Structures of representation : metaphor and mimesis in Jacques Derrida's Glas
This thesis is an explication of Glas, a text which reflects Derrida's profound respect for the Hegelian dialectic, a structure in which each part has and knows its place. But Glas also works to expose a fundamental contamination between Hegelian conceptuality and those elements of textuality which the dialectic seeks to subordinate to, or expel from, itself. One such area of contamination is that of representation. For while Hegel determines representation as (the) outside of truth, Derrida demonstrates that this very determination is in fact structured and instituted by those `outsides. ' One such `outside' is that of family relations, which Hegel utilises as a metaphor for the relations of the dialectic in general. The question Derrida raises is whether this recourse to the family metaphor is a matter of pedagogy and exemplarity, or whether it conforms to a more fundamental necessity? This question forms the focus of Chapters One and Two of this thesis, which explore Derrida's reading of the Hegelian family as both a moment on the path to absolute knowledge and as a metaphor whose capacities disrupt and re-write the concept of metaphoricity. However Derrida's question also points to a more fundamental problematic which Chapter Three will address. For what is it that determines and sanctions this opposition of inside and outside, that underpins these relations of production, of metaphoricity and representation? The answer to this is, I believe, mimesis. By transporting Derrida's understanding of mimesis into the context of the Hegelian family and Glas, it becomes possible to see the crucial role that this concept plays in the Hegelian dialectic, a role which also points the way to a philosophy that is not bound always to repeat the same, but which is open to chance and necessity, and to the possibility of writing philosophy differently.