Derrida: Differance

“We could thus take up all the coupled oppositions on which philosophy is constructed, and from which our language lives, not in order to see oppositition vanish but to see the emergence of a necessity such that one of the terms appears as the differance of the other, the other as “differed” within the systematic ordering of the same (e.g., the intelligible as differing from the sensible, as sensible differed; the concept as differed-differing intuition, life as differing-differed matter; mind as differed-differing life; culture as differed-differing nature; and all the terms designating what in other than physis – techne, nomos, society, freedom, hiistory, spirti, etc. – as physis differed or physsi differing: physis in defferance). It is out of the unfolding of this “same” as differance that the sameness of difference and of repetition is presented in the eternal return.

“The ontology of presence is the ontology of beings and beingness. Everywhere, the dominance of beings is solicited by differance — in the sense that sollicictare means, in old Latin, to shake all over, to make the whole tremble. What is questioned by the thought of differance, therefore, is the determination of being in presence, or in beingness. Such a question could not raise and be understood without the difference between BEing and beings opening up somewhere. The first consequence of this is that differance is not. It is not a being-presetn, hwoever excellent, unique, principal, or transcendent one makes it. It commands nothing, rules over nothing, and nowhere does it exercise any authority. It is not marked by a capital letter. Not only is there no realm of differance, but differance is even the subversion of every realm.

“In this way the metaphysical text is understood; it is still readable, and remains to be read. It proposes both the monument and the mirage of the trace, the trace as simultaneously traced and effaced, simultaneously alive and dead, alive as always to simulated even life in its preserved inscription; it is a pyramid.”

“There will be no unique name, not even the name of Being. It must be conceived without nostalgia; that is, it must be conceived outside the myth of the purely maternal or paternal language belonging to the lost fatherland of thought. On the contrary, we must affirm it — in the sense that Nietzsche brings affirmation into play — with a certain laughter and with a certain dance. After this laughter and dance, after this affirmation that is foreign to any dialectic, the questoin arises as to the other side of nostalgia, which I will call Heideggerian hope.”