n Communicatio : South African Journal of Communication Theory and Research - Communication frightens me : Derrida on communication

Volume 31, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0250-0167



In this tribute to Jacques Derrida my main aim is to emphasise the radical nature of his questioning of the assumptions of the Western philosophical tradition without ever turning his back on this very tradition. The focus is only on one aspect of his thinking, namely his views on the notion of communication. These views are interpreted as representative of his general approach, and certainly provide an excellent illustration of his broader intellectual work. Attention is given to his articulation of the traditionally accepted views on communication and his alternative to this tradition is explored in terms of his deconstructive approach. Reference is made to terms that feature in a prominent way in communication, namely <I>idealisation, intentionality, context, meaning, reading&lt;/I&gt; and <I>writing</I>, among other things. This enquiry leads in a spontaneous way, and as a natural consequence of his style of thinking, to an ethic of communication made very briefly explicit in the areas of thinking, theorising, reading and writing.

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