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Interpreting understanding context

Colebrook, C. and McHoul, A. (1996) Interpreting understanding context. Journal of Pragmatics, 25 (3). pp. 431-440.

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John Searle's (1977) objections, based in speech act theory, to Jacques Derrida's ‘grammatological’ or ‘deconstructive’ ideas about language, text and writing are well known — as are Derrida's (1977, 1978a, 1988) replies and, perhaps, Searle's responses (1983, 1994). More recently, however, Jeff Coulter (1994) in Journal of Pragmatics has launched a different criticism of Derrida, based in Wittgensteinian and ethnomethodological theory, and directed at what Coulter thinks of as Derrida's unduly indeterminate and interpretable conception of context. In this paper, we want to respond to some features of Coulter's criticism, to argue that it mistakes some of Derrida's arguments and, finally, to try to show that, if these (Derrida's) arguments are put properly, the differences between Derrida's and Coulter's positions can be slightly reduced.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Humanities
Publisher: Elsevier
Copyright: 1996 Elsevier BV
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