Vitale’s Response on Derrida

Yesterday, I made a quick comment on Vitale’s claim that Derrida was a “destructive” philosopher. Vitale has come back with a longer post on this:

To quote Nietzsche, one must stand a rung down. And stay there long enough to build. One cannot simply keep moving, or one will dismantle any structure one wants to create. This position, while ultimately safe and unassailable, does not, I think, work at the speed of the world. The world moves slow. We need to articulate positions into full systems, rather than take a temporary strategic position one term at a time, then move on. We need to construct, create, and build, to delude ourselves, for a time, that all we say does not ultimately unweave itself as soon as we say it.

Otherwise, why say anything? To be a bit Deleuzian here, because I think it’s worth still believing in the world.

One would need to read his whole post to get the gist. The first thing I would note is that, given Vitale and Bryant’s back-and-forth last week about Object Oriented Ontology, it’s nice to see a place of agreement, since Ian Bogost, Graham Harman, and Levi Bryant made similar claims at earlier this year (though he has recently taken up Derrida in more substantial–or I guess less substantialist—ways). I won’t comment much more here, since I don’t wish to re-open a weird debate that happened on other blogs last year.

But I would say that the idea that Derrida “only” dealt with texts is a strange anachronistic claim to see made by Vitale. (See this reply to Bryant on this point, though I should note that Bryant’s view seems to have shifted since this post.)

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