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Deconstruction is a post-structural school of philosophy and literary criticism that was developed by French philosopher Jacques Derrida Although he is credited with its origins he seems to have borrowed heavily from German philosophers Friedrich Neitzsche and Martin Heidegger who radically questioned the validity of basic philosophical concepts and Chinese philosopher Lao Tse who embraced the harmony of opposites In one of his short texts Tse wroteTherefore having and not having arise togetherDifficult and easy complement each otherVoices and sound harmonize each otherTherefore the sage goes about doing nothingThe ten thousand things rise and fall without cease Many consider deconstruction as destruction of a text but it is actually an in depth analysis or undoing of a piece of literature RV Young in his offering At War With the Word says The typical procedure of deconstruction is to grasp a loose thread in the textual weave of a discourse and to proceed with the unraveling This loose thread may be a word or phrase in which the critic finds significant meaning in relation to the text whether logically ontologically referentially hierarchically semantically or etymologically The ultimate objective of deconstruction is to criticize the tradition of Western philosophy with all its perceived superlatives and hierarchical oppositions Derrida believes that Western society tends to think in terms of opposites such as blackwhite masculinefeminine speechwriting with the first term being privileged over the other Though Derrida recognizes these differences his objective is not to reverse the hierarchy of the oppositions but rather to show that they can be studied in terms of presence absence and differences In other words texts do not say A and not B but rather A and not A Deconstructionists lash out at the idea that literature is a privileged language preserved for those New Critics who can explicate it and find a unified meaning in the text As is the case with other post-structural theories deconstruction rejects the belief
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