Monday, November 07, 2011


Glendinning, Simon.  Derrida: a Very Short Introduction.  Oxford: OUP, 2011.
  • Explores Derrida's main books and essays and considers his central themes to provide a comprehensive picture of his work
  • Explains the theory of deconstruction and refutes the claims that it is negative and destructive
  • Defends Derrida against some of the attacks from the analytical philosophical community whilst explaining why it is that his work inspires such passionate criticism
  • Seeks to give the newcomer a sense of Derrida's challenge to the philosophical tradition, combined with some understanding of the range of reactions that challenge has provoked
  • Part of the bestselling Very Short Introductions series - over three million copies sold worldwide
Jacques Derrida, the French philosopher, developed his critical technique known as 'deconstruction'. His work is associated with ideas surrounding both post-structuralism and post-modern philosophy, and he was known to have challenged some of the unquestioned assumptions of our philosophical tradition.

In this Very Short Introduction, Simon Glendinning explores both the difficulty and significance of the work of Derrida. He presents Derrida's challenging ideas as making a significant contribution to, and providing a powerful reading of, our philosophical heritage. Defending Derrida against many of the charges that were placed against him, he attempts to show why Derrrida's work causes such extreme reactions.

Glendinning explains Derrida's distinctive mode of engagement with our philosophical tradition, and shows that this is not a merely negative thing. By exploring his most famous and influential texts, Glendinning shows how and why Derrida's work of deconstruction is inspired not by a 'critical frenzy', but by a loving respect for philosophy.

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