Learning to live ought to mean learning to die - to acknowledge, to accept, an absolute mortality - without positive outcome,or resurrection, or redemption, for oneself or for anyone else. That has been the old philosophical injunction since Plato: to be a philosopher is to learn how to die.

— Jacques Derrida

The most unforgettable Jacques Derrida quotes that are simple and will have a huge impact on you

The blindness that opens the eye is not the one that darkens vision.

Tears and not sight are the essence of the eye.


Psychoanalysis has taught that the dead – a dead parent, for example – can be more alive for us, more powerful, more scary, than the living. It is the question of ghosts.


If things were simple, word would have gotten around.


I always dream of a pen that would be a syringe.


That is what deconstruction is made of: not the mixture but the tension between memory, fidelity, the preservation of something that has been given to us, and, at the same time, heterogeneity, something absolutely new, and a break.


The only attitude (the only politics--judicial, medical, pedagogical and so forth) I would absolutely condemn is one which, directly or indirectly, cuts off the possibility of an essentially interminable questioning, that is, an effective and thus transforming questioning.


There is nothing outside the text


Surviving - that is the other name of a mourning whose possibility is never to be awaited.


I’m no good for anything except taking the world apart and putting it together again (and I manage the latter less and less frequently).


The end approaches, but the apocalypse is long lived.


What is called "objectivity," scientific for instance (in which I firmly believe, in a given situation) imposes itself only within a context which is extremely vast, old, firmly established, or rooted in a network of conventions ... and yet which still remains a context.


Contrary to what phenomenology- which is always phenomenology of perception- has tried to make us believe, contrary to what our desire cannot fail to be tempted into believing, the thing itself always escapes.


About Jacques Derrida

Quotes 80 sayings
Nationality French
Profession Philosopher
Birthday October 16

Who ever said that one was born just once?


It is to have a compulsive, repetitive, and nostalgic desire for the archive, an irrepressible desire to return to the origin, a homesickness, a nostalgia for the return to the most archaic place of absolute commencement


Deconstruction never had meaning or interest, at least in my eyes, than as a radicalization, that is to say, also within the tradition of a certain Marxism, in a certain spirit of Marxism.


What cannot be said above all must not be silenced but written.


All sentences of the type 'deconstruction is X' or 'deconstruction is not X', a priori miss the point, which is to say that they are at least false. As you know, one of the principal things at stake in what is called in my texts 'deconstruction', is precisely the delimiting of ontology and above all of the third-person present indicative: S is P.


Whatever precautions you take so the photograph will look like this or that, there comes a moment when the photograph surprises you. It is the other's gaze that wins out and decides.


Every discourse, even a poetic or oracular sentence, carries with it a system of rules for producing analogous things and thus an outline of methodology.


In a language, in the system of language, there are only differences.

Therefore, a taxonomical operation an undertake the systematic, statistical, and classificatory inventory of a language.


The circle of the return to birth can only remain open, but this is a chance, a sign of life, and a wound.


I have always had school sickness, as others have seasickness.

I cried when it was time to go back to school long after I was old enough to be ashamed of such behavior.


The first problem of the media is posed by what does not get translated, or even published in the dominant political languages.


But can one not conceive of a presence, and of a presence to itself of the subject before speech or signs, a presence to itself of the subject in a silent and intuitive consciousness? Such a question therefore presupposes that, prior to the sign, and outside it, excluding any trace and any différance, something like consciousness is possible.


If this work seems so threatening, this is because it isn't simply eccentric or strange, but competent, rigorously argued, and carrying conviction.


To pretend, I actually do the thing: I have therefore only pretended to pretend.


Still today, I cannot cross the threshold of a teaching institution without physical symptoms, in my chest and my stomach, of discomfort or anxiety. And yet I have never left school.


In philosophy, you have to reckon with the implicit level of an accumulated reserve, and thus with a very great number of relays, with the shared responsibility of these relays.


My most resolute opponents believe that I am too visible, that I am a little too alive, that my name echoes too much in the texts which they nevertheless claim to be inaccessible.


Cinema plus Psychoanalysis equals the Science of Ghosts.


I love language as I love life itself!


In Algeria, I had begun to get into literature and philosophy.

I dreamed of writing-and already models were instructing the dream, a certain language governed it.


The boarding-school experience in Paris was very hard, I didn't put up with it very well. I was sick all the time, or in any case frail, on the edge of a nervous breakdown.


I never give in to the temptation to be difficult just for the sake of being difficult. That would be too ridiculous.


An act of naming should quite rightly enable me to call any-thing a self-portrait, not only any drawing, 'portrait' or not, but everything that happens to me, that I can affect, or that affects me.


I have always had trouble recognizing myself in the features of the intellectual playing his political role according to the screenplay that you are familiar with and whose heritage deserves to be questioned.


These critics organize and practice in my case a sort of obsessive personality cult which philosophers should know how to question and above all, to moderate.


I do not believe in pure idioms. I think there is naturally a desire, for whoever speaks or writes, to sign in an idiomatic, irreplaceable manner.


Certain readers resented me when they could no longer recognize their territory, their institution.


I wrote some bad poetry that I published in North African journals, but even as I withdrew into this reading, I also led the life of a kind of young hooligan.


No one will ever know from what secret I am writing and the fact that I say so changes nothing.


There is nothing outside of the text. [Fr., Il n'y a pas de hors-texte.]


If I only did what I can do, I wouldn't do anything


A text is not a text unless it hides from the first comer, from the first glance, the law of its composition and the rules of its game. A text remains, moreover, forever imperceptible. Its laws and rules are not, however, harbored in the inaccessibility of a secret; it is simply that they can never be booked, in the present, into anything that could rigorously be called a perception.


Even if we're in a state of hopelessness, a sense of expectation is an integral part of our relationship to time. Hopelessness is possible only because we do hope that some good, loving someone could come. If that's what Heidegger meant, then I agree with him.


I was wondering myself where I am going.

So I would answer you by saying, first, that I am trying, precisely, to put myself at a point so that I do not know any longer where I am going.


Beauty only happens once.


Each time this identity announces itself, someone or something cries: Look out for the trap, youre caught. Take off, get free, disengage yourself.


Circumcision , that's all I've ever talked about.

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