Recommend to your Librarian

Derrida's Voice and Phenomenon

Vernon W. Cisney

eBook (ePub) i
eBook (PDF) i

The essential toolkit for anyone reading this seminal Derrida text for the first time

Published in 1967, Voice and Phenomenon marked a crucial turning point in Derrida’s thinking: the culmination of a 15-year-long engagement with the phenomenological tradition. It also introduced the concepts and themes that would become deconstruction.

Show more

About the Author

Vernon W. Cisney is Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies and Philosophy at Gettysburg College. He is the author of Deleuze and Derrida: Difference and the Power of the Negative (Edinburgh University Press, 2018) and Derrida’s Voice and Phenomenon: An Edinburgh Philosophical Guide (Edinburgh University Press, 2014). He is the co-editor of Between Foucault and Derrida (Edinburgh University Press, 2016); The Way of Nature and the Way of Grace: Philosophical Footholds on Terrence Malick’s Tree of Life (Northwestern University Press, 2016); and Biopower: Foucault and Beyond (University of Chicago Press, 2015).


A masterful guide… Nothing about VP [Voice and Phenomenon] is 'easy' reading, but with Cisney's help it at least becomes manageable for the first-time reader… As a scholar in the field, I found the book helpful and at times even enlightening. But more importantly, while I can't say that my students found the book (or VP) easy, I can confidently say that, after reading Cisney, they understood the general argument of VP, something I do not think they would have been able to do without his guidance.

- Neal De Roo, Dordt College, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

Cisney responds well to the challenge of making a very difficult and controversial thinker accessible to beginners, and of offering them the means to follow Derrida’s own advice to the neophyte to 'always, always "venture beyond the beginning"' (Derrida 2000, 108). Perhaps most importantly, by avoiding both the adulation and the scorn with which Derrida’s thought has been received in the Anglo-American world, Cisney also opposes the caricature of deconstruction that both extremes seem to legitimate in treating it as a series of interpretive 'techniques' that are voluntarily applied ad hoc to written texts in order to make them mean anything whatsoever. By taking Derridean deconstruction seriously as a philosophical position, Cisney’s commentary on Voice and Phenomenon presents a refreshing alternative to this image of Derrida’s thought.

- Matthew Wood, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Symposium: The Canadian Journal of Philosophy

Inspection Copy

You must log in or register to request an inspection copy.

Also in this series