Jacques Derrida remains the world's single most influential philosophical and literary theorist. He is also one of the most controversial and most complex. His own works and critical studies of his work proliferate, but where can a student, utterly new to Derrida start? Understanding Derrida is written as an introduction to the full range of Derrida's key ideas and influences. It brings together the world's leading authorities on Derrida, each writing a short, accessible essay on one central aspect of his work. Framed by a clear introduction and a complete bibliography of Derrida's publications in English, the essays systematically analyse one aspect of Derrida's work, each one includes a quick summary of Derrida's books which have addressed this theme, guiding the student towards a direct engagement with Derrida's texts. The essays cover language, metaphysics, the subject, politics, ethics, the decision, translation, religion, psychoanalysis, literature, art, and Derrida's seminal relationship to other philosophers, namely Husserl, Heidegger, Levinas, Hegel and Nietzsche.
Jack Reynolds is a Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at La Trobe University, Australia and author of Merleau-Ponty and Derrida: Intertwining Embodiment and Alterity (Ohio UP, 2004) and Understanding Existentialism (Acumen, 2006) and co-editor of Understanding Derrida (Continuum, 2004). Jonathan Roffe is Convenor of the Melbourne School of Continental Philosophy. He is co-editor of Understanding Derrida (Continuum 2004)