Searle's relativism

In an attack on moral relativism and social constructivism in the New York Review of Books (not online), the famous philosopher John R. Searle writes of Jacques Derrida that he "argues ... that there is no tenable distinction between writing and speech."1

And I, reading this, can't help thinking that Searle is being intentionally misleading. Searle engaged with Derrida on a number of occasions in well-publicised debates. He must have read a lot of Derrida, so I can only imagine that he is misrepresenting him intentionally. Why? Because that there is a profound distinction between speech and writing and parsing out exactly what that is, is inarguably one of the most central themes of Derrida's work. His early books, Writing and Difference, Speech and Phenomena, and Of Grammatology are all on this theme.

This glaring error is just one of many holes in Searle's line of reasoning, most of which are so vast and obvious you could drive heavy machinery through them. I would have thought Searle would have understood his opponents by now, but he still doesn't. And while one can be forgiven for not understanding Derrida, whose prose style I've sometimes found more than a little irritating and obtuse, his denigration of people like Rorty and Putnam are just badly argued, thought and written. Moreover: he is definitely in a position to know better, so ignorance is not an excuse. He seems to be arguing entirely in bad faith. More on which, maybe, later. I'm guessing you're all not really in the mood for long-winded philosophy when you read blogs.

1. The New York Review of Books, Volume LVI, number 14, p. 90

Labels: , , , , ,


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Оціните самий кращий програмний продукт у сфері рекламного бізнесу, який об'єднує більш ніж 12 форматів реклами від розробників CMS AdminStation - www.adminstation.in.ua
Ви можете вибрати будь-який систем на ваш смак:
PopUp v3.1
Програмний проукт для організації великої рекламної біржі що містить в собі більше 12 видів реклами, а саме:
1) PopUp -реклама (перехід по кнопці "Закрити")
2) BodyClick -реклама (ClickUnder)
3) Баннерная реклама
4) Контекстна реклама
5) Тизерная реклама
6) Плаваючий блок посилань
7) Розтяжка (Top - line)
8) ICQ - window
9) Peel - down (Куточок)
10) SLIDER - банер
Demo: http://popup.adminstation.ru

Скрипт для обміну трафіком. Технології ClickUnder і Iframe.
Демо: http://traf.adminstation.ru

Система для роботи з мобільним трафіком
Демо: http://wap.adminstation.ru

Система для СМС партнерки
Демонстраційна версія: http://sms.adminstation.ru

Доступи на усе Демо: Login: Admin; Pass: demo

Більше детально можете ознайомитися на URL [url=http://adminstation.in.ua]www.adminstation.in.ua[/url]
ICQ для зв'язки: 451-699-555

August 25, 2011 8:48 pm  

Post a Comment

<< Home