frenchie deconstructionism

David Chandler intro

Michel Foucault admitted to his friend John Searle that he intentionally complicated his writings to appease his French audience. Searle claims Foucault told him: “In France, you gotta have ten percent incomprehensible, otherwise people won’t think it’s deep–they won’t think you’re a profound thinker.”... Foucault said that Jacques Derrida practiced the method of obscurantisme terroriste (terrorism of obscurantism). We were speaking French. And I said, “What the hell do you mean by that?” And he said, “He writes so obscurely you can’t tell what he’s saying, that’s the obscurantism part, and then when you criticize him, he can always say, ‘You didn’t understand me; you’re an idiot.’ That’s the terrorism part.”

Cosma Shalizi: Semiotics, the academic discipline, should on no account be confused with linguistics; with rhetoric; with formal language theory; with cognitive science; with mathematical logic and meta-mathematics; or even with information theory. All of these, whatever their troubles, conduct themselves with at least a modicum of rigor and (where applicable) empirical controls, and have actual results, some of them even of practical utility, to show for themselves. On the other hand, semioticians are quite at home with structuralist, literary critics, psychoanalysts, soi-disant narratologists, and the more dubious sort of philosophers, which speaks for itself. The story of semiotics has been one of "institutional success and intellectual bankruptcy," as Sperber and Wilson (an anthropologist and a linguist, respectively) put it.

I took a ContinuingEd class with Marshall Blonsky back in the day.

Edited:    |       |    Search Twitter for discussion