Saturday, November 14, 2009

Derrida Abstract

I know some of you have asked informally when I was going to post something about the Husserl and Derrida Seminar. I finally have a brief sense of the argument I will advance. Of course, this, like everything I do, is under a constant state of revision. Here's the current form:

Abstract: In this paper, I argue that the sign is not undermined by the co-contamination of expression or indication. Instead, they co-operate at nuanced levels in which expression is the “solitary of the soul” and indication is the level in which such expression requires an articulation to the mediated Other. In fact, we can reinscribe this motif of the distinction back into the entire overall ambition of Husserlian phenomenology. Such a reinscription will allow me to agree in part with Derrida that this distinction does inaugurate phenomenology, but the call of contamination of the sign is too quick. In La Voix et La Phénomène, Derrida confuses too quickly expression and indication as blurred contaminated senses, yet the essential distinction is an attempt to phenomenologically describe an experience that's content can only be articulated after it is undergone. I find this to be the aim of the Fifth Meditation. As such, I instantiate my claim in how we should take Fifth Meditation in CM as both an expression of the phenomenologist articulating how the other is given to me and simultaneously CM as expressing “in living speech also function” as indicating the content of this description to others.


Clark Goble said...

It seems to me your problem won't be to show that they cooperate but whether they always do. (That is to show the opposite movement can't happen) I think key to understanding Derrida is understanding that he always sees that sort of double movement at play. Thus, for example, his critique of Heidegger's sense of justice as a kind of joining or binding. Derrida opposes that, not because I think he sees Heidegger as totally wrong, but because there's also an other direction justice works. (I think Derrida might privilege that other sense a tad too much, but that's a different debate) My point is more that to critique Derrida here I don't think it's sufficient to show that they can cooperate because I think Derrida might well agree with that on some level.

Carbondale Chasmite said...


Derrida pays special attention to the abstractive reduction in both LI I, and CM 5th Meditation. In both these cases, these are first atypical instances of the phenomenological reduction in the first place. This is the first misunderstanding which makes Derrida critique them as an instance of all reductions when this is not the case in Husserl's philosophy. Secondly, given that these are generalized for all of phenomenology, expressive functioning of the sign is said to contain within its own possibility the very thing it wants to exclude, indicative function of signs. As such, each instance of expressive signs is also an example of indication. It is not that they are separate like Husserl wants them to be, and that they co-operate together and we should fall more in line with Husserl than Derrida. That's my point of contention, and it is a small one at that.

Derrida makes some serious exegetical errors concerning the Logical Investigations and Cartesian Meditations.