Derrida vs Searle: The obscure object of language

A symbol of the analytic – continental divide

The legendary exchange between Derrida and Searle on the nature of language remains a symbol of the chasm between the so-called Analytic and Continental traditions of philosophy. But beyond highlighting the blind spots of an understanding of language that excludes literature, irony, jokes, and the subconscious, the exchange also underlines the refusal of analytic philosophers to seriously engage with the other side, writes Peter Salmon.


“With Derrida, you can hardly misread him, because he’s so obscure. Every time you say, “He says so and so,” he always says, “You misunderstood me.” But if you try to figure out the correct interpretation, then that’s not so easy. – John Searle

Jacques Derrida was and is one of the most controversial philosophers of all time. To many, particularly in the ‘analytic’ tradition of philosophy, he remains a charlatan. To others, those in the ‘continental’ tradition, he is one of the greatest t

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dome vad 19 January 2024

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