Person – Subject – Organism- An Overview of Interdisciplinary Insights
Edited By Anton Vydra
The Limits of Communication: A Phenomenological Account of Indication and Expression in Response to Derrida
The aim of this paper is to clarify the treatment of communication in Husserl’s phenomenology and, in consideration of certain of Derrida’s criticisms, advance further explanations of communicative activity. Following its source material, the paper begins with an analysis of indication and expression, arguing that Derrida is, in fact, correct in interpreting Husserl as positing a mostly functional separation between the two concepts. Building from this point, however, the paper reasserts the phenomenological primacy of the subject as the origin from which all expression arises, while attacking the view that the absence any intersubjective appearance of ‘thinking expressions’ in communication is troublesome for phenomenology. This is to conclude, contrary to Derrida’s criticism, that a description of communication is entirely reducible to a description of the expressive and interpretative activities of an ego-subject, and that, therefore, even if Derrida is correct in saying that the phenomenological account of communication withholds meaning from communicative artifacts, he has not adequately considered whether communication remains possible, underpinned by the ability of the subject to bring meaning with him into interpretation.
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