A political philosophy that argues for the primacy of the community over the individual. As a description of political life, communitarians argue that human beings are necessarily social animals, and that their sense of self-identity, their goals and values are constituted through their participation in a common culture and language. A more normative approach would argue in addition that there are certain goods that can be enjoyed only collectively, so that the proper task of politics is to reinforce and develop communal bonds and citizens' awareness of their dependence upon and duty to the community.
See Aristotle; Durkheim; MacIntyre; Oakeshott; Taylor.
An approach to literary criticism and cultural analysis that is primarily derived from the work of Derrida. While Derrida insists that 'deconstruction' cannot be defined, so that it cannot be formulated in terms of a set of methodological rules independently of a particular analysis, at the heart of deconstruction one can identify a concern to challenge the certainties of structuralism. Where structuralism seeks to explicate the meaning of signs in terms of the opposition between two signs within a system (e.g. culture-nature; writing-speech; reason-emotion), deconstruction questions the priority or supposed superiority of one sign over the other, and thus seeks to demonstrate the instability of the opposition. Deconstruction thereby questions the very limits of language.
See De Man; Derrida.