By Jacques Derrida
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Additional resources for Positions
Why must it negotia te these effects, includ ing the effect of this why itself? Why does strategy refer to the play of the strateg em rather than to the hierarchical organi zation of the means and the ends? etc. )' what, then, is the "strate gic" necess ity that require s the occasio nal mainte nance of an old name in order to launch a new concept? With all the reserva tions impose d by this classical distinc tion ,betwe en the name and the concep t, one might begin to describ e this operat ion.
I can be reproached for being insistent, even monotonous, but it is difficult for me to see how a concept of history as the "history of meaning" can be attributed to me. Truthfully, at the root of the misunderstanding might be the following: I am constituted as the proprietor of what I analyze, to wit, a metaphysical concept of history as ideal, teleological history, etc. As this concept is much more generally extended than is usually believed, and certainly far beyond the philosophies labeled "idealist," I am very wary of the concept of history; and the marks of this wariness, which doubtless we will have occasion to come back to, may have provoked the misunderstandings of a first reading.
This explains why, although I have formulated many reservations about the "metaphysical" concept of history, I very often use the word "history" in order to reinscribe its force 31 and in order to produce another concept or conceptual chain of "history": in effect a "monumental, stratified, contradictory" history; a history that also implies a new logic of repetition and the trace, for it is difficult to see how there could be history without it. Nevertheless we must recognize that the concept of history, by the force of the system of predicates I just mentioned, can always be reappropriated by metaphysics.