Derrida’s Zusage – Response and Appeal

Samuel Weber*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although Derrida himself rejected the Saussurian notion of ‘signifier’ and replaced it with ‘trace’ or ‘mark’ this essay argues for the continued relevance of ‘signifier’ for and to the Derridean project of ‘deconstructing’. A radical reading of ‘signifier’ as undertook by Derrida himself in Of Grammatology can help demonstrate the power of certain Derridean readings such as that, in Of Spirit, which seeks to problematise the Heideggerian approach to questioning as ‘the piety of thought’. By exposing certain connotations of the German word, Zusage – ‘speaking to’ – the essay seeks to bring out the affective dimension in Derrida’s deconstructive reading of Heidegger and more generally in the deconstructive project.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-85
Number of pages19
JournalDerrida Today
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 2023


  • iterability
  • questioning
  • response/responsiveness
  • Signifying
  • Zusage (Appeal)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy
  • Sociology and Political Science


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