Saturday, 14 August 2010

A note from Richard
















A note from Richard

Love is a dream within a dream,
a rapture filled symphony,
swept upon a mellifluous stream,
to capture that which once was free,
and free again in different light,
to sweep away the shadows hasp,
and triumph in a dawns delight,
entwined within a lovers grasp.
to sing a rhapsody, embraced
and bare, bold passions tilt,
then swim into each folded grace
through pools, in heavens built.
Two lovers, ravished, in a sonnets bloom,
awakened, in rejoice'd swoon.

© Richard Michael Parker 2010

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Deconstructing Derrida















In this Essay I wish to discuss a couple of papers that have been written by the post structuralists, Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida in relation to Rene Descartes first meditation of the cogito (1). I shall begin by briefly outlining the de-constructionist or Post structuralists critique and method, mostly concentrating upon Derrida’s contribution of Difference, setting aside various complaints concerning the validity of this method until the discussion proper. We will then briefly outline Descartes assertions, as read in the first of the meditations. It will fall to us then to attend to the discussion between Foucault and Derrida, armed with the aforementioned sketches, and finally introduce some critical analysis concerning the positions of both these gentlemen, if not post structural analysis in Toto, and the subsequent failings or insights thereof.

Derrida is thought of as being in the Post structuralists/ De-constructionist camp, (from here on I shall use these terms interchangeably, although deconstruction more properly may be thought of as coming later in the piece, historically) with their immediate predecessors being the structural philosophies of Claude Levi-Strauss, and more importantly Ferdinand de Saussure. Saussure in particular was an important influence upon Derrida, and his linguistic theory can be seen as the herald of Derridian Difference. In post-structuralism, as propounded by Derrida, the emphasis is more upon literary theory as opposed to linguistics, and this marks the major divide between the two forms of modern philosophy. There is also a more reflective quality to the post-structuralist view, as opposed to the brute linguistic analysis propounded by the structuralist philosophies of De Saussure and Levi-Strauss.

Derrida then proceeded to write an important philosophical work in which he coined the term Difference, and was later to remark that he believed this to be his major contribution to philosophy. The term has much in common with the Sausserian conception of words as interwoven inter-connectives, where they act as signifier's. Words are Signs that cannot be separated from eachother, and which derive there meaning from the network in which they exist, they are in fact nothing more than a meaningful network, that derive there meaning from the relationships they have with other words or signs within the system. It is difficult, to say the least, to pin down exactly what the term Difference actually means, for it is in the nature of the term to transcend the logical structural analysis of terms as mere presences, and it rather denotes a counterclaim. This counterclaim is in opposition to the classical view or Aristotelian precept that spoken language represents a particular state of mind or presence, and that written language is a representative of the spoken word. Derrida attempts to overturn this conception, and tries to place written language central to his philosophy. He believes that there is something that inhabits language, which is prior to the apprehension of any presence within the language. The concept of presence can be ascribed to a positive referent, but it is precisely this positive referent that Derrida refutes. For he sits squarely within the Sausserian camp, that proposes that the meaning of the positive presence can only be gleaned in relation to the interconnected associations and not in the presence itself. Derrida then takes the step that the distinction, or differance, is prior to, or more fundamental than the actual designate itself. For there is for Derrida something deeper going on in language than the classical view can admit to.

Another important point we must raise in order to see more clearly Derrida’s point in relation to Descartes and Foucault, is that within a literary text, there are certain key resonance’s, that interweave throughout the text itself. They are not to be regarded in a linear fashion, but rather occur as meaningful connectives, exposed by the relationship the text has both, to the reader, and other passages within the text itself. In this way one can see that no static and complete interpretation of any text can ever be complete, and this is one of the fundamental signposts of the deconstructionist position. For Derrida then there is always more meaning to be gleaned from a work, it is an ongoing and infinite process, in which one can never arrive at a total and complete understanding of the text.

Truth too is a relative term for Derrida, relative because it is bound to the literal or logo centrist position; he is an anti absolutist. Due in no small part to the fact that, according to Derrida, a text is an open ended expression, in which the Difference within the text evolves with the times, experiences, and environmental resonance’s, of the perceiver of the text. It is for this reason that we can also see that Derrida position can be thought of as a non-position, as he is also anti system, for to have a system in place is to deny the ongoing evolution of a piece of work as it impacts upon the perceiver. Anything that is systematized is bound, imprisoned, within the parameters of that system, and because the very nature of the pre-presencing Difference is infinite, to capture it is to lose it, thus any system will never be adequate in explaining the multiplicity of meaningful exchanges within language and the texts themselves. For this reason it is difficult to pin down the exact definition of Difference, for Derrida merely intonate’s what this term might mean by way of metaphor, and uses such references as resonance, tapestry and ripples to evoke in the reader a sense of pre-positive presencing. In fact given his underlying assertion, it is not surprising that he intonate’s rather than specifically defining the meaning of Difference. I mention this only as a precursor to the discussion so that the reader might gain a better grasp of where Derrida is coming from as opposed to Foucault and classical theory in general, in relation to their interpretations of Descartes first meditation.

We have arrived at Descartes first meditation then, and it would be appropriate at this juncture to briefly refresh our memories concerning the method of doubt employed within this text. In brief then let us describe the main points of the argument.

Descartes reasons that reason itself persuades him that he must avoid believing in things that are not certain or indubitable (2), furthermore he reasons that he should reject all things that are subject to the slightest doubt (3).

“The destruction of the foundations necessarily brings down with it the rest of the edifice”
(4)

Descartes then goes on to say that everything he has accepted as being true he has learnt through the senses, but that these senses have often deceived him. He notes that although he would never the less have to reject them on the grounds that they have deceived him, there are some things that he cannot reasonably doubt. It is precisely at this point that Derrida attaches great importance, Although for Foucault it has more to do with the distinction between madness and the dream, given his work on madness itself.

“There are perhaps many other things that which one cannot reasonably doubt, although we know them through the medium of the senses, for example I am here, sitting by the fire, wearing a dressing gown, with this paper in my hands, and other things of this nature”(5)

Descartes then asserts that he cannot deny these things for to do so would be to assimilate himself with the insane, who imagine all manner of untruths about themselves, he dismisses such a claim as mad.
“But these are madmen, and I would not be less extravagant if I were to follow their example”(6)

At this juncture Descartes brings to bare the famous passage concerning dreams. That although he may not be in the same category as madmen, he none the less is subject to dreams that on occasion are as clear and distinct as the waking sensibilities that he now holds himself to be inhabiting. This doubt brings to mind the Chinese philosopher Chuang Tzu, and his famous passage, which predates Descartes by about two and a half thousand years.

Once I, Chuang Chou, dreamed that I was a butterfly, and was happy as a butterfly, I was conscious that I was quite pleased with myself, but I did not know that I was Chou. I did not know whether it was Chou dreaming that he was a butterfly, or the Butterfly dreaming that it was Chou”(7)

This passage was also an expression of the denial of the distinction between subject and object, and reality and unreality, as it is in Descartes, and which Derrida picks up the thread of at a later juncture. Anyway, a brief digression. Descartes then proceeds to offer some proofs as to the differentiation of dreams from reality. He states that although it maybe true that he is in fact dreaming, the representations of his dreams are such that the objects that appear in them are representations of real objects in waking life, i.e.; his hands, head, the fire, etc. Painters themselves only represent the things of the world, that bare resemblance to the real world; it is questionable, however, whether Descartes would have traversed this step had he been witness to the advent of the surrealist movement. Yet he even says that these maybe false and fantastic, but surely upon the colour's we may rely. The next step in this method of doubt is, he thinks, that all things that are composite in nature may themselves be subject to doubtful origin, and for this reason he rejects out of hand all sciences that rely upon the composite terms as there basis. Arithmetic and Geometry are arrived at, given their fundamental nature, as the basis of all things.

For whether I am awake or sleeping, two and three added together always make five, and a square never has more than four sides”(8)

As we shall see, the above passage is of great interest to Derrida, and the subsequent “Nevertheless” of the next paragraph has great meaning for him.

Descartes continues by way of refutation to this most sound of arguments, to say that an all-powerful God could have the ability if so wished to deceive him, so that even the most simplest and basic forms of assurance are brought into doubtful origin. He thinks this is most unlikely given the supreme goodness of God, but then goes on to say that he will suppose that it is not a supremely good God that deceives, or has the ability to deceive, but some evil Demon, no less powerful. For this reason he will doubt even the most fundamental of things, concerning nature. This of course is the basis for Descartes method of doubt and leads inexorably to the cogito, cogito ergo sum, as the only thing upon which he can surely rely; it is for Descartes the logos, the central fundament of existence, upon which everything else rests.

The two papers I would like to discuss, I shall do so by taking Foucault’s paper (9), and weaving some of the philosophy of Derrida’s contentions throughout it, so that we might see their opposition. Although in truth, Michel Foucault does this quite successfully, and for this reason I shall follow quite closely the criticism made by Foucault in his paper on Derrida.

Foucault starts by mentioning that in his work Madness and Civilization, to which Derrida’s paper refers, he states that dreams and madness have neither the same role nor status in Descartes method of doubt. Madness cannot be used as a form of doubt, according to this distinction, and Descartes believes it escapes from the net of skeptical reasons for doubting.
Foucault states:
The stakes of the debate are clearly indicated: could there be anything anterior or exterior to philosophical discourse? Can its condition reside in an exclusion, a refusal, a risk avoided, and, why not, a fear? (10)

Here then is the contention, Derrida rejects the idea that Descartes differentiates Madness from dreams, for he sees dreams as a species of madness:

The reference to dreams does not, therefore, fall short of madness potentially respected or even excluded by Descartes: quite the contrary.”(11)

And further:
“What must be grasped here is that from this point of view the sleeper, or dreamer is madder than the madman.”(12)

It is precisely this contention that Foucault initially objects to for he sees within the terms used, concerning madness a distinction that he believes Derrida just misses, we shall come back to this point at a later stage.

Now for Foucault dreams have a double advantage over madness:
1)They are capable of extravagances the equal or greater than that of madness.
2)They happen habitually.

The first of these advantages is both logical and demonstrative in nature, and none of the power of dreams is lost in recalling them in relation to the question of doubt.
The second advantage, Foucault believes is of a different sort, that they happen habitually. They happen often, and given that I can recall them to mind, the advantage is not demonstrative but ‘practical’ in nature. This practical nature is born out in the exercise of recollection.
Foucault believes Derrida has confused these two separate aspects of the advantage of dreaming over madness, and fails to see the greater importance accorded to habit over extravagance. Derrida has confounded and amalgamated these two separate meanings, according to Foucault, under the auspices of a universal. This is Derrida’s first mistake.

Foucault then begins to identify the quality of the habit, and the practical nature that is extended by the method of Cartesian doubt. In short, the recollection, or method, has a practical effect upon the perceiver. Foucault contends that, unlike Derrida, who universalizes the dream, it is the habit that causes the required effect in the reader. It stupefies the reader, because the “subject who thinks of dreaming is thereby disturbed”(14), it is “ A risk for the subject, of being modified; a risk of no longer being sure of being awake, a risk of stupor.”(15). Thus the subject is an active participant in his own method, the meditating subject is self modified, and although the subject is now no longer sure that they are awake at very least they are sure of what there meditation allows them to see. This is what Foucault calls a systemic pretense. For the subject who is meditating, and thus performing an action, for which there is a consequent effect, is put to sleep by way of artifice. We can begin to see Foucault’s objection to Derrida’s amalgamation of the dream and madness, and the oversimplification of the facts.

Derrida then contends that madness is not excluded by Descartes, merely Neglected, replaced as it were by a more radical example, that of dreams. Foucault objects to this assertion as an over simplification, for there is a quite distinct difference between dreams and Madness. Madness is an external term that the meditating subject is always bound to compare oneself to. Dreaming has the effect of sending the meditator into a stupor. It modifies the meditator, in a way that is reminiscent of an internal state of being. Thus the comparison to madness is an externalization, where as the comparison to dreaming is an internalization, and thus they are of a different sort. The dream is subjective, where as madness, if I try to be mad is always an artifice, a simulacrum, and thus always lies beyond the bounds of the meditating subject. In this way they are different, and for Derrida to miss this distinction is for Foucault a misreading of Descartes text.

Certainly Foucault has a very telling point to make here, for it can never be the case that the meditating subject identifies himself with the madman, wholly, for in so doing he renders the entire meditation process at risk. This is a point also made by Derrida where he states:
“If discourse and philosophical communication are to have an intelligible meaning, that is to say they are to conform to their essence and vocation as discourse, they must simultaneously in fact, and in principal, escape madness. They must carry normality within themselves.”(16)

So is Foucault strictly correct in asserting that Derrida has missed entirely the opposition between the dreamer and the madman? As we can see in the above passage Derrida quite clearly agrees with Foucault that the nature of meditation or discourse, by its very nature, must discount the madman. Derrida goes on to agree with Foucault concerning the assertion that madness is the absence of work. It is this absence of work that is exhibited through silence, a silence that stands in opposition to the language of thought expressed through the written meditation. So I do not think that Derrida disagreed with Foucault, concerning the disqualification of the madman from the meditative process, but rather it was that he perceived the dream as a special kind of madness, where as Foucault quite clearly sees them as distinct entities. He differentiates demens from dormiens. The questions is then raised by Foucault as to why the test of demens at first glance appears to be absent from Descartes first meditation, for it is a point that Derrida points to quite openly.

Foucault, however, reverts to the Latin text for the passage expressed by Descartes:
“Now who are these insani who take themselves to be kings or jugs? They are amentes, and I would be no less demens if I were to apply their examples to myself”(17)

Here we see three separate terms used in reference to madness and madmen. Foucault believes it is no mistake that Descartes uses these three separate terms, and that Derrida has just missed the boat in asserting that Descartes neglects to attend to the question of madness.
To be insani is to take oneself to be what one is not, it is a reference to a medical terminology, it is a characterizing term, and can be placed in stark opposition to the juridical terminology espoused by the terms amentes and demens, which are both disqualifying terms. Foucault believes it is no mere mistake that Descartes uses these three forms of madness, and that by not attending to the original Latin text, Derrida has merely flattened the text. For he believes that Derrida is wrong to miss the supposed fact that Descartes text “plays on the gap between the two types of determinations of madness (medical on the one hand and juridical on the other).”(18) Derrida then thinks that the question of right concerns the truth of ideas, where as Foucault points out that by a careful analysis of the Latin text, we are able to see that it is more a question of the qualification of the subject. Certainly this is a point that Derrida misses altogether. The former insani then is a question of signs, where as the amentes and demens are a question of capacity, and hence have quite separate repercussions. I do not wish to labour this point however, although it must be mentioned, because Derrida makes such a sweeping statement concerning Descartes neglect concerning the question of madness in his text. A point that is brought out quite clearly to be false by Foucault’s more studious attention to the original Latin.

To doubt ones body is to be like those with deranged minds, the sick, the insani.”

Further:
“For these insani are amentes; and I would be just as demens as they, and juridically disqualified if I followed there example”(19)

As we can see, these terms are quite distinct, and Foucault believed it was remiss of Derrida to think that madness is neglected.
Finally we come to the meat of Foucault’s major objection to Derrida’s reading of the first meditation.

Derrida asserts:
“What was previously excluded, according to Foucault, as insanity, is admissible within dreams…Now, within these representations, these images, these ideas in the Cartesian sense, everything maybe fictitious and false, as in the representations of those painters whose imaginations, as Descartes expressly says, are ‘extravagant’ enough to invent something so new that its like has never been seen before.”(20)

The reason that the words have been underlined, is expressly because it is at this juncture that Foucault points out a blinding era, in the analysis of Derrida. Derrida asserts that madness is found in the ‘movement of doubt’ mixed up with the imagination of painters, “their imagination is “extravagant” enough’. But Foucault points out that this word extravagant, never appears in the original Latin text, it only appears as an addendum in the French translation. So how can it be ‘expressly’ stated by Descartes? When it doesn’t even appear in the original text.
Descartes then, does not exclude madness upon the premise espoused by Derrida, but rather because, and I would agree with Foucault here, that they stand in opposition to one another.
Foucault’s major problem with Derrida’s interpretation then is that he has failed to grasp the Differences in the text. It is with some amusement that we note that the Philosopher who believed his major contribution to Philosophy was that of the nebulous term Differance, should himself fall prey to the inability to spot the Differences with the Cartesian text.

Foucault sees three major differences neglected by Derrida on the reading of this text.

1)Literal Differences: as in the literal differences between words. As was evidenced by the aforementioned distinctions between the differing uses of insanus, demens, and amentes.

2)Thematic differences: such as the play between images , such as; ”being beside the fire, holding out ones hand , and opening up ones eyes/ taking oneself to be a King, being covered in gold, and having a body made of glass”(21)

3)Textual Differences: such as the opposition of paragraphs.

The most important difference though is the actual effect the text has upon the meditating subject, the events are all important, and the act of meditating produces effects that interact with the subject in such a way as to actively modify the subject in the very exercise of meditation. This Foucault believes, Derrida just misses altogether, given that he is merely interested in the interplay of the language, and how it meaningfully manifests in the mind of the perceiver. It is as if the body is just forgotten by Derrida and the effects thereof.
The over arching principle then for Foucault are the ‘Discursive Differences’. For meditation produces discursive events, in which the movement of cogitation ceaselessly alters the subject. It might be noted here that Foucault’s insightful emphasis, upon the discursive effect, is mirrored in no small way in many cultures around the world, and is an important constituent of many Shamanistic practices. Buddhists use meditation in just this way, as do monks, druids, and mystics of every type. Meditation is an age-old practice that physiologically changes the internal mental resonance’s. It is peculiar that Derrida would portray resonance so eloquently within his philosophy of Difference, and yet fail to apply this same feature to the manifestly physical. Meditation, and the act of deep reflection, elicits alpha wave activity within the brain, as measured by electroencephalographs. It is attributed to a state of deep harmony in which states of consciousness may be radically altered. This is a biological effect upon the body, and as such Foucault rightly, in my opinion, picks it out as a defining moment and action of the entire Cartesian experience. Now Derrida might well counter at this juncture, that if Foucault really believes that this bodily experience is somehow prior to the metaphysical speculation, then is that not just a metaphysical presumption? I will not attempt to answer this question, for it is loaded with deeper questions that lead to an imbroglio, the like of which would at least double the length of this essay.

Let us return then to Foucault’s text, let us quickly summarize then. The discursive differences then are what are most important for Foucault. It is what happens during the meditative process that counts, i.e.: the Events. These are acts carried out by the meditator, and the effects it has upon the meditator, and the overall Qualification of the meditator. This qualification as we have previously mentioned, can be described through variant juridical processes. Such as if the meditator were demens then the process would be invalidated, but if he is merely dormiens then it is validated. Meditation produces discursive events, whereby the subject is ceaselessly altered by the movement of cogitation. In short the meditation implies a mobile subject, modifiable through the effect of the discursive events that take place.

It is for this reason that Foucault feels that the meditations require a double reading. Not only are they a set of propositions that form a system that must be followed if the truth/ falsity of them is to be realized. They are also a set of modifications, forming an exercise, which the reader must effect. For Foucault then the passage on dreaming and madness, which he deems central to the entire argument is exactly of this sort. Derrida just misses the point entirely, by failing to make this connection, and wanders around within the miasmatic nuisances of his literary analysis, but never getting to point of the exercise.

There follows a detailed argument upon the syllogism of doubt contained within Descartes text. I shall not mention it here, although it is an interesting argument, however for reasons of brevity it is beyond the scope of this essay.

Foucault points out that Derrida rightly senses the moment of importance of the passage on madness, but then at precisely the point at which madness rears its head Derrida asserts that the entire thesis concerns the over arching theme of ‘doubt’. This is folly in the eyes of Foucault. Derrida must get over the problem espoused by Descartes in the line: “But just a moment, these are madmen”(23). He tries to avoid the question of madness altogether and replace it with the question of doubt at this point by creating a fictitious Yokel. A philosophically naive other, who interjects against Descartes at precisely the point in which the question of madness becomes central. Derrida gives three grounds for the execution of this folly. Firstly, he says it is another subject speaking. Secondly, this subject is naive. Lastly, the position is rebutted by the even stronger claim concerning dreams, and is thus disarmed and can be dismissed. Foucault however believes that Derrida suffers a great price for making such a summery and ill conceived diversion from the truth of the point, namely that madness is being attended to here, and that is textual fudging. By imagining that there is another voice behind that of Descartes at this point, Derrida fudges all the textual differences again, in the same way as we mentioned previously, by way of his ill informed fudging of the textual differences in relation to the three different definitions of madness. Derrida then brings dreaming and madness as close together as possible, and subsumes the deficiencies of the one into the universality of the other. The price he pays for doing this is that he falls into the same trap Descartes falls into by disqualifying himself from madness. Yet, as with Descartes, Derrida just avoids the question of madness altogether so as to lend support to his thematic focus, namely, doubt itself. It is an interesting point though at this stage to note that Derrida’s original article, which is at the center of Foucault’s, argument here, was written in answer to a book written by Michel Foucault called the “Madness and Civilization”. In this book the thematic focus was totally focused upon the question of madness, and not that of doubt. My point here is that in raising this objection against Derrida, and it might seem somewhat obvious, but Derrida himself might be able to make a counter claim against Foucault using exactly the same rationale. Namely, Foucault’s entire thematic focus is on madness, and thus his perspective is warped by the centrism on this theme. It may well be that Foucault cannot admit to the over arching theme of doubt as opposed to madness, due to the fact that he is as focused upon madness as Derrida is upon doubt.

The most damning complaint that Foucault has against Derrida though is in the final few pages of his paper. Foucault asserts that it is not by effect that the classical interpreters erased this passage from Descartes, but rather by system. A system of which Derrida is the, “Most decisive representative, in its final glory”(23). This system is the system of practice that reduces all “discursive practices to textual traces”(24). It is for Foucault a damning criticism, and one that I fully support, Foucault goes further and states:
I shall say that what can be seen here so visibly is a determined little pedagogy. A pedagogy that teaches the pupil there is nothing outside the text, but that in it, in its gaps, its blanks, and its silences, there reigns the reserve of the origin; that is therefore unnecessary to search elsewhere, but that here, not in the words, certainly, but in the words under erasure, in there grid, the ‘sense of being’ is said. A pedagogy that gives conversely to the masters voice the limitless sovereignty that allows it to restate the text indefinitely”. (25)

Foucault ends his article with a couple of quotes from Descartes, which summarize his position nicely, as if the previous quote wasn’t enough to bring the hackles to the neck of Derrida. Who then can conceive of what it is that is true, who can distinguish clearly and distinctly between that which appears to be true and that which is in fact so? only those who do not delude themselves with there own certainty and are not mad can do such a thing, the ‘wise’.
But as only the wise can distinguish what is clearly conceived and what only seems and appears to be so, I am not surprised that this fellow cant tell the difference between them.”(26)

Both these quotes are pointed barbs at the Derridian position, a position that seeks to textualise all, a position that displaces the body, and divides the whole that is the human condition. For it is here that I think Foucault has hit upon the central failing of the deconstructive position. Namely that all is not constant signifiers, a referential play of endless and infinite proportion. For the body, even though Derrida might object to some metaphysical presumption, is a presencing the like of which even Derrida cannot escape. In moments of true cogitation, not just linguistic trickery, there is a sympathetic unity between the operations of the body and that of the mind, the cogitating being is thrust into a relationship with his/her body in a way that does not admit of a duality of being. There is interplay, a relationship, that exists, and it is of an intimate nature. This intimacy will only admit of itself for the true meditative being and not for one who stands outside of the intimacy. Foucault’s attack at the end of this passage is scathing in the extreme, for he appears to be attacking the very primacy of the negative position that Derrida is forced to assume given his Philosophic presumptions, as read in Difference.

The entire edifice of deconstructionism is at odds with it self if Foucault is to be believed. For Derrida wishes to assume a position of no position in relation to language, and yet as Foucault points out, the textualization of discursive practices, of which Derrida freely admits to is itself a system, a position, a stance, in which the paucity of the experience flows over into the diminished perspective of the emptiness of Derrida’s Philosophy. For Derrida, by taking this position, has committed himself to being forever at the beckon call of other people’s philosophies. He must pretend, or feign that his position is wholly constitutive of the reality of the various positions he textualises, even though paradoxically, he defends the position of perspectival and textual evolution. Yet, he must forever be brought to account for the fact that he cannot even admit of a discursive practice within his philosophy, this is damning criticism indeed. Maybe it is best to understand Derrida more as a literary critic as Dreyfuss contends. For his works, are verbose to the excess, they are even to his own reckoning not positive works of Philosophy, for he is forever at the behest of others to search out the truth for which true philosophy aspires. Foucault for his part at least attempts to attend to the historicity of concepts, and thus might be deemed a worthwhile philosopher, but Derrida, is forever caught one step behind the cutting edge, he is doomed to merely barrack from the sidelines of Philosophic inquiry. For his is a negative Philosophy, that is forever content to rummage through the texts of others. There are numerous problems with the Derridian position, as have been evidenced by the sagacious insights of Foucault through out this paper. Although, Derrida has some interesting thoughts concerning the evil genius, he undercuts his own argument by denying the question of madness at precisely the point at which it first comes to bare upon the Cartesian meditation, his fudging of text and its differences, seriously hampers his contextual assumptions, and for this reason I believe Foucault rightly dismisses his analysis of the first meditation.


Bibliography.
1.Descartes, Rene: ‘discourse on method and the meditations’. (penguin books, 1980)
2.Foucault, Michel: ‘My Body, this fire, this paper’. (Oxford literary review,4,(1978) ) pp.5-28
3.Derrida, Jacques: ‘Cogito and the History of madness”. In ‘writing and difference’ (London: Routledge, 1978) pp.31-62
4. Ed. Honderich, Ted: “The Oxford companion to Philosophy”. (Oxford University Press 1995).

Notes and quotes.
1.Bibliography (1)
2.Ibid. page 95
3.Ibid. page 95
4.Ibid. page 95
5.Ibid. page 96
6.Ibid. page 96
7.Chan, Wing-Tsit: “a source book in Chinese Philosophy”. (Princeton university press, 1963).pp.190
8.Bibliography (1). Page 98
9.Bibliography (2)
10.Ibid. Page 395.
11.Bibliography (3). Page 51
12.Ibid. page 51
13.Ibid. page 51
14.Bibliography (2) page 397
15.Ibid. page 397
16.Bibliography (3) page 53
17.Bibliography (2) page 401
18.Ibid. Page 403
19.Ibid. Page 402
20.Bibliography (3) Page 48
21.Bibliography (2) page 405
22.Ibid. page 407
23.Ibid. page 416
24.Ibid. page 416
25.Ibid. page 416
26.Ibid. page 417.

© Richard Michael Parker 1999

Monday, 9 August 2010

Butterfly












Butterfly

Delicate winged nymph of the sky
once you crawled
briefly slept
now you are a twinkle in my eye.

© Richard Michael Parker 2009



Sunday, 8 August 2010

The Lonely





























The Lonely

The aching heart of the lonely
mouthed in words of sombre tones
housed by walls
loves soft emollient
a soothing smile, a fluttering lash,
a gifted guile, a garland sash,
a giggle, a grin
laughters softened chin.
depths unfathomable solitary confinement
made the deeper
by loves memories and refinement,
holding hands upon silken sands
a look, a glance,
a book, a dance
memories to cherish
on dark lonesome nights
I perish.

© Richard Michael Parker 2010

 


Artwork by JoyusLion