Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

How to deconstruct the world

May 20, 2021

What I like about this article is that it provides a step-by-step description (or deconstruction, if you will) of Jacques Derrida's philosophical method: consider how the text or object is regarded, look at the relation between different interpretations, look for contradictions, find what the text seems to advocate and look in the opposite direction.

It's worth nothing that this for me is what happens almost in an instant any time I look at or read something. And - reading 'against the grain' of this article, if you will - what Derrida's method means to me is not a way of comprehending or understanding texts or constructions. They're almost incidental. The method itself becomes a way of life, a way of seeing and understanding the world. And that is how I see the world; I don't just see a street light, for example, I see what it illuminates, what its placement means, the material and background of its construction, who made it, what its design signifies, and the rest. I see all this instantly, through force of habit drawn from years of deliberate practice.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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