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What does Derrida mean by "transcendental signified" and "transcendental...

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copland | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Honors

Posted April 10, 2012 at 2:09 PM via web

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What does Derrida mean by "transcendental signified" and "transcendental signifier?"

What does Derrida mean by "transcendental signified" and "transcendental signifier?" 

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rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted April 10, 2012 at 7:01 PM (Answer #2)

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By "transcendental signified," Derrida meant a concept that is universally true, across cultures, that we can build a philosophy or an intellectual system upon. This might be, for example, masculinity. By "transcendental signifier," he means basically something that enables us to express or understand that concept, like, for example, the phallus. However, Derrida doubted that the transcendental signified existed, in other words, that masculinity, to use my example, could be boiled down to one universal attribute that makes it what it is across cultures. Derrida's work is notoriously difficult to understand, and I have linked to a couple of summaries that might help.





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