Is That Right?

Here’s something I find quite funny. It’s from The Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism from the entry for ‘Speech Acts’.

This issue of parasitic language became one of the turning points of the Searle-Derrida debate. In the late 1970s Searle wrote a “reply” to Derrida’s deconstruction of Austin, assuming that Derrida was attacking Austin and rushing to the master’s defense. Derrida then wrote a hundred-page deconstruction of Searle’s reply, more or less savaging Searle and demonstrating both that philosophically Searle is way out of his league and that methodologically Searle and Derrida are not so very far apart. Both Searle and Derrida are analytical philosophers who believe in rational, logical thought; Derrida is merely better at it than Searle, more sensitive to the mind-numbing complexity of analytical issues.


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