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Limited Inc Hardcover – 1 Dec 1988

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Northwestern University Press; Reprint edition (1 Dec. 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810107872
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810107878
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 15.9 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,447,049 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From the Back Cover

Limited Inc. is a major work in the philosophy of language by the celebrated French thinker Jacques Derrida. The book's two essays, 'Limited Inc.' and 'Signature Event Context, ' constitute key statements of the Derridean theory of deconstruction. They are perhaps the clearest exposition to be found of Derrida's most controversial idea. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Jacques Derrida (1930-2004) was Director of Studies at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales and Professor of Humanities at the University of California, Irvine. Among the most recent of his many books to have been translated into English are Rogues (2005), Eyes of the University (2004), For What Tomorrow... with Elisabeth Roudinesco (2004), Counterpath with Catherine Malabou (2004), Negotiations (2002), Who's Afraid of Philosophy? (2002), and Without Alibi (2002). All of these have been published by Stanford University Press --This text refers to the Paperback edition.


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Format: Paperback
This book is a collection of the brilliant (but punningly dry) essay "Signature, Event, Context", among other things a reading of the late Oxford philosopher John Austin's theorization of speech acts, a much longer piece "Limited, Inc. a b c", and a postscript "Afterword: Toward an Ethic of Discussion" written as responses to questions from editor Gerald Graff. The first essay originally appeared in the first issue of _Glyph_ and was angrily answered in that journal's second isse by Austin's "student" John Searle. This and others of Searle's consistently unsuccessful attempts to read Derrida and write in response to his challenges, which escalated into some very unpleasant name calling undertaken by Searle in more journalistic forums, form several phantom members of this book (Searle declined to have his essays reprinted in this collection), virtually reincorporated by way of Derrida's extensive quotations.
Derrida proceeds via a close reading of Austin (largely _How to Do Things with Words_), tracing the latter's study of "performative" linguistic uses in transactions at least as various as wedding vows and the commencement of sporting events. Derrida devotes considerable attention to the specifics of the play of the "metaphysics of presense" in Austin (why, for example, the notion of the performative is advanced under the banner of "speech act" theory) via the topoi of the reading/writing distinction, the privilege granted to intention, and the "parasitic" nature of citation. Following the intimate detail of Austin's text, Derrida shows that, even as it attempts reductionist conclusions, there remains a trace of rigour in the form of highly nuanced considerations capable of radically altering the conclusions proposed by Austin.
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Format: Paperback
This is Derrida at his mischievious and playful best and as with all postmodern thought, you do need to approach this text with a fully open mind in order the get the best from it.

This is a difficult text and really has to be read and understood in its full context.

I can sympathise with the negative view below, but would stress that this is not really a text that should be given to under graduate students who are not being taught full on postmodern or post-stucturalist courses. Lets face it, being 'forced' to read a text of this nature is not a good foot to get off on. I suspect that the presence of such reading material on an under-graduate course is the outcome of a lecturer who does everything she can to show off her postmodern black belt - rather than being any valid essential reading.

Derrida is generally hard to read and this is part of a point he is trying to convey about the difficluties involved in interpreting texts. I feel amibivalent about this approach, it does serve to illustrate his point, however the downside is that it massively reduces the possiblity of the receptability of his thinking to the 'normal' academic reader.

In this respect, in living up to his principles, Derrida was very much his own worst rod-backing enemy - consequently he is always inevitably misunderstood. Thats the price you pay for turning up the heat in your own kitchen I guess.

Having said that, this is probably the easiest and most entertaining of his texts as the conflict between Searle and Derrida is a clash of two titans of modernist and postmodern approaches to philosophy. Most critics do not criticize Derrida directly, but usually 'dare' to take on ancillary writers or commentators around his thoughts (Habermas for example).
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By A Customer on 1 Jun. 1999
Format: Paperback
Anyone interested in the philosophy of language will find Derrida's deconstructionist take on J.L. Austin's "How to Do Things With Words" quite interesting, and, at times, enlightening. But the real fun in this book is when Derrida begins to attack John Searle's response to Derrida's take on Austin. He takes off his gloves and really goes after him and if anything, you'll be left questioning your assumptions about the maturity levels of renowned academics.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very good book, very interesting debate. And it arrived in very good conditions! Thank you!
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By A Customer on 7 Nov. 2005
Format: Paperback
This is one of the worst and most incalculably difficult, narcissistic texts I have ever tried to read. And I only tried to read it because I had to. Derrida, like many poststructuralists, was something of a madman, in my view. What on earth is he trying to convey? Writing 'about' speech acts? How can you attempt anything so insane? Writing words about words? Text about text? And then have the temerity to suggest that your text actually has some kind of 'transcendental' status conferred upon it by...God? No, because according to poststructuralism God doesn't exist. So who? Ah, Derrida himself. Hence my use of the phrase 'narcissistic' which I can't spell and won't even try to.
I would only recommend reading Derrida if you're in the mood for mental frolicking, and generally want to screw up the way your mind works. Honestly, he takes it for a spin-dry, and the thing is it doesn't feel like it's come out in the wash. There are much better ways.
Derrida's philosophy, in my view, is a frivolous waste of time and not worth bothering with IN ANY SENSE. But, if you have to for an undergraduate course...
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