The opening to infinity: Derrida's quasi-transcendentals

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This chapter locates Derrida’s philosophy of deconstruction within the phenomenological tradition of transcendental philosophy. My main focus will be on Derrida’s reading of Husserl. I will argue that it is Derrida’s fidelity to the Husserlian concepts of ‘intentionality’ and ‘reduction’ which leads to the formulation of deconstruction as a procedure that begins with transcendental questions. But while Derrida regards transcendental questions as necessary and essential to philosophy, he also insists that such questions must always rely on ‘quasi-transcendentals’. Such quasi-transcendentals themselves provoke ‘deconstructive’ questions regarding the limits of philosophy: These are questions of the empirical determinations of transcendental projects. I will conclude by arguing that Derrida’s deconstruction provides a new way of thinking the relationship between philosophy and the human sciences. Derrida’s extension of transcendental phenomenology into what he refers to as ‘deconstruction’ will be explored by way of the following five claims that are pertinent to all of Derrida’s work, but which will be examined here in his early work on Husserl. For it is in Husserl’s late work on the relation between philosophy and the positive sciences that Derrida identifies a transcendental movement essential to metaphysics in general.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFrom Kant to Davidson
Subtitle of host publicationPhilosophy and the Idea of the Transcendental
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)0203219570, 9781134468065
ISBN (Print)0415279046, 9780415279048
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Arts and Humanities


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