Nothing is a deconstructionist nihilist. That's his whole troll here (or it was until he began to fall into -- purported old habits).
And probably you need a brush-up on the origins of "well worn postmodern criticism."
First of all, I'm basically giving you a dumbed down version of my own reading of Foucault. Trying to avoid his use of neologisms.
Secondly, Derrida's critique of the metaphysics of presence is precisely aligned with my position, I'm not sure why you think otherwise. What I have been grinding at are the historical realists that engage this metaphysics. It's this notion that an explanation of King Tut's bones makes King Tut present is exactly
the issue. King Tut is nowhere to be seen on Earth except as a skeleton.
That's the profound distinction I am trying to make. Yes our lives involve the past but that relationship is only discursive. That's why confusing discourse's time (where King Tut lives on) with our
time is a grave mistake. That is what historical realism confuses, and I reject it because they are both radically separated, its a category mistake to say otherwise.
That said, the historian, if such is against realism, handles in what is meaningful to us in historiography, the texts that tell us how we got from point A to B and where we should go. That's why an event like the Holocaust is meaningful (it answers the questions I brought up in my prior post, because they matter to us), and worrying about its ontological condition is merely a distraction.
And Porter, you know Derrida would be appalled that we would follow some sort of Derridean basic principles. I don't give a damn if my own enterprises using his thought, and other philosophers, disregards what scholars view them. I'm not at all interested in what scholars use their thoughts for scholarly purposes. In fact I'm sure Derrida would have greatly appreciated a view that would make academicians outraged!
I feel free to use the work of philosophers any way that I want, that's what philosophers are for. What matters is if my interpretation of the writings of philosophers is more enriching and enhancing than some correct scholarly sense. That's not to say I don't have any respect or appreciation with what is conducted in the Ivory Tower, it simply has no use to me.
So let's leave academic philosophy to academics. I don't want to admire philosophy, I want to use it.