“Legislators and Interpreters”: Le Malheur of Deconstructionism

When Jacques Derrida accuses the Enlightenment project of being totalitarian, illusive, racist, imperialist, and devoid of any intellectual merit or moral ground, Jürgen Habermas unexpectedly responds that Derrida’s deconstruction undermines reason, destroys universality, and renounces any hope of emancipation. From a contemporary perspective, Derrida fails to establish judgmental norms, misunderstands the Enlightenment’s roots, and exhibits no critical responsibility; modernity, in Derrida’s logic, is logically contradictory and dictatorial in nature. Deconstructionism is more than terrible than the Enlightenment. Accordingly, deconstructionism appears to have a “tragic fate,” as no one knows when it began, where it is now, or how it has progressed. This paper presents an epistemic dive into the structures of thinking that lie underlying Derrida’s deconstructionism, using an archeological method and a genealogical design. It discusses deconstructionism in relation to its descendants, to put it another way. The concepts of the Enlightenment, modernity, postmodernity, philosophy, literature, post-theory, and the extinction of theory become critical in tracing Derrida’s thinking trajectory and growth. Derrida has served as a rebellious interpreter and hunter to history itself, with the tradition of metaphysics serving as the legislator for deconstructionism.

Author (s) Details

Ramzi Marrouchi
Department of English, Faculty of Letters, Arts and Humanities, University of Manouba, Manouba, Tunisia.

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