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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The ethics of writing : Deconstruction and Pedagogy Trifonas, Peter Pericles


Converging on that which pertains to educational theory and philosophy in the corpus of Jacques Derrida, the specificity of detail to be found in its rereading that follows, illustrates, by example, how the textuality-based machinations of deconstruction can offer a profound resistance to the instruments of domination embedded within the methodico-institutional praxeology of teaching-learning. Furthermore, how it can provide an effective manner for undoing the ethical substrata reinforcing the politics of educational theory and practice that suffuse the discursive gradients of concepts such as "freedom," "truth," "reason," or "humanity," and so on with ideological significance. To examine this thematization of the ethico-political focus of deconstruction with respect to issues of educational theory and practice in general, the "philosophico-methodological" approach I take relies, more or less, on an actively interpretative instance of the moment of reading as writing. That is, the "formativity" of the textual production is attuned to the complexity of the thinking-through and working-out, a thinking-workingthrough- out, of the act of meaning-making itself. Respecting the "exigencies" of a classical protocol of reading, the modality of the writing—its philosophical emphasis and style—integrates and establishes associative links to the terms of deconstruction by forcing reflection upon the objectifiable values of the meaning of itself, attempting to come to an understanding of the significance of Derrida's texts for actualizing a positive transformation of the institutional ground of pedagogy. Resisting the telos of decidability at the threshold of its own sense, the study compels "the reader"—as it does "the writer"—to push at the outer limits of their own horizons of knowledge. The "results" of this working through of the Derridean instance of deconstruction are articulated as part of the "ec-centricities" of reading as writing, wherein, the ideas drawn from these texts are turned back upon themselves and "worked-over," thereby, extending the intertextual schematism of the ideological norms and frames of reference within which the psyche operates. What I show through and by example is, how the radical polemics of deconstruction has value for analyzing the ethical and political implications of pedagogical contingencies of theory and practice.

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