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Derrida Vis-à-vis LacanInterweaving Deconstruction and Psychoanalysis$
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Andrea Hurst

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780823228744

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823228744.001.0001

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Sexual Difference

Sexual Difference

Chapter:
(p.237) 8 Sexual Difference
Source:
Derrida Vis-à-vis Lacan
Author(s):

Andrea Hurst

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fso/9780823228744.003.0009

A Lacanian account of sexual difference exemplifies the logic of différance. This chapter addresses a trouble that both Lacan and Derrida persistently grapple with: that of understanding difference in terms of binary oppositions. Some thinkers argue that this binary is a fundamental, undeconstructible bottom line that one cannot get beyond. The opposing view is that this binary opposition is as deconstructible as any other and should give way to an unregulated proliferation of differences. The former is assumed to be the Lacanian position (but not, of course, by Lacanians); the second is supposed to be the Derridean (but, again, not by Derrideans). There is, in other words, mutual misrecognition on both sides of this equation. Contrary to the aforementioned reading, it seems clear enough that Lacan's infamous claim concerning the sexual relation — namely, that it does not exist — offers a deconstruction of any conception of sexual difference as binary.

Keywords:   Jacques Lacan, Jacques Derrida, sexual difference, différance, binary oppositions, deconstruction

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