Out of the Ordinary

In The Ways We Think. Chichester, UK: Wiley. pp. 158–188 (2016)
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Abstract

This chapter considers certain key features of Austin's philosophy. It discusses the under recognised affinities that exist between the work of Derrida and Austin, particularly concerning their philosophical methods and their respective attempts to work against the traditional, representation list account of language. The chapter exemplifies the manner in which Derrida nevertheless presents himself as going beyond Austin's philosophy in certain crucial ways, by attending to the criticisms he levels at Austin in his paper ‘Signature Event Context’. It describes Derrida's account by assessing whether his critique of Austin holds, a task that is aided by an exploration of Stanley Cavell's critique of Derrida's reading of Austin. Finally, through appraising Cavell and Derrida's readings of Austin, the chapter argues that Derrida's critique can in fact be defended and in a manner that serves understand Derrida's account of language and thought in certain significant ways.

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