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Leonard Lawlor investigates Derrida's writings on Husserl in order to determine Derrida's transformation of the basic problem of phenomenology from genesis to language. To do so, he lays out a narrative of the period during which Derrida devoted himself to formulating and interpretation of Husserl, from approximately 1954 to 1967. On the basis of the narrative, certain well known Derridean concepts are determined (in relation primarily to Husserl's phenomenology): deconstruction, the metaphysics of presence, difference (and Derrida's initial concept of dialectic), the trace, and spectrality. What is the nature of the relationship of Jacques Derrida and deconstruction to Edmund Husserl and phenomenology? Is deconstruction a radical departure from phenomenology or does it trace its origins to the phenomenological project? In Derrida and Husserl, Leonard Lawlor illuminates Husserl's influence on the French philosophical tradition which inspired Derrida's thought. Beginning with Eugen Fink's pivotal essay on Husserl's philosophy, Lawlor carefully reconstructs the conceptual context in which Derrida developed his interpretation of Husserl. Lawlor's investigations of the work of Jean Cavaillos, Tran-Duc-Thao, Jean Hyppolite, as well as recent texts by Derrida, reveal the depth of Derrida's relationship to Husserl's phenomenology. Along the way, Lawlor revisits and sheds light on the origin of many important Derridean concepts, such as deconstruction, the metaphysics of presence, difference, intentionality, the trace, and spectrality. Setting the tone and direction for new approaches to Derrida, this groundbreaking work will be essential reading for anyone interested in phenomenology, French philosophy, and the catalysts of Derrida's unique thinking.
Indiana University Press
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