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

Research in Phenomenology 42 (1):67-91 (2012)
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Abstract
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 meta narrative.
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