Jacques Derrida

Jacques Derrida Biography

Jacques Derrida - A Philosopher of Our Time

Jacques Derrida was born on July 15th 1930 into a Jewish family in Algeria.  Becoming enthralled with philosophy at a young age, Derrida read books by philosophers such as Nietzsche and Rousseau.  When Derrida became a teenager, he enrolled in the educational institution, Lycee Louis-le-Grand, in Paris, France.  After boarding school, he was accepted at École normale supérieure where he studied philosophy.  Gaining much respect and success in the philosophical world, Derrida began teaching his theories.  It was in 1966 at Johns Hopkins University, where he gave his lecture "Structure, Sign, and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences," that he started to gain international acclaim.  At age 34, Derrida began he 20 year teaching career at École normale supérieure.  It was during this time he traveled throughout the world promoting his philosophies.  He co-founded the Collège international de philosophi which provides its students with a standard of philosophical education that can not be found elsewhere.  Derrida has also written many books - Of Grammatology, The Gift of Death, Politics of Friendship, Writing and Difference, Dissemination, Glas, The Postcard, and Speech and Phenomena, just to name a few.  Derrida became well known for ideas of deconstruction.  In 1986, Derrida began his teaching career at the University of California.  While he was the Professor of Humanities at this college, he also taught classes at colleges such as Yale, NYU, and John Hopkins University.  Derrida was awarded doctorates by numerous colleges, as well honored with other prestigious awards including being inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  In 2002, Derrida released a documentary about his life entitled Derrida. Late on October 8th 2004, Derrida died from pancreatic cancer.

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