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Semantic Software Design by Eben Hewitt

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Chapter 3. Deconstruction and Design

Perhaps something has occurred in the history of the concept of structure that could be called an “event,” if this loaded word did not entail a meaning which it is precisely the function of structural—structuralist—thought to reduce or suspect...

Jacques Derrida, “Structure, Sign, and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences”

Introduction to Deconstruction

This section might appear “out there,” marginal, even inconsequential, as some distracting oddity in a book on software design. It could feel external to our purpose, irrelevant, too unfamiliar, discomforting.

This section serves as critical context for the practical tools and strategies you will learn in Parts II and III of this text. Is this section the marginalia, or is it the thing itself?

***

Cut To:

INT. A CONFERENCE BALLROOM AT JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY, BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, US, 1966 — NIGHT

The Scene: A conference for philosophy professors titled “The Language of Criticism and the Sciences of Man.”

Action!

Enter French philosopher JACQUES DERRIDA. He is 36, French-Algerian, soft-spoken, dressed in a suit rumpled from his recent travel from Paris. He steps to the podium to deliver his paper. He takes a sip of water. He speaks.

DERRIDA

(quietly) Perhaps something has occurred in the history of the concept of structure that could be called an “event,” if this loaded word did not entail a meaning which it is precisely the function of structural—structuralist—thought to reduce or ...

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