Does Hegel privilege speech over writing? A critique of Jacques Derrida

Abstract
In his essay 'The Pit and the Pyramid: Introduction to Hegel's Semiology', Jacques Derrida claims that there is a privilege of speech over writing inherent in Hegel's theory of signs. In this paper, I examine Derrida's criticism. While it is to Derrida's credit that he focusses on an area of Hegel's philosophy that has hardly been analysed, his reading is problematic in several regards. After presenting Derrida's main arguments, I pose three questions, the first of which belongs to the realm of subjective spirit, the second to objective spirit, and the third to absolute spirit. I shall then show that Hegel makes several statements in favour of a privilege of writing over speech - statements that are not merely parenthetic or marginal. Moreover, those claims that Hegel makes toward any privilege of speech are in the wrong place, namely, subjective spirit, for them to represent his final point of view.
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