This essay appeared on Reddit recently:
Derrida vs. the rationalists: Derrida’s famously difficult thought is often dismissed as “post-modern” nonsense. Is there more to it than might first appear?
There are some interesting things in there, useful for our purposes. Some discussion of the foundation of post-structuralism (as a discourse critical of foundations), some discussion of Searle vs Derrida. All presented in a reasonably "cool" language. And this tricky little quote from Derrida himself:
Perhaps because I was beginning to know all too well not indeed where I was going, but where I had not so much arrived as simply stopped.My sense is that whereas post-structuralist deconstruction often ends up asking "where is this all headed?" -- invoking an eschatological mode -- on the other hand phatic studies seems to work in a protological mode: not insisting that meanings come from any specific source, but nevertheless asking where they come from.
(I mentioned "protology" - the theory of beginnings - in one earlier post here, remarks on "story".)
I could be barking up the wrong tree, but maybe phatic studies offers a "third way" that is quite different from either structuralism or post-structuralism.