Encyclopedia of the Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy

Living Edition
| Editors: Mortimer Sellers, Stephan Kirste


  • Johan van der WaltEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6730-0_75-2


Deconstruction is a mode of philosophical thinking with which the French philosopher Jacques Derrida broke away from the traditional and dominant ways in which texts have been read and understood in the history or Western civilisation. Instead of focusing on the “ideal content” of meaning that texts evidently aim to convey and instead of engaging with in a debate with the author regarding this “ideal content” of the text, Derrida focused on the way in which the “material” organization of texts complicates, relatives, destabilizes, and even renders contradictory their ideal content or meaning.

What was Derrida’s aim with this new approach to reading and understanding texts? The brief description of Derridean deconstruction and its reception in legal theory that follows responds to this question in four steps. The first section, “Key Themes of Derridean Deconstruction,” briefly explains a number of the key concepts that Derrida developed in his early work. The second...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of LuxembourgLuxembourg CityLuxembourg

Section editors and affiliations

  • Patricia Mindus
    • 1
  • Sebastian Andres Reyes Molina
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden
  2. 2.Department of PhilosophyUppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden