What is Deconstruction?

(Looking for philosopher Jacques Derrida’s critique of the relationship between text and meaning? You might want to start here. Or stay here; it’s way more fun!)

The basis for Deconstruction is an urge that lives in all of us. People like to take things apart. We all do it, for various reasons.

There’s trivial forms of Deconstruction, born of necessity, we all perform on a daily basis. We peel bananas and oranges for sustenance, and take the cap off our toothpaste to clean our teeth -some people put it back on afterwards, but that’s Reconstruction and beyond the scope of this site.

On another end of the Deconstruction spectrum, there’s people who deconstruct for science. Biologists dissect plants and animals. Geneticists pull apart DNA and physicists collide atoms to see what’s inside -and then maintain that the particles they find are realy the smallest ones there are, ones that really cannot be divided further, which I think is rather silly.

Then there’s countless people making a living by taking things apart. Professional Deconstructionists. They repair your car, or reverse engineer the competition’s latest innovations in order to copy them.

And then there’s the seemingly pointless kind of Deconstruction that most of us have at some point in their lives engaged in: taking apart an everyday object, often a pen. It’s often born from boredom or neurotic tendencies, but may also be driven by curiosity.

And that’s what it’s all about: curiosity.