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63 famous quotes by the philosopher Jacques Derrida

63 famous quotes by the philosopher Jacques Derrida

September 13, 2022

Father of Deconstructivism, Jacques Derrida is surely the most controversial and influential philosopher and writer of the 20th century . Born in Algeria in 1930, he went into exile in Paris to begin his academic studies.

This author revolutionized all the bases of Western structuralism and grammatical architecture, giving rise to diverse neologisms and terminologies that would suppose a worldwide recognition.

Derrida was also an academic and political activist, opposed any kind of war and was positioned in favor of human rights (he himself had to go into exile as a Sephardic Jew) and made famous appearances against the Vietnam War. and the Iraq War of 2003.


  • Related article: "75 philosophical phrases pronounced by great thinkers"

Phrases of Jacques Derrida to reflect

In this article we are going to guide you on the thinking of the Algerian author with some of his most famous phrases.

1. Politics is the dirty game of discrimination between friends and enemies

This is how the author described his way of seeing politics. He experienced that discrimination in his own flesh.

2. The translation itself is writing. It is a productive writing inspired by the original text

For Derrida, the translation was not to literally copy another language, but to enrich the original text.

3. We must forget the Manichean logic of truth and lies, and focus on the intentionality of those who lie

This phrase supposed a conceptual revolution between the art of the lie and the goodness of the truth.


4. More and more the uniqueness of the other is being betrayed

Denounced the interpretation and manipulation that was made of people when analyzing their ideas.

5. I have verified that the frontal criticisms end up being always appropriate for the discourse that is intended to combat

Sometimes people are this incoherent and cynical, criticizing what we often defend.

6. The method is a technique, a procedure to obtain control of the road and make it viable

Every structure needs some guidelines and guidelines to follow, if it wants to be well understood.

7. Each book is a pedagogy designed to train your reader

Books are not just entertainment, they are also a way of learning.

8. The question of architecture is in fact the problem of the place, of taking place in space

Space is limited and architecture is the technique to organize and redistribute it.


9. We know that the political space is that of the lie par excellence

Derrida always saw in politics a relentless tool of manipulation and contrary to the truth.

10. Deconstruction is not just the technique of a "disrupted construction", since it conceives the idea of ​​construction

Thus the author defended his terminology, which many misinterpreted for his critical spirit.

11. If the translator does not copy or restore an original, it is because it survives and transforms

A reflection on literature.

12. What is relevant in the lie is never its content, but the purpose of the liar

Jacques always emphasized the ultimate goal of lying.

13. Lying is not something that opposes the truth, but rather lies in its purpose

Once again, with this phrase he justified the use of lies according to his intentionality.

14. The translation will actually be a moment of your own growth, it will be completed in it growing

The technique of translating is not only based on literally copying the original to another language, it is also used to enrich it.

15. What is decisive is the harm it causes in the other, without which there is no lie

Derrida was a thinker and analytical between the relationships with one another, and how they are affected.

16. It could be said that there is nothing more architectural and at the same time nothing less architectural than deconstruction

Deconstruction was a controversial and controversial concept . It was not defined in only one way. He was guilty of what he criticized equally.

17. The establishment of a place that until then had not existed and that is in agreement with what will happen there one day: that is the place

The place as a phenomenon invented by the hand of man, and agreed at the same time.

18. When the original of a translation claims a complement, it is that originally it was not there without gaps, full, complete, total

Often the original texts are poorly translated due to their bad linguistic or grammatical expression.

19. The modern political lie no longer hides behind itself, but is based on what everyone

Political lies reflect the lies of fellow citizens.

twenty.Mass productions do not train readers, but rather phantasmically presuppose an already programmed reader

With this phrase Jacques Derrida criticized the structure and hierarchy of book publishers as an indoctrinating tool.

21. The way is not a method; this should be clear

The way forward is not a method, the technique that follows the path, yes.

22. Each architectural space, all living space, part of a premise: that the building is on a path

This is the relationship that Jacques makes between the road and the architectural, as a technique to achieve it

23. The difficulty of defining the word deconstruction comes from the fact that all the syntactic articulations that seem to lend themselves to that definition are also deconstructible

Even the very concept of deconstructing can easily be dismantled and invalidated

24. There is no building without roads that lead to it, nor are there buildings without interior routes, without corridors, stairs, corridors or doors

Every building has multiple paths, whether for entry, exit or orientation.

25. Deconstruction is neither an analysis nor a criticism, and translation should take this into account

Derrida insisted on the little confrontation that his theory intended, and this was misunderstood by many adepts.

26. It is not enough to say that deconstruction can not be reduced to a mere methodological instrumentality, to a set of rules

So diffuse and complex was the very definition of the term deconstruction

27. It is also necessary to point out that deconstruction is not even an act or an operation

This is how Derrida tried to define his deconstructivism as something abstract.

28. The very instance of the crisis (decision, choice, judgment, discernment) is one of the essential objects of deconstruction

Once again, the author highlighted the critical meaning of his thesis

29. The desire for a new place, galleries, corridors, a new way of living, of thinking. It is a promise

The physical place is a set of desires and promises that, until they are fulfilled, is not effective.

30. The places are that the desire can recognize itself, in which it can inhabit

As has been said several times, a place is something agreed upon and agreed upon by a specific community in order to coexist.

31. All deconstruction takes place; it is an event that does not wait for the deliberation, the organization of the subject, not even of modernity

More than a technique, Derrida was referring to deconstruction as a literary event.

32. A community must assume and achieve architectural thinking

Architecture as a technique of social construction.

33. There is nothing that is present to itself independently of the other in the constitution of the world

Human interdependence was another of the subjects that fascinated the philosopher.

34. I am at war with myself

Derrida was the first to recognize and assume contradictions, and often self-criticized himself.

35. I cried when it came time to go back to school shortly after I was old enough to be ashamed of such behavior

Jacques Derrida did not always like to go to school and learn.

36. I wrote some bad poetry that I published in magazines in North Africa, but while I was retiring in this reading, it also took the life of a young hooligan guy

He always maintained an attitude of self-criticism in everything he did, and that's how he recognized it.

37. I dreamed of writing and already models were instructing the dream, a certain language governs

Derrida affirmed that everyone, since we started dreaming, is told how we have to do it.

38. Everything is arranged to be this way, this is what is called culture

Culture and values ​​as something imposed, something we must accept in order to survive.

39. If you ask me what I believe in, I do not believe in anything

He was often diffuse and with little illuminating ideas.

40. I do everything possible or acceptable to escape this trap

Jacques was not an illusionist. He did nothing that could not be demonstrated or refuted empirically.

41. I never do things for the sake of complicating them, it would be ridiculous

He always had an end when it came to analyzing things. As a path that guides us to a certain place.

42. The problem with the media is that they do not publish things as they are, but rather they conform to the politically acceptable

Jacques was also a detractor of the language used by the media, always adapting it according to their interests.

43. It does not matter how the photo comes out. It is the look of the other that will give you value

The interpretation, even of an image, is purely subjective. Everything depends on how you look at it.

44. If a job is threatening, it is that it is good, competent and full of conviction

This highlighted the reaction of when a work of his was vetoed and / or criticized firmly.

45. My critics organize a series of obsessive cult with my personality

Some of Derrida's academic colleagues focused more on his person than on his works.

46All speech, poetic or oracular, carries with it a system of rules that define a methodology

Everything is ready and predisposed for us to say it in a concrete way.

47. I do not believe in the purity of languages

For this author languages ​​were a communication tool, not an identity symbol.

48. My most bitter opponents believe that I am too visible, too alive and too present in the texts

Sometimes Derrida got rid of his critics, since he dismantled many of his works.

49. Nobody gets angry with a mathematician or a physicist they do not understand. One only gets angry when they insult him in his own language

A curiosity that the Algerian author saw and that few highlight.

50. We are all mediators, translators

We always interpret what we are told, what we want to say or what they explain to us.

51. As long as there is a language, the generalities will appear on the scene

It was the great criticism Jacques made as a linguist.

52. Who says that we were born only once?

He often threw out phrases that went beyond logic.

53. Some authors are offended by me because they fail to recognize their field, their institution

This explains the behavior of some colleagues who came to criticize him so much.

54. I've always had trouble recognizing myself in the institutionalized political language

Perhaps it is the best moment to mention it: Derrida was a politically incorrect man, always escaping from what the others expected of him.

55. To this day, I continue to teach without having passed the physical barrier. My stomach, my eyes and my anxiety play a role. I have not left school yet

For Derrida, the physical also counts. Apart from an emotional being, he took the physical part into account to explain human behavior

56. My years at the Ecole Normale were dictatorial. Nothing I was left to do

It returns to denounce the systematic and hierarchical that is everything, especially the teaching.

57. The years of internship were a hard period for me. I was always nervous and with problems of all kinds

He was unjustly treated for being a Jew and for his Arab origins.

58. What I can not see from myself, I may see the Other

The other is everything else after the self, of our own, and we can not get rid of it.

59. Everything I miss about myself, I am able to observe in others

He was always a humanist philosopher, and had reference to others when looking for their shortcomings.

60. We must wait for the Other to come as justice and if we want to be able to negotiate with him, we must do it with justice as a guide

Jacques Derrida was, above all, a just and equitable man.

61. God does not give the law but only gives a sense to justice

Thus the author interprets the divine commandments

62. Those who are entrusted with power, we have to frame ourselves within responsible justice

Social justice is one of the basic principles for a cohesive society.

63. Philosophy, today, is in grave danger of being forgotten

A phrase that is still valid.


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