Structure Sign And Play In The Discourse Of The Human Sciences

Topics: Structuralism, Jacques Derrida, Deconstruction Pages: 4 (1324 words) Published: April 21, 2015
Dainy Daniel

Mrs. Susan George

B.A. English Hons.(II-B)

20 April 2015

Structuralism is an idea based on the belief that all human understanding is built out of a structure. Every structure also has a deep structure as well as an origin. Origin is complex and articulated. The structuralist believed center is immobile, static, controlling, all powerful, balanced point which controls the structure from playing. The center can be anything universally accepted (God, Being, presence, truth or man himself). Although its function remains the same, it continues to be substituted for another center. The center escapes structurality. Center is the alien element in the structure. It doesn’t exist within the structure but outside it. Derrida through his essay is trying to deconstruct the structurality of the structure and its notion of origin or center which limits freeplay. Structuralism began as a critique of the assumptions of science and metaphysics (which questioned the idea of origin and demanded for a presence or proof of a being) but at the same time it uses the same assumptions as a tool for the critique. Language contains all assumptions coded into it. When a philosopher critiques another system, he uses the same language and thereby using the same assumptions or ideas. Structuralism falls prey to what it wants to prey upon i.e. science and metaphysics. Derrida uses the concepts (like center, play, presence etc) of structuralism to deconstruct it. History of metaphysics looks for a center in the structure, for a genesis that can be understood as responsible for everything which exists. Metaphysical philosophers arrived at various conclusions about the first cause (origin) that determines everything else which are God, man, consciousness, king etc. In early and middle ages, which was the age of Theocentricism when God was believed to be at the center and everything was governed by a divine power. The being was God. During Enlightenment, the age of...

Cited: Derrida,Jacques.“Structure,Sign and Play in the Discourse of Human Sciences”.Theoryisms.Ed.Bodhisattva Chattopadhyay.Delhi:Worldview Publications,2015.132-153.Print.
Hans,James S. “Derrida and Freeplay.”French Issue: Perspectives in Mimesis 94.4(1979):809-826.JSTOR.Web.09/04/2015.
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