON DECONStRUCTCrON or marks from ever closing upon itself. Let us. The re-mark interrupts the mdizations of which it is itself the condition of possibility. it refers. as we shall see. an indication. on which Dcrrida reliesin formulating thisgeneral law. I shall also privilcgcrhc general Implicationsof this infrastructure f irs parricular consequences for literary criricism. This impossibihy o f totalization or of self-closureis not due to an infiniteabundanceof meaning. metaphorical. over the possibility o f “The Double %$ion. ternarkrenders rhe function of truth possible by limitingit. through a tropic (analogical. Part III of this book focuses on these specific problems. 1 shall discuss this inhastrucrurc in absrractjon from the rich context in which it is produced within Dcrrida’s work. p. this Impossibility is structurally based. Consequently. i s instparable from desire (the dcsirc for reappropriation or reprcscotation). The re-mark is an infrasrruaure that accounts both for the neeessaty illusion of mralization and for its simultancous displacements. the blank. o r the fold in the work of Mallamre. I the re-mark is the structure that accounts for the possibility of all transccndenral or theological illusions. Since. because the supplementary $tams of the re-mark (as a mark added to another mark) can always be isolated from the mark it doublcs and can thus be rendered indcpcndent of that mark.

Because a mark a q u i m the ideal idmriry necessary to its iteration as the mark o f something other than itself only to rhe extent that it is constituted by what it is not. it adds itself to each individual mark. and to remarking in this manner the singular mark. According to the law of the arche-trace. Dcrrida calls this s p a a the m a r k ‘ s spaced-out semiopening jl’cntr’arrvermre espaw. A5 such a double of h e mark. that is. BS the m n q r chat refers to hem in.In this last case. as the mark or mi6 of marks thought. or metonymical substitutes. allows the mark to serve as the “cancept” o f all empirical marks. as the mark of the mark. And third. metaphorical. a s well as to the seriesof its analogical.e). must contain mi additional tropological movemmt by which the scme mark refers to what d c m a r a t e the marks. to the mark or march (both mean boundary) o f thc mark. in addition to designating the totaliry of all marks within a series. a mark is embedded in a differential system of m a r k in which it acquim the minimal identity necessary to refer to something other than itself. Therefore. SYSTeM B E Y O N D BEING 219 totality o f o b j m that function ar marks. In the h t and sccond instan-.4 . t o the semantic unities’and the chains or series that they form. totatizing or embracing them as their least. the totalizing semic mark must also . the mark is a distinguishing mit or quality o f something or someone. to the blanks between the marks that relare the different marks to each other. that which confers the meaning of relating to a rcfercnt upon the different forms ofmarks. This identity hinges on its relation to anothcr mark. rhe scme murk i s thus made M refer ta its asemic space of irmriptian. in the third it is the “concep~” 5r rather the totalizing s m e (-1.A mark mum be re-marked by what it is not [anocher mark) in order to bc rcpeamblc as the identical sign of a signified.rheir totality. the doubling of these series. of the series of possible tokensin other wards. T h e fourth sense of the term is mom complicattd. Through the additional mopolngial movement. In all three cases the mark is understood to refer IO a referent as a function of truth. the tropolDgiEa1 movement by which the mark (or seme) &rs to the polyscmic series o f marks. Indeed. or the scrics as a whole by the srmic mark or concept of the mark-a marking by which the singular m a r k become dre visible (ar invisible) incarnations of the “content’’ of the xmic mark-the nature “proper” of the mark also demands that it refer to that which opens up the possibility o f marks in general. the mark functions as a double of the mark. in a suppIcmcnrsry trop~logicat movement. on ia daour through another mark in thc very act of self-referenw..

in addition it is what make that totality possible. Indeed. The mait by which the mark becomes doubled.fZO ON DECONSTRUCTION inscribe or insert within itself the differential siructure of the mark. Let me cmphasim t h a t this remarking of thc mark docs not come from the outside. is mast similar to the graphics of the remark I D . The re-mark only makes possihlc. or re-marked. by its own mark (march. can lunction without referring to rhat which makes it n advancc re-markcd. and thus the operation proper of speculatinn. Derrida has acknowledged that Aufbebmng. a doublinb constitutive of its ideality. to a nonrnark. the n-iry of such remarking. . We may anticipate rhe at all. Yet by virtue of the irreducibly double n a m e of the mark. what holds them together and separares them. whether an individualmarkor the"eoncept" of the mark. Since in its irreducible duplication it must include a reference to what it is not. inserring something heterogeneous to itself in itself-namely. and with which Aufiebiing cannnt come to grips. however. it would make all tefcrring to another Other than the self impossible. Irreducibly double. the mark is i the mark a mark. what makes them resemble and differ from one anorher. also affects the destiny o following: if the remark were a self-reflcxivedoubling. ir must aIways be a referring without referent. is an undecidable trait. one that constitutes a limit to the [conceptualizing or represenring) reflecrion of the l i m i t s or margins of the mark. margin). nor does it accidentally affect the mark. that which makes the mark possible. Since no mark. 248). the mark's referencc to another Other than itself. A t this point the remark seems to coincide with the speculative concept of Alrfiebung a s a way in which reflexivity reflecrs itself into itself. The mark must thus be marked. The re-mark is thus more than the totality of the marks and more than tbe totalizing concept of the mark. without which the mark could not hope to refer to anything f referentiality. even including its own possibiliry. As wc shall see. Moreover. Bur thc mcraphysical illusion of a self-present referent is . however.p. what demarcates it as a mark-the mark a150 names the space o f inscription o f chi marks. is also constantly deferred. or series ot marks. Ir must conscqucntly Entail the failure of self-reflection 50 that the mark can assume a function of reference. the mark remarked by the hercrogeneous order of what makes it possible--the re-mark-is thus the concept of the roralig of the scmic valences of the mark plus the spaced-out semiopening of the whole of these valences.since the orher ro which the mark refers in order to bc itself can only be another mark and not the punctuality o fa present instance o r moment.

the mark begins to €unction as a signifier f o r a signified. 521. ID concept o r theme of the mark could hope to coincide with what it aims to embrace. the nonmcaning against which the full marks stand out. for that matter. must take on the fold of the asemic space that unfolds benvstn the terms of the scrim or system. the extra valence added by the delegate of the asemic spacc o f diacritical diffmndarion of the rotalig of semes always-infinitely-remains to be accounted for. p. is the meaningful and signifying delegate or representative of h e semantic void between the marks of thc series. irretrievabty. mirrored) by irs concept. Derrida shows that. itr place i s prescribed in advanct. “through a rcduplication that is always rcprescnted” (D. it represents what does not really belong to the serics of 5cmt5. By dissociating the marks‘ r c f h n g from what demarcates them. each individual mark and each series o f marks is remarked (doubled. Only by making it signify can the haerogcneous space of inscription. T h e remark is a n Essential limit to all coinciding reflection o r mirroring. Not only the marks of a series must bend to the foid o f heir asemic . a doubling of rhc mark rhar makes all selfreflcctivc adquation impossiblc. w e may draw a double mnscqucnse. by reducing the remark constinruvc . p. fifth. Such a valence docs not enrich that series. Thus remarked by h e space of insaiption that demarcates all marks. no fuIfilling equarion beween marks (or. If that tmpc is subtracted from the scrim m be mtalized by the conccpt (of rhc mark]. refcr to that non-senw space that demarcates ir from other marks. b n their concept) and their meaning can ever be achieved. thc totalizing rcmic concept o f all the semcs or marks of a serics. 2-57). a valence that i s not just one among others is added to that series. and. 46). Prccidy because the mark as a mark must. this totalization leaves at least one mark unaccounted for. By referring ro “the place where nothing takes place but thc place” ID. 222). rctlccted. what is added. be referred to by the mark (D.p. one trope too many is thus added to the series. from their space of inscription. as well as by its asemic space of mibility.2. to “the re-marked site of the mark” (F. p.d SYSTEM BEYOND BEING 121 inscribed within the s t r u m & o f the mark as re-mark. For structural rcaaonh there is always more than totality. As we have sccn up to this point. in an extra turn. From the fact that each mark. Clearly.of rhc mark to a mere scmic function. to the mark’s spaced-out semiopcning. in the form of a proxy (of a metapbor o r metonymy). as well as the conapt of a11 the semantic marks. The remark is indeed double. however. necessarily.

it can be said that a11 the marks of a series are in the position of sernic substitntcs for h e spaced-out scmiopening that makes them possible. the mark effam itself. but that. reflects itself within itseff under the form of what it is not. mark upon mark. ~ c o m ~ for itself. producing in this manner the illusion of the refcrent. the one indcfinitcfy rcpcaml within the other: an abyss. mtreats. in rhc act o f inscribing itself on itsclf indefinitely. like the phenomenological horizon o f pcrcepnon. Likewisc. sixth. the very inscription of in condition of possibility into the mark itself can nwer be the in- . Hena. the demarcating spacc that itself remarks the signifying marks rccoils. of itself. withdraws. the remark does not present itself as such to any intuition of it as a phenomenon. ever more invisible. In affecting itself by the remark. the mark rcnders its margin invisible. To the extent that that a m i c space is represented by a proxy within. and in addition to. ground. 1 a result of this constant retraction. T h e remarking of the mark (or of rhe totality of the marks in a serier) is. disappearing-infinitely-in its own forward movement. Infinitcly re-marking that space by another semic mark. therefore. thc series.222 ON DECONSTRWCTION spacc o f inscription. that is. the mark inscribes itself within itself. t h c ~ l a n k m l o ~ ~ ~ l f . In marking what de-marcates it. I t effaces itself. designating i s own space of engenderment. thc me-mark docs not lend itself to phenomenologization. Not t h a t it is out of reach." By remarking itself. (D. a margin in a mark. Under the remark. into precisely what it is supposed to make possible. a tcxr within a tcxc. not onIy the full tcrms of a series are affected by the remark. p. the margin of the mark is turned into a mark that is hetcrogcncous to the hcterogcncous spacc of i t s inscription. T h e mark is heterogeneous to the mark. lo themoilingofthchlankupon t h e ~ l a n k . disappears in the appearing of what it is not-a proxy of itself. bur this homogcnizing remark effaces that which makes signification possible at the very rnament that it bcgins to signify. i t mulriplics and complicates is text. it becomes rnetaphorially o r metonyminUy tnashrmed into a mark. the heterogenencous space between the marks becomes re-marked as well. affecting itself ad infinirum-irs own c~lorltps. 265) Because of the remark's nature as a n angte or fold to which each mark must bcnd tf it is m function as a mark. not only to bc understood as the represented inscription of the spaced-out scrniopming in the mark but also as the withdrawal of what makes the marks possible from the marks themselves.

The mark’s transcendental opcning withdraws in its represenration. as well as the possibility o f udepatio and homoiosis. and which. as I have already mentioned. (2) Differance corresponds to a nonunitary yet originary f the movemenrsof differing. marks i t s proxy in deprh. the infrasrmmre of the remark. in an economical stnrnure. the infrastructural an& of the re-mark provides Mom far the porsibiliry o f rrurh as udeqrurrio or bmaiasis. the infrastructure of the remark is also rhc matrix for thc conception of m r h as aletheid. Althou& the formalizing capaciiy of each infrasmcture differs from the others. for the major theories of truth as they have bcen formulated in Western metaphysics. Moreover. which Derrida calls infrasrructures or graphemutic irr getieral {M. and the re. inscribing wirfiin f the difference bctween appearing and what itself the possibility o appears. Lct us first review the five infrasmctures hemselves: (1)The niche-trace is a stmcturc o f referral linking all relation to self to the xlFs cffacement in its relation t o an Other which is not the speculative other o f the self. making manifest the limits o f speculative Aufhebmg. of truth as revealing and concealing. not only because rhis inlrasmcnrrc cannot be phenomenologized and aperimcod. by linking together in one srmthlre the possibilities of rcpaition and alteration. differentiation.of the doubling rcpctirion of the mark. This last figure i s ultimately the figure of Aufiebbung itsell. since the angle of the re-mark-the undecidable play between the re. 322). Consequently. p. the variety in scope or range of the organizing power of the undecidablcs does not prevent our recognizing the ways in which they overlap. and synthesis o so on rhat rclegares rhc possibility o f plenitude and self-prescnoc r o rharof anaftereffecr. In light of the foregoing rcvicw of the fivc systems of predicates. and of the re.such. consequently. some concluding remarks may be appropriare. but also because at least one repmcntation of it-that is. deferring. which is incapable of accounting for the re-mark us such.A SYSTEM BEYOND BEING =s3 scriptiono f this “‘almost nothing” a s . By effaang itself. accaunts.OF the rcpcatcd and thus altercd doublc.of the retraction o f the mark-also accounts for the movemrnt of corning to the fore and withdrawing in that which presents itself in this manner. A certain systematicity exism among rhtse five infrasuuctures. (4) Itwubiliiy. at least onc Egurc in which it disappearsis left unaccounted tor. (3)Supplemmturitydesignatesthe law according ro which the possibility o f the unbreached plenitude of an ntiry is dependent on the absence of an Other which it coma to replace. is the explication of idealization constitutive of both iden- .

predicates themovcmcnrr of doubling. the strumre of substitution in which they are caught and which they articulate. one in particular needs to be mentioned here. or rather disseminating. they exhibit the density of a fanned-out volume.124 ON DECONSTRUCTION tity and its limits. Before discussing this decisive aspcct of Derrida's thought. makm the possibility of reference hinge on the mark's or the trace's withdrawal in the doubling movement of the reflectinn of its heterogcneovs space of inscription. Another mason is that the infrastructures are not stTiciu sensu transcendentals of condirions or possibilities. and historicaE nature of the economical Enfrastructurcs. and alkration--can be substituted for another. within which systematic overlapping. that they can bc derived from one another within the totality of what is traditionally called a system. Each infrastructure draws together in a differest manner a difkrenr Stt of concepts: hrncc thc varying scope and reach nf what can be derived from each. t h a t is. since the unity of rhese originary synthcses is not unitary. self-effacement. rhe polywmie. their explicatory power is not thealogically ahsolutc. Since they represent the systematic exploration o f what Derrida calls the space of inscription. recoverings. no system is ultimately possiblc on the lcvcl of the infrastructures. For many reasons. the bcing-chain of an infrastructurat chain. however. and intetscctions b e c n the different structures can easily he distinguished. duplication. It stems from thc fact chat each infrastructure as a relation to Other-as a structure of selfdeferring. however. . in the play of substitution o f the inftastructumis thegrnerol system. to the extent that the dupIication presupposed and made possible by repetition is also thc mnstant alteration of identity. AIthough each singular infrastructure is one among others. contextual. I want to concentrate on what in this philosophy corresponds to a genera1 theory o f doubling. Owing to this possibility of each infrastructure to inscribe within itself the 'being-chain of rhe chain. structure of the necessarily open ensemble of the infrastructures cannot be governed '"by the unity of a f m s or of a harizon ot meaning which promises ir a totalization or a systematic adjoinrncnt-"" One such reason is the strategic. but since each infraaruaure can and must assume this rote. each onc also dtscrihe the chain itsclf. or what Derrida calls text in an jnfrastructural sense (see Chapter 11). repctition. and can ulrimately cornc to represent the whole chain of infrastructures. each inhasrrucrure becomes thc nuckus of a system. What can be grasped. repetition. This does not mean. ( 5 ) The re-mmk. which knots ragether in one cluster of . Among the reasons I have not yet considered.and retraction (oreffacement).

Yet duplication is not more o original than. and others.that I have tried. A5 all the infrastructures demonstrate. andsubscqmdy mdtiplies it. or the repetition of an action. a general theory af doubting must conceive . then. A gmerat theory of doubling should help acmunr for dupliciry in gencral. explicitly and implicitly.A SYSTEM UEYOND BEING 225 THE GENERAL THEORY OF DOUBLING It may not seem appropriate t o privilege theprobtern of duplicity and duplication in attempting to formulatc the gcnerui symnt. Traditionally. diffcrance. although I am about t o concentrate on doubling.” properly denotes a turning back (upon oneself or iwlf) o r an appasirion. rather. as i s the case of the re-marko r the re-trait (but also re-presentation. iteration. such a theory will not explain duplicity by way o f an undivided whole that would precede it. f o r instance. to account for the possibility of an opposition such as that between a simple and its double. il gencral thcory of duplication seems necessarily to underlie all theinfrastructum. differance. such a5 the infrasuuctures ofiterability and supplementarity. presuppose it. re-producrion. or moment by establishing an Other. although one could show duplication t be a presupposition as e a d y as an effect of that infrastructure. a necessary illusion produced by the play of the undccidables. I could just as easily focus on itcrabiBty. Insofar as same of the infrastructures make explicit UK of the logic of re. in order. the double comes after the simpIe. and so on). or remarking.This becomsparticuiarly obvious’in those infrastructures. entity. as I have suggested. in which dupBcation and repetition are clearly tied together. they arcequiprimordial. which corresponds to the English “again” and “against. a double opposite to them. Thus. The h t i n particle re-. Its figurative meaning denotes dther a restoration of a thing to its original condidon. and which thus annuls rhe traditional restridon o f doubling to a macrer of accidentaliry and semndarinss. Yet if one considers chat iterabiliry. as a necessary possibility constitutive of idcaliries. mstmce. a transition i n t o an opposite smte. such as inrability. to prove decisive in understanding the infrastructures seems to prmuppdse an initial duplication. then duplicity must f all infrastructum. and that the necessary possibilities of supplementarity. and archotrace broach the identity of a full tying all or several of these meanings together. which would not be preceded by any unity. “produces” as much as it “presupposes” alterity. 5ay. such a whale is only an aftereffect. The whole logic appear to be a major feature o of the re. in canformirywith what infrasasrmchlraa t e s u p p a d to achieve. To explain duplicity and doubling preslrppo~s an originary doubling.

ofthe original and Be double. Derrida notes on several occasions that thc reflection. To call ir by this name r u i r h philosophy is not only to call it by one of the names o f t h a t which is severcly condemned by this discourse as spurious. Because the possibility of reflective duplication must b i n 4 M within it. the simple would not be what ir is. According to the requirements of technical philosophy. or infinire duplicity. the subtle excess ‘of truth and ontology that the origjnary duplication designates cannot be qualified simply as a simulacrum. As a consequence of its identity. which itself signifies an original. o the simple. The originary duplicarion eliminates the possibility of establishing a last source. origin. in order to be simple. Therefore. Such a theory must conceive of an a priori.” of a dupIicadon that mnstitutcs double. and from the start irreducible. a doubling anterior to thc metaphysical oppositions of truth and nontruth-a simulacrum is to continue to speak within these comforting oppositions. An original division of the reflected must double the dual relation between the doubk and the original if thc original is to lend itself M duplication at all. Within philosophy. since the nontrutb Qf the copy o f the copy is l i k e d to the truth ofthe premt rcfcrcnt of which the first copy is the tmc repetition. and only within which it can emerge as a simplicity. A simulacrum. 206). if the simpIe could not be doubled. the double splits what it doubles. and the reflected o r doubled is also split jn ir5df. a double of a double.226 ON DBCONSfRWCTlON o f “ a doublc that doubles no simple. a doublethat nothing anticipates. if not bad duplication (and repetition). Yct what this asks us to conceive . the image. f “a double rootedness. thc simple must inscribe the possibility of being divided within itself. Indeed. The dual relation of the simple and rhc secondary. the simple must already be doublc. How is this originary duplication or doubling to be understood? In Of Grammatology. the simulacrum is indced dependent on an ontology. nothing at least that is not Emelf already double” (D. bemmcs derivative of this . which doubles the relation between the simpIe (edos) and its simulacra (&h~ o r eibon) as a simulacrum itself. To name the originary duplication-that is. installing instead an infinitc reference between originals and doubles. which logically precedes the philosophical opposition of the simple and the derivative double. but also to strip it of its most unsettling implications. one may want to understand this structure of dupliciry. A general theory of doubling will have to focus on this dupticiry. by addins itself to it. the reflected is divided by its reflection in iadf. p.structure o f dividing reference. as dehned by Plato. is a copy of a copy. and original.

or non-Platonic simulacrum. mnsqucnrly. No on can come into p-ce without simultaneously referring to something it is not. phantasms. reflections. 324). simply. a5 an identity that inccssantly refers to another (double). Imagine that mirrors (shadows. it i s not governed by opposition and contradiction. but rhat within which the on& and their images. would be in them. Included in the at once of the originary duplication is the necessity of each appearing on to be able to appear as such only by reflecting. in other words. in the prrscncc of its identity and in the identity of ih prcsmcc. e t r ) would no longer be comprehended within the structure of the ontology. initiates but also displaces f the copy of the rneraphysical opposition of original and copy. on the contrary. of i n p u b t r u t h rdlccfed in the icon. it is no longer a phenomenon within the world. -At once” means that the being-prrwnt ( u r n ) in its truth. The concept of the ncgarive i s unable to cover up its play. its status mnsisrs of doubling the play of the ncgative and inscribing it within itself as one ofits many possibilities. identical and idemid t o itself. but would rather mvelop’it in its entirety. extremely derrrrninatc effect” (D. a$ thc possibility of its own most proper non-truth. As such a non-Platonic simulacrum. doubling the opposition between copy and original. and o a mpy. At me. the phantasm. means hat the movement of duplication to & accounted for is rhat o fa simultaneous opcnjng and dosing of the possibility of self-reference. I D . p. It accounts for the fact that any OH can come into p r c x n a only by immediately producing the possibility o f its duplication. rhe originary duplication escapes binary logic.p. Doubling. or &e simulacrum. the original duplication. a nonPlatonic simulacrum. As an unAaggingly dislocated and displaad identity. Indeed. phantasms. essmcc. withdrzws itself in the supplement that prcscnts it.’ on the contrary. To cite Derrida: “lmagine that mirrors would nor be in h e world. then. or simulacra c a n e themdvrs out. is no longer derivative of present onta or of their totality. What is is not what it is. or unbreachcd identity. 168) . unique. f all o m and zhcir doubled as man as it . as won as ir prexnrs irrclt 1 2 Q ~ ~ C ~ im T Sirr . Theoriginary duplication. but that things included in the totaIity o ’PTCSC”~. A d iK idmtiy i s hollowcd out by that addition. or doubling i d f in another. is neither p d e d nor followed by any refmnt. into a complctely diffcffnt field. u n l m it nddr to itserf the possibility of being repented as such. mirroring. .appears.A SYSTEM BEYOND BEING 257 is a simulacrum without an ultimate ref-. The hncdon a€ such an originary doubling serves as a matrix for rhc simultaneous posibiliry and i m p i b i l i r y of any self-present entity. producing here or there a particular. prcscnce.

67). To account ot once for the duplicity of the double and what is doubled is to double the “cause” o f duplication. by demonstrating rhat apposition o rhe original can appear solely on the condition that it is (possibly) doubled. cvidcncc.As Dcrrida insisrs. such a question is undoubtedly provoked by ccrrain devclopments in Husserl’s phenomenology itself. berween what is doubled and the double-or. Derrida’s critique of Husserlian phenomenology does not focus only on the privilege Husserl attributes to the f the riving presence. between reflection-into-self and reflection-into-other-is derived from an originary duplication which is never sublated in the procas of speculative reappropriation of the Other. Yet phenomenology cannot entirely Ecrtify this qucstion.” instead of dialectically deduang it from a presupposed anterior unity. as a warp of language. Derrida asks thc more fundamental question whether “the phenomenological model [is] itself constituted. in particular in its Husserlian form. lot the mament 1 would like to emphasize anorher critical irnplicarion of this general theory of doubling. and to think a primary “double rootedness. In addition to this criticism. and to his questioning o f banxendcntal phenometmlo&s unaddtedd complicity with the mundanc. The possibiliry of dialectically comprehending the opposition between what is douhlcd and I t . transcendental experience. double asa relation o f exteriorization and reappropriation o f the double as the negative o f what is doubled is logically dependent an the originary duplication according to which no on can refer in i n appearing to irseli except by doubling itself in an Other. upon a woof that is not its own? And which-such is the most difficult problem-is no longer ar all mundane?” (OG. as Hegel would say.” f doubling attempts both to lcgitirnise and to The general theory o undercut the possibility o f dialcnis and speculation. more particularly. fundamental s w r i t y .zzs ON DECONStRUCTtON To say that the originary duplication accounts ot once for the classical f the double and what is doubled. ism maintain duplication as rhtexplicamy “MUSC. p. Since the possibility of all identity is depcndenr on a refcrral to Other (and therefore on il limitcd possibility). which refers phcnomcnology “to a zone in which . The general theory of duplication not only undercuts speculative dialectics bur reaches beyond phenomenology as well. the unity between identiv and difference. Although I shall return to this in mate detail later in this chapter. nor is it limited to Husserl’s bending instance o of the form of all experience to this essentially metaphysical motif. logic. whethcr it cantems cxpcrimcc in general or.

d SYSTEM BEYOND BEING 219 5ec it. As derived from the self-pracnce of truth. that this difference is preceded by theoriginary duplicaiionofwhich it is but a traqsince the movement o f the self-prmtarion of the phenomenon in pure appearing. the nation of phenomenon has b a n linked to the movement of duplication.. insofar as they consricure the realm of meaning. originary duplication puts the very possibility o called a phenommon radically into question. For him. 65). Derrida argues. in a clear and distinct manner. At least since Kant. p. “rheunhcard [the remarkable. its metaphysical principle: the original self-eviderrce snd presmce of the thing icwlf in person) is radically put into question” (WD. however. icons. the doubles. and the mundane appearan=. amatinhand soon]diHertnct b m the appearing and the appearance. however. Still. ( h e m the ‘worId’ and ‘lived experience’) is the condition of all other differmm” (OG. their quality of appearing as rhcmxlves to rhemsclves-disrinyishcs them. in pmcnting itself m suck to an intuitive consciousness. simulacra. and thus capable of presenting themselves in themselves. bcrwccn phcnorncna as the nuclei of meaning and presence. . indecd for Husserl. phmomcna for Plato are o f the order of phantasms. as the nonidcal. As pure appearing itself. but rather a5 that which appears t o rhe sen= (Erscheinungm). Thus. If it is tnte that the principle of prinaples of phenomenology hingm on the possibility of the self-presentation of the thing f that which is itself. from all sheer. between appearing and what appcars. and so on. As a m a m r of fact. phenomena have no longer been understood as mere appearances (Schein).15 The phcnomcnality of phenomena-that is. only those appearances of which reflection is an intrinsic part can be called phenomena. alrcady pre- i s ‘principle of prinaples’ (as we . for instance in the philosophy of Plato. Yct the general rheov of duptication qusrions precisely the passibility of distinguishing. the theory o f originary duplication dislocates and displaces this principle of principles. phenomena are appearances reflexively bmt upon themselves. in contrast to the noumena of which they are. which lack all constituting immancnt intuiting. rnundane existence. on the one hand. phenomena double the mtos on as the bccoming perceptible to the senses. Husserl makes all other differences depend on this difference. This motif ofduplication is tied up wirh Husserl’s undcrsranding of phenomena as much as it is with Kant’s. p. on the other. phenomena are opposed to what is. and of course to mere appearances as well. so to speak. From the very beginning o f Western philosophy. As Husscrl makes quite clear throughout Philosophy as Rigorous Scimce. to what appears. that is. 164).

p. “Visibility should-nor bc visible. Precisely this differcnce is what bafflcs appearing and limits to a secondary role the unhearddf and remarkable diffmncc between appearing and appearance. irreversible r m s . a (pure and impure) difhrence inscribcs itself without any decidable poles. With the thought of such an originary duplication.210 O N DECONSTRUCTION suppascs a movemcnt o f doubling without which the appearing could not dare to itself* In other words. so that it may name this irreducible doubling that reduplicates thc unheard-of difference beovcen appearing and a p pearance a5 it is to account for it within phenomenology. thc diffcrends. the possibility of clear-cur distinctions bccomes altogerher questionable: “What is lifned. as Dcrrida has demonstrated in “Plaro’s Pharmacy. without any independenr. 210). ir is impossible to phenomcnohgize. it is. i t would blind the beholder. blinding”‘* According to this logic. and not in spire of it. As we have mn. If thc absolute origin of vision or speech is marked by invisibility and inaudibility.” what is epekt-inu t e ortsks ~ should not be perceived as an already divided (and hence impossible) plenitude. ornniparcnc logic that has rcigncd sincc Plato. because this originary doubIing docs nor prcscnr itself us such. it is hecause. is not difference but thedifferent. it aIways becomes more invisible. in withdrawal. for structural reasons. in disappearingasan opening. d m not bclong to the totality of what it makes possiblc . or rather baffles the process o f appearing. Such diff ercnce wirhout presence a p penrs. this unheard souroeof spcech. rhe phenomenon must already have divided itself. because one cannot withstand so powtrful a plenitudc. Yet the morif of rhis invisible source of light. in structural terns. Thanks to the confusion and continuity of the hymen. the dcadable exterioriry of differing terms. as the absolute ground. T h e invisibility of rhe infrasrrucrure. one cannot face thc source of light. It isas impossible to bend the language of phenomenology. This originary doubling i s not a pure and infinite opening for the experience of phenomenal meaning. that which enablcs us m scc should remain invisible: black. in order to p m t itself a5 such. with its oppositions of absence and presena. If that source were seen. seems to be linked to a powerful motif in classical philosophy according to which what makes visibility possible must iaelf remain invisible. According to an old. rhat which. by dislocating any orderly rirneat the centerof the present” (D. one cannot speak of that which makes speech possible. of originary duplication as the impurc apcning in retreat from the difference capitalized by phenomenology. is anly the negative image of what I have called the irreducible and originmy doubling. since in arternpting t o do SO. then. more originary than the difference between phenomena and the world.

Autwaffcnion. then. in making them possiblq trace their limim as well? To answer t h e questions. and leading to complex and hierarchical o p t i o n s . the Auto-affection is a universal . make reflexivity. and undivided xlfpresence. the dream of a mode of being that would not have to borrow horn outside itself anything forti@ to its own spontaneity.cnce of presence. spontaneiy. to subject it K) h e ethico-heoretical code of philosophy-is to continue to speak in the language o f that which that origin makes possible. Dcrrida writes in Of Gramutology: SMEN~C of cxpericncc. sceks new ways to come m grips with this problem. mar.” of mastering all cxterioriry in pure inrrrioriry. with the cffem that rhc subjca o f uncring comes into an immediate relation with the h u l meaning of his spnch. the s t r u m r e proper of a p e ricncc. Consequently. I shall also show how deconstruction i s to be ~ e e n as a critique of reflexivity (and implicitly of all the other themes and motifs that are in complicity wirh this major philosophical theme).how does this originary duplicity. Auto-affection is the suppmsion o f diffmncc or duplication. only a being capable o f symbalizing. by mourning its passing. in the aftermath of Hcgcl’s speculativc solution of the aporetia of retlecrion. sprmlarity. In what follows. to speak of this ground as rhc blinding origin o f visibility-that is. In the system of the hacing-onexifspeak. insofar as experience i s always crPn. Now. the cxterioriry ofthe vocal significr is expcriend as effacing i&lf entirely in the very moment of in untrance. It is a t the basis of a dream of immediacy. All living things i r e opablc of a u r o a f f ~ o o And . under the form of the “hcating-on~lCspeaL” constitutive of the metaphysical privilege of speech. and ultimately autoaffection possibleand. by asimilaring and idealizing ir. it is irreplaceable because it is. let us circle back to the artempt to ritcrate Derrida’s thought with rcspea to that tradition in phiksophp that. Yet. The m m r e of auto-affection consisrr o f “giving-onaclf-a-prrscncc. in essence. although auto-affcnion in this sense is mn mormot~s phantasm. is the general strucnire of auro-affection? Dcrrida has andyzedrhis smcrurt in Spcechmd Pbenommatl in particular. which doubles the classical opposition o f rhat which is doubled and is double. T h i s coded blindness to the originary duplication that dividcs origins r o b s duplicarion o f irs most pristine katum. This pssibiliqanothcr name for Wc”-is a gmcral stmmrc articulated by the history of life. may In i d f be e k e d by thc othcr in general. that is m ray of aum-affecting. A u w a f k i o n is the conditiono f an cxprricna in general.A SYSTEM BEYOND BEING ~ ~~ za 1 cannot possibly Qffcr itself to perception (invalidating in this manner the possibility of percepdon in general).

achieved in auto-affection i s a supplement for a lack o f self-presence. and since each such presence is itself an idealized substitute lor another absent prescnce.” whosc spact remains irreducible (OG. which prevent rhe general s t r u m r e of auto-affection from dosing . an “absolute overboard. Yet paradoxically enough. who was vividly aware o f this. the retroflecrcd sarnc. m what thcnmfoward appcan to mc as my spontancity and scapes me less and less.zzz O N DECONSTRUCTION as-for-itself or for-itwlf-subiectivify-gains in power and in in mastery of the other t o the. cxtcnt &at its power o f repetition idrdizes i d f . p. Most generally.a5 a mere chimera. 153). and as Derrida has demonstrated in the case of Rousseau. pp. concerns both the possibility and newssiry of what. apart horn the “narrow gulf that separates doing horn suffering” wherein one receiva the Other. 1$4). one compts oneself [makes oneself other] by oneself [on s’olt2re soimime]” (OG. H m idealization is the rnovcmmt by which rcnsary exteriority. the structure o f auto-affection requirfs a minimal division of the samc in order for this same ro constitute itself as irself. 165). in thc context from which this last quotarion has been drawn. an absence that structuralty haunts the self-affecting self. “auto-affection constirum rhc same (owto) as it divides the same” (OC. p. auto-affmion leaves an impregnable worldly residue. auto-affection “admits the world as a third p3rty. Ir cxplzins why auto-affection is possible only through an immediate exiting from interiority and why the same as rhe same.Moreover.”” “Auto-affection is a pure speculation” (OC. 166). p. autoaffection has a border. “ U K C d y irreducible hetem-affection inhabits-intrinsically--rhe most hermetic auto-affection” (VP. Apart from thc trace of absence that continues to cohnbir rhe presence one gives oneself in auto-affection. 165-1661 Despite the fact that auto-affchon is a universal strucrurc-the very condition o f experience {of rhe Other)--and whether or not it explicitly gives rise to the “phantasms” Dcrrida alludes m. p. in “affecting oneself by another p a n c e . The border o f the pure autarchy of auto-affection. 5 6 ) . This minimal division takes on manifold s h a p . All these residues.submitsirself tomy powerofrepetition. thar which affects mcorservcsmeassi~ifier. must affecr irself by Otherness. (OG. or pure speculation and spefularity. As a result. In short. since the presence one gives oneself in auto-affection is possible only on condition of a prior privation of presence. i s understood . n i s exclusion is essential for aura-affccrion M be auto-affection. Thus the presence that is . p. for it to achieve an immediate and sponraneous identity in self-presence. Auto-affection has been characterized by in exclusion ofdiffemnce.writes Dcrrida.

in the very operation of significance in gcneml.. l a possibility hings on what will never allow it 10 close upon imlf fully. The difference of self-division yields nothing less than that angle at which it is necessary to fold o n d f upon oneself.a W o n . which is thus prevented from fully coinciding wi& itself. appears to be dependent on srrumrt6 o f finitude. a certain outside inhabits this interiority. minc or yours. in the derrrminndon o f .p. 288). whether reflexive or pre-reflexive-ariscs in the role of supplement as primordial substitution.. it also yields to a fundamental law of duplicationmore preciwly. are essential cracks. is not an empirical exrerioriry. a b m q icarts. which strumrally constitutes auro-afkction. formulate the problem o f rhc “hcaring~neselfk” in the hollowing way: ’ ’ Nci~rrinlcformnorrhcconanro~aruremmrwuldwcrsrii~ mincrinric differem h r m the m m c c I am pronouncing hen+now. “Such a separation in cffm remains ungraspable in linguistiq poetic. if one can achieve sclf-prcscn~ excIu$iveiyby referring tooneself. which soon will return to the silence from w h i h it p d s . o aim at coinciding with imlL a self could not even hope t This angk. in the form ‘in the place of (fiir ctwas). me for-itsdfwould be in-the-phce-of-irrerf. of reduplication-as we shall see. so t o speak. in discussing VaILry. bacause of which the full interiority aimed at in auro-affection remains deferred. the inexreminable evil char insinuarm inelf within the relation to onseIf. an insrance of spacing. Thmforc. namely. without which there would bt no such thing as auto-affection. Yet without the impurity o f this outside. This angle is. however successfully produced in a u t o . very low in my voice or on my page. to the law o f supplcmcntarity.A SYSTEM BEYOND BEING Wf upon itself and from achieving a faultless self-presence. put for-itsdL instead o f itrtlf‘ (SP. the auto constituted in auto-affection is constituted as divided. as this brief analysis clearly indiates. pp. A5 P result. 88-89). not any particular remainder Ich standing i n the process of giving-aneMIf-a-prnce. that is.. and thc =me mrcncc m a i d in an inner instana. For instana. . yields to the general infrastmctural laws. bur in thc qualinrivc dewriprim o f events. Still. Furthermore. rhis is the meaning o f auto-affection. or phenomenological terms” (M. as Derrida points out with respect to Huscrl’s w n a p t of d f pmencc: “What we would ultimately like todraw attention tois rhat the for-iwlf of self-pmence (~r-sicbJ-rradidanally determind in its dative dimension as phenomenological self-giving. in my soallcd speaking voice. As an example. Detrida. the inrcrioriy. as differing from itscIt Aura-affccrim. To give oneself a prcsmce entails relating CD o n e l f . autc-affectionalsoimplies a condition o f df-division. The wo events are I $ different as pa6diblc as wmis.

rigorously speaking. What it excludes. bur owing to which it is also. impossible. 289). a certain tangcncy here appcan TO be borh null and infinite. The difference in quesrion accountsd once for the possibiliry and impmsibiliry o f autoaffection.”‘* it now becomes imperative to understand thar rhc originary duplication. is what d m not allow irxlf to be digested. 2881 The difference. form or mntent. Owing to this angling of duplication. and which is not a lchover rhat the self or the same was incapable o f assimilating.” but by a disjunctive folding point thar occurs in the circuit’s return to itself. which is o f the order of neither content nor form. A t stake is thus the structural disjunction of an altering difference without which no auto-affection would be possible. or represenred. which parallels the difference auto-affection attempts to resolve by its spcculativc and spccular enterprise. by the same token. the angle ar the hcart of self-affection is not an extcriority of the order of either form or content. withour dialectically annulling the disjuncture. This difference or originary duplication. It is an irreducible hete r w e i c y which cannot be eaten either sensibly or ideally and whichthis is the tautology-by ncvcr lctting itself be swallowed must rhcrefore muse itself to be vomited. the principle o f dirmnibility. the mnapt o f diffcrcncc evade us. The snake biles its tail. is a structural agency or instancc whose nonthematiration is precisely thc condition under which auto-affection can work succssfully. whar rhis very work excludes. and therefore. It is a principle of duality duplicared by itself in such a manner that its own “reflection” divides it in depth. the spacing. a fold. Only because of . For this reason. p. unwittingly signifia it. or rather of a re-fold or re-mark. o r doubltd. which docs not belong to simpie exteriority. “‘The circle turns in order to annul the cut. Successful auto-affection functions precisely as a sublation of contradictions. It is thus not a negativity or a conrradiction within auto-affection. Like theseparation that disjoint$rhc circlt. “The negative is its business and its work. originary duplicarion is better characrerized as reduplication. or stated-does not allow itself M be transformed into auto-affection by excmplorality. (M.zz4 O N DECONSTRUCTION prcdicarivc traits. from which above all it does nor follow that it finally mejoins itself without harm in rhis suctssful auto-felario” (M.p. is not a mere doubling but is rather a duplicmion that has the S ~ N C ~ U W of an angle. originary duplication is originarily divided. It is a diffcrmcc causcd nor by “cxrernal prolalion which accidcnrally would come to interrupr the circle.

The originary duplication’s reduplication is preciscly what infinitelyprevenrs it from becoming a sdf-suficient ground. spccularity and retlevivity as well. p. If by reflexivity one f consciousness o r self-presence thar plays such a means the motion o determining role in HegeI’s speculative logic and dialectic. Auto-affection and what it promises. 270). Deaida notcs the lack of coinciding: “The fold i s not a form ofreflexivity. panicularly in his analysis of Rousseau. in the m s e of a mral rdlection. bur also correlatively. inasmuch as it reposes on the possibility of auto-affection. Demda’s regrounding of auto-affection mncern5 speculationand reflection. 94). is not only the much Iongcd-for fulfillmcnr of mctaphysical desire.diIfcrence can be drcamt. This insight into the paradoxical nature of philosophy’s reIation to the absolute as something dreaded as well as desired lcads Dcrrida. Since autodosing the remaining angles of round frames”(VP. Of &is self-division in reduplication. thm those aporias and contradictions traditionally associated with reflexivity take on an entirely different meaning f r o m that which they possess in rhe discvurse of philosophy. As concerns auto-affection. it is also that which is experienced. If difference must breach indifference. paradoxically. to thc recognition that this apparent contradiction can be accounted for only if one assumes t h a t diffcrcncc alf indifference ready inhabits indifferent proximity. Rausscau’s anxieties concerning the state of plenitude he so desired arc a good example of the threat h a t t o t a l self-reflection represents. undivided self-proximity. of this folding of duplicity upon itself. it would funmion as a theological principle of dualism. then a contradiction such as the one I have just referred to acquires a status that can no longer be addressEd by traditional means of problem solving.A SYSTEM BEYOND BEING 235 its strumrally abyssal cundidon can the minimal smcturc of reduplication. as an ultimate and infinite instance. in the m s e that it is the dream of total autarchy.then reflexivity is but an effcct of the fold as t&t” (D. from the moment the possible domination of rhe source by what has flown from . affection is not only a pure speculation. since within it thesc riddles cannot hope to be solved. in the movement of sublation (Aufiebung) and negativity (the esccnce is reflection. a idmtical to death.assurne the double function of constituting and dcconstituting auto-affection on both a p r d e c t i v e and a reflective level. Yet if the ilIusion o or the dream of total scif-reflection by auro-affection is dependent in rhc first place o n a difference (a doubly double fold} around which the dream of the abolition o f . Wcrc it nor doubly double. Derrida’s philosophy is aimed at “disp. s a the ~ greater Logic).

Whereas the heterogeneous. Butsccordingto thelogicof duplicarion. indefinitely.this alsoimplics that what is doubled becomes doubled. the traditional phibsophical paradoxes and contradictions berornc lcss symptomatic o f rhc originary duplication than of the very instances o f division mnstitutivc of auto-affection and self-rcfleaion. since their “contradiction” i s the very condition (of possibility and impossibility) of whar is aimed at. Whilc referring to itself (only). although there is no intrinsic way ofsolving them.236 . either a t one blow or through a process o f mediation. o f a certain cxterioriry a t the heart of all self-relation. immediately o r as a resulr. 36). In order for any self or any speculative totality to retare r o itself. at the very point a t which it must fold wpon irsclf to be itself. and s o on gain a different meaning. bcgins only at the limits af the hoped-for totality that metaphysical philosophy beliores i t i s able to think. ON DECONSTRUCTION is ruled out by a recognition of the source’s originary structural duplicity. auronomous and auf the aporias of reflecmrchical. A5 a result. the pandoxcs o neither unresolvable problems nor manifestations of the negarive. From this perspecrive the elements o tion evade all final solution. Derrida can state t h a t “the origin of the speculation becomes a difference” (OG. p. witness to a pseudoproblem. as we have the source . the difference of Icvels bctween source and whar ha5 been made possible by the source. which would yield to a dialectical process whereby the conflicting arguments would be overcome. They are not. From thc perspective of the know[edge based on autoscopy and autogosis--that is. but rather the very “presence” of heterogeneity. it must repeat itselfIn duplication and duplicate i t s e l f in repetition. for rhat matter. With this insight. a law regulates their “contradiction” to the extent that thcy are mnstitutivc difficulties. as well as on the structural relation to Other. it is dependent on infrasrmcntral re-marking w on the re-fold. Most imporrant. Speculation is bared OR rhe structural repeatability of a mark. While referring to itself alone. the exterior. problems such as the spatial and temporal hiatus= b e w e n the source’s constitutive function and the return to that source in the operation of self-reflection. there musr be a supplernenrary rrair. and thus to be susceptible of sublation in a dialectical logic. for Derrida it sfam in that interiority itself. Yet for the philosophical f reflection are perspecrive that 1 am daborating here. which. Each o f the conflicting arguments may be shown to contain the negation of the other. of the knowledgc made possible in setf-reflection and speculation as absolute self-reflecrion-these aporias have the form of mnrradictians. such a self muscat once rcfer to an Other.

Dissemination is the name by which the in-advancc divided unity is uffmcd. immediately expropriates ir in order nor to halt its march. presupposed by the project of unity and totality and affirmed by reflection and speculation. and the whole into a part” (M.285). from achieving a unity or totality. the“systcm” of the infrasuucrurts-cannot be undersrd in m o f unity. 226). Because o f this angle. It bars reflection forever from rejoining a unity. synthesis. as we have seen. a “liction” (see f o r instance W D . instead o f embracing the totality of all the reflexive determinations. Hence one can say “that the sprmlar agency. far f r o m constituting the I in its properness. “manifests f a multipiying division in rhis double lm the singular operation o which transforms the orj$n inro effect.” Instead offaIding the self into itxlF. o f intellma1 intuition. whkh cannot be t h e m a t i d from within mflcxiviry o r speculation. sprmlation or absolute reflection.A SYSTEM BEYOND BEING 237 seen. as the limit o f their possibility. The general rhmry o f dnplicarion or duplication outlines in rhis manner the l i t s of the philosophical presuppositions of the-philosophy of reflexivity-prpuppositions of an original spontaneity. in the beyond o f rhe presuppositions o f the philosophy of reflection-that is to say. thcmirror of reffection. an always open rnsemble of structures. p. the rcfkxivc totatity differs from itself in irseif at the moment it relares to itself. without their knowledge. or in tcrmsofspontancity. it is a myth. addressing the problems of the more originary origin of the infrastructures. T h e myth o f a unity is onIy an effect made possible and irrevocably undercut by reflection itself. T h i s i n a d v a n d divided unity o f the infrastructures is nor the p o l y m i c dispersion of a once unicary meaning but is. in order to take place in rhc firsr place. insofar as it must rely. of productive imagination. writes. Because o f this angle o f reflection. Derrida has made it quia clear that insofar a an originary intuition pnsupposs an originary synthesis. and w on-as they have been made explicit by Hcgel. p. on the other side of the speculum. who could then resolve the traditional aporias of reflexivity in the speculative manner we have witnessad. “The spontaneous can emerge as the pure initiality of the event only on the condition that ir does not itself present itself. on what it cannot hope m reflect. without engaging in a conceptual monstrosity. Dmida. the ring of reflecrion doe not d o s c itself. What lies beyond the mirror. and &he like. No virgin substance or homogeneous and organic unity precedes or superintends rhe originary duplication and the “system” of the infrastruirtures. tonliry. on the condition of this inmnaivable and k h u b k . is not itself a reflexivity.

33). a t the dull side doubling the mirror’s spccular play. the mirror‘s tinfoil necesnarily becomes sernitransparent and. I t is iefinitcly divided. which 1 claimed a t one point to be the first step of its deconstruction. it appears broachcd and hrcached as an inevitably irnpcrfect and limited Schrinm. only semirctlecrjvc.o n the tinfoil-that disscmination writes itself. onc can read rhe “ s y $ m ” of the infrastructures that commands the mirror’s play and determines the f reflection. In all its perfection. In other wards. it is a twEy infinite playbut because o f the struauraliy limitks play of the undecidables rhat make it possible. thm. that Derrida’s philosophy holds up Ktms r yet this opaque t i n is also transparent. but observed through the tain. To look through the mirror is to look at its reverse side. appears to be affected by the infrastructures that make it possible. It is on rhis reverse s i d e . finitude-as Hegel has shown. remarks Derrida {D. thus implies a breakingthrough of the tinfoils of the mirrors of reflection.unlike 3 certain criticism of reflexivity. The “spontaneity” that “grounds” in rhi5 manner the spontaneity of synthetic reflection at the heart of alt phi‘losophiesof identity evades all the characteristin of true spontaneity. without which it could not even begin to occur. Through it one a n obscrve the play of reflection and speculation as it takes place in the mirror’s mirroring itself. p. pp. Total reflection is a limited play. at the ruin of the mirror. Ir is scandalously passive and is in constanr rctrear from prcsenrarion and sclf-prcscntation. which the mirror’s play cannot accornmodatc witho u t a t the same time relinquishing the telos of its operation: the actualization of the unity o f at1 thar is reasonable At 6rsr thc mirror o show us only its a i n .238 ON DECONSTRUCTION passivity in which nothing can present itself m itself* (M. Seen from the inside this play gives an illusion o f prfection. nor because of some defect owingto itc. In short. thc specu’lar play shows itself incapable o f reflain& o f sublaring its limits. as a cornlaw. the mirraring i s made excessive in order ther it may look through the looking glass toward what makes the speculum possible. demonsrrating the uncertainty of the speculum. Reflection. Derrida’scriticism . In this first step of the deconsmction of reflection and speculation. ir appears ‘limitcd by the infrastructural agencies written on its invisible side. On this lining of !he outside surface of reflection. 296297). T h e generalization o f reflexivity. Yer since this fail is made af disscminatcd strucangles o rural instances. in short. spontaneity can be ascribed to originary duplication only on the condition that it withdraws (itself) in the very act in which it allows reflexivity to dream its dream of achieving homogeneity and unity.

Lct us first recall that systematicity is an csscntial philosophical rquircmcnt.A SYSTEM BEYOND BElNG 219 does not rtjcct reflection and speculation in favor o f total immediacy. T h e pnndple articulated by each singular infrastructure applies ta iuelf as well. nor does it prcsuppasc . they are n o t . they form a certain system. contradictions. I have shown that they are susceptible to a classification of sorts and thar. It is the only way 20 trace the limits of reflection without falling prey to the fictions on which it is based. In the system.W e also SIW that wveral o f the infrasmaurcs r c p r m t conditionsof the possibility and impossibility of systernaticity in general. The system as a complm and in i w l f ' n e w a r y order o f foundation in which philosophical truths acquirc their required internal coherence and unity is a function o f the philosophical desire for sclF-concepmalization. Derrida's philosophy reinscribes. and although each one of the by right in6nitc number of infrasrructurn can bc replaced (or supplementcd] by another. Dcrrida's debate with reflection and speculation is not dependent on the mentially philosophical problem of the aporias. both operations are intrinsically speculative. or negations of reflection. in the strict meaning af chis word. reliemion and speculation into what excceds it: the play o f the infrasnucture lnstead o f disposing o f reflexivity in an empiriast or positivist manner (rhcsurst way for it to reenter through the backdoor). I shall py to show more precisely what s o r tO~S~S~U one I I can attribute to infrastructures and aim in what sense they can be said to make systematicity in general possible (and impossible). THE GENERAL SYSTEM' In describing a number of particular infrastructures. in t e r n 5 of which it rchscs t o criticizc or soIve the pmblcrns of reflection. or of what I havc calkd the general system. by overlappin& replacin& and supplementing one another. knowledge lays itself out and thus camcs to know itself. Focusing on an analysis o f those heterogcneoua Instances that arc the "true" conditions of possibility ot reflection and speculation without being susceptible to accommodation by the intended totatity. As I havc said. As we have sten. infrastructures arc cconomically and strategically minimal distributions or constellations-archesynthescs-of cssentialIy hetcrogcnwus originaty unity by virtue of which the traditional problems af reflexivity can be dialectically overcome in absolute reflection or speculation. In what follows. the philosophy wc havc been considering rake rdlection's exigencics seriously.

as undecidablcs. in short to semantic confusion. ncirher true nor false with m p e r t to these axioms. “On Formally Undecidable Propositions of Principia Marhematica and Related Systems. then the ambiguity o f thc infrastructures has no houndarics. in ~rsSerninuii€~n. Ycr it is not the sort of ambiguity that would be wimcss to an absence of clarity in the process of their determination. In an essay publishcd in 193 1. nor is ir an ambiguity concerning the meaning of the infrastructures. this ambiguity do= not signify the cnigrna o f all truth as an unmnccaling. whcreas rhe ambiguity of the infrastructures i s not the positive sign of a dialectical or speculative stare uf affairs. By analogy to G d e l ’ s discovery of undecidable propositions. Finally. given a system of axioms governing a multiplicity. without synthesis” (D. to vagueness or looseness o f terms. Ambiguity in these senses is always a function of presence-that is. owing to some polysemic richness. an ambiguity grounded in a gathering (Versummlung) or unison (Eln&lung). and apply to themselvm only the better to unground thcmxlvcs. nor in bonrradiction wirh chela. of an ultimately selfi d c n t i d signification-as i s demonstrated by the possibility of the dialectical sublation o f ambiguous meanings.” Gildel demonsrrarcs rhar mcralogical sratemmrs concerning the completeness and consistency o f systems any mare mmpkx than logical systcms of the first order cannot he demonstratedwithin these sysrems. Indeed. It docs not simply coincide with what Heidegger calls zweideurige Zweidmtigkeit. i s neither an analytical nor dcducrive conscquencc o f rhosc axioms. is a proposirian which.m Derrida. For all rhcsc reasons.240 O N DECONSTRUCTION synonymous with or even identical to one another. Tertium dniur. If determinacy requires self-identity. To call the infrastructures undecidablm i s thus not merely to stres the essential in- . provisionally. as Girdcl demonstrated in 1931. Derridn suggests that they be qualified. Thus one can see dearly how infrastructures contain the possibility o f tying clernettts together into a totality of foundation. the ambiguity of the infrastrumres i s not univacal in a higher sense. p. i t i s advisable M avoid the term ambigflity altogcthctin characterizingthe infrastructures. 219). Since inhastmctures combine heterogeneous predicates. as well as of self-thematization and of element mmbinacion and transformarion. however. they also appear ra be strangely ambiguous or ambivdcnt. transcribes Codel’s theorem in the following terms: “An undecidable proposirion.’~ Thc specific ambiguity o f the infrastrunums cannot be sublated o r made to sound in unison. to the negativity of a lack of precision. whose uniry itself remains ~nspeakablc.

their “floating indetermination. Before continuing this analysis. undeciduble must be understood to refer not only to e s sential incompletcncss and inconsistency. but which. to call inhastrumrcs undeudables is to stress that they arc “unities o f simulacrum. As “originnry” syntheses. however. by turninginto one another. They arc undmdabk k u x they suspend the decidable opposition bec w m what is true and false and put a11 the concepts that belong ta the philosophical system of dccidability into brackets. bearing in mind their distinction from ambiguity. misting and disorganizing it. as well a$ F ~ medium C that e n c o m p a s s t h e e coupled terms. By virmc of their constituting a 5paa in b e t w a n conceptual dyads and. Their undecidability. he remarks in his Inrroductias to the Origin of Ccm&y. comprising hem. Thtrefore. [oQ ‘fake’ verbal properties (nominal or semantic) that can no longer be included within philosophical (binary) opposiiion. as Dcnida remarks in Positions. the undecidabls constitute both the medium or the clement between the bmy philosophid oppositions and bawcEn philosophy and its Other.” permits the substitution and the play of the conceptual binary oppositions. without ever leaving room for a solution in the form o f speculative dialectid’ (P. in its very negativity. “has such a sense by some imducibie reference to the i d n l o f decidability. revens them or makes one side cross over into the other” (a. the movement and the play that links them among themselves.revolutionary and disconamng sense “remains sscntially and intrinsicaIIy haunted in its scnse of origin by the relm o f decidability-whosc p. Finally. . withour ewr cowrimring a rhird term.A SYSTEM BEYOND BEING 24I mmpletenss and inconsistmcy o f their 1 e v d of farmaiizadon.mediumin which opposita arc opposed. o f the possibility ofdctcrminingcvtry clcrncnt of a multiplicity a5 either an analytic cowquence or as a contradiction of a system ofaxioms said to govern that multiplicity-the undecidability of the inhastructures questions that ideal from a structural point of view. 43). 127).” Its.$nirmcss itself. inhabit philosophical opposition. Wnhout denying the philosophical i d a l of exhaustive deductiviiy-in other words.p. let us recall thit Derrida emphasized that infrastrucnlres were to be called undecidablc only by anaIogy. but also to indicate a level vaster than that which is encumpassed by the opposirion bcnvm what is decidable and undecidable. the infrastrucrural undecidable are “rhe . titie of the infrasrmcturts transcends the pmjcct of d. or economic arrangements o f traits. 53).Yet what is being thought under the disruption it marks“ (0. p. which. The notion of the undecidable. at the same time.

Meinen. Uridl. the sedimentation that has pmduced insidc it two contradictory layers of signification what counts hem is the formal or syntacticat prosir that compoxs and daornpscs it. 22a) The undecidability of infrastructures results from the syntnciir U P rangment of their parts. Indeed form is just another name for prcscnce. particularly in its dialecrical form of a mediation of mnrrarics and of that in whish decidabtlig and definiteness came themselves out. The undccidahlcs. syntax refers traditionally ro the formal arrangements of words and signs. Indeed. arc what suspend decida‘biliry in a11 its forms. to their connection and rclation in phrases or smtences. Derrida notes. . . . according to their implicit and explicit ethos. bur. however. Dcrrida notes. Bei5picl. it is nor a matter o f repeating what Hegel undcmok ra do with German WO& like AtrJbebmg. some inexhaustible ambivalence d a word in a “narural” language.signifieds. Derrida’s use of thc concept of syntax. conceptual couples and their play essentially represent norhing other than thc attempt to bring the play of the medium of the undecidables to a stop. But what does Derrida mean by syntax?As opposed to semantics (and pragmatics).242 ON DECONSTRUCTION become incapable of denominaring and defining the medium from which t h q cmergc (D. the “ambiguity” o f undecidables is rigorously irreducible and irresolvable because of its csscnrially nonsemnntic character. {D.. ia depth a t breadth.” Derrida says: “Undecidability” i s nor cnuscd here ‘by snmt enigmatic quivecality. is not simply a reference to the formal propertiof laoguage insofar as thcsc arc traditionally considered to refer to the articulation of the .” ir is in the sense that they do not offer themselves to mastery in terms o f simple and clear-cut distinctions. The restricted play of the philosophical conccptual cauples p r o d s 10 this task by trying to reconstitute the undecidables as dialecrical conrradictions susceptible of cvenrual dissolurion. p. to identify it by forcing a self-identity upon it. 101). as well as to the establishedusagesof grammatical construction and the rules deduced ihcrefram. What c o u m here is not lexical richtms. Speaking of the “hymen.. as anothcr major aspcct o f the grammatical construction of sentences (and of the general rhmry of signs). 93). undecidability “is not contradiction in the Wegelian form of contradiction” (P. can only be irrationa1.. Above all. a d srill less by some ”Uegmsinn der Onuorte” (Abel). Thus. 1n dealing here with hymen. p. if one calla infrastructures ’*ambivalent” or “ appropriate it. to make rationat what. marveling over that lucky accident rhat insrrlls a natural language wirhin the elcrncnt o f sprcularivc diakctica. on the contrary. His use of syrrrnv docs not imply the . the semanric irrfinirencss o f 3 word or concept. cfc.

therefore. yet since t h e purely "formal" or syntactic strumres or knoa of inrerscctions are their own paradigm. Syntax is conrrivtd by DerCjda as being irreducibly in cycesd of the semantic. but that they arc arranged in and intrinsically dependent on a syntax of their own. it in fact begins r o signify. as we have seen. The arrangemmr that they r e p m m t is always rearrangement by thcmselvcs. incapable of assuming any stable identity. the syntactic excess raponaible for the infrastructures' undecidability s t e m h r n the fact that their formal arrangmcncs. are we to think such M ~"'irrcducibkmass o f the syntactic over the semantic!" (D. How. Ncitbcr purely possibility o syntactic nor purely srmmrric. In "The Double Session. Its semantic void s i p i f i s . The infrastructure ofremarking or o f the double'mark demonstram this essential character o f infrastructures in general. It i s . which consists of their being folded upon themselves in such a manner that they rhmsclvts became a paradigm of the law they r e p r a n t . o f farm and amrent. and so on. in the case of syntax.then. 222). of the cuntent of rhe words. a litmature in which "the suspmx is due only to the placement and not to the content of words" (D. In distinction f r o m the grammatical opposition of the syntactic and the semantic. unquestionably. along with the problem of the simulacrum. p. For this reason they are." Derrida has shown that the writing of Mallarrni is precisely such an attempt to explore the possibilities o f syntactical excess. Inftasrmcturesapply to themselves. p. Dcrrida's USE of syntax is intended to undo rhcse appositions systcmarically. or constellations of predicares refer m a supplmenrary mark. it orders the play of meaning. but it signifis spaang and articulation. 221). as wc have m. Now. 220). is no longct s u b j m t o crurh at. The infrastructures thus float indefmirety between the possibilities . and cunsequcntly as disequilibrating thar traditiond p a m a t i c a l and philosophid distincdon. in cotstant displacement. signify and are tfius not purely syntactic. lficy seem 10 be purely syntactic. it marks the amcutatcd opening of rhnt opposition" [D. a 5yntoz of sy"tux comes info play. p. By re-marking the syntactic dispasition with a supplementary syntactic trait. dispositions. the infrastrucwzs can no longer be brought to a semantic halt. distributions. Yet if it can be demonmated that fonal syntactic properties can be syntactically cumposcd and decomposed. they also. Such an ex= rakcs place where it can b e shown that the fotmal properties of language ate not simply a function of signifieds. "Through rhe re-marking o f its stmantic void. M the content of the words. it has as ia mcanIng the f syntax.A SYSTEM BEYOND BEJNG 24 ? traditional subjection of synrax to semantia. which.

lending themvlvcs to a movement of (teleological o r archaeological) reappropriation: “these points of indefinite pivoting +. (D. some.’’ that the infrastructure bymen is undecidable because of syntaaic re-marking. like phormokon. at thc same time. p. in contradistinction to cattgoremara. infrastmcturcs rerpmble syncategorcmata. ofthe re-marked syntax-of a syntax t h a t arranges (itself]. mnmdimry. arc undosed cxpmsions that have no determined and fixed meaning. every. two incompatible meanings. i between. Bur the syntactical camposition and decomposition o f a s i p renders this alternative b m m n internal and external inoprative.” dcpcndmt on the ccdc in which the word is made ro funcrion. for that matter. expressions that cannot be used by rhernsclvcs but only in conjunction with othcr t e r m s . which. differmce. in short of meaning. or. They cannot function as terms and thus are not of the order o f the phone sematrtike. purcly xmantic). sublared. It is in this $ e m that I shall continue t o speak of thc infrastrucrurts as syntactically undecidable. 2211 Because of this undecidability. undecidable vahc thar always dcrircs from heir synrar whether the lamer is in a scnse “internal. Yet syncategoremata. mrutis mutmdis. and with economic diffcrcncLs i n condensation. or “external. Like hosesecondary p a m of discourse. Thouph not purely syntactic [or. supplcmcnt. infrastructures are essentially uscd together with predicates.not. 221). h a w a double. or dialecticized through any Erinnerrrng or Aufiebung” {D. After having demonstrated.u 1 ON DECONSTUWCTIOH d the scrnanric and the syntaaic.Similar to qncaregoremata 5uch as and. mastered. how much more do they evade nondialectical philosophy and its reflexive oppositions! As undecidables. only. for all othcr signs which. If they mark dialectics a s sterile by undercutting the possibiliry of a reduction of their undecidability through sublarion.if. categoreman. which . they are in a position of anteriority and possibiliry M both aspects o f language.” articulating and combining under thc same yoke. the infrastructures can serve as “originary” s p t h c s q without. + mark the spots of what can ncver be mediated. disringuishcd in grammar and logic fmrn the medieval William o f Shyreswwd ro Huss~rl’sLogical Inrrestigutions. precisely htcausc of the exof the syntactic over meaning-that is. p. . in “The Double Session. Derrida w r i t e s : What holds for “hymen” P!H) holds. and othcrs. o r concepts with respect to which they exercise a specific organizational function. huph’hen. undecidabb also predicate jointly. One is simply dealing with greater or lessor syntactical units at work.

of semantics. giving priority to categoremata. a n n o t afford t o blur i a hierarchical and clear-cut distinctions. or even be made plural“ ( the complex manner that we have seen to bc m c o f infrastrucrum. that Demda’s criticism of the ward. “in herween. which until recently ignored and trivialized the difference between words and sentences. Speaking of mrre. between semantics and syntax. in paKiCUlar but not exclusively Of Crommutology. it is because the ethical orientation o f grammar. in order to uphold t h e secondarincss o f the syntactical. This demonstration i s framed by a cririque of rhemadc criticism and its overevaluation af the role of the word. however. 2U).” that is. o f semantics. of form as another name for prcscncc. themadsm. and so an radically displace what he calls in Positionr the “rcmarkablt project o f a ‘purely logical grammar’ thar is more important and more rigorous than all the projem o f a ‘general rea- . in short. t h i s critique o f thematic criticism i s aimed at the mainsmam of Wsrern philosaphy. turn into a quasi-catcgortm. never relare to themselv. the noun. All o f Derrida’s work is engaged in a systcrnatic cririquc of rhc status accorded to the word. bccause his critique o f phenomenology. it i s i n this scnx af a nonreflexive doubling of their incomplete meanings. To condudc this part o f the present study.” Dcrrida continues this idea. As Matlarrni‘s texts reveal. in a Eomplcx rnanncr. in favor of the forms o f syntactic constmaion is also aimed at what he perceives as phenomenology’s (partiCUhdy Husscrlian phenomenotopv’s) continuation of metaphysics.A SYSTEM BEYOND BElNG 24 1 arc considered logicaf constants dttermining the logical form (as in Buridan). When 1 speak o f thc infrasrmmres a5 syncsrcgorrrnata. namely. “pure logical grammar. of the values of prcsencc that it shares with metaphysifs in general. it is perhaps the most radical arrempt ever made a t allowing syntax an independent form. ler us restate what has already been sufficienrIy devcloped. which HusKrl never dcvclopld. If rhcy never signify their own semantic quasivoid. receive a dcfinitive article.” Derrida stccsses that “it can be nominalizcd. in both philosophy and literary criricism. p. What d l 1needs to be devdopcd i s thar this critique is linked to Derrida’s compler continuation o f Husserl’s project in L o g d Iwesfigutiuns of a universal and a priori.” For the remainder o f these reflectionsi r i s imperative to recall that Derrida’s references m syncangoremara occur in the context o f “The Double Session. As the totaIiry o f Derrida’s work clearly indicates. i n a n essay that sets out to pmvc thc irreducible excess o f syntax Over semantics. by confining the latter to a lateral role a t best. syncategorcmata such as in between oror lend thernselvcs to an operation of re-marking.

as well as to the philosophical in all ia technical and thematic richness. and since. as I d o here. such as the idea o f . since the matifs in question arc of such a nacure that they themselves are radically mom fundamental rhan the possibility o f continuity. in as succinct a manner as possible. his rclarion to Husserl is at lcasr threefold. and so on.and eighncnthsentury France. Third. moreover. that Derrida continuer Husserl (and this is true o f his relation to HeidcKcr as well) precisely o n those issues that foreground the classical erhico-theoretical decisions constitutive of philosophy as philosophy is also to say that such a continuation is at the same time a decisive break with the idea of tradition. ir is a relarion. consequently.”” To put it differently. projects that certain modern linguists refer to. continuity. m “simply the greatest philosopher who appeared since the Greeks. CErtainly what is true of other philosophcrs is tnre of Husml as well: by evading what is worthy of questioning in their texts. what the project o f a pure logical grammar corresponds to. Before elaborating on this project. Yet to ‘contend. From this standpoint. it is a relation to the philosophical as a battle o f gods and giants about being (gigantomuchin peri tes oersias). a logic thoroughly different from what one commonly calls . Indeed. the fact that Derrida may have discovered t h m motifs in Husscrl’s works is. it is a continuation and radicalization of a number of motilstn Husscrl’sown works thatarc~pableofunhingingthemajor metaphysical themes a t the center ofhis philosophy. Ocdipality. they all lead us to dead ends.246 O N DECONSTRUCTION s o n 4 grammar’ o f seventeenth. are preliminary investigations requircd by Hurserl’s anticipated project of a pure lopic or theory of theory. Not infrequently one hears the opinion that Husserlian phenomenology is a dead end and that. as has been amply documented. I should add a bricf note on Derrida’s indebtedness to Husscrlian phenomenology. however” (P. the idea of evidence. rsdically contingent. Now. As far as Dcrrida is concerned. as Plato calls it in Sophist. Firsr. any attempt to continue the qum rioning of that philosophy is doomed to failure from the start. and the idea of the idea itself. Derrida’s relation to Husserlian thought is radicatly critical of the metaphysical implications o f thc projcct o f phenomcnology i t s e l f . in a cerrain way. in which this idea is set forth.a primordial axiomatical grounding. the ideal of deductivity in general. 32). they cannot bc developed within rhe philosophical discourse as such. Logicui Invesiigationr. ro usc Granel’s words. let us rccall. their continuation is possibleonly from a perspective that ie marginal with respccf to the history o f philosophical development. Second. p.

. indepmdent of the obiectivity and validity o f these forms. PS obvious mrnmonplaces. a logic that would be a purely formal mapping our of the primitiue essential conceprs o r the ideal singulna contained a priori in the very content or meaning o f certain genera.specially since philosophy could be called “paradoxically. The ta5k of this mmempirical logic i s to pmvide rradirional logic with “the abstractly possible farms o f meaning. i f not.(p. the pure logical grammar is mdusively concerned with that field o f l a w relative to the pure semantic forms contained a priori in rhe idea o f knowing. The sense or non-sen= of these forms is b a d on rhese laws. Husserl is soon led t o the insight that such a pure logic would have r a include. 522). which. the science of the mvial” . In these preliminary examinations. what arc rhcse trivia. a purely logical grammar. then the task of k i n g these a priori laws would be incumbent on a discipline such as a purc logical grammar. Now. The purely logical grammar is thus a form-theory o f meaning or intentionality prior to all possible objective validation of meaning or intenrional fulfilmenr. as at l e a s ont o f i t s parts if not i t s foundation. as trivia. 528). . Huswrl conceived of these forms of meaning. which would govern the implications of rhe very possibilrty of a n idea such as knowing. these forms of meaning. laws that organize the ideal singulars canstirutive of the gcnera.” behind whose obviousness “the hardest problems l i e hidden. necessarily. but not unprofouttdly. Yet these trivia.A SYSTEM BEYOND BEING w7 epistemology o r theory o f science. for Husserl. investigatc the laws related to rhese primitive concepts. which would srill be empirical. .” Husserl warns us in Logical Invcstigutiotrs.” Unlike such a science. T h i s grammar must not be mistaken for a “universal science comprehending all pamcular grammars as contingent spccifications. such as knowing.” and which have never been thtmatized by the logicians. o f t h e l a w of essence that regutare the primirive elements and structures of meaning. I t i s important here to mention that on more than one occasion. Indeed. even bcfare rhse forms and their possible combinations cnrcr the mth relations drat are the object proper of logic in a cogent sense. i f such a purely logical investigation of what constitutes the idea of knowing anreriar to its objective validation and “intentional fulfilmmt” must also. of philosophy in general. . become the m e obica o[ the project of a pure logic. which are “intrinsically prior in the sense o f Arisrorle. . which themselves depend on their prior scmanric fullness. Such laws affectthcsc forms insafar as rhey regulate their compoundings and rnodiiiarions and watch over their meaningfulness. whose objective value it thcn becomes i t s first task to determine” {p.

a formation accardingrosyntoctical laws whichare likewise fixed apfiori.” and rhat “it is pure [ogiculgrommdr”(SP. 71). Derrida also points out that irs formalizing power does nor cover the whole field of possibility for language in general. however. also sets out to demonstrate that the rigorous distincrion i n Hussert bchvccn mtaningintention and its possible fulfitlment by an intuition of an obiem is itself possible only becausc all meaning-intention is structurally resramentary. 98). Thus. rhe pure logical grammar or form-theory of meaning faces rht task OF fixing in a system the categorical and synta~ficalprimitivc laws built a priori into thegeneral idea of meaning. ir functions only because it is always already supplcmenting a lack of actuality. p. T h e discovery of thc in- . pure logical grammar remains “governed more or less immediately by the possibility of a relarionship with objects” ‘(SP. properly speaking. this sysrem o f caregarical and syntactical laws f d o w i n g from the generic essence of meaning as such. to the cxrcnr that it “concerns only the logical u priori of language. At this point it should not be difficult to see. As Husserl poina out. by analogy with the trivia in Husserl (and with what Heidcgger ha5 thcmatizcd under rhe name o f the most obvious or most simple). For rhat reason. 526).and which can bc rcadily secn to constitute a fixed system of forms” (p.conditions of the intelligibility of discourn? The primitivc forms o f meaning that constitute the whole semantic tealm are the format taws that govern “thc Formation of unitary meanings out o f syntactical materials falling under definite categorim having an a prion’ place i n thc realm of meanings. a discouae. In dismssing Husserl’s projm o f a purely logical grammar in Speech otrd Phenomena. rhar rhe infrastructures to some cvrenr continue Husserl’s (and Heidegger’s) research into the a prioris of meaning (including that of Being). p. Indeed. which i s constirutive of the articulation of i t s dements. holds a position of primacy over all actual languaga and their empirical grammar. and not non-sense. is an ideal framework and. it is to be celled a “pure logical grammar’’ (p. as the csscncc of all speech as such. 513). I n other words. In spiteofits interest i n thc system of rules rhar make a discourse. “the purification o f rhe formal i s [icselfl guided by a mncept of 5enw which is itself derennined on the basis o f a relation with m object” (SP. 8). apart from insisting that there are modes of sense that do not point to any possible obieas. are still hill of meaning because they obey certain rules? What arc thae trivia that are the a priori . Derrida.14 f3 ON DECONSTRUCTION although they make n o knowlcdgc possihIe. beforc any objectivc fulhlment o f the meaning-inrcntinn. p.

the system o f the infrastructurcs p d s “by right” the discourse of phenomenology. Dcrrida’s concept of a remarked syntax undercuts. Husserl’s distincdon. In this sense the infrasmcrures and their system are anrerior. 7 0 ) . l s y ~ r e m . This distinction bccumrs important to the whole project o f Idear. between rhc semantic and the syntactic. “syntactical ohjcctivitics appear in the formal region of objectiviti. that is. rhc infrastnrctum question the very differences k c e n the a priori and the world they open. to a phenomenology of meaning. in short. as well as thc difference between the Eategorial and lyncaregorical. that is. To characicrizz the general system in thew terms not only serves to conclude all that has brm laid out up to this point but also. of syntactically re-marked syncategoreman articulating prelogical and Iateral possibiliris o f logic. The expansion ~f its formalizing power impiics a reinsniption of the logical as merely one of a pluraliiy of linguistic functions. o f objecrs which m c m h g m conrtrudions o f a symtaaico-catgorid k i d .A SYSTEM BEYOND BEtNC 4 9 htructures extends Husscrl’s project of a purely logical pmmar. thus giving priority to rhe categoricalover the syncategorical and the syntacrical. Whereas in Huwrl the primitive Iaws o f essence o f all meaning prior to its validation are all laws concerning the unity of meaning. in fact d e a n s m a s . as detivntiues o f these ultimate substran. a us now r i r d e back t o thtgmeml Having cstabiishtd that much. o f formal ontoIogical syntactical categories and formal ontologicalsubsmtive categorim. since it allows Husserl m make the syntactical forms and their carcgories depend on what he t e r n thc “ultimate content-laden srrbstrutn as the nucleus of all syntactical consirucli~ns. rhe sysmn can be vicwed as 8 synrax of an infinity of “last“ syntactically overdetermined syntactical objccrivitics.” and/or “ultirnatc substantive [Suchhakip]cssenm” (p. To put it differently. As uhimdte !ems. which no longer contain in themselvs any residue of syntactical formation. Rtflecdng on those u n t b e m a t i d differences. It now becomes possible to determine it as a system o f undecidablcs. 74). no longer phenorncnologirablc notion of syntax.)’~~ As a result. in an unheard-of way. in paragraph 11. indicates a decisive poinr at which this system leaves the philosophical realm of phen o m m o l w . TO phenomenology. Husserl. afrer having .in gmcral. [and] which f tbosc ontological f o r m s contain in thcrnselvcs no f u n h r vestige o which ate mere correlates of the functions of thought” (p. made toward the beginning of Idem. they ere “pure and syntactically formless individual units. This point is that of a radicalized. and above all. In one of the most classical gesturrs.

which as eide or rode ti (as essence5 or individualities) link substance (orcsiu). but rather in rerms of what i s alien to irs own self-thematizarion. provide a decision ~r impose it5 norms upan these prclogicol possibilitics of logic. purely formal forms to nonformal forms. then. intn a scries of linguistic funcrions of which the logical is only one among others. The law and the effects with which m haw been Ilealing. abstracr opposition. to presence. thus reinscribing logic.identical subiect marten Csachverhrrlre). nor logically primary or secondary with regard to l o g i c itself. They arc bpologically?) alien ro ir. in rhc sense o f re-marked. i s the system of what is Other m the Ioggos-Orhcr. is presupposed by such thought. and system of what is called logic in general. in spite of its thorough altcrity to the selfunderstanding of thought. doubled sytactic structures no longer suspended from semantic subject matters o f whatever son-the gmerul system spells our thc prelogical conditions of logic. . or “radical” foundation. therefore. I t is thc system 01 what. The remarked and undecidable infrastructures arc thc ourcome of a deconstruction of these hierarchical distinctions in the purcly formal region of the logical. pooribili~y. distinctions ’by which form is subjecred to conrent.govern the psibiliry of every logical proposition. rogechcr with irs implications of prescnce and evident mcaning. makes syntactical categories secondary to those tcrms. p.”: The rnaner we arc di~curring here concern the valuc. however. ( L i . In privileging the syntactical in the sense in which I have been developing itt h a t is.250 O W DECONVITRUCTION opened the radical formal province of pure obiecrivities. 235) As the systcrn of thew impurc and nonideal grounds. Dcrrida remarks in “Limited Inc. By taking thc classical cxigencirs of philosophy to their logical end. precisely insofar as its handed-dom goal is rn secure its own foundation in itself and by itself. condition of possibility. thar Is. but not as irs principle. No constituted logic nor any rule of a logical order can. or in the sense of the Other o f the same. that is. T h e general s y s t m . . syntax r a sernanrics. grounds so different from what they ground as to be thoroughly alien m ir. . not in the sense of absolute. . T h e system of these infras t m a u r n as one of syntactically rc-markcd syncategoremata is a system that escapes all phenomenologizarion as such: it constantly disappears and withdraws from all possible presentation. in the fullest and most primary sense. Such possibiliries arc nor ”logically” primary or m n d a r y with q a r d t o other possibilitics. the system of rhe infrastructures is also the exposition of what I have rtrmcd haerolopv. . to singularities or .

bccaux in hctcrological presuppositions constitute it as. ahi~teld0g. Dcnida brings philosophy to a certain close. however. or ahico-plitical decisions. is an armmplishmmt in an unheard-of scnw. paradoxically. ethico-ontoIq+al. giving in 10 its nhico-rheomical. Philosophy mmcs to a dose. and which limits its ultimate pretension 10 sellfoundation (a pretension independent of philosophial orientation). is an accomplishment that marks not theend bur the structural limits of philosophy’s autonomy and autarchy.A SYSTEM BEYOND BEING 25 = without.Cal. an Other in which philosophy becomm inscribed. This. however. . always incomplete. Opening the discourse of philosophy to an Other &at is no longer simply its Other. necessarily.


PART THREE ' Literature or Philosophy? .


however important.” As originally pianned. is but an offspring of New Criticism. of that very peculiar type of ideal objm that is thc literary object. an interest that began with hi$ questioning the p a r t i d a r idcaliiy of literature. men more con. or more prcsiwly in the text of his thcsis defense in 1980. As a result. has in his thinking never Ied to anything remotely resembling literary criticism or to a valorization of what literary critics agree m call littraturc. Derrida reminded his commitme that his most constant interest. So-called daconmuctive criticism. however. m my knowledge. w a s to have been entitled “The Ideality o f the literary Object. Such an observation d o n not man. thst Dcrrfda’r philosophy is wirhout any relevance to Iiteary criticism. thc genuine impact that Derrida’s philosophy could have on literary c r i t i c i s m has .mnr than his philosophical inrcrcsr-if this were possibl&was in litcrarure. Paradoxically.”’ M y contention is that Derrida’s marked interest in literamre. which. Rather it implies that the impoKanCC of Demda’s thinking far the disciplinc of literary c r i t i c i s m is not immediately evident. has not.10 Literature in Parentheses w In a recxnt text. this thesis was to have put the Husstrlian rcchniqucs of transcendental phenomcndogy in the service o f “a neur theory o f Iiterarurc. undcstakm t h a e preparatory steps and has done little marc than apply what it takes to be a method for reading literary texts to the unpmblcrnatizcd horizon o f its discipline. in 1957. and that any statement of its relcvana to that disciplinc rcquircs amain mediating s t c p ~ bcforchand. In fact his first thesis. Detrida’s inirial inquiry into the idcality o f rhc literary objcct had the effect of situating his work a t the margins not only of philosophy bur of literature as wll. that writing that is called literary.

lirerature possesses no specificity of in own and is reducible lo its signified. but on thc contrary that “thcre 15 nv-or hardly any. or a t best has hardly been. stillborn. Literature. noticed. 338-339. speaks rhe voice o f philosophy. With the exception o f certain rare exarnpls. There has hardly ever been any literature.” thar it “has almost always and almost cvcrywhere. The inrerprcrationafmjmesisassuhjKtrormth. includes “rhe project of effacing itself in the face of rhc signified content which ic transpom and in general tcachcs. says Derrida. 223). and dicd of rhat history (El. literary writing has subjugared itself to rhc constraints of the concept and co the crhos of philosophy. p.h r a r u r e ” [D. ever so M e . the declaration of its name. 760). Icnt itself to this mnscendenul reading. then. The contemporary trend-a rrend that begins wirh carly Romanticism-of minimizing the diffcrcnce benvcen literature and . Accordingly. Literature.”ThcspCcificity of philosophy and lirerature alike rests on this systematic curtailment of the signifier. like philosophy. it would ceminly not be that evcrything i s literature. in rhat search for the signified” ( O G . coincides with its disappearance. was born of that history. pp. p. If it were possible to draw one major proposition f r o m Dcrrida’s stawnents on Iitcramure. I t is a merc proxy. suhjcctn litcrature to a sratiis of mctaphoric scmndariness. the truth it expresscs. T h e following remarks arc not intended to offer a “true” vcrsinn of dcconstrunive criricism but only to clarify some of the preliminaries which any deconstruaive criricism would have to observe. its message. How arc we to understand this seemingly provocative claim?What this statement first of all suggcsn is that Aristorle’sproduction o f theconcept of lireraturc in the Podia (in the aftermath o f Plato’s determination o f p m r y as mimesis) inaugurates the history of literature as a history in which rhe certification of literarure’s birth. What is more. Consequently.asamimetologism that proclaims the priority and precedence of the imitated over imitation. rhis philosophical inauguration has not only govsrncd the reading of literature but has dcrcrmined the rnodc af its writing as well.256 LITERATURE OR PHlLOSOPHY? not becn. and within it the hbrory Dcrrida writes of “rhe entire history o of litcrzry forms in the West. rcading i s in csscnce always a transcendentar wading i n search of the signified. according to some fashions and across very diverse ages. f texts. 183). if literatiire is supposed ID mean something other than philosophy. which lasted until thc ninaecnth anrury. Yielding from rhe outset to the constraints of its phttosophical conceprualizahon. litcramre.

It is well known that the question of literariness was first formulated by the Russian Formalists in order to dcrminc’whar. in literature.p . however. m the voice. This respect for the literariness af P work o f arr consists. 70). If we thus determine the essence of literature (as that which confers being upon it). or whether through categories’derived from this philosophical fund” (P. literature is. dmores the essence. p. (09 a formal specificity o f the literary which would have its own proper essence and truth which no longer have to be articulated with other ihcomical or practical fields” IF. if that specificity is understood to be constituted by “litcrf Dcrrida’s statement concerningthe scarcariness. yet such a h s on the irreducible literariness of the graphic (as opposed to the phonic) substance leads to a symmetric limitation and restriction o f the play of form. condemned m nonexistence. once again. p. and likewise of its opposition to the stubborn aurhoriry o f mimctologism. in rhe mere isolation. Literariness o r lirerariry. Undoubtedly the emergence substance o of the question of lirerariry has permined the avoidance of a certain number o f thematic reductions. litcraturc once more loses i t s specificity. By making all literature exemplify this one essence o f literature. to metaphor.” in the “litenmy element. for it t i s “the p b ofform ma determined f expression” (OG. that certain t e r n seem “to mark and t u organize a Structure of resistance t o the philosophical r comprehended them. I t rcmains within the tradition of literary sccondacincss. p. and so on. W h e n Denida asserts that today. What has been r e p m e n t d and de- . rhc mrh.” a second reading o ity of literature becoma possible. Yet as Derrida has argued. Mimetologism and literariry are the birth and death of literature through philosophy. certainly this is not simply in ordcr to assert that literature has finally found irs specificity o r come into its own. S9). this intcrcst in “pwrc litcraturc. “in order ro shcltcr it. the literary-being and the being-literary of literature. at the very moment when it seemed most firmly established. or more spnifically from MalIarm6 on. wherher conceptuality h a t allegedly dominated o directly.LITERATURE IN PARENTHESES 157 philosophy is at i n s t to some extent an involuntary recognition o f this state of affairs. Indeed. remains irreducible to the message. 69). Hence Demda’s wariness o f the concept of literarity.” “in what in literature passes through an irreducibly graphic text” docs nor k ’ l i t e r a t u m from its philosophical or Iogomtric subjugation. o f misconstructions owing to a i r m scmdenfual reading.a &main derermincd furrn o f “literary” pramice announces thc subvemion of logocentrism (P.’therefon. la). indeed.

since ir “subjects the concept to belles-lettres. as he gocs so far as to state. that it in marked by literariness. rhen this vacillarion could have been achicved only through its “generalized putting-in-quotation marks of literature. Ultimately. whether of content or of form. Lircrarure becams a radical interrogation of philosophy. p. In other words. with Mallarm6 literary writing became a thrust or a point of msisrance against the dominant concept of literature. or what was called literature up to the nineteenth cenmry. p. Therefore. if the first brcak in the most entrenched Western tradition o f both literature and philosophy stems from litcrary or poetic writing’s destruction of ”the transcendental authority and dominant category ot the episime: being” (OG. ever so little-Iirerature.opacity of its signifier must necrssarily fail is at bcst an empiricist argument against thc domination o f literature by philmophy. endows literature with such power. says Dertida.258 LITERATURE O R PHILOSOPHY? ermined under the name of literature throughout the history of Iirerature. of the so-called literary text” (D. nor only by refusing its foundarion in il. In exchanging one essence fur anothtr. it is by suspending its being as literature that literature becomes capable of challenging philosophy’s dominant categorization. as Derrida asserts. and m philosophy” (P. has almost always yielded LO either mimetologism or literariness. to rhcroric. and that phiIosophy’s desire to control and eliminate the . to poetry. does not undermine philosophy through its content or through an empirical cxces of writing on the page. it was normal that the breakthrough in philosophy “was more secure and more penmaring on the side of literature and poetic writing” (OC. Rarhcr. from Plaro 10 MallarrnC.” we must examine a third possibility. Thcrcfore. Dcrrida must regard the use of the tcrm Iiteruhrre for that sort of literary writing with suspicion.o r hardly any. 291). 92). Literature. As we have seen. and of most past litetarure as well. 921. thc a n m p t to play out rhc fact that phiIosophy is always written. H e musr write “literature” ot “literary” between quotation marks precisely because the new . neither the one not the other has put the authority of philosophy into question. p. 69). p. Platonic inversion of sans only confirmsthe supcrioriry o Given the insufficiency of these two intcrpretations of the proposition that “rhere is n o . if. in the end. Literature pwts irsclf f its between quotation marks by opening itself to the absolute loss o meaning. preceding and pdor being of meaning but also by disclaiming any formal csxnce a5 mncerns its substance o f expression. to the a m . undcr no drcumstances can this power flow from its mimrrological or literary (formal) quality. the question arises as to what. If. this f philosophy.

Hence. p. not by nsroring its specificity at any m$t but. Thereby. 11). pndwly. In short. .” tn a movement that rcscmbla.rather than producing the tobe-eltpected cssena of literanrrc. what subverts philosophy is not in fact k a t u ? C . I s a recent interview ~Demda smted. a standing in being. l n d d “literature” has a greater power of fomaliution than literamre and philosophy alike. Dcrrida‘s interest in the “idcaliry” of the lircary abim pmnirs the pradumon o f a structure of bracketing that escapes phenomcnoIogitation. to the point of confusion. “Liferamre. however. ‘‘titera~m’~ (is) almost no tircrarure. and which is thus what allows for the phcnomenological W c s m c h u while at the same time drawing its irreducible limits.. or in other words of its be in^. let US bridty reflect on the nature o f the argotnatation that I have laid out. Indeed. by recognizing that it can effect such a subversion only by hardly being literature. f o r it also solidti the very foundations of literature. “My ‘first’ desire certainly did not Iead me toward philosophy but r a t h a t w a r d literature.” instead of having a true &cc o f its own.toward something which literarum accommodatcs more Easily than philosophy. then. appears to bc characterizable only by its structure of bracketing. that thc disruptive and subvcrsive effects of “litapture” are directed not against logoceotric phil~sophyalone but against literature as we15 to the extent that rhe latter submits to philosophy’s demands. depriving it of its external foundation in philosophy. yields a radically nonphcnomcnologizablc structure. no. Derrida makes thesmpcnsion of k i n g a major characteristic of “literam. that cannot be beheld in person. After arguing that there is hardly any literamre because all literamre is either mimcrological o r formalist.LITERATURE IN PARENTHESES 259 practiu o f this SORof writing "supposes a break with whar has tied the history o f the litet. It appears.’*z In the light o f this third interpretation of Derrida’s statement on the scarcity of literature.lry a m ro the hisroty o f metaphysics” (P. ”Iiteran~re’s”epochal nature is nor only no longer in the service of being but also radially displaces phenomenological reduction. The noMsKncc of what Derrida has called “limamrc” is an “ideal” structure of p a m t h t s i d s g which has no foundation in being. bracketing its mimcrological and formaEia determinations. a phewmmologicat mnsrrndcntal reduction in which liter: atutc i s subjcmed to a sort of epochs. Derrida. which puts the mnscendenta1 authority and dominant category o f being into quesrion. DerriNs parenthesizing o f literature reveals whar I would call the epochal rhanmr of “limarurc” itself. “Litmturc” rhus acquircs a subvcrsivc funEtion with regard to philosophy and thc literature under in dominion.

no . [hen. by puttingthcir authority “back into thc position of a mark in a chain that this authority intrinsically end illusori[y believm it wishes to.260 LlTElUTWRE O R PHILOSOPHY? it is basically a f u n d o n of the debate concerning the status o f phcnomenological idealities and the method by which t h q become apprehensible. govern" (P. rather. and does in fact. “Litcraturc. Before elaborating in some detail on Derrida’s concept of the general texi a5 a struaure of nonreflmivc re-marking and retrait. This angle. Without thc general text as rhar which inscribes literature and philosophy within t h a t angle that marks them from a cerrain outside. The deconstruction effected by [he general text i s both 3 destruction and J “regrounding. is scarcely of the ordcr af being. an angle. of both rmth and the simulacrum.pp. thc gcneral text unwttln their pretensions to authority and autonomy. a certain angle. a corner. I should like to nore that “literature. into question. nor doe5 it irnpIy that borh literature and philosophy are de facto always written. it is nor in ordcr to annul them but rather to understand them within a system to which they arc blind. Yet since “literamrc” is a nnnphcnamcnnlogizable srmcrurc. In other words. is further determined by Derrida as the “general text. Consequently. forming a certain corner.” or rcinscriprion.” or the gcneral rext. no logoccntrism.”’ then. is a grounding agency for philosophy and literature in thcir differcncc. text in this wn5e is nor rcstricted to writing on the p a p . it also ungmunds what it makes possible. and “grounds’’them in what they do not control. “Lirerature’s” subversion of both philosophy and literature. with respectto both litentureand phiIosophy. it assigns thcm their respective places. “literature. a between. which resists thc history o f philosophy and literature.’’ From what has already bccn established. in terms of the classical language o f philosophy. The general text does nor annihilate literature and philosophy. In short. 59-60). as that which forms an aoglc with both philosophy and literature.” or the general text. i5 what limits both discourses. by reinscribingthe discourses of philosophy and litemure into their margin.” proceeds from its status a5 a between. in particular that of being. if Dcrrida puts the transcendmtal authhorily of thc categories of p h h o p h y . no philosophy. From this it also become obvious what the subversivc function nf the general texts consists of. as Derrida remarks at the beginning of ‘‘The Double Scssion. whose authority is marked by this margin and thus dependent on it. o rhe philoo r if he questions whethcr the liremry operation yields r sophical dcmand ofevaporating thcsignitier on behalf of thesignificd. It has as little being as.ray.

let us consider only the cast o f traditional literary criticism. Literature and philosophy are constituted by the attempt to efface thernsctvcs before their content or aesthetic message. is not simply to be dismissed. they must be studied from this point of v i m . as that which already breachsthat tradition from within. there wouldbe noliteratumorwhat hasbecncalledliteraturein thehistory o f literature. Thus. 69). it is “well understood that long before these ’modem’ texn a certain ‘literary’ practice was able to operate against this model. Only on the basis of marginality. These readings are prrlecrly valid. “They are legimitate. in all its traditional forms. on the basis o f the general configuration to be remarked in them. fruitful. or what has been called by that name. it should be apparent that literary criticism. which modernity rcprescnts with regard to the entire tradirion. For the time being. let us recall t h a t the sclf-effacing and deferential doubling of literature in the form of critical commentary is rooted in the history . that one can best reread. Yet it must not be forgotten thar although the philosophical and literary text may always fail to evacuate or minimize the encompassing power of language at the benefit of the signified. m c . ncither philosophy nor literature is ever simply and entirely governed by a message. Thus. the principles organizing different critical reading arc not simply to be refuted or criticized. against this representation.LITERATURE tN PARENTHESES 2 6I authority of being would h e possible. ar lcast insofar as literature prior to the nineteenth century is conrerncd.p. ” says Dcrrida. Without the general text. although it is only in the modem practice of writing that the dominant rtprcsenntion of lirerature is pracrically decnnstructed. or their dialectical interplay. Yet it is obvious thar the delimitarions nf that criticism rcquircd by Iitcrary writing since Mallarm6 are not without certain retroactive effects on traditional criticism. the law of the previous figures” (F. is a province within the general text. been able to become manifest in the first place. Literature. and since wirhin rhcse (however unscrrling) boundaries it is characterized by the project of achieving transparency for its message. 174). a form. Also. such is indeed the project af philosophy and literature. consequently. withour retrospective telmlogy. But it is on the basis of these last texts. it is owing m the “constituting” marginality of the general text wirh rcspm to Iiteraturc and philosophy that. ernity. To begin with. ha5 mod. Therefore. despite their own ideology. p. Iitcrary criticism as the dihplinc that presupposes the decidability of meaning prior to the literary text is a legitimate offspring of rhc very project constitutive of literature. especially if “rhcy are informed by a critical vigilance” (WD.

he writes. the result of an anentional act in which the mind i s applied to an object or ‘10 that which regulates such an act. or transp. in thc last analpis. present outside of its signifier and referring only tn. i s a correlate of attcntivencss.262 LITERATURE O R PHll. as its name reveals. ro say that rhis meaning is p o d . a philosophical enrerprise. because it d e n o t s the minimal unit of meaning or signification. even though its identify as a signified is carved out o f the horizon of an . in “The Double Session. it is indeed a variety o f phenomenological criticism represenrative o f all criticism oriented toward content. I t is “a nuclear unit of meaning posed there before the eye. 281. A theme is a more fundamenral notion than meaning o r the signified. or in other words to literamre as snch. 245). 159). 10 decide that rhis or that is a meaning and that it is meaningful. it is meaning .D5ORHY? o f philosophy. Generally speaking. determined a$ the history of “the reflection of poetic inaugurarion” (WD. More broadly defined. Knowingly or nor. It is. meaning. to pronounce a decision upon it. 11 is linked to the possibility of the brinein-that is. p. however. is a philosophy of a literature which has from the outset yielded to the categories of philosophy. Yet tbat which a u t h m i m the commentary-the metaphysics of the commcntaq-does minimal violence to the works o f literature because this metaphysics already governs the works commented upon. Since the crirically assurcd and secured identity and prior cxistencc of rhc meaning or the signified of literature is what literature exemplifies. The critical enterprise is. This essential link to philosophy also explains “the security with which the commentarpconsiders the scIf-identity of rhe text. or thc signified. posable. valunrarily o r nor. [and which] goes hand in hand with the tranquil assurance that leaps over the text toward irs presumed content. literary critif what Dcrrida has called the antologicdl intercism as such is part o pretation of mimesis. itself. p. One of the more specific narncs For such a critical approach to literature is thematic criticism.” Derrida circumscribes thematic criticism. or metaphysical mimetologism. “at work wherever one tries to dctermine a meaning through a text. the confidence with which it carves out its contour. in rhe direction of rhe pure significd” ‘(QG. Although in Derrida’s work it S e e m s robe linked closely with rhe names of Jean-Pierre Richard and Gaston Bachelard. to the possibility of decision-of a mastery of the meaning or signified of the literary text. The critical cammenary seems to be commensurate with traditional literary works. Literary criticism.or rhe signified. literary criticism has been determined as the philosophy of literature. a theme posable as such: a theme” (0. This becorncs obvious when. then.

its major rcfcrenr. Whatever its specific nature. And yet a structural semantics that proelaims po€yscmy or P plurivivocaliry in meaning-a polythcmatism in shorr-dws not in p M ciple diffcr h m h e monathcmaticpDsitian. it S M I ~ by right the multiplicities’ reassemblage into a unitary totality o f the meaning o f a c a t and thus secures the totality of the text as well. 350). or psychbanalydcal. Whether philosophical. All coetcnt-oricntad literary critiasm accupics h e in-between Peld staked out by these two critical approaches. the theme e x d s c s a rotdting function with regard to all the signiiiers o f a literary wo&. The theme s K u m a work’s . the theme is an originary-that is. t least. a constituted-unity o r substance. however. It is in the logic o f thematism to be monistic. p. 45). By opposingthe pIurality a of mmning to the linearity ofrhe monothematic which always anchors itself to the “tuteIary meaning. I should emphasize that Derrida’s criticism . p. Manifest or invisible. however far off its realization remains. i t s inner continuity.LITERATURE IN PARENTHESES 263 infinitt puspectivc’’ [D. However belated such a final moralization might be. contcntaicnttd criticism pnsuppogs that a mare or less complex simple mesning (theme) can be construed as the unifying agency of 8 literary work. p. monological: therefom. Before elaborating. on the essential limits of thematic criticism with respec7 r o b t h modern literamre and wrirlngcomposcd in a thematic perspdve. of some integral reading which contains no absolute rift. [to] the principal signified of a t m q that is. In Dissmrination. ncvcrthclcss polythcmatisrn mains “organized within the implicit horizon of a unitary mumption of meaning” (P. Dcrrida writes: “Pol y s e m y always ~ U U out in multipliades and variarions wirhin the horiz~na . ma& p t in the rich collecrion o f its determinations” (D.” amaural scmanrics undoubredly rcprey n t s an advance over what prcccdcd it. To the extent that this tetmlogy of factual and instantaneous or delayed and ideal retotaliunon also rep-rs rhe very guidclinc of the opcrarion of almost all literary writing-the horizon of its vorrloir-dire-thcmatic criticism of all shades is undoubtedly a very legitimate approach to such writing. As such a consdtud unity. sociological.unitary meaning. the theme is a unity of meaning that SCNCS to constitute the literary work as a totality. mono. revealed. no sc11stlcss deviation--the horizon o f the final parousia o fa meaning a t last deciphered. empty or full. 250). the totalization to be achieved by a theme can succecd only if rhere is no other competing theme.and polyhemarism.

in its Husscrlian form. Husserl conceives of rhematization.’ Themarization. Whereas. As Husserl has shown. yet with the dcci- . an attitude toward the world that is also characreristic of the natural sciences. When Derrida points to an irrcducible phenomenological nonthematiration of the opcrativc and nonthcmatic concept o f Idea in Husserl’s work. it becomes obvious that he is continuing the phenomenological problcmarics o f rhematization. This phenomf the intentionality enologically unthernatizcd is thc phenomenon o of consciousness. which in this manner can become. unthought. a relation of consciousness to its correlate that is prctheric in t h a t it docs not posit the existence of the intenrum. wirh this. together with the narural standpoint which grounds imlf in it. phenomenology in Heidegger’s early philosophy determincs the unrhematizable as essentially in withdrawal from the “rhematizarims” to which ir lends itself. but bccomes its very condition of possibility. as the objectifiatian of transccndcntal and ideal structurcz o f consciousness.264 LITERATURE OR PHlPOSOPWY? o f thematism. acoriginary general thesis (Cenerulrbesis) o cording to which constiousnea has as its correlate a present reality. and unpredicated manner in the primary natural standpoint. phenomenology is an attempr r o “themarize” the unthernatized transcendental structures of consciousness. is a predicative taking in of the originary universal thesis. an existing world. His critique must bc placed in thc context of the phenomenological problematics of thematization and o f thc unthematizcd. the unthematizable escapes all possible objcclificdiia and predication. T h e antinatural standpoint that is philosophical reflection puts the unthought of the natural amtudc into phcnomcnolagiwl parenthais in order to unearth a truly radical unthernartzed upon which the very possibility of the general rhesis of rhctic natural consciousncss depcnds. as he dcfines it in Idem?as the articulate formulatian o f what was somehow already implicit in an unthernatic. as well the relativeimporrance hc gives to rhe marrnmt o f thematic criticism. must be understood as a hnaion of his debate with phenomenology in general. and only such a world. Phenomenology thus appears as a superior thematization. What is the unthcmatized in question? It is the natural standpoint’s implicit assumption of the factual exisrencc of what it encounters in the real world around ir. the object of a phenomenological e p o c h . then. Thematization objectifies the unthcmarizcd o f the natural standpoint in a n articulate judgmcnt. this thetical positioning-as the being out there of what natural mnsciousncss cncounters-is grounded in the f the natural standpoint.

LITERATURE IN PARENTHESES r6r difference that instead of philosophiz!ng in the perspccrivc of a passiblc and evmtual r e c u p t i o n of thc unthematizcd. it overlooks “the genetic effects o r the (%istorical. p.p. is not interested in the code. it is only to subiugatc them to the semantic. p. it must. 141). Moreover. Derrida also removcs i t from the sphere of jurisdiction o f detbeio in that the latter unfolds only as and in that d i k c e . A Erst insufficiency of rhc literary variety of thematic criticism is that it d m nor rake the formal and synracriml aspect of Iituanrce into account. the technical manipulations o f the text object. It thus appears that both fonns o f criticism are rigorously m sNe . and 50 on. 170). formal and strumtalist criticism is oblivious to the text in its uniqueness insofar 35 the diaplvcry of the formal or srmmral arrangement of the text is dependent on an tidctic d u d o n that lays that arrangement bare as the text’s essential mrh. 255). literary or philosophica1. Its scope reaches far beyond the problemarics of literary c r i t i c i s m and find5 its meaning in hi$ debate with phenomendogy. be remarked that by tying thc irreducibly unthcmatizablc to the pmblmatics o f the difference b e e n h e unthcm a r i d and the themadzed.’ if you will) inscription of the text read curd of the new rcxt this airicism itself wriics” (P. The "structure whost essential permanence bemmes the prime preoccupation” oi the structuralist commentary mtralizco the specificity of the text and raises it to the status o f a merc example o f the transcendental structure or universal esencc o f thought (WD. But as Derrida has argued on s e v d oaasiorm. with Derrida. the way a text is a m b l e d . Thmatic criticism. rhat thematic criticism excludes from its field everything char is not o f the order of the word. in ptincipb. Derrida’s critique of thematic critiarm. because in focusing exclusively on the formal aspca of a text. in the formal crafting. If at first Dcrrida’s debate with such L necessary unthematiuble ~ c m to s prolong its Heidcggerian interpretation. 47). formalist o r struauralisr aiticism is as insufticient as thematic criticism. however. Ikrrida shows the irreducibiliry o f phenomenological nonthematization to be the very condition o f possibility of phmammalogy’s thematic approach (see 0. In general one could say. is a challenge to phenomenology insofar a5 it quesrions the ultimate possibility of an End. If it deigns to consider thew aspccts of literature at all. the pure play of significrs. p. Hence the importance of fomlt3t or mucmrolirt criricism as oppaed to mntent-orimted thematic criticism.sti&ng through thematiution. and can no more than the lamr measure i w 1 f against literature. of the “calm unify of the verbal sign” (D.

but for more esmtial rcawns that preclude the decidability all criricism presupposes. rhen this subversion will also cause the various forms of literary criticism to vacillare. The gesture of thought required to.One could go 50 far as to say that rhc very rcasons why Dcrtida i s intcrcstd in literature are reasons that subvert the very possibility of the institution of lircrary criticism 3s such. of mastering their meaning as unity.166 LITERATURE OR PHILOSOPHY? plcmentary and complicitous. indetd. Yet one cannot avoid remgnizingthar if certain literary texu. not because criticism wil! not yet haw sufficiently sharpcncd its analytical mols. that is. is thoroughly alien to the critical gesture. say. hy understanding. it delimits them to a degree thar not only makcs apparent c r i t i c i s m ’ s inability to account for such writing. that is. rhar is by no means an annihilation of literary criticism. But the fact rhat these texts cannot be thematically exhausted in terms of content or form does nor a t all imply. ir must be emphasized that these two brands of criticism-which togcthcr with dialectical aiticisrn exhausr in principle all rhe possibilities of lirerary criricism-arc not simply to be reiected. as Detrida points out in Spurs. however. Throughout his work. and in such a manner as to account for the ultimate possibility of these texts’ meaninglcssness. Thetefote it is equally right to say that thc very future of the insrimtion of Iiterary criricirm hingB on its deconstruction. deal with the structural possibility o f mcaninglessners. This subversion takes place through the tracing Qf the limits of lircrary criticism. . litcrature has indeed conformed to philosophy. 11 is thus a subversion rhar is nor absolurc. and thus an assignment of its lorus. rhen all forms of literary criticism established in thc shadow o f the multiple philosophies are similarly threatened. of mastering their meaning at all. Such a conclusion would amounr to an oesrheticizing and obscurantist reaction by the hmnmeuein. that one ought to abandon the warch for their meaning. This search fnr meaning should nor be abandoned but rathcr intensified. wirhin thc history of literature. but suggesn rhar the approprif criticism to what has hitherto been called literature is itself ateness o questionable. its theme. modern lircrary texts offer t h a t writing that delimits both farms of criticism (and particularly the thematic). a certain lirerary wriring. but that is a decapitation. Sincc Maliarmi. so to speak. Demda h a s tried to dcrnonsrrare thar this 501-1 of text will always defy and baffle criridsm. Once again. which prm~pposes the decidability of its atrentional obiecr. as Derrida points out. put philosophy into question. such rcxrs rigorously swcep away the possibility of decision. of its prercnsions. Bur . to rhe extent that. It philosuphy is subvencd by cenain lirerary rexls.

-. It must. to refcr to Heideggcr oncc again. If. radically altering the concept of cognition as such. h t of f. I t i s just as little an invitation to take hold of &at uniqueness by further and further decomposition. or the singularity of the beautiful. s o to speak. the originality and force of the work. from being itself a theme if it is to account for the possibiliry o f the meaninglcssncss of a text. in fact. &canstrumion is.blc. in other words.”s What is wrong with literary cridasm. such a structure must withdraw itulf from being mastered in totality. but that arc textual structum-radically subvert the possibility of literary hermeneutics.‘ At this point the question o f the relation bctwrm deconstruction and literary criticism may lend iwlf to a more decisive cliuification. the unthcmariuble because undecidable agcncis of modern literary textsagencies that am not at the order of imagc or concepq mntcnt or form.~ Yet this critique o f criticism is not motcd in a moral or aesthetic indignation over c r i t i c i s m ’ s inability t o catch the subjtctive existence. - 267 sineh e m a 1 s t r u m m of h c possibiIity of the meaninglessness of certain text6 owes its muctural status to the impossibility o f its own thcmatization. it would bt the text’s ultimate meaning and would no longer account fur its essential undecidability. If it m l d be hilly determined. an impossibility that is the rcsult neither o f its unfathomable depth nor of thc finitude of its human beholder but rather of the mmral nature of this condition.. is that it aperimas too liKk in h e neighborhood o f the work and that it expits already diminished expcricncc tcm crudely and too titeraily. far from &ng a SOR o f empiricist r skepticism. LIIBRATVRB IN PARENTHESES . This spccificity is lost at the mornem we bring to it. from being decidable. Indeed. Thcrefore. undemanding its gesture o f unifying deciphering must be pushed to cxaspcration in order to account as rigorously as possible for i t s sauctural limits. “only this or that dull sense of unambiguous meaning. the gcshtrc of thought that takes this stmruccural posdbiliiy into account m w t d f i m ia unthematiubility.c~pecially insofar as it proceeds rhematically. T b i s critique of criticism acknowIodgm. affirm an ultimatc impossibility of knowing this n o n t h m t i c condition of possibility. however. Consequently. in ?be last resort. that the flaws o f Iirerary criricisrn owing to the uniqumcss of works .” to thc extent that it aIso i n s c r i h the structural limits of cugnitionthus. a hyperagnosricism o cognition of a m t h beyond truth. it is becausz they represent the limits from which understanding and knowing become posi. Undoubtedly Derrids’s opinion i s that literary c r i t i c i s m &Is to account tor the specificity of the literary work of a. as K-Feidcgger says. “a supplement of rmthIcss truth.

laboriously” (012. were roachiwe anexchange with literary writing. if literary criticism is to address literary writing is a connection o f deconsrrucrion and scholarship. Literary ctiticisrn must manage a place for the reduub[ingcarnmenmry. In one of his first essays Derrida writes: “Criticism. but through rcflecring on the originary unity in which is embedded the differenas that organize the litcrary and critical discaurscs. Once again. What is neccsary. as the Romantics intcndcd. this would rcpresent a mere aesthetic response. Whereas a poeticization of the critical discnursc would lead to P mutual overcoming o f . thcs. ifit wereto become strcntive to what takes place in tcxrs. lest it become entircly aubjenivc. The program thar Drrrida developed for a “science” of grammatology is also valid far a literary criticism tibcratcd from philosophyl “Now a reflection mu5t clearly b t undertaken. If such a “critical” discourse. it-in essence a philosophy of literature. Wirhout rhe recognition of and respect b r all the classical exigencies. are controlled reciprocally. in all its concepts. critical production runs thc risk o f becoming idiosyncratic and of authorizing irself to advance almost anything. litcramre and philosophy. p. Lirerary criticism can ovcrcomc thcse fatal dcficicndcs only under the condition that “it destroy itself as commentary by exhuming the [originrryl unity in which is embcddcd rhc differcnms” h r w e e n work and commentary. and so on. 174). of deconstruction and tradition.26 8 LITERATURE OR PHILOSOPHY? of literature are inrrinaically linked to literary criticism’s status as comrnenrary. If literary criticism were to opcn irsclf toan cxchange with literary writing. parricularly in modern rexrs. But as commentary it can onty turn that work into on example of a universal rruth. some day wit[ n o t havc to wait for this resistance first to be organized into a ‘philosophy‘ which would govern some methodology of aesrhetin whose principles criticism would reccive” (WD. Such a libcration f m m its $tam5 a5 mere cornrncnwry would coincide with its liberation from philosophy. and lirnitcd. As commentary. liberated from philosophy but extremelyaw. cenainIy the discount of c r i t i c i s m presupposes rhe works’ uniqueness. programed by philosophy. for its epistemological project.lreal thc latrer’s exigencies. illusory. 28). and thus dcpcndcnt on the master discourse of philosophy-would have to do so all by i t d f . (WD. this exchange would not takc placc by pacticizing the critical discourse. Yet this independence cannot imply a rejection of all analytical appmachm to the tcxt. p. if it is called upon to enter into explication and exchange with literary writing. within which the ‘positive’ discovery and the ‘deconstruction’ of the history o f metaphysics. 83). minutely. force and signification.

&he differences consrimrive of the literary work and the critical discourse. the nonsyndretic unities rhat organize and limit the conceptual differences rhat make up the critical discourse. and re-mark-that Derrida has exhibited f literary texts are numerous. Without confounding itsclf with the deconstruction o f philosophy. The originary unity by which criticism and litcramre come into an exchange precisely insofar as they are unique d w s not. also called “signifying structures. losing sight of what these notions were initially meant to achieve. therefore. It must be a unity of the order of that which Derrida has cafted “infrastructures. Derrida has not systematically undertaken m establish the particular infrastructures . a reflccrion on the originary unity in which literature and criticism are embedded maintains their differcncc and respective uniqueness. and woutd thus yield to the most d m c n t a r y tclos of philosophical thinking. as arc tho= (writing. rnise-m-dyme. fulItr synthetic unity. supplementarity. Yet while questioning the OngiMry nonrynthetic unity of literature and philosophy. whilc at. only o n rate occasions have the critical discourses in which they have been accommodated opened themselves to these notions via a deconsmction of themselves as critical discourses. The phcnomcnologically unthcrnadzabk unities-that. quasirnecaphoricity. Such a de- . Except marginally.of the critical discourse. that is. thc kind with which literary criticism is t o f infrastrumrcs that underlie this exchange have not yet been developed as such.the same time accounting for this difference. and thus account for. exhibited precisely those s t m m r e s of rextuality and “literature” o enter into exchange. A certain brand o f literary criticism has avidly appropriated these notions in a thematic manner. Still. and so on) thar resu1d at first h m a dcconstruction o f the philosophical a “critical” discourse in full respect of the uniqueness of literature would have to be a discourse produmve of such infrastmcrurcs. In addition. in his rcading o ICXI. It is here that one can glImpsc what dcconstructive literary criticism could be about. the specificity o f a deconstructivc literary criticism would procccd from the signifying structures rhat reinscribe. by reading literary writing iaelf. repraent a more primitive or higher synthetic unity preceding or fallowing the process of differenriation.” The contact between lircnry writing and criticism is established when the latter exhibits the phenomenologically unthematizable unities. Derrida has.” In other words.LITERATURE IN PARENTHESES 269 both in a higher. More than once he has shown a variety of forms of literary criticism m L absolutely insensible m the most insistent operations of literary writing.

such as genre. fictton. and rn an. event. is the condition under which they would have been able to establish contact nor only with literary writing but with thc dcconstruction of philosophy as well. all the so-called infrastructurcs can be put to use in literary criticism only on the condition chat their mtus is fully recognized. which have bEtn appropriated by a certain criticism: writing. plot. or what. I shall examine only three notions. mimesis. as well as their purpose. precisely.z70 LITERATURE OR PHILOSOPHY? canstruction. howwer. and metaphor. . text. of the many issues of interest to the critic and upon which Derrida has elaborated. Just as any possible extrapolation of Derrida's philosophy for Iiteraty criticism can be fruitful only if even his developments concerning literature and literary criticism arc undcrsrood within the boundaries of his debate with the phdosophy o f phenomenology. Of the many infrastruaum that catch the literary critic's eye. they arc to achieve in Dcrrida's controversy with phenomenology.

it is imperarive to outline the context in which the problemtics of writing becomes a subjea of meditation. it i s a t l e a n striking that Husserl. alf meaningwould “as yet remain captive of the de /act0 and actual inrmtionality o f a speaking suhjcct or armrnunity of speaking d i e m ” (0. ie highat possibility of cotrsticurion. in “The O r i ~ of n Ceornerry. w WRITING Rather than dia&sssing i n derail the numerous analyses i n which Dcrrida has developed the nation of writing. that which inaugurates its itcrability and ia rdation to a universal transcendental subjectivity guaranteeing its intelligibility in the absence of all actually present subjective intentionality. H d argues that without such srriptural spatic-rcmporality and the ultimate objecdficstion that i t pcnnlts. Before I venture a definition. 87-88). I shall attempt only to define i n p m a l the system of csRntial predicates which he calls miring. is &us the possibility o f being ~ r i t t ~ n N . pp. The uldmce liberation of idcality. Since this cantext i5 manifold.b r Dcrrida. As Dcrrida points out. In the first itmane the notion of writing becomes a crucial issue in Kknida’s work early as Edmund Hysscd‘s Origin of Geometry: An brmdrrcrion. howcwr. marc . .13 The Inscription o f Universality . I shall n s t r i a the discussion to certain instanccs in which “writing” becomes probImstizcd. and thus the traditionaliration of meaning. o t e that it i s not the factuaI spatiotempotalization by writing that cmurcs mcaning’s ideality but.” resorts to the vmy p i b i l i t y o f writing-in flagrant disregard of the conrcrnpt in which writing is held throughout the history of philosophy-in otdcr to 5 m m the absolute ideal objectivity.

88-89). cannot avoid turning to a “meraphor” borrowed from the order of the very thing he is trying to exclude-the order of the simulacrum--at thc prccisc moment when hc trim to ‘define the specificity of thc living discoursc that he wants to OPPOSC to writing. writing “is no longer only the worldly and rnnernorechnical aid to a truth whose own being-senscwould dispense with all writingdown. for instance in Marges.” If ir is true that this “contradiction” is in no way contingent.271 LITERATURE O R FHILOSOPHY? primordially. its logocentric ethos. ditfcrentiality or diacriticity. T h e discursive valorization of the phewlogmcentrism in short-appcars to be irrcducibly linked ro the cxrcriority. as far as its possibility is concerned. the artempt m account for the principle of . the recourse to scriptural metaphors to cxposc the principle o f differentiality cannot be fortuitous. Hence. And in the fourth instance. By determining rhc living discoursc as an inscription o f truth in rhc soul. H m . discontinuity. only its possibility. o r rhe intelligible. the self-presence of speech. on an irreducible relation to otherness.itappeaa that meaning is dependent on a determination through alterity. a k r having severely rejected Thot’sinvention of wriring as a mnemotechnical r o o 1 because o f its dctnmcntal effects on living memory. as Derrida has shown in Of Cwmmntology. or thc copy. Considering the context. is made to hinge srrumrally. in Phaedrus.The possibility or necessity of being incarnated in a graphic sign is no longer simply cxtrinsic and factual in comparison with ideal Objecriviry: it is the sine qua non condition of Objectivity’s internal completion” (0. In rhe second instance. to fall back a n scriptural metaphors. p. in spite of hi5 initial condemnation o f writing. However succinct. is constituted ”from its first breath as a s y s t e mo f differential traces. then philosophical ideality.” Dcrrida demonsrratcs how Plam. o n the empry repetition of writing.pp. and by this very gesture forgets and denim what occurs by his hand. and delaying effecr of writing. and since the Other par cxcelIence of s p m h is writing. that is as writing before the letter” (M. 291). as conditions of signification. altcrity. the effcct and thc value of rranscendentaliry bemmc linked in a n essential manner to the possibility of writing. forces Saussure.wriresin~rder tomakegood thelossof writing. on several occasions Derrida has pointed out rhe “contradiction” that exists between the philosopher’s condemnation of writing and the necessiry of effectuating this condemnation in writing. these four contextual examples shodd $uFf. In the third instance. “the philosopher writesagainstwriting. SinceSauwre is concerned with linguisric mcaning. previously cxcluded. Thus. in “Plato’s Pharmacy.

p. . as we shall see. of its p. the law that cxpIains why and how what is supposedly pure. speech. Derrida. Since. Therefore. signification. has repeatedly suggested that the question cannot simply be one of reversing the tradirional hierarchy in order to make writing innocent {OG. transmdentaliry. stitution o f a graphoantrism for logocentrism is thoroughly cxcludcd. returning a prerogative or some elder’s rigbt M writing” (P. such a rmorarion of writing to a prclapsarian state.THE INSCRIPTION O F UNIVERSALITY to indicate that the .or prom-writing is nKssirily “aansnndmtat” in thc sense that I have csrablishcd. therefore. transmdental. it exceeds the conceptual symmetry . To deconstruct the eihico-thcorcticalhierarchy o f speech and writing-a deconstruction that includes an account of the factual return of debased writing in the form of metaphors (for instance) in f the logothe very attempt m dcsmibt the puriry and self-premoc o is to m s t r u c t the signifying structure or system of referral that accounts for both exclusion and contamination. its superiority br is dignity” (D. As I have suggested. gcneral m i t i n g o r a r c h e 4 g . or rather. ideal. p. 3 7 ) . beyond thc debased and degraded field of history. The name that Derrida gives to this infrastructure. as a law. ail subsituation in the philmphica1 hierarchy” (P. 171 problem addressed under t h t titk o f “‘wridng” concerns rhe paradorid economy of the philosophical condemnation and [metaphorical) rehabilitation o f writing. 13). As such a synthesis. As longas one thinks of speech and writing in conceptual terms. 182). writing must efface itself M o r e speech as its truth. from Of Grummarology on. I t is. Nar can it be a question “of returning to writing its rights. it is able to account for the economy that organizes dre various relations o f speech and what is commonly called writing. p. aiming M establish the law that governs the “contradictions“ of philosophical discourse. and s a on is unavoidably contaminated by its opposite. i s that of the archesynthesis o f “writink” or more properly. and so on docs n o t imply a rehabilitation of writing as it has been determined by philosophy. duster of infrastructures. Nor da these analyses entail any mvahation of literary writing with respect to philosophical dimurst. 53). Derrida’s analyses pursue a different goal. would still yield ro the category of a h m t m t . Indeed. of grcar importance thar we realizc that rhe analysis o f the constitutive function of writing far idcatiry. The order of dependencc between speech and writing cannot be argued. arche. and why speech in ia purity cannot be thoughr cwccpt by referring to writing. philosophical discourse. ”Nothing would be more ridiculously mystifying than such an ethical o r axiological rcvmal. which “is prcciscly the rcpresenintim of writing.

p. the quasitranscendcnral synthesis that accounts for the necessary camp tion o f the idealities. Writing. writing. T h e concepts o f general: wriring can hc read only on the condition that they be departed. however. in its colloquial sensc. Rorty. a universal by what is considered its other. and s o on) act of wiring. Taking “writing” in Derrida to mean the scriptive and worldly practice of writing. for instancc. 65). and in which. by whar they are defined againsr. and contamination of an ideality. and at the very moment of their constirution. p. o r transcendentals of ail sorrs. Nor only have the socalled deconsrructionists misconstrued the signihcation. as Derrida calls rhe arche-synthesis of writing in the context of his essay on Bataille. a generality. or precisely because of it. p+ 209). and which is opposed to minor writing. or with the (lirerary or philosophical) production of these signs. a practice that would differ from its usual philosophical intcrpretation ro the extent that the object it is about is no longer the world but texts. and consequently the status. is only the metaphor of general writing (WD. nor ha5 it anything essentially in common with the signs prcscnr on the page. in the x n x o f arche-writing. p. Ir is nothing . has little o r nothing to do with the (anthropological. or with an aesthetic and merely self-referenrial signifying pradicc. In short. It has no proper value of its own. positive or negative (D. is beyond being. rhey sccm to be raken. its exterior. epekeim ter ousius (D. p. its appearance. as the visiblc and c d c d scripr in the world. a concept that has h e n so easily accommodated by so-called dcconstrunionisr criticism. subjerrive. it one m a y say so. as they are commonly used. Neithcr is it thc esscoceof thc literal sign or of the act QF its engendering. 105). Derrida writes. in “Philosophy as a Kind OF Writing. archewriting is not essence. with an instrument of notation or communication. of arche-writing. parasitism. with the psychological pleasures and displeasures to which it gives rise. 272). 168). Major writing. is not reducible to the sensible or visible presence of the graphic or the “literal” (P. Arche-wriring is only. cannot sewc ta explain archc-writing. having nothing mundane about it.” is bound to misunderstand it as literary writing’ Writing in Derrida’s sensc i s not determined by whar i t i s about. philosophers have as wcll. General writing. shifted outside thc symmetrical alrcmatives from which. and SD on. its incarnation. aher a fashion. they must also remain” (WD. The concepts of writing and speech. Despite itsquasitransccndental status.Z7A LITERATURE OR P H l t 0 5 0 P H Y ! of speech and writing. which always suffers exccptions) of thc usurpation. Archewriting is a construct aimed at resolving the philosophical problem of the very possibility (nor primarily the empirical fact.

without which no ideaIity could ever hope t o hound itseIf. archc-writing can b said to be the u n i y of differen= that opens and comprehends language as the common mof o f both spec& and writing. It is h i s system that Demda names general writing. ideality and writing. rhat the ethos of philosophy. arche-writing. the pole allegedly p-r i n and of itself. Thus writing. . in Demda’s sense. which allegedly refers to i t s e l f alone. unlike Kanrian originary Synthescs. . Obviously enough.” can establish i d f only through a reference to what it is not-writing-as well as to what it resents as the pncticc o f writing. s p c h and writing. philosophical discourse and wriMg.scn~Alycommunicarcs with thc vuigar concept of writing. meaning and writing. it is because. aIthough writing in the vulgar m s e is its dssimulation in the form of a metaphor.THE INSCRIPTIOH OF UNIVERlALITY . selfd k x i v c . pro-writing is h a t synthetic structure of refern1 that accounts for dre fact that in the play of diffcmm berwtcn. both awing t o h e same referral to mhhrmm. a most likely name for thc originary structural unity in question. arche-wriring e. links together in one structure the possibility o f xlf-reflexive ideality and in irreducible limits. and which seems to bc entirely derivative. . writing has signified by its . say. p Writing o r itrodicr. he admits. A5 the oriinary diHercncc within which an dcmcnt can bcgin to refer 10 itself on the sole condition that it refer to rhe clement it abases as exterior to it. 56). is. tviihin the boundaries of philosophy. Rather than k i n g the d o c double o f spadr. and self-present elcmcms through the Other. m u s t in fact constitute itself through the d m c n t that it abascs. It is not writing i d f rhar is at issue here but the system of relations that link ir to speech. Because this synthetic structure demands the detour of all self-referential. insofar as. ar&ewriting is a synthetic concept of SORP. One might wish to call such an originary synthesis ideal in the sense that Kantian rranscmdental functions are ideal. If Dtrrida persists in calling this system writing. Yet how could a srrumtc that accnunis far both the possibility and impassibility of idealities still d m e to be called “ideal. the value o f the proximity in the “hmring-oncsclf-svk. i6 not a strucrure ofuNficationand totalization? Although synthetic.” particularly s i n e the originary synrhsis in question. historically speaking. situation “the most formidable differend’ from speech (OC. because it links together in one struc- . this detour is also what fundamentally limits all self-appropriating B u s . lo name only those to which I have already alluded. *?< butthe“originary” structural unity that accounts for the philosophical ‘“contradiction: or instance.

we must setde for the structural Iimirs of gencraliry itself. qnthcscs OF well (OC. If rhc infrastructurc~ are minimal synthess. and hence of self-deferral. p. Archewriting. even if. by rcspccting both orders. irerability.274 LITERATURE OR PHILOSOPHY? ture o f possibility self-reference and reference t o Other. The individual and singular infrastructural syntheses arc synthcses in a ncw sense. the task of thinking the infrasrructura1 chain itl g c n e d remains. Dcrrida holds that arche-writing opens “in one and rhesarnepossibility. writing a n n o r be said to be the archc-trace. as well as relationship with the other and language” (OC. because clustered. the miry of archewriting cannot be a totality precisely becausc it is a strunwe of referral to Other. it is an idea not in the Kantian but rather in a Husserlian sense. it Eannot present itselF as a mere self-contained structural totalky either. while notion in Edmrrnd Hwml‘s Origit~ not being reducihk to any ordinary intraworldliness. In the same way that this smcturc allows nothing m be a mere self-present element in a system ofdifferences. is not. It is in be a synthesis which. in order to think this generality. diffcrancc. dmplrc i t s seemingly ideal status. Therefore. It is rnadc up of the infrastrucrurcs differance (spadng/tempnrizarion). Thus. It names the “unity” of inscription in general. Thesesynthcscs. which Derrida analyzed separately and in great detail following his discovery of the problematics of archewriting. that one takes into consideration Derrida’s analyses o f that of Geomehy. . not beings-present. p. But it i s cqually corrccr r o say thar writing is only a represenrative of the infrastructures in question. As I have suggested. thm general writing is 3 synthesis of syntheses. provided. temporalization. erases their distinction. it is not the trace itself’ holds true for all other infrasrrumures . arche-writing is a cluster of infrastructures. In other words. of course. 60). because they arc not entitia. for that matter. Writing in the sense of archewriting f the is thus a possible name for what I have called the system o infrasrmcrures. arche-writing is at once both more and lt5s rranscendenral than the Kantian wanwendental originary syntheses. Derrida’s assertion in Of Grommotology that “writing i s one of rhe representatives of the trace in general. and so on. i s a duster of synrheses. Letuslinger fora momenton thcnaturcoftheunityofthccomplex. In Of Cramarology. In a srrange way. Because the inhartructures do not exist. Arche-writing foregrounds this distinction by opening the difference between the origin of the world and intraworldly being. or itcrability itsdf. 167). archewritink instead of being one synthesis. simply transcendental or ideal. archetrace.

writing is plural by a n c c . T h e generality of writing consists in the operation of referring to irreducible Othernss. of the clustered synthesis of arche-writing. however. The pluralidm o i s . They d o not reground the distinctions o f the Onc and the manifold. as would a more essential totality.p. origin. Thus Ers unity grounds the Onc while at the same time representing its limit. 242). of grafting onc form of writing onto another. thc Self and the Other. Writing as archcwriting is thus not reducible to the production of durable signs. Gmral writing as a duster o f infrastructures. It is numerous from the first or it is not” ( 0 . By nature rherc can be no such thing as a mono-writing. 356). What these irreducible forms of writing have in common is the generaliry o f wriring as the produaion of generality and irs limitation. SO IO speak. it is not om unity. embracing heteragcnous forms o f writing. essence and ics appearmm. and thus replace and rrintcrprct the classical unity o f meaning.THE lNSCRlPTlO?4 OF UNIVERSALITY 177 which “originariIy*’ ground the classical distinctions o f the One and the manifold. Since within the unity of this difference both the opposition and the sublation of opposition takes place. the gmerality afthe inscription or institution ofthcgmem-is the feature common to a variety of infrastrumres linked together in what is called gcnml wriring. are not dialectical syntheses. with respeft to which the elements would be the bipolar and separated representations. this unity is more originary than eirher. It affirms the originarity of the trace us rram over the general and uni- . “There is mom than one kind of writing: the different forms and genrcs are irreducible” [D.’ Inscription i n general is rhcreforc w bemnsidercd as the spccificiry. “The heterogeneity of different writings is writing imlf. All these diffcrcnt lcvcls of writing do not form onc fotality. It is plural by namrc. To suspm “writing” o f monism is sheer absurdity. ultimately totalizable (and hence monistic]-pluralism but is witnes to a savage pluralism. In short. Although a unity. The unity that characterizes the infrasrmcrurcs i s not that o f the One as opposed to the manifold. and 50 on. is plural not only bccause it links a variety of xlf-dcporting structures but also bccause it is operative on variety of Icvels. however. n o t an csscna. rhe different forms and genres of writing call for rigorous f writing. it rcprcscnts the genetaliry of inscription. ormtality. is not a liberal-hat disrinaion. the graft. p. nor char of rhe dialenical One encompassing barh rhc Onc and the manifold. the Self and the Ocher.T h e infrastructures have the unity of thediffmnccbctwecn the One and the manifold and their dialccrical synthesis in the One that dialectically encompasses both. Znsm$tion in gmeral-that is to say.

66). p. A text can be dcrermined as the sensibly oa. 258). empirically .” I should like ra enumerate rhe traditional ways of understanding to?.5). Before attempting t o dcfrne precisely what Derrida ntcans by the “general rext. The literacy criria. and things of that sort with respect to Dertida’s philosophy. “text” in Derrida’s understanding is not reducible “either to the sensible or visible presence of the graphic or the ‘literal’ (P. Paradoxically. . from which Derrida’s concept of text must be clearly s e t off. also happen to be thosc attributed to Derrida by literary critics and a number of philosophers. pantextualism. In Positions he pIainly acknowledges rhat the “necessary generalization of the concept of text. We can distinguish r h m kinds o f conccpts of texr: 1. however. as writing in the sense of archewriting has little or nothing in common with the scripNra[ figurcs o n the page. At stake is not only the universality of the discourse of literary criticism but also its t~capisc altcrnttive tendency of parricuirrizarion and private wlf-discovery. as well as those philasophers who have been speaking of tcxtualIsrn. Derrida has clearly emphasized rhat rhe g m cralization o f the concept of the text in n o way imp1ic-s a “theology of the Text” (D. a new ‘idealism’ if you will. therefore share a similar if not symmetrical confusion. it would not bc heard.278 LITERATURE OR PHILOSOPHY? versa1 i n what most properly d d n e s them-heir self-suffrdent oneness. In the same way. as the definition of a new self-interiority. if it wcre. any ammpts by lirerary criticism to seek selfauthorization in the Derridean notion of wnnng would have to confront rhc full philosophical impact o f its delimiting thrust. 6. these traditional meaning of tmf. p. text-fetishism. . encounrerrble transcription of a n oral discourse.. as a material opacity that rnusr efface irsclf before its oral reactivation and the meaning it represents. Towmd an Entirely Different Tar On several occasions. its mension with n o simple exterior limit (which also supposes the passage through metaphysical opposition).” must n o t wind up “[under the influence of very precise interests. Ncedless M say. p.aCnble. o f the text” (P. reactive forces determined to lead work astray into confusion) . ” . Nor is thc Iamr free o f the claim to generahy.

“The text excludes dialectics” (D. Another. 3. o r . p. could bc t m c d intellectual (vcrs*m&s&sigc) concepts. which. of the dialectical exposition o f that which is impiicd in its very concept (KWim Begrife el&@ Instead of recalling Derrida’s sustained critique o f 5uch a conapt oftext.”’ Yet docs this dehiration and conxcutivc gcneralization o f the conapt of the t e x t imply that t h m is nothing outside the t e x t . In order m prove that this definition o f lnct cannot coincide with Derrida‘s “general t e x t . concept conceives of rezt s the dialectical sublation. which is the same. 122). According t o t h i s conception.” and “of coursc the elernenr that has appeilcd to S D ~ C of the experts about t u t e l i t e r a r y critis. ” let me merely quote the following pawge from Dissemination: “a text is never truly made up of ‘signs’ or ‘signified ” (D.A5 rcccntly as 1983 a Critic could still write that “the most distinctive elcmcnt in Dmida. the dialectical dmrmination of mrt i s its reasonable or rational concept. the rcxt is determined as the milieu. it is enough here to rccall his lapidary remark. by virtuc o f thcir opposition and isolation. A t ~ x t mi be detcrmined as an intelligibk obi-. By exhibiting thetext as the totalily o f a positioningand reciprocal annihilation o~oppositio~asthcplayofamutual IimitadonofselfandOthcm~.” i s his “reduction of thought and experience to ‘tcwrualiy. “ I I fi’y a pas de h o r s . as well as the ctyrndogics. 261). one ought to recall that according to Dcrrida the generalircd concept of t e x t i s precisely t h t which e x & the .” of both its smsible and ideal determinations.r e ~ r e ( T h m is nothing ou&& rhe e t ) ” (OG.THE INSCRIPTION O F WNIVERSALIW z79 2. the element o f Aufhcbung. and perhaps final. . All chose analyse that link a text’s sensible and intelligible constituents. “all those boundaries that form the running border of what used m be u l k d a text. which is indeed the prevailing one.’ ’’*Before stablihing that the statcmmt that & e m is no “extra-nxt” d m not allow the infenncc that all is. themb r c .Unlike the previous definitions o f text. a t a t is thought to comespond to the signifying oiganization o f diacritically or differentially determined signifiers and significdr. p. and that all that is is only text? One knows the indignarion excited by Dcrridn’s proposition. understand lcrt within the limits of speculative philosophy (Idealist or Romantic). allusions. either a5 ”form” or “mntent. implications. d h i n one totality of cithcr form or content. 158). and mu-mtmdws o f all sorts. taken out of context and ttansformtd into a slogan. p. text-and this even lcss if one understands “text” in any of the traditional manners-and beforc venturing an interpretation of the proposition in qucsdon. rhat myrhing is t a t . T h e generalid mncept o f ttxt wcrridts all three definitions.

In whatever termsempirical. As “Living On” argues. Yet if the general text delimits the traditional rotaliring concepts of what ha5 bccn called not somcrhing that is closed upon irself in such a manner that its limits would demarcate an inside from an outside. thc general text is rather that border iself.” M rrurh as abtheiu. from which the assignment o f insides and outsida takes place. or for that matter “literarure. of meaning o r rcfercncc” (P. it also implies rhat thc entirdy different text. Indeed.p. these borders once more. . Derrida remarks that “we must avoid having the indispensable cririque of a certain naive relationship to rhe signified or rhr referent. The gmetalized text .” are mimeticor referenrial. but itsmimcsisisnot suspended upon an uhimateimitatedand isthusnotsubjectto truthasudequatio. if not conrtitutcd. whether it is the empirical closure of the unity of a corpus.. because it is no longer a totality. rhar is. a pure and simple suppression. as Uerrida argues i n “The Double Session. The generalization of thc tcxt. Bur. Derrida has never contested that tcxts. . has no inside or outside. to xnse or meaning. Thegeneral tcxt is mimetic. 66). all framework. hut that does not imply that the term rcfers to a rcfcrcnt thet would come to stop and thus exhaus its refercncc. 211). or dialmical--text is dcfined. or the dialectical totality of its formal or thematic mcaning. from the ground up. W h a t Derrida calls the general texc is characterized.p. as he remarks in this essay. remain fixed in a suspension. however. Though truth is set sidt from . although thc referent is lifted. Derrida writes in “Living On”: “lr was never our wish to mend the rcassuring notion o f the text to a whole exfratextual realm and to transform the world into a library by doing away with all boundaries. or even. is not an exrension or application of the traditional conccpt o f the texr r o irs traditional autsidc. “rcferencc remains” (U. l a us remernbcr that the idca of an outside makm sense only with regard to the common notions of text. &fore I fakc up this definition of the general tcxt. it always implics a dosure upon itself with a dear inside and outside.In orhcr words. all sharp edges. T h e DoubleSession”i5 ample proof of rhis.280 LITERATURE OR PHILOSOPHY? traditional determination of text as a totality. by rcfercncc. after cautioning against an idealism o f the text. idealist.’” In Posirio~s. as well as where this distinction ulrimsrcly collaps~s. the intelligible unity of a work.but rhat we sought rather to work out the theorctical and practical system of thew margins. the rejection of the text as a totality dependenr an a unifying last reason or transcendental signified does not simply mean thesupprmion ofthc text’s rcfercntiality.

The text. as a ntccssary cMa. an intentionality without an intenturn. refers to itself. because it lacks a decidable inmturn. it inscribes and displaccr the intentionality o with i o corresponding inhntum and irs possibly fulfiIIingobjccc.or when in D*snninaion he writes. yet without a decidable rekrmr s referral to Otherness. Besides interpreting Dcrrida’s statement “there is no e%tra-tcxt” to mean that all is texr. like a last reason. i “There is no extra-text’’ means just h s : nothing outside the text can. I s grafted on a all =If-referral. If rht text is characterized by tcference. or for rhat matter. As the textual structure ~f the re-mark demonstrates. evidence. cannot be fulfilhi by a corresponding extraintentional referent. In shorr. the text asan intentionality without intentum is o f a greater power of fonnaIizadon than phenomenological inrentionality. the general text is rrboilr. From agroundingperspecrive. this movement never comes m completion. Though the text necessarily n addition. does not do away with the phenomenological idea of intentionality. To sum up. Such a decapitated or M e a d e d intentionality. there is no pretext that . as defined by Dcrrida.” I srrunurally endless refcml to other determinate texts. that could saturate. relation to truth. phcnomenologjcally speaking. and thus o f the principle of all principles. then. critics pro and con have also infcmd from this statement that the r a t is a b u t itself. f which is nor being put into and if no extra-texr (the existence o question) can ever hope to saturate the tcxt’s referring function. for structural reasons the text has no identity or self wirh which to coincide. what does Derrida mean when he claims In Of Crdnmratology thar there is no extra-re%t. that all i s language. Dcrrida could just as wcll have stated there i5 no inside ofthe text. assume a f d f i h g function (€rfullunssfun&tion]o f the textual referrals. as shown in “The Double Session. It certainly does not permit the conclusion that there is nothing else but m t s . then. m a i n s . On the f consciausn~ss contrary. since the unsaturatable relation to Otherness that charactcrirs it can serve as the matrix to account for the possibility of phenomenological inrcnrionality. Atthls point it should also becomeclear what philosophical problem is met by ihe general text. then it can be as little about itself as it is about something extratextual. ‘’There is nothing befarc the text. As such it can scwc to account f intention also for the structural impossibility ofa final coincidentx o and its intcntum.r H E INSCRIPTION OF UNIVERSALITY 183 the general text. pmjcctcd coinciding. Bur if the text is characterized by structures of referral without a referent. then it represents. thus making a11 textual sdf-reflexivity ultimmb impossible. in the last instance.

But it may also be that their meaning cdnnor be exhausted in such a manner. A5 we shall JCE. a5 a “truly” o r general idedconcepr. it must be accounted for. from empiricaI r e p m t a t i o n s . reassuring ‘because totalizing. The notion of the general text is nothing other than a philosophical *‘construct’’which gives that essential possibility its full importance. it must be repeated that this is so not because of the general text’s semantic wealth o r unfathomable depth. the ruins the very projea o notion of the general text opens a horizon o f new possibilities in literary studies. What this means is that the concept of the general text is to be thought. nor because of the finitude of irs human decipherer.282 LITERATURE OR PHILOSOPHY? is not already a text” (D. but that i s referentiality is such that it extends abysmalIy out of sight without. entailing the text’r self-reflexivity. to make the text one infrasrructurc. or more generally the literary. the notion of the general text f that discipline. concepts of text. Since all literary criticism hinges on the possibility of dccidability with respect to an extra. implies that there is no one final meaning ta the text. It also means that the generalized text does not refer to something outside the system Qf referentiality that could do without being rcfcrred to. But at the same rime. however.or intra-text. First. has no extra-text. the short story. but for structural reasons. however.m a y enter thc dacrminarion o f the law o f the text. that is. especially if they are conceived within thc perspective o f mimetologism. the poem. work of art. the absence of an extra-rcxr is affirmed in the case of the general ~ e x only t and not of the traditional. To interpret the general text in an infrastrumral sense is not. p. whether empirical or intelligible. The novel. Nothing empirical or abstractly universal-absacted. If thar possibility exisrs at all. however. it docs not ~OIIDW from this that the novel. The concept of text that we arc thus invited to think has to be understood in an infrarrructural sense. these stanrnentr simply indicate that the general text [“literature” which i s not litcramre) has no extrarextual signified or referent. it is on the contrary like writing a . no last reason. let me add that although there is no extra-text with rspect M the general text. 328)? Rarher than negatingthc existence of everything besides the text. at which its referring function could came to a final halt. about which one could decide independently of the textual system ot referral. T h e absence of all extra-tar. the pocm. Again. beyond the distinction berween empirical and merely universal concepts. and so forth may depend o n the preexistence of a Mtalizing referent or signified outside the text. the short story.

in their empirical vuicry. acmrding to Aristode’s definition. the being of the text It consequently prc~upposa. since it i s imelf a mode o Thus it is incapable in the last instance of explaining the being o f the text. thc bang (orabsence as a negative mode o f preacnc~)o f the essence of the textualicy o f the text. Indeed. 211). we must next determine its ontological status. corresponding mpeaively to the & r e dcfinitions of ttxt ourlincd above whetha dcttdrred by empirical or i d d criteria o r as a synthesis of both. To render this infrasauctural sc~lseof the text more precise. the arisrmce. into cxistencc. As Heidcggcr would have said. with tht notion of the general text. caum the text to comc into presence. C. Of coursc. of the empirically given tms. f being (however authentic or otiginary). Turtuality. It is my amtation that. If. that is. a text which is past as having bten p m t ” ( mum unqucstionably its very nature as a qurstion mnarning the ti&iof the text. rcxrualiry as rhc ontol~gi~al gmund o f thc text can a m p t a variety of dctaminations. by paradoically denying all ontological status r o rhe general t a t . the essence. depend on it a~ to their last reason.Cadamer-is a htrmencutiml question whose modatirics and fonn anticipate the The question “What is a text?“ asks for the whamcsr. then the gcncral text certainly is no a . The ontological horizon which inevitabiy comprises the qumion “What is a m?” limits the arplicarory pawcr of tcxmality as an answer to the “nature” o f texts. essence is what has bccn (to ti cn e i m ] . and there is not even a past present tcxt. p. grounds the bcing o f the text.THE INECRIPT~ONOP UNIVERSALIW 283 clustcc of infastructum. a more authentic and mnre fundaments1made o f k i n g rhan h a t of the WXM which.Dcrrida transcends tlK opposition of text and termality. the v e r a l text’s “prcontolqgial” and “pmscndal” status cnablcs it to account for the fundamental ditficultics that all theories o f texrualiry must fact: to haw to pmuppwe in their explanation precisely what they are s u p p d 10 account for--the beingar prtsmcc of their object. in this sense. tcxtuality is an esscncc or subrtancc. Of Ttxhtnl onrorogy Like Sam’s inquiry “What i s lituamc?” the more m t question “what i s a text?”-&c t i t k of an essay by Paul Ricaur publish4 in a fesaduit for H. Yet if texcualitg in this m g e is to account for the being or presence o f texts. o f appearance and -ce. “There i s no present text in general. ir is as if one wanred to derive the sourn h o n r rhe river. .

that f o r a text t~ be there it must not exist. a nonexistence. as we shall see. and of Being in particular. t o be endowcd with being and meanin& and applies to the order o f both the scnsihk and the intelligiblc. s scrves to exprm the pure idea of the pure possibiliry Second. What this sratcment claims is t h a t thee mny be a tcxt only on condition that. The noncxistcnce o f the tcxt is not P sufficient condition tor there to be a text. These few remarks may clarify in part thc meaning of Dcrrida’s statement. qualify Derrida’s statement as follows there is perhaps a text if it doe5 not. cxist. there is characterizes thc modc of giveness of phenomena in general. akhough this meaning d o a not. It is a statement that makes the bcing there o f a text dependent on its Endcpcndcnce from what one usually associates with the text. if it lacks presence. p. 270). then there is [if y a1 perhaps a text“ ID. What rhe statement enunciates. or a mere nibil negutivum. To exist means to be present. or more precisely there is. consequently. Yet thcrc is nothing contradictory a b u t this statement. the text is said to be there only if it i5 not+if it is not endowed with being. This is marked by the adverb perhaps. In short. exhaust that words function in the proposition. as either a material or ideal subsrratum. which i s not. there i ot a meaning in specie: there is is thus to be said of truly general or ideal corrapa.Z8A ~~~ ~ LITERATURE OR PHttQSOPHY? In what follows I shall attempt to clarify further the notion of the general text by mmmcnring on a seemingly contradictory statement by Derrida in “’Thc Doublc Scssion”: ”If thc texr does not. o r literally. and so on. as one could hastily caonclude. To exkt is a qudilication of phenomena in the Husserlian sense. which translates the German es gibt. Thc being them of a text is thus made to hinge on the nonexistence of the text as either an crnpirical substratum or an intelligiblc essence. ir must bc deprived of all property. To be there. but they do not do away f a statement with the obscure and seemingly contradictory nature o that afhrms that the being-rhcrcof a tcxt depends on its mnexistence. exist. Obviously this cannot mean that there would be text mlely k obsentiu. as thc phenomenon . first of all. Third. 10 say that it would therefore be a nonpresence. essence. to the letter. it does not exist. howcver. to the letter. for IDbe there and to exisr do not mean the same thing. thcy rcprcscnt two entirely heterogeneous lcvels of description. the ideal meaning this Expression has in mathematics. One must. an absence. the existence of thc letter (or signifier). ownness. absence is another mode of prcwncc and bcing. The proposition contends that in order for a text to bc there. Instead of being synonyms. has. i s not reversible. to the letter.

T H E INSCRIPTION O F UNIVERSALITY 28 T par exccflcncc. however. if the general text is in a position to account for the onmlogical status. According m Hcidcggcr. bemeen the empirical manifold of texts and the text’s ever-prcmt csscnce. forever impcrceptible. k i n g as the radial ground of all beings mnnot imlf be. Indeed. an[y on thc condition that it (the general mr) docs not exist. i t never bccomcs present us such in either a sensible or intelligible mode. Thereforethere is. harbored in the inaccessibility of a secret. 931.” Dertida -plains in Edmund Hurserl’s Origin of Geomety. howevcr.’ As we have seen. who through a meditation on the general text aims at repunding o r rather reinscribing the difk r c n a bctwcen text and temality. into anything that could rigorously bc called a perception“ (D. a t first UMS &is Heideggerian qualification m characterize the general text. “What disappears. It never appears (bs nrch). If Being were m exist. The gcncral text escapes all possible phenomenologization. the law o and the rules of i t s game. become the objra of a perception. A text remains.perhdps. therefore. however fundamental. text accounts for the difference between texts and f which are endowed with modes of being. in the present. The general. This possibility o f disappearance without dissolving into sheer nothingntss characrerim rhc status of the general text with respm to what is phenomcnologirable-the phenomenon of Being in particular. Instead of appearing a3 such. a general text. Ir cannor. 63). p. Dcrrida writes at the beginning of “PIato’s Pharmacy”: “A text is not a text unlcEs it hides f its composition from the first corner. both o cnce. it would be a ground unable to account for that which it has k e n summoned to explain: the k i n g o f being. it only has the mode o f being there. a general text. To ask rhe hermeneurical question of the m n c e of the general text is to confuse issues and to mix levels of thought. but also what ceases. The question what is the general tcxt is an illegitimate question. or pmm a l i t y . the general text accounts for the terruuIdiffkcrrcc (or the difference between the tcxo and tcxruality) m the extent that . “is what is annihilated. to appear in fuct y e t without affecting i n being or beingsense’’ (0. iris because iris nota phenomenon. intermittently or definitely. it is simply that they can never bc booked. o r rather ontological illusion. Yet it does not partake in any ontology. perhaps. if ir were to bc endowed wirh being. whether such a perception is an apperception or an intuitive act of ideation. p. it disuppears. o f texts and their textualicy. Derrida. There is. Its law and its rules arc not. from the first glance.

W h m Dcrrida s t a m that “if the text does not. Indeed. the relation between what as ground must be cntircly hcterogcncous to what ir grounds and what is grounded. discards. then ?herei5 perhaps a text. . p. which is never present but in constant withdrawal. of constitution. presence. a5 the meaning of being” (D. In “The Double Session” one reads with respect to the figure o f thc hymen. 230). As he chows in “The Double Session. engenderment. phenomenality o f the ground. The there.” hc at first suggests the possibility of thinking the relation bctween a ground such as the general text and what it accounts Fortexts and their textual essence. rhc general text has no ontological status. f the general text: “At the cdgc of Being. m the lcttcr. As we shall see. since both modes of temporality and o f being are particular to Being alone. the which is just one figure o medium of the hymen never becomes a mere mediation of work af the negative. It can certainly not be a relation of crnanation. that i s . Both series of relations b e w e n ground and what is grounded presuppose the uristcnce. it outwits and undoes all ontohgin. if you will. it is nor put to work in the same way. or creation. that thc relation betwrcn the gcncral tcxt and what it accounts for can no longer be thought in traditional terms.” Heidegger’s attempt M think the gih o f Being is an attemptta think. that is. then. Although Demda borrows theexprason esgib? from Heidegger and a d d r w a problem similar to the one concerning the ontico-ontological difference. not wen in the l o r n o question of the text clearly dernarks itself from the quenion of Being. p. 229). all philorophemes. literal meaning. or even of possibility. of ontology than does Heidegger’s invesrigtion inro the question of Being. “has no proper.t o the extent that it is not a phenomenon en- dowed with existence. Drrrida’s transference of the problematicE of donation to the question of the general text results in a n even more radical regrounding or unsettling. within the scope of the Heidcggerian f the g i f t (Gabel. with rcgard to Being it is neither absent nor present. Es gibt is indeed to be translated as problematics o “it givcs” and not simply a5 “there is. “No present in truth presents itself f sell-concealrncnt” (D. The general text marginalizes Being. As the margin of Being. nor can it be a relation of derivation. in a more fundamental manner.286 LITERATURE O R PHILOSOPHY? it disappears. It is widmt. exist. or sets &ing aside (il’kurt). presence (and meaning).Dertida notes in Dissminurion that thcgeneral err.” the general text whorstruaurc of remarking folds the text upon it(selfl in a nonsymmecrical and nonteflcxive manner defers. being itself the margin of Being. it no longcr originates in meaning as such.

the very process of appearing in general. 3 11). In short. ir suspends it on its margin. of the points at a “scission” (a. Derrida’s U K of ir implies a radical rethinking o f this notion in the direction o f whar . of presence. is one of framing. it seems.THE INSCRIPTION OF UNIVERSALITY 287 all manner of dialectics. the pmencc and the signification of the text aside.The being rbere o f the text stts the existcncc. to whar is present in tither a sensible or intelligible manner. the 6ei.The general text questions what this order presupposes-the possibility of distinguishing between e w n m and a p pearanm. is in the prescnr only through the ‘illusions’ o f statement or utterance’’ (D.p. the nonphenomenologizmargin of k i n g (and o able. “There h frame. Although “nothing says the present better. in f l s h and blood. which rakes piace as the f what i s ) . and insaiibcs them” (D. 215). this would mean that it frames o ginalizes that which it accounts for. Now. Whether o r not the norion of text ha5 becn borrowed from literary criticism. of marginality. We must. r marApplied to the general text. at the cut-off of Being. 192). Yet by opening the pbssibiliry of such a distinction. lndnd the possibility of decision hingts on that of the of the thing itself (die Suchese~bst) in perso*. recognize that the relation o f being there (or donation) to what is. It outwis themand-as a cloth. The being rbm. a tissue. . 0 7 ) . consequently. no longer preserves “the or& ofdl dppeurunce. m what exists. p. in Derrida. in short. into opposition.” it. in its rclation to the phcrtornenologizable. tn its relation to the texts and to textuality as their essence. rather. 93). the general text. p. the general text also circumscribes the decidability of what is thus ser free . a medium again-it enveiops them.” the order of truth (D. the general text is a nonphenomenologizable “ground” which by virtue o f the mode of its givenness-its being there-broaches and breaches the difference within which the distinction characteristic of the order o f appearance takes shape. in pamcuIar. to Being in generai. bur the frame does not exist” (VP. This “them is . thus characrerim that which makes the margin.g there (es gibt) o f the text indicates preciscly this marginal status of the general text with regard to Being. perception (Anschurcutrg) or as Merlcau-Ponty would have said. to the texts. than there is. 3 present. texts and textuality.p. it becomes clear that Derrida’r investigation of thc general text and its particular 5 t a t u s with regard to k i n g is part o f his systematic debate with Heidegger. Here. between phenomena and what they allow to come into appearance. m their essence. In Ln Yiritd en peilrtirre we read. p. turns them over.

cvcrywhe~c) this dismury and ik order (essence. of the general text. The wricing of this text. sense. Being could n o t fulfill its fundamental role as the ontico-ontological difference. thc detcrminable and decidable text. 59-60] Thc general tcxc functions as thar which delimits and rcndcrs possible the limirs o f the empkicity and immediacy of the writing on the page on thc one hand and of “litcramrc” on the other. texts and tcmaljry. which accounts in si fundamental way for the ontireontological difference. no essence could ever hope to set t a t s free. in order to be the gift of Being. moreovcr. rhar is. of murse. This relation of reinscription to Being and to Hcidcggcr’s rncditationon “Dif-ference”charactcrim the Dcrridean concept of tcxt.” “profound. that it engenders or constitutes that which it is the margin of. ( P . Ir does not function as what onc used to call an essence wirh rcgard ro what it makes possible through reinscription. meaning. there is nothing “fundamental. a$ well as o f rhc . and does in fact. is possible only because thcre is a text. pp.) are nvrrflowd. Unlike Heidegger’s concept of king. On the contrary. then chis also mcans that Being itself.288 L I T E R A T U R E O R PHILOSOPHY? one may call the unthought of Bcing. its yiclding to the p r o m s of appearing. ha5 rhe extcrior limit only 01 a certain remurk. Without its ”textual” margin. T h i s gencral text is not limited. But at the samc rime this margin severely limits the grounding fumction . etc.of Being. Without this margin no texts could be. govern. the general tcxt functions as the margin of thc opposirion of texts and textualiry. and rhcn “lirerature. One cannot Even contend rigorously thar it i s a relation of conditions of possibility. which in Heidegger preserves the order of appearanrc. must already be within the text.” arc drtcrmined types of this re-mark. consciousness.” or “deep”about thegcneral text. everywhere that rhcir authority is put back into the position oi a mar&m a chain that this authority intrinsically and illusorily believes it w i r h n tn. is possible only because it is inscribcd into the margin of an indetcrminablel text. as will (or would) bc quickly understood. Although the notion of the general text is not limited to this debate with Heidegger-and m rcpreseniinga solution for a specific philosaphical problem-it receives its essential determinations from this debate. rhc text and texnrality. Yet one cannot [egitimatcly claim of a margin. to writings an the page. truth. as the frame of rhe textual difference. What exists. Wriring on the pagc. idcdiv. To cite again: There is such a general text everywhere that {that is. Yct what exists. Whcn Derrida srates that there is no extra-text but the gencral text (onty).

that there is nothing pmpcr to discoucscs and literature. To speak of tcxtuality. the more or less of its margins. but the philosophical . by units signifying a signified outside the tern-but by traces. and its interlacing o f thew filaments is not subjected to an ultimate unity. aesthetic. to call texttrafity the general text. Although a “system. o r framing it.” againsr which thc prcscnr. marginalizing. however. the threads it cornbincs am nor o f rhc same order. The text io never consrimred by what one calls signs or signifiers-that is to say. and no such thing as literarity or literariness us such. A System of Traces As 1 have mentioned. this dssuc of traces endlessly referring to something other than itself yet neva to an extratext that would bring its referring function to a clear stop. This also explains why Dcrrida expressed reservations as to the representation of the text as a fabric Not only is the weaving metaphor an all too amsanal. the general text accounts for the possibility of an essence of texts by limiting. Roland Barthes. and conscious repmentation af the text stands out in relief. It one decided.and breaches the apposition o f text and ICXmality. one would have to make this concept express the lack o f an essence o f texts.” formulates this relation very succinctly by saying that the work is the text’s imaginary tail. also makes it impossible. the general text is by nature heterogeneous. which impinges upon the rather abstract and quasitransmdend status that it has in Denida. slthough it makes tcxtuality possible. Thus the text in an infrastrucrural sense leads back to Derrida’s critique of the Platonic concept o f symploke discussed at the end of Part I. Bccausc of this dtlrcntiat network. a systcm of linking of t r a q in other wards a network o f rcxtual referrals ( r e n d s teuhrek).’ As what broach. since rextualiry as the essence of existing tern is srrucrunlly incapable of csscntializing the pius or minus. The general text. A text in’the infrastmmnl sen= is a fabric o f traces. no discursivity. the text in the infrastructural sense is not one infrastructure but a composite of tt~fsefundamental subunits. and empirical representation of the general text. It tics in with Othemm in an irreducible manner. would imply &at discoums and “literature” have no final and last essence. living.making use of Lacanian rerminology in his essay “From Work to Tcxr. the text is constitutcd by a mode o f linkage that is not odented by oneness and totality. hen.THE INsarrnoN OF UNIVERSALITY 289 empirical plurality of the sensible and palpabktexts and oftbe essence or tatuality shared by them.

m e ideal of rotaliry is thoroughly foreign to the text. “inscribes textuality in the text. cannot be a torality. Derrida writes: “If a text always gives itself a a r t a i n rcprcsentation o f its own roots. it is the text’s imaginary. As Derrida has noted. it links hrrPmgenmus forces. and conscious representation o f a text. therefore. 163). p. 246). it is not because it interconnects homogeneous threads into one totality but precisely because. If the general text is a fabric or interlacing at all. Yet one may perhaps want to objcct arthis poinr that . but not the necessity of their rarinating funcrion” (OC. a text. based on 3 preexisting signified or a formal self-repremtation. which constantly tend to annul the tern’ precarious unity. by never muching the soil. a clear sign of thc text’s self-tcflexivity? First. meaning. After arrributing the text’s self-refleaion to the discursive actual. The fate of these totalizations. and on the other the textual operations in the background that both permit such reflection and prevent it from finally coinciding with itself.190 LITERATURE OR PHILOSOPHY? past OF this image governed hy rhe category of unity also makes ir an inappropriate description of the general tat. tho% mats live only by that representation. living. All Formal selfrcflcaion of thc wxt f a m structural limirs similar to thmc owing to totaliration by content. so to speak. of differences and differences of differences. Nor can the text be a formal totality. As a system of textual referrals. a theme that would supcrvise its own inscription as wcll as the signs through which it is expressed.inOf Crammatology. What this mcans is that the text cannot be totalized by a themc constituted independently ot the play of the text. fat instance. a unity constituted by an cssential incompletion. it is thevery structure of the textual agency as a system of referrals that turns “the ‘whole’ into the too much or the too little of the text” (D. two things need to be rigotously distinguished: the self-reflexive Strata of texts on the one hand. 101). 50 to spcak. in thc shadow of the pharmacy. this is due not to the excess of an infinite richness of content.Is not this “self-consciousness” of the text. Which undoubtcdly destroys their rodicrrl essence. Dcrrida contends that Rouswau. Yer if the text is impassible to totalize. the discursive representation by which a tern rcprpvena i t s own mots. is decided upon by what Derrida calls the reserve of textual operations which takes place dccp in back. p. in an almost nonsmsible. The circumscribed discourse in which a rext presents itself i s a representation thar is constanrly overrun by the entire system of the text’s own resources . o r intention butm structural rea5on~.” that he “tells us in the text what a text is. nonanrheo’c manncr.” that Rousseau’s text “tells u s in writing what writing is” (OG. p.

and at the same timc accounts for the necessity and essential l i m b of a text‘s sclf-refl&on. A t the same time. it must be accounted for.nor to its representationof something outside the text or its self-representation. Reflexivity is only an cffcct of what Dcrridn has called r e . t o be mistaken for a reflemon. that is.w t k . self-reprentanon and xlf-reflection never quite take place. Yet instead o f produang a raruration o f dilfemcc.p. because as repmentation i t is already inscribed in the space of repetition and splitting or doubling of the self. i s the s r m c t u r ~ ~f the re-murk. A rheme or concept can o d y desipan rhc rwct m a m . by which the text is folded upon finelf. or as Dmida also d l s it i n “The Double Session. The iUusion of a reflexive totalization by a theme o r a concept i s grounded in the rcprcmtarional effacement of their position as marks within the chain that they tend to govern. “supplemcntariry” rc-nrrlrk rhar chain in the same way as it i s inelf *marked. no xlf-reflection or selfrepresentationcan coincldc wirh i d f to constitute itself as p ’ c s t ” ~ . “The . T h e gmcral text i s generalized representation. If Dnrida can sag i n Of Grnnu~foalogy&at a theme such as “supplemennriry” is nor only one rheme amongd m in a chain but also that it describes h e chain itself. and it musr be accounted for by the very ccsourccs and laws o f rhc text. Wihin such a sysrm. its rrprmmtation is t h e repre+mtanon o f a rcpmenration. i f reflection means what it ha5 always meant. the m c t u r e that bcst chatadzco thc text. in which a11 tcxtuaI traces arc not only elements of referral but arc also overmarked by the space of their engcndcrment and inscription. “the beingdain of a textual chain.THE INSCRIPTION OF UNIVERSALITY 29 1 and laws.” generalized refnmcc. This theme docs not reflect the whole chain. that is. The ande of rhc remark by which tbe text as text is folded back upon itself exduds “any passibdiry o f its timng back over or into itself‘‘ (a. Instead o f decting the cham of the text into i t & .” this does not imply t h a t t h e whole chain would be governed by this one heme. the rcpresentation of representationkeeps the difference endlessly open and thus pments any ultimate self-repmentation o r self-presence of the text. a mirroring reprentation through which a self reappropriates itself. is not.Thus. and which Ihave analyzed in some detail in Part 1 1 . The rc-mark. then. It is an effect of the text’s namm as a system o f referral. Because of the remark. The illusion of self-reflection of a text i s witness only to the reprcscntationalfunction of a text. put back into the position of a mark within the rema1 chain. 251). since rhfs repmenradon plays an organizing tole i n the structure of the text.

where the structure of the general text has revealed itself as onc of rckrcncc and rc-marking-as a system of re-marked traces-it becomes clear that the texr can set k i n g aside precisely f generalized rcfercncc. also retreats in its being. is. Instead. Indeed. as t have tried to show. is one more reason ro undcrstand Uerrida’s notion o f texr as an attempt to come m grips with the Heideggerian question of Being. wirh which the larcr Heidcgger continued his elaboration of the question o f Being. Conscquenrly.. in the same way as the rrait o f Being is at once the retreat (retrait) of Being. from dominaring or including inelf. It is rhe constant casting aside of its own being. instead of being governed by Being. the text a5 constituted hy thc rc-mark can also set its own being aside. which. of essences. last reasons. The text. 271). rather than being primarily the body or the ideal form of a literary written work. from translating irself into its own rorality. taurologicaHy. then. the re-marked rrace. grounds. as opposed m what thcy allow ‘to appear-and o f Being. makes Being a function of the general text. for Derrida inscribes this casting aside of Being into the text of the logic of thc rrait. if taken in an infrastmctural sense as the general text. may have nmained subservient to the question ~f the mcaning o f %tin& What Derrida thus calls the text. as arc rhc objccfs of litcrary criticism. This. are those of the cluster of infrastructures linked together in the macrosynthesis of rhe text. the general text remains in retreat and reserve from everything that comes into its own within its frame. thus making it ultimarcly impossible. an extension and tadicalization of rht logic nf thc rrair. either by an interruption of the unlimited process of refcrencc or by a sclf-reflection owing tn the illusory effect o f the re- . as thc phenomenon par exccltmce in all its radial difference from bcinp. the nonunitary fabric o f laws that allow for thc possibility o f Being. These laws. the general text undercuts the order of all appearancc. like the or& in “Living On. While lending irstlf to the philosophical operation o f the krine:n and its effects of decidability.19z LITERATURE O R PHILOSOPHY? fold is nor a form of reflexivity. As an irreducible background. for Weidegger. text as undcrsrood by Dcrrida is the nonphmomenologizablc strumre of referral and remarking whosc nortunitary fabric is the quasitranscendental frame “constitutive” ofphenomena in the Husserlian sense-more broadly. Yet since the structure because of irs structure o of re-marking is. p. the mark that is folded upon itself.“’ At this point. which at once inhibit Being from articulating irself without difference.” it kccps all "reflecting mpmsentation from folding back upon itself or reproducing itself within itself in perfect self-correspondence.” Dcrrida concludes (D.

Ncedlcss to say. its function in Derrida’s debate with Husscrlian phenomenology and Hcidcggcr’s philosophy cannot simply be overlooked. if the notion of the general text is to bccame an operative m n q t o f literary criticism at all. Metaphor denoresa reality derivarive o f proper meaning whether thc metaphoric displaamcnt is seen as a rnament of toss anticipating a future recuperation or only as an ornamental and exterior supplement to proper meaning. could be more inaccurate than to confound the deconstruction o f philosophy wirh a nonargumcntative. The conrexi of this dcbarc alone makes the general text a $ig nificanr [em. or rather because o f its negativity. presence. and so on). and. Derrida’s repetition of the question of metaphor is an interrogation of the philosophical concept of metaphor. literary. has conceived of itself ss a discourse entirely transparent t o Being and free o f all figurative use o f language has fostered the mistaken opinion that Derrida’s aim would be to challenge or “dcconsttua” the regim scientidnrrn by playing literature and its metaphoric use of language off against this discipline that pretends to dominate all other disciplines. o f its limits.” o f philosophy’s atrempt to question systcmadcally the metaphorical origins of its concepts. In other words. In spite. as is to be wen in “‘White is also their mnditian of impossibility. from its beginnings. and metaphoric play. purity. This belief is i n c w m not only because of its reductive understanding of literature but. Na mere invocation or magical conjuration of this term can make up for the indispensable reconstrumon of its actual context. and determines its specific features and implications. H e n q although the general text is a condition of possibility for phenomena (and all they entail: ideality. as we shall see.THE INSCRIPTION O F UNIVERSALITY 293 mark. Nothing. METAPHOR Derrida’s insistcnaupon the fact that philosophy. Derrida has never lehtheslightcst doubr that metaphor is by M ~ U E a rotfaphysical concept. far other. T h e philosophical concept of metaphor (and there is no other) makes metaphor depend on the absolute parousia of meaning. it belongs to the very order and movement of meaning: the provisory loss of meaning that metaphor implies is subordinatcd to the teleology of meaning as one moment in the proass of the df-manifestation of meaning in all its propriety. however. Instead of uncritically revalorizing metaphor. more essential reasons. Der- . instead o f simply playing it off against philosophy.

and which might thus bc in a position toupset the conccptual columbarium of philosophy. Being no longer either metaphoric or literal. Being and beings. within which. Consequenrly. God and . Derrida can nonetheless point ta a certain irreducibility of metaphor with respect ro its possibility. Dcrrida aims at something that is only very improperly called metaphoric without k i n g proper in itself. an allegorical illustration without a concept or a pure concept without a metaphoric the doctrine o or ontology. As Dcrrida has argued in “The R e m i t of Metaphor. As a mulr. and an attcrnpt to dclimit the rnctaphysical and rhetorical schemes that constitute it. indeed it is properly unnamable. If concepts could bc purely metaphysical.2qA ~~ ~ ~ ~ ~~ LITERATURE OR PHILOSOPHY! rida’s reformulation of the question of metaphor i s concerned with the fundamental complicity between the philosophical dererminarion of the conccpt of metaphor and rhe apparcnrly subversive arrcrnpr to challenge philosophy on the grounds that its concepts arc hidden tropes. Yet thcrc is of coursc no such thing as a purely rnctaphysical concept. Derrida shows metaphor to bc the metaphysical name for something “older” than the philosophical distinction between the proper and the metapharic (SP. rather than simply artempting to rcvcrsc thc classical hierarchical opposition of the proper and the figural. Derrida‘s efforts involvc an analysis o f the presuppositions of this problematic. as Derrida has shown in his analysis o f Arisrotle’s Poetics and Abetoric. an elaboration philosophical elaboration o f being that links metaphor. ir Being of rhc order f the metaphor. p. consequently. one never finds Derrida flirting with this mncept of metaphor as if it posscrscd within irs limits and all by itself any decisive proprieties that would be portntislly subversive of logocenrrisrn. and short of its rherorical repetition and philocophEcal concepmalization. Rather than participating in rhis double enterprise. the philosophical and the metaphoric. It is unnamable not because of some Romantic nostalgia for the ineffable. but because of this irreducible’s exorbitant position with regard to the opposition o f the proper and the figural. the irreducible in question neither of the concept nor o escapes the order of the noun in general. 103). Focusing on this specific irreducibility. rhc f metaphor takes place.” the sort of metaphor i n quesrion is in withdrawal. the irreducible in question can no longer be referred r o by the M ~ of L metaphor. nor because the limited faculties of man as a finite being would be too narrow to cxprcss what ovcrpowcrr thcrn. via a theory of mimesis. This analysis implies a profound suspicion of the concept o f metaphor as a metaphysical concept. they would m i s t all questions concerning them.

refers to somethingsmrchrraf~phenomenal. then. literary language. in Derrida’s sen. Dcmda r c h t o it as quusimckrpkricity. nor docs it view metaphor as a moment in the proccss ofmeaning. does not mean. with mctaphorb exrcriority to the concept. metaphoricity is not endowed with those qualities traditionally attributed to metaphor but rather with attributes which in traditional philosophy would be called constituting or transcendental. and which metaphysia can only name as that which it makes possible. the transcendental and the empirical. as does philosophy. As the result of a dcstmcrion of metaphor. to samething of the order of the concepruat.M E INSCRIPTION OF UNWERSAtltr 295 men. but which in spite of it5 heterogeneity to thc socalled real world also combines with the supplementary and ornamental modc of rhe rhetorical figure o f poetics. the rransctndenral. with its desire for univmality. to a literary border phenomenon of philosophy. o f metaphors as a quahy amibuted to.often assumed. that Derrida would turn the littraryqualitics o f metaphoricity against the conccpma1 Ianguageof philosophy. The following anaIysis of “White Mythology”’is an ammpt ‘EO characterize a bit more fully the status of metaphoridty by examining the different ways in which Dcrrida is led 10 ciaborate this notion.exactitude. I . a position. or simply nietaphoricity. Metaphoricig. unrnediated by concepts. In truth.that =p the logic that ties logos and Being to- gether. Metaphoriciry is a transcendental concept o f som. reducing them. As that which opens the play between the proper and thc metaphoric. Yet ir does not follow that Derrida would simply do away with the m-callcd ornamental and poctic functions of metaphor. however. and co ips0 of the proper and the literal. and since it also combines with rht most emrior qualities of metaphor. and which comprises properties that are by right “older” than those traditionally attrihuted. as an “originary” synthesis. 1 shall try to define it as a nonphenomenologizablt quasitranrcdental. T h e absmcc o f such a dmgarive gesture. metaphoridty is more originary than what I have formerly referred to as transcendcntality. say. Nor is mctaphoricity the savage production. and clarity. nor simply identical wirh whatphilosophy calls the ornamental poetic function ofmetaphor. as is . Since. is not a quality that presupposes an already constituted and philorophicalIy determined metaphor. the notion o f rnetaphoricity as advanad by f metaphor Derrida is neither opposed to the philosophical concept o (and therccan be noorher). maaphoficiry yields a strumre that account5 for the difference between the figural and the proper.

as Puntcl has most farccfully . relarion. all wcraphysia. insofar as it i s concerned with thc unity in difference. 1 shall try to substantiate this poinr with a brief analysis of some paragraphs o f Being and Time. This gap widenrevcn further assoonas wcexplorethepmblem thatthis notion of metaphoricity ultimately serves tn address in Dcrrida's work. It i s precisely within this same tradition that Brentano situates his own investigation of the problem.argued. must understand itseIf primarily as a philosophy of analogy. as the problem of the idcntity that lets differences [as well as thc various linguistic arri~ulatinnr o f king). correspondence. a tradition that srarrs wirh scholastic philosophy has Arisrorle derermining the relation between being and its multiple W$ES in terms of this figure of thought. Although "analogy" acquires the explicit status of a philosophical issue only with Plato. The Multiple Senses of Being As Heidegger himself points out. or would dcsignatc. It is important to recall herc that within the problematical horizon of classical philosophy. thus ." Whether o r nor certain philosaphie explicirly reflect on the problem of analogy. major figure of thoughr in philosophical thinking from irs very inception.296 LITERATURE O R PHILOSOPHY? have alrcady stated that metaphoricity is something structurally phenomenal that serves M account for the philosophical difference between the proper and rhc figural. Such a demonstration. I t is evident that this notion is altogether different from what either the literary critic or the phitosopher designates. analogy. whcrhcr ~r not he mentions that notion. ratio. however. his interest in philosophy was awakened by his reading in 1907 of Franz Brcntano's disscrtation "On the Several Senses of Being in Aristotle" (1862). analogy hadthe mean. Although Heidcgger's fundamental philnsophical concern is not subsumed undcr the cxplicit title ol "analogy." Up through Aristotle. came to the fore was already a." Studying Brenwno's analysis of the multiple ways in which being i s expressed (polfukos legomemon}. Hcidcgger h g a n ro reflect on the primary and hndaniental meaning of Being p r e s u p F e d by t h e e multiple senses. the question concerning the unity and the manifold of the senses of Being is none other than that of analogy. by such a notion. ing . or into rhat of the differcncc 0s difference. In what follows. Indeed. if not the." it is clear that his invesrigation into the qucsrion of the mcaning of Being. requires a detour of sorts.of mathematical propanion. is essentially an attempt to come to grips with the traditional problem of analogy.

a PIamnitation of Aristode. “Analogy i s a relation o f relations. the wholc problematic of analogy i s one of determining these relations. T h i s argument would seem to be substantiated by the fact that Aristotle never applies the concept of analogy-a concept which he uses on scveral other occasions in the stria m s c of a relation of propomon-when speakingot the multiple meaningsaf being. Ever since Ockham’s view that thcrc i s no analogy of being. becomes manifest i n the similitude of opposing but back-stretched relations.THE 1NSCRlPTIQN O F UNIVERSALlTY t97 reflecting its origin as P mathematial concept formulated by &he 4. in L e Problme de I’gtfe chez Arktore. on the contrary. the f the relation between Scholastics mntendcd that Aristotie conceived o the different senses of being and being irsclf as one of similarity by analogy. . for k i n g itself can no longer be posited in relation to an Orher. in short. As I have mentioned. instead o f signifying a cormpondmce o f relations. the result of theological presure on a Spccifia l l y philosophicaldiscourse. indicates only the simple relation of a manirold to an originary oncncss.thagoreans. the pros hen in rhs proposition. this question has been an issue in philosophy. srrictly speaking.” Moreover. Indecd. As a matter o f . the unity o r the identity thar difference presupposB. could not be applied to the rclarion between the meanings of being and k i n g itself. that the Scholastic position docs not correspond to Arismtle’s thought. nor can I dimss Aubenque’s thesis. for instance.5‘ Suffice it to say that the fundamental f an analogy of reason why these and other authors rcjeci the idca o being i s that they contend that Aristotlc knew only the m a t h m a t i d notion of analogy as a quanrirative proportion which. at the beginningof Book 4 at Metuphysics he writes that ‘‘ ‘being’ has K v c r a l meanings bur that they a l l have a central rcfercnce to some one nature [pmshen kai miun fina physin) and are not entircly differcnt things that happen to have rhc same namc [homonymas].” Nor shall 1 linger on R i m r ’ s contention in The R d e o f Metaphor that the entire theory of analogy is no more rhan a pseudoscience.fact. scholastic philosophy extended the problem of analogy to the question of being and made Aristotle the first thinker to have determined being in such a manner. a correspondence o f relations. Puntcl writes.” he does not u s rhe word mdogy. It did not signify a simple relation or a simple proportion but a system of relations or proportions.”“ According to this originary meaning of analogy. When. a proportion of proportions. and which mediatcs between what is different. I cannot atrernpt here to develop in full this most difficult problcm. but that the doctrine of the analogy of being rcprments.

is analogical. and. according to Brentano. and “bears to each other the mme ratio or relation that another pair has” (osu eCei os ullo pros d o ) . For Brcntano. Although this conclusion may not have b n n rhematited in the aadirion rhst stretches from Aquinas ro Brentano.’*T h i s second type of a n a l o g is not. has rhc unity of analogy. however. a self-relation that repeats itself in and rhrough itsclf. a unity that gmundc the manifold and caregorial senses of being. and which. Le. following in this Scholastic tradition. as Trcndclenburg has shown. In the aftermath of Trendelenburg’s attempt to Save the analogy of being by elaborating a qualitative ptoportionaliry. therefore. it is as a doarine o f thc difference of bcisg that the theory of thc . the majot Senses in which being is said. Although o f diffcrenr mcanings. being i s douhly analogical: its different meanings relate to it according to the analogy with r e s p m to the same terminus. although Arisrotle in Book 4 does nor use the term analogy wirh regard ro the qucstion of the rnulriple sensm of being. In any case. Being.”l” Only to the cxtcnr char being is differcncc can it be said robe analogical. the categories relate to B common name as to a common origin by virrue of an analogy of artriburion. The miry at this homonymon is rhe nongeneric unity of analogy.rackfenrally) to have the same name..298 LITERATURE OR PHILOSOPHY? with m p c m to which everything dse is derivative and dcpendcnt. to USE Brentano‘s wotds. Brentano.” Yet ir i5 such an quality rhar Acistotle claimed for his categories. They are indeed not cntircly different things that happen . hc ncverthcless says in Book 5 t h a t whatever is related as a certain thing to another. one of proportionaliry (quantitative or qualitative) but. For what follows. they also form an equality af relations. are. one of attribution. because its different meanings relare to it in an ad unum relation. Indeed. as the Scholastics called it. or. this %If-relationality of bcing prewpposn that “being is in itself and as itself difference. bur refer to one necessary name as the source o f their plurality. also assumed a second type of analogy in order to explain rhe relation in Aristotte between the nongeneric cancept of bcing and its diffcrcnt senses. along with an and ousiu. according to Brenmno. the crirics’ bbjecrions to the doctrine o f the analogy of being may well in essence pivot around this issue of difference. one with respect to o n e and the same t m i n u s . Being’s equivocal meanings ate c o n n e d M the unity o f a nonaccidmtul name (homonymos). Yet as Puntel has. ir is important to nore that thc theory of thc analogy of being implilg that being is in itself relational. intimated. and hcnm a concepr o f analogy more general than its first and original sense as quantitative proportionality.

which isdiscaursc (Redel. Heidegger conceives of his fundamental theme in a genuinely Aristotelian sense as “no sort o f genus of b e h g . W e must realize that interpretation of what is understood must take place. The analysis of inrerprctation in the sense of Awkgung (bemenmein)is an intermediary step in the discovery of the third fundamental structure of the Dusein. beyond all imaginable ontic determinations. is therefore not just another name for subject or formthropos).7 o f the being of the Du-exitientialia which sccurc the primordial disclosedness of D a s h as Being-in-the-world-Heid-er completce the stmcturcs of D a e i n by adding to it not language but the possibility of language. It i s imperative to understand in what way interpretation is said to make explicit what is implicitly understood or sensed by the Dusein.a terminw. and nunthematic manner. of this tradition is that his investigation of the different modes of saying Being is an investigation of Being as the difference chaG within Being as . In section 32 of Beingand Time. the interpretation of what is understood circum- . for ir displays a n o n e neric conocption of Being. one must repeat. As an inquiry inm Ihc manifold senses of Being from the perspcmive of Dnsch. makes ir possible for one made o f umring k i n g to relate-analogously-t that terminus. Hence. Meidegger starts out by demonstrating that understanding is made explicit (ausdriicklich) &rough inmprctation (Audepng). nonprogositiond. ” ” But the m e reawn for xcing Heidegger’s philofophy as a continuation. in the two senses of analogy 1 have distinguished. The differma o f k i n g a5 a diffcrence o f the same is the tirlc under which Heidegger engages his dcbate wirh the traditional philosophical problem of analogy. In Being and Time this problem takes shape as the m-stnrchrre of the understanding of Being. according to the strurhrrul status of Dusein (which.” to quom Being and Time. After having dablishcd that understanding and states-of-mind (Verstebetr and B&dfichkeitJ are fundamental exi5tmtiuh.THE INSCRIPTION OF UNIVERSALITY s99 analogy of being is of interest ro us here. The Daslin encounters rhe chings thar surround it primarily as thing that serve this or that purpse. Bcing lies beyond what is. As “the transcendens pure and simple. in an essentially prelinguistic.Dimurseisindccd thepossibilityofspeech. I t is only in this perspective that this doctrine is taken up again by both Heidegger and Derrida. and not as pure things or objects upon which it subsequently bmows determining attributes. as 1 shall now ammpr 10show. Hcidegger’s investigation in Being .and Time at first continues the classical prablernacics of analogy. even as a radicalization. prepredicativc.

Heidegger writes: “That which is. Yet iust as logos asRedecontains the possibilityof language in thc form of the structural determination of exprmedness (HiRausgesprochcnheit). of speech. ArribuLtion).” discourse is coeval with states-ofmind and undemanding and prccedcs all predicative and thematic expression and vocalization of understanding and states-of-mind (pp. of language as the mundane or worldly mode o f the being of the logos. disclosed in understanding-that which is understood-is already accessible in such a way that its ‘as which’ can be made to stand out explicitly.” if one keeps in mind that it marks a srmctural level o f articulation anterior by right to all possible linguistic UttEraMCC. Heidcggcr calls this primary articulation of undemanding and inrerprerarion Redc. As “the arriculation of intelligibility. of speech am.u Let mc Say on[y that as little as vocalitation is an attribute of the logos as Re&. inrcrpreration is the laying out (Auslegm) o f the primary articulation of what is undcrstood according to the as-structure. which Hcidcgger latcr calls thc primary opening. Discourse in the sen= of Rede is merely a translation of logos. 196-21Ol. which is an a priori artkUlatiOrI (Gliderung. which one may translare as “discourse. The “ c x i s t e n t i a l . wirhin which propositionat predication may (ormay not) come forth. It constitutes the interprcrarion” (p.” or in other words ”with regard to something” (mf e h a s bin). 1891. as the primary articulation o f understanding and interpretation. 201). In other words. I shall not deal herc with the leveling modifications us into that are required to transform the existential-hcrmeneuri~1 thtapophmticm which isitselfthestructure of possibility o f assertion (pp. As the third fundamental existmtiale of the Duseiv it represents the very possibility of vocalization. T h i s m is the fundamental structure of the logos as discourse. ir also contains rhe possibility o f assertion in the . it is just as little an integral part of assertion. and achiwes the originary dis-covering and dis-closure.3 m LITERATURE O R PHILOSOPHY? specr*eIy is characterized by the structure of somPthIrrgussomething. 104-10s). The meaning of Being hinges on i t 5 articulation in tcrms of the as-structum. Intcrpreratian makes explicit that all understanding is primarily articulated according to the structure of “something as something. in other words ”with regard to something’’ (p.h e r m ~ e ‘as’ ~~~ ” c in ~~ thc name Heidcgger eves to the primordial us of all interpretation that understands circumzpectively. It signifies rhe “logical” aniculation of Dasein”spreundcrsranding of Being and thus corresponds to the onrologically fundamental strumurn of the meaning of Being. The ‘as’ makes up the structure of the explicitncss of something that is understwd.

Ricocur. it is analogical in the sense that it is articulated within inelf a s the unity o f its selfsame scnscs. he discusses Heidegger’s and Dcrrida’s treatment ofmetaphor. Being i s nothing in itself. bgos as discourse-that is. L am concerned hcrc only with thcsc originary s m c t u m o f the logos. Having characterized. T h e strumres a n not dixovcrcd at the cxpcnx of the logos’s vocalization bur inrcribe it as a possibility. . and -. Bting is difference. m explain why propositions cun be wrong. ” it veils und reveals since the a s m m r e uncovers ”with regard t in the same Thus. metaphor and mctaphoricig are not simply pOnica1 inquiries but are based on a philosophicd cancept of metaphor. in Chapter 8. As far as the meaning o f &ing is concerned. say. as constituted by the articulation o f inteltigibility aceording to the assmcrurc-1 must point out that rhe primary disclosure achieved by the as-structure is a t the same rime a primary covering-up. but it is the very “Iogieal” articulation of its own understanding within which ir appears in a multitude of irreducible senses. and which ens u m that stating a n become communicative revealing. in The Rule of Metephor. Indeed. with one structure. o . it can be known only us its diffcrent Since rhe ofigi~ry amculawn o f h e undemanding of kingits intcrpremion-prccedm any particular determination of Eking. mnccrncd with warding off any intrusion of @ he m a i n s blind n . Everyrhing. These smcruraI dclcrminadorw are strumrally phenomenal and belong to an order altogether heterogeneous to that of factual rcalization and vocalization. made explicit in interpretation by the logos as discourse. to the wkuf-for o f the thing. I l l h e as-strumre as the primary articulation of the understanding of Being. is understood primarily not by focusing on the thing as such but with regard to something else. when. Heidcggcr has inscrikd an originary falsehood into the very articulation o f the logos. with Hddegger.THE IHSCRtPTIOH OF UNIVERSALITY 301 maural form of what is called Attsppmcheffheir. and since each such particular senx of k i n g is s m m r a l l y coveredup Being. shows a certain awareness o f the continuity b c n m n the traditional problematic of analogy and the philosophies o f Heideggcr and Dcrrida. after a discussion of the problem of the analogy of being in Aristotle and o f the andogia entis in Thomas Aquinas. as it were. Being icself is always only in its own deferral. which will allow him. Yct becau~eRicoeur is primarily a into philwophy. is rhus a structure that makes all understanding o f Being by Doscin srrunurally dcpendmr on circumspectivc inference. apart from its factual and contingent vocalization. the ha that Hcidcggtr’s and Dtrrida’s investigations inn.

Consequcnrly. A movcrncnr of epiphora. very differcnr f r o m what I shall call the immanent or tinite transccndcntal strucrures in Hcidcgger. as we shall see. and. Yet.” I should fim establish that my linkage of Derrida’s treatment o f rhe concept . both o f which are said to k nonmrraphorical theories of analogy (supposing that metaphor is one with pocric resemblance). we face a clear continuity between the traditional problem of the analogy at being. for essential reasons. The as-structure of understanding unearthed hy Hcidcggcr characterizcs understanding and the saying of Being as hinging on a movement of transfer. is present in all understanding of the ds what. Moreover. Heidegger’s investigations into the fundamental structures of the logos. One can perceive the real continuity of all these problematics only by recognizing that thc concept of metaphor in Heidegger and Derrida is not simply one of poetic rcsemblance but o m that receives a transcendental qualification from the field it is applied to. not only one genre of metaphor but thc metaphor par cxcellcnce insofar as it is based on an cqualiry of relations. as we shall see next. Since analogy is. Derrida’s treatment of the problem o f meraphor. I should now like to argue that Derrida’s treatmmr o f metaphor is a resumption not of what Hcidegger explicitly developed about metaphor bur olthc more fundamental structure of the logos and o f the much older problem o f the analogy of being. the status o f these ground structures in Derrida is. the doctrine of the analogy o f being-whatw v c r the meaning o f analogy may be-indicates that a certain metaphoricity is constitutive of the vety uniry of being. not unlike Heidcgger’s critique. the movcmcnc constitutive of metaphor. and with regard to the concept of the mufogio I n t i s . according to Aristotle. to use Ricoeur’s words-a qualification similar to the one that RictKur powerfully demonstrates in the case o f the analogy o f being. I shall attempt to show that Derrida’s critiqvc of the philosophy of language or of linguistics opens itself. to an exploration of ground structures which account for the phenomenon of language.302 LITERATURE OR PHILOSOPHY? are thus a debate with that philosophicd concept. The CmeruEi~tiotl of Analogy Before embarking on an analysis of “White Myrhology. he tails to sce that this debate is engaged with the classical problem of the analogy of being. The relation “wich regard ID” in thc primary mode of circumspemive understanding makes all understanding o f something understanding of sonerbitlg us somctlJing. With this.

“Analogy is metaphor par excel- . (M. pp.THE INSCRIPTION O F WNIVERSALITI 303 o f metaphor to the question of the analogy of being . into mmmunianon with rhc pmblmatic of the metaphor in general. Although he claims in “White Mythology” that all analogy o the features that . in “The Supplement of Copula. Thc system of the angorin i s the system o f being’s turns o f phrm. Derrida cxplicidy recognizes thar his analysis af metaphor CUKinto the probIerns delineated by h e analogy of being.and that the privilege that Aristotle attributes to the metaphor by analogy shows that “this privilege articulates Aristode’s entire timaphorology with his general theory o f rhc analogy o f &ing” (MB p. Although in rhe Poetics.” Derrida writes: The uttgories arc the figurn (sbbmrotu) according t6 which thc “sit+Ee term” bring is said in thar ir is said in several ways. then. Aristotle conceived o f analogy as only one species of mcraphor-metaphor by analogy-in his Rhetoric i t b e comes the paradigm of mctaphor. 244). 242). It brings the pmblmnaticaf thcanalogybf king. is clearly s m to encroach upon both the problems of analogy and being. What remains irnpIicir perhaps i s thar rhesc analyses o f ntcraphor arc intrinsically C O M C C ~ C ~ with the problem of the analogy o f being. referring the reader to the studies of Aubenque and Vuillemin (M.” that the very possibility of a science of language hinges on a knowledge about the c s m m of whar i s called ‘‘category. After having m i n d e d Bcnvcnistc.distinguish metaphors i n the theory of metaphor seem m “belong to the great immobile chain o f Aristotelian ontology. 236). Indeed. with its theory of the analogy of Being” (M. Still. Which wodd suffice to pmve that the qucstion o f metaphor is no mare 10be asked in the margins o f rnetaphysim than metaphorical style and the usz o f figurn is an a-q anbcllishmenr or secondnry auxiliary a f philosophical discourse. and has systematically questioned the relation o f thcsc two figures with respect to the problem of being. i n i r l u i v ~ l n c s s o r u n r g u i v o c a l ~ . Yet Derrida does not explicitly address the problem of the relation of his analysis od metaphor in general to the problem of the f being. 183-184) The problcm of metaphor. throughout his work D e m d a has repeatedly linked the problem o f analogy and metaphor.” he writes. thmgb -1 tropes. Any inquiry inro mctaphor is tbus per sc an investigation into the possibility Qf the univocality o f being. p . he refrains from clarifying this relation. p. “We cannot undertake t h i s problem not an artificial impsirion but is supporrtd by the texts. Arktotle explicitly links fhcr problmatics in affirming t b t & t b m metaphor caordinarcr irxlf to h e analogy o f pmparrionality.

242). 43). It is in parricular in his analyses of Condillac and Kanr that Derrida has pointed out that this *‘fundamenral analogism” (AF. 43).” not= Derridi in ‘‘White Mythology” (M.with concept. p. its embouchure and irs SDUICC. for instance in Kant. analogy is suspended upon the nonanalogical iogos as its origin. Elsewhere he writes. the without and the with” ( V P . The origin of analogy. Such a privilege m a k a the whole of Aristatle’s rnetaphorolngy dcpendcnr on his general r h o ory concerning thc analogy of being. But the function of analogy is not exhausted by establishing such continuity and homogeneity through a relation of proportionality or o f attribution between homologouselcments. [is] the logos of analogy towards which everything flows back but which itself remains without system. Aristottc ernphasizcs this point often in the Rhetoric. 238). “Thheanalogical prois 3150 a refluence towards the t h a t what “regulates all analogy and which itsclf is not analogical.” a certain dominating and decisive hierarchitation takcs place between the terms of the relariotis . or from one signified meaning to another.‘ 1Od LITERATURE OR P H I L O S O P H Y ? Ience. Thus. [is] the manifestation of analogy” (M. are or make the bridge itself. p . reason and word. In “Econornirnesis”we . the passage from onc existent to another. 88). the a n d o g i d displacement o f Being” (WD. within metaphysics.’’ In metaphysics. The origin is rhe logos. thus. pp. Metaphor and the movement of epiphoru arc to be thought against the background of and with respect to the mart general problematic o f analogy.” as and through which the Third Crifique bridges ihe abyss berween the two absolutely hcterogcnmns worlds of Nature and the EthicaI (VP. Indccd. 31 1-312). “Metaphor in general. The analogy “brings together without-concept and concept. p. outside of the system that it oricnts as its end and its origin. “the recourse to analopv. analogy ensures h u h the continuity of all derivation and thc homogenization of opposite atden (M. 27). p. 83) from which metaphor is derived is not only a principle o f methodical and universal linkage for philosophy but a general principle par excellence insofar as it concerns rhc proper name of bcing. is the logos.p. In other words. p.”I~ As Derrida has dcmonstratcd in “Plato’s Pharmacy. sincc it forms the ground o f analogy. It serves to seal up (cicufriserjthc gap and to think the diffcrcnee (VP. as an effect of mimesis and homoiosis. p. the concept and the effect of analogy. that from which analogy procceds and towards which it returns. analogy is a phenomcnally more fundamcntal made of transport t h i n the epiphorn constitutive o f metaphor. “Metaphor. [is] authorizrd by the initial submission of Being to the existcnt. the universality without concept and the universality .

the frivolour (AF. 43). Ir continues to belong to language and to the l a m of difference. although the analogy sewcs to connect the heterogeneous and to homogenize rhc diffcrenm at the benefit o f it5 allegedly external ground (the logos). 1s that o f the logos (see D. takm place only through analogies of analogies.” in short. and all other rhetarical figures. the generalized analogism that I have pointed out must serve to account for a t least two things: The first is the fundamental analogism in metaf the analogy of being. which. secuces the physics which. in short through the metaphysical Aufbebung o f analogy. as Ricoeut does in The Rule of Metuphor. p. nor logos. p. And the m n d is the ineradicably analogical nature of the proper name of Being and the irrcducibie plurality-Nothingnessthat separates the different senses of Being and haunts Being’s proper name precisely insofar as it is a proper name. Thus. In light of what 1 have tried t o develop up to this point. the initial submission of Being to what is in the analogical displacement becomes sublated in the nonanalogical ground. p. And yet what Demda’s analyscs consistently show is that the attempt 10 name analogy proprrly. Dependent on the proper saying of Being by the logos. the useIess and vain simulacrum of discoutse. relation. Consequently. 138). analogy is dominated by the proper name of rhe log05 ourside and beyond language. nonSens. 83). and consequently to ground it in that name. Suspended at the nonanalogical ground of the logos. the “analogy makes itself endlessly abysmal” (VP. that . This hicrarchizing authority of logocentric analogy mmm from the fact &at one tcm within the relation of relations comes to name the relation imlf. as Condillac knew. p.e. 13). a negative product. ultimately. 117). Hence analogy is the rule. The message o f this double of analogy is that the proper or literal meaning of andogy is analogical. “rhe analogue of the analogue. prattle. according to Derrida. metaphor.T H E INSCRIPIlON OF UNIVERSALITY W C thar enter into mrrcspondcnce in a relation af analogy. where it is clear that “Bcing is nothing outside the existent” and that “it is impossibIe to avoid the ontic metaphor in order to articulsteBeing in language. is“ana1ogy through and through” (SP. under the form o univocaIity and the proper name of Being through an idealization and a simultaneous destruction of analogy by casting metaphor against metaphor in a war of languagc against itself. and proportionality which characterize it. As a result. all the elements thar make up the rtlations find &themselves compriwd by the structure that names the relation of analogy as a whole.” Being itself is still said to be “done in its absolute resistance to e v q metaphor" (WD. Even in Heidegger. That name. One may argue. analogy also engenders.p.

[f beingcm be said in different senses. proper meaning. the simple f a n that the notion of analogy m n and m w t be brought to bcar upon the question of being shows that this notion profoundly affects the very concept of bein&. because the space of doubling and repetition rhar it opens. Onc may. Thc space o f this inncr doubling within being is the original space of analogy or metaphor in general.meaningof singularities. Hencc. and elementary transference” (OG. analogy or metaphor docs nor surprise being from the outside. 1 shall discuss in marc detail this . p. it is because the name of being i s not a proper name. within which being can be rclatcd to itself. come to being from the inside. Yet the generality o f the as wbai. the “origin in general”-is clearly derivative of derivation. 2801.This irreducible metaphoriciry o f the us nrch cannot be sublated in a gesture o f idealization. is the accomplice o f analogy or metaphoricity in general. literal . of being as thought (01s Cedochtes). T h e possibility of bcing affected by analogy must. recognize in this reduction of the nation o movement similar to Hegelian Allfiebung through which a notion foreign to the philosophical discourse is turned into a truth o f being. of the universal. that which corresponds to the proper. f analogy a in addition. p. the idea of a being as such. that requires the inner doubling of being in order to appearrrssuch. then this possibility has to be accounted for and must be inscribed into the concept o f being i d f . One may also argue. however. Indeed. Ideation. Indeed. in Of Grammurology. a loss through which it acquires the necessary transcendental qualities of the CeId to which ir is appficd. universality-rhat Is. o f the generality of analogy or mctaphoricity. the matus of that whichgives itselfus proper meaning” (M.306 LITERATURE OR PHILOSOPHY? the introduction of the prohlcrnatics of analogy into the transcendental discourse on being is the r e d of an exterior pressure of the discourse of theology upon the discoursc of philosophy. T h e analogy of being reveals what Derrida. In that case. unique.It can be surmised that this aftecrion cannor necessarily be entirely controlled by Artfiebung. or the beholding of the general. 292). calls “a metaphoricity. If the concept of being-the concept of that which is supposed to be the most original. as he does. is the very condition of idealization. Yet however one attempts to explain away the impaa of the question o f analogy on that of being. i s the intuition o f the as what o f species and singularities. that philosophical discourse maintains irs sovereignty by stripping rhc mathematical norion of analogy of its conceptual rigor. it is “from the tmpe that we learn about the status of literal. then. and irreplaceablc-can be affcacd at all by analogy. gcncraliry. it is the very idea of a unity of being.

say over concept-a philosophicalthesis par exceilence-is radialIy excluded by the premiscF of Dcrrida’s philosophy. Derrida makes it clear rhac metaphor is a philosophical mnccpt through and through.THEINSCllPTlON OP UNIVERSALITY 307 compliary b c m n rhe general as the proper.. From t h e outset. Dcrrida examines here the more general analogy that allows metaphor and concept m reIate to one another and organizes the cxchangcs that take One would place b e e n them. If we assume that both arc irreducible to one another. as I engage i n a n anatysis of “Whiee Mythology. linguistics.” Quasimetap h i c i t y be sevcrcIy misguided if one cook “*WhiteMyrholagy. “White Mythology’’ is a text concerned wirh h e diffwmce (andits economy) bnvccn metaphor and mnocpt. the syntactic. To do some thesis or truth about the concept o so wauId be m miss Dcrrida’s whole srgummt. “White Mythology” i s not primarily concerned with metaphor. and precludes any h n l resumption of the conapt by metaphor. the pbilkphical positions on metaphor displayed i n the essay-that philosophy is a whirc mythology on the one hand and on the o&+r that phdosophy i s frce of all metaphorsarc not positions an which to capitalize. and to atrriburc t o Derrida one or several of the traditional philosophical or rhetorical positions on metaphor that arc dealt with criticallg in that may. or philology. or dcad maaphors. rhe QI~~~II. &in& and s o on. the need for a more embracing discourse on figure becomes . worn out.” as Ricocur does i n The Rule ojMetqbw . as an m a y developing r reality of metaphor. and a general analogism which a t the same time constantly disappropriatesand particularizesrhe general. it repmenrs the larger vista of a discourse on figure no longer restricted to a regional or specific science. As soon as o n e rdects on the conditions of possibility of a gcncral metaphorology according to which alF philosophical concepts would be hidden. but whose impiiut logic is rather to be exhibited. and the arbitrary. and thar i t fosters a continuist [diachronic and symbdic) conception a t the cxpcnse of the systematic. Focusing on the regulated play within which f both these exchanges take place implics rhc (relative] autonomy o metaphor and concept. From this perspective. T h e subordination of the syntactic is inscribed in rhc most invariable traits of rhe conccpr of metaphor to such an c ~ t ~ that n c a valorization of metaphor. This logic belongs neither to a rhetoric’ of philosophy nor to a mecaphilrisrrphy.

o f course. however. nccessarily escapes the enterprise of accounting for thc metaphoricky of all philasophical conceprs. if a general metaphorology that f philososystematically invcstigares the meraphorical credentials o phy's conceptuality must presuppose the concept ofmetaphor. 7)le metaphor o f metaphor. thc concept of mctaphor. As thccondirionsof irnpossihitiry o f 3 general philosophical metaphorology have shown. 1 shall now try to characterize in more detail the irreducible meta- . can. It is imperative to see that this articulation is not some common essmce of both concept and metaphor. rhe metaphor of the philosophical concepc o f mctaphar which one pcesame5 in order to reduce all other conccpk ro the metaphors they conceal. which Derrida substitutes f o r the classical apposition. or a n ultimate signified. then at least one concept. the metaphor of metaphor. a s well. of thc improper ' t othe improper. however. their gmeralicy and universality. and thence to indulge in a murual cxchangc. lending itself co any final reduction ra its sensible substrate. since ir is no longer derivative of a mnccpt. f h u s the metaphor that escapes thc cntcrprise ~Fclassilication escapes a general metaphorology. is not to say that it would be a more fundamental proper concept. no longer be a simple metaphor. T h e general meraphoricity organizes thme exchanges. wirhout cvcr having been thematizrd in traditional philosophy. It cannot f a proper concept. At tcasr one mcraphor. Indeed. It is an articulation that f a sensible image. thc rneraphor of thc conccpt of metaphor rcquired to makc a phifosophical metaphornlogy possible.This general metaphoricityenables metaphor and concept to enter into a relation E n the first place. it is indicative of a different articulation betwcen metaphor and conccpt. signifies a misa en abyme of the philosophical concept of metaphor. merely be identical with the improper figure o which. Thc larger vista o f a discourse a n figurc M which Dcrrida refers is primarily concerned with this other articulation. not a truer definition or proposition that would embrace both in a moreglobal concept. As a relation of figure to figurc.3Q8 LITERATURE OR I'HILOSOPHY? evident. Following the prcsupposirion of ruch a (philosophical) position to its logical end-the belief that one can demystify the discourse o f philosophy by forcing it to deliver the metaphorical d e m i a l a of its concepts-Derrida demonstrates that the conditions of possibility of a general phitosophical metaphorology are hy right its conditions of impossibility. this dillerenr articulation is rhar ofa general mctuphonkity on which rnetaphorolow's claim reuniversality is based. allows a concept to bc a n idealized counterpart o without.

(M. at the wry Icast. outride the system the metaphor. But. as a “dehing rropc” . and s a on). A concern wirb the founding cancepm of the entire history of phiconcepts. Let us recall that both metaphor and concept are philosophical If a general metaphorology claims that all concepa arc worn-out metaphors. “can these defining tropes that arc prior to all philosophical rhetoric and rhar produce philosophemcs still be called metaphors!” (M. pp. This extra metaphor. . p. As a tutelary or instituting trope. as a “first” philosopheme. cidos. Yet this metaphor ot metaphor must remain unthernatized if a general metaphorology is t o auccecd a t all (and thus to fail). the concept of mctaphor-attempts in vain to include under its own law the totality o f thc field to which the product bclong. in all incssmtial char.lcrerisdcs. the metaphor of metaphor forms a system with a chain of other such “archaic” tropes. T h e statc nt $talus o will always be denied to the interminable debhcmce of the gm “ n r r i d away” each rime that om of itr pmdumhere. &en thc same must b true of che philosophical conccpt o f metaphor. for economical reasons. Metaphor has been issued from a nenvork of philosophemcs which themselves cormpond to m p c s or to figurn. s u p p o d on its own base.T H E lNSCRlPTlON O F UKIVERSALITY 309 photicity’in qustion. If one wished to conceive and to class all the metaphorical pssibilitis of philosophy. Tbc field is mver muratcd.. The following lengthy passagc helps sum up the conditions of impm$ibiliry of a philosophical metaphomlogy: Metaphor m a i n s . logos. 255). It cannot dominate imlf. phor of metaphor. p. cannot be dominated. KO ~yncoparcan entire chain of masoning. since rhe extra rum of s p c h becomes the missingrurnolspcech.This stratum of “tutelary” m o p (hopes “insritullun“l. T h e metaphor o f metaphor is therefore the “founding” trope of the pmjm o f a metaphorology. By virtue of what wc rnighr entitle. at least. extracts or absrrams itself from this field. tropic supplcmcnrarity. a5 Dcrrida also calls it. 255). 219-2203 . thus subtracting irwlf as a metaphor I-. (M. always would m a i n excluded. asks Derrida. the taxonomy orhistory o f philosophical f the complcrnent metaphors will nwcr make a profir. a meraphyriul concept. giving the character Df a %atural” language to the so-called “founding” concepts of philosophy (the&. cannot be dominated by whar it itself has engendered. one metaphor. a classid philosopheme. withour which rhr concept of m a p h o r could not be constmad. the mcra. the layer of “primary” philoxlphtmcs (assurning hat the quotation marks w itl MWC as a sufficient precaution here). It i s therefore enveloped in the field h a t a gcncral metapbornlogy o f philosophy would wek to dominate. has made to grow on its own soil. or. remaining outside the field that i t allows m bc circumxribcd. ’ihmbrc. and t h e philosophenm a f t contemporaneous to or in a systematic mlidariry with thesc tmpesorfigum.

3 10 LITEIUT’URE OR pHiLosornu? losophy docs not coincide with rhe work of the philolo&. Thcrefore. neither metaphor nor COFI EE~LOn rhe contrary. generalization o f metaphor may weU signify the pamuria of the proper and the concept. such a between the metaphor and the conccpt” (M. The Nietzschean “generalization of weraphoriciry by putting into ubyme one determined metaphor. are not. In other words. it is something that explodes “the reassuring opposition of the metaphoric and rhc proper. within language. p. scmng out the defining tropcs of the founding canceprs o f philosophy. Pharmacy. nor with that o f the rhcmrician o f philosophy. pp. As Dcrrida asks i n “Plato’s concepa. “is possible only if one takes the risk of a continuity p.or classical historian o f philosophy. Indeed. The generalization hinted at by the metaphor of metaphorf the logic of contamination and of general rnetaphondry--is that o the contamination of the logical distinciion h e e n concept and 6gurc. Of this generalization Derrida remarks in Dissminulion that “since everything becomes metaphorical. the metaphor o f metaphor. such as the metaphor of mcraphor. 259). or figure. trope. For the 5ame reason for which rhe metaphor of metaphor is a mise en a b y m ~ o f the conccpr o f metaphor-the absence of any ultimate mnccpr of which this metaphor would be the metaphor-the metaphor of metfphor i s also B carachresric production of concepts (and subsequently . 2 5 8 ) . found the values of propriety. stcim~y. neither proclaims the literary or poetic nature of phiIosophy nor gcneralim metaphor as a figure.speaking. In short.” Dcrrida notm. it is onc t h a t decanstitufts the borden of the propriery of philosophemes. no longer any metaphor either” (D.” how muld the heart of all mctaphoricity bt a simple metaphor? Hence. hence. Indeed. p. rhe opposition in which the one and the other have never done anything but reflect and refer to each other in their radiance” (M. 262). or mom generally the founding tropes of thc founding tropes. Derrida has recourse to Fontanier’s notion 01 catachresis in order to characterize the instituting tropes or the primary (de ”‘premierde@) metaphors as the ”nantrue meraphorn thar opened philosophy” (M. thcse “forced metaphors” o r catachreses are none other than violently creative tropological movements which. what is thus generalized can no longer be dcsignated by the philosophical names of mctaphor. etymol- ogist. W h a t is bcing generalized here is neither the proper nor the improper. 270271). there is no longer any literal mcaning and. Insofar as rhe invesrigarion inro the rropological rnovemmts at rhe bask of the grounding concepts of philosophy lends itself to a generalidon. much less by the philosophical name o f concept.

The trait of k i n g reveals itsclf in its vcry withdrawal. I t is by the remit o f the trait h a t the originary tropic movements o f metaphoricity permit rhe likes of the propcr. inaugurated by the “6m”tropes. Conxquently. By tying the problem of this more “originary” genrraliry to the problematic of the trait as r e h i t . remaining in. btcauw the trait is by essence rehait. is self-effacing.THE IHSCRlPTlON O F UNIVERSALITY ~~~ ~ 111 - of metaphors of these concepts). a “philosophical phantom” of metaphor (M. interseas. groundin& and defining. On the contrary. and so on and heir dcrivarives. Derrida makes ir dear that this more “primary” generality-beyond and a t the root of the distinction of the proper and rhe improper. is analyzed in rerms o f the Heideggerian notion of trait (Zlrg).” Derrida advances his elaboration of the 5mmre of metaphoridrg. Being. bnscquently. that splits. The rrair. at the basis of the philosophical values o f propricty. In this essay. and SD on to come forth as the vcry oblirerarion o f their relation to the trait. within the ntachrcstic production o f rhe instirutingnonrrue tropes. is linked t o the question of Being. wc have seen that the question OF metaphoricity is that of the genetaliation of something anterior to what is traditionally considered to be general and f generaluniversal. t also implies an otiginary withdrawal. and recuts ir. if a trait could be something. In the essay “The Retrait o f Meraphor. concepruality. figurality [metaphor). Now. the articulation that is said to be more originary than the distinction o f meraphor and concept. by analyzing a tropic movement which is complementary to the vioIent catachresticproduaion I have outlincd. the problematic of question o thc trait. the act of insrimring. muld be properly and fully originary. p. metaphoriciry does not reveal itself as such. Being. It mnccms the genera1 conditions (and limirs) o ization. or quasimetaphoricity as he calls it here. nothingness. h e mncept. Moreover. the concept and metaphor. “is their common origin and the seal of their alliance. wrircs M d a . for Heidegger.this singular and different fmm them. such as impropricry. 2581. the literal and thc Cgural+annot bc a more proper general. a retrait or retreat o f the trait. the metaphor of metaphor is a nonaue metaphor. by which something UIPIcome to the fore in the f i ~place. Derrida shows that his explotation of metaphoricity i s also . It cannot be cxhibited as such. At this point let US r c R m on what Dcrrida’s inquiries into the f metaphor aim a t As is well known.”“ Yet rhc quasimctaphoriciry of the trait through which a relation or reference in general is traced. by Iinking the pmbimatic of this generality anrcrior to the yneral to the Hcideggcrian notion of the Zlrg a~ Ewtrug.

As Hcgel says somewhere. in a Nierzschean or Renanian fashion. a metaphorical origin of Being. This hisrory is to such an extent the history o f a liberation of being as mncems the determined existent. respiration. Without denying the utility and legitimacy of such reductions. has becn ripped apart a5 the vcil o f Being. with the help of available empirical tools. thc wry movement of m e taphoricity. however. would have their full value only .ofSting) by in linguistic. occurs bcneath an o r b n metepbor. lor example. as one cxismnt among others. a sort afrrsnscendmtal undertaking. far cxamplc. in one nonphcnorncnologizahlc synthesis. on the contrary. misses the history o f the meaning o f Being. tropes. Renan and Nictzschc.” whatever the historical (scientific)value of its hypothesis. The Fallacy of empiricism as outlined here affects both thegeneral project of B philosophical metaphoroIogy and the attempt to explain philosophy (and the question . at the very lean. I t is an attempt t o link. (WD. Lct me cummmt briefly on the folhwing passage from Writing and Diffwmce: Every philology which allegedly n d u m the meatling of king to the metaphorical origin of the word“&iog. of what by right absolutely resists these empirical linguistic roots. Such an enterprise is grounded in etymological empiricism. excrpt precisely for thr csrcntial. This moment is the emcrgencc o f the thought of Being itself. Etymological empiricism. Empiricism is thinking by meraphor without thinking the metaphor us sucb. pp. refer tn respiration as the ctyrnological origin of the word Being when they wish to rcducc the meaning o f what they take m bc a concept-thc indetcminatc p e r a l i t y o f Being-to its modest mcnphorical origin .312 LITERATURE O R PHILOSOPHY? an attemptto cometogripswith the question o f Being. and always. For this emergence still. empiricism a[ways forgets. chat it employs ‘the words tn be. and particular rhetorical operations amounts to a facto-genetic description. that is. it should be clear that the linking of Being to the no longer metaphysinl concept of quasirnetaphoridty do= not promulgate. that onc may mmc t o think of the eponymous existent of Being. translation slightly modified) .. the hidden root of all empiricism. amungothcronticdcfcrminations. lorexarnplc. it isan undertaking chat inquires into the gcneraliry o f the most general and proper-the generality of Being. the general o r universal and Being. literary. From everything that has been said thus far.Thus i s exptrincd all of empinral history. The enterprise o f reducing philosophical concepts to iigurcs of specch.And arcin a detcrmimd way. or metaphorical origins. Moreprecisely. “such attempts. the thought that respiration and non-respiraimn me. What we are dealing with here is. explains everything except that at il given moment the metaphor has been thought us metaphor. that is. 138-139.

in a certain way. according M Dcrrida. far Dcrrida. no etymology or philology-as such. a proper unified meaning outside the system of differences and metaphors that it makes passible-in other words.THE I A S C R I ~ T I O A O F UNIVERSALITY 3x3 insofar as they would be conducted with the certainty thar everything is spoken of then except the reduction itself. rhc proper. both f rhe fundamental srmctllre o f the logos. What all rhcsc rmpirical approacha cannot hope to account for is the interruption of metaphor by rhe thoughr of mcraphor as such. then. because (as the ontico-ontological difference) it corrcspan& to the vety movement of metaphoricity irselt Consequently. one particular rnmphor could not be raised m the status 08 naming k i n g as that which renders metaphors mere existenrs. becomes f k i n g itxIt Without thcthinkingof mctthinkablcas themovcmcnt o aphor as metaphor. and so o n do nor csape rhc chain and system o f difkrcnca (ll n’y a pas & bars-r. Being. Dcmda achIms this displacement f i r s by demonstrating that king.p. or metaphoricicy. with metaphoricity as previously outlined. the being of language r a i d s in the as-stru~turccharactcrisrico f rhc logos. by which rift metaphor as such. For Heidegger. to investigate mcraphoriciry as Dcrrida docs i s to continue. is absolutely resistant to metaphor. as Hcidegger claimed. and as determined sciences-will be able to account for the &ought for which ‘respiration’ (or any other determined rhing) becomes a d m i n a r i o n of k i n g among others” (WD. it coincides. within the context of this given problematic. As I have explained. In Wriritrgutrd Difference we read: “Supposing that thc word ‘Being’ is derived from a word meaning ‘respiration’ (or any other determined thing). Heidosgcr’s exploration o the as+truUtTUCe. the first . Schematically. 132). l n d d . p. and particularly insofar as this question penaios r o the being of language. a metaphysical concept-Dcrrida’s inquiry into quasimctaphoricity is also an a m p t to di$place more radically the question o f king. the Heideggerian quenion of Being. 139).te) and s m n d by ”deepening” the qusrion o f k i n g through a systematic exploration OT the rnovcmmm of quasimcraphoricicy h a t it designates. and are thus related to rhe question of Eking as such. what thc empirical erymalogism andlor mpatagism cannot account for is the rift in the fnite linguistic and mpologiul figure through which it derignats nothing less than Being. and Derrida’s exploration of rhc i d u c i b l e metaphoricity o f the foundingtropcs reprcxnt debam with thc much older problem of the analogy o f being. is also a proper name. But to the exrent char Heidcgscr’s notion o f Bring. except the origin of philosophy and history t h m s e h s and as such” {O.

the forthcoming trait makes it possible for something such as k i n g to come forth as thc proper name hors-tcxte for a nonmeraphorical origin of metaphors. thc illusion of an origin. In wizhdrawing. or trope.” (M. a reason that may be coeval with the founding mope’s production of the concepr o f origin. 229). 243). and elementary in the sense of origin. it already has begun to say the mul!iplc. 244)Similarly. T h e displactmcnc of chr: question of Being is thus twofold. to “ *sow. o r quasimeraphoriciry.’ then i t s name is inscribad in a s y s t e mo f relations that constitute it. give birth to that concept cannot be original. cornplchcnd it?) this tropic and prephilosophical resource could not have the archeological simplicity of a proper origin. Obviously emu&. p. i s the name for that possibiliry that inaugurates rhe conccpt’s universaliry. The instituting tropes which. To cite again. divided origin o f all wed. Although the concept in its universality is irreducible to metaphor. 254). “Supposing char we might reach it (much if. [a]mrpic system” (M. Yet therc is still one more reason why the instituting mopes cannot have the simplicity of an origin. This name is no longer the proper name of a uniquc thing which metaphor would avefinlte. it appears 10 be inmibed in a system of differenm: on the other. the father of all figures” (M. In “White Mytholqy” everything developed with r n p n t to the proper name of the sun as implicated within the general law o f metaphorical valu~ also applies to king. . At the same rime it limits this universality by virtue of its generality. 5cc it. this “nonmetsphorical prime p. Meraphoriciry names the “origin” of an unavoidsblc illusion. General metaphoriciry.” whereas ‘The Remait o f Metaphor” addresses the second aspea o f the displacement. can be said mover of metaphor. the virgjnity o f a history of beginnings” ( M .if the sun. p. The concept of origin (urkh) is a founding concept o f philosophy. p. a generality that cannot be subsumed under universality inasmuch as the latter has grown o n its soil. of quasimctaphoricity. i6 status m concept (its intelligibility and universality) hinges on its possibility of lending itself to rnetaphorization. This reason . the “origin” of what ha5 always been construed as origin can no longer be understood in terms of origin. figure. first. or derivative of the founding trope’s act o f founding. Being is not One or unique: “the determination of the truth o f Being in presence passes rhrough rhe detour of.314 LITERATURE OR PHILOSOPHY? demonstration t a k a place in “White Mythology. it appears to be a function.. On rhe one hand. in a catachrestic movement. the proper and the essence of Being can be said analogously. If the proper name of thc sun cun give rise to heliotropic metaphors.

270). although similar in s o many ways to thc Hegclian Aufiebung o f metaphor in the paro~sia of meaning. then. an opersrion that fallows a cerrain logic of thcse d i m u r n to its necessary conclusion. T h e irreducible metaphoriciry o f the instituting tropes-tropes that are not preceded by any pmpcr sense o r meaning but arc the “origin” o f sense or meaning-is nsmHaIly of the order o f syntax. of deiining. and especially the philosophical hierarchy that submits the latter to the former” (M. contributes toward characterizing in depth the sort of transcendental status of this prephilosophicai resource. 2711. The inamcable plurality and miduary syntax of the mnaphoriuty of the founding tropes leads to a dissemination of the metaphorical in the prelogical. This plurality o f the defining tropes. if one could reduce their play the dream a t the htart o to the circle of a hmiIy or a group of metaphors. and by virmc o f i n plural and residuary syntax. then. and that recognizes the necessity of marking o f f that result from its homonym within the d i m u r x o f philosophy! The irreducible mctaphoridty of the instituting tropes o f philosophy is to bt characterized as a struchrrc of instituting. through the one true metaphor. opposes this value of syntax to the primarily thematic and xmantic understanding of metaphor in traditional philosophy and poetia: “Now. always camcs ics dearh within itself’ (M. 268). is totally different from it. eliminates itself as origin. that is. there would be no more true metaphor.” which demonf philosophy canstrates that an exploration o€the founding tropes o not be a meraphilosophical enrcrprise comparable to Bachclard’s metapottics. ‘fundamental. if for no reason other than the abscncc o f all rclcology.T H E INSCRIPTION O F WWWERSALIIV 315 concern the plunlity of the tutelary tropes: “Metaphorn The word i s written only in the plural. “Metaphor. which qud structure. that is. o f the imduciblc mctaphoricity. This self-dsrmction of metaphor. This death within metaphor rearha beyand the traditional apposition of dead or Iiving . are we to characterize the irreducible metaphoricky to which a deconstruction o f the philosophical discourses on metaphor gves rise. p. within w h i c h metaphor destroys itself+It is a detrucdon that “ p a w through a supplement o f syntactic resistana. How. of grounding. through everything (for example in modern linguistics) that disrupts the opposition of the xrnantic and the syntactic. p. This self-destruction of metaphor allows Derrida t o is because the metaphoric is plural from the outset that it does not escape syntax” (M. bur only.’ ‘principal’ metaphor. 268). p. the assured legibility of the proper” (M. If there wcrc only one possible metaphor. p. The last chapter of “White Mythology. to one ‘ceniral. f philosophy.

ofphilosophy. the exemplary locas o f the understanding of thc meaning of Being-that is. let aloneacmunting for. this constituting nonorigin. IS 11 i s a concepr rhar has lirtle or no relation to the JudaeoChristian idea of finitude. yet not insofar as this discourse may be construed as literary (sensible. Since Dascin is. because of its s t r u w r c and the problems i t a r m u n s for. although the term of finirudc i s . I shall call rnetaphoricity a quusitramcendentol. It is clear that such a detcrmination of the transcendental in Heideggcr’s thought hinges upon Heidegger’s concepr of finitude. fictional. Awaiting further sysrcmatic and technical f a finite manuendental. With quasi. mctaphoricity is a transcendental concept o{so. A5 Birault has demonstrated. let me elaborate briefly on whar I understand by such a notion. Nor can it . but insofar as it is a getreruldiscolrrseon the trtiiwrsal. of the Zrosscendens pun! and simple-the finite transccndenrals are those existential structures that constitute Being as Being understood and interpreted. beyond the grid within which Ricoeur attempted m m m e r Dcrrida. insofar as it pcrrains to Dusein or man (Mensch) and in particular.1 wish to indicate that mctaphoricity has a structure and a function similar r o transcendentals without actually being one. is rhus not co he confused with its empirical (philosophic or literary) hamologue. The literary dimension of the philosophical tcxtis by nature incapable of pointing to. that is to say. as Birault has shown in his excellent study of Weidegger. Although iris likely that the term I pmpme will meet with a g o d bit of disapproval. after the so-called Kebre. to Being irsclf.3r6 LITERATURE O R rwLosoPw? metaphors. Metaphoricity. In Derrida’s sen% mctaphoricity is a shucturc of rcferral that accounts for the possibility and impossibiIity of the philosophical discourse. and so on) because o f irs inwitable recourse to rneraphor and poetic dcvises. Ir certainly makes sense here to define the qeasirranscendental by demarcating it from that to which it seems tocorrespond in Heidegger’s philosophy. Heidepgcr’s concept of finitude does not coincide with the ontico-ontological idea o f a summum ne-enr in its diffcrence fmrn L summum em. In conclusion. from what I should like to call finite or immanent transcenden&. Seen in this perspective.ts. according to the Heidrggcr af Being and Time. no longer rnentioncd after Weidegger’s Xant and the Problem of Msmphysics. and its differcnce clarification of the notion o from and conrinuity with Kant’s a priori forms of objmive knowledge-farm5 that characnrizc the finite subjectivity and reason o f the human suhiect of cognition-I shall a l l finite thosc structures in Heidegger’s fundamental oncology that characterize Duein.

instead of being more radical. Rather. for they represent neither a priori s t r u c t u mo f the subjective cognition of objects nor the structures of understanding o f Being by &he Dasein. by a more radica1 concepr of presence (Anurem~)-for the presence (Pr. quasitranscendentah. They teinxribe “the opposition of fact and principle. has always functioned within the system of the question what is“ (OG. which. whether this investigation is pursued in thc perspective of an analytic of the Dosein o r . are at the border of the space of organized contamination which they open up. Hcidegger’s finite concept of thc tnnscendental is a function o f his investigation into the scrtlctures of the logos of k i n g . whereas Heidcgger’s discovery ofthe finite tranxwdentals is the result o f his philosophizing logic. by accounting for this conceptual differencc as difference-the quasimnscendentals. on the contrary. 75).] The quasimnsandcntals-metaphoridcy. Therefore. By dislocating the opposition o f fact and principle-that is. Nor arc quasimnscendcntals Cnite. p . for instanceupon which pbilosuphy’s universality is grounded are no longer rimply transcendcntals. as one could provc by pointing to Derrida’s persistent critique of the notion of finitude.of possibility and impossibility of the logic of philosophy as a discursive enterprise. This contingency of the Derridean transccnden- . (Discursive is meant here t o include the conceptual. Instead of being situated within the traditional conceptual space that stretches from the pole o f the finite to that of infinity. Dcrrida’s quasitransmdenta~sare a function o f his inquiry into the condrtions . concerningthe essence of k i n g . Being is clearly not exterior to the cxistent) bccausc they represent answers to fwdumentul qucstions. more importanr. seem to be characterized by a certain irreducible erratic contingency.iretrJ o f metaphysics.THE lHSCRIPTlON O F UNIVERSALITY 317 b e conceived of in terms o f the classical or modern forms of the oub on or the me on. onrological.and transcendental forms. argumenraiive. Unlike the finice transcendental smmm that preserve the difference between the a priori and the empirical order (though for Heidegger. and textual order of philosophy as the thought of unity. conditions o f possibility and impossibility concerning the very conceptual difference between subject and object and even ’between Daein and Being. the logos of Being. The quasiaanscendenlals are. as after the Kehrc. in all its metaphysical. in the pcnpactive o f Being itself. the quasiuanwndentals an: siruarcd ar the margin o f the discincdon between the transcendental and the anpirical. the quasiztanscendmtals cannot be said m account by means of mom rodiwliy fundamenral concepts-say. onto-phcnomenotogid or not. h e torjcal.

Instead of inquiring into the a priori and logical credentials of the philosophical discourse. however. ar sublatc thcm in an infinite synthesis. would also imply that literary criticism had o p e d itself to a new kind of “rationality” and a new practice of “knowledge.quasimetaphoriciry in this case. be integrated f all. without mediation. nothing less than that of the structural crrnmainrs t h a t simultaneously open up and close philosophy’s argumentative discursivity. it must be emphasized that Derrida’s developments concerning meraphar cannot simply. Only when rhtsc difficulties have been acknowledged by a discipline that at the same timc would r o m its status a5 a regional discoursewithout bcing have to frce itself f tempted to elevate itself into a new regina rcinttidnrm could literary criticism acquire thc independent means to open itself to such issues as those I have discussed. Derrida’s theory of metaphoricitycannot beof any irnmedkte concern to literary theory. their aleatory heterogeneity. is. o f . Derrida”s hetcrology is the setting out of a law that is written on rhc tinfoil of the mirrors between f fact and principle which thought can either maintain theseparation o in an endless reflection of onc another. dcrermjned by the very sptcific phiImophical problems to which it mponds. First o and that is the only way in which it affects the discipline of criticismi s overcome in Derrida‘s work by the more general nation of rnetaphoriciry. however. This. The question o f the quasirranscendental. Second. meraphor as a figure and tropeinto literary criticism. owing to the particular status of this quasitnnscendental. Finally. Again.” . the problematic of metaphoridty is also a radical challenge to the generality and universality o f a discipline such as iirerary criricism.318 LITERATURE OR PHrLOSOPHY? tats. is a judiciary question in a new scnse.

Nom Bibliography Index .


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hiiir~nisJ. 1971).Hegel (Paris: Plon. 9. Rolegonrmc evr Geschidrre de$Zeithtif(f$. 19681.GesmIdvsgabe. Fuirb and Knowledge. Smith [New York: MacMillan. A. p. thcrcacc obviously more rypes of renecrinn than those Ihave distinguished here. p. 1979). 215. 219. 6. 1979). . 83. Krings et al. I d e a pp. 4. pp. H.. 183. Harris (Albany: Stare University of New York Pms. 7. 138. 7 . Hurrcrl.e. thc“na~ralistic”mnccpt of reflection. . 195. Ccorg Wilhelm..p. but a ‘relation’ (Vo. and one is in search of a third to link them together. Foith and Knowledge. 3. The Philosophy of Reflection 1.. V. As to the determination of reffection as freedom. For a more exhausrive review. 2. R&xio# und Diskurn: figem einn h g i k der Pbilnsophie (Frankfurt: Suhrkamp.ed. La Science universcfle. p. 8. 8. Miller (Oxford: Oxford University Prcss. ofa StrtGcn or Soflrn. 1203-1211. K.. 1973). Figures de 1 0 pens& philosophiwe (Paris: Prrsscs Univcrsiraires dc France. Philosophic m d Rcflcxion (Munich: Reiohardr. an entirely pejorative term for Hegcl It is impossible M tic the separated and bipolarly opposed clcmenrs together by means d an exterior link situated behueen both” (pp. 77. XX {Fmnkfurr: Klostermann. For the following brief characterization of the history of reflection. Apart from the more narrowly psychological or introspective sen% of re&?don. 1980).3 z= NOTES TO PAGES r7-28 4.” in HegelJuhrbuch (Munich: Dobbeck. trans. Eugkne Flcischmann. I am greatly indebted to Schnldelbach’s study. N. Hcg4 shows that this m 3 i n s an abstracr determination whose refation r o the obiective world i s one of an endless procerr of approximation. jean Hyppolire. G r f and €4. p. see the entry “Reflexion. pp. Phenomenology of Spirit. Rcischrnann continues: “In afl c a s e docs Kanrian mediation have this rcflcxivccharamr . Ln Scimce universef/eou fa lop+? de . Georg Wilhelrn Friedrich Hcgel.” by Hans Wagner. 1977). 3. 1961).5. 183-184). H-I. Faith and Knowledge. 18. 2. Scc also Hans Wagncr. W. ‘‘Die Sclbstinterprctation d t r Seins. Subsequent references t o this work will he cited parenrherically i r i the ICXC . Friedrich Hegel. p. I. p. [bid. i. {Munich: Kirscl Vcrlag. Herbert Schnidelbach. 11. 287. : r h m arc two separate t h i n g defimcd as in opposition. 6. tmm. in Handbitch Phihsopbischer C m d b q r i f f e . Criliqlre of Pme Reason. 267. 19771.p. Hegel. This third element i s not a “thing’ properly speaking. 5.. lrnmmuef Kant. 132. Flcischmann. trans. 72. 189. p. 6Sff. Hans Hcinz Holz. 19hS). SCC also Martin Hcidcggcr.

See Wcmcr &&cr. 1 0 . The R v k of Metaphor. (Munich: K k I Vcrlag.p. Hcnrich. Truth and M c r M (New Ymk: Seabury P w s . It ia the attcrnpt at a rigomus philosophy that could claim t o remain within the immanenr. For the differcna i n the use of +prcrrlolive in the early Schdling and Hcgtl. Systrm of Tranmmhtul I& slim. ed. Hegel. The Difference between Fichte’s m d Schelling’s System of Philosophy. scc Klaus Diking. 1478). trans. 1 1 . 95-128. D. Miller (NewYork: Humaniticr Press. Logiqrrc ei c*islmce (Faris: Prrsxs Univmitaim dc France. Heath (Chrrlottnvillc: University Pms of Virginia. and what it m e a l s . 440441. 159). 1974). 13. Ibid. P. “Spekulaoon und Redexion. 10. 1969). trans. ScmtceofLogic.NOTES TO FAGES Y. and not t o lcavc it. A. p. Krings ct al. 611.or manifests is king i w l w l r ’(Figures. 197s). mans. 1953. pp. 271. 10.’ in Hegcl-Studmen (1969).” in Hmrdhcb philosopbischcr cmrdbcgryfe. 300. td. Further rcfcrences t o this work will be cired parenthetically in the text. Phrnommologyof Spirit. V. Miller I N c w Yo& Humniries Press. no thing in imlf. Scimce of Logil. Hyppohc describes this aspect of Hegel‘s criticism of Kant’s philosophy of reflection in rhc following nrms: “Hcgetian philowphy rcjccrs alt transcendcnu. 1978). 8. p. Gmrg Wilhclm Fricdrich Hcgel. V. Ceorg Wlilhelm F S r i c h Hegcl. 3. FL k r n y V o r n n b University of Toronto Pms. I. V. V. 2. W d c in m m i g B a n d m (Frankfum Suhrkamp. p: 106. Hans-Gmtg Cahmcr. mnr. A. 423.9-44 3 53 9. H-I. G r o g Wilhclm FEicdrich Hegel. p. H. 1L Je8n Hypplirr. p. 1370. ’ ‘ L azogiquc de la &exion s la transition dc la Iogique de f‘em a ccllc de I’csuncc. 4. 1368. no transcendence. It surmounts iself. p. 19771. 19691. and yet hire human dmughr is not condemned to remain a prisoner of its finitude. pp.. 14-31.trans. 9. Hegel-Stdiefi. 6.” in Die Wismschafi der h g i k m d die Logik der R q L d o a . 3. XI. See a h Qominiquc Dubarle. 19701. p. 7. There is no other . ‘%pckulation. The Self--De5rrucrion of Rtfleccion 1. Gcarg Wilhclm Fricdrich Hcgel. rupplcmcnr 18 (Bonn: Bouvicr. 5. 174. Fritdrih Wilhelm Joseph Schclling. p. Hams and W. Paul Rimcur. 1977). H. S89. Science of Ldgil. Hegel’s amque of reflerrion a n thus alsa k viewed as rhe radical dcparmrc of a philosophy of integral immanence from the idea o f a beyond. . I k f (Albany: State University of New York Press. 5.

as J o d Simon har demonstrated. W. trans. and Mystic Rapture m d SchelfmgS Systcm 1.. Harris and W. Ccorg Wilhclm Friedrich Hegcl. p. Coneempomry G m m Philosophy. t L birth of thc Conupt.3R. p. 304. NOTES TO PAGES 45-57 11. in Scimce of Logic. an implicitly static rvnception o f language SeeJosef Simon.. M a n .” trans. Totality. S. Cmrg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. C. Faith utrd Knowkdge. Icr us linger one momcnr tanger on how i t muln from a dialectical . The Rub of Mcrophar. 21. Jcan Beaufret. 24. p. 3 (ISSO). 1977). 162. p. Hegel. 9. 15. 8 0 . Oxford Univcrsiry Press. Twth snd Method. 18. i n ir. 115. Phhmmrrenohfl ufspiril. E . 181. Abrvluie Reflexion. 19791. 19771. 11. Ccorg Wilhclm Friedrich Hegel. rrans. 1967).pp. 4. 4. 19. Gmrg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. trans. 132. 17. (University Park: PcnnDylvania State Univursiry P m s . Cerf (Albany: State Univerriry of New York Press. V. Harris (Albany: State University of N m York Prcss. Sce ibid. Millcr (Oxford: self-consciousness bxome tdcnrical. 3.S. 22.3t 4 A. 23. p. 1973). Ibid. 19771. trans. 19831. Rimcur. Faith m d Knowledge. W. p. pp. pp. and Gadnrner. 39-40. 16.5. Jean Hyppolire. Cctf and H. trans. A. II. The categorial distinction between subject and prcdicatc an which habinral (material or formal) rhoughr is b a d prcsuppmes. Wcgcl. 19S~3). S. p. This solution of the reflective differences on the level of judgment p d n . 1969). syllngism and V. Absolute Reflexion urrd Spruche (Frankfurt: Klortcrmann. which alone i s thc true synthesis of these nllcctive difficulties insofar as. Phmommofogy of Spirit. 122-1U. 38. p. “The Carcgorics i n the ‘Habitual’ and in the “Speculative’ Proposition! Obxwations on Hcgcl’s Concept o f Soena. 38-39. 1 2 . 9 4 4 5 . 20. terf and H. Harris (Albany: Statc University of New York Pms. 423. Miller (New York: Hummitics Press. 22. Science nfLogic. 13. no. Logique el existence (Paris: PTCFSCI Univcrsitaircs dc France. The D i f f m c e h e h e n Fichle’s of Philosophy. 14. 11. Wlhclm Friedrich Hcgcl. 16. Christensen cr al. Conrp. 3 1-32. Phenomenology of Spirit. Before disringuishing this concept o f totality from its Rornanricmunterpart. Werncr Mam. 414. p. 4. Martin Heidcggcr. Identity. “Hcgcl ct F a proposition spPculativr. pp. Heilbrunn. “Seminar on Hcgcl’s DiffmrachrifL” The Southwestern lournal of Philosophy. H. D. pp.” in Dialogue uvec Heideggcr (Paris: Minuit. Further refetrnces t o this work will be cired parenthetically in the text 2.

one must undersrrnd ihc way in which rhc progressive evolution or %If-consuucriono f the Absolute or all-encompassing torality takes place. Hcgel rccogniaed thar rhey arc essential to the overcoming of the difference. Tbihir passage appcan m be the rcpulr of a n inner dialectic o f the reflective determinations rooted . Thus the categorim. 1have argucdlhatHcgcl’sspcculativc critique of the metaphysics of reflection brings to tht fort the idea of totality as the ground presupposed by all retlcctive separation. appear to b . They are h e categories o f understanding by which an e n t i t y perceived as singular be nmssarily r e l a d to another such entiry. the totaliry is moted in a sysrematic mediation of t h e opposed plcs created by the separating action of understanding.NOlTS TO PAGE <7 ovcrcomingof thcaporiasofscflccrion. Schelling+ and FrEcdrich Schlqel. p. that is. the singular and t h e universal. of the Absolute. or d e c r i v e determinations. and thus his critique of the philosophy of teflection. Bur if the categories’ verningly wlf-sufficientand isolatcd nature hinges on their relation m othet categories. The reflective determinations fix the diffcrenr ways in which understanding links one entity ro another. Nor can rhey any longer be juxtaposed t o each other. which is abyssal to underscanding. Yct for Kant. in the water Logic in particular.esmriuf dcnmmadons (Wesmbeiren)compared to thc singular entities o f permption. which arc not truly dialectical because rhcy opm up to an infinite or rathcr endlcss p m of mcdiation. i f not indispensability. Although thc m f l m i v e dctermina&n. But in order t~ grasp what disringuishtx Hcgcl’e concept of tutdity. &at the rcfleciive determinations arc not cLwnccs entirely indifferent to and indepndcnt from onc anothcr but are. particularly in Critique ofludg. tcflectivc dcrcrminations remain ruspendcd in antinomid synthcxs. Jacobi. one of Hegel’s most important methodologicaldiscoveris is that thcv reflective determinations are not static but are dynamically linked to the passage from undcrsranding r o Reason. mort-and for f i c h e as wcll-the reflective determinations are determinations of undmtandiig and farm n@d antinomies As Fichte’s system dearly dcmonrtratcs. or more prcciscly. tbey can IY) longer be rigidly o p p o d to what they m e to explain: the obiccts of perception. and thus 5ccm resistant to any possible invcrsion into their apposite. T h i s m e diation can best be graspcd in Hzyl’s discussion o f the nflmive detctrninations. with rcspect to the passage from philosophical d m i o n t o sprmlrtion. 84. For Kant. H e g e l demonstraw. between appearance and essence. Zur Onralogic &s Gesclkdufilichen Stins (Neuwicd: Luchtcrhand. entirely dominated by Pasidnew. I\s Genrg Lukia has obsccrved. f m m m that o f Fkhtc. on the contrary. As we have yen. they ere shown 10 acquire their conmnness only in tbc pasage they bring about from their abstract isolation as determinations of understanding to determinations of the thinking of the Absolatc. 1971). by their relation to Other. Hcgel emphasizes their rtlarivc ncccpoity. See Ceorg Lukdcs. appear as par4 of a whole. the reflective dctcrminadons are the most universal laws normatime of rhinking.

14771. 11. trans. p. the absolutc mtaliry i s not a vagw idea but a gmund rhat truly assumes its p u n d i n g furdon when cxpoundcd in all in logical ramifications. “Hcgcls hgit d t r Reflexion: Ncuc which the negarivity r 4 t j n g from their relation ro one another causts them to evolve progrssively into the developed totality o f hought. 113. For a more detailed dtfinition of the procedure o f manrttuction. Lachm- . :Harvird University Pms. 308. “Rchte’s On(tinal Insight. S e x m Empiricur. 12.” in Snbjektiviriit u d Memupbysik: Festschriff f i r Wol/gung Crumer. pp. 101. L Hamilton and H. Chnracrcrized by the property of self-movcmcnt. common gmund. 19691. i d 1within itself. Post-Hegelia* Criticism of Reflexivity 1. 1979). suggests an antcccdenr TO absolute retlcction. 8. Henrich and H. p. ID 1976). Rcflcxion und Diskkurr (Frankfurt: Suhrkarnp. V. Collected Dialogues. Absolute reflcnion is defined as selt-muvrrnenr of the Concept o r Notion. “Vorgcstalan dcr Reflexion. Against the Logicims. Gmrg Wilhclm Friedrich He@. 305. R. 5. 19691. 163-164. which they could not but presuppose as their. pp. 19571. Supplement 18 (Bonn: Bouvicr. 4. p. It refers. S. but in thc pleasure of knowing oneself to bc tempcrate. Idmirut wnd Obiekfivilur (Heidclbcrg: Carl Winter. 3. See PISO Hcrbert Schnadelbach. R. Dieter Hcnneh. see Dieter Henrich. see 167c-c. 7 . 19751. Wagner (Frankfurt: Klosrrrrnann. the platonic soul. bur shall criticized the Romantie lor their religious mmtion only that Hcgcl ~ v c r c l y mysticism and for prolonging the Kantian dichotomia rather than corning gxips with them. 9. C. t o somerhing at the intersectinn of self-knowlcdgcand temperance. I shall not mamime hem the ways in which speculative mflcction coincides wirh or differs from the Romantic nurion of reflcxiviry. not suphrosyne. 6. trans. Miller (Oxford: Orfard Univmiry b s . D. Pbmattmology of Spin?. p. Bury (Cambridge. H a n s k r g Gadamer. cd. ed. Truth und Method [NewYork: Scabury Prm.3 26 NOTES TO PAGES 58-69 in their Po~itdncss. however. p. 19781.p. as a movcment rhat i n the very act of in forward drivc Nrns amund and upon . Dieter Henrich. and their object’s. M a s s . 2. Plara. 138ff. Hans-Gcorg Cadamer. ID. I inrcnd rocximine this particular problem in P different study. 10. D. Cairn3 (Prinmon: Princeton University I’M.” trans. A.” in HrgcCSnrdicn. The w d rophroqme is untranalatabk in English. It is thus imporrant t o realize thar for Hcyl. with mnFrance understood to consist i n an easy and natural self-remint grounded not in graceless and difficult self-discipline.

19711.HusscrI had tried to establish by this theory 4 A i h he l a m abandontd) that IO assume a “subject” or “ d f ” as a constitutive principle or as an irreducible rnanmr of eansdaumas ir only Mp i t a ratio nmard.. 27. Miller fNcw Yotk: Humnnidp b . I.” in Hegel-Studinr. 29. p. Ibid. Cramer. H A . %Ibntbwosocin:’ p. 21. 4 . [bid. 16-17. Beyond Refkction 1. 16.. Ibid. “Fichre’s Ori-1 I n s i i t . GeorgWilhelrnFdcdrich Hqel. “Edtbnis” p. 197s). Arirmtk. 16. 104-105. (Univmity Park: PcnnsylmniaState Univmity Pres. ’ p. 280. 76-77. 33-34. 2. 6. 20. 15. 603. 19711. S u Konrad Cramcr. p. p. Ubbn einige hagm dm Selbs?be&urrg (Ftanklort on the Main: Klmrermmn. bid. Schrddclbach..#c. 22. 1979). 2S4. p..MOTES TO PAGES 6+ar w7 man. Selbstbeunrpstwin ruedSclbst6estimmrmg (frankfait: Suhtkamp. pp. p. 14. Metuphysk. (Tiibingcn: Mofir. ed.. Henrich. cd. 22 Ibid. mns. 28. 1969). Hope (Ann Arbor: Univenicy of Michigan k. which explains nothing. 15. 25.” p. Friedrich N d c . 21. 1974).S&eofh. p. d W. p.see dso Dimr Henrich. 19631. pp. Gndnmcr ( B o wBouvicr. 265-266. E Chrimsm ct el. p. 3. ‘rWbstbcwusstscin: Kririschc Einldtung in cine Tha~rie. pp.. 1 7 . Emst Tugendbat. Ulrich Pothast. 12. ‘%lbsrbmusaracin. “Ficha’s Original Inright. On #he C*lwbgyof Morals and E c e Homo. Ibid. Henrid ~ c m t s o link his theory of a stlflm mKiousncss t o Slur srl’s themy o f mnrciousncsli in Logicdl Inwsrigorionr (especially in it6 first version).. “Erlebnis: T h e n zu Hegel’s Thmrie dcs Selbsthewussstins mit Rijcksicht auf die Aprien cines Grundbegriffs Nachhegdschtr Philosophic. 1982). p.” in Hmetrrurik m d Diafebtik. 547. 267. Henrid. 30. Walter Schulz. D . 57. . 24. p . Henrich. pp. Ibid. 19691. 31. in Contonporary Cmnrm Rbilorophy. 21.” p. 17. p.. 18. 136. hid. Das Problem dw Absolvinr Retlrrion (Frnnkfurt Klcstcnnann. R Eubner et al. R. 20. cd. Re@~ion wd Diskurn. Ibid. I.AV. rranr. 594. Henrid. Supplemcnr 11. p. 1041a15. 405. 19. 13.Kaufmaon (New York: Vintage. 22. 23.

1977).77. Hofstadter (Blmmingron: Indiana University Press. 175. no. Sckecred Writings. p. 19801. Dove (NewYork: Harpcr and Row. 1959). The Differenre between Fiche’s and Schelling> Syrte-m of Philosophy. p. 10. 1970). The Bmic Problems of Phmonrmo~qy. “Hegels Logik dcr Reflexion: Neuc Fassung. Funher references to this work will h cird parcntherically in the rexr. p. 1982). a6 Cumming suggests. 66 (19751. Martin Hcidegger. 1976). 9. 3-60. Martin Heidegger.” The Rsuiew ofMctapbysks. Furthcr rcferrncrs t~ this work will be c i t d parcnthctically in the text. 15. IOlStf. p. pp. Diercr Henrich. 15% 15. M a q u a m e and E . trans. Negozion rrnd Andcrshcii: Ein Beifrag zwr Probknuriik der Ltzztinrplikution (Wunburg: Ernrt Rcinhadt Vcrlag. S (1981). 8 .8 NOTES T’W PAGES 81-108 4. 175. Supplement 18 (Bonn: Bouvicr. 34. the choice of the laces proves ro be a 61 mnducteur toward a dcmnstmction of the traditional conccpr of symplokc and its rcarrangcmcnt. R. 7. 5 . Plato. A.Cairns (Princeton: Princeton Universirj Prcss. I I. 6. Instead of a limitztion. ed. opens up rather than c l m his reading nor only ro a reinscriprion of Heidegger’s and Shapim’s interprmation within his uwn but in particular to the decisive question of symplokc.p. mns. “The Odd Coupk: Hcideggcrandkrrida. Harris and W. 147. so as to makc it capabk o f including that kind of heterogeneity that is disruptive of torality. 307. 1006b10. Furrhcr rchrenccs to this work will be cited parmtbcticatly in the text.” Nuom Corenle. p. 14. trans.” i n h VerifP en peinzwc. Hegel’sConceptofExperimce. K . let us nore that instead of illustrating in an exemplary fashion a certain limitarion af Derrida’s reading of a famous Van Cogh painting I n “Restitutions. the question remains whether Flach’s heterology is not already programmed by Plato. H. Hamilton and H. Mcluphysics. 45. H . J. constantly untied and rcknottcd i n his snalynr. In responx to an cssay by R I ) . Hegel. 13.P . trans. Derrida’s ehnier of the shoelam as a guiding thrcad. rrans.Cumming. Martin Heidegger. Wilhelm Dilthcy. Tbe Collected Dialogues. Flach thorsccms tosharewith Platothe thcmcofcornplcmcntarity. Rcfercnm t o this work will be tited partnthctiully In the texr. See my a s a y “L‘Almanach hetirologique. Rickman (Cambridge: Cambridge Univerrirj Prm. Although Flach’r complcmmrarity o f rhe one and ihc Other seems to bc quite different from Plato’s complcmcnra~ virtues. 1978). whose mrnplemcntarity is a function of their nryatively deretrninrd conrcnt within one whole. Werner Ftach. 5 . Robinmn (lnndon: SCM. 487521. Being and Time. Such a distinction between two concepn of heterogeneity i s reminiwto f a similar distinction i n rhe work of Cwrges Baraille.” in HcpI-Studicn.Cerf (Albany: State Universiry o f New Yurk Press. p. 242. . E. Aristoile. 1962).

: Northwestern Univeniry Press. Edmund Humrl. I. J. p. Dcsimktion. 44.ndugynndrhe Pmblm of H i m n y (Evamtm. p. 19741. P. 19821. 9. mans. A. Heideggm. 21.. pp. Mum4 1929) et ~rrnii k m de 1929-1931. 6. p. p. 64. 23. 16.F . . Martin H c i d w r . 44.. cd. Hobtadtcr (Blwmington: Indiana Univmiry Press. Boyce Gibson (Ncw York: Humanities . 19721. 5. Ibid. Idem. The Qw& of M g . Ill. Kluback and J. p. p. 1971). xe 0. mns. Auknque [Paris: kuchesnc. 1962). Being a d Time. Emsr Cassircr and Manin Hrid-r. 47-48. Hcidcggr. 19771. no. ldmtify a d Difference. On thc Way to bngwgc. Stambaugh (Ntw York: Harprr and Row. 20.. 105. 18. T. Jbid. p. Mnrtin Heid-r. Ibid.! NorrhwcsternUnivmify Press. Manin Heidcggcr. I have written elsewhere of &e relation o l dmnstru&n to hypern$&on in Merleau-Pony. 8. J. 11. pp. p. Mcidcggcr. p. 3. trans. 21. W. pp. 21-23. IS.200-231 and pp. 226.. Maquarrie and E Robinson (London: SCM. P 1?69). 96. p. D . 103. R. PbctromL.” m n s . 2. 19. 17. 9. pp. Hcm (New York: Harper and Row. Ibid.T . 5.J. By. 4. 12. Ibid. Krcll (New York: Harpcr and Row. 22.” in GIflb 6 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins U n i m i r y Press. D . 10. Sheehan. The Basic h b l m s of Fhmommology. 7. Churchill and K. Man und World. p. pp. 236. 177-215. 13. 19691. 261-265 for a more detailed dmloprncnr o f the prcvious argument. Besic Writimp. 19$8). 22. 21. %id. Ill. p. For the manner in which this whole pmblem i s linked to the qumtion o f finirude in Knsxrl’s l a w work.. Martin Heidcgser. 63. 14. Qecasrruction 1. tdmtiry ard Diffmw. p. 241. see alsopp. 231. tram.. 1979). 147. 1973). J. !%ce“Dcconrmction as criticism. ”On rhc k i n g and Conception of P h s i s in Arimde’s Phy5ia B. p. 3 (August 1976). trans. Manin H c i d e w . 22-23.rani. Martin Heidcbgcr. David Cam. 49. Martin Hrideggrr. 24.NOTES TO PACES rog-rr7 329 7 . 52. 225-226.p. Scing und T k .Abbau. Amcriks (Evanston. Ibid. p. tans. Edmund Husscrl.Wilde (NewYork: Twayne. p. P. Dkbut mr Ie Kmtisnrc # lu phitowpbk (Duuos.. 4 . Experience o n d j d g m c n t . Busic Problem ofPbcnornmofogy.

1980). 19B2). 1971). as mon as one opens onc’s mouth in order 10 amcutaremeaning” 5 . The Qwrior Concerning Tecbnofogymrd Other Essays.. B. 19771. 12. “Titre I prfciscr.Harding (Carnbridgr: Cambridge University Prrss. 44. Enclitic. 116- 119. 25. Diacritics. p. no. andJoResand Their Relation to the Unconscious. 8.” which is cnrircly different from that o f negation: scc . The Rule of Metaphor. 2 . Millrr (New York: Humanities Press.” in Recherchts sur la phihophie cf le Iunguge. 44-48. 2 (Summer 1981). 287. 11. C. L‘Oreille de l’mtre: Texvs PI dibarr auec ]acques Derrida. “The Time of P Thesis: Puncrualions. W. V. M. for insrancc. 3 (Crcnoblc: Univcrsiti dcs Sciences Socialer de Crcnoblc.” Nuow cmmmte. no. Klcin. “Economimesi~” rrans. 5cc Sigmund Freud. Jacques Dcrrida. Gmrg Wilhrlm Friedrich Hcgcl. Modem French Philosophy.Lcvsquc and C. “hLangue er le dismurs dc la rnhhode. 2 11. pp. The Science of Logic. cd. “Ourwork. See Vincent Dewombcs. V. 1 94 . 3. 6. LO. rrans. “The Retrait of Mttaphor. 205. trans. P. A. 28 (19111). 19. trans. I.’OreiIlede I‘aune. 29. R. Ihid. 1977). Strachey (NewYork: Norton. 2 (Fall 1978). Lovitt (NewYork: Harper and Row. 4. 28. 139. Derrida’s criticism of neurtaliry aims not only at a m a i n ncutrnlizing a s p a of Hqelian diafmics hut atso at Hurscrl’r concept of “ncurraliry-modificatiun. 62. Jacqucr Dcrrida.430 NOTES TO PACE5 II7-Ij8 24. Louis blchusscr. A Montefiori (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 9. p. 152-153. 8 . 1969). See a k a Jacques Dcrrida.pp. p. McDonaM {Montreal: Vlb Editcur. 263. 13. 1982). 26.whrrc Dcrrida r e f m to Hegel as one “wha is always right. Brcwster (London: NLB. trans. p. Ceorg Wilhrlm Friedrich Wegel. 22. p. 826. 7.” . Sec also W D . cd. R.. trans. Tbhe lnrerprctution of Dreams. For M m r . trans. trans. Jacques Dcrrida. 7-32. p. 1965). p. F‘he~~ornrn~!ogy of Spirit.“ in Philosopby in Frmce Toduy. Mamn H c i d c g g e r . 27 . Friedrich Schlegef’s Lucinde and the Frugments. J. p. trans. Firchow {Minncaplis: University of Minnesota P m . See. no. pp. Deconstwctivc Methodology 1. Prefacing” is thc introduction to D i s s m k r i o n . A. ScottFox and j. 1. 19831. trans. Czcrny Foronro: Univemity of Toronto Press. 1 RD. J. p. 118. 1979). V. rrans. Gasdner c t al. F. Miller (Oxford: Oxford University Press. 1963). Paul Ricoeur. p. 19771. 247. pp. Strachcy (Ncw York: Avon Books.

R. 12. I&.“ pp. I. Indeed. Thr Will i o .than to show the possibility o f history.Dcmda. 21. LO. it is in t h i s context that the idea of infrastructure is fitst put r o work.” Johann. hngmge. Dmida.Gottlieb Fichtc. pp. “Emnomintsis. Critique of P m Rwcorr. trans. M a m n HcidcgSa. 26. for instance. simply because they stand in a relation o f interdmnnination. trans. p. The srience af Knowledge.K. P o . 19811. ont of the two must bc detcmincd 6y its& and not by the other. mans. P o w us Art. the other is likewise.. “The Time o f a Thcsis: Punctuations. one of the b a r n o f autohiapphy i s h e clrssical tom of rhe mcomiunr. 19B01.” Glyph 6 (Baltimom Johns Hopkins . 24. Further rcfercnccr to this work will be a d parmthctimlly in the text. 9. M. “Their rclation must be one neither ofidentity nor of contradiction but must be orher. 17. Plato. A. Smith (New York: MaMilEan.Bakhtin. See.” 23. Hofstadter (New York: H a m and Row. Krcll (New YO&: Harper and Row% 1979).M. N . A. mans. p. As a point of inmest it should be mentioned that the pmbFem o f the infrastructure implicitly informs Demda’s intmducrion t o Husscrl’s Ori g h of Geometry. p. 1179. “Inasmuch as one of them [Fichtc refers hcrc TOopposite perccpa] is further dctcnnined. 16. W. Hamilton and H. 19. p. It is intemting to note in passing that this Romantic conccpnon af pnetry and literary criticism w a s the first to c a m the epithet nihiliaic. 1 shetl not bnhcr invatigarc &is linc o f thought.NOTES 10 PAGES 139-173. see my essay “Drmnstnrction as Crincism. Indced. E . 433. P. 1981). p.F . 306H.” p. trans. 210. 14. Scima of hpk. Monafiori (Cambridgc: Cambridge University Prrpr. Nie&.C a i r n s (Princeton! Princeton University Pms. Hegel. 209. 1982). 24. In this context. 45. 18. for a dimmion of h e relation of restricted and gcncrrl economy. pp. 22-24. however. 331 Eibund Husscd. Thowghi. 15. C. But for rhc 5ame reason. Jacqu. Emerson and M. p. Lachs (Cambridge: Cambridge University Pms. Holquist (Austin: University ofTexas Press. “Emnomimcsis. Martin Heidtggcr. trans. Timaeus 52b-c. which now saves trpditionalist criria to d s i g a n deconnruaive criticism. 196R). 19711. since otherwise there i s no cxir fmrn the circle of interclctermination. in The Collcaed Oielogues. p. Boycc Gibson (New York Humanities Refs 1969).” in Philosophy in Frmw To&. For further discussion o f the two rrcps o f dccanmuetion. Sac also Dcrtida. D. ed. 25. by which the autobiographical and biographical =If-conxiousecss of an individual is shaped in the pubtic square. Immanuel Kant. The Didogic Imuginutiom. trans. For reasons ofbrevity. 130-135. It is important m note that what this intmductiona m p is nothing 1 . Dmida’s inin autobiography must be partly explained by his ongoing &bate with thtdassical problem o f philosophical accounting. 4. Dmida wrim. Heath and J.

“Fichtc’s Original [nsight. 177-21s. 3. Macquanie and E.: Northwestern University Prcrs. Negution und Andersheit: Ein Beitrag zur Prubiemdrik drr Lanimplikarion (Munich: Ernst Reinhardt Verlag. T h e xwod step of deconstruction. p. R. p. Werner Flach. I . Malick (Evanston. XXI (Frankfam Klmtermanu. 9. 10. ir is absurd 10 accuse Dcrrida of a s o n of graphoccntrism wirhour cvcn remarking that such a notion is a mntradiaion in terms. p. Pbenomcnology of Spirit. For this reason. 6. p . i t is improper to believe that this reversal would imply a valorization of t h e phantoms. Mamn Heideggcr. Considering rhat the t e r m that is privileged by the mcrsal of hicrarchicaf bipolar mnmptual appositions is only the first step of dcmnstruction. 27. pp. 111. The Essence of Reacon. Conremporury Getmon P h i h o p b y (University Park: PennsylvaniaState University Prcss. 7.” trans. Rodolphe Gaschi. L Manin Hcidcggcr. J.30.274. 1959). Edmund Husscrl. Logicaf Inwsrigutions. 44. 744.N. 9. J. trans.112 NOTE5 TO PACE5 175-201 University Prcus. L Hnmilton and H. Lachtermsn. 1970). S. 1969). Yet a5 Dieter Hcnrich has remark&. T . p. Martin Hcidegger. The infrastructure called archc-wriring i s an “outside” of thc discourse of philosophy and no longer ha5 anything in common with i t s negative image. Being ond Time. 226. The accusation ~Cgraphocfnrrismis thus emonenus for t h e two rcasons a t leasr. En?rkfopadicd~PhilosOpbisEhen . 18. 170. 1976). Findlay (New Ynrk: Humanities Press. I. is nothing bur a ncgarive way in which philosophy has deak wirh rhc beyond of irs own dixnurw. Scc Dieter Hcnrich. 4. 1980). a step by which the phantoms o f the beyond of philosophy becomesingled out. 8. Gesamtousgobe. except for the name. 4 . h g i k : Die Frage nach der Wahrhei!. in which the negative image is bestowed wmrh traits repressed within the metaphysical determination o f the cuncepr of wriring-mits rhat bccome libcratcd to their h u l force of generality-radically d i s p l a a the negative imagr 01 the beyond of philosophy that is writing. C a i r n s (bnccton: Princeton University Press.. p. Ccurg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. in rhe coniexr of an elucidationof the suucmte o f rhc self (Ich). A System beyond Behg 1. P l a n The Collected Dialopes. “Nontotalization without Spuriousnew H e g e l and Dcrrida on thc Infinite? Tbr~oournul oftbe British SoEiay for PhmometralagV (Fall 1986). 19821. trans. How indeed muld an image or concept rhar SETVCS to hold rhc Oihcr of philosophy in check be valorized? Writin& for instance. 1962). 40. 19791. ir was Ficbte who first u+ed this concept. Hcgcl. p. 9311. D . RQ binson (London: SCM. trans. Ihid.

Ibid. 14. 16. “Derrida I’insoumir. Jacqu~lmda. brtwm the supplement and the pnmgorr. Martin Heidcggcr. JacquesD C d .in Dc. Quende Luer (Near York: Harper and Row. p. pp. Edmund Husscrl. Edmund H d . 109. A. 1983. ed. pp. Literature in Purenrbescs 1. Meaphar. “Living On: Border Lines. m n s . k c atso in this context the rclermce in “Thc Double Session” t o the rhmrid figure of the syllepris ( D . 69. 11. H .’’ in Deconstructionm d GiticLm. (Summer 19811. P. 23. Ideas. F. Fdmund Husxrl. 1982). R Ktcin. Diam’tics. 8. 74. 36-37. (NewYork: Scabury. trans. hditk 2. 71. 21. Martin Heidcggcr.H e m {Ncw~Yotk: Harper end Row. For the similarity bawccn the supplcment and tht p h a m l o n . 8. 24. 11. cirard Grand. 4. Dmida has anal+ this aspect o f the rc-mark under the name his article ‘*The R m i t . R. 3. p. . 15. “The Time of a f h & : Punctuations. IObff. P&ronrmology md thc cririr of Philosvpby. On the Way to h n ~ etrans. D . Stambough (New York: ltarpcr and Row. 16. p. transK. 19691. 90-91. Kurt Gdel.” in Philosopky in frnnre Tooday. 20. 19791. O n Time m d B e . 19.Hulbcrr. Casdner n al. p . p. 192. pp. cran5. pp. p. 17. 11. ss. see 0. W . Boyce Gibson (hkw York: HumanitieE Press.“LivingOn:BordcrLi~. J. 2. On Farmuly Undecidable Proporitions of Principiu M & m t i c a m d R e l S y s k m s . rrans. p. 19773. 527. 1962).” trans. Mcltar (NewYork BaslcBooks. h&uJ Invcstigalions. Edmund Husscrl. 19701. 74. 18.” Le N m l obseruutenr. 22. 11 {l977).pp. 1% 3 5 f f . 2 (Fall 19781. J a q m Darida.Bloom CI PI. 1969). p. . 19651. 19721. “Emnomimesis. Jacques Derrida. Idcas. 220). 1971). September 9. 2. 4 . Further references to this work will be cited parenthetically in the tcxt. 12. Wcrhe m erumrztg 6&& (Frankfort: Suhrkamp. 21. 1 8 .NOTES TO PAGES 201-267 111 Wksmchf&n.”rrar. Traditionis Tfadirio (Paris: Caltimard. p. Monnfiori (Cambridge: Cambridge University h . Gibson (New York: HurnmidcE Pms... Ibid. 14.” rrans. SEC VP. retrait in 10.ZO. Further refmncls m this work will be cited parenthetically in the text. no. 105-110. no. 65.p. 5-33.

D. 202-232. “Ijrcramre” ma i s necessarily plural. and my title suggests rhar we are still endcavoring t o conven thinking x a thr fact that texts cxid’ (p. as wrll a$ “The Law of the Genre. 5.” London R m k w ~f Books. (New York: Seabury Prcsq 19691. See. (Nov York: habury Prcss. D. pp. 1983. “Living On: Border Linci. m). Thought. the text cannot be sawed. H. D. 19811. language. Hirsch. 5. 7 . 11. Hulbcrt. pp: 90-109. p. “Living On. 6. On rhe Way to L u n p g e . 19821. p.. 1. 6. Hofsadtcr {New York: Harper and Row. To Sgve the text is indeed an operation that rrstores the qualities of cssencc. mas. 1971). alrhough notin an ordinary religious effun. and. Paul Rimcur.’’ Glyph 7 (Baturnore: Johns Hopkinr Univer~iryPress. Dcrrida. Let us recall that cverything that I have developed so far about wriring is valid for “literature” as wll. A.” trans. 1979).39. pp. “Qu’tst-u qa’un texte?” i n HmrrenRIllh und Diakktik: Festschrift [Gr Hans-Ccorg Gadumer. and thus calls for the clear distinction of its different genre. 83. Martin H c i d w . meaning to the tcxi. T h e orpression ‘%asave the phcnomcna” mcins tm rcconcilc obscmed and . 192. July 21-Augusr 3. Hem m e w York: Harper and Row. tu save the text as an existing phenomenon against a philosophy such 3s Derrida’s in which the icxt’s phenomtoality is being put into qumtion. i t renders null and void rhe explicatory p w e r of a notion such as the general .Bloom ct al. pp.ed. Consrqtmices o{Pmgmdm (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. H. trans. for instance. Potty. Hartman explains: “By calting this baok Suuing the t e x t 1 do not imply a religious effort in the ordinary sense: the allusion is to the well-known concept of ‘saving rht appearances’ (sozem z a pharnomenu). 3. 84. 2. The Insm‘ption of Universalify 1. 4 . eo ipso. p.. Instead o f dreaming o f a romantic rnixturc of a l l gcnns-rhe dream of the literary absolrm or rranscendennl pocrry-“lircranrrc” is a grafting according to well-defined l a m o f what in C S X ~ C C remains distinct. J . 17. Derrida. Because of this impossibility o f phmomenologizing the t e x t in general. E . But in the prcscnt contextit alsoimplirsthatHarm~n is settingout. as Ccoffrcy Hamnan claims it must be in his recent b w k Saving tbe Text (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Prcss.’* p. 243 3nd 244. “Derrida’s Axioms. Jr. Martin Hcidcgser. 1980). presence. in Qecomsmrction and Criticism. F I (Tirbingen: Mohr. p. F . Yet in YI doing.constnrcrion and Criticism. p.Bbom et a!. 181-200. In the preface fa this study. 19711. Richard R o y . 4. 36.admitted facts wirh some theory or doctrine with which they appear to disagree. 19711.

24. 22. trans.For thclatcr Hcidcggcr and the problem o f analogy. tram. 19661. 11. ‘The R e m i t of Metaphor. “The Rehuh o f Mcraphor. “Living On.Michiganprc9. 19. 1969). pp. no.. 19761. On the Scueruf S m c s 0fSri. 199-20s. 2S. Paul Ricocur. h g i k : Die Fruge nuch d n Wahrhcit.”’ R f y ~ r Itrimutiunak de Philorophic. the operation o f saving the tcxt reinstalls i d f in an ~qucrtionad tcrmal ontology.ilogicrrnd Crrchichtlichkit: PhihophiepschichtIi&km?is& Vmrch iibn ~ R S Grundproblm der Mewpbysik (F~iburg: Herder. L P m b l h d e I’itre cbcz Aristote. Sec Ekrhard jiingel. pp. 14. pp. 23. 56. 1979. sce pp. An. 75. Instead of facing the problem that the di&rena between texts and m h r a l i t y rcprexnta. p. 20. 11. Aristmlc. The R d e of M1*rphor. Jacqcsucs Dcmda. Diumtics. IQ03a3S34. 8 . P i m Aubcnqut. R. Enclitic. trans. 21. p. 10% 10. Franz Brmtano. 19791. Srambaugh (New York: Harper. 1s3ff. Roland Barths. Puntd. 17.” p. “Heider la p d e de la finitude. pp. Puntel. B m o Punul. 12. 1964).NOTES TO PACES 286-318 33s t s t .” in Texwul S&utCp*5. p. see also Mamn Hcidcggr. Gasdnrr et at. Andogie und CLwkicbrlichkrit. Manin Hcidcggcr. J. J.” trans F . Maquame and E . 1016b34.” trans. . See L. 2 (Summer 1981). J a q w Dcrrida. 15. “Emnomimcais.197773. R. Bskg and Time. R . Czerny (Toronto: University of Toronto P . Hope (Ann Arbor: University of . R Kltin. Robinson (London: SCM. Martin Hcidcpper. Melqphyjiu. 1962). “From Work to Tern. Metdpby5k5. 455-531 ofhnrel’s study. 13. 19. Atistotle. 58-66. 74. 18. 13. p. Furrhtr refmnocs m this work will bc a d parmrhctia!ly in h c text. p. 63. Derrida. cd. “My Way to Phcnonrmology” in Otr Tinre and Being. XXI (Frankfurt: KImtcrmann. 2 . Zum UrrpMig cfm Andogie bei Punnenides lard Hcmklir (Berlin: Dc Cruyter. DoTida. 16. J. 1972). 62 (19601. (Paris: P Wnivmitairrn de France. 2 (1978). Hsrrri (Irhacr: Cornell University Pms. L 9 7 S ) . trans. 2d cd. Gewtmtausg&. 259-280.S in Arirtotte. 135-162. For more detail. trans. 13.” p. Atdogie md Gerchid*llhLcit. 9. Hmri Birpult. 28. George (Berkdcyu: University of Califomin Pmsa.

” In /. Jacqucs. Althusscr. 34.” In Terruuf Slrulegies. P. Hcori. 1980. 537403.rhe Frivolorrs.” Revue ~ ~ n r c m a r i o ~ h de Philosophie. Roland. H. London: NU$. Banhrs. 1966. R. ed. 1981. pp. Harari. Cramer. D. “From Work to Text. B w s i r r . supplemcnt l l . tram. trans. M. pp. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Pmss. Mcfuohysics. “Heidcggcr ef la pcnsic de la finitude. “Hcgel cr la proposition speculative. I d 4 . no. Gadarncr. For Marx. Krings er al. 2.pp. tram. Aristotlc. Paris: Pressrs Univerfitairer de France. B. 1368-1375. trans. R. Konrad. 10. “Thc Odd Couple: Heideggcr and Derrida. Wenomenofogy and the Problem of History. 1979. tranr.” In Hegrl-Studim. Brcntano. Leavy. Dcrrida. Bonn: Bouvier. Werner. Carr. 73-81. %lumenbcrg.J. kaufrer. Bakhtin. Aubenquc. no. Biraulr. 3 (1478). The Archeology of. David.Didlogrre d y e c Heidegger. 135-161.” In . ed.Imdbuc:h Philosophischer Crmdbegrilfe. Berkeley: University of California Press. 7 (19 5 7 . On ih~ScverulSms~sof Being in Aricmrl~. R. 1974. vol. “Spckulation. Jean. “Lichr als Metapher der Wahrheit” Studiunr COW&. Park: Minuii. Cumrning. J. Lc Probfhc dc / ‘ E m chez Arismre. Pierre. Wolquisr. 1974. “Erlcbnis: Thhrscn zu Hcgcls Thmric des Selbstbewusmeins mir Rucksicht auf dic Aporim e i n n Crundbtgrilfs Nachhegelscher Phi- losophic. 5. 487-521. . Evannon: Northwesrem Univerxiry Press. The Diafogic Imagination. 1974. Munich: K 6 d . Pinsburgh: Duquesnc. Bcckcr. M.1977. Itbca: Cornell Univeniry Press. C.. 1975. 62 11980). Emenon and M. 110-142. 432-477. 1973. Gcorgc. Hope.” The Review of Metaphysics.-C. H. Fnnz.Hans. vol. Louis. 1975. Austin: University nf Tcxas Press.

” mna J. 1979. Chicago:Univenityof Chicago P m s . Evansmn: Northwestern University k. 1979. cd. Of Crmm~tuhgy. A. “Limircdlnc. “ ‘ L a Langue cf lc dirmurs & la mlrhode.” Rccbcrcbcr s w /a phihophie @Ile Imwge. Harlow. supplement IS. . Vinmt. . Emciliik. 75-176. trans.1983).3. Hulbert. Dilthey. B.Bass. Bonn: Bouvier. . . 2. G .pp. Bloom eta]. “ T h Time of a T h n k Punmations. Dubarle.” trans. 1973. Henrich. R.35-51. Bass. New York: Snbury Rcss. Cambridge: Cambridge University Prcsr. A. L’Oreillc L ’ ~ a n h r T : m a d d& a m Jaqnts Den&. Lc Nouwl obsnwtmr (Sepnmhet 9. . -. ed. 1982. rrans. . AIlium. 1978. . pp. 34-50. C. D. Wein. V. Chicago: Wnivrrsiry of Chicago Prcss. Spltrs: Niewcbe’s Styles. . 1978. Chicago: University of Chicago Prcss. S p e d und Phmt r a m . 1981. Uvesque and C. trans. -. Montreal: Vlb. Rickman. A. . . -.” trans.” trans. 3. 1982.. D. Chicago: Univmiry of Chicago Press. H. Dcsmmbes.S. 5-33. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.EUBL~OGRAPHY 337 . ed. 1983. C. Dominipuc.trans. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1980.1980. Balrimorc Johns Hapkins University Press. cd.” In Hegel-Stdim.” trans.Wthcr. 11. no. M a d m French Philosophy..Johnson. M. Casdncr ct al. pp. “The Law of Genre.Positions. Die Wissmschafi der t o g i k und die l o g i k der Repexion. trans. Selected Writings. Baldmom Johns Hopkins Univmiy PKES. trans. Spivak. P. “Living On: Border Lines. In Glyph 7. pp. ” ‘PcrrEda I’insournis. E d m d Husserl’s origin of Geom!ry: An I d w c t i o n . L . 1978. Ma@ns of. 173-202.trans. SCOIT-FQX and J. trana. 162-254. P. no. 3-25. 202-229.McDonald. 1976. . 1982.“The Rehait of Metaphor. In DeconslrirctEorr and Ctiticim. 1976. no. W. . pp. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Wniversity Press. A. DirsmriAation. Cambridge: CtmbridgeUnivctsiy Press. J.Harding.” 84-89. “La logjquc de ta d e x i o n ct la mnsition dr P a logiquc dc I’etre a mlle dc I‘cssencc. Stony Brook: Nicolas Ways. . Diucrilicr.A. . Roncll. F .. In Glyph 2 . . Iravy. B a s . 2 (Fall 1978). “Economimcsis. Paris: fiarnmarion. L1 V M t m pcintwr. 1977. 1978. 1971. Monrefiori. 2 (Summer 19Sl).Phifosophy. Whelm. Writkg a d Diflermw. mns.” In Philosophy in Fmnce T o d d y .

4 . A. . J. Balrimorc: Johm Hopkins University Prcss. Grcixh. 1969.Albany: Srare Univeniry of New York Press. -. La Sciorce unimselle QU b logique de Hegel. 66 (Milan. Grand. 1977. Robinson. 1965. On Formally Undecida&le Propositions of Principia Murbemariru and RelafedSysfms. London: SCM. G r f and H.. Diking. Werner. 181-207. Freud. A. Bonn: Bouvier. 1979. Lachs. Oxford: Oxford University Press. A. 1975. Trurh and Method. 3. Gtrard. Fichcc. Gcorg Wilhdrn Fricdrich. . Flach. Miller. ed. 128-143. Fichrc. 1968.ti#gs. “Hegels Urngesiattung der Kaniischen Idgik(. 5.aZologie. trans. .Paris: Editions du CNRS. Strachcy. Fairh and Knowledge. Fans: Gallimard. vol. New York! Seabury Press. Berlin: de Cruyrcr. Phenomenology of Spirit. 1979. Trndirionis froditio. Wagner. In He&Studicn. . 95-128. D. tram. pp. Hafstadrer. -. 1982. Saving the Text. -. W. Gadamer.jmkes and Their Rdution $0 the Unconrcjous. The lntcrpretarionotDreams. -. 1977.5. Krcll. Heideggcr. Heath and J. Cambridge: Cambridge University Prcss. Science oflogic. H.” In SuSicktivir. -. Hans-Georg. Kurr. 1972. Gasche. v d . Frankfurt: Klorrcrrnann. Albany: Statc Univeniv of New York P m s . B a r k Wr. tran5. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univmiry Press. Nnw York: Norrtm. pp. Bloomington: Indiana Univeaity Press.t w d Meiaphysik: Festschrift fur Wolfgang Cramer. 1969. Macquarric and 6. trans. F . J. Strachey. Hartman.. 1977. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp. “Deconrtnmion as Criricisrn. 1966. Harris. 1962. The D i f f m n wbetween Fichre’zondScbclli n g s System of Philosophy. W. F. trans. Werke. Henrich and H. 1970. ed. New York: Basic Books. no. . 1975). Cmffrcy. “L‘Alrnanach hctimlogique. New Yotk: Hurnanirics. Hm&imtique er grmm. Ncguriun und Andersbeir: €in Beirrag zur Pmblemarik der i~tdimpfihtion. trans.338 BlBLlOCRAFHY . 177-215. 1963. M d t l . tram. Martin. Sigmund. mans. 3. 1. pp. Bonn: Bouvicr. Johann Conlicb. Ncw York: Avon Books. Paris: Plon. S. . The Basic Problems of Pk#omeno!ogybtran$. Rodalphe. Miller. 1971. Ccrf and H. Wer4e in Zwmzig Bunden. Hrgel. V. D. Munich: Ernst Reinhardt. New York: Harper and Row. 1962. Melner. . 1982. Klaus. pp. 1. The Scmce o/ Knowledge. vol. “Spekutarion und Reflexion. 3-60. V.J. 1956. Being rnd Time. Flcischmann.” Nuom Corrente. 1977.” In Glyph 6. 1959. Eugtne. Harris. 1911. “Vorgestalten der Reflexion.” In Hegel-Srudim. mns. Jean.

P. 1961. W.The Questinn of Being. Ccsdmtuusg#be. 11. 1971. 1978. v o l . T . The W m n Concmritrg Technology and Other h a y s . Bubncr ef a]. trans. New York: Twayne. k n n Bouvier. vol. R. Nieftsche. no. 9-45. D. D.J. IS. vol. A. 3 (1980). “Die Sclbsiinrccprrmtion dn Seim. ProrcBOrncM z w Cescbicbte des Zeitb&fis.vol. . idmrMt und 0bjekrivir. ‘Mrm Q& W i r e r . 219270. 1 (1982). -. pp. c d . 1976. L a m . 1972. . W. K. 1977. 3 (August 1976). 15-53. Frankfuun: KIogtmnann. Lachmm. Evamtun: N o r t h e r n University Press. On the Way m . D . Hala. vol. pp. YOL 2. 1970.HegelSCaavptofErprrirnce. 4 . -. Thbineen: Mohr.trans. 1976. Val. P .” trans.Poetry. Paris: Beruchmc. . 21. “Wbarbmussmcin: Kririschc Enleirung in cim Thcoric.Lmitt. Hobdtcr. 1979. M I . On T h e rmd B#n& trans. March 1929). Dlbat h y b ~ Kmkwte tt & philosophic {DUVDS. . R. 6 . Dictct. trans. 1979. -. Tho~ght. D. . -. 1971. mnr. 20. . New York: Harper and Row. J. d d ’ ~ v h ? tcxtesdr s 1 9 2 9 4 9 3 1 . HciddCarl Winter. New York: Harper and R o w .S t d m . pp. Essence of Rmson. Srumbaugh. 203-324. In c o f f m ‘parmy Gctmnn P b h o p b y . Harper and’Row.” In Hege&hhch. -. -. Log&: Die h g e Mcb dn W & ~ J & Gcremtarrrgabr. Ncw Yark. trans. no. 1958. Munich: D o b W . . .” 9. E.” In H e r mmmtik rrnd DQlcktik. Emst.’’ The SorrhwesremJotmul OfPbilosopky. The Will Lo Power as Art. g e ..?rans. -. . tram. H i & E. I.NmYork: Harper and Row..BIBLIOGRAPHY . 1971.Wilde. “’M& h g i k der Rebxion! Nmt Fassune” In H r g e l . T . 1969. “Dcrrid. Stambrugh. 1. 2S7-284. Hem. F. 339 Th. J.1983). mm. Univmiry Park: Pmnsylvmis State University Press 1982. Christmxm cr d. 1969. E i m U t r t m c b m g iibrr Kants t r m i d a k DedyLtion. Sheehan. Auknqut. &am Him. pp. 1977. Kluback and J.Matick.. New York: H a r p e r and Row. 4 . Frankfort Klostcrmmu. T. Idnrtity and Diflmce.hve. I. ”A Seminar on Heget’s lhftmmcbriift. -. Ncw York: Harper and Raw.” MM. R. . “Fi&tc’s Original Insight. 17-18. New York: H a p and Row. “On the k i n g dGnetptiOn of P h y k in Arismde’s Physics E . Hmrich.’sAxiomg” London Re&wofBookr uuly 21-August 3.

1971. 3runo. 1982. . L o g i d lnvesrigofions. 2 vok. cd. R. Paris: Prcsscs Untversireircs dc Franm. Findlay.Smith. Ncw York: -. Boym Gibson. N m York Mscmillan. Cririqur of Pure Reason. SchnBdclbach. J. Minneapolis: University o f Minnesota Press. 1-6. Edmund. 1977. vols. On the Cenedogy o ( Morals and Ecrr Homo. Tiibingcn: Frugen d n S~!6s!f~ezirhwn~. trans. Amcriks. Hafncr. W. 1971. 1964. ed. N. Critiqsre of Judgmcn!. Kaufmann. 1Y77. Hurwrl. N. Churchmill and K. 1Y71. Reflexion und Diskurs: Frugen einm Logik der Philosophie. Kant. N m York: Humanities. L. Pu nrcl. . Pothast. Lukics. Firchow. 1948. DerJunge Hegel. Ceorg. 1969. Frankfurt: Klmrcrmann. trans. 1971. New York: Harpcr and Row. R. Irnmanuel. Z m Ursprung der Analagie h i Parmenides und Hnaktit. Rittcr. P. Erpenence rmd Judgement. trans.3 40 BIBLIOGRAPHY . 1951. Richard. trans. Fricdrich. Zur Ontologic des GescllschoftlichmScinr. 1969. Frankfurt: K l o ~ m a n n . “Qu’cst-cc qu’un tern?” 13-1 Hmnen&#ik rmd Dialekrik: . Hyppnlite. kmard. . 2 vols. vol. Hamilton and H. Paul. 1965. Quatin Laucr. System ~ f l i m r ~ r e n d mrdcuiism. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp. Friedrich. trans. Rorty. New York: Vintagc. irans. Ulrich. Hcath. Tbe Rule of Metaphormtrans. J . Ncuwicd: Luchrcrhand. Toronto: University of Tomnro Press. -. Hcrbcrt. J. 1471-3984. 1980. Cairns. Eberhard. Fertrchriftfir W&. Phenomenology End the Crisis of Philosophy. Zurich: Europa Vcrlag. Jiingcl. W. Andogic wnd Crschicktluhkei~: Pkilosopbicgrrchichtbrifischpr V m v c h iiber das tirmtdpmblem der Merupbysik. Ricocur. S . cd. 1967. t~f mns. k l i n : Dc Gruyrer. Consequences of I’ragnralism.K. Plato. Czemy. Figures de lo pens& phiiosaphique. Z pp. Nictzschc. P. Werner. Joachim. Lurinde and the Fopmenrs. Minneapolis: Univmity o f Minnesota Press. . The Colkcred Ddopes. U b a cini. 1977. Evanstan: Idorthwntern University Press. trans. Charlo~tcsvillc:University Pms of Virginia. H . Paris: Prcsvs Univcrsiraircs dc Fnncc. Cudamer. Marx. Idras. t 973. 1Y71. 1953. 181-200. E . Darmsradr: Wisrenschafilichc Buchgcwllrchafr. Historisches Worrerhch dm PMosophie. Jean. Absolute Reflexion wnd Sprache. 1978. Schlegel. Frciburg: Hcrdcr. Princeton: Prinmon Universiry Press. New York: Hummirim. Logiqne el existence. Schelling Friedrich Wilhelm Jweph. 1968. 1969.

Hans. In Cantempamy German Phifosophy. “The Cartgorics in the ‘Habitual’ and in h c ‘Spaculazivc’ Proposition: Ob~wationcon H-l’s Concept o f Science. &lbstbewvsstsrin und selbsrbcslimtnung. G. Munich: Rtinhardt. 1983. H. Tugendhat.” trans.. vol. Munich: K W l . . University Park: Pennsylvania Stare University Prcss. ed. c b r i s r c n w ~CI at. Emsr. D i 7 5 Problem dtr Absolurm Ref?erh. Scxms Empiriw. Mass.” In Hmdbuch philosophischer Crundbepiffe. ed..: Hanard University Press. -. Heilbrunn. Frankfurt Klosrrrmmn. Krings et al. Simon. R G . Aguht h c rogicimrS trans. 1979. Philosophic und R q h i o n . pp. Waalm. E. Bury. Wagner. 1203-1211. D. 2 (1983).. 1973. 1963. pp.BIBLIOGRAPHY 341 Schulz. Frankfurt: S u h r h p . “Rdlaion. Cambridge. 112-137. 1957. Josef. 1980.


1f3.&% 198 Buridam.1 9 J . 212.296299. 22L scc a h Trace Arktatle.124 Aafounting. 4dt 63. lU9-lllq113. m 9 2 .114117. 7L327nt 8 Critirr.86. 29?-30L 1L1 -. 103.127. W .X &in& 64.3Q.3 I7 Condillsc Ericnnc. 181. 141143. X ! 5 Conmdmon. 98-99.203-2M.61 Lnvmiwe. 1 % U Con-. 172-173 ticm. 258-2604 md rn283-288.119. R.56.115-86. 47.14Y. 328ni0 hcing.246. 316 B l a n c h . 120. KL 17. 184-288. Z D O . A n a l w . 103.204-205. 297.78. g ? . Konnd. 160.294. Emm. Roland. 43 &#to. lR7dA 197. 1 4 1?4-19S. 174. Wdnr. SO. 161-163.269. 149. 289 Fhtaillc. el. David.L 174-175. .132-133~ 135-13b. 245 Csn. 122. 245.4S. 2&318.45.137.4679. U&4U C a s r i m . 1 7 1 1 .112. 114 l x ZW Aklbeia.306. Lu &jamin.302307. J 1 1 3 1 q.3 14.B. 26 Aurarfftction. m a g m d d vniry o f .Index A h . t4I.62.231. 145. L. 301-307. U L U 6 Aumblagnphy.284-2B6.301. Cpnon. MaUfice. d Ixiw.294. 66 Cntiaw d m a m m m k & 2. 310-311.llS. 9 5 . UI Bmnno. 141Cramcr. 3W. 18FllB.274. ZLU Binult. l04> 126-128. 126-130.314 hi. L6L 112 2I9.301 Arche-ma. 3 . J. 314nt8. k w . 247. Ltl Apprmcptian. 197.177. D . u6 Aenimi~ mntandcnral. l a 141. 262-266. philoropldal.ISb. W Caahrrria. 331n18 Bachdrrd. literary.255-2. W.274. Caim&~ opparilonm. % 299-300. g .Z48. 175.328nl3 the- .3 Ausiin.313: and liiennrcc.140-142. ~ Aubcnpvs Piarc. 165 Xltllutw.307-3 11. Hcnri. fnnz. John. philowphiot.283. U6.134+ 137. Bpnhs. ISI. macic.242 Coputa.87. aP Aquinq 4298. 8 ! $ 8 4 73.7l-7& 86.129. lob. 21. 214.98. ull=3114 As-srmburr.262 Gumming. taria. L 15. Arnbiyiq. S2.46.162.2M.296-199. 53. 2wI.9 27-32.149. U261-269. 28.2pb. 316 m49 296-299. $ 8 .46. E m i k .

43. 313.64. 72-73. 14-1$. 122. l Z L l 8 l l Freedom.I20. SIE Rcduttinn. 40.82. Jan.318 ~~z-~s~. 60. lZL 181.5¶.~ 1-268. Paul. 118.101-104. SP. 237. 304. 1 2 7 . 285-2116. Wilhelrn. I3I. radical. phmomno- lugid Equiprimmdirli~. 5b. Gcrard.m2=2!?2 &Man.6 6 .277278. 173.14l-144.u~.306-307.322n3 Llk rccipmal.60. 135-136. m Hk pure la& Differancc. & 246 Grriyh. 104. 6 . 93.210. E. 60. Rent. 229-230. ll4-lt6. SN Ditlmnfirliy Dirlccric. 145-2411 Grmcl. E ! ? . 25. B lKL 203-LOz. & D l 173. C=ncralin.119-tZO.316-317. 160. 80. 84. 1 8 4 .316. 14bl42.344 INDEX &sen=. 141-143.62. 137. . 97. 147. I# ouridi.40.t24h D i r c r i t i c i y .316 I W . 77. cdl.524-316n4. Pierre.220.160-161. 156.45. 104. lS4.317.&r DFrlnrbion. 102. 8 4 . 317.150-151.211. h 3 2 l n l & S a u s w ~ Fcrdinmd.111. 194-195.94-95. 194-205. . ~ R m i v e .254 286 D i i k r m t i a l i r . Wernm. 123. 19. 32.onmlogical.zs~W e l . 140. 18.117-118. & L LT?.46. 218.186 3 7 . 161.116. l l p = 1 4 2 Cadrmtr. SS. q 293. 104.179-1~0. Exent.2?4. DS . 13. a 9 3 191-184.1 ~ 7 . lls Oissymmctry. pZ-SS. 126.93.299-300.33*49-50. 37-39. 68-74 139-140.61.94. 237. $3.89-92. 88-95.201-203. 17. B .1 0 9 . 274 Fqochr. Hrm-Garg.22S . Drtrrmination. 137-138.311-31& 314. 131.99.276. 105.?.151. m 9% 185-185. 279.9 4 . Q Q k4 Dirseminirion.89-93.323n13 flarh. 2 ~ 6inn. 78. Fragment. 332n3 FiniruJc. 87-88. 1 B 11M14.148H $ . 174. 127. 9 5 .91. E?L 2%298-299.216. 213-236. 5 % 62. 118. w . 155. 163-176. 183. i . 148.llupliution. m Z z z h a n n . 53.121. 4 6 . 118.1LS-23R.301. 215. on~co.isn. 240 241. ISO. LQMM.114.211. 16. u1 D i f f c m x r .149- 2511-239. 1 0 2 . 221 Dilrhy. Freud. 139-142. 324-326n4.56. 132. 120. Kun. 288.2M.2 Fononicr. % .31Bn12 Ucischmm. IS. 41. 33. 131. 27s. u1s a Empiricism. 122. 179-180. ~ 3 .1 0 2 . 2% 2 4 5 .26. 155. 96.26S.215-216.f d . IRZ-IRJ.232. 122. 272 D i l k r r n t i a r i o n . 1 3 0 . 14. . L82 Grammar. 21s. Lu Dualism. 94. 1 9 6 . 21.316-317 Dmnrreuaion. 118. 233. 1 Gmund. 153.331nlS. 310 84. 91. && % 91. 154-156. ZI2.30. 136. 1IxI.45. mu4 wlf-dcarminanon.~~s. 29-31.54. Sigmund. Derek. 137-131. 203. 119. 82.103. and mflmion. W . 102. 187W J 193. 98-99. l a 186 E p r k r i t r .

14.24&Ul?.162. Edm~nd 5 7% 14. -. 60. 200-101. 73a80.197. 271-172.L14.159.92. I87. 277.2if. 6 H ~ I n~ . 27.82. Hanolcpy. 101.200-201.69-1~. 173. 82.255.225& u 2 3 2 3 5 . n . Kad.229.170. 324 32W Jnspers.28. 5#.221. 177.171. 144. 211.95. 80. Redrich Hanrich.158. 31.160.9?. .151 --_. 331nl9 Hpjdim. system 01. 72.173-174.61-62. l Z S .172. I8. S h Z .244-250. 82. 292=293. U.30. L28-229.?.192-193.276. lO!J-llZ.l82Herrmlogol. 271. SBC Idcatintion Ikbutim. Hicnrchv. lOs-IlU. SO.53.186. IS. no. .42. 179. 184-185.Ulh Idmri6pban.158. 71.90.1110. 16~-166. 29-33. 19. & I b .184. 93. U 7 .44. 21¶-245. 8<135.5& 53. ln-17A. m w 318 u VI Hdgran.1 Judgmcnr. g17A218.275-276.46-49. 316.37.3UnIS. ti+ a Kant. 237. Immanud.51.14~.2CUl.331n19.284. 119.3M.274.34. 126. 1 1 i . i d l m a l . W-93.214-216.U?228. 130. 120. i u .t42143. 111 271 183.89-93.95. z Z ? .l80$ 54-51. 248.70.zu. 322n7.15.183I84.INDEX 341 H&q. 37-39. 179-18(1.194.ZM Inmition. 151. 17. JIB J d i .3Un13. Immriauliv. 183. ? .237- . 231-212. t50. 82 Johnson. 147-154 ~28. 53.93.100-105. IS. 5 9 .19-20. 1111. a 3 .323013 Idtaliq. & Hwnrchv.163.1111.18S. 284. 239.317 lnfnamrmrr 7+9S.521-326n4. 195. 56.M.264. 71.94. 88-97. 23-34. 21 I. 58.98. 2 3 6 . 233. 155.296 fhniry.47-49. 194. 219. L% 216.20. q88. 276277.21CZIS.183-115. a a HerrmlOgol. 33On13. Jnn. 68. SYnl H d . S1.222.281.220.-- .Llh Identity. 114.

100-104. 126. 71-71.98. 76.310. 84.199. Srr Pluralin Rcnan. W 2 1 2 . t . 227-228. 5 7.lh2174. 131-132. 3 2 6 J 173. 307-109. 12S. L6a=161 R e a m . ml hfmnyrnic.328n12 a Rr-mark. 156. & Lr8.21$+ 226-227.288.187-189. 162. LKL u14 Mimcrologtfm.~iz.235 h u m i t i o n . ltl Ockham. 137-142.26 Pmmflcxivc. 3 .mmr.177. Wtlliwn ui.z~~.312 Mtthdd. l ~ l . 37.63. 2 Rappan.94. 92. 330" I3 Mirnrrhr. 246. 204-205. l6 Ncurraliwrmn. 56. 162. 189 om. i y .3l2 Phmorntnology. 37>6 . 226.36. 6 5 .99. 9L ull Pmwition. 124. 86-88.W-9s. 7. 158. 100158-1% 173. 1 8 2 1 8 3 . 134.57. 171.282 Nrpytion. 7-8. apculatiuc. 122. a mi. Yltich.245-246. ~ 260. 244. zht .212-223. 154.2SO.94. L Bruno. 116 Phenr.14. Putkra. 2 m 224. u rtm Positin& IS. 95-97. RO. T*r Mcdium Mimtsis.2Xk2. 175. 186.1 174 Ptnncnidcr. 119-120.~ a 150-25 I ui-u6 Othcmms. 29. 7L 210 Rmnsrmmon.98. 8 & W Middle. lO9-2L 1. Fricdrich. L2z. ~os. ZAS. Q PI-95. 91-95. & 63. 171.8 S 3 185-186.270 Phcnomnon. 297 ~ ~ ~ ~ i 57. Jean-Pierre.2 1 6 . 2 0 0 . 29&2!38 Pythagofunism.314 Orhrr. 92. Src PositmB Richard. 4 6 4 9 Puntd.260. 215. 157-161. 65-67. 59. 190. l 0 . 289.161. 281.190-194. 177 Ongin. %297.9D.1.~ 21.34.142. 75. Rudalf. 80. 154. in9. 219-210. 153. 129. 2.l 8 4 . & 160.~225.s7. htD. 171. Sm C o n q t Hovalir.96. 281. 180-182.277.uo. 1 ~ Z U 180. 206-207.2Wl. 157. 162. 312 Plurality. ZB4-2R5. $3-54. 171-17133t-332n26 Poirioning.ais. 287.277. 14% 2S5. ~ 2 ~ 2 7 R7 . 81.56-160.I19. Rcpcnrine.97. Emtsr.38-41. 135.133. 101-104. lirnia o f ..311 Notion. 234L ! ! i28& Moplatonism. 82-85.292. Lkl-265.mmolc@z. ZLB-L~O.93 a 243- Pluralism.264 R R l c d . 86.6 INDEX Mcnphomlogy.159. 259-260. 192. v ss. B 232. 120-151.

4 1 .181. ~9~n6 l v . IS3.54. 74. 5 4 .lSZ. 29. 4?. 192-193.2OJ.lM. 124. 10. % % 1 279. 5 3 .117.59. urn rn 180.rn klf-idsltity. doublc. Richard.l07 Submviry.72.213116 SCXNSEmpiricuh 62 Shaemakm. 128.15(I. Fracdrich.77.232.179-18O. 8% Skcptiuwn. 80. 44. &fJ.127. 159+ 162. U J 234.71r 6546 Sophism.44-45.9. 193. 674% 70. Sydrq. 6 9 . 126.l74.13~-142. Src alro I n l r u m r + h spurn o f Syrtem. Hcinrich.88. 5 $ 5 9 .99-101. 6 4 65. Hrrben. 347 t4Z. 58-59.42Toraliry.45. 105.61.74. % m o o d . 21.125.50.% 124.49-53.169.tNDEX RidKrr. IS. 307.268.101-302. . Iu Simon. 3I 5 5ynmrris. 232. S6. 246. 80.249-2Sn.92-93.211. 5 9 . the.111. 89-91. 18-59. % 3 307. 9 s . 143. 5 322d Schdarnciun. 291. 137. 14-16. 326nn6.30. 13-14. 129.243. 23. 2~U4.68-71. 116. 6 2 . 93-9R 289-290. Mryer.q wm Thou& 32. 165. 85.60. 7 1 .29.Jun-Paul.IS.102.28. joscf.81.129. 183.3lZLZZ7 S p c r n . 4S. Sapphmye.283. 205.220-221. . 183. L? Schrllin& Ftidri& Wilhdm Joxph. 226127. LUL Spa=. 1911-202.40. William o f .S 95. 1 %112. 100.193. 103. 143- S a m u r t . I7.1 3 &ZS. 2+8. #I. 316nl.110-11 1.R. U 156-157.86. 328nl3 wlllcr. 23h-LU. Wdicr. 276I no. 22.1S9. 135. f f d i o u m c a a .62. @ 4 . U S a m .203. U S N Spploke.271 Ictblatian (Awfirbunb).74. 6 2 6 4 .89. 165. Paul. 72.40. 201. 324-326d khlcgd.193-194. 6 4 . IU-123. Msx.110. 47. 6 Sputegortrn. % 324-3264 Schnldelbach.194.174. 70.30. 324nlL S i d m . u=LI Scima. 91-9L U L ? ~l-r.25.306.58.178-WO. 3 2 .151-1S3.36-4t. 153-154.32-34. 172-173 S .27.3Z 40.30-33. 297-2?8 Schulz.26.42.1. 31 6 Ranantidun.219-292. ietrasrmrmrd. 84.324td. 283 Mapirn. 6 S S0ctnt. UI?Va 95-97.265. 242-245. 6 0 . 51. 70.1p&2L12 Spaciag. SeeTain S s a r i w . Saint Augmim.76-77. S?.lLZl. 174 180. I Z 7% %$. 54. 314-326d 145-146. KL?.328nlJ 244=1111 Suntar. 19.ocity. sbsolua.87pa 74' 101-m. 334n2 R m . 41.162. 50-51.242 Tinfoil.

271-278. m 1Ls Ttan. 2 .348 Tncr. Fricdrrfh A.302. INDEX UndKidrbiliy. 2M.. Ludwig 68 W"tinb 132. 321n13 Vurtlmn.177.316- Vdcr(.167. 150. 3 j 3 3 1W.133. 2W. V i w n r . 144.ILI-lZZ. Ern% 76-77 Whitrhcad. LPB Truth. 181.166-167. l a 16p=Izp Tmndclmburg. Paul.171. 162. 223. a ? . 174.218. & I Tugcndhrr.I43. 7. Jukp. Z 3 175. 179. Z$=X Wiaprtcin.95. 157.214-227. 3 3 Van W.214-215.grmion. 192. E& lirerary. 129. 114.27g. 157. . 177.84. A t M North. 193.276. t 6 l 1 B & a 172 274. 186-189.249 64. 193.