Différance

Entertainment / Literature / Différance: Jacque Derrida's French term (untranslatable in English), which puns on the verb difféer meaning 'to differ' and 'to defer,' which he uses as an antonym for logocentrism (Cuddon 246). Basically, Derrida's starting spot is the linguist Sausure's theory about the arbitrary nature of language (i.e., that the combination of phonetic sounds we use a 'sign' has no logical connection with the object it refers to). Derrida then pushes this idea to its logical extreme, 'that to differ or differentiate is also to defer, postpone or withhold [meaning]' (246). Thus absolute meaning continuously and endlessly remains one step removed from the system of signs/words/symbols we use to discuss meaning. Cf. Deconstruction.

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