Johann Hari explains what was wrong with Derrida. Hari quotes Dale Peck, who says: 'This is a tradition that has systematically divested itself of any ability to comment on anything other than its own inability to comment on anything.'
Which pretty much sums up my quarrel with deconstructivism: it is too extreme, too polarized, even though it claims to abhor 'conflict' in language, and therefore paralysing to rational thought and the progress of science.
(I am so concerned with this since I have been considering to start studying philosophy for a long time. Yet I've been unable to find a university where I can spend most of my time studying real philosophers, rather than the prose of nihilistic people. If there are any people that studied at the UvA, please mail me, as they have an accelerated program that really appeals to me, except the description of the course in culture philosophy, which looks like it was taken from Elsewhere.org.)
I like Hari's conclusion:
'Buried in Derrida's philosophy there are small nuggets of insight: that the structure of language determines our thought much more than we understood before Wittgenstein, and that grand narratives are inherently dangerous unless their exponents admit that they are partial and always doomed to be (at best) necessary fictions. Derrida could have drawn the sane conclusions from this at the start of his career: that we should show a greater degree of scepticism both toward language and narratives than before.'
In other words, and to quote another philosopher: 'Complete abstinence is easier than perfect moderation.'
So in a sense, Derrida went too far in his Twelve Step Program.