Skip to main content

On Different Uses of Difference Post-ontological Thought in Derrida, Deleuze, Luhmann, and Rorty

Buy Article:

$23.57 + tax (Refund Policy)

When drawing a distinction between classical philosophy of identity and contemporary philosophy of difference, we tend to overlook crucial differences between the various philosophies of difference. In this article, an argument in favour of focusing on the different uses that are made of difference is presented. Thus, it investigates four central theoreticians of difference, Derrida, Deleuze, Luhmann, and Rorty in order to show how they differ from each other in spite of the fact that they all opt for a post-ontological philosophy of difference. The investigation is undertaken with the help of two central distinctions. Firstly, the radical attack on discursive order as such (typical for Derrida and Deleuze) is opposed to the evolutionary attempt to give up classical conceptuality in order to settle on new territories (to be found in Luhmann and Rorty). Secondly, a distinction is drawn between the use of difference as the heart of a theoretical enterprise (as can be seen in Derrida and Luhmann) and the use of difference for pragmatic purposes only (shared by Deleuze and Rorty). In conclusion, it is suggested that the four philosophies of difference are used as different means for different purposes. Keywords are: Philosophy of difference, constructivism, deconstruction, pragmatism, nomadology, systems theory.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2004

  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content