Conclusion: The Ghost of Metaphysics: Being Written

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Disclosure as preservation of concealment; falsity is a fundamental aspect of truth; the originary status of contamination; Being’s fate: the necessity of the metaphysical ob-ject, writing, and technology; Heidegger’s anticipation of Derrida’s supplement: metaphysics as a trace of Being’s forgotten meaning; Heidegger’s belief that ultimately, Being will disclose itself as a simple signified; logocentric narrative of Being’s loss and fall; irreconcilability of writing and Being; two kinds of Being, of presence, of writing, of consciousness, of man, of nations; persistence of the proper/improper divide in Heidegger’s thought; Heidegger’s conception of proper presence and consciousness inverts the Platonic–traditional metaphysical conception; affinity between Nietzschean and Heideggerian attempts to transgress metaphysics; Heidegger shares Plato’s dream of pure presence; preservation of purity entails expulsion of the Other; Derrida’s deconstruction of propriety; the ethical imperative to acknowledge originary contamination.

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In this study, Paola Marrati approaches—in an extremely insightful, rigorous, and well-argued way—the question of the philosophical sources of Derrida's thought through a consideration of his reading of both Husserl and Heidegger. A central focus of the book is the analysis of the concepts of genesis and trace as they define Derrida's thinking of historicity, time, and subjectivity. Notions such as the contamination of the empirical and the transcendental, dissemination and writing, are explained as key categories establishing a guiding thread that runs through Derrida's early and later works. Whereas in his discussion of Husserl Derrida problematizes the relationship between the ideality of meaning and the singularity of its historical production, in his interpretation of Heidegger he challenges the very idea of the originary finitude of temporality. This book is essential reading not only for those interested in the philosophical roots of deconstruction, but for all those interested in the central questions of history and temporality, subjectivity and language, that pervade contemporary debates in cultural, literary, and visual theory alike.
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