Time and Nonbeing in Derrida and Quine

Edith Wyschogrod

in Crossover Queries

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print June 2006 | ISBN: 9780823226061
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823235148 | DOI:

Series: Perspectives in Continental Philosophy

Time and Nonbeing in Derrida and               Quine

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This chapter argues that it can disclose a “common commensurating ground” deeper than the relativism and conventionalism that characterize both Willard Van Orman Quine's and Jacques Derrida's views of knowing, one that may also help dispose of such disjunctive and prejudicial distinctions as cognitive/hermeneutic, rational/irrational, and so on. This common ground, both commensurating link and entering wedge, is the time pattern each attributes to language. The temporal structure of language is important to Quine's view of stimulus meaning and enters his theory of translation at a critical point: in his account of the relation of class terms to counterfactuality. It is also central to Derrida's deconstruction of speech and presence and to his claims concerning the repressive character of writing. The chapter hopes, following Quine, to gain access to the common features of their accounts of the temporal structure of language by resorting to the fiction of an unknown language.

Keywords: relativism; conventionalism; Willard Van Orman Quine; Jacques Derrida; knowing; time pattern; language; speech; writing

Chapter.  6853 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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