Wednesday, February 8, 2017

a reception of derrida


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?
https://newhumanist.org.uk/articles/5143/derrida-vs-the-rationalists

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.

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