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Cultura International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology

Volume 16, Issue 1, 2019

Qingben Li, Jinghua Guo
Pages 129-144

Grammatological Deconstruction of Linguistics
From Marx to Derrida

Derrida considered himself Marx's successor in Spectres of Marx, as manifested in his grammatological deconstruction of linguistics. Proceeding from linguistics, Derrida questioned the traditional linguistics represented by Saussure, overturned the metaphysics based on linguistic signs, and thereby deconstructed logocentrism. In Derrida's view, logocentrism is the belief that there is an ultimate reality such as being, essence, truth and ideas, which actually doesn't exist and needs to be negated. In linguistics, logocentrism, or rather phonocentrism, maintains that speech alone conveys ideas smoothly while writing is a simple supplement. Contrary to this idea, Derrida argued that writing could also convey meanings just as speech according to social convention. This deconstruction of traditional linguistics by Derrida shows his adoption of Marxist theory and methodology as well as the significant linguistic influence of Marxist theory with its contemporary perspective.