For Rorty, Derrida is an ironist. In his philosophical writing, Derrida uses mere elaborate jokes that are composed of various fantasies. This is evident through various demonstrations as he tries to refute or agree with something. Rorty describes him as a “delightful jokester” although his enterprises are made up of various serious explanations and arguments. Rorty argues that, “even Derrida scholars seem to have difficulty making sense of a number of Derrida’s writings” (Critchley, 32). He argues that his philosophies are just for fun. As an ironist, Derrida is less a philosopher than Rorty as he does not deeply engage in arguments concerning various philosophical positions. Moreover, as an ironist, Rorty notes that Derrida is an excessive writer whose philosophical works are “all play”. He states, “The works do not seek to produce that effect called truth” (Critchley, 68). He adds that Derrida turns philosophical work into a kind of literature. This implies that Derrida is using fiction to develop his texts.
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The Approach Critchley Takes on Derrida
Critchley takes the deconstruction approach in analyzing the philosophies of Derrida. He tries to find the answers to the “ethics of finitude” (Critchley, 19) as well as establish the possibilities of deconstruction basing his arguments on Derrida’s writings He also tries to rethink various beliefs of friendship, democracy, technology as well as economics. In this approach, Critchley views Derrida’s work as being rich with the ethical potential which vividly outlines and defends the political deconstruction.
Why does Critchley Think that Derrida is More Than a Merely Private Ironist
Critchley depicts Derrida as being more than a mere private ironist. He views Derrida as being a radical thinker who writes on important topics concerning the recent happenings in the political deconstruction. Indeed, Derrida’s work is not a mere formalism. He argues that, “this is not the kind of philosophical approach that can easily be criticized as formalism in an analogous way” (Critchley, 210). In his view, Derrida was a supreme reader of various texts particularly the philosophical ones. Indeed, he read different texts with varied persuasive power. He states that, “there are better and worse texts by Derrida-how could it be otherwise” (Critchley, 87). He maintains that his philosophical writings have changed our understanding by implication of his works. He states that Derrida’s readings of works of Plato, Rousseau among other eighteenth century philosophy writers have transformed his interpretation of various issues concerning the subject of deconstruction. He argues that his writings depict some of the most original philosophies thhat were written in history. On the other hand, Critchley states that Derrida’s philosophies contain the best examples especially lessons of reading such as open, questioning, meticulous as well as patient.
Critchley's Criticisms of Rorty Interpretation of Derrida
Rorty states that Derrida’s work is just gaming. This implies that his writings are full of fantasies something that Critchley highly criticizes arguing that Derrida was not just an ironist but a serious philosophical writer. He stipulates how Derrida was a reader something that helped him to transform the perception of many people as he gives an original approach to the topic. On the other hand, Rorty criticizes Derrida’s weird idea on deconstruction stating that it is hard to be interpreted even by his scholars. He argues that some of his ideas do not make sense due to the fact that he calls him a “jokester” (Critchley, 120). However, Critchley highly criticizes this claim stating that Derrida’s work has been developed from the philosophical point of view. He maintains that Derrida acts as the perfect example who should be emulated by other philosophers as his works contain a more clear approach to the issues as he relates them to different historical writers. Indeed, Derrida is anxious to distinguish various issues such as those related to democracy. He describes them in both positive and negative terms.
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