Derrida Today 9 (1):47-67 (2016)

This essay argues that Jacques Derrida's early work on grammatology and the science of writing continues to have interventionary relevance for how we understand the scientific enterprise today. Catherine Malabou has argued that the importance of Derrida's contribution has waned because the metaphors and tropes that he deploys have been eclipsed with time, becoming less applicable in explanations of how things work. Offering her own replacement term, ‘plastology’, Malabou argues that insights into the operations of brain plasticity, for example, have superseded graphic metaphors. I suggest that Malabou's remedial is misguided because Derrida's ‘graphematic structure’ was never intended to answer the problem of representational accuracy. Indeed, Derrida advises that his non-concepts ‘trace’, ‘gramme’ or ‘writing’ are no more graphic than phonological, no more temporal than spatial. I argue, with Derrida, that a model, or representation, is not a third term in-between the biologist and biology or the writer and the world. In grammatology's onto-epistemological confounding of subject with/in object, we find that ‘writing's’ riddles also appear in/as the entanglements of quantum physics, where the one who knows, the measuring apparatus and the object to be interpreted are strangely involved.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.3366/drt.2016.0119
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 70,008
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Of Grammatology.Jacques Derrida - 1982 - Philosophy and Rhetoric 15 (1):66-70.
The End of Writing? Grammatology and Plasticity.Catherine Malabou - 2007 - The European Legacy 12 (4):431-441.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Grammatology, Effect and Truth in Science.Kalyan S. Basu - 2000 - In A. K. Raina, B. N. Patnaik & Monima Chadha (eds.), Science and Tradition. Inter-University Centre for Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Advanced Study. pp. 3.
Of Grammatology.Jacques Derrida - 1982 - Philosophy and Rhetoric 15 (1):66-70.
The Grammatology of the Future.Sung-Do Kim - 2005 - In Peter Pericles Trifonas & Michael Peters (eds.), Deconstructing Derrida: Tasks for the New Humanities. Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 137.
Grammatology.Jacques Derrida & G. C. Spivak - 1978 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 36 (3):361-365.
From Grammatology to Problematology.Michel Meyer - 1998 - Revue Internationale de Philosophie 52 (205):359-365.
The End of Writing? Grammatology and Plasticity.Catherine Malabou - 2007 - The European Legacy 12 (4):431-441.


Added to PP index

Total views
12 ( #809,029 of 2,505,216 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #209,579 of 2,505,216 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes