Serious Play: The Ethical-Political Horizon of Derrida

Richard Bernstein (1992) ‘Serious Play: The Ethical-Political Horizon of Derrida,’ in Richard Bernstein (ed.) The New Constellation: The Ethical-Political Horizons of Modernity/Postmodernity, (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press): pp.172-98.


“Jacques Derrida is perhaps the most controversial writer of our time. There are those who think that he is a clever intellectual fraud, a ‘prophet’ of nihilism, a whimsical destroyer of any ‘canons’ of rationality, a self-indulgent scribbler who delights in irresponsible word play, punning, parody, and even self-parody. But there are those who hail him as the most significant ‘philosopher’ (or anti-philosopher) to emerge in France since the Second World War, and who see him as a David battling against Goliath. With wit, barbs, and deft swift movements, he is the slayer of the tradition of Western metaphysics and logocentrism.”

The MIT Press