The diffêrance of an almost absolute proximity : Hegel and Derrida

Doctoral thesis English OPEN
Lambert, Richard
  • Subject: BC

The present thesis considers the relation between Jacques Derrida and G.W.F. Hegel. In his Positions Derrida noted that differance is ‘at a point of almost absolute proximity to Hegel,’ and that he had ‘attempted to distinguish [differance] from Hegelian difference at the point at which Hegel, in the greater Logic, determines difference as contradiction only in order to resolve it.’ Nevertheless, scholarship on the relation between the two thinkers has largely neglected the detailed consideration of the relation of Derrida’s thinking to Hegel’s logic of essence, where the categories of difference and contradiction are located. This has often led to a simplification, from both Hegelian and Derridean perspectives, of the relation between Hegel and Derrida. Through a reading of Hegel’s logic of essence and of Derrida’s early texts in particular, the thesis first aims to determine the nature and degree of the proximity indicated by Derrida and then considers the manner in which the two thinkers depart from one another.\ud \ud The proximity between Hegel and Derrida is drawn out through an analysis of Hegel’s notion of reflection and his logic of identity and difference. This logic is compared with the ‘graphics’ of identity and difference elaborated by Derrida in his Limited Inc. I claim that Derrida departs from Hegel in thinking difference as the displacement of opposition. Nevertheless, I claim that in relating Hegel and Derrida to one another, it cannot be a question of simply comparing two logics or two philosophies, for Derrida does not and cannot have a general logic or ‘philosophy’ of ‘differance.’ Derrida thus departs from Hegel also insofar as he puts into question the possibility of, and the desire for, a general onto-logic.\ud
  • References (22)
    22 references, page 1 of 3

    Derrida, Jacques, Apprendre à vivre enfin: Entretien avec Jean Birnbaum (Paris: Galilée/Le monde, 2005)

    ---, 'The Age of Hegel', in Demarcating the Disciplines: Philosophy, Literature, Art (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1986), pp. 1-43

    ---, Dissemination, trans. by Barbara Johnson (London: Athlone Press, 1981)

    ---, La dissémination (Paris: Éditions du Seuil, 1972)

    ---, The Gift of Death & Literature in Secret, trans. by David Wills, 2nd ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008)

    ---, Given Time, trans. by Peggy Kamuf (Chicago; London: University of Chicago Press, 1993)

    ---, Donner le temps (Paris: Galilée, 1991)

    ---, Glas, trans. by John P. Leavey Jr. and Richard Rand (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1986)

    ---, Glas (Paris: Galilée, 1974)

    ---, Limited Inc., trans. by Samuel Weber (Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 1988)

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