Re: [xmca] Vygotsky vs. Derrida

From: Wolff-Michael Roth (
Date: Sun Oct 22 2006 - 12:30:27 PDT

some may also be interested in my non-representational analysis of
language in classroom learning, the evolution of language etc.
cheers, m

Roth, W.-M. (2005). Talking science: Language and learning in
science. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.


David, Michael, Tony, & ----

I wonder if you could point this amateur toward the empirical
of the discussion
of Derrida, difference, Saussure........ I have not read the
essential texts
(I suspect I am not
alone in this unstate) so it is only from time to time that I can
connect to
a part of a discussion
and then fear that any comment will be unproductive because it will
attention from the ongoing
flow of thought, which is something short of a smooth flow at best (!!).


PS-- I like the idea of a "with" ontology. Sort of fits my notion of
mediated activity as a unit of analysis
for understanding human nature.

On 10/22/06, Wolff-Michael Roth <> wrote:
> Hi Tony, I am not so sure that Derrida is anti-realist. Before I read
> him, I naively took people at their word when they said that D takes
> a position of everything being in language, and I might have
> reproduced such a statement myself in very early writing about him.
> (A piece on the phenomenology of mathematical knowing.) But when you
> read the book "On Touching--Jean-Luc Nancy", you get a very different
> perspective on D. The body is all over the place, the body is the
> condition for knowing and language.
> Anyway, this is my reading of it. Jean-Luc Nancy is an interesting
> philosopher who knows his Hegel inside out, and who has re-thought
> Hegelian dialectics (In his books Nancy, J.-L. (2001). The
> speculative remark (One of Hegel's bon mots). Stanford: Stanford
> University Press.
> Nancy, J.-L. (2002). Hegel: The restlessness of the negative.
> Stanford: Stanford University Press.) and has worked out an ontology
> that is based on the primacy of the WITH as the precondition of
> consciousness--consistent with the Meshcheryakov experiments.
> Michael
> On 22-Oct-06, at 8:06 AM, Tony Whitson wrote:
> On Sun, 22 Oct 2006, Wolff-Michael Roth wrote about Derrida:
> > He is probably the most misunderstood philosopher, because
> > interpreted from non-dialectical scholars.
> I think one reason is that he makes philosophical points
> performatively, and not just propositionally. Many don't understand
> what he's doing by that, and many more don't even see he's doing that
> at all, but reduce his writing to some sort of propositional residue
> which they rightly observe does not amount to as much. What's being
> evaluated then is the reader's own reduction, not Derrida's thinking
> and writing. (The exchange with Searle is the best-known example.)
> Somebody once distinguished between philosophers who are either
> understood or not understood, vs those who are either understood or
> misunderstood. (Anybody know the source for that?)
> Derrida makes a bad mistake at the point where he sees Peirce
> resorting to a "transcendental signified" (I think that's the phrase
> D uses, but I won't look it up right now.) I think Deely's right
> about Derrida (unlike Peirce) being trapped in an anti-realist
> modernism. Still, I think that to reduce Derrida to Saussure is to
> miss out on some important insights that Derrida uniquely has to
> offer.
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