Re: (OPE-L) Re: Specters of Derrida

From: antonio callari (antonio.callari@FANDM.EDU)
Date: Tue Oct 19 2004 - 14:33:18 EDT

I certainly haven't read everything Derrida has written, but among what I have
read, I have yet to find anything that fits the characterization of "lacking
articulate content." I have come across plenty of accusations to the effect,
offered often with examples taken out of context (sounds like a form of the
politics of discourse, and not a very high one); but nothing that holds water.

As for stews: Derrida's was quite tasty, for those whose palate is
trained. But,
I agree, if you are not used to the spiciness of his language, and you are not
into seeing his words cooking slowly (as any good stew does), then you will not
like it.

Are Derrida's ideas trivial?  Is the idea (and the philosophical
sophistication behind it) that the self ought to be thought of as
being at the juncture of "what is" with "what could have been" (or
"could be")--instead of it being thought of as being constituted as
"things are", i.e., kept prisoner within the logic of the world as
is--is that trivial/ If so, then I guess Marx's idea of commodity
fetishism (to pick his one theoretical attempt to come to terms with
the opposition between how things "are experienced' and "how else"
could be "experienced") could be thought of as trivial.  just what is
it that might be trivial in Derrida? His philosophical investigation
of the gift? his philosophical investigation of friendship? his
philosophical investigation of mourning/legacy and self? Trivial


>Roy Bhaskar similarly descends into a "stew of words", but I find his
>theories to be deep and interesting, so I can almost forgive the bad
>writing. But really there is no excuse for it.
>Some of the least intuitive and most difficult concepts derive from
>the physical sciences, yet when translated into terms anyone can
>understand, retain their profundity (e.g., relativity, quantum
>mechanics etc). When Derrida's ideas are translated into such terms,
>they appear trivial. Perhaps that explains the need to expend so much
>effort on style?

Antonio Callari
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