Social Land Ownership
Land Reform Act Part 2
Finding mental space for movement
Source: Richard Osborne (1992)
Philosophy for Beginners;
Writers and Readers; ISBN 086316157x
"Like many overarching philosophical systems structuralism seemed to promise
everything and yet not quite to deliver. Everything became so pre-determined
that it was hard to find space for philosophical movement. The attack on the
notion of the fixity of the sign, and on grand theories, became known as
|"Jacques Derrida was one of the first to blow up structuralism's pretensions to
have answered all existing questions. Nothing, it seemed, was as solid as
structuralists had imagined.
Hidden structures that actually determined the nature of things were only
metaphysical constructs as far as Derrida was concerned
Derrida exploded the
notion that the sign was fixed by the speaking subject and pointed to the
endlessly deferred play of meaning in language." (p178)
to destabilise the myth of fixed meaning and to highlight the
irreducible excess of language, the endless play that undermined
all texts and all unitary systems.
"Derrida and others
have said that all notions of producing philosophical
'truths' are mistaken, misguided and bewildering.
Derrida thinks about the way
concepts have been used historically, and how philosophy pretends that there are
absolute truths which turn out to be nothing of the sort. This unmaking of the
pretensions of philosophy is terribly scandalous and sends traditional
philosophers running for their logical principles.
Derrida says that (power words) are based on (pairs of opposites) that suppress
certain terms and privilege others - like 'male' and 'female'. Rather than
telling the truth philosophy constructs meanings by suppressing, excluding or
marginalizing other terms . He sets out to 'deconstruct' the history of
philosophy in order to see what was repressed, hidden or marginalized.
Feminism often takes up this position in relation to thinking about how
masculine philosophy has precisely repressed what it means to be 'women', or
other. If you look at the things that male philosophers have said, or more
importantly not said, then you can see what Derrida is getting at." (p179)
It can be
asked Where has philosophy and science got us to at the
moment? and the answer seems to be in a huge environmental and
|"There are many strands of post-structuralism (and post-modernism)
Post-structuralism is, philosophically speaking, a broad church, but no one
agrees on where the walls are, or even whether they exist.
Apart from dismissing the whole of Western Philosophy since Plato's grandfather,
calling it rationalistic rubbish, post-structuralism isn't as radical as it
sounds. It is, however, very relevant in thinking about the peculiarities of the
modern world, where good old-fashioned cause and effect, truth and falsehood,
right and wrong, have gone the same way as the horse drawn cart.
Philosophical rightness is now seen as part of a discourse of dominance
exercised by Euro-centric males over subordinated groups, like women, blacks,
gays and the Third World as a whole.
Post-structuralism opens up the possibility of talking about how knowledge and
power go hand in hand;
the only question is where they walk to." (p180)
Third Enlightenment - (sister site)