Jacques Derrida (; French: [ʒak dɛʁida]; born Jackie Élie Derrida; 15 July 1930 – 9 October 2004) was an Algerian-born French philosopher. He developed a philosophical approach that came to be known as deconstruction, which he utilized in numerous texts, and which was developed through close readings of the linguistics of Ferdinand de Saussure and Husserlian and Heideggerian phenomenology. He is one of the major figures associated with post-structuralism and postmodern philosophy.
During his career, Derrida published more than 40 books, together with hundreds of essays and public presentations. He had a significant influence on the humanities and social sciences, including philosophy, literature, law, anthropology, historiography, applied linguistics, sociolinguistics, psychoanalysis, architecture, and political theory.
His work retains major academic influence throughout the United States, continental Europe, South America and all other countries where continental philosophy has been predominant, particularly in debates around ontology, epistemology (especially concerning social sciences), ethics, aesthetics, hermeneutics, and the philosophy of language. In most of the Anglosphere, where analytic philosophy is dominant, Derrida's influence is most presently felt in literary studies due to his longstanding interest in language and his association with prominent literary critics from his time at Yale. He also influenced architecture (in the form of deconstructivism), music, art, and art criticism.
Particularly in his later writings, Derrida addressed ethical and political themes in his work. Some critics consider Speech and Phenomena (1967) to be his most important work. Others cite: Of Grammatology (1967), Writing and Difference (1967), and Margins of Philosophy (1972). These writings influenced various activists and political movements. He became a well-known and influential public figure, while his approach to philosophy and the notorious abstruseness of his work made him controversial.