Can anyone help me with the meaning of this sentence?

"For Derrida deconstruction is "to attempt an exit and a deconstruction without changing terrain, by repeating what is implicit in the founding concepts and the original problematic, by using against the edifice the instruments or stones available in the house"

I found the following text in this regard too but it does not help much either:

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  • Would you please add the sources of the texts in order to provide context?
    – Philip Klöcking
    Feb 2 '16 at 15:07
  • 1
    Derrida quote is from the book Margins Of Philosophy, Essay: The Ends of Man, Chapter: Reading Us, penultimate page. Feb 2 '16 at 15:29
  • This doesn't answer the question, but I detect an allusion to Heidegger here. Heidegger said, "Language is the house of being" ("Letter on Humanism", Basic Writings, 1978). Feb 2 '16 at 17:32

"Using against the edifice the instruments or stones available in the house" means developing or progressing a problem by analysis rather than contrarian argument.

For a simplistic example, in tacking the problematic stance: "God exists", the reactive contrarian argument is to (attempt to) grasp the opponent's concept and deny its existence with arguments from physics. In contrast, to deconstruct the problematic is use the tools at hand and ask what might be posited by the concepts "God" and/or "existence". A successful deconstruction moves the original problematic onto new terrain.

  • 1
    It seems possible to me this is also indicating the subversive dimension of such an analysis -- that a deconstructive methodology makes "empirical" use of what is "ready-to-hand" in a given institutional context (language, etc) against that context -- so: entering a house and using materials you find there to disrupt architectural foundations.
    – Joseph Weissman
    Feb 3 '16 at 19:57
  • "Subversive" in both the destructive sense and the literal sense of turning (upside-down) from underneath, (L. sub-vertere). Feb 4 '16 at 10:17

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