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  • PDF Name: Who Was Jacques Derrida
  • Author: David Mikics
  • Book’s Language: English
  • Published Year: 2009
  • Pages: 292
  • File Size: 1.63 MB
  • Downloads Type: Free PDF Download Books
  • PDF File Name: Who-Was-Jacques-Derrida-An-Intellectual-Biography-PDFRat-.pdf
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  • Category of the Book: Biography
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Summary of Who Was Jacques Derrida by David Mikics

Jacques Derrida [ 1930 to 2004 ] was a French philosopher and literary theorist. Postmodernism, deconstruction, and metaphysics critique are connected with Derrida. This book discusses Jacques Derrida’s life, thoughts, and legacy.

Early Life and Education of Jacques Derrida

Jacques Derrida was born in Algiers’ El-Biar district on July 15, 1930. His Jewish family spoke French and Arabic. Derrida studied philosophy and literature at Algiers University. He was highly influenced by Heidegger, Nietzsche, and Husserl.

Derrida relocated to Paris in 1952 to pursue his Sorbonne studies there. Husserl’s phenomenology was the subject of his Ph.D. dissertation, which he finished in 1954.


The deconstruction theory developed by Derrida is his most significant contribution to philosophy. A reading and interpreting technique known as deconstruction questions established ideas of significance, accuracy, and certainty. Derrida says that language is not a clear way for one person to communicate meaning to another.

Deconstruction entails looking for inherent inconsistencies in a text and challenging the predominant interpretations. This procedure makes the text’s underlying assumptions and prejudices transparent and creates fresh interpretational avenues. Deconstruction promotes numerous readings that are constantly open to revision rather than providing a fixed or stable interpretation of a text.

Derrida’s deconstruction theories have shaped literary theory, cultural studies, and philosophy.


Jacques Derrida’s ideas have shaped modern culture. His theories affected literature, philosophy, cultural studies, and political theory.

Derrida’s critique of “presence” is a major legacy. Derrida claims that Western philosophy has always valued presence, the idea that something is fully present and knowable. Derrida argues that language and meaning continuously change, and nothing is present or knowable.

He also influenced literary theory and criticism. His deconstructionist reading style has expanded interpretation and challenged the idea of a fixed meaning.

Derrida influenced political theory as well as philosophy and literature. Derrida opposed totalitarianism and pushed for democracy. His views on democracy and justice influenced postcolonial studies and critical race theory.


Jacques Derrida, a pioneering philosopher and literary theorist, influenced modern thought and society with his views about deconstruction and language limits. Derrida’s work has reshaped our concepts of meaning, truth, and certainty. His legacy influences how we think about language, literature, and the world.

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