(OPE-L) Derrida on Althusser

From: Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM
Date: Sat Nov 13 2004 - 07:16:44 EST

> >This review gives the citation and it comes from an article/
> >interview called "Politics and Friendship."  Regarding Althusserian
> >Marxists, Derrida commented:
> >"there was, let's say, a sort of theoretical intimidation: to formulate
> >questions in style that appeared, shall we say, phenomenological,
> >transcendental or ontological was immediately considered
> >suspicious, backward, idealistic, even reactionary."


Without arguing with what you wrote,   my guess is that the
above quote has to be contextualized within the French
academy during the 1970's.  After all, no where else was
the influence of Althusserianism as strong during that period.
I guess we all have experience in academic milieus where an
intellectual tradition  (mainstream or otherwise) can be
(intentionally and/or unintentionally) intimidating.  Perhaps also
Derrida was the type of individual who could be personally
intimidated rather easily?  After all, there are many other radical
intellectuals (we all know some) who can find some intellectual,
professional, and political exchanges to be personally intimidating
and hence these individuals often withdraw from or avoid such
confrontations.  Admittedly the above is partially speculative,
but it does seem to be a plausible interpretation, imo.

In solidarity, Jerry

> Sigmund M. and Mary B. Hyman Professor of Economics
Who are or were Sigmund M and Mary B. Hyman?

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