His disciples are certain that Derrida had made an
invaluable contribution to humanity, even while their explanations of
the contribution were less than clear."He understood that official
thought turns on rigorously exclusive oppositions: inside/outside, man/woman,
good/evil," wrote Terry Eagleton, professor of cultural theory at
Manchester University. "He loosened up such paranoid antitheses by
the flair and brio of his writing, and in doing so spoke up for the voiceless,
from whose ranks he had emerged."
Philosopher Roger Kimball, in an essay titled "The Meaninglessness of Meaning," denounced the "baneful ideas" of Derrida. "Even if deconstruction cannot be defined, it can be described," Kimball stated, "For one thing, deconstruction comes with a lifetime guarantee to render discussion of any subject completely unintelligible. It does this by linguistic subterfuge. One of the central slogans of deconstruction is there is nothing outside the text. In other words, . . . the meanings of words are completely arbitrary and that, at bottom, reality is unknowable."
Set aside the big word and youll recognize
that were surrounded by amateur deconstructionists who say, "We
really cant know if something is true or not" or "That
statement means something different for everyone" or "That depends
on what the meaning of is is." Deconstructionism is aptly
named because it seeks to deconstructthat is, destroythe nature
and meaning of language.
Carl Olson is the editor of IgnatiusInsight.com. He is the co-author of The Da Vinci Hoax: Exposing the Errors in The Da Vinci Code and author of Will Catholics Be "Left Behind"? He resides in a top secret location in the Northwest somewhere between Portland, Oregon and Sacramento, California.
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