Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy

Volume 10, Issue 2, Spring 2006

An Entrusted Responsibility: Reading and Remembering Jacques Derrida

Marian Hobson
Pages 303-314

Hostilities and Hostages (to Fortune)
On Some Part of Derrida’s Reception

This piece asks a simple question, one simply obvious after the New York Times obituary of Jacques Derrida: how is it, why is it, that his work has been attacked in act and in words? And why more violently than the other great contemporaries of that period, of whom only Kristeva is still alive: Deleuze, Foucault, Lyotard, Lacan? It tries out various possibilities: envy, power struggles among various intellectual groupings of the same generation, the location of philosophy in the present tree of knowledge, to conclude that the particularizing feature of his work which sparked such aggressivity may be his use of language.