The Destruction of Philosophy: Metaphoricity-History-Being

Politica Común 13 (2020)
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In the present essay, I trace the way in which Derrida engages the theme of the destruction of philosophy in his reading of Heidegger’s work in the 1964-65 seminar, Heidegger: The Question of Being and History. Specifically, I focus on a close reading of the first three sessions in order to show the way in which the theme of the destruction of philosophy appears in relation to the posing of three questions, namely, the questions of being, history, and metaphor. In all three sessions, I will show that the questions of being, history, and metaphor allow Heidegger, according to Derrida, to brush against the very limits of philosophy. However, Derrida’s own interpretation reveals an interesting emphasis on the destruction of philosophy that, while definitely inspired by Heidegger, slightly begins to go beyond him. For this reason, I will turn to his more critical appraisal of Heidegger’s trajectory in the final two sessions. In so doing, I claim that Derrida’s positions in these final sessions will show a critical distance vis-à-vis Heidegger that will foreshadow the very question that will remain decisive throughout his nearly 40 year engagement with Heidegger’s work, namely, the question of difference.

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Humberto José González Núñez
University of Texas at Dallas


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