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Response Paper on Post Structuralism

  • Date Submitted: 01/03/2014 04:55 AM
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Response Paper on Post Structuralism
The idea of meaninglessness that is tantamount to the belief of Post structuralism came into being with the ‘age without reason’, otherwise known as the post- modern era. While defying the possibility of a ‘structure’, it established a center of belief that there are only multiple interpretations, but never a meaning. A word may be interpreted in many ways; it may generate multiple sound images or represent a number of concepts, but until and unless all of them are congruent to each other, defining the ‘meaning’ of the word will always be impossible. If we take into consideration the ever famous example of ‘God’, the sign may lack a concrete signifier and/or a concrete signified which makes it impossible to be defined. There are indeed as many sound images (names) and concepts (beliefs) about God as there are functioning minds in the world, thus implying that what one may decide the ‘meaning’ of this word to be may never coincide with another’s. Hence the word’s meaning may never amount to anything as the sign of God for each person becomes a concept in her/his own mind which she/he may never be able to exactly convey to another.
In his essay Structure, Sign, and Play in the Discourse of Human Sciences (1970), Derrida plays with the words and their meanings deliberately, to assert his point. He implies ‘traces’ of other meanings in his statements, making his essay a Post-structuralistic read. He adds to Saussure’s theory of a sign being made up of a signifier and signified, by insisting that a sign would also contain ‘n more no. of signifieds’ and thus even the sign in question as perceived by more than one person may never be the same and only be a ‘trace’ of that sign, whatever it may really be, that is, if it can be ever determined.
Derrida is against the ‘logo-centric’ attitude of Western Philosophers but he does accept the simple fact that one may never be rid of it. He aims to dig up the history behind and deconstruct...


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