Sunday, January 27, 2013

Derrida, Let's Get Real

Let’s Get Real 

What is reality? Is everyone’s reality the same? Is reality even real? These are questions which I have studied in philosophy courses, but I have yet to fully understand. When I initially read about the concepts, it seemed to be mean men getting revenge from beyond the grave by babbling about what is not “reality” and talking in circles. I could imagine them laughing at us for still reading their theories. However, they have either pulled me to the dark side or there actually is a method to their madness. Derrida purposes that signifiers get their meaning because of the differences one signifier has from other signifiers. Therefore, statements which list what signifiers are not will sometimes have more meaning than it seems. It is as though we must start with everything and then slowly narrow down the meaning through differences. This may seem pointless for some signifiers. For instance, one might be frustrated if I were to define a tree by everything it is not.  It is not a carrot, a chair, a baby, a liquid, a ball, a piano, a bush, and many other things. On the other hand, with concepts such as “reality” this seems to be the easiest way to go about defining it. It’s still frustrating and confusing, but the frustration and confusion seems a little more worth it. Nevertheless, the question remains, what is reality? I am not sure if there is a real answer. At this point all I can say is, “Reality is not radically contingent, not a play of forces without order, or a series of accidents.” 

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