Thursday, 14 June 2007

Deconstruction: Supplement, originary lack, and invagination

The word supplement is taken from the philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau, who defined it as a thing which is not essential, it is extra to another thing which is complete in itself. It is not directly connected with what I started this search for, but it has a potential for driving you into another post.
Another aspect that intrigued me though, is; whether it defines the form of my exposition. Am I using deconstruction myself? Without being aware of? The whole thing appears to me as a waste of time. Though you do not know. May be through their studies they manage to shed light into some concepts. It is their use of words for an even finer description. Discriminating even deeper between neighbouring concepts.

Still I have to think about the urgency of that current task. Abstract!!, for the sake of progress or continue rambling for the sake of rambling.

"an inessential extra added to something complete in itself." According to Derrida, Western thinking is characterized by the "logic of supplementation," which is actually two apparently contradictory ideas. From one perspective, a supplement serves to enhance the presence of something which is already complete and self-sufficient. Thus, writing is the supplement of speech, Eve was the supplement of Adam, and masturbation is the supplement of "natural sex".

But simultaneously, according to Derrida, the Western idea of the supplement (there is the idea of deconstruction, taking it a little bit further, not satisfied with what is said and the explanation offered, employ other meanings too, meanings derived from other contexts and applying them in the current context. So, therefore in this case, applies the idea from the thing the supplement exists for, meaning that a thing that has a need of a supplement can not be complete by itself. In order to be complete it requires the supplement too) has within it the idea that a thing that has a supplement cannot be truly "complete in itself." If it were complete without the supplement, it shouldn't need, or long-for, the supplement. The fact that a thing can be added-to to make it even more "present" or "whole" (would the use of the word “whole” be significant? Is it specific or non-specific? In the sense of the whole as more than the sum of its parts?) that means that there is a hole (which Derrida called an originary lack) and the supplement can fill that hole. The metaphorical opening of this "hole" Derrida called "invagination." From this perspective, the supplement does not enhance something's presence, but rather underscores its absence.

Thus, what really happens during supplementation is that something appears from one perspective to be whole, complete, and self-sufficient, with the supplement acting as an external appendage. However, from another perspective, the supplement also fills a hole within the interior of the original "something." Thus, the supplement represents an indeterminacy between externality and interiority.


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