Explaining Derrida with Diagrams 1: Différance

I’m writing a little book on Derrida which is intended to be accessible to non-philosophers, and one of the challenges is to explain Derrida’s thought both faithfully and clearly. I have decided to use diagrams as one way of helping readers to grasp what Derrida is saying and, equally importantly, what he isn’t saying. I am aware that there are both advantages and disadvantages to diagramming a thinker like Derrida, the disadvantages lying not least in the way that diagrams force a spatializating paradigm on ideas and privilege their expression in terms of relations between distinct territories on a static, two-dimensional surface. Nevertheless, I am convinced that, on balance, the approach will help more people to understand more of Derrida than would otherwise be the case.

In this series of posts I want to share a number of these diagrams, both in the hope that readers of these posts might find them helpful in grappling with Derrida’s thought, and also in the hope of receiving readerly feedback to help me refine them further.

In this post I will introduce the diagrams I use to explain what Derrida does not mean by différance (and, in the final diagram, what he does mean). Read more on christopherwatkin.com >>
CC Image courtesy of Sean MacEntee on Flickr