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Week 3: Derrida and Caputo - Moral Issues

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July 25th, 2005


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reinhabitants
12:51 am - Week 3: Derrida and Caputo
To earn 10 points of credit for Intro to Moral Issues, please respond to the question below. Your response needs to be 150 - 200 words. Make sure to include your name in your subject line.


Summarize and elavuate one topic discussed by Jacques Derrida and/or John Caputo. Please relate this topic to one moral issue that interests you.


To earn another 10 points of credit, please respond to any comment your classmates posted to this topic. Your response needs to be 75 - 100 words. Make sure to include your name in your subject line.


Due Thursday, 7/28

(97 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


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From:(Anonymous)
Date:July 27th, 2005 12:11 am (UTC)

Jessica Cain--Week 3

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I would have to say that the most interesting and also controversial topic that we have discussed in class about Derrida--well actually Kierkegaard--but still discussed by Caputo has been the topic of a "Leap of Faith". If you do not know the story of Abraham and Issac, at first it might sound like some sort of gang-initiation or something when God tells Abraham that if he trusts in Him, he must kill his son. The demand obviously sounds unethical and against society, so why would God ever encourage such behavior?? It makes no sense. And even once you learn that God blessed Abraham for his obediance and didnt make him kill his son, you still wonder why he would suggest it in the first place. But we learned in class that God's reasoning for this was to test Abraham's loyalty. Since Abraham believed in God's ability to give him a son inthe first place at such an old age (a 99 yr. old man able to have a son is a miracle in itself), he must therefore believe that His reasoning for such a request is worthy. He KNOWS what God is capable of, and must have FAITH in his requests. This story shows that you cannot take the good without the bad. If you put your life in God's hands and believe that He knows His plans for your life, then when you are faced with a tough decision (in Abraham's case--the toughest decision!) you must still have faith in God's plans for you. In my personal life...I have learned to take life's "interruptions" and use them as opportunities for growth. Like when I got a flat tire and had to drive an hour away on a spare--opportunity for growth! Or much more seriously, when my sister was killed by a drunk driver--I had to seriously have FAITH that God knew what he was doing and that He fulfilled the plans for her life, even through death. I sometimes think that if God asked my sister to have a Leap of Faith and die in order to save another's life, or to make me a better, or more successful person, I think she would've made the sacrifice. I know that I wouldnt be the person I am today without having to deal with such a tragic experience--the ultimate opportuntiy for growth.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:July 27th, 2005 02:47 pm (UTC)

Re: Jessica Cain--Week 3

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If the God of the Bible can send down a host of angels or become a burnning rose bush on the south lawn of the White House, or appear as a pillar of flame to highlight good and evil....

Why would he kill anyone in a car wreck to make a point?
kimberly barker - (Anonymous) - Expand
James Mitchell - (Anonymous) - Expand
From:(Anonymous)
Date:July 27th, 2005 03:51 pm (UTC)

Shannon Walker

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One moral issue (contemporary) that interests me about Jacques Derrida is how racism exists during World War II inside his documentary film. For example, Derrida remembers he was forced to leave school at an early age. Before he left, the principal told him to ask his parents why they forced him to go home. Derrida learns that the government forced him to go home because he is Jewish. At the same time, other schools forced Jewish people to leave as well. As a result, Jacques Derrida was emotionally scar from “anti-Semitism” or racism in schools.

My evaluation on Derrida dealing with “anti-Semitism” or racism shows how much pain that he went through because he is Jewish. I think that Derrida does not want to see anybody going through any kind of racism that he experience. I personally think that racism is an interesting topic today because it is very similar to Derrida’s experience. Most minorities, including myself, have experienced some kind of racism in our life because we are “stereotyped” or looked at differently by others.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:July 27th, 2005 09:09 pm (UTC)

Lizeth Gonzalez

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I guess I can’t say that I completely understand Derrida or Deconstruction. I guess we are not really supposed to, anyway Deconstruction bothers me. I really liked the paragraph in the book where Caputo talks about how ethics is the foundation to many things. I really believe he is right. Sometimes we may want to do something, but we are stopped because of guilt, because we know it’s wrong. I don’t think that we would really know how to act if there were no ethics. How would we decide who is good and bad? Would crimes just go unpunished? I think that with out ethics life would be chaotic, and everyone would do whatever he or she pleased. I really don’t see the point in taking apart everything we have always been taught and trying to deconstruct it. I guess I just don’t see the point. To me having ethics gives me some kind of comfort.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:July 28th, 2005 04:34 am (UTC)

Re: Lizeth Gonzalez--Jessica Cain

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I agree that ethics is the foundation for almost everything. And I dont think that ethics are something that you should disect and pick-apart. I think that ethics were not created from social standards. I think they are innatel created, and society either accepts or rejects them. I think of ethics kind of like integrity...it's what you do when no one is looking or would ever find out. Ethics are based on a feeling of right or wrong that comes from your heart or even just your gut! It's a FEELING that comes from within. And i think that feeling is affected by how a person is raised and taught and how strong their relationship with God is.(or the god of their own understanding...I say this because, although I am a Christian, I believe that everyone is entitled to worship their own god.) So basically, I think that ethics are what they are and we cant, and probably shouldn't, over-analyze them. I do think it's important to learn where you came from to know where you're going...but some things dont have an answer...they just are what they are.
Marinelle Chapin - (Anonymous) - Expand
Re: Lizeth Gonzalez - (Anonymous) - Expand
From:(Anonymous)
Date:July 27th, 2005 11:23 pm (UTC)

kimberly barker

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This week I found what Caputo says about obligation to be one of the most interesting. Obligation really does seem to be the one thing that no one would ever be able to get away from. I guess the moral issue that I would relate it to would be faith. For instance, I believe that God is real, and have faith that he’s real, therefore I have an obligation as a Christian to be his vessel and due his work here on earth. Again, obligation in faith is not a bad thing, but is not an easy thing either. When my family and I moved back to the states in the middle of my junior year we were coming back to a new school with no friends, not so new house (my great grandparents old farm house), and most important my dad wasn’t going to stay with the company, so that meant no job. We all had faith that God would provide and we’d be fine, so because we had faith that this would happen it then became an obligation to be patient and let God do his job. Well my dad did get a job, but it was a long (very patient) year before God revealed all the blessings (and they were really great ones) he had in store. I think it’s just funny that two things that at face value don’t have anything to do with each other really do go hand in hand. Faith in itself is not obligatory it’s a choice, but obligations defiantly come with it.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:July 28th, 2005 05:20 am (UTC)

Re: kimberly barker from Melanie Alt

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And to continue with your obligation interest, did you father not have an obligation to go out and find a job for him to support his family? And you had an obligation as his child to support him and to hav faith in him as well. I think that because faith is such an abstract concept, it is interesting for me to see how something so concrete, like obligation, goes with something so abstract. But I suppose that obligation being concrete in itself is abstract but it's something in my head that is a matter of how you are raised, which is also a big influence upon one's ethics.
Andrea Mosley - (Anonymous) - Expand
From:(Anonymous)
Date:July 28th, 2005 05:09 am (UTC)

Yi-Hsien Chang

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One of the moral issue topics that I really interested in is ethic that is the basic of the human’s behavior and many other important things. I strongly agree with Caputo’s concept because that is very reasonable to me.
I think since the begging of the human history, Human has been creating and following the ethic in order to understand what is right and wrong. For instance, when I was little I was taught not to steal and lie. That’s why I understand things that I suppose to do and things that I can not do in my life. I think that is very important and necessary. If we do not have ethic as our basic of human’s behavior then I guess this world it’s going to be a very miserable place to live. Therefore, I believe ethic is the basic for human’s behavior and other things.
For Jacques Derrida, his film we watched last week was interesting. I think deconstruction is a very complicated. In my understanding everything can be rebuilt and remade.

From:(Anonymous)
Date:July 28th, 2005 07:29 am (UTC)

Re: Yi-Hsien Chang from Jen-Ling Chang

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I totally agree with Yi-Hsien Chang that ethic is a foundation in our life. Ethic is a standard in human’s life. Because of ethic, human can have a better life. That’s why human create ethic to balance our life. We have to know what we can do, or what we can not do. People can understand what is right and what is wrong from ethic. Ethic can develop our standard of living. Therefore, it is necessary to have ethic .
From:earthman
Date:July 28th, 2005 06:21 am (UTC)
(Link)
I admire Derrida for his ability to be cynical without being harsh or bleak. One of the things I have noticed about people who attempt to follow in his work, claiming the "School of Deconstructionism", is that they don't seem to be able to hold the child-like curiosity that seemed to fuel Derrida's work. It doesn't make a good philosophy when learned, from what I've seen.

One of the things that struck me from the Bio-Pic was Derrida's assertion that the unnatural state of observation will always affect the actions of the observed. This is a key problem in the field of Psychology and even shows up in the study of Quantum Physics. The observer cannot be separated from the situation and the act of observing changes the scene irreparably.
From:earthman
Date:July 28th, 2005 11:48 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I'd also like to relate this back to Kant and Nietzsche, if I may, and look at how important it is to know that your ethical system will hold up, even when there is no obvious punishment for taking advantage of another. Is it a weakness or a strength to treat others with respect even when no one else will be able to judge you?
From:(Anonymous)
Date:July 28th, 2005 06:52 am (UTC)

Jason Tucker

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Thus far, one of the most interesting aspects to Caputo's book has been his insistence that obligation is free from a system of morality. In and of itself, this isn't all that important, but the implications that it has on morality have much greater significance. I've always been partial to the idea that morality should be able to be universalized. I think this might be what drew me to Kant in the first place. Still, even with my initial resistance to the idea that ethics are illusory, I've found that the more I read, the more intrigued by the idea I've become. I'm looking forward to more direct examples of how this works and I'm also curious to see how or if there is any reconciliation with the obvious issue that without a system, morality becomes subject to upbringing and society. Either way, Caputo seems to be going about this idea in a very rational manner and I'm looking forward to getting deeper into the idea of obligation without ethics.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:July 28th, 2005 06:59 am (UTC)

Jen-Ling Chang

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There are several moral issue topics form Jacques Derrida, such as obligation and ethic. I totally agree that human should have scrupulous behavior to control our life. I think that ethic plays an important role in our life. Therefore, I agree Caputo concept. Because of ethic, human has a high level life different between animals. For example, most of people know we should respect our parent, and we know we can not hurt other people. If people can follow ethic, I think we can have a peace world. Moreover, I think obligation is also important. I have many questions that I can not understand. I have lots of friends in Taiwan. Before I came USA, I never left my family. I live alone and have no friend here. I was very lonely. Also, my parents worried about me on that time. My parents gave up their own company in Taiwan. They open a new company in China. It was a hard time for them because they didn’t have enough money, and they did not have any idea about China. However, my parents and me are doing well now because we believe god.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:July 28th, 2005 07:18 am (UTC)

Re: Jen-Ling Chang from Yi-Hsien Chang

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I agree with your idea. I think ethic is one of the most important things we have to know in our life. I also think there is gate between animals and human because of ethic. I understand coming to new places and start everything all over again is very difficult, but you guys did pretty good job.
Chad Hubbard - (Anonymous) - Expand
Re: Jesse Jensen - (Anonymous) - Expand
From:(Anonymous)
Date:July 28th, 2005 01:15 pm (UTC)

Re: Shannon Walker

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I agree with Jason Tucker's response to Lizeth Gonzalez's question. Deconstruction is just another way to question things. Deconstruction brings out the details that are left out within the message by criticizing it. In Derrida’s documentary film, an interviewer asked Derrida a question about love. First, Derrida give an idea about “what is love?” Then, he started to question love by saying “you can love that person because of that particular reason. If they no longer show that particular reason that you fall in love with, do you still love that person?”
From:(Anonymous)
Date:July 29th, 2005 03:58 am (UTC)

Bryan Daniels

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I really think these philosophers have way to much time on their hands. Deconstruction to me seems like something that was thought up so that philosopher wouldn't be wrong. When ever they feel that they are wrong they can pull the deconstruction card to confuse the other person until it seems like they won. IT MAKES NO SENSE
From:(Anonymous)
Date:July 28th, 2005 03:52 pm (UTC)

DominikKabacinski

(Link)
Caputo talks about a missing satellite, a missing link between him and GOD/"other". He also mentions how everything becomes shifty when that link is gone. A drifting island, he becomes. I have fond this idea very interesting. In past few years I have lived through a similar crisis. I put my ethics a side and lived like a pinball. First few months were liberating. Living in the "now", going with the flow, making up ethics as I go. After a year I have arrived at the pits of nothingness. I am glad to have gone through such an experirnce, but to do it again would be crazy. Maybe if you are fine with the idea of letting go and loosing control for a very long time, then this is for you. On the other hand, if knowing what you want is crucial to you, then forget about it, unless you want a "drifting island". Experience like this opens you up to a lot of things. You do things that you said you never do. Pattern of thought is flipped. I can't relate this to just one moral issue. Living life could be a moral issue.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:July 28th, 2005 11:08 pm (UTC)

Re: DominikKabacinski - Josh Forisha

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I totally agree with you on this; I too have gone through a period of liberation at some point, only to arrive at a stop sign with no turns. I think "living in the now" is really only rewarding for the now. You have to look outside of the current moment to lead a truly accurate and full life. That means paying attention to every situation and being able to grow from it, but still not taking it all too seriously. Living life is a moral issue.

On a side note - has anyone seen "I Heart Huckabees"?
This reminds me of the pure being ball thing..
From:(Anonymous)
Date:July 28th, 2005 04:24 pm (UTC)

Marinelle Chapin

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Obligation seems to be a big issues with Caputo, he says its a binding emotion which causes people to act in an ethical manner. He goes on to say that ethics should be ashamed of obligation because without the feeling of obligation then ethics would be pure. Well if thats the case where would ethics be without obligation? Do you really think people would always act in an ethical manner if they didn't feel they had to? Personally, I don't have a great deal of faith in mankind so I would say no. So lets add faith to the equation. Does faith in a higher being make someone more ethical and/or feel more obligations? I think a lot of moral issues facing us today could be solved in the home, so lets start there. Does a faith filled father have more of an obligation to his family than a father without faith? And in turn is that obligation shown in an ethical and moral manner to his children, who eventually pass it along to theirs. Now as you see I didn't answer the question about the fathers, this is because I don't know and it truly is a question I've been trying to figure out.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:July 28th, 2005 05:09 pm (UTC)

Chad Hubbard

(Link)
Human behavior is a very complex idea of right and wrongs, moral or ethical, black or white. You can live next to someone that may go to your school, ride your bus and play in little league with you and you may think that he/she is the most morally wrong person. Why would you think this way? Have you looked at the way that person was raised or where their parent are from? Many cultures (all of them) have something different about them that sets them apart(not right or wrong) just apart. For that they(parents) want to instill their moral, norm and behavior in their childern. I dont think its a bad idea its just something that we all have to deal with. Now these children have an obligation (Capuato) to their parents to do what is right and not do what is wrong.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:July 28th, 2005 05:28 pm (UTC)

Jesse Jensen

(Link)
I think about the application of deconstruction all the time. It seems logical to say that in an environment that is very dynamic that it would be difficult to find an ethic that applies in all applications. Although the issue that seems to interest me is the fact that we chose to try and deliberate an issue from a point of prospective where all people can choose to parameterize a situation in any way they would like. Making the capability to communicate more difficult. It would seem if one is trying to use deconstruction to bring about something ideal or even what they might consider to be a good manner of approaching an ideal then they will end up very frustrated.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:July 28th, 2005 05:55 pm (UTC)

Andrea Mosley

(Link)
By listening to our guest speaker and everything else, the one thing that continues to get to me is deconstruction. To my understanding deconstruction is basically questioning any and everything. A lot of philosophers say that Derrida’s theory is great and awesome, but who is to say that he is a great philosopher. I view it as everything this man thought about, spoke about, and wrote about is pretty much about nothing; going off the definition of deconstruction. Everyday when I am in class and hear people talk, I think to myself: why are they arguing about nothing. (By any means, I’m not saying that Derrida was not a great philosopher, and what we discuss in class is not important.) My whole outtake is this: we can all talk until we are blue in the face, but hardly anything will come out of it because we all have our own views and definition on things. Also there will never be a definite understanding due to the fact that one person can always say: well what is….? I don’t know if that made sense to anybody else, but I really can’t explain it.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:July 28th, 2005 07:18 pm (UTC)

Re: Andrea Mosley- Haley Williams

(Link)
I understand what you are trying to say... I feel the same i think... You're saying that there is no point in questioning everything because you will never get a concrete answer so why go through the trouble... it's like having a little brother or sister and every time you say something they say why to get on your nerves... That's how i feel about it and i don't think i would ever be successful in any kind of relationship if i were like that.. especially a romantic one, i think my boyfriend would go crazy just listening to me..
Re: Andrea Mosley - (Anonymous) - Expand
Re: Andrea Mosley - (Anonymous) - Expand
From:(Anonymous)
Date:July 28th, 2005 07:13 pm (UTC)

Haley Williams

(Link)
I think deconstruction is probably the reason why people are insane... I'm one of those people who thinks about things constantly even to the point where it's hard for me to sleep at night because i think to much but imagine how much sleep i wouldn't get if i were breaking all of those things down into even smaller pieces.. probably none... I think the concept of deconstruction is good but i think it has been taken way out of proportion and things shouldn't be thought about so much... just let it be! Maybe i just don't really understand it as well as i should.. I used to think that i was a deep enough person that philosophy would be something i would completely connect with but boy i was wrong... breaking things like a desk down into all of its particles and blah blah blah is to much for me... but i did appreciate our speaker coming in and talking to us.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:July 28th, 2005 08:12 pm (UTC)

Hunter Spoede's response to Haley Williams

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I would have to agree with you in that I too thought I was a deep thinker. (deep enough) And that I would be able to handle philosophy. I do understand most, but when we get into the nitty-gritty of things I start to nod my head and act like I know what it is we are talking about. I’m not saying I am lost in the class. It is when we get into things like physics that I zone out and wait for words I start to understand again.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:July 28th, 2005 07:21 pm (UTC)

Carrie Barnes

(Link)
Something Caputo talks about interests me the most. He says his "satellite has been knocked out". I have always been somewhat religious, and believed in God, but something about this statement has me thinking. Somehow I believe in things like karma and signs, but it is hard to say that what I believe as a Christian is the right and only way. So I guess what I'm trying to say is that I feel a little lost. How am I to say my religion is right when there are so many others. All I'm really doing is blindly following what I was taught, without really questioning it. Why is this the right way? People have been believing what I believe for so many generations that you think it has to be right. Right? I've always known in my mind what is right and wrong, but I guess people feel like they need a guide. It is a pretty scary way to think that what I've known as my religion my whole life might not be true, or right. My mind's not completely changed or anything, but Caputo has still made me think about it, and that was probably the point.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:July 29th, 2005 01:25 am (UTC)

Re: Carrie Barnes

(Link)
James Berry

Carrie I think it is amazing that you are questioning these things. Most indivduals will so fiercely defend a positon that they shut down their mind and refuse to listen to the other side. Many times we get into fierce debates with others and we become so upset and defensive that we become just as closed minded as the indivdual we are arguing with just with an opposite opnion. The best thing is to not stop questioning and to pursue these questions even more than we did before. The search for knowledge and truth can only be accomplished with an open and skeptical mind.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:July 28th, 2005 08:06 pm (UTC)

Hunter Spoede

(Link)
“Leap of Faith” has been a very interesting topic for me. The story of Abraham and Isaac is very familiar with my Christian background. To follow God, which is above all in that society, but in doing so to go against society is a huge test. But in the end it shows that if you follow God then everything will work out. It might be that I have become cynical or that I have lost some of my faith, but isn’t it really just talking about control? If you listen to the church and do what they tell you to, you will be greatly rewarded. I still have my beliefs, but I have lost a lot of faith in the church. The bible was written by men, men who at that time used the church as power. What better story than to have a man to follow God and everything works out. And since we have lost our “satellite,” who is going to tell us what God wants us to do? The church…
From:(Anonymous)
Date:July 29th, 2005 03:50 am (UTC)

Re: Hunter Spoede-Carrie Barnes

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There are no walls along the path that the church lays for it's congregation. I think of the church's "rules" more as guidelines. You are correct in the feeling that the roots for modern day corruption go all the way back through history, in the Roman Catholic Church. A loss of faith because of your history book has no bearing on the God that is in your heart. All we have to do is follow, God will lead the way.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:July 28th, 2005 08:56 pm (UTC)

Gerard Volpe

(Link)
I found it very interesting talking about obligation and ethics, and the difference that comes from both of them.Obligation is said to be something that you feel while on the other hand ethics is something that you know and live by. The reason i found this subject so interesting is because it really fits into my everyday life its a constant thought on weather i am obligated to do something or if i just know that i should or shouldnt do it.I definately agree that obligations are based on feelings and ethics are based on what you know because ethics in my words are how you carry yourself as a person, therefore you understand the rights and the wrongs throughout life. While on the other hand obligations can wear you down theres so many things that you may not want to do but feeling obligated definately pushes you towards doing them. I definately see ethics and obligations as part of your every day life because both of these issues are the reasons for most things that you do.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:July 28th, 2005 09:22 pm (UTC)

Week 3 James Koket

(Link)
I seemed to find the discussion on Caputo and his ideas of obligation to be the most interesting to me. Whether we are aware of it or not in our everyday lives, we are all under obligations. I dont necessarily mean the obligations to take out the trash, walk the dog, or pay the gas bill, although these definately are obligations in our lives. These to me are more of the tasks of life that we must carry out in order to make our lives more suitable. The obligations to which I believe Caputo refers to are those which we have to ourselves and our society. It is our obligation to keep peace in the world, and I dont mean keeping the peace in Iraq. Keeping the general peace in our society is more what I believe Caputo has in mind. The obligation to not murder, not be abusive, just the general obligation to serving your part to make society work in its entirety. These are the basic obiligations of life for any memeber of a society. Simply put, it is every human beings obligation to not disrupt the lifestyles and values of that society.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:July 28th, 2005 10:11 pm (UTC)

Darrick McDade

(Link)
Last week in class we had a guess speaker. He talked about Derrida and deconstruction. According to derrida, decontruction is not an enclouser in nothingness but an openiness to the other and an attempt to discover the non place or non lieu which would be that other than philosophy. Meaning you cant get the jest of this because the text gets in the way. With deconstruction you take apart concepts that serve as rules for thought. Derrida used deconstruction instead of destuction that was used by heidgard. I agree with derrida with the term deconstruction because concepts of metaphsics wont be elimaniated but reformed.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:July 28th, 2005 10:27 pm (UTC)

Reply to Darrick-from Fred Kemp

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I disagree. The "rules" of thought are perspective driven like any other idea or theory. In being perspective driven you have more open area with a whole work or idea. Giving the reader or author an opportunity to expand the idea to greater lengths because of the greater scope of "whole" vs. "piece" Write me back on this.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:July 28th, 2005 10:20 pm (UTC)

Fred Kemp

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Speaking of Derrida I can see the usefulness of deconstructionism, however I believe it to be somewhat more limited in usefulness. In some occasions tearing a thought down to its most basic and simplistic form can be useful. The world and the ideas inside of it happen to be a culmination of the many things and thoughts. Cumulating ideas more often than deconstructing can bring us more information than a stripped view. Take for instance the thought of "ethics", this is not usefully looked at by the small ideas but the greater goods and wrongs that aren't as simple a stroke by one persons hand but the reality of a nation and/or world view. A little off topic, I would also like to mention that deconstruction in poetry and short works drives me up the wall. Most, not all, authors want you to stand back and look at the work not the word on the second line third from the left. In general I think that things are very complex and deserve us to look at the whole of the work or life. It would be hard to think that someone was looking at the days in my life when I was acting like a jerk and not the whole of when I was acting like a jerk. I was just kidding, I mean the overall good heart.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:July 28th, 2005 10:57 pm (UTC)

Josh Forisha

(Link)
Deconstruction, in being the most notorious subject of Derrida (and often Caputo), is also the most prominent subject to speak of. It is the subject that most interests me about the modern philosophers.

It seems to me that deconstruction itself is rather contradictory; a paradox, as it were (ha!), in and of itself. You can only deconstruct something down to a certain point – the “other”, the source – or until you drive yourself crazy with wild overly analytical thoughts. It is as if the system of deconstruction (because it is a way of doing something) thus cannot be deconstructed itself. If it is, then all that is left of everything is nothing. There is chaos.

Perhaps that chaos is the other; hidden not outside of everything familiar to us, but within the mess of existence that is our reality and makes up the matter we’re made up of.

Does anyone else’s head hurt?
From:(Anonymous)
Date:July 29th, 2005 12:24 am (UTC)

response from: Christian Alvarado

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Josh, I agree with most of what you are saying. Deconstruction can be analyzed with such a high degree of logic that it almost seems to be illogical. If everything can be deconstructed down to nothing, then everything actually would be nothing?!? If that is the case, then what is it that we are actually starting off with? It can be frustrating and complicated to even begin to deconstruct something (especially if you think it’s nothing to begin with) so I hesitate in doing so. If my response seems convoluted, I apologize, but so is the topic at hand…
From:(Anonymous)
Date:July 29th, 2005 12:19 am (UTC)

Christian Alvarado

(Link)
I found it interesting to see how "normal" of a guy Derrida is. At least when I think of a prominent philosopher I think of him or her to be old and dark, with a long beard (in the case of a he). Derrida on the other hand, lived a regular life and dealt with the issues that most of us deal with on a day-to-day basis. He wakes up in the morning, he gets dressed, and goes off to work. Derrida appreciated the aesthetics of simplicity and that is a characteristic that I particularly appreciated of the man. When posed a question that he did not know the answer to he simply said, “I do not know”, or “I cannot answer that question”. He commented on the simple aspects of love and life and I believe by enjoying the simple things in life, he is able to comprehend many of the complexities before him.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:July 29th, 2005 01:07 am (UTC)
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James Berry

I found Caputo's thoughts on obligation to be most fascinating. Everyone encounters obliagtaions and set backs in there lives, the only thing that sets these people apart is their reaction to these obligations. When indivduals face a fearful and dangerous situation they all experience the same fear and obligation. The only thing that seperates a Brave Indivdual from a coward is what they do in their situation when faced with the same fear and obliagation. In the book to kill a Mokingbird the main character Atticus is attacked by a dangerous dog and shoots and kills it. Atticus's two childeren respond by telling him that he was very brave. Atticus responds by telling them that shooting some dog does not make you brave, Bravery is when an Indivdual does the right thing knowing full well the potential consquences and does the right thing any way. When I read this is a child it had a profound effect on me. Essentially what Atticus is saying is that when faced with consequntial obligations, it is the decison that we make in dealing with these consequences that that reflect upon our charachter.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:July 29th, 2005 01:10 am (UTC)

Andrew Lee

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In the DVD of Derrida and his life I was particularly interested on his views of the personal lives of the ancient thinkers and how it affects their overall philosophy. Derrida even went so far as to talk out about their sex lives if he had the opportunity to interview any of the past thinkers in ancient history. However, if you really think about it, what better way to learn about someone’s philosophy (love of wisdom) than to find out about their sex lives? Love is very personal and intimate and can be interpreted in different ways. I agree with the modern idea that in order to really understand a person’s philosophy or idea, one must take a look at the person’s everyday life and see him/her as a normal person. It was so interesting to see one of the greatest philosophers of our era going to get a haircut and doing all the things that ordinary people do. Although, in my opinion, that is the ideal way to look at philosophy, I also believe that it’s near impossible to accomplish. Even Derrida said it himself when being interviewed with his wife that people act and behave a certain way when interacting with the media, even in something such as a documentary film. I blieve we can never fully capture someone's life and document it because of that very reason.

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