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Deconstruction 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 wrote Therefore having and not having arise together Difficult and easy complement each other Long and short contrast each other High and low rest upon each other Voices and sound harmonize each other Front and back follow one another Therefore the sage goes about doing nothing teaching no-talking The ten thousand things rise and fall without cease Creating yet not possessing Working yet not taking credit Work is done then forgotten Therefore it lasts forever - Tao Te Ching Feng trans 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
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