Derrida’s reconfiguration of phenomenology

Chung Chin-Yi


In this survey of secondary sources on phenomenology I have located the problematic of an aporia that lies at its centre. Phenomenology has divided itself itself into transcendental idealism or empirical idealism and non-philosophy. In both these incarnations of phenomenology, Husserl’s transcendental idealism and the radical empiricism in the philosophies of Heidegger, Levinas, Ricoeur, Blanchot and Merleau-Ponty, lies a form of theoretical essentialism and blindness to the meta-condition that structures phenomenology. It is differance, the space or interval between the transcendental and empirical which conditions and produces both the transcendental and empirical through the retrospective movement of the trace. Derrida’s contribution to phenomenology, as I will argue in this paper, is his discovery of the quasi-transcendental, or the interval between the transcendental and empirical which determines phenomenology.

Keywords: Transcendental; Empirical; Phenomenology; Quasi-transcendental

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