Deconstruction is Justice

Jacques Derrida, famous for his idea of deconstruction, stats that deconstruction is justice. First, we must look at the idea behind deconstruction, which defined in the book, states “Deconstruction is precisely a way to think about what is involved when ordinary flows of language are disrupted (and subsequent images of being reframed)” (Pavlich, 2011). Essential, language is and always has been based upon grammatology, which is to say that there has always been a recognized pattern of how words and signs will relate to each other, creating conceptions that would be quite solid in foundation. Now, if we were to look at a statement, and then ‘deconstruct’ it to see what alternate meanings could come of it, we would understand where the idea of deconstruction comes from. It is to provide alternative meanings to statements that have already been made. This brings about the idea that words will mean something to every person, and sometimes one person can interpret a phrase in a way that was unintended by the creator.
In the eyes of Derrida, Law is absolute, in that it is a precise calculation. Justice on the other hand is not calculable, as there is no precise calculation of what justice is. Therefore, Derrida argues that deconstruction is justice, as justice is attained when one will take something known, and try to manipulate it to provide justice. I would agree with Derrida in that deconstruction is justice, as we are always in a constant struggle to find justice, and the way to find justice is application of law, and interpretation of those laws as they are written. For example, when a judge is overseeing a case, it is not always a cut and dry application of the law. The law has to be applied specifically to the case, and thus interpretations of the law are in the eye of the beholder, which in this case, would be the judge. Derrida’s third paradox, in which he states that you can never find justice in the present, it is something that one is reaching for, means that justice is not always clear and can be provided in an instant. It is something that we strive for and something that can sometimes take time. Interpreting, and therefore, ‘deconstructing’ laws so that they apply to cases to provide justice is a daily struggle, and we can see from creation of new laws or modification to current laws, that deconstruction is apparent and is happening today.

Pavlich, G. (2011). Law and Society Redefined. Ontario, Canada: Oxford


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One response to “Deconstruction is Justice

  1. I think that one of the best pieces of advice I can offer when it comes to making sense of deconstruction is that one should not approach deconstruction by attempting to define it – for two reasons. First, because it is a very difficult idea to encapsulate in a definition, and second, because the rejection (and pulling-apart, and re-combining) of fixed definitions is at the heart of deconstruction.
    You write:
    “deconstruction is justice, as justice is attained when one will take something known, and try to manipulate it to provide justice.”
    Could you explain what you mean by this?