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The illusion of language

What language purports to give us is the illusion of ‘mastery’ that Derrida he set out to puncture. Language, for Derrida, is always saying more than we want it to say; it has a tendency to undermine itself, even to turn against itself; there is no final liberation into some utopia of clarity, transparency and understanding

The illusion that language might provide us with access to a reality beyond language, beyond metaphor: an unmediated experience of truth and being of  that all too humAN  DESIRE FOR ‘presence’,

This illusion, according to Derrida, was the corollary of a long history of ‘logocentrism’: a privileging of the spoken word as the repository of ‘presence’.

The meaning of what we say, or write  is always ‘undecidable’; it hardly takes shape before it dissolves again in an endless process of differing and deferring that denies words any positive definition and at all;  and susceptible to deconstruction as any other utterance. 

Yet our subjectivity is ‘constituted’ in and through language,and if language as a means to state our being, so  you have to bid farewell to the idea of a stable, unified self. 

That notion is another of those reassuring fictions – like god, Spinoza’s ‘substance’, Hegel’s Geist, Heidegger’s ‘being’, Lévi-Strauss’s structures – we have devised in order to escape différance and find some anchor, some ‘meaning of meanings’. We would be better off, he suggested, if we abandoned this search for foundations, and these god-terms, in favour of a ‘Nietzschean affirmation, that is the joyous affirmation of the play of the world and the innocence of becoming.

This affirmation of becoming then determines the non-centre and subverts
a yearning for the illusory loss of the centre. 
In this way become heirs  of system-destroyers such as Wittgenstein, who used ‘satires, parodies, aphorisms’ to subvert the efforts of mainstream philosophy to ‘ground’ itself in certainties.

This then is not  covert ‘attempt at  ‘asphyxiation’ to reason but is what might be termed ‘resistance to totalitarain language. One migth term it an act of filial repudiation.

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