Sunday, October 03, 2004


Thrilled to see that Gary Sauer-Thompson, at Philosophical Conversations, has turned his attention to Derrida's critique of Heidegger. Sauer-Thompson writes:
As I understand it what Heidegger called 'Platonism' or 'metaphyics' or 'onto-theology' Derrida calls 'the metaphysics of presence' or 'logocentrism' (or, occasionally, 'phallogocentrism'). Derrida pretty much repeats Heidegger's claim that this metaphysics constitutes the core of Western culture. Both see the influence of the traditional binary oppositions as infecting all areas of life and thought, including literature and the criticism of literature. So Derrida entirely agrees with Heidegger that the task of the thinker is to twist free of these oppositions, and of the forms of intellectual and cultural life which they structure.

However, Derrida does not think that Heidegger succeeded in twisting free. Hence his critical stance to Heidegger. He does so by reversing Plato's (and Heidegger's) preference for the spoken over the written word.

At the risk of sounding like my grasp on these issues is any surer (it is certainly not), and more importantly for the sake of being difficult, doesn't Derrida do more than merely invert this traditional hierarchy between the spoken and written word? To the extent that it is possible to speak of a technics of deconstruction, this would seem to me a crucial observation: Derrida does not merely overturn one hierarchy to replace it with another; rather he insists on the radical aporias, the irresolvable contradictions that call for negotiation.

On an entirely other note, just out of curiosity have the sidebar links disappeared for anyone else viewing this blog? And in case you missed it, here is Georgie digging his own grave, although it's unlikely to so happen twice. And, well, according to Aljazeera, even Dumbo can now forget about Poland.

Poetics of Decay, for all those looking, can now be found at Side Effects. Also, Unquote is moving to papercoversrock, and Infinite Thought has suddenly disappeared...?

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