A Glossary of Literary Terms 8.9分
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His point of vantage is what, in Of Grammatology, he calls "the axial proposition that there is no outside the text"......Like all Derrida's key terms and statements, this has multiple significations, but a primary one is that a reader cannot get beyongd verbal signs to any things-in-themselves which, because they are independent of the system of language, might serve to anchor a determinable meaning. Derrida's reiterated claim is that not only all Western philosophies and theories of language, but all Western uses of language, hence all Western culture, are logocentric, that is, they are centered or grounded on a "logos" or, as stated in a phrase he adopts from Heidegger, they rely on "the metaphysics of presence". They are logocentric, according to Derrida, in part because they are phonocentric; that is, they grant, implicitly or explicitly, logical "priority" or "privilege" to speech over writing as the model of analyzing all discourse. By logos, or presence, Derrida signifies what he also calls as "ultimate referent" - a self-certifying and self-sufficient ground, or foundation, available to us totally outside the play of language itself, that is directly present to our awareness and serves to "center" (that is, to anchor, organize, and guarantee) the structure of the linguistic system, and as a result suffices to fix the bounds, coherence, and determinate meanings of any spoken or written utterance within that system. Historical instances of claimed foundations for language are God as the guarantor of its validity, or a Platonic form of the true reference of a general term, or a Hegelian "telos" or goal toward which all process strives, or an intention to signify something determinate that is directly present to the awareness of the person who initiate an utterance. Derrida undertakes to show that these and all other attempts by Western philosophy to establish an absolute ground in presence, and all implicit reliance on such a ground in using language, are bound to fail. Especially, the directs his skeptical exposition against the the phonocentric assumption - which the regards as central in Western theories of language - that at the instant of speaking, the "intention" of a speaker to mean something determinate by an utterance is immediately and fully present in the speaker's consciousness, and is also communicable to an auditor. In Derrida's view, we must always say more, and other, than we intend to say. ...... From this view Derrida evolves his radical claim that the features that, in any particular utterance, would serve to establish the signified meaning of a word, are never "present" to us in their own positive identity, since both these features and their significations are nothing other than a network of differences. On the other hand, neither can these identifying features be said to be strictly "absent"; in only of a "self-effacing" trace - self-effacing in that one is not aware of it - which consists of all the nonpresent differences from other elements in the language system that invest the utterance with its "effect" of having a meaning in its own right. The consequence, in Derrida's view, is that we can never, in any instance of speech or writing, have a demonstrably fixed and decidable present meaning...... ......To Derrida's view, then , it is difference that makes possible the meaning whose possibility (in a decidable meaning) it necessarily baffles. As Derrida says in another of his coinages, the meaning of any spoken or written utterance, by the action of opposing internal linguistic forces, is ineluctably disseminated - a term which includes, among its deliberately contradictory significations, that of having an effect of meaning (a "semantic" effect), of dispersing meanings among innumerable alternatives, and of negating any specific meaning; There is thus no ground, in the incessant play of difference that constitutes any language, for attributing a decidable meaning, or even a finite set of determinately multiple meanings, to any utterance that we speak or write. As Derrida puts it in Writing and Difference:"The absence of a transcendental signified extends the domain and the play of signification infinitely."

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