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(2012) English and American studies, Stuttgart, Metzler.


Martin Middeke , Timo Müller

pp. 197-203

Much like postmodernism in its relation to modernism, poststructuralism was both a critical revision and a radicalization of structuralist thought (cf. section II.1.4). Its most influential proponent, Jacques Derrida, argued that the crucial contribution of structuralism was not its claim that all human thought and activity follows structural patterns. What Derrida found much more important was the insight that no structure has ever succeeded in explaining its central organizing principle, its "center," in its own terms. No religion can explain its god, for example, and no Enlightenment philosopher arrived at a satisfactory definition of reason. After structuralism, Derrida suggested, one can no longer suppress the thought that such centers are mere constructs whose role is to fend off thoughts that threaten to subvert the structure—thoughts such as "God is dead," or "unreasonable statements can be true."

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-476-00406-2_8

Full citation:

Middeke, M. , Müller, T. (2012)., Poststructuralism/deconstruction, in M. Middeke, T. Müller, C. Wald & H. Zapf (eds.), English and American studies, Stuttgart, Metzler, pp. 197-203.

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