Jacques Derrida dies

From: Paul Zarembka (zarembka@BUFFALO.EDU)
Date: Sun Oct 10 2004 - 11:16:51 EDT

Jacques Derrida, the French thinker once described as the most influential
philosopher in the world, has died at the age of 74 in a Paris hospital.
The controversial theorist was diagnosed with aggressive pancreatic cancer
last year.

Derrida, whose death was announced by the office of the French President
Jacques Chirac, has been credited with the invention of three philosophical
concepts which dominated late 20th century thinking: 'postmodernism',
'poststructuralism' and 'deconstruction', though in later years he showed
growing irritation as the words passed into daily use.

In a recent interview, he said the word 'deconstruction' had even
penetrated a description of a rabbit stew which he had seen in a newspaper.
'Deconstructed rabbit! I saw it in an article in the New York Times !' he

Derrida grew up in El-Biar, Algeria, moving to France at the age of 19.
From 1952 he studied at Paris's Ecole Normale Superieur under two French
philosophical greats, Michel Foucault and Louis Althusser.

Although he faced deep suspicion from the British philosophical tradition
for his grand theorising - 20 philosophers objected to his honorary degree
granted by Cambridge - he remained a towering figure in world philosophy.

He died with one great disappointment: he would have liked to follow in the
footsteps of his illustrious predeccesor, the writer Albert Camus, who
played in goal for Algeria's football team. 'I wanted to be a professional
soccer player, but I had to give it up because I was not good enough,' he
once said.


RESEARCH IN POLITICAL ECONOMY,  Paul Zarembka, editor, Elsevier Science
******************** http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/PZarembka

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Tue Oct 12 2004 - 00:00:01 EDT