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Deconstructing Derrida

August 25, 1991

There is something that your article on Jacques Derrida and his deconstructionist philosophy ("Deconstructing Jacques Derrida," July 21) seems to overlook:

What we call "spirituality" often means the feeling of joy we experience when we discover to our surprise that there are helpful, beneficial and supportive elements in the external world. Deconstruction ignores or deprecates this aspect of our world, focusing instead on the unreliable, the ambiguous and the indifferent.

Human life could not exist without the supportive, the congenial and the trustworthy. It does not help us to reinterpret external reality as basically selfish, exploitative and deceitful.

The next wave in philosophy will be the rediscovery of joy as we cure ourselves of the propensity for malignant economic growth and convert to a stable and sustainable existence. Deconstructionism may be regarded as a symptom of, or tool for, this transformation.

IRVING LAWRENCE SELK

Los Angeles

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