General Iterability: Derrida Grafting Science

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General Iterability:

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Derrida Grafting Science

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Derrida’s philosophical project commences with a retrograde reading of Edmund Husserl: his first major publication, Traduction et Introduction á L’Origine de la géométrie d’Edmund Husserl [1], appears in 1962 and is a veritable altercation and contretemps with what he in the 1974 Positions [2] describes as the “most modern, critical and vigilant form” of Western metaphysics [3], namely Husserlian transcendental phenomenology, this all the more pointedly as he will choose what is arguably one of Husserl’s latest texts, the 1936 “Die Frage nach dem Ursprung der Geometrie als intentional-historisches Problem.”

If in La voix et le phénomène: Introduction au problème du signe dans la phenomenology de Husserl[4] Derrida reads Husserl’s Logische Unteruschungen, it is only to state that Die Frage is no deviation and that it undertakes what opened in 1900-01, only even more radically. Already in that respect, by that gesture of retrospection, precisely by being rather reticent toward the origin and root of Husserl’s texere, Derrida’s Introduction strategically signals a decisive diversion from the master’s voice, a relationship that had its inception already in 1952 where his nascent interest in philosophy conflated with rereading Husserl.

Derrida’s rereading is a rereading, as witnessed e.g. in the 1968 lecture “Les fins de l’homme,” that certainly did not confluence to the contexts of the dominant anthropologistic and humanistic fashions in French post-war existentialism readings of Hegel, Heidegger, and Husserl; neither, however, was he under influence of Merleau-Ponty’s interpretations, which explains why he will not grant any unilateral privilege, as did Merleau-Ponty, to the Lebenswelt, history, and intersubjectivity of the later Husserl, that is to say, no systematic influence, then, if not that certain climate of Merleau-Ponty which looks for Husserl’s “unthought.” Nor did he confluence with the antihumanist upsurge surfacing that time. Derrida read otherwise, against any master’s voice. Husserl’s critique of anthropologism had gone completely unnoticed when Husserl first entered philosophy’s France; Derrida acknowledges already in 1954, in his master’s thesis Le probléme de la gènese dans la philosophie de Husserl, the strength of Husserl’s critique of transcendental no less than empirical anthropologism.

Still, what ignites Derrida’s is not humanism or related matters per se; his work interrogates foundational thinking and practices related to conceptions of, e.g., thought, truth, meaning, presence, form, origin, etc., or, to say it short: ‘logocentrism.’ Humanism, and a fortiori anthropologism, e.g., is but one local effect among numerous effects of a certain belief system, a certain axiology. In the Avertissement to Le problème de la gènese dans la philosophie de Husserl, a 1990 ex post facto comment on a 1954 text, Derrida acknowledges a systematic continuance in his work by reference to a stability of a law which, in its literal formulation in this very first work, “will never have ceased, since, to command all that what [he] has tried to demonstrate, as if a kind of idiosyncrasy was already negotiating, in its own way, with a necessity that would always surpass it and that [he] would have interminably to reappropriate.”[5]

Almost 40 years, in 1990, of the same experience of disruptions of presence: in the fracture, in dem Riss, in the caesura, what takes place is not of debate and adversaries inside philosophy—what would amount to a gigantomachia peri tès ousias, a battle of giants for the conquest of the presence—but a struggle of one inside, rather, one another, the other, the other in oneself, the other other in oneself, taking place at the borderlines which at the same time dis-/conjuncts philosophy and nonphilosophy, Husserl and Derrida,  breaking presence apart still making it possible. The battle of and for the present is necessarily contexed to an assumed proper but generally accessible past: what is present, what is truly present and presently true, can only come enter by way of already having locating the origin, an origin which always is of the past. The presence is the means through which to stabilize the teletube, the umbilical cord that traces us back, from which a nurse once cut us from: khōra. The battle of and for the present is always connect to a certain ‘radicalism,’ a radicalism that characterizes Husserl no less than Heidegger and Hegel, than, the entire philosophical history, not to say various political, scientific, and religious cultures. I will venture to state that Derrida is a unique means to breach that magical spell cast.

Having his scrupulous occupation with Husserl surface professionally with his Introduction, it will last a great many years, but of which post 1977 marks an anxious inflection away from an acute addressing of phenomenology; irrespective of what spurs this inflection away, be it a branching off more in the sense of having accomplished what wanted or more in the sense of perceiving other even more urgent calls, I shall pursue the origin of Derrida through what at first may seem a thoroughly radicalist comportment.

If from 1954 to 1962 Derrida reads Husserl with the greatest vigilance, if in his first major text he decides to introduce Husserl’s latest text, if his writing will continue to systematically return to Husserl until 1977, I nevertheless contend that traces of Derrida’s transcendental and phenomenological vigilance never disappear in his writing—as, e.g., we referred from the 1990 Avertissement; haunting Derrida’s various post 1977 involvements these traces continues to witness to the origin of Derrida’s thought in the solicitation of the end of Husserl’s thought. As when already the Introduction constitutes an effective hauntology against which La Carte postale. De Socrate à Freud et au-delà of 1980 cannot but lift its visor; the postal principle was already there. It posts to, or better: from, future, and by such a cleaving upon cleaving creates future, or simulates what future is of. But as with any postal structure, the arrival is always already, a priori, “destinerrant.” But La Carte postale arrives displacing the Introduction in a fashion that is both violent to and affirmative of its tradition.

If now philosophy—in fact thought and letter in general—sends itself post cards, if communication in general involves the destinerrant postal principle, beyond any pleasure or reality principles, if it such displaces itself by never arriving simply as intended—a post card may always not arrive, and this possibility haunts even those arriving to someone at some point of time—, it should be recognized that such a predicament, or whatever one prefer to call it, is no less the case for science. If Derrida is said to have deconstructed philosophy, or at least demonstrated its deconstructability and the inevitability and irreducibility of such “deconstructicity,” then I contend that if one starts out with Derrida’s origin, originating with a farewell to phenomenology through reading Husserl’s testamentary Frage nach dem Ursprung der Geometrie, and continues the posted, destinerrant displacements of this origin, up till 1977 and beyond, and beyond his death, then one will see that Derrida also invited us to think the deconstructibility of science. Of course, if science has freed itself, who knows to what extent, of a certain phonocentrism, it is still the case that it subdues to a certain logocentrism, or rather many forms of logocentrism; Derrida had already in Positions from 1981 suggested that logocentrism is even more deconstructable than phonocentrism.

His arguably very first thought in the Introduction is to conjugate writing and science in general, as insistently and persistently as possible—a project displaced but kept in the 1967 De la grammatologie as an impossible science of writing: there is no science of writing, there can be no such thing, due to writing itself no less than to science itself. And as De la grammatologie was often misread as to state grammatology as a science, Derrida found many an occasion to try to correct this misunderstanding and have his post arrive better. If now writing is irreducibly integral to science in genera—what shown in the Introduction, with Husserl the great modern metaphysician behind his back since this is an idea that already struck Husserl, and most explicitly and daringly in Die Frage—, and if there can be no science of writing, there is no reason not to ask what writing does to science, writing being an element of ascientificity not only integral to science but as constitutive of it: there is no way to free the ideality of meaning to its universal possibility, no way to free scientific ideal objectivity from a simple and accidentally succession of individual consciousnesses where historical accumulation of knowledge is structurally impossible, except through the intervention of writing. Already Husserl glimpsed in writing the enormous task betrothed to science. Writing secures, viz., the very movement of traditionalizing, ideality, objectivity, and intending consciousness as such. ‘Hard sciences’ are ‘hard’ because they simulate a scientificity that is freed or somehow exempt from general iterability.

Now, the succession in Derrida’s work is certain: from criticizing science in its most vigilant and sophisticated metaphysical form, historically which remains to this day no less the transcendental phenomenology of Husserl than it did to Derrida in 1962 on, to criticizing the human and then the social sciences.  Derrida was always after a certain conception of science in general; we will not hold that the ‘hard sciences’ in some mysterious way have managed to free themselves of what the ‘soft’ sciences still are plagued with. In fact, the ‘hard-science’ imports of general iterability upon nature are all the more catastrophic.  As we today know.

If one is ready to acknowledge that there are forms of social and political violence that are generated by way of systematic repression of the deconstructability of socio–ethico-political discourses, then one should no less acknowledge certain forms of “natural” violence that also are generated by way of systematic repression of the econstructability of natural scientific discourses. As there are many forms of political violence generated, motivated, and justified by political discourses, there are forms of physical violence that issue from discourses of the physical and life sciences, from the discourses of natural science. It could seem that the extent and scope of such physical violence systematically increases in proportion to the very advancement of natural science. The more refined the practice of the discourse, the more double its effects will be: undeniable progressions, achievements, and successes, as well as equally undeniable disturbances, destructions, crises, catastrophes.

Where socio-ethico-political violence produces effects all of which are relatively local and short-term, physical violence produces effects, an increasing degree of which are irreversible, that, in line with science’s aspirations to omnispatiotemporality, touches upon space and time themselves. Of course, such split efficiency is not “intended,” or “consciously” willed. There is, thus, a discursive relegation of the destructive efficiency into the category of so-called ‘side-effects.’ However not intentionally produced, the destructive aspect of the scientific efficiency is systematically reproduced and aggravated, as observed in our recent ecological history.

Derrida is pursuing questions pertaining to science in general, and in 1962 it seemed strategically right to enter the late phase of Husserl’s thought, where Husserl reaffirms but also deepens his first intuitions, deepens his phenomenology, by investigating into the origin of geometry, so as to find the general horizon of every being-sense. We will therefore not be surprised to find that mathematical sense is at stake; Derrida’s different solicitations, from here to there, anywhere in his texere, will affect mathematical sense no less than, say, humanistic or Marxist sense. It would be naïve to believe so; nothing is safe from différance. Still, we need, and especially today, booming with environmental crises as it does, to ascertain and even make a Rückfrage towards the original sense of Derrida’s Introduction. The sedimentations that tradition has layered his Introduction does not betray a prophetic hindsight; it reveals to us, however, the basic tools with which to come to understanding environmental crises, and also that Derrida himself did not ascertain the connection we are here about to make. Still, I would not be surprised will there come post mortem publications that suggest our own thoughts here.

I contend that La voix et le phénomène constitutes another important context for the epistemic, or scientifically pertinent, reading of Derrida I here propose. Husserl’s phenomenology cannot be understood as an isolated philosophical project—supposing that such isolate philosophy in general is possible. It is closely related to a project for a renewal of Husserl’s contemporaneous science, a science he deemed, together with a certain scientific telos of Europe, to be in crisis. This cannot be discarded when reading Derrida. The Introduction, from where Derrida’s own thought sparks, is clear in this respect, and it is clear that La voix et le phénomène constitutes the systematic and interested continuation of the project propagated in the Introduction. And so it is that Derrida’s thought, too, is immersed in scientific import, having science its context. If the Introduction commences a grafting of writing onto the scientific body in general, then La voix et le phénomène is pursuing this focus with a more fine-grained investigation of the sign, grafting indexicality in general into meaning, semeion, then Dissemination is a performance of a universally graftable and indexable meaning.

The first 4 pages are immensely dense, and clearly are of a declarative, even programmatic, nature: here is repeated in systematical terms what already the Introduction paved the way for, namely a rigorous critique of theories of meaning and knowledge—what in Sec is conceptualized the internal contexts of semiotic. The 1900-01 Logische Untersuchungen was, Derrida argues, what broached phenomenology as such; the fourth edition of 1928 adds no fundamental changes or doubts. Ideen I and Formale und Transzendentale Logik follows in its wake, but makes substantial clarifications and demarcations. Now, such is the statement of the very opening lines of La voix et le phénomène, a book that Derrida in Positions states is the one he likes the most—a statement not without repercussions for us here.

Husserl’s clarifications concern conceptions of intentional or noematic meaning, the authentic difference between the two strata of the analytics, viz. a pure morphology of judgements and classic logic, whereby is obtained a suspension of the deductive or nomothetic constraints then influencing the concept of science.[6] Then is claimed that in Krisis and other adjourned texts, and first of all Ursprung der Geometrie, the very basic conceptual premises from Logische Untersuchungen are still pertinent, especially regarding problems relating to signification and language in general. Derrida states in the following sentence that a patient reading of Logische Untersuchungen would therefore there reveal the germ of the entire structure of the Husserlian thinking. Everything that henceforth is opened by the necessary or implicit practice of the eidetic and phenomenological reductions is to be read there. The first Logische Untersuchungen (Ausdruck und Bedeutung) is introduced by a chapter on the essential distinctions, a chapter that will steer later analyses. In note 2 one reads that one day he hopes to present a systematic reading of Husserl, and that La voix et le phénomène will outline the principle for a general interpretation of Husserl’s thought. Such an exclamation is to be understood to affirm the continued relevance of his very first major publication, the Introduction. Derrida never undertook that future reading of Husserl.

Already in the first paragraph Husserl will focus a phenomenological distinction that will serve as the locus where Derrida will be sure to graft his own thought: the word ‘sign’ (Zeichen) is said to have a double meaning, that of ‘expression’ (Ausdruck) and that of  ‘index’ (Anzeichen). Let us read closer. Before this phenomenological distinction made, Husserl undertakes a sort of “pre-phenomenological” reduction: all constituted knowledge is bracketed, and he insists on the necessity of a starting out free from presuppositions (Voraussetzungslosigkeit), be they of metaphysical, psychological, or scientific descendence. Departing from the “fact” of language is not to be considered a hidden presupposition, says Husserl, insofar as one is cognizant of the arbitrariness of the example. The analyses will retain their “meaning” and “epistemological value” (erkenntnistheoretischen Wert) whether there be language or not, whether beings such as, e.g., human beings in fact make use of the analyses or not, whether human beings or nature really exists or only as imaginative possibility.

Here Derrida sets off what I will claim constitutes the first gesture of what later will be known as ‘deconstruction.’ Does not the necessity of phenomenology, in its very subtle and stringent analyses, conceal a metaphysical presupposition? Does it not conceal a dogmatic or speculative attachment to classical metaphysics that—without alienating the critical phenomenology for itself, without being an undiscovered rest of naivety—constitutes the very internals of phenomenology, its critical project, and the originary value of its principles? And, furthermore, does not this concealment take place right in what is about to be declared the foundation and guarantee of any value in general, in the very “principle of principles,” viz. the originary giving of evidence, the what-is-present, or meaning as presence of an intuition’s originarity and saturation?

Such are Derrida’s questions, grafting onto the subtleties of the modern phenomenological form of precency. Where? The answer to that question answers for the where of the grafting to be undertaken here, with respect to Derrida’s text. Derrida asks us to consider that the specifically phenomenological form of awareness and acuteness is not restricting its gaze but is steered by metaphysics itself. Husserl had already, by recourse to Voraussetzungslosigkeit and to the principle of principles, instituted suspiciousness as the very condition of an authentic Erkenntnistheorie. And Derrida adds: as if not a project of epistemology, however phenomenologically informed and however critically emancipated from hither or thither speculative systems, not already in its origin belonged to the history of metaphysics. Is not the notion of Erkenntnis in itself metaphysical?

What is at stake in La voix et le phénomène, then, is through the privileged example of the conception of sign to see the phenomenological critique of metaphysics announce itself as moment within the metaphysical certitude; to “document” that the metaphysical project already harbours the phenomenological critique, in its historical completion as well as in the re-established purity of its origin. In “La phenomenology et la clôture de la métaphysique” Derrida traced the movement whereby Husserl by persistent critique of metaphysical speculation in fact directed it against the degeneration of what Husserl still thinks and wants to re-establish as authentic metaphysics or philosophia protè.[7]

Husserl is pursuing a genuine metaphysics in the form of a presuppositionless epistemology departing from the arbitrary example of an essential split within the concept of sign; Derrida wants to document that such a project is irreducibly part and parcel of the metaphysico-historical project itself: epistemology is already metaphysics; I want to graft that onto science and its environs, as a theoretical project suggested by certain eco-empirical states of nature no less than certain theoretical advancements in Derrida’s oeuvre that I contend has an acute epistemic import, and especially so as when related to the mentioned debris of eco-historical states of affairs.

In closing the Cartesianische Meditationen Husserl still contrasts authentic metaphysics—which owes phenomenology its entelechy—to degenerate, common forms. The results are metaphysical, Husserl admits, if it is true that the ultimate knowledge of being should be named by the word ‘metaphysics.’ But not metaphysics in the colloquial; the historically degenerated metaphysics is in no way correspondent to that spirit whereby metaphysics originated as first philosophy. § 60 states that the purely intuitive, concrete, and apodictic method of phenomenology excludes all metaphysical adventures, all speculative excesses. An abundance of various texts and arguments in Husserl’s phenomenological journey takes recourse to one particular motif to explain the recurrent production of misconceptions and degeneration: blindness toward the real modus of ideality, that modus which is, which is repeatable infinitely in the identity of its presence, since it is precisely not existing, not real, but irreal, not as fiction but in another sense whose possibility allows one to speak of non-reality and the necessity of essence, the noema, the intelligible object, and the non-mundane in general. The means of ideal objectivity is then the irreal, an irreal that is not an existent but neither a non-existent. Notes…

This, again, is where Derrida arrives in Husserl’s text—and where this very text also arrives, later, otherwise, another place, another text and context. We will contend that when this Husserlian irreal is traversed by deconstruction’s event within the text, more modest and more sensible is explainable the truly discomforting split mediatized global consciousness witness in a peculiar split in the accomplishments of present-day high-tech science. The Husserlian irreal, the infinitively repeatable identity of presencable ideal objectivities, is not innocent. There are two premises to be made: 1) that such conditions of objectivity, painstakingly cut out by phenomenology, however epistemological projected, is still no less pertinent to science in general, and 2) that its deconstruction a fortiori will make import for science no less than philosophy, phenomenology as the entelechy of philosophy, epistemology as the genuine Seinserkenntnis, since their conditions of possibility are converging at certain determinate points, points relating to conditions of possibility of production of meaning and interpretation, transmission and accumulation of knowledge. It could even be the case that in this respect science is even more held sway by epistemic naivety than philosophy, a naivety the continuance of which partly serves the highly successful history of science, partly consequence of lack of epistemic training on the scientist’s part, partly explained by the extreme but structurally necessary degrees of myopic specialization, besides, of course, highly determinate and dominant factors of interest such as concurrent economy and politics.

The Husserlian irreal, the noema, and the non-mundane in general is not another mundanity, this ideality not an existence descending from a topos ouranios, but a concrete origin whose instituting historical act is generally repeatable. But if this possibility of repetition is to secure and open itself idealiter ad infinitum an ideal form must be possible that ensures the unity of idealiter and infinity: that ideal form is the living presence. Only in the temporal modus of presence, and only when future and past are conceptualized as ontological modifications of this presence, can the ideal objectivity achieve universal stability, become the being it aspires to: a transfixed, “transtexed” being of which ‘death,’ ‘nothing,’ and ‘absence’ surely may be amongst its metaphors. If now repetition adds nothing to the matter, that is, to the ideal objectivity it adds trans-life to, a pure existent beyond life, an example of ultimate sublation—a definite extirpation and emancipation from history in general—, if repetition is identical to itself and adds nothing to itself either, then repetition sublates itself as a repetition in general where the repetitive structure is indistinguishable from eternal being—such since there are no exception to the repetition, if not, then, we have to conceptualize it as general oscillation, a being of the contradiction, or indecision, the non-decision delivered up to its simplest alternating pattern of on/off.

Derrida’s analyses of repetition, however, will demonstrate that as accomplice to the medium of presence as phenomenology conceives its function and task, repetition is structurally inhabited by irradical absence: repetition will make full presence and saturation become porous with irradical absence, an absence that was, is, will never be that of an ontological modification of presence. “What is only at issue is to make the original and non-empirical space of non-foundation appear over the irreducible void.” (VP, 5-6/7) The experience evoked here¾the making appear” or presence—is that of irreducible void, of the difference or lack, which is original yet not foundational. The experience of deconstruction must be framed in terms of presence of non-foundation. Presence is, then, here, for Derrida, the presence of non-foundation.

Presence will always have the form, and this one can express apodictically, where the infinite manifold of contents is brought forth. The contradiction that signals metaphysics, the one between form and matter, finds its ultimate, most radical legitimation in the concrete ideality of living presence. Derrida then focuses the enigmatic concept of life employed in phenomenology, such as those in ‘living presence’ and ‘transcendental life.’ And so he announces that to him phenomenology appears to be plagued from within by its own descriptions of the movement of temporalization and the constitution of intersubjectivity. But at the innermost of what binds these two decisive moments of the description together an irreducible non-presence is acknowledged constitutive value, thereby the living presence is ascribed, too, a non-life or a non-self-presence, in short: a inextinguishable non-originarity. The names given, by Husserl, yields only an even stronger attack on the form of presence. In essence, and to just indicate what will be the sufficient here, we have, first, the necessary transition from rentention to re-presentation (Vergegenwärtigung) in the constitution of a presence of a temporal object whose identity is repeatable, second, the necessary transition via appresentation in the relation to the alter ego, that is to say, in relation to what also makes possible ideal objectivity in general insofar as intersubjectivity is conditional of objectivity and insofar as such objectivity is absolute only in cases of ideal objects. In both cases, then, we have a modification of presentation, i.d. re-presentation, ap-presentation (Vergegenwärtigung, Appräsentation), but not in presentation, but as its condition whereby it is split a priori. This will not, as such, threaten the apodicticity of the phenomenological description, and will not ruin the value of presence as its foundation, a formula which is, moreover, pleonastic. It is all about having come forth the non-foundational original and not empirical space over the irreducibly empty, from where the certitude of presence is determined and suspended in the metaphysical form of ideality.

On this background it is, then, that Derrida will investigate the phenomenology of the sign. How is it that one can legitimate that decision which subsumes sign to logic? Further, if the concept of sign is prior to logical reflection, if it is already given to logic, exposed to logic’s critique, then from where does the sign come? From where comes the essence of the sign, whose resource will regulate the concept of the sign? What is that legitimizes an epistemology, a theory of knowledge, to determine origin and essence of language? Now, that very question is precisely what makes necessary the investigation to be undertaken here. What happens, e.g., if it is the sign that will dominate knowledge and not the other way around?

Now, Husserl’s decision is not to be ascribed to him singularly, since it is something that he incorporates, inherits. He receives its heritage and acknowledges it legitimacy. In fact, Derrida claims that the consequences thereof—the naïve acceptance of the heritage, that is—are beyond recognition. Husserl had always excluded thinking language in general; Fink has shown how Husserl never questioned the transcendental logos, the inherited language wherefrom phenomenology creates and demonstrates the results of its reductions.  The unity of common language, that is to say the language of traditional metaphysics, and the language of phenomenology will never be broken despite precautions, quotation marks, new significations or words. Husserl’s interest in the rational horizon of language, determining logos by logic, will de facto, and well within tradition, define the essence of language from logicity as normality for its telos. That this telos is being as presence, is precisely what Derrida then focuses.

The morphology of Bedeutung: pure grammaticality, that set of rules that enables one to determine what in language is with meaning versus sinnlos, does not cover the total field of possibility of language in general, does not cover the full range of its a priori. This morphology covers only the logical a priori of language, as it is a pure logical grammaticality. In the first edition of the Untersuchungen Husserl he had spoken of “pure grammatics,” in analogy with Kant’s “pure science,” but already there he acknowledged that his morphology had to be qualified as a pure logical grammatics. This distinction does not claim a specific region; it is more a question of a dignity of a telos, the purity of a norm. This gesture, so much engaging the entirety of phenomenology, is repeating the original intention of metaphysics: what Derrida by reading the first Untersuchung, and exposing those roots that Husserl never will undermine, wants to demonstrate. The value of presence is time and again rescued by Husserl, bringing it forth again in the form of a telos, that is to say, in the form of a Kantian idea. Presence, then, as given as object to intuition, and presence as temporal now, which gives form to the clear and actual intuition of the object, therefore it is all about an objects presence for a consciousness, evidently given in the plenitude of an intuition, or the self-presence in consciousness, where ‘consciousness’ means but the possibility of the self-presence of the present in the living presence. For each threat Husserl will awake presence to life again, resuscitate, call it back forth; telephonocentrism. Ideality is only secured if anything like a Kantian idea enables a securing of the possibility of infinite repetition, an infinite series of prescribed deductions—a pro-gram—an infinite series of possible iterations. Such is the form of ideality: that it is repeatable as the same, wherefore the non-reality of Bedeutung, the non-reality of the ideal object, the non-reality of the meaning or the noema’s inclusion in consciousness. Husserl contends that the noema does not for realreell—belong to consciousness.

However this may be, however rich and unique Derrida’s oeuvre is in providing discursive resources for understanding the virographematical character of science in general, emerging in the real as an efficiency split into struction and destruction, both of which are reducible to one single agent, Derrida himself explicitly suggests that science in general emancipates itself from phonocentrism and logocentrism to the extent that it makes use of non-linguistic, highly formal symbol systems. That stance needs to be clarified, since it is far from clear that a formal symbol system such as logic or mathematics automatically makes a deconstructive sollicitation unncessary.

To be continued…


[1] Jacques Derrida, Traduction et Introduction á L’Origine de la géométrie d’Edmund Husserl (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1967). Hereafter abbreviated Introduction.

[2] Jacques Derrida, Positions. Entretiens avec Henri Ronse, Julia Kristeva, Jean-Louis Houdebine et Guy Scarpetta (Paris: Minuit, 1972). Hereafter abbr. Positions.

[3] Jacques Derrida, Positions (Eng. 1981, pp. 4-5): “[Speech and Phenomena] is perhaps the essay which I like most. Doubtless I could have bound it as a long note to one or the other of the other two works [Writing and Difference, and Of Grammatology]. Of Grammatology refers to it and economizes its development. But in a classical philosophical architecture, Speech and Phenomena would come first: in it is posed, at a point which appears juridically decisive for reasons that I cannot explain here, the question of the privilege of the voice and of phonetic writing in their relationship to the entire history of the West, such as this history can be represented by the history of metaphysics and metaphysics in its most modern, critical and vigilant form: Husserl’s transcendental phenomenology.”

[4] Jacques Derrida, La voix et le phénomène: Introduction au problème du signe dans la phenomenology de Husserl (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1967). Herafter abbr. La voix et le phénomène.

[5] Jacques Derrida, Le probléme de la gènese dans la philosophie de Husserl (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1990), p. vi.

[6] Formale und transzendentale Logik, § 35 b.

[7] Jacques Derrida, “La phenomenology et la clôture de la métaphysique,” in

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