Derrida Essay

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This essay briefly introduces and discusses Jacques Derrida's "Structure, Sign, and Play in the Human Sciences". It contains short sections dealing with the key concepts treated in Derrida's essay, but the emphasis is on the author's characteristic protocols of re-reading and deconstructing primary texts. Ideas and methods introduced by Derrida are listed rather than elaborated on. Derrida’s "Structure, Sign and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences" Derrida’s "Structure", originally published in 1970, is justly labelled one of the more easily comprehensible texts in his large body of work. In it, he discusses some of his basic notions of post-structuralism and deconstruction, roughly explains the origin of the school of thought revolving around these practices, and gives several concrete examples in support of his arguments. Compared with other introductory essays by post-structuralist theorists, "Structure, Sign and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences" remains one of the key texts of basic post-structuralist thought, and appears to be a good introduction to Derrida’s work. Rather than arguing a specific point based on the evidence he gives, Derrida writes what at certain points almost resembles an ultra-brief history of structural and post-structural thought. It is in this essay, too, where he introduces a number of terms that are essential for an understanding of his own theories (such as his concept of "play"). Most of Derrida’s theoretical constructs, however, although obviously alluded to, are not mentioned explicitly. While spending a good amount of time describing what he elsewhere called "logocentrism", for example, Derrida never explicitly formulates these thoughts in "Structure, Sign and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences". As in most of his writing, here, too, Derrida applies much of what he writes about to the way he writes

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