Derrida on the Threshold of Sense by John Llewelyn

By John Llewelyn

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That Heidegger fragment is recycled by Derrida with leftovers from Hegel and Husserl to shore up differance. Differance cannot properly be called the house that J acques built since, for astart, it is not built but endlessly a-building, and, secondly, it is a house with no name, no fixed address and no construction engineer. It is, to make use of a distinction to which we shall return, a product of bricolage, improvisation, more than of engineering, and has no deeds ratified by some authoritative signature.

If it did the reduced world of phenomenology would risk pollution by the physical. Expressive meanings (Bedeutungen) are ideal objects and these must not be confused with real (real) things existing in space and time, that is Gegenstände. Nor must they be confused with the parallel and no less real psychological realm. To make the former confusion would be to run the risk of erring in the direction of materialism and realism. To make the second would be to be in danger of subjective idealism and the psychologism criticised at length in the Prolegomena ofthe Logical Investigations.

Phenomenology, Heidegger says in the Introduction to Being and Time, must ask not only about the immediate data of consciousness. It must ask also after what conceals itself, the meaning of being, and it must try to bring out why this concealment takes place, why one forgets the ontological difference between being and beings. His own attempt to do this takes the form of a scrutiny of the texts of philosophy from its origins in Ancient Greece through to Nietzsche. Derrida's programme has affinities with Heidegger's.

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