Volume 3, Issue 1, 2011
The Dialogue between Analytic and Continental Philosophy
Of Supplementarity: Derrida on Truth, Language and Deviant Logic
This article seeks to correct some widespread misunderstandings of Derrida's thought, mostly amongst philosophers working in the mainstream analytic line of descent. I put the case – with reference to Of Grammatology along with other writings of his earlier period – that Derrida has made important contributions to philosophy of language and logic, especially with regard to issues of modality, tense, and the scope and limits of classical (bivalent) reasoning. Moreover I contend, again contra the received analytic view, that his texts themselves bear witness to the highest standards of conceptual and logico-semantic precision. That there are now some signs – albeit hesitant and belated – of their coming to recognise these virtues of Derrida's work is welcome evidence that philosophers in that 'other', analytical tradition are beginning to move beyond the old outlook of mistrust or downright hostility toward their typecast 'continental' counterparts.