The Unlimited Responsibility Of Spilling Ink

Minerva 11:128-152 (2007)

In order to show that both Derrida’s epistemology and his ethics can be understood in terms of his logicof writing and giving, I consider his conversation with Searle in Limited Inc. I bring out how adeconstruction that is implied by the dissemination of writing and giving makes a difference thataccounts for the creative and responsible decisions that undecidability makes possible. Limited Inc hasfour parts and I will interpret it in terms of the four main concepts of Derrida. I will relate signature,event, context to Derrida’s notion of dissemination and show how he differs from Austin and Searleconcerning the notion of the signature of the one who writes and gives.Next, I will show how in his reply to Derrida, entitled, “Reiterating the Differences”, Searle overlooksDerrida’s thought about the communication of intended meaning that has to do with Derrida’sdistinction between force and meaning and his notion of differance. Here I will show that Searle cannoteven follow his own criteria for doing philosophy. Then by looking at Limited Inc, I show how Derridadiffers from Searle because repeatability is alterability. Derrida has an ethical intent all along to showthat it is the ethos of alterity that is called forth by responsibility and accounted for by disseminationand difference
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