Monday, October 11, 2004

Here's to Jacques Derrida

Jacques Derrida, one of the most influential philosophers of our time, died on Friday at 74.

Highlighting the messianic and religious tones of professional philosophy, The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy (a book that rarely left my side during my undergraduate and masters degrees in Religious Studies) refuses to grant a personal entry for any philosopher who is still living. I guess now it's time for Jacques' entry, and for his intellectual history to join a history of ideas that he profoundly influenced.

My favorite philosopher, Richard Rorty, once said, "Of all the philosophers of our time (Derrida) has been the most effective at doing what Socrates hoped philosophers would do: breaking the crust of convention, questioning assumptions never before doubted, raising issues never before discussed."

Here's to you, Jacques.

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