Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Logocentrism and the Gathering Λόγος: Heidegger, Derrida, and the Contextual Centers of Meaning

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
MyBook is a cheap paperback edition of the original book and will be sold at uniform, low price.

Buy this article

$30.00+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites

image of Research in Phenomenology

Abstract Derrida’s deconstructive strategy of reading texts can be understood as a way of highlighting the irreducible plurality of discursive meaning that undermines the traditional Western “logocentric” desire for an absolute point of reference. While his notion of logocentrism was modeled on Heidegger’s articulation of the traditional ontotheological framework of Aristotelian metaphysics, Derrida detects a logocentric remnant in Heidegger’s own interpretation of gathering (Versammlung) as the basic movement of λόγος, discursiveness. However, I suggest that Derrida here touches upon a certain limit of deconstruction. As Derrida himself points out, the “decentering” effect of deconstruction does not simply abolish the unifying and focalizing function of discourse. Insofar as deconstruction involves reading and interpreting, it cannot completely evade narrative focalization. Rather, both Heidegger and Derrida can be understood as addressing the radical contextuality of all discursive centers and focal points as well as the consequent impossibility of an ultimate and definitive metanarrative.

1. FN11) I want to thank Dr. Björn Thorsteinsson for his insightful comments on an earlier version of this paper.
2. FN22) Jacques Derrida and Elisabeth Roudinesco, De quoi demain: dialogue (Paris: Fayard/Galilée, 2001), 21; translated by Jeff Fort as For What Tomorrow . . . : A Dialogue (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2004), 8.
3. FN33) Derrida and Roudinesco, De quoi demain, 14; For What Tomorrow . . ., 2.
4. FN44) J. Derrida, “Implications: Entretien avec Henri Ronse” [1967], in Positions (Paris: Minuit, 1972), 18–19; translated by Alan Bass as “Implications: Interview with Henri Ronse,” in Positions, 2nd ed. (London: Continuum, 2004), 8.
5. FN55) I use “being” to translate Aristotle’s τὸ ὄν in the general and abstract sense and Heidegger’s infinitival Sein; “beings” or “a being” is used to translate τὰ ὄντα and das Seiende. Following the practice of the Emad and Maly translation of Contributions to Philosophy, I use the hyphenated “be-ing” to render Heidegger’s archaic orthography Seyn.
6. FN66) Aristotle, Metaphysics, ed. W. D. Ross, vol. 1–2, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1924), Γ.1.1003a21–32, Γ.2.1003a33–b19, Ε.1.1026a23–32, Λ.7.1072a19–b30, Λ.9.1074b15–1075a10. On the theology of Book Λ as the culmination of the science of being qua being, see Joseph Owens, The Doctrine of Being in the Aristotelian “Metaphysics”: A Study in the Greek Background of Mediaeval Thought, 2nd ed. (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 1963), especially pp. 453–54. However, Owens considers even Book Λ to be inadequate in terms of the requirements for first philosophy outlined in the first books of the Metaphysics.
7. FN77) For Heidegger’s account of ontotheology, see, for example, “Die seinsgeschichtliche Bestimmung des Nihilismus” [1944–46], in Nietzsche, Vol 2, 6th ed. (Stuttgart: Neske, 1998), 311–15; translated by Frank A. Capuzzi as “Nihilism as Determined by the History of Being,” in Nietzsche, Vol. 4: Nihilism, ed. David Farrell Krell (San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1991), 207–10; “Die onto-theo-logische Verfassung der Metaphysik” [1956–57], in Identität und Differenz, 12th ed. (Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta, 2002), 31–67 [hereafter, ID]; translated by Joan Stambaugh as “The Onto-theo-logical Constitution of Metaphysics,” in Identity and Difference (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2002), 42–74.
8. FN88) See, for example, Martin Heidegger, Sein und Zeit [1927], 18th ed. (Tübingen: Niemeyer, 2001), 25–26 [hereafter, SZ]; translated by Joan Stambaugh as Being and Time, revised by Dennis J. Schmidt (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2010), 24; Einführung in die Metaphysik [1935/53], 6th ed. (Tübingen: Niemeyer, 1998), 147, 148, 154 [herafter, EM]; translated by Gregory Fried and Richard Polt as Introduction to Metaphysics (New Haven, CO: Yale University Press, 2000), 206, 207, 216.
9. FN99) Ludwig Klages, Der Geist als Widersacher der Seele, vol. 1: Leben und Denkvermögen (Leipzig: Barth, 1929), XXI, 121, 129–30, 144, 217, 232, 374, 472, 511. Cf. Egon Pöhler, “Logozentrisch,” in Historisches Wörterbuch der Philosophie, ed. Joachim Ritter and Karlfried Gründer, vol. 5 (Basel: Schwabe & Co., 1980), 502–3.
10. FN1010) J. Derrida, De la grammatologie (Paris: Minuit, 1967), 71–72; translated by Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak as Of Grammatology (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997), 49.
11. FN1111) J. Derrida, “La structure, le signe et le jeu dans le discours des sciences humaines” [1966], in L’écriture et la différence (Paris: Seuil, 1967), 409; translated by Alan Bass as “Structure, Sign and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences,” in Writing and Difference (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1978), 278.
12. FN1212) Cf. David Wood, Philosophy at the Limit: Problems of Modern European Thought (London: Unwin Hyman, 1990), 48–49.
13. FN1313) Derrida, De la grammatologie, 15–31; Of Grammatology, 6–18.
14. FN1414) Plato, Sophist, in Platonis Opera, ed. E. A. Duke et al., vol. 1 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995), 263e3–9.
15. FN1515) In a classical passage of De Interpretatione (in Categoriae et Liber De Interpretatione, ed. Lorenzo Minio-Paluello [Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1949]), 1.16a3–8 [hereafter, De Int.]), Aristotle maintains that written signs are symbols of vocal signs, which in turn are symbols of mental affects (παθήµατα), these in turn being ways in which the soul conforms to real things (πράγµατα). Whereas letters and vocal utterances vary in different languages, the mental affects they communicate (as well as, of course, reality itself) are the same for all. Cf. Derrida, De la grammatologie, 21–22; Of Grammatology, 10–11.
16. FN1616) Derrida, De la grammatologie, 11–12, 23–24; Of Grammatology, 3, 12. In his last seminar, Derrida interestingly maintains that phonocentrism is, to a certain extent, universal, while logocentrism is a particular feature of Western philosophy and the monotheistic religions—implying that logocentrism as a mode of thought is rooted in phonocentrism and not vice versa (J. Derrida, Séminaire La bête et le souverain. Vol. 1, 2001–2002, ed. Michel Lisse, Marie-Louise Mallet, and Ginette Michaud [Paris: Galilée, 2008], 461; translated by Geoffrey Bennington as The Beast and the Sovereign. Vol. 1, ed. Michel Lisse, Marie-Louise Mallet, and Ginette Michaud [Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009], 347).
17. FN1717) Derrida, De la grammatologie, 13–14; Of Grammatology, 4.
18. FN1818) Derrida, De la grammatologie, 23–24; Of Grammatology, 12.
19. FN1919) Derrida, De la grammatologie, 35; Of Grammatology, 22 (translation modified).
20. FN2020) M. Heidegger, Was heisst Denken? [1951–52], 5th ed. (Tübingen: Niemeyer, 1997), 20 [hereafter, WHD]; translated by J. Glenn Gray as What Is Called Thinking? (New York: Harper & Row, 1968), 50.
21. FN2121) M. Heidegger, “Die ewige Wiederkehr des Gleichen” [1937], in Nietzsche, vol. 1, 6th ed. (Stuttgart: Neske, 1998), 401–23 [herafter, N I]; translated by David Farrell Krell as “The Eternal Recurrence of the Same,” in Nietzsche, vol. 2: The Eternal Recurrence of the Same, ed. David Farrell Krell (San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1991), 184–208.
22. FN2222) Heidegger, “Die ewige Wiederkehr des Gleichen,” in N I, 404; “The Eternal Recurrence of the Same,” 186; cf. “Die onto-theo-logische Verfassung der Metaphysik,” in ID, 33; “The Onto-theo-logical Constitution of Metaphysics,” 44.
23. FN2323) M. Heidegger, Die Frage nach dem Ding: zu Kants Lehre von den transzendentalen Grundsätzen [1935–36], 3rd ed. (Tübingen: Niemeyer, 1987), 117–18; translated by W.B. Barton Jr. and Vera Deutsch as What Is a Thing? (Chicago: Regnery, 1967), 150–51.
24. FN2424) M. Heidegger, “Protokoll zu einem Seminar über den Vortrag ‘Zeit und Sein’ ” [1962], in Zur Sache des Denkens (Tübingen: Niemeyer, 2000), 44, 53–58 [hereafter, ZSD]; translated by Joan Stambaugh as “Summary of a Seminar on the Lecture ‘Time and Being,’ ” in On Time and Being (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2002), 41, 50–54. In a later marginal note to “Anaximander’s Saying” (1946), Heidegger notes that the word “being” inevitably designates the “being of beings” and is therefore insufficient for his purposes (“Der Spruch des Anaximander” [1946], in Holzwege, 8th ed. [Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, 2003], 364n[d] [hereafter, HW]; translated by Julian Young and Kenneth Haynes as “Anaximander’s Saying,” in Off the Beaten Track [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002], 275n[a]). In the 1966–67 Heraclitus seminar, Heidegger notes that he no longer likes to use the word “being” (Martin Heidegger and Eugen Fink, “Heraklit” [1966–67], in Gesamtausgabe, vol. 15: Seminare, ed. Curd Ochwadt, 2nd ed. [Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, 2005], 20; translated by Charles H. Seibert as Heraclitus Seminar [Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 1993], 8.) Cf. Thomas Sheehan, “A Paradigm Shift in Heidegger Research,” Continental Philosophy Review 34 (2001): 187–92.
25. FN2525) Heidegger, “Die onto-theo-logische Verfassung der Metaphysik,” in ID, 37–39; “The Onto-theo-logical Constitution of Metaphysics,” 47–49.
26. FN2626) J. Derrida, De l’esprit: Heidegger et la question (Paris: Galilée, 1987), 29; translated by Geoffrey Bennington and Rachel Bowlby as Of Spirit: Heidegger and the Question (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1989), 12. Cf. Paola Marrati, Genesis and Trace: Derrida Reading Husserl and Heidegger (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2005), 106, 223–24.
27. FN2727) J. Derrida, Mémoires pour Paul de Man (Paris: Galilée, 1988), 27; translated by Cecile Lindsay et al. as Memoires for Paul de Man, revised ed. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1989), 3. For an excellent discussion of deconstruction “neither as a simple affirmation nor negation of narrative but rather as a radical perplexity in the face of narrative,” see James Gilbert-Walsh, “Deconstruction as Narrative Interruption,” Interchange 38 (2007): 317–33.
28. FN2828) See J. Derrida, “Geschlecht: différence sexuelle, différence ontologique” [1983], in Psychè: inventions de l’autre (Paris: Galilée, 1987), 395–414; translated by Ruben Berezdivin as “Geschlecht: Sexual Difference, Ontological Difference,” in Research in Phenomenology 13 (1983): 65–83; reprinted in A Derrida Reader: Between the Blinds, ed. Peggy Kamuf (New York: Columbia University Press, 1991), 378–402; “La main de Heidegger (Geschlecht II)” [1985], in Psychè: inventions de l’autre, 415–51; translated by John P. Leavey, Jr. as “Geschlecht II: Heidegger’s Hand,” in Deconstruction and Philosophy: The Texts of Jacques Derrida, ed. John Sallis (Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1987), 161–96; “L’oreille de Heidegger: philopolémologie (Geschlecht IV)” [1989], in Politiques de l’amitié suivi de L’oreille de Heidegger (Paris: Galilée, 1994), 341–419; translated by John P. Leavey, Jr. as “Heidegger’s Ear: Philopolemology (Geschlecht IV),” in Reading Heidegger: Commemorations, ed. John Sallis (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1992), 163–218.
29. FN2929) J. Derrida, “Désistance” [1987], in Psychè: inventions de l’autre, 616; translated by Christopher Fynsk as “Introduction: Desistance,” in Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe, Typography: Mimesis, Philosophy, Politics (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1989), 20–21.
30. FN3030) Derrida, “Envoi” [1980], in Psychè: inventions de l’autre, 134–35; translated by Peter and Mary Ann Caws as “Envoi,” in Psyche: Inventions of the Other, ed. Peggy Kamuf and Elizabeth Rottenberg, vol. 1 (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2007), 120. On “epochal” history, see Heidegger, “Zeit und Sein” [1962], in ZSD, 9; translated by Joan Stambaugh as “Time and Being,” in On Time and Being, 9.
31. FN3131) Derrida, “Violence et métaphysique: essai sur la pensée d’Emmanuel Levinas” [1964], in L’Écriture et la différence, 220–21; translated by Alan Bass as “Violence and Metaphysics: An Essay on the Thought of Emmanuel Levinas,” in Writing and Difference, 186–87; “La structure, le signe et le jeu,” 425; “Structure, Sign and Play,” 367.
32. FN3232) Heidegger, SZ, 38; Being and Time, 36.
33. FN3333) M. Heidegger, “Nachwort zu ‘Was ist Metaphysik?’ ” [1943], in Wegmarken, 3rd ed. (Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, 1996), 311 [hereafter, WM]; translated by William McNeill as “Postscript to ‘What is Metaphysics?,’ ” in Pathmarks (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), 237. Derrida says in 1967 (”Implications,” 19–20; “Implications,” 8–9): “[D]oubtless there is a certain Heideggerian phonologism, a noncritical privilege accorded in his works, as in the West in general, to the voice. . . . This privilege, whose consequences are considerable and systematic, can be recognized, for example, in the significant prevalence of so many ‘phonic’ metaphors . . . . Now, the admirable meditation by means of which Heidegger repeats the origin or essence of truth never puts into question the link to logos and to phōnē” (translation slightly modified).
34. FN3434) On the alleged archeo-teleology of Hegel’s, Marx’s, and Heidegger’s notions of history, see J. Derrida, Spectres de Marx: l’état de la dette, le travail du deuil et la nouvelle internationale (Paris: Galilée, 1993), 125–26; translated by Peggy Kamuf as Specters of Marx: The State of the Debt, the Work of Mourning, and the New International (London: Routledge, 1994), 74.
35. FN3535) Derrida, De la grammatologie, 33–39; Of Grammatology, 20–24.
36. FN3636) “La main de Heidegger,“ 439; “Geschlecht II: Heidegger’s Hand,” 182. For a thorough discussion of this aspect of Derrida’s reading of Heidegger, see Marrati, Genesis and Trace, 87–113.
37. FN3737) Derrida, Mémoires pour Paul de Man, 140; Memoires for Paul de Man, 146.
38. FN3838) Derrida, De l’esprit, 24, 82, 175; Of Spirit, 9, 52, 106–7; Mémoires pour Paul de Man, 97–98, 136, 140; Memoires for Paul de Man, 91–92, 141, 146 ; “L’oreille de Heidegger,” 405; “Heidegger’s Ear,” 205. Cf. Heidegger, WHD, 91–95, 157–59; What Is Called Thinking?, 138–47; M. Heidegger, “Die Sprache im Gedicht: eine Erörterung von Georg Trakls Gedicht” [1953], in Unterwegs zur Sprache, 13th ed. (Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta, 2003), 66–67 [hereafter, US]; translated by Peter D. Hertz as “Language in the Poem: A Discussion of Georg Trakl’s Poetic Work,” in On the Way to Language (New York: Harper & Row, 1971), 185–86; “Zur Seinsfrage” [1955], in WM, 411; translated by William McNeill as “On the Question of Being,” in Pathmarks, 310–11.The latter point—that Versammlung is, for Heidegger, by no means a homogeneous unity—is emphasized by Will McNeill (“Spirit’s Living Hand,” in Of Derrida, Heidegger, and Spirit, ed. David Wood [Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 1993], 113).
39. FN3939) Heraclitus, 22 B 50, in Die Fragmente der Vorsokratiker: Griechisch und deutsch, ed. Hermann Diels and Walther Kranz, 6th ed. (Berlin: Weidmannsche Buchhandlung, 1951) [hereafter, DK]. Cf. M. Heidegger, Gesamtausgabe, vol. 55: Heraklit [1943–44], ed. Manfred S. Frings (Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, 1979), 243–387 [hereafter, GA 55]; “Logos (Heraklit, Fragment 50)” [1951], in M. Heidegger, Vorträge und Aufsätze, 9th ed. (Stuttgart: Neske, 2000), 199–221 [hereafter, VA]; translated by David F. Krell and Frank A. Capuzzi as “Logos (Heraclitus, Fragment B 50),” in Early Greek Thinking (New York: Harper & Row, 1975), 59–78.
40. FN4040) M. Heidegger, Was ist das—die Philosophie? [1955], 11th ed. (Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta, 2003), 13 [hereafter, WIP]; translated by Jean T. Wilde and William Kluback as What Is Philosophy? (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2003), 49 (translation modified).
41. FN4141) Derrida, “L’oreille de Heidegger,” 378; “Heidegger’s Ear,” 187 (translation slightly modified).
42. FN4242) Heraclitus, DK 22 B 53. Cf. Heidegger, EM, 47; Introduction to Metaphysics, 65.
43. FN4343) Heidegger, WIP, 13; What is Philosophy?, 49.
44. FN4444) Derrida, “L’oreille de Heidegger,” 372; “Heidegger’s Ear,” 183.
45. FN4545) J. Derrida, “La dissémination” [1969], in La dissémination (Paris: Seuil, 1982), 405; translated by Barbara Johnson as “Dissemination,” in Dissemination (London: Continuum, 2004), 399.
46. FN4646) J. Derrida, “ ‘Une “folie” doit veiller sur la pensée’ ” [1991], in Points de suspension: entretiens, ed. Elisabeth Weber (Paris: Galilée, 1992), 365; translated by Peggy Kamuf as “ ‘A “Madness” Must Watch Over Thinking,’ ” in Points . . . : Interviews, 1974–1994, ed. Elisabeth Weber (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1995), 354. Cf. Timothy Clark, The Poetics of Singularity: The Counter-Culturalist Turn in Heidegger, Derrida, Blanchot and the Later Gadamer (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2005), 132.
47. FN4747) Heidegger, SZ, 32–34, 160–66; Being and Time, 30–32, 155–61.
48. FN4848) See for example, M. Heidegger, Gesamtausgabe, vol. 33: Aristoteles, Metaphysik Θ 1–3: von Wesen und Wirklichkeit der Kraft [1931], ed. Heinrich Hüni (Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, 1981), 117–48; translated by Walter Brogan and Peter Warnek as Aristotle’s Metaphysics Θ 1–3: On the Essence and Actuality of Force (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1995), 99–126; GA 55: 266–70; “Logos (Heraklit, Fragment 50),” in VA, 199–221; “Logos (Heraclitus, Fragment B 50),” 59–78.
49. FN4949) See Hjalmar Frisk, Griechisches etymologisches Wörterbuch, vol. 2 (Heidelberg: C. Winter, 1970), 94–96; Pierre Chantraine, Dictionnaire étymologique de la langue grecque (Paris: Klincksieck, 1999), 625–26.
50. FN5050) Thomas Sheehan, “Derrida and Heidegger,” in Hermeneutics and Deconstruction, ed. Hugh J. Silverman and Don Ihde (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1985), 213. On the interpretation of λόγος as “reading,” see also Wilhelm S. Wurzer, “Heidegger’s Turn to Germanien—A Sigetic Venture,” in Heidegger toward the Turn: Essays on the Work of the 1930s, ed. James Risser (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1999), 196.
51. FN5151) Aristotle, De Int., 5.17a8–22.
52. FN5252) See M. Heidegger, Gesamtausgabe, vol. 20: Prolegomena zur Geschichte des Zeitbegriffs [1925], ed. Petra Jaeger (Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, 1979), 210–92; translated by Theodore Kisiel as History of the Concept of Time: Prolegomena (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1985), 156–214; Gesamtausgabe, vol. 21: Logik: Die Frage nach der Wahrheit [1925–26], ed. Walter Biemel (Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, 1976), 127–61 [hereafter, GA 21]; translated by Thomas Sheehan as Logic: The Question of Truth (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2010), 107–35; SZ, 66–72, 153–60; Being and Time, 66–72, 149–55; Gesamtausgabe, vol. 29/30: Die Grundbegriffe der Metaphysik: Welt—Endlichkeit—Einsamkeit [1929–30], ed. Friedrich-Wilhelm von Herrmann (Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, 1983), 416–532 [hereafter, GA 29/30]; translated by William McNeill and Nicholas Walker as The Fundamental Concepts of Metaphysics: World, Finitude, Solitude (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1995), 287–366.
53. FN5353) Aristotle, De Anima, ed. W. D. Ross (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1956), III.5.430b1–4. Cf. M. Heidegger, Gesamtausgabe, vol. 19: Platon: Sophistes [1924–25], ed. Ingeborg Schüssler (Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, 1992), 184–86, 614–15; translated by Richard Rojcewicz and André Schuwer as Plato’s Sophist (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1997), 126–28, 425–26; GA 21: 135–61; Logic: The Question of Truth, 114–35; Gesamtausgabe, vol. 27: Einleitung in die Philosophie [1928–29], ed. Otto Saame and Ina Saame-Speidel (Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, 1996), 46–47; GA 29/30: 454–55; The Fundamental Concepts of Metaphysics, 313–14; GA 55: 383–84. See also Sheehan, “Derrida and Heidegger,” 215.
54. FN5454) Heidegger, GA 55: 278.
55. FN5555) Heidegger, “Logos (Heraklit, Fragment 50),” in VA, 220; “Logos (Heraclitus, Fragment B 50),” 77 (translation modified).
56. FN5656) Heidegger, “Logos (Heraklit, Fragment 50),” in VA, 220–21; “Logos (Heraclitus, Fragment B 50),” 77.
57. FN5757) Cf. Heidegger, SZ, 160–66; Being and Time, 155–61.
58. FN5858) M. Heidegger, Gesamtausgabe, vol. 65: Beiträge zur Philosophie (Vom Ereignis) [1936–38], ed. Friedrich-Wilhelm von Herrmann (Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, 1989), 501 [hereafter, GA 65]; translated by Parvis Emad and Kenneth Maly as Contributions to Philosophy (From Enowning) (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1999), 353 (translation modified).
59. FN5959) GA 65: 459–60; Contributions to Philosophy, 323–24 (translation modified).
60. FN6060) Parmenides, DK 28 B 3. Cf. Heidegger, EM, 104–6; Introduction to Metaphysics, 145–48; WHD, 146–49; What Is Called Thinking?, 240–43; ID, 13–15, 27; Identity and Difference, 27–30, 38–39.
61. FN6161) See, for example, GA 65: 188–201; Contributions to Philosophy, 132–41; Gesamtausgabe, vol. 45: Grundfragen der Philosophie: Ausgewählte “Probleme” der “Logik” [1937–38], ed. Friedrich-Wilhelm von Herrmann (Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, 1984), 108–90 [hereafter, GA 45]; translated by Richard Rojcewicz and André Schuwer as Basic Questions of Philosophy: Selected “Problems” of “Logic” (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1994), 95–164; “Der Spruch des Anaximander,” in HW, 336–72; “Anaximander’s Saying,” 253–80.
62. FN6262) GA 65: 66; Contributions to Philosophy, 46 (translation modified).
63. FN6363) Heidegger, “Die Sprache” [1950], in US, 12; translated by Albert Hofstadter as “Language,” in Poetry, Language, Thought (New York: Perennial Classics, 2001), 189.
64. FN6464) On the transition from the first beginning to the other, see Heidegger, GA 65: 171–88; Contributions to Philosophy, 120–32; GA 45: 124–27; Basic Questions of Philosophy, 108–11.
65. FN6565) Sheehan, “Derrida and Heidegger,” 214, 215. Cf. T. Sheehan, “Getting to the Topic: The New Edition of Wegmarken,” in Radical Phenomenology: Essays in Honor of Martin Heidegger, ed. John Sallis (Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Humanities Press, 1978), 299–316; “Heidegger’s Topic: Excess, Recess, Access,” Tijdschrift voor Filosofie 41 (1979): 615–35; “Heidegger’s Philosophy of Mind,” in Contemporary Philosophy: A New Survey, vol. 4: Philosophy of Mind, ed. Guttorm Fløistad (The Hague: Nijhoff, 1983), 287–318; “Time and Being, 1925–7,” in Martin Heidegger: Critical Assessments, vol. 1: Philosophy, ed. Christopher Macann (London: Routledge, 1992), 29–67; “How (Not) to Read Heidegger,” American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 69 (1995): 275–94; “A Paradigm Shift in Heidegger Research,” 183–202.
66. FN6666) Derrida, “Envoi,” 141–42; “Envoi,” 127–28.
67. FN6767) Heidegger, “Protokoll zu einem Seminar über den Vortrag ‘Zeit und Sein’,” in ZSD, 39; “Summary of a Seminar on the Lecture ‘Time and Being’,” 36.
68. FN6868) Heidegger, “Die onto-theo-logische Verfassung der Metaphysik,” in ID, 37, 55, 61–62; “The Onto-theo-logical Constitution of Metaphysics,” 47, 63–64, 69 (translation modified).
69. FN6969) Sheehan, “Derrida and Heidegger,” 215.
70. FN7070) Heidegger, “Die onto-theo-logische Verfassung der Metaphysik,” in ID, 56–65; “The Onto-theo-logical Constitution of Metaphysics,” 65–72. This is corroborated by Heidegger’s later marginal note to “On the Essence of Ground” (1929) in which he indicates the necessity of “overcoming the ‘distinction’ [Unterschied; sc., the distinction between being and beings] from out of the essence of the truth of be-ing [Seyns], or of first thinking the ‘distinction’ as be-ing itself” (“Vom Wesen des Grundes” [1929], in WM, 134n[c]; translated by William McNeill as “On the Essence of Ground,” in Pathmarks, 105n[c]; translation modified). On the twofold account of being as the ontological difference as well as an aspect of the difference, cf. Max Müller, Existenzphilosophie im geistigen Leben der Gegenwart, 3rd ed. (Heidelberg: Kerle, 1964), 43; John Sallis, Echoes: After Heidegger (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1990), 150–51; Julien Pieron, “Heidegger, du tournant à l’Ereignis,” Revue philosophique de Louvain 105 (2007): 385–97.
71. FN7171) J. Derrida, “La différance” [1968], in Marges de la philosophie (Paris: Minuit, 1972), 13; translated by Alan Bass as “Différance,” in Margins of Philosophy (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982), 13: “It is because of differance [différance] that the movement of signification is possible only if each so-called ‘present’ element, each element appearing on the scene of presence, is related to something other than itself” (translation modified). However, Derrida also insists (“Implications,” 19; “Implications,” 8) that, as opposed to différance, the Heideggerian ontological difference is “in a strange way . . . in the grasp of metaphysics. Perhaps then, . . . we would have to become open to a differance that is no longer determined, in the language of the West, as the difference between being [l’être] and beings [l’étant]. . . . Differance . . . therefore would name provisionally this unfolding of difference, in particular, but not only, or first of all, of the ontico-ontological difference” (translation modified). For an excellent discussion that locates différance at the heart of Heidegger’s enterprise, see Tilman Küchler, Postmodern Gaming: Heidegger, Duchamp, Derrida (New York: Lang, 1994), 23–53, 127–60.
72. FN7272) On the aptness of the word focus (Latin for “hearth”) for designating, in a Heideggerian framework, this kind of context-sensitive center, see Albert Borgmann, Technology and the Character of Contemporary Life: A Philosophical Inquiry (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987), 196–99.
73. FN7373) Derrida, De la grammatologie, 227; Of Grammatology, 158. Spivak offers two alternative translations: “There is nothing outside of the text” and “There is no outside-text,” of which the latter is more literal.
74. FN7474) J. Derrida, Limited Inc. [1988] (Paris: Galilée, 1990), 251; translated by Samuel Weber and Jeffrey Mehlman as Limited Inc (Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 1988), 136. In the original French: il n’y a pas de hors contexte. Weber and Mehlman translate: “There is nothing outside context.”
75. FN7575) Jonathan Culler, On Deconstruction: Theory and Criticism after Structuralism (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1982), 128; Wood, Philosophy at the Limit, 96.
76. FN7676) Rodolphe Gasché, The Tain of the Mirror: Derrida and the Philosophy of Reflection (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1986), 159–60.
77. FN7777) Derrida, “La structure, le signe et le jeu,” 411; “Structure, Sign and Play,” 280.
78. FN7878) Derrida, “La structure, le signe et le jeu,” 411; “Structure, Sign and Play,” 280.
79. FN7979) J. Derrida, “Structure, Sign and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences: Discussion” [1966], in The Structuralist Controversy: The Languages of Criticism and the Sciences of Man, ed. Richard Macksey and Eugenio Donato (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1972), 266.
80. FN8080) Derrida, “Structure, Sign and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences: Discussion,” 268, 271.
81. FN8181) Cf. Clark, The Poetics of Singularity, 132: “For Heidegger . . . , there is a Versammlung, i.e., a force of unifying gathering whose rhythm pervades and determines the rest. For Derrida, however, there can clearly be no ‘centre’ in the sense of a uniquely decisive word or phrase . . . , but only verbal thickenings of a ‘secret’ syntax. . . . No interpretation can gather the secret or singularity of text under some summary heading without leaving some remainder.” However, I try to show that the Heideggerian “gathering” is just such a discursive “thickening,” an interpretive gathering that always leaves a remainder. See also Gasché, The Tain of the Mirror, 152: “The infrastructure is what knots together all the threads of correspondence among certain heterogeneous points of presence within a discourse or text. . . . As the medium of differentiation in general, it precedes undifferentiated unity and the subsequent bipolar division. It is a unity of combat.”
82. FN8282) D. Wood, Thinking after Heidegger (Cambridge: Polity, 2002), 105. Wood is replying here to a suggestion by Christopher Fynsk, made in the context of a discussion in which Derrida himself participated, that there is a “kind of structural tendency in Heidegger towards reconstruction of the same. It is still one thing, in itself, still a certain oneness, or a certain privileged unity which is reaffirmed from beginning to end” (D. Wood, “Heidegger after Derrida,” Research in Phenomenology 17 [1987]: 115).
83. FN8383) Derrida, “Envoi,” 142; “Envoi,” 128 (translation modified).

Article metrics loading...


Affiliations: 1: University of Helsinki


Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to email alerts
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Research in Phenomenology — Recommend this title to your library

    Thank you

    Your recommendation has been sent to your librarian.

  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation