Professor of Politics at Richmond analyses leading philosopher’s legacy in influential publication

Dr Paul Rekret, Associate Professor of Politics at Richmond, has just published a new chapter in the Cambridge History of French Thought.  This chapter builds on work in his book Derrida and Foucault: Philosophy, Politics, PolemicsJacques Derrida was one of the most influential philosophers of the twentieth century, whose theory of deconstruction gave new insights into the meaning of language and aesthetic values.

Dr Paul Rekret, who teaches political theory at the University, is also the author of Down With Childhood: Pop Music and the Crisis of Innocence.  His work has appeared in Frieze, the New Inquiry and the Quietus, among others.

An abstract of the chapter which has been published is provided by Dr Rekret:

This chapter offers an overview of Jacques Derrida’s contributions to philosophy and related disciplines.

Following a brief biographical résumé, the chapter provides an overview of some of the central ideas running through Derrida’s philosophy of deconstruction. Looking especially to Derrida’s conception of alterity, it offers an assessment of the ethics of deconstruction as well as a summation of Derrida’s reflections on politics and political philosophy.

The chapter further provides an account of the reception of Derrida’s work, both in France and internationally. It looks in particular to key debates with John R. Searle, Jurgen Habermas, and Michel Foucault as well as more recent arguments centred upon the political limitations of Derrida’s work amongst some contemporary neo-Marxist political theorists. It is argued that Derrida’s corpus is amongst the most influential bodies of work for twentieth century Humanities and Social Sciences scholarship.