The real Character of Grammatology

John Wilkins, at the dawn of English positivism, 1668:

“But though it be true, that men did first speak before they did write, and consequently writing is but the figure of Speech, and therefore in order of time subsequent to it; yet in order of Nature there is no priority between these: But voice and sounds may be as well assigned to Figure, as Figures may be to Sounds.”

300 yrs later Derrida said the same thing and people somehow thought it was subversive.



Author: JD Fleming

I am Professor of English Literature at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, BC. My work is in the intellectual history of the early-modern period (1500-1700), with a special interest in epistemic issues around the emergence of modern natural science (the "Scientific Revolution"). Philosophically, for me, these issues are subsumed in hermeneutics.

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