Name: Jacques Derrida
Time Period: 1930 - Present
Brief Description: Jacques Derrida is a modern philosopher / linguist. He places a great deal of emphasis on language and the power that words have. He used and explored such linguistic techniques as ambiguity, puns, and metaphors and did so with a non-tradtional approach. Though his works may seem difficult to understand for most readers, it is said that he introduced the concept of deconstructionism which is a form of analysis and he challenged every truth he thought was viewed as definitive such as God, truth, science, etc. This is not too difficult of a concept to understand, as it has increased in popularity. The idea is basically to question everything and accept nothing without thought. Derrida also took note of the linguistic absurdities such as euphemisms, and pointed out just how absurd and foolish they often were.
Current Relevance: Language is obviously a very important tool in society, and the continues emphasis on communication is becoming more apparent as there are more phones, mass media devices, pagers and other methods of reaching someone as well as the slew of "how-to" books on how to be a better speaker and listener (i.e, Dale Carnegie books and courses). The word, both written and spoken, is taken so seriously that it is the primary means of evidence in the court of law. There is no doubt that language is a powerful tool. It is also important to learn another thing from Jacques Derrida, and that is to think about things and question them before accepting them, and then after you have thought about it and questioned it, feel free to accept it. But no not blindly accept other people's ideas without entertaining it yourself first.
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