Derrida on being

Heidegger was suspicious of Greek philosophers and their tradition of privileging the present participle of Being meaning a presence of Being. Haven’t we in out interpretation of Being privileged a modality of time that is the present? The presence of the present. And as soon as one is suspicious of this privilege of the presentness of the present, this privilege of interpreting Being as a presence of the present, of the now, are there not serious consequences that follow this desire for the present, the desire to interpret Being as presence? This is the question Heidegger formulated in his own way, and I tried to reinscribe, to displace, to reinscribe in a different terrain or corpus, in texts Heidegger didn’t interrogate. Everything that I wrote about the trace in writing–which is itself the very condition of non-presence of the present–says that in order to access the present, as such, there must be an experience of the trace; a rapport to something else, to the Other. Sometimes to something other than Being, to the Other past, the Other future, or to the Other in general, but to an Other that does not appear as the present or presence. …

…And so, once the question itself is interrogated in this way, then comes the question of the present, that I’ve just mentioned, followed by the work on what I want to call trace, writing. Not just writing in the sense of what one writes on paper or a computer, but in everything there is the trace, there is the experience of a return to something else, a return to the other, of being returned to another present, past, future. A different type of temporality that’s even older than the past, or a to-come beyond the future. The past and the future are like another present; a past-present and a future-present. I want to try to think of a past or a coming to be that is not just a modified present, not future presents of past presents, but a different experience with regard to the past or the future, and this takes place via a rapport with the Other, in general, or Others.

Derrida – What comes before the question? –

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