Margins of Science




Margins of Science



“If there are margins,

is there still a philosophy,

the philosophy?,”


asks Derrida, targeting logocentric philosophy. Grafting: transposing, transcribing that question as to its scientific import one therefore asks: if there are margins, is there still a science, the science?

If the alterity of the other is posed, that is, only posed, does it not amount to the same, for example in the form of the “constituted object” or of the “informed product” invested with meaning, etc.? From this point of view, I would even say that the alterity of the other inscribes in this relationship that which in no case can be “posed.” Inscription, as I would define it in this respect, is not a simple position: it is rather that by means of which every position is of itself confounded (différance): inscription, mark, text and not only thesis or theme-inscription of the thesis.[1]

The Sollicitation of Science

Is it at all admissible to venture an analysis of science using ‘deconstructionist’ protocols? Does the irreversible sollicitation of philosophy, where philosophy, qua what it contends itself to properly be and constitute, trembles in its entire edifice, invite a similar sollicitation of science? ‘Sollicitation’ derives from the Latin sollicitare, meaning to shake the totality (sollus, ‘all,’ and ciere, ‘to move, shake, make tremble’).

Undoubtedly, this project of sollicitation intervened in an epoch essentially structuralist. Nonetheless, according to Derrida philosophy always was and is structuralist: it is no less the case for philosophy proper to intend accounting the totality of a phenomenon by reduction of it to a formula that governs it totally. The intervention is thus submitting the violent, totalitarian philosophy to the counterviolence of sollicitation. Numerous times Derrida demonstrated how any totality can be made to tremble in its entirety, that is to say can be shown to be founded upon that which it excludes, that which would be in excess for a reductive, totalitarian analysis of any kind.

Is it, then, admissible to venture a sollicitation of science? Science is always totalitarian and violent: the very end of science is to obtain those formulae that governs the totality of any set of given phenomena. Further, these formulae should be as frugal as possible. Science complying to its heuristic principle of parsimony, Occam’s Razor: while trying to govern the totality of a set of phenomena, it aims for the uttermost of reduction. In exchange for governing a totality one reduces as much as possible, preferring those formuale that are the least complex. What science thus excludes, what thus appears excessive for a parsimonious science, may well be a foundational gesture. But what is it that philosophy in totalitarian manner violently excludes? It is writing; philosophy is logocentric. It is a logocentric totalitarianism that Derrida submits to a counterviolent sollicitation.

A key commando, cherished in countless archeions, instituting philosophy is the repression of writing. And archive fever will forever haunt philosophy’s very instituting gesture: writing qua cloth (insignium: an outer mark, but not the real McCoy and thus potently dangerous.). Plato made the strange realm of the pharmakon his cleansing project: one pharmakon to be saved, another to be expelled, exorcised, ostracized. ‘Ostracize’: from Greek ostrakizein, from ostrakon, ‘shell or potsherd’ on which names were written, in voting to banish unpopular citizens.

Does not the history of science, in a very systematical fashion, irreducibly, coincide strictly with a certain history of writing? Has not science been the first to lift the fatwa on writing, the radical evil of the pharmakon? For proper philosophy, the stream of fatwas on writing is strictly necessary. At the same time, however, writing constitutes the very sine qua non of fatwas and philosophies. For Plato the “good” writing/pharmakon is the one that seamlessly complies to its master thought, the “dangerous” the one that threatens to disseminate and reproduce beyond control, the one that threatens to cut the omphalos, the umbilical cord, and set out for a life of its own.

The ‘proper’ outside of science, its outside, its proper other, would still be too dialectic a difference, and would in the end amount to the same, some sure negative demarcations through which a scientific identity—science qua positively constituting its own identity—is institutionalized; internal contexts, however, are beyond the scope of such a constituting a science’s proper outside and other, not to say a living inner present ever identical to its call, cause, and end. An internal context—but there is never only one internal context—is not simply the other of science, its simple assured outside, also in principle knowable, or unknowable (which amounts to the same): perhaps more the other of science’s other, perhaps a simulated other that never bothers with miming or making simulacra of the real, being, or the model. That philosophy’s identity never was assured and apodictic, or rigorous, prompts us to criticize science, too, in much the same way, prompts because science springs forth from and inside philosophy; would there, for science, have been falling from a topos ouranios, being imprinted somehow in the human genome, or otherwise come, conditions of identity and stability that for reasons of necessity escapes philosophy? Perhaps science, neither, has no domesticity, no house that is proper to it, no oikēsis idias?

Le a de la différence, donc, ne s’entend pas, il demeure silencieux, secret et discret comme un tombeau: oikesis. Marquons ainsi, par anticipation, ce lieu, résidence familiale et tombeau du propre où se produit en différance l’économie de la mort. Cette pierre n’est pas loin, pourvu qu’on en sache déchiffrer la légende, de signaler la mort du dynast.[2]

Derrida interprets Socrates in Timaeus to say:

Only this belonging to place authorizes the truth of the logos, that is, also its political effectivity, its pragmatic and praxical efficiency, which Socrates regularly associates with the logos in this context. It is the belonging of a genos to a proper place which guarantees the truth of its logos (effective relation of the discourse to the thing itself, to the matter, pragma) and of its action (praxis, ergon).[3]

No explicit mentioning of science, but pragmatics and praxis certainly pertains to science too; the last sentence quoted fits fine with science. And science is marked in advance by death and absence, two of many irreducible internal contexts in science in general.

And such, then, is the general question that will make/mark the rule for our rereading Derrida. A reading that is not without reason as much as Derrida starts out deconstructing the possibility of science and not really, appearances or widespread opinions and assumptions to the contrary, so much philosophy; not that science is not, not possible that is, but that science has conditions of impossibility no less than possibility, an entanglement, but without the ingredients of an entanglement, with an irreducibly relational aspect: more an irreducibly complex structure of a tertium datur, not complex, or if complex, then only relative a certain language that dreams the simplest, the point, actually the very cessation naming itself ‘ontology.’ And not simply of the three, the threepartite or triangular or the pyramidal, either since it so too easy, as with all forms of Hegelianism, falls for the trinitarian epochē bracketing everything out that does not fit the one dissimulated as the plurality of the three. What is is what is not. Triton genos, says Timaeus of khōra.[4]

Husserl bespeaks the irreal as science’s most real and reliable, most objective, ideal, phenomenal, objectivable, tangible, legible, truthible, sensable, intuitable. As personal names vanishes on science’s horizon in a trick to make it even more Platonic, Husserlian, that is to say, ‘true,’ the mathematically precise models (to be sure, on paper) and the simulation machineries suggests itself as if automatically sent and warranted from truth itself. Or if not from truth itself, having given up on the hopelessly entangled semantics of any attempts at conceptualizing truth, then the more feasible conception of efficiency and effect, the one with an immediate popular appeal, undeniably so. “Science works,” one so commonly says.

Presence as the means of the repetition and cloning of the past, that past itself only an ontological modification of presence; the means through which presence doesn’t loose itself in the stream of time, also the mean through which presence structurally out-manoeuvres itself, defeating its own dogma: philosophy, and science, still believes in the power traditionally and still attributed to a mysterious past, that certain past of which is the very well of the whatever—the quidditas—after, the whatever coming pasts coming presents coming futures, making of the ‘whatever after’ only the simple concatenation of executing commands to be observed in the cosmic program. One needs to learn the command chains to re-enter and re-program that chain, directly usurping God’s die, making the Godhead immanentize in us. Creation and cause saved in the past, the rest is effects of the prime mover, the authentic and originary act of creation.

It is here that logic, statistics, and other mathematico-formalistic systems of notation will find its ideal possibility; formalistic notation systems are continuously asserted as superspatiotemporal, strings of executions all of which is programmed. Such a notion of the supra of the spatial and the temporal is what Husserl undertakes to establish—and where Derrida traverses and works the text of phenomenology. Science has its own margins, not unlike those of philosophy or other endeavors aiming at the proper, efficient, precision, exactitude, adequacy, aletheia, correspondence, coherence, repraesentatio, ideai, etc.


Is Science Scientific About Its Falsifiability?

So far, that is to say if we are at all to relate to what empirically il y a, all of scientific history testifies to an irreducible historicity of science. And not the inverse: the irreducible scientificity of history. Science has since long suspected an irreducible historicity of science, but does not want this to be. Denegation of this empirico-historical fact, observable for all, being its basis, science operates an inversalization: the historicity inextricably constitutive of any scientificity in general is, contrary to the empirical courts, judged to be that of telos and eschatology. A clever strategy, since it does incorporate all possible future failures. But since the horizon always is the totalizing horizon of a telos that at some point or other in time will have found its way to its proper eschatos, failures are bound to appear as rather insignificant: under the wings of a supreme telos, failures are to be considered as derivative, secondary, empirical, eventual, contingent, reducible, etc. The normative part of the colloquial conception of science has thus produced a systematical bias against which unintended scientific effects will never attract a proper scientific attention. And thus the destructive effects of science continue to accumulate, to the point where science eats into time itself by producing irreversible destructions. Science as the vehicle of temporal colonialization? A Heideggerian analysis would here stress the systematic presuppositions that science makes use of.

One should allow oneself this one control question: if it is granted that since the time of Newton, science has steadily improved all of its conditions (theories, instruments, experiments, statistics, logic, mathematics, corroborations, resources, capital, motivation, etc.), then how come that science seems to be producing ever more serious, so-called ‘side-effects’? Why this split? Why this split between, on the one hand, undeniable successes and progressions, and, on the other hand, equally undeniable horrors of pollution, disturbances, destruction?

The radicalism of science: scientific method shall ensure explaining the events of nature in a reproducible way, and to use these findings to make useful predictions. The root is always the model. And the model is always local, particular, tested only in extremely limited circumstances. Is this system of scientific norms—models, reproducibility, causality, predictions, programs, etc.—not simply projection? It is, of course, irretrievably bound to be projective in its very nature; what is problematic, however, is that science applies its test and corroboration procedures only locally while it claims to constitute a superspatiotemporal validity. It never asks itself the question: what is the degree of functionality of current science in its totality? Is science qua metahypothesis doing fine when measured up against its full set of consequences? Does the metahypothesis need revision in light of science’s empirical and concrete bearings?


Ecographies of Telefission

Derrida’s philosophical project is not simply demonstrating or waging the logic of a textual war against phonē, against the master’s voice inside, the supposed satiated life of meaning consciously hearing-understanding itself, against presence, pitting texere and gramma against phonē; the stakes are much higher, however seismic this decentring of the voice truly already is. In effect Derrida also asks: what happens to meaning, and to truth, when science is, and irreducibly so, writing too, granted that writing in general is such and such and no less vital to science than to other realms of human occupation?

This question cannot but involve logic and mathematics as well, thoroughly constituted as sign systems as they are; however formalizable and consistent their rules of operation, irrespective of their non-linguistic or non-semantic aspirations, both logic and mathematics employ signs, semiotics, writing, thus de jure and de facto succumbing to a deconstructive critique. And perhaps by reason of being anti-semantic a much more revealing case of grammatology and semiotics than ever semantics yielded. Granted that science does without phonocentric presence and the voice, speech, granted that science is beyond any form of phonocentrism, at least tending and reasonably aspiring thereto, as is what Derrida seems to hold, its very meaning and force still springs from certain teleological presuppositions according to which in the end science will have been, however troublesome and painstaking, en route to the true, to the real, what is the case irrespective of any semiotic language, what is the case empirically judged according to science’s pragmatics. Scientific theories are, teleologically, be it by pragmatic method or dogmatic belief, considered superspatiotemporal, valid for all possible times and spaces. The superspatiotemporal is a main feat in Husserl’s philosophy, held to be something for which there indeed are sure and trustworthy offers from Telos―approaching the supraspatiotemporal meaning approaching the very Telos itself, Telos having safely arrived jointly to itself and us. Would not the superspatiotemporal, we may now ask, be or constitute itself as an infinitely self-satisfied presence that no longer considers its voice and concrete, living being-in-presence to be necessary, no longer content to stay within the small scale presence of the concrete living now? Mathematics as the supervoice? Dissemination will write of the supernumerary, then.

Science is, then, “telephonocentric.” In this sense Derrida’s exemption of science from phonocentrism returns, haunts, much as his notion of writing in general, or grammatology, returns and haunts speech as soon as it thinks itself separate from and incontaminable by writing in the more narrow, colloquial sense.

Perhaps scientists now are trained—adjusted by more modest, justified, and real explanatory models—to treat meaning and truth as of pragmatic and methodological justification, perhaps even trained not to really take such notions seriously, even regard such as superfluous and of no considerable effect, since science does seem to work with a hitherto unheard-of success whatever, irrespective of, the states of its “truth” or “meaning,” such being relegated to dated quarrels in philosophy? For all pragmatic concerns, must not science be doing a great many things right since it harbours a history that truly seems to evidence infinite regulative ideas, teleology (methodically or dogmatically informed irrespective), and their philosophical articulation as on par with sets of lucky conditions of possibility? Perhaps Kant was right, basically, in effect at least, so that asking transcendental questions on the possibility of science was rightly to be relegated to being an amusing game for philosophers, filling in the gaps, inseminating theory into an otherwise self-sufficient scientific practice: philosophy reduced to a juvenile preamp to its about-to-be accomplished and triumphant history. Science proves the end of philosophy, in the best cases nothing but a bulwark against relativists, skeptics, and other dangerous/endangered species. But there is a difference between the Historie and Geschichte of science.

Writing/gramma irreducibly constitutes meaning already for the individual consciousness, whatever its projects of pure pre-linguistic meaning, apprehension, sensation, experience, discerners. Writing is “uncircumventable” even in individual cases, but there is no question that to the extent to which ideality is to free itself up to its possibility as genuine universality, to make science constitute its history and postal history—without a postal principle there is no history—, both in the sense of Historie and Geschichte, then writing is surely involved, and not only as a simple means, to be reduced as secondary and derivative après coup, but as of the very constitution of universal ideality in general. Objectivity as ideal and universal is instituted only by making concretely living subjective consciousnesses redundant to its life. Death and absence already part and parcel of the individual consciousness, therefore, these enter with full force as soon as writing enters the scene. Science is unthinkable outside writing; writing ensures the omnispatiotemporality that science needs to stay science, not to be levelled as of simply culture, to surviving as science. This greater means of sustainance and continuance is everywhere breached, made porous, by a death and an absence that is more and more present in the presence of science, more and more concretely, or empirically, so: what is witnessed today to such a discomforting degree.

In Positions Derrida will maintain that his entire oeuvre has been a meditation on Husserl’s invocation of the Dresden Gallery, one of three epigraphs in La voix et le phénomène:

« Un nom prononcé devant nous nous fait penser à la galerie de Dresde et à la dernière
que nous y avons faite : nous errons à travers les salles et nous arrêtons devant un tableau de Téniers qui représente une galerie de tableaux. Supposons en outre que les tableaux de cette galerie représentent à leur des tableaux, qui de leur côté feraient voir des inscriptions qu’on peut déchiffrer, etc.

A name on being mentioned reminds us of the Dresden Gallery and of our last visit there: we wander through the rooms, and stand before a picture of Teniers which represents a picture gallery. When we consider that pictures of the latter would in their turn portray pictures which on their part exhibited readable inscriptions and so forth, we can measure what interweaving of presentations, and what links of connection between the discernible features in the series of pictures, can really be set up. But for the illustrating of our insight into essences, in particular of our insight into the ideal possibility of carrying on the dovetailing processes indefinitely, we do not need to consider such complicated cases as these.[5]

Therefore it does not surprise us that Derrida already in his Introduction haunts the index in general: it constitutes that by which transcendental phenomenology constitutes itself irrespective of how much it exercises its exorcises on the indicative layers of phenomenological experience. And there can be no doubt that his early critique of indexicality (and trace, the different inflections of tentione, the parallel) opens the way for oeuvres like De la grammatologie, in fact all of Derrida’s work post the Introduction is unthinkable without his early readings on Husserlian problematics like the index, alter ego and temporality. The “insight into the ideal possibility of carrying on the dovetailing process indefinitely,” where essences will be perfected just as indefinitely—such and nothing less is the fortuitous circumstance of the cordial cum of the necessary and possible telos of essences—, acknowledges in this picturesque metaphor above the multiple referentiality of indication, but only as that of an interweaving of presentations, as something enabled as a set, as links of connections to be indefinitely dovetailed, then.

Telos, the agent that runs into the future not looking back and without krinein, not in the least making any Husserlian Rückfrage, is the gesture by which ontology, philosophical or scientific, stays safe from real and empirical obligations, responsibilities; a telos in the system can easily be taken, even in as mature a metaphysic as that of the transcendental phenomenology, as to safeguard theory against any serious, revolutionary threat from base empirical realms—since the telos is stated as what matters. Science is teleontology. Such teleontology will be forced to inescapably concede that it will always have been haunted by internal contexts. And always will. It will always have been the case. Even granting science an ability to reduce certain so-called external contexts to certain extents, conjure them away by way of clever experimental set-ups, measuring only what was prior intended and now kept in work by retentions, with internal contexts science can not.

In this metaphor just cited, which we find in Husserl’s Ideen I, one discerns the reason why Derrida later on, in Positions, will make the epigraph to La voix et le phénomène the epigraph of his entire oeuvre, an admittance why, also, we maintain that Derrida’s is a philosophical project besides whatever else it is, notwithstanding of the appropriation of his thought as if everywhere but philosophy. The Gallery indicates, perhaps against Husserl’s intention, the irreducible indicativity of language demonstrated to hold a fortiori of experience in general, including therefore no less that of science than that of geometry, and was already the main theme in the Introduction, whose nascence, we must remember, only came to be through an unswerving respect for Husserl, in Derrida’s eyes the one major representative of the very most sophisticated, modern, cunning, subtle philosophy. That he ends up focusing on precisely those elements that most intrigued Husserl, and gave him insurmountable problems (a fact that is well documented in well known passages and letters where Husserl time and again states he should be re-starting the project), and coming up with a thought that bids a certain farewell to transcendental phenomenology―since the nature of indexicality does not allow it its deepest wishes―, or at least severely infects the original spirit of transcendental phenomenology, is not a sign of disloyalty; rather a sure sign of the greatest deference. Thought cannot but be happy about such. One could even venture to speculate that it was, de facto and de jure, Husserl’s transcendental phenomenology, unintentionally perhaps, that in effect opened the entire deconstructivist thought. It was Derrida’s early interest in transcendental phenomenology that brought forth deconstruction, however much he found reading Nietzsche, Heidegger, Freud, etc., interesting, revealing, and in support of his own strains.

Many times Derrida made clear that irreducible indexicality does not imply that transcendental questioning is no longer necessary not to say possible—what here must be born in mind. Transcendental questioning, from the great Kantian tradition through Husserl on, is what irreducible indexicality constitutes as both possible and necessary, without their coeval co-occurrence being without tentione, without being in-tension. The irreducible indicative—a labyrinthine gallery of cross-references through different media and dimensions¾makes the transcendental necessary since without it we would be left with an indiscernible and indifferent mass of things, possible since indication in itself suggests or opens up for the transcendental.

The conditions of possibility of transcendental questioning are not demanding or asking the transcendental questioning to be articulated according to an axiomatic close to Husserl’s dovetailing or otherwise; they open up, as a gift not actually given since it resides in the very structure of indication, without asking or demanding anything, without for that its possibility being that of a roll of the dice either. The conditions of necessity of transcendental questioning are the assuming of the structural offering, without which thought would not even have the chance to appear, now and then enabling thought to surface the otherwise endless and indefinite referentiality of the index.

Derrida’s is a long meditation on the implications of indexicality. The connectivity between such indexicality and internal contexts is obvious, and both terms could justifiably be one of the denominators of the other: indication operates a certain internal context into the “host,” as internal context operates indicative layers into its respective “host.” The feat of hostage is common; whatever presents itself or is presented—the difference not of import here—is always already taken hostage by a stranger. The selfsame is always allogenic, close to producing allergic, infectious reactions. And the figure of the ‘always already’: can we be simply sure that it is of the past—the root, the archē, the origin, the source? The always already might just as well be of the allogenic; the allogenic is always best instantiated as of a non-programmable future, a time that cannot be plotted in as a point further down the line sooner or later to come into to presencing life in a now. But it is neither of spatial character. Derrida bespeaks, in close connection with irreducible and “originary” indexicality, indexicality as “originary supplement,” variants of contamination. A theme taken up, e.g., in his work on terrorism described as following an auto-immunogenic logic, in 1994, in 2002, but nonetheless equally legible in contexts of meaning and truth productions. Logocentrism takes indexicality to be terrorist, and to be defeated by all means.

In this sense thought is already, and at least also of, transcendentality. Conditions of possibility and necessity do not cohabitate, if not, that is, only in their common source, which is the index in general, from where necessarily no trace, no originary cum, can be retraced, a source that therefore in and by itself splits itself: this is where we are, if, that is, we stick scientifically to the phenomena themselves. If transcendentality were indeed pure there would obviously be little need of, e.g., discussion and communication not to speak of thought and critique; the same scenario if you deny transcendentality any reality whatsoever, only mirrored. Therefore, there must be a transcendentality that is both possible and necessary, but that is never full, never satiated, neither proper nor plenitude, never simple, never of simple and continuous origin—why Derrida corrects Kant, Husserl and others with the “quasi-transcendental.”

And if, again, we stick to phenomenality, we do have to acknowledge that the healing of the originary split has not ever occurred, even how much resources that has been and is laid in this, that it is counterfactual; as long as there is indexiality, inextricably integral to expression of intention/intuition, there are serious doubts as to its future realization, “actualization.” This, now, is precisely where telos finds its very force and meaning, not resting in and at its “end”—but only on the condition that telos does not pretend that it ever will be full or simply indefinitely perfectible and that arche does not pretend to constitute a proper and simple origin, where any present should try to find itself as the shortest possible line between the two, as if, e.g., the somewhere programmed of an execution of a software program. It is truly astonishing all proclamations of end in recent times; its innovative repetitions—to the point of being indistinguishable from mere compulsion—may testify not so much to the end of the fulfilment and the fulfilment of the end, the end of the end, as to its death knell having already happened. (In political analogy: what has come to an end is not communism or something of the like, but capitalism as it declares itself to instantiate the very telos of the human history. What it mourns in the secrecy of its mania is therefore not the death of Marx, but its own.)

As for the perfectible: what is perfectible can never be relieved, lifted to utmost perfection after which there is no more left for the force and meaning of perfectibility: obtaining perfectibility’s right path would be just another bad figure of death, of non-event, non-life. One of the most consistent motifs of Derrida’s encounter with Husserl and Heidegger, and many others, is to stir their origin drive, the drive for the origin, so classic a drive, and not only in Western philosophy to be sure, a drive that Derrida will make a detour through Freud and Levinas to elaborate further: Nachträglichkeit and the past that has never been present. Derrida’s is a project of irradicalizing thought by showing that the root is not, never were, will never be—neither possible nor necessary. Derrida writes:

The structure of delay (Nachträglichkeit) in effect forbids that one make of temporalization (temporization) a simple dialectical complication of the living present as an originary and unceasing synthesis a synthesis constantly directed back on itself, gathered in on itself and gathering – of retentional traces and protentional openings. The alterity of the “unconscious” makes us concerned not with horizons of modified – past or future – presents, but with a “past” that has never been present, and which never will be, whose future to come will never be a production or a reproduction in the form of presence. Therefore the concept of trace is incompatible with the concept of retention, of the becoming-past of what has been present. One cannot think the trace and therefore, différance – on the basis of the present, or of the presence of the present. A past that has never been present: this formula is the one that Emmanuel Levinas uses, although certainly in a nonpsychoanalytic way, to qualify the trace and enigma of absolute alterity: the Other. Within these limits, and from this point of view at least, the thought of différance implies the entire critique of classical ontology undertaken by Levinas. And the concept of the trace, like that of différance thereby organizes, along the lines of these different traces and differences of traces, in Nietzsche’s sense, in Freud’s sense, in Levinas’s sense – these “names of authors” here being only indices – the network which reassembles and traverses our “era” as the delimitation of the ontology of presence.

“The network which reassembles and traverses our “era” as the delimitation of the ontology of presence”: another end ended? This remains to be determined here. Let us only when talking of the origin drive include Levinas’ persistent insistence on past-as-not-having-been-present as a figure of the Other; here we would like therefore to bind Derrida’s complex of writing and science to a non-originary, or “irradical,” motif. Derrida wanted to think the thought of Husserl otherwise than Husserl or other had done: to put indication to vindication.

Two pitfalls are to be avoided to enable a genuine understanding of the history of science in general, or geometry in particular—which is Husserl’s preferred example, an example, an exemplary science, an instructive model, which purports to be valid for science in general. First, the reduction of geometrical objects to pure history, wherefore one neglects the geometrical object’s their transcendental and ideal contents; second, geometry posited as purely ideal whereby its history deflates to the development of an once already existent ideality and its history becomes the history of a discovery. Husserl undertakes a critique of rationalism no less than of empiricism. Nonetheless, it is vital to keep something from both views, from genesis no less than from structure and still escaping both psychologistic geneticism and logicist structuralism; any ideal objectivity, be it of geometry or otherwise, any scientific notion or concept, partakes both of what transcends historicism and what has a concrete and material genealogy. Geometry is created by the force of a determined historical process, but is at the same time apodictic, certain, therefore in a certain sense independent of any empirical or mundane layer. Husserl wants to maintain that notwithstanding its origin in the history of human culture mathematical propositions still have universal and absolute validity in the world of experience. Both subjective origin, linked to subjective acts of constitution, and superspatiotemporal, valid for the quidditas.

There is always an originary act of constitution creating an ideality that thereafter possibly emancipates itself from the empirico-histoprical realm becoming a transcendental reality, whence a certain transcendental historicity. This transcendental reality is then no longer reducible to any empirical intuition, but, on the contrary, determines, henceforth, any coming empirical intuition—in a vigilant scientific culture such that determinations are more and more perfected for its dovetailing. Husserl and Derrida notes a certain “nothing” that separates the regions of empeira from the transcendental. It is as if the genesis of a science through a concrete constitutive act of a material and contingent a priori splits off from the empirical and the real only to later return as a till infinity perfected mirror of nature. But what if, as Derrida, writes: “the beyond everything [which] insofar as it withstands all ontology…is not a primus movens. However, it imparts to everything…a movement of fiction.”[6]


Inscribing Science in Deconstruction

Since we have already granted “La différance” a key, let us quote, but with the difference that wherever ‘métaphysique’ appear in the original here will be substituted by ‘science’/‘scientifique.’ Substituting ‘science’ and ‘scientifique’ for ‘metaphysique’—“substitutions différantes”—is perhaps not without dangers, even flaws. But we want here, as already stated, for strategic and adventurous reasons, to keep to the fact that Derrida’s inaugural texts, during a period of at least 15 years, from 1962 to 1977, addressed the complex of science/writing, a complex the traces of which would continue to allude to these texts, even in those least adjacent, say the politically or ethically intervening, texts of his. As there are internal contexts in the texts of metaphysics, or politics or ethics or law, there are internal contexts in science, contexts to be denegated and repressed to the degree to which science remains logocentric—which is a structural must, as we shall find opportunity to see. In Positions is unmistakably said, and we are reminded, that logocentrism goes deeper than phonocentrism. We therefore amass by investigating here the remains of logocentrism in science, from which, as we know, streams many a resistance towards internal contexts. Even how much “La différance” inscribes itself as a certain graphematical violence, a “dérèglement graphique,” against a certain phenomenality of voice and speech, for specific philosophico-politico-historical reasons and according to determinate interests and motivations, its forces are far from exhausted. Grafting, grafting in general, is one of his main admissions, besides. As soon as there is trace there will be grafting, and there is grafting because there are traces. Traces graft internal contexts onto all texts it touches, and there is no end—in the doubled sense of this word, no exhaustion, no aim, no acquittal, no final rest, no accomplishment—to this.

La trace n’étant pas une présence mais le simulacre d’une présence qui se disloque, se déplace, se renvoie, n’a proprement pas lieu, l’effacement appartient à sa structure. Non seulement l’effacement qui doit toujours pouvoir la surprendre, faute de quoi elle ne serait pas trace mais indestructible et monumentale substance, mais l’effacement qui la constitue d’entrée de jeu en trace, qui l’installe en changement de lieu et la fait disparaître dans son apparition, sortir de soi en sa position. L’effacement de la trace précoce (die frühe Spur) de la différence est donc “le même” que son tracement dans le texte scientifique. Celui-ci doit avoir gardé la marque de ce qu’il a perdu ou réservé, mis de côté. Le paradoxe d’une telle structure, c’est, dans le langage de la science, cette inversion du concepts scientifiques qui produit l’effet suivant: le présent devient le signe du signe, la trace de la trace. Il n’est plus ce à quoi en dernière instance renvoie tout renvoi. Il devient une fonction dans une structure de renvoi généralisé. Il est trace et trace de l’effacement de la trace.

Le texte de la science est ainsi compris. Encore lisible; et à lire. Il n’est pas entouré mais traversé pay sa limite, marqué en son dedans par le sillon multiple de sa marge. Proposant à la fois le monument et le mirage de la trace, la trace simultanément tracée et effacée, simultanément vive et morte, vive comme toujours de simuler aussi la vie en son inscription gardée. Pyramide. Non pas une borne à franchir, mais pierreux, sur une muraille, autrement à déchiffrer, un texte sans voix.

It sure gives meaning reading Derrida thus, substituting science for philosophy. Although not strictly interchangeable, there are indeed contexts and passages that invites for such a reading. Especially so with a view to the last decades of eco-destructivity effectuated by science itself.

Being a simulacrum of presence, the trace dislocates itself, has no proper site. We remind ourselves that dislocating here does not connote fall, failure, accidence or the like. The dislocation and nonpropriety are not secondary or derivative, not empirical eventualities, nothing to be corrected, not correctable, not even regrettable, since the prefix bespeaks diapherein. For such to be regrettable we would have to posit a derivative, secondary, eventual, and always empirical fall, loss, or lack; nothing is farther from Derrida’s writing, however. Erasure belongs to the structure of the trace, the simulacrum of presence, erasure not only as that without which the trace would be the very indestructible monument, but also that which constitutes the trace from the outset, situating it as a change of site. The soliciting here of topoi is enormous, decisive, irreversible, always escaping presence. Presence is only what comes after the fact, the hardening, slowness, dullness. The erasure of the early trace of difference—die frühe Spur refer us to Heidegger’s Der Spruch des Anaximander—is the “same” as its tracing in the text of science. A mark must have been maintained from the erasure, put in reserve. It becomes a function in a structure of generalized reference. After reading the next paragraph we acknowledge that nature itself have us read the violence exerted in the wake of science’s denegation and repression of its graphematic trace structure.

Nous pourrons donc appeler différance cette discorde “active,” en mouvement, des forces différentes et des différences de forces que Nietzsche oppose à tout le système de la grammaire métaphysique partout où elle commande la culture, la philosophie et la science.[7]

The metaphysical grammar commands not only culture, philosophy and science, though; what it does to nature, or material and energetic conditions of possibility of life, by far exceeds its other violences. Political violence is minor relative natural violence. Should we not now also pinpoint that life also carries conditions of impossibility? And such is precisely what abundantly is observed over the whole planet. But as you cannot possibly take semantic or semiotic conditions of impossibility to say that what awaits is always the worst possible, that communication doesn’t exist, you cannot take factual and actualized conditions of impossibility in/on nature to mean that there are no means to make things better. The question is how. Such conditions are qualitative, so the answer points to quantitative measures.

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 gets conceptualized as 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 stress the fact that Derrida is a unique means to breach that magical spell cast.


Margins of Science

Signature, Event, Context has it asked:

Is there a rigorous and scientific concept of the context? Does not the notion of context harbor, behind a certain confusion, very determined philosophical presuppositions? To state it now in the most summary fashion, I would like to demonstrate why a context is never absolutely determinable, or rather in what way its determination is never certain or saturated. This structural nonsaturation would have as its double effect:

1. a marking of the theoretical insufficiency of the usual concept of (the linguistic or nonlinguistic) context such as it is accepted in numerous fields of investigation, along with all the other concepts with which it is systematically associated;

2. a rendering necessary of a certain generalization and a certain displacement of the concept of writing. The latter could no longer, henceforth, be included in the category of communication, at least if communication is understood in the restricted sense of the transmission of meaning. Conversely, it is within the general field of writing thus defined that the effects of semantic communication will be able to be determined as particular, secondary; inscribed, supplementary effects.

to be continued….



The mark we always use is not insignium: an outer sign of the high rank of something else.

In the exergue of Of Grammatology he records the impossibility of grammatology’s scientificity. How? The self-same epoch of science merges with another coincidence: the coming into existence of writing. A history of science presupposes a history of writing, of course, when it is admitted that writing is what made science possible in general. In this manner grammatology loses status as strict science, at the same time as violently qualifying any scientifically pretension, any science, science in general that is-with reference, of course, to the colloquial conceptualisations of such things.

c.II   Now we shall see how a sollicitation of the text of metaphysics functions. Alan Bass says this in the Introduction of Writing and Difference:

In the exergue of Of Grammatology he records the impossibility of grammatology’s scientificity. How? The self-same epoch of science merges with another coincidence: the coming into existence of writing. A history of science presupposes a history of writing, of course, when it is admitted that writing is what made science possible in general. In this manner grammatology loses status as strict science, at the same time as violently qualifying any scientifically pretension, any science, science in general that is-with reference, of course, to the colloquial conceptualisations of such things.

Then I ask: what makes writing legible? For something to be legible, readable-given that there exists reading-what must then be the case? Writing, codified elements (the concept of the code here being bracketed due to its somewhat problematical nature), is only such if in principle she is amenable of being read precisely by others than the writer and the recipient, that is, if she transcends every postal logic. A writer, no matter if this is the intention, is never writing for or by hermself,_ neither for the addressee, nor for a group. Se_ writes for herm own death as well for the death of the other to whom the writing intends, even for every other person’s death. You have to be able to read this even if I was to die, and every other, whomever that may be, have to be able to read this even if the both, or the tree, or the…, of us were to die. Additionally the writing has to function without her originary empirically saturating or theoretically determinable context. What would writing have been if not being like this? In any case: not writing. In its essence writing is iterable: the ciphered elements that are to come time and again-because only this may be read-have to be repeatable in eternity. It has to be repeatable without any form of substantial determinations of context: we have to be able to read without knowing what life-giving intentions and/or contexts accompanied these and those terms then and then. Derrida has called it the graphematic structure of the sign, and this is an universal characteristic of any communicable mark:

The field of the mark: the network of effacement and of difference, of units of iterability, which are separable from their internal and external context and also from themselves, inasmuch as the very iterability which constituted their identity does not permit them ever to be a unity that is identical to itself. [B]risure-dehiscence and a cleft: given the structure of iteration, the intention animating the utterance will never be trough and trough present to itself and its content. The intention will always suffer from brisure._

Brisure is exactly what always already splits-here different forms of movements of différanceing comes to view-the oneness of a consciousness, an intention, a context, a state of affairs, and which have to be such for us to have a language at all. Even if we took for granted that there is such things as unitary intentions, contexts, and the like, the brisure of the graphematical structure will throw them into the absolute darkness, that is, with respect to the absolute homogeneous, continuous and simplistic safeguarding attributed to them collectively.

The fact that elements of written discourse have to be ciphered, codified_, make sure that private or two-some languages never can exist as well; precisely a third-person, thereby any one, may in principle always read codified elements. A code is never a code if not decidable, readable-what would a code be if it not could be read, and here such as Derrida means it has to be graphematically constituted?-, and that something is readable means that in principle that it is readable for any one. When the code for its very functioning has to be repeatable in its different forms of identity blocks the de jure and de facto possibility of a chain of ciphered elements decipherable and open only for a strictly determined group of persons.

Then Derrida asks if not iterability concerns speech as much as any kind of language, signalling or communication? For a verbally expressed word to be audible it has to be, as we soon will see, constituted in and through the iterability representing writing-speech must be graphematically structured as well. Derrida is up to graft the repressed characteristics of writing unto speech. Then a new strategic concept of writing may come to the fore no longer in hierarchical contradiction to speech but rather is what produces speech and writing. This is an example of what he calls a double gesture, double writing or double science: first the strategic reversing of binarity, and then the displacement of the total field of systematic and thematic connections. In no lesser degree iterability concerns experience, which is a language too. Traces with two different faces: the one we think as death itself, that of the pure element of repeatability, that elements differentiating from itself and nevertheless the same exist at all, and this traces; the other as signs as being a synchronically arbitrary and necessary interwoving of intentions and deaths, playing with each other without our supervision. Not only is the sign meaningful to the extent it lets its differences to other signs produce its identity, such that you in every sign may discover the manifold of traces creating the sign, but the sign is also what itself, on its own, put traces, leave behind traces, lives its life together with other signs-this in addition to the effects of death. Derrida has so deconstructed the hierarchy of speech/writing. Because when one of the poles in a conceptual opposition-‘absence’-appears as having other meaning(s), the whole oppositional system gets displaced, and the conceptual relation becomes more than just a matter of opposition. At this juncture new knowledge comes forth.

c.III  The structure of trace feels bad only if we do not cope with seeing known things with new eyes, if we do not manage to cognize that we are referred to a metaphysics founded upon illusory conceptions of truth and meaning as being constituted of presence. This is not, however, to be understood as furnishing a new paradigm relieved of every plague inhabiting the former paradigm. We just don’t have the same expectations anymore. We understand that the thing-ousia-is in presence-parousia-, that what we are to speak of has to be near us, has to stand out and letting itself be posited-objicere; at the same time we have recognized that the presence of object and the object of presence always already has to be delayed, postponed, split, delegated, re-directed, reserved, and that it is precisely this enigmatic fundamental experience which propels our need for things and presence. [d]ifférance is not preceded by the originary and indivisible unity of a present possibility that I could reserve, like an expenditure that I would put off calculatedly or for reasons of economy. What defers presence, on the contrary, is the very basis on which presence is announced or desired in what represents it, its sign, its trace._ In the preface of Of Grammatology Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak brings attention to something important:

The oppositions between intelligible and sensible, soul and body seem to have lasted out “the history of the Western philosophy”, bequeathing their burden to modern linguistics’ opposition between meaning and word. The opposition between writing and speech takes its place within this pattern.[…] It is this longing for a centre, an authorized pressure, that spawns hierarchized oppositions. The superior term belongs to presence and the logos; the inferior serves to define its status and mark a fall._

Is Derrida directly intervening in the destiny of the philosophy of presence? Is he not putting our destiny upon the painful knife-edge, for all time to come? Then it is just to start cutting and slicing, never to be finished with, which itself will produce work out of a work not idealizable, precisely out of work, as that which does something with the thing.

More than once Derrida writes that deconstruction is the experience of the impossible.

The deconstruction of speech/writing is thus compatible with giving priority to writing, a turnabout, an inversion, because this would only help create another form of violent metaphysics, and thereby not serve the thought, the responsibility, the ethics. The entire constellation of writing and speech, however, is being put in a provocative and problematical movement: extrapolating the logic of writing upon speech makes us aware of another type of writing, never possible to induct inside of the harsh regime of the logic of binarity, making both possible, making both what they are, but itself not capable of being presented as colloquial speech and writing-arche-writing, difference. The deconstruction of the regime of speech and writing is an example on what it means writing with two hands: the one hand overthrows a violent hierarchy, without jumping off_, because this would only make it impossible to intervene effectively. The necessity of this phase is structural, as hierarchies of oppositions always re-establish. The other hand must make sure that writing not simply keeps itself inside of the deconstructed terrain, but mark the interval between the inversions, which makes low what was high and converse, and a unique, different “concept” infracting, which never really is a concept because it never will let itself be constituted as a third term, let itself be tempted by a solution of the speculative-dialectical sort. This interval is marked by what Derrida calls empty shadows, simulacra, “undecidabilities”, “false” sematic, nominal properties housing itself in the oppositions of philosophy, producing resistances and disorganizing effects. As he writes in Positions it is here not a matter of given phases or a given moment-a page that one day simply will be turned, in order to go on to other things._

Derrida urges us to temperance simultaneously with an intensification of radical play never letting itself get railed in by rules. Is it Sophresyne? I will come back to this in my meditations.


The difference between something undecidable and undeterminable plays an important role in Derrida’s writings on différance, with a view, first, to making understandable the more general features of his thinking, and, second, making possible a grip on the term to meditated over. This paragraph will establish the connection between the motif of différance, and arche-writing and the grammatology.

d.I   Undecidability, he says, is always a determined restless wandering between precisely strictly determined possible positions. Talking in semantic or moral terms here is not decisive; undecidability is something you experience in semantic as well as practical contexts: you have something present at hand, experiencing that it might be this and that, precisely a determined number of this and that-things, but that it is never possible to make a strict decision whether the one or the other is the truly right, true or authentic-the proper. It is hard her to know the way out. But you would never be able to suspected mischief, you would not at all experience this as a troubling and demanding situation confronting you, if not precisely through such determined possibilities, determinable possible positions withdrawing from any ontologically, morally or aesthetically determinable status.

These possible positions are strictly determinable inside of strictly determined concrete situations, these being of semantic no less, again, than moral or political character. Then Derrida claims that his analysis of undecidability necessarily relates to these determinations and these definitions, which we all are forced to articulate in issues indecidable-and does not relate to some sort of a fuzzy concept of non-determinability. He writes: To be sure, in order for structures of undecidability to be possible (and hence structures of decisions and responsibilities as well), there must be a certain play, différance, nonidentity. Not of indetermination, but of différance or of nonidentity with oneself in the very process of determination._ And this is what he is concerned with: the strict undecidability, that is to say, insofar as determinations in given situations stabilizes through concrete and singular acts of writing, but which nevertheless always takes place inside of the logic of generalized writing-these acts thereby being split a priori (of course there is no a priori in its Kantian sense) by the very fact that they in the same moment are exposed for ever new understandings and interpretations, inside of ever new and strictly in-predictable, generally undecided and undecidable, non-saturatable  future contexts, and for foreign and exotic states of consciousness, intentions, wishes, etc.. We may say that there is no saturator, because there is nothing outside the text.

What is decisive here is not the position in itself, but the fact that the agent strives for determinations; this is ethic’s last answer, as much concerning semantic as practical life. Every thing is interpretation, and interpretation is involuntarily inscribed in a horizon that for each rotation you make appears new, opening itself outwards and inwards itself beyond any decidability, but which cry out for a determinability able to satisfy responsibility and ethical composure. The problem of the sign is not that it functions outside of its context, but that there only are contexts, without centre-recaulked. Thus contexts is not only something external to language; they rather form language from the inside, without ever letting itself be decided and settled, this uneasiness being the possibility and being of language. There is no way to confirm identity of beginning and passing by in these eternal contextualizations; there are neither circular nor elliptic re-appropriations in Derrida’s unique-in my word-model of writing. This model articulates decision, what it means, the pressure of being. It is here that the structure of double bind is located, have its resource, precisely tran-scribes from: articulation, decision, violence, angst, that is, what we all have to deal with and make liveable. There would be no irresolution or double bind if not by determinate poles, poles which in certain conditions is strictly necessary, but which at the same time are irreplaceably singular, by reason of the law of iterability which always order one to be wary of the individuality, carefully, noticing all types of qualifications you are inscribed into as a (human) being.

It is the angustia_ of theory which withdraw the veil from a roguish ghost with pencil which ships his gnarled pen strokes unto an interminable mass of possible meanings which simultaneously press forward and obstructs each other in catching up with a speech’s necessary, articulated narrowing and compressing: Preventing, but calling upon each other, provoking each other too, unforeseeably and as if despite oneself, in a kind of autonomous overassemblage of meanings, a power of pure equivocality that makes the creativity of the classical God appear all too poor._ But in the very movement of angustia there also is an drive for finding an escape route, so as to flee from itself: to reach a meaning which reduces moments of responsibility in any act of determination, in any moment of inscription, threatened by the sufferance of time in need of finding a pro-gram.

We are not, however, through with philosophy-we do not get Apocalypse Now!-even if reduced to power, or if reduced to only formal or mediating functions, or even if we were to believe that différance was some kind of sparkling formula. We are always, and always have to be, in the net of philosophy, and this net is always metaphysical. Many questions are endless in the sense that they for its full meaning and full response would require access to eternity. Our finitude forces us into metaphysics; we do have to make decisions, that is to say, determine them as to type, extent and acuteness. And when problematizing determinations we are never far from a metaphysical game with sky-high bets. This is what makes ethics and politics, and this is ti say that philosophy is and streams out of all texts, from “anywhere”. Philosophy can not die, not even heroically. Thinking is always apocalyptic, but there is always the way of the bad and the way of the good._

If in Derrida’s readings and writings what is at stake is a transcending of la metaphysique, then we can not ascribe it a locus, as a fait accompli._ We are speaking of a certain-and this is the very target and aim of Derrida’s readings of the tradition-transcending which is not really a transcending, because of its not being made in an unitary fashion, inside of many fields, and primarily because of its impossibility of being made through, it never can: un certain dehors, a ‘certain outside’. There is not a transgression, if one understand by that a pure and simple landing into a beyond of metaphysics…even in aggressions or transgressions, we are consorting with a code to which metaphysics is tied irreducibly, such that every transgressive gesture reencloses us-precisely by giving us a hold on the closure of metaphysics-within this closure. _ Every panoptical motifs are set in anonymously adrift; through this work being done on the border and limit, therby inside and outside, metaphysics is subject to radical work, and so modified, thus establishing clôture de la metaphysique as process.

We now see that différance does not end in relativism, or in a position where it is impossible to determine, to make choices: ‘indeterminacy’, but that différance is what at all makes determination and choice possible, wanted and needed, indeed necessary-and let me add: possibility and necessity here being in the same movement of time. différance, that is, is namely that play which at all effectuates, transports precisely possible determinations, opening the field for determinacy, and which in the very same instant makes concrete determinations necessary, forcing, urgent.

That thinking hurts, given that the conditions of thinking are as treated here, is not an argument against Derrida having the best reasons for saying what he says.

d.II   Derrida wants to remind us of another set of laws, show that there is another economy in play and that this never can be reduced to another, that this other in a certain sense have a constitutive function as well. Two economies abreast, or better: not side by side but the one residing in the other. We may say it thus: the colloquial economy houses an economy of death-this is only one of its names-, standing in a peculiar relation to the traditional economy of life and light._ The economy of light has an inscription bearing the signatory of the deadman, strangely split in relation to this signatory: on the one hand is this economy descended from and heir to the dead signatory, but on the other hand-to be theory-throw away its testamentary inheritance and live as if its own orphan source. What now about philosophy itself, orphanizing and condemning the economy of writing and the writing of economy!

This essential drift bearing on writing as an iterative structure, cut off from all absolute reponsibility, from consciousness as the ultimate authority, orphaned and separated at birth from the assistance of its father, is precisely what Plato condemns in the Phaedrus. If Plato’s gesture is, as I believe, the philosophical movement par excellence, one can measure what is at stake here._

In a certain sense-strategic-we says that the one set of laws constitutes the other. These bilateral laws forms an extremely complex structure, and comes to being together: the economy of death would not make it without the offer of the articulation of light and life. They comes to being together, but not as sprouting from the same source, as they always gets imploded by difference-in-itself: difference is the concept of economy par excellence, the most general structure of economics, which at all opens exchange, distribution, positioning, balancing, tensions, “given that one understands by economy something other than the classical economy of metaphysics, or the classical metaphysics of economy”._  In this way the traditional economy of metaphysics and metaphysics of economy can be restrained for their swollen monarchic character which everywhere produces fatal effects of death precisely to the extent that they refuses to recognize the effective relation betwixt death and life. We have seen that Derrida negates the possibility for language generally being transcendent of metaphysics. Conversely he claims that there is non-metaphysical elements inside of metaphysics, so to say, that metaphysics is porous, penetrated by something it is not._ Metaphysics is pierced by dead, in the form of a logic of repeatability. Repetition, and the continuing possibility of being repeated without end in sight, is the one medium which makes metaphysics-in the first thought of the subject as well as an increasingly structuring and steering system-float, but which represents what metaphysics will not be, what it delimits itself from, and this being inside of metaphysics itself as the condition for its possibility. Language lives in and through death, and the Other(s), and language dies in and through this form of life-here Derrida points out that there are many before him almost spelling différance right: Hegel, Marx, Nietsche, Freud, Heidegger, Saussure, Lévinas.

Of course does the economy of light and sight work in his writing and thinking as well; that economy is really classic, exemplary; in no way is this exemplary and valid an accidental and conventional property, a purely historic construction. We will never be freed from that. He simply wants to disturb the classic economy’s colossal and inert mode of operation and province of activity. This is something to be done time and again. What is necessary here is structural. The necessity of an interminable analysis is motivated by the fact that hierarchies of dual oppositions always re-establish themselves. Everywhere and perpetually this economy’s priggism and self-justice must be provoked and irritated. Derrida writes with two hands in order to solicitate, delimit, close, qualify. Totally shaken-for example when philosophers of language hierarchizes what is normal and anomalous, parasitic; primary and secondary, logically independent and logically dependent, speech act proper versus reference, quotation, song and poetry, and it then turns out that number one, that which represents the good, is build upon number two, the bad, the whole system surely crack apart.

d.III   ([T]hat which would be in excess for a reductive analysis of any kind: reductivity

precisely-)Austin never worded a really general theory, ensuring both the possibility of speech acts in everyday life as well as citations on the theatre scene. _ In such a General Speech Act Theory a certain type of concept of citation had to found and make possible subsequent differentiations such as regular and irregular speech acts as well as various parasitic ways of use.

Could a performative statement succeed if its formulation did not repeat a “coded” or iterable statement, in other words, if the expressions I use to open a meeting, launch a ship or a marriage, were not identifiable as conforming to an iterable model, and therefore if they were not identifiable in a way as “citation”?_

A performative expression would never succeed, never be “happy”, if not a citational doubling split and dissociated a specific consciousness, intention, motivation, context, that is, if not the expression amounted to an irreleasable rifting and stretching of what is general and universal and what is special and particular, making up a contradiction to be considered in terms of neither of the Hegelian contradictions: the determined and the abstract. This relation is irreducible because it is split, because it constantly refuses its own re-solution: on the one hand it must be said that the relation finds its characteristics from the motif of iterability, as, for instance, when signs always are what is graftable on every new or old contexts, or when you recognize that no matter what and how you communicate you are always citing as well, and that it may be cited further on without period, or that signs may live on if only given a breath-we will return to this-; but on the other hand this iterative structure can not be formalized, precisely by reason of this iterative imperative itself. On the on hand universal forces; on the other these are such as not allowing being put under system commando, a totalising structure. It is quite a difference saying that something must be iterable if it is to appear and function as signs, as signalling, from beforehand make an exhaustive determination of all iterative deflections, swerves: effects.

In Signature Event Context, communicating with Austin, Derrida asks whether the pure singularity of a happening is possible to articulate. _ Of course not: when all possible sentences are construed by real or virtual citations it is not very meaningful to speak of singular happenings; if there at all are such things as subjects, situations, intentions, they are nevertheless impenetrable by the generality of every act of meaning. But neither this generality can be decided in its content-as something demarcated, a singularity-because precisely of the generality of every citation (and in a certain sense there is only citations), which is to ensure citations to work and function in ever new contexts, and so what is general will never redeem what the definition of generality promises. The essence of writing is the universality of citations; every form of communication is imploded by the solicitations of the generalized writing. And if any breed of communication is citational, then every linguistic intention, or more generally: every will to meaning, or any will, for its very positive appearance be always already split with and from itself, with a view to its unity and purity. That the classic dichotomy between pre-linguistic depots and linguistic enterprises have to be understood as a de jure double-edgeance-growing from a de facto general possibility of citation, iteration, re-citation, corruption-makes it clear that difference only shows up in concrete, singular determinations, and then possess precisely different figure, this because of its not being anything in itself. Therefore it neither can come to halt sometime. It functions and figures in any text, and only in texts-but texts (is) all we got. Every time you demonstrate such a différanceial figure an experience of the impossible opens up. But not every one wants to see it, because then they get scared, and all sorts of exorcism blooms. The structure of out of joint, or Un-Fug_, is the very thing which reveals the surplus of justice, gift, civilization, which is what makes you able to do things for the other at all, or rather give at all (if there are such things as gifts, which is not certain), that is, give something which never were to be done, precisely what represents the supplements and appendixes of the bureaucracy of moralisms and judicaturisms. Inside of the good conscious of our outstanding fulfilments of duty, strategically and adventurously positioned, Derrida prompts us to re-thinkings._











3 Responses to “Margins of Science”
  1. Daily says:

    An all around well written piece

  2. backlink says:

    I don’t disagree with you.

  3. What an all ’round amazingly written article!!!

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