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Distributed for Museum Tusculanum Press

Speech and System

In this investigation, creative writing and philosophy are shown to be specific types of language games, distinct from speech as used in communicative interaction between individuals. The author deals with thinking, speech and systems, respectively. (I) Thinking is understood as a soliloquy preceding any kind of creative activity and any kind of writing. The author analyses thinking as a subject’s listening to its own voice, with a split between "I" and "me", close to Derrida’s notion of "difference" as a condition for the production of meaning. (II) Analyzing - with reference to Benveniste, Austin and Searle - what speech is, the author deduces the so-called "pragmatic subject" (in contrast to the first section’s reflective). In its elementary speech act the pragmatic subject does constitute itself in rudimentary ways. (III) In dealing with the product of reflective activity, the author finds the so-called textual inconsistence or logical aporias inherent in any logical or pseudo-logical system to be in line with Goedel’s incompleteness theorems, and he rejects the tendency to use deconstruction to understand these aporias, as is usual in Western metaphysics. - The author’s philosophical position is closest to that of Paul Ricoeur and Jacques Derrida, but on crucial issues he advances his own ideas on the relationship between speech and writing, also establishing a criticism of metaphysics that may be more radical than what has previously been developed.

381 pages | 7 1/4 x 10 1/4 | © 1997

Philosophy: General Philosophy

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Table of Contents

General Introduction

Section One: Thinking
    1. A Model of the Subject
    2. Intentionality and Creative Production
    3. Thinking as Concern For Being
    4. Between Reflectivity and Rationality
    5. The Auto-Biographical Connection
Section Two: Speech and Meaning
    1. Speech and Thinking, Enunciation and Reflectivity
    2. Identity, Thinking, and Speech
    3. The Question of Meaning
    4. Speech-Act and Arché-Writing
    5. Construction of Meaning
Section Three: Systems
    1. Deconstructive Propaedeutics: Basic Principles in Deconstruction
    2. Inconclusiveness and the Language of Mathematics
    3. Deconstruction Under Debate
    4. Man as a ‘Thinking Something’
    5. The Logic of Rational Communication
    6. How to Understand Theories of Understanding
    7. Limits of Order

Danish Abstract

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