Fish on Deconstruction, Pt 2

Apparently around 600 people commented on Stanley Fish’s earlier article on French deconstruction, so he has posted a response. Here he argues that deconstruction only disrupts the idea of a theory of knowledge (epistemology), not the ideas we use on a day-to-day basis. Deconstruction, for Fish, is apolitical, because “theories of knowledge” don’t really contribute to politics anyway, so whether you have one or not doesn’t really matter. His argument is basically pragmatic, and he tips his hand when he starts quoting Dewey. In essence, this is a recapitulation of Richard Rorty’s thesis in Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature. That Rorty went on to work with Continental philosophers gives some validity to the deconstruction-pragmatist connection Fish is trying to make, but I wonder if Continentals would really accept a pragmatist label.


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