Jacques Derrida

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Biography Jacques Derrida

Feelosofi –  Jacques Derrida, a French philosopher and theorist, was one of the central figures in the continental school of thought of the 20th century. He was born on July 15, 1930 in El-Biar, Algeria, and died on October 8, 2004 in Paris, France. Derrida is known for his fundamental contribution to the development of a school of thought called deconstruction. The concept of deconstruction that he created highlights the complexity of language and interpretation, challenges the concept of certainty in philosophical and literary texts, and inspires criticism of hierarchies and binary oppositions in Western thought.

One of his most influential works is “ Of Grammatology ” (1967), in which he puts forward ideas about how language influences the understanding and interpretation of philosophical texts. Derrida was also instrumental in translating the thoughts of famous philosophers such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Søren Kierkegaard , and Jean-Jacques Rousseau into the context of continental thought, paving the way for a deeper understanding of the legacy of Western thought.

In the history of philosophical thought, Derrida played a central role in changing the paradigm of philosophical thought by emphasizing complexity and uncertainty in language and texts. Derrida left a strong legacy in humanities and cultural studies, which continues to influence contemporary philosophical thought and the analysis of literary texts. Although often accused of being a difficult figure to understand, Derrida’s contribution in questioning the foundations of Western thought and exploring new dimensions in texts has had a deep influence in various fields of science and humanities studies.

Jacques Derrida’s Thoughts


This concept seeks to challenge the traditional view that defines meaning and truth as fixed and stable entities. Deconstruction views that texts, ideas and language themselves are complex, and meaning is never completely fixed or single. In practice, deconstruction breaks down a text or idea into its contradictory components to reveal the complexity and uncertainty inherent in our understanding. Thus, deconstruction shows how language and knowledge are always formed through conflict, uncertainty, and shifts in meaning.

In the context of literature, deconstruction questions the authority of interpretation and challenges the hierarchy of meaning in a text. This allows readers to view the text from a variety of different perspectives. Additionally, in philosophy , deconstruction highlights how language influences our construction of reality and worldview. Deconstructionist thinking has had a significant impact on a variety of scientific disciplines, including literature, philosophy , sociology, and history.

It is important to remember that deconstruction is not simply the destruction of meaning, but rather an in-depth exploration of the complexities of language and understanding. This concept has inspired much academic research related to text analysis and meaning, and has played an important role in the development of contemporary thought.


The term ” Difference ” itself is a combination of the words ” difference ” (difference) and ” defer ” (delay). Derrida uses this concept to highlight how language and signs not only express differences between concepts, but also always contain elements of delay and absence that make meaning always open and unstable. In the context of ” Difference “, meaning is never fully present in a word or concept, but is always delayed and refers to other things that are also never fully present.

Difference ” emphasizes the inconsistency of meaning as an essential characteristic of language and signs. In Derrida’s thinking, language can never provide a definite definition or complete presence for every concept. Instead, language always refers to other concepts, and in the process, creates a complex network of relationships between various concepts. The concept of “ Difference ” challenges traditional ideas about the stability of meaning, recognizing that meaning is always open to diverse interpretations and is constantly shifting.

In the context of Derrida’s philosophy , ” Difference ” also has important implications in the understanding of power and hierarchy. By emphasizing the instability of meaning, Derrida creates a theoretical basis for questioning authority and hierarchy in language, texts and culture. This concept encourages greater appreciation of the complexity and plurality of meanings and avoids understandings that are too simple or dogmatic.

Difference ” has influenced various disciplines, especially in literary studies, philosophy , and cultural theory, by challenging traditional views of language and meaning. This concept plays an important role in the development of post-modern and post-structuralist thought, and encourages a deeper examination of the role of language in the formation of knowledge and reality.


In Derrida’s understanding, supplementation refers to the process in which a concept or element is complemented, enriched, or replaced by another element in a system of thought or language. Derrida highlights that in text and language, a concept always requires supplements or additional elements to provide a more complete or stable meaning.

Supplementation helps us understand how language is always open to diverse interpretations, as well as revealing the unstable nature of meaning in language. Derrida uses the famous example of “pen, writing, and sound” to illustrate how (spoken) sound only has meaning when it is supplemented by writing. This shows how written language is often used to clarify or complete meaning that is not always clear in spoken language. Supplementation also refers to the way in traditional thinking, one concept is often seen as more important than another, and one concept can be replaced by another in different contexts.

Supplementation plays a key role in deconstruction because it challenges the authority and stability of meaning. Derrida argues that language and thought always involve continuous hierarchy and supplementation, which produces uncertainty of meaning and challenges the belief in the presence of a fixed meaning. In practice, the concept of supplementation has influenced literary analysis, cultural texts, and language studies by highlighting how meaning is always related to additional elements in a context. Supplementation, therefore, becomes an important tool in dismantling power structures and hierarchies in language and thought, and expanding our understanding of the complexity and plurality of meaning.


The concept of “trace” is one of the important elements in the framework of deconstruction thought developed by the French philosopher, Jacques Derrida. In Derrida’s thought, the trace refers to the presence of things that are not directly present, which marks the uncertainty, complexity and flexibility of meaning in language and thought. Traces are present in texts and language as remnants or traces left behind, but they never have a full presence or stable meaning. Traces reflect the dependencies and connections between concepts, where each concept always refers to the others, creating an infinite network of relations.

In deconstructionist thinking , traces challenge ideas about the stability of meaning and definite presence. Traces, as important elements in language, always point to the instability and uncertainty of meaning. Derrida uses the concept of traces to emphasize that language can never provide a firm or definite meaning, but is always involved in a process involving relations between various traces. Traces also help reveal that language is always open to diverse interpretations and always fluctuates in understanding.

The concept of the trace, in practice, has inspired various disciplines, especially in literature, philosophy , and cultural theory. It encourages us to question ideas about authority and hierarchy in language and highlights how language always exhibits its unstable nature. In the context of deconstruction , traces help us better understand the complexity and uncertainty of meaning in language, as well as challenge beliefs in the presence of fixed meaning. The trace, therefore, becomes a critical concept in the development of post-structuralist thought and plays a central role in our understanding of contemporary language and thought.


The concept of “ parergon ” is an important element in the thought of French philosopher , Jacques Derrida, found in his famous work, “ La Vérité en Peinture ” ( The Truth in Painting ). In Derrida’s thought, parergon refers to the additional elements or framework that surround a work of art or text and is usually considered a less important element than the core of the work. However, Derrida emphasized that parergon also plays an important role in shaping our meaning and understanding of works of art or texts.

The concept of parergon questions the traditional separation between what is considered the “core” and “periphery” in a work of art or text. Derrida argues that the parergon is not simply an additional element, but actually contributes significantly to shaping the meaning of the work. For example, in the context of visual arts, the frame of a painting is a parergon which is often thought of as a boundary element around the painting. However, Derrida argues that this frame does not only function as a physical barrier, but also participates in shaping the way we understand the painting itself. The frame becomes important in the context of aesthetic understanding , and as such, parergon should not be ignored.

The concept of parergon plays an important role in deconstruction because it challenges overly simplistic views of what is considered “core” and “periphery” in language, text, and art. Derrida taught that this kind of separation is always subjective and can produce a variety of interpretations. In practice, the concept of parergon influences our understanding of texts, art, and culture by encouraging us to better appreciate often overlooked “peripheral” elements. In this way, parergon becomes a critical tool in the development of post-structuralist thought and allows us to better understand the complexity and plurality of meaning in cultural and artistic contexts.

Absolute Hospitality

In Derrida’s understanding, “absolute hospitality” reflects the recognition that true hospitality is not limited to certain social or cultural forms, but must involve unconditional acceptance of strangers or those who are different, without discrimination, without worry, and without expectation of return.

Derrida uses the concept of “absolute hospitality” to challenge conventional concepts of hospitality which are often limited to certain categories such as ethnicity, religion, or nationality. In his thinking, true hospitality must transcend these limitations and must accept strangers as individuals with equal dignity and rights. Absolute hospitality teaches that we must be ready to receive strangers sincerely and without prejudice, even when this calls into question our concept of ourselves.

The concept of absolute hospitality also plays an important role in ethical and political thought. Derrida shows that to achieve peace and justice in the world, we must be willing to accept strangers and commit to unconditional hospitality. This can mean supporting human rights, addressing social inequalities, and creating inclusive societies. In practice, the concept of absolute hospitality becomes a call to open oneself to strangers, respond to various forms of difference with understanding, and contribute to a more just and respectful world.

In essence, “absolute hospitality” is a call to open the doors of our hearts and communities to strangers without boundaries, with a willingness to understand, respect and work together in a spirit of universality and genuine friendliness.

Compliance Law

Derrida highlights how the law of obedience, often thought of as a means of ensuring compliance with rules and regulations, actually also involves elements of uncertainty and instability in language and interpretation. In his work, Derrida emphasizes that the language and meaning of the law of obedience are always formed within a wider context, and can never be completely isolated or interpreted without reference to previous traces of meaning. In other words, the law of obedience, as in Derrida’s view, is involved in a process of deconstruction , where the meaning and order of law are always open to various interpretations and shifts.

Derrida also challenges traditional views of authority and hierarchy in the law of obedience. He shows how the law often favors a more dominant or powerful view, and how legal interpretation can be influenced by social, political, and cultural factors. Derrida’s contribution to legal thought of obedience teaches that law, in line with the understanding of deconstruction , must be questioned critically, and it is important to see how law often creates subjective boundaries, as well as conflicts of meaning that arise in various interpretations.

Syndrome Jerusalem

Jerusalem Syndrome is a psychological phenomenon that creates an imbalance between an individual’s beliefs or expectations and the reality of the environment he or she faces, often related to spiritual or religious experiences. Although Jerusalem Syndrome is not part of Jacques Derrida’s specific thinking, his deconstruction approach can help in understanding this phenomenon. In Derrida’s view, deconstruction is a process that explores the complexity of language and understanding, and highlights the uncertainty of meaning. Applying the concept of deconstruction to Jerusalem Syndrome, we can see that the symptoms experienced by affected individuals are the result of a clash between expectations formed by their religious or cultural understanding and their actual experiences.

Derrida will also emphasize how the Jerusalem Syndrome reflects the instability of meaning in human experience. In line with deconstructionist thinking , he might point out that the Jerusalem Syndrome illustrates how religious and cultural beliefs can be a source of conflict and confusion when faced with diverse realities. Derrida’s concept of the diversity of meaning and uncertainty in language will also lead to the understanding that different experiences in Jerusalem can provide very diverse and sometimes contradictory interpretations. Therefore, Derrida’s thinking highlights how language, belief, and culture can be a window to see the complexity of humans’ relationships with their environment, including spiritual experiences that influence psychological conditions such as Jerusalem Syndrome.


Apocalypsis, in Jacques Derrida’s thinking, refers to a deeper concept in deconstruction and his philosophical thought in general. Derrida takes an innovative approach to this concept, going beyond the traditional view of apocalypse as the end of time or divine revelation. On the other hand, Derrida emphasizes that apocalypse is a revelation that is always happening, but is also always delayed and never fully present.

In Derrida’s thinking, apocalypse reflects the complexity of language and meaning in language. Language is always formed through conflict and shifts in meaning, and the “true” meaning is always delayed or hidden behind layers of signs. Thus, apocalypse becomes a metaphor for exploring the way human language and thought always confront the uncertainty of meaning and the impossibility of achieving definitive knowledge.

In Derrida’s thinking, apocalypsis also challenges traditional views about authority and hierarchy in text and language. He shows how dominant thought often claims authority over meaning, while marginalized or oppressed voices also have important contributions to the formation of meaning. Apocalypse, in the context of deconstruction , reminds us to always dismantle, doubt, and question the authority of the meaning proposed by texts and language.

In essence, apocalypse in Derrida’s thought is a tool that allows us to understand the complexity of human language and thought, and to better appreciate the complexity and uncertainty of meaning in human experience. He emphasizes that every act of reading, interpreting, or speaking involves a process of expressing and drawing meaning that is always open to shift, conflict, and uncertainty.

Works By Jacques Derrida

  • “ On Grammatology ” (1967)
  • “ Writing and Difference ” (1967)
  • “ The Voice and the Phenomenon ” (1967)
  • “ The Dissemination ” (1972)
  • Glas” (1974)
  • “ The Postcard: From Socrates to Freud and Beyond ” (1980)
  • “ In an apocalyptic tone formerly adopted in philosophy ” (1983)
  • “ The Truth Factor ” (1984)
  • “ The Touch, Jean-Luc Nancy ” (2000)
  • “ Thugs ” (2003)
  • “ Truth in Size ” (2005)
  • “ Life and Death ” (2006)
  • Circumfession” (1993)
  • Rogues: Two Essays on Reason” (2005)
  • Learning to Live Finally: The Last Interview” (2007)


In order to provide a conclusion, it can be stated that Jacques Derrida, a French philosopher who is famous for his deconstruction approach, has made significant contributions to philosophical thought, linguistics and cultural theory. The deconstruction approach introduced by Derrida highlights the complexity of language, the uncertainty of meaning, and relational dependence in understanding. It has changed the way we view language, texts and reality, and emphasized the importance of questioning authority and hierarchy in language and thought. In his thinking, Derrida also explores concepts such as “trace,” “ parergon ” and “apocalypse” as a way to formulate a deep understanding of the complexity and plurality of meaning in human experience. Derrida’s works, such as “ De la grammalogie ” and “ La Dissemination ” have inspired many scientific disciplines, and his thinking continues to influence the study of literature, philosophy , cultural theory, and language to this day.


Who Is Jacques Derrida And What Made Him Famous In The World Of Philosophy?

Jacques Derrida is a famous French philosopher known for his philosophical approach called deconstruction . He is famous for his contribution in formulating concepts that challenge the authority of language and thought.

What Is Deconstruction, And How Does Derrida Develop This Concept In His Philosophical Thought?

Deconstruction is a philosophical approach developed by Derrida that highlights the uncertainty of meaning, the instability of language, and relational relationships in understanding. It includes critical analysis of language and text, showing that meaning is never fixed and is always related to other elements in the context.

How Do Concepts Such As “Trace” And “Parergon” Play A Role In Derrida’s Thought?

“Trace” is Derrida’s concept which shows the uncertainty of meaning and the important role of relations between concepts in language. “Parergon” is a concept that challenges the separation between “core” and “periphery” in a work of art or text.

How Have Derrida’s Works Influenced Disciplines Such As Literature, Cultural Theory, And Language?

Derrida’s works, such as “De la grammalogie” and “La Dissemination,” have been influential in various disciplines, especially in literary studies, cultural theory, and language. It has influenced post-structuralist thinking and helped change the way we understand language and thought.

What Is Derrida’s View Of Apocalypse And How Is It Related To The Complexity Of Language And Meaning?

Derrida uses the concept of “apocalypse” to explore uncertainty in language and thought. He states that apocalypse is a revelation that is always delayed and continually occurring, reflecting the complexity of human language and understanding.


  • Jacques Derrida: A Biography” – Benoît Peeters (2012)
  • Derrida: A Very Short Introduction” – Simon Glendinning (2011)
  • Derrida: Profanations” – Giorgio Agamben (2007)
  • The Cambridge Foucault Lexicon” – Leonard Lawlor dan John Nale (2014)
  • Derrida and Husserl: The Basic Problem of Phenomenology” – Leonard Lawlor (2002)
  • Derrida: Ethics Under Erasure” – Leonard Lawlor (2014)
  • The Philosophy of Derrida” – Mark Dooley (2007)
  • Derrida: Deconstruction from Phenomenology to Ethics” – Christina Howells (1999)
  • Derrida: Writing Events” – Jacques Khalip (2018)
  • Deconstructive Variations: Music and Reason in Western Society” – Catherine Clément (1998)

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