chapter  25
DECONSTRUCTION
ByVICKI KIRBY
Pages 11

Deconstruction’s disciplinary home is conventionally found in those disciplines that profess special expertise in studying the complex structures of rhetoric, logic, discourse, and representation – in sum, language itself. Such approaches in the humanities are conventionally defined against the sciences, inasmuch as they question objectivity, emphasize the subjective dimension of interpretation, and turn the object under investigation into a textual or discursive artifact. Given this emphasis on the vagaries of interpretation, it is not surprising that deconstruction’s relationship with science has been an uneasy and even notorious one. In the myriad publications that came to be known as the “Science Wars” and then the “Sokal hoax,” Jacques Derrida’s name and references to deconstruction were routinely associated with scientific ignorance and rhetorical obfuscation. As Arkady Plotnitsky describes the denigration of deconstruction at this time, Derrida’s thought “figures most prominently and, again, nearly uniquely throughout these discussions” (Plotnitsky 1997).1