Analytical and continental philosophy

Glendinning, S. (1996) Analytical and continental philosophy. Filosoficky Casopis, 44 (2). pp. 257-276. ISSN 0015-1831. (The full text of this publication is not available from this repository)

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Abstract

It is usually assumed that Derrida's reading of Austin is or aims to be a Continental critique of the analytical tradition of philosophy. In this paper it is argued that conceiving the case of Austin and Derrida as a contest between two traditions of philosophy is wholly inappropriate and superficial. Derrida's work is in many respects quite close to Austin's, both interested in and indebted to his problematic. Indeed, both can be seen to have a central concern with a tendency to simplify and schematize the functioning of ordinary language, a tendency which they both call ''philosophical''. Of course, Derrida's view of Austin's theory of speech-acts is not uncritical. Specifically, he argues that Austin's theory is forced into exclusion of possibilities of the iii phenomenon of ordinary language - what Austin calls ''marginal'' and ''parasitic:'' cases - that are neither rigorous nor logical. The cases at issue concern circumstances in which language is used, in Austin's terms, ''not seriously'', for example, in stage recitation. Against Austin, Derrida argues that such cases are, qua possibility, part of the essential structure of a language. It is, he claims, inconceivable that something should be a word and not have ''citationality'' as part of its logical structure. And hence one cannot exclude the ''parasite'' without distorting one's account of the ''ordinary'' as well. Through a careful re-appraisal of Derrida's argument it is shown that the real lesson of the case of Austin and Derrida is just how difficult it is to avoid a preconceived ideal of the ordinary to which we think reality must correspond; of presuming as unproblematic an approach to ordinary language which is idealizing in its inception.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: R.F. Xu
Date Deposited: 05 Jun 2009 00:00
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2009 00:00
Resource URI: http://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/19207 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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