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'The pleasures of merely circulation' : the interpretive anthropology of Clifford Geerts and the 'postmodern'… Richardson, Joanne 1990

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'THE PLEASURES OF MERELY CIRCULATING 1 — THE INTERPETIVE ANTHROPOLOGY OF CLIFFORD GEERTZ AND THE 'POSTMODERN1 ANTHROPOLOGY OF JAMES CLIFFORD: A DECONSTRUCTIVE READING By K. JOANNE RICHARDSON B.A. ( E n g l i s h ) , The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1971 M.A. (Anthropology), The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i s t i s h Columbia, 1982 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY i n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of Anthropology and So c i o l o g y ) t We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming to the r e q u i r e d standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA August 1989 © K. Joanne Richardson, 1989 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of ftuTHUGPoUhy fiuO ioCXOLoCy The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date Au& DE-6 (2/88) ABSTRACT In t h i s d i s s e r t a t i o n I attempt t o e x p l i c a t e Jacques D e r r i d a ' s s t r a t e g y of d e c o n s t r u c t i o n and, through a d e c o n s t r u c t i v e r e a d i n g of C l i f f o r d Geertz's i n t e r p r e t i v e anthropology and James C l i f f o r d ' s 'postmodern' anthropology r e s p e c t i v e l y , to show i t s relevance to the d i s c i p l i n e of anthropology i n g e n e r a l . The f o l l o w i n g i s a s k e l e t a l o u t l i n e of how I s e t about t h i s endeavour. In my I n t r o d u c t o r y chapter, I attempt t o i n d i c a t e the way i n which the n o t i o n of logos or presence has dominated Western ph i l o s o p h y from i t s i n c e p t i o n i n a n c i e n t Greece up to and i n c l u d i n g the present day. As D e r r l d a u t i l i z e s i t , the term •presence' has to do with the assumption of and d e s i r e f o r the e x i s t e n c e of a s e l f - c e r t a i n and s e l f - i d e n t i c a l b a s i s f o r a l l extant phenomena and i s manifested i n such n o t i o n s as t r u t h , meaning, God, s e l f , concept and so on. Because i t i s always d e f i n e d as s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t and s e l f - i d e n t i c a l , wherever i t operates, presence e n t a i l s the su p p r e s s i o n of d i f f e r e n c e and otherness. In Chapter Two, I o f f e r an e x p l i c a t i o n of D e r r i d a ' s s t r a t e g y f o r exposing and d e l i m i t i n g presence as i t manifests i t s e l f through and throughout Western c o n c e p t u a l i t y , paying p a r t i c u l a r a t t e n t i o n to h i s work on u n d e c i d a b i l i t y . B r i e f l y , t h i s has to do with arguing t h a t concepts, as such, are always a l r e a d y o r i g i n a r l l y doubled and hence, A r i s t o t e l i a n l o g i c n o t w i t hstanding, are both p o s s i b l e (as e f f e c t s of u n d e c i d a b l l i t y ) and Impossible (as s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t and s e l f -i d e n t i c a l i d e a s ) . T h i s c a l l s r a d i c a l l y i n t o q u e s t i o n our assumptions about the nature of c o n c e p t u a l i t y and i n d i c a t e s the way i n which these assumptions ensure the r e p r e s s i o n of d i f f e r e n c e and otherness. In Chapter Three, I look a t the phenomenological (Husserl) and hermeneutic (esp. Heidegger, Gadamer, Ricoeur) background of contemporary i n t e r p r e t i v e and •postmodern' anthropology and, i n so doing, attempt to show t h a t i t i s premised upon an assumption of presence. In Chapter Four, I o f f e r a d e c o n s t r u c t i v e r e a d i n g of c e r t a i n works by C l i f f o r d Geertz and by James C l i f f o r d r e s p e c t i v e l y , and attempt to show t h a t t h e i r unrecognized d e d i c a t i o n to an assumed n o t i o n of presence prevents them from see i n g the r e p r e s s i v e / o p p r e s s i v e nature of t h e i r chosen c o n c e p t u a l i t y . And, f i n a l l y , i n my c o n c l u d i n g chapter, I argue t h a t G e e r t z i a n i n t e r p r e t i v e anthropology and C l i f f o r d i a n 'postmodern' anthropology are two s i d e s of the same o l d c o i n and t h a t , with r e s p e c t to the l a t t e r ' s work, the term 'postmodern' i s a misnomer. I f u r t h e r argue t h a t Western c o n c e p t u a l i t y i s , by d e f i n i t i o n and i n p r i n c i p l e , both r e p r e s s i v e and oppressive and t h a t , t h i s being the case, anthropology must e i t h e r r e -examine and r e - e v a l u a t e i t s most b a s i c assumptions or, f a i l i n g t h a t , r e s i g n i t s e l f to p e r p e t u a t i n g the i n h e r i t e d l e g a c y of a r u t h l e s s metaphysics. i i i TABLE OF CONTENTS Ab s t r a c t i i Acknowledgements i v I. I n t r o d u c t o r y Comments: P h i l o s o p h i c a l Background and Statement o£ Ijp&sf}t 1 I I . An E x p l i c a t i o n of Derridean D e c o n s t r u c t i o n 22 I I I . P h i l o s o p h i c a l Background of I n t e r p r e t i v e and •Postmodern' Anthropology: Phenomenology and Hermeneutics 1 60 IV. C l i f f o r d Geertz and James C l i f f o r d : A D e c o n s t r u c t i v e Reading 106 V. Concluding Assessments 165 B i b l i o g r a p h y 188 i v Ah the o l d q u e s t i o n s , the o l d answers, th e r e ' s nothing l i k e them! (Samuel Beckett, Endgame) . . . t h a t t h i n g s go round and a g a i n go round Has r a t h e r a c l a s s i c a l sound. (Wallace Stevens, "The P l e a s u r e s o£ Merely C i r c u l a t i n g " ) What connec t i o n i s t h e r e b e t w e e n t h e s a r t o r i a l splendours of the educated man and the photograph of r u i n e d houses and dead bodies? ( V i r g i n i a Woolf, Three Guineas) Daddy, daddy, you b a s t a r d , I'm through. ( S y l v i a P l a t h , "Daddy") v ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would l i k e to thank my a d v i s o r , Dr. E l v i Whittaker, and my committee members, Dr. Kenelm Burridge and Dr. Marie-F r a n c o i s e Guidon, f o r re a d i n g and commenting on t h i s d i s s e r t a t i o n . I would l i k e to thank Dianne T l e f e n s e e f o r her love and support and f o r g u i d i n g me through the treacherous world of computer technology. I would l i k e to thank my many f r i e n d s f o r t h e i r a f f e c t i o n and camaraderie. I would l i k e to thank my parents, Jean and Fred Richardson, f o r t h e i r constant love and d e v o t i o n . v i Chapter One I n t r o d u c t o r y Comments: P h i l o s o p h i c a l Background and Statement of I j a ^ a t 1) P h i l o s o p h i c a l Background In h i s h i s t o r i c a l l e x i c o n of Greek p h i l o s o p h i c a l terms F.E. P e t e r s o f f e r s the f o l l o w i n g e n t r y concerning Logos: lOgos: speech, account, reason, d e f i n i t i o n , r a t i o n a l f a c u l t y , p r o p o r t i o n . 1. . . . [For] H e r a c l i t u s logos i s ah u n d e r l y i n g o r g a n i z a t i o n a l p r i n c i p l e of the u n i v e r s e . . . . And t h i s harmony, which i s r e a l l y a t e n s i o n of o p p o s i t e s , i s not to be understood i n the sense of a c y c l i c r e t u r n , but as a s t a b l e s t a t e ( f r s . 10, 51). 1 T h i s logos p r i n c i p l e , 1 I n t e r e s t i n g l y , a c c o r d i n g to K i r k , Raven and S c h o f i e l d , the common n o t i o n t h a t H e r a c l i t u s was predominantly, i f not e n t i r e l y , concerned with f l u x and change as opposed to s t a b i l i t y and order has to do with h i s having been misread by P l a t o and A r i s t o t l e : As f o r P l a t o and A r i s t o t l e , there i s l i t t l e v erbatim q u o t a t i o n of H e r a c l i t u s i n e i t h e r , nor were they r e a l l y i n t e r e s t e d i n the a c c u r a t e o b j e c t i v e assessment of e a r l y p r e d e c e s s o r s . P l a t o o c c a s i o n a l l y mentions him, mainly i n a humorous or i r o n i c a l way and with emphasis on a view f r e e l y a t t r i b u t e d to him i n the d i a l o g u e s , t h a t ' a l l t h i n g s are i n f l u x ' . . . . According to A r i s t o t l e a t Met. A6, 987a32, P l a t o was i n f l u e n c e d i n youth by the emphasis l a i d by C r a t y l u s on t h i s k i n d of view. But a l l P r e s o c r a t i c t h i n k e r s were stru c k by the dominance of change i n the world of our e xperience. H e r a c l i t u s was o b v i o u s l y no e x c e p t i o n , indeed he probably expressed the u n i v e r s a l i t y of change more c l e a r l y and more d r a m a t i c a l l y than h i s predecessors; but f o r him i t was the complementary idea of the measure i n h e r i n g i n change, the s t a b i l i t y t h a t p e r s i s t s through i t and c o n t r o l s i t , t h a t was of v i t a l importance. P l a t o may have been gen u i n e l y m i s l e d , e s p e c i a l l y by f i f t h - c e n t u r y s o p h i s t i c 2 though i t i s hidden and p e r c e p t i b l e o n l y to the i n t e l l i g e n c e ( f r s . 54, 114. . . ), i s s t i l l m a t e r i a l , as can be seen from the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of the H e r a c l i t a n logos with cosmic f i r e . . . . 2. P l a t o . . . used the term logos i n a v a r i e t y of ways, i n c l u d i n g the o p p o s i t i o n between mythos and logos . . . , where the l a t t e r s i g n i f i e s a t r u e , a n a l y t i c a l account. T h i s i s common usage, but i t leads o f f i n t o an e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l theory. In Phaedo 766 P l a t o marks as a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of t r u e knowledge (eplsteme) the a b i l i t y t o g i v e an account (logos) of what one knows. In Theat. 201c-d t h i s aspect of logos i s i n c o r p o r a t e d i n t o the d e f i n i t i o n of eplsteme: t r u e o p i n i o n (doxa) accompanied by an account. Socrates d i s c u s s e s what logos would mean i n t h i s context ( i b i d . 206c-2106), and from h i s a n a l y s i s emerges a d e s c r i p t i o n of logos as the statement of a d i s t i n g u i s h i n g c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of a t h i n g ( i b i d . 2086). The v a l i d i t y of t h i s i s denied on the ground of i t s being of no value i n the case of s e n s i b l e , i n d i v i d u a l beings (compare A r i s t o t l e , Meta. 1039b). 3. But when t h i s c o n c e p t i o n of logos i s moved higher up the P l a t o n i c s c a l e of being i t o b v i o u s l y does have a r o l e to p l a y ; i n Rep. 534b P l a t o d e s c r i b e s the e xaggerations, i n h i s d i s t o r t i o n of H e r a c l i t u s ' emphasis here; and A r i s t o t l e accepted the P l a t o n i c f l u x - i n t e r p r e t a t i o n and c a r r i e d i t s t i l l f u r t h e r . Other r e f e r e n c e s to H e r a c l i t u s i n A r i s t o t l e a t t a c k him f o r denying the law of c o n t r a d i c t i o n i n h i s a s s e r t i o n t h a t o p p o s i t e s are 'the same.' Again t h i s i s a m i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n by A r i s t o t l e , who a p p l i e d h i s own t i g h t l o g i c a l standards a n a c h r o n i s t i c a l l y ; by the 'same' H e r a c l i t u s e v i d e n t l y meant not ' i d e n t i c a l ' so much as 'not e s s e n t i a l l y d i s t i n c t . ' [In any case, H e r a c l i t u s was] l e s s concerned with the mechanics of development and change than with the u n i f y i n g r e a l i t y t h a t underlay them. ( K i r k , Raven and S c h o f i e l d , 1984: 185-186) 3 d i a l e c t i c i a n . . . as one who can give an account (logos) of the t r u e being (or essence, ousla) of something, i . e . the term of the process of d i v i s i o n ( d l a l r e s i s ) d e s c r i b e d i n the S o p h i s t , the A r i s t o t e l i a n d e f i n i t i o n (. . . horos) by genera and s p e c i e s ; indeed, A r i s t o t l e f r e q u e n t l y uses logos as a synonym f o r [ d e f i n i t i o n ] . A n o t h e r t y p i c a l A r i s t o t e l i a n use i s logos as reason, r a t i o n a l i t y , p a r t i c u l a r l y i n an e t h i c a l c ontext, e.g. P o l . 1332a, Eth. Nlch. V. 1134a, and f r e q u e n t l y In the combination " r i g h t reason" (orthos logos, the S t o i c r e c t a r a t i o ) . . . . He a l s o understands logos as mathematical p r o p o r t i o n , r a t i o (Meta, 991b), a usage probably going back to the Pythagoreans, even though i t i s u n a t t e s t e d i n t h e i r fragments. . . . 4. The S t o i c p o i n t of departure on logos i s H e r a c l i t u s ' d o c t r i n e of an a l l -p e r v a s i v e formula of o r g a n i z a t i o n , which the S t o i c s c o n s i d e r e d d i v i n e . Logos i s the a c t i v e . . . f o r c e i n the u n i v e r s e (D^L. V I I , 134), 8 c r e a t i v e i n the f a s h i o n of sperm (SVF I, 87; a D.L. V I I , 135; see l o g o ! s p e r m a t l k o l 4 ) . As i n a Diogenes L a e r t i u s , L i v e s of the Eminent P h i l o s o p h e r s , ed. and t r a n s . R.D. H i c k s , Loeb C l a s s i c a l L i b r a r y , London, 1925. 3 J . von Arnim, Stolcorum Veterum Fragmenta, 4 v o l s . , L e i p z i g , 1903-1924. 4 According to P e t e r s : The S t o i c l o g o ! s p e r m a t l k o l , which are designed to e x p l a i n both p l u r a l i t y and t e l e o l o g y i n a m o n i s t i c system, appear to be p a t t e r n e d a f t e r the A r i s t o t e l i a n e i d o s . . . i n i t s r o l e as p h y s l s [ n a t u r e ] . The logos c o n s i d e r e d as a u n i f i e d e n t i t y c o n t a i n s w i t h i n i t s e l f , on the analogy of animal sperm, the growth powers of exemplars of a l l the i n d i v i d u a l s (SVF I I , 1027; D^L. V I I , 135). These i n d i v i d u a l l o g o ! are imperishable (SVF I I , 717), i . e . they s u r v i v e the c y c l i c a l c o n f l a g r a t i o n ( e k p y r o s l s ) t h a t consumes the kosmos and are the s e e d l i n g s of the next kosmos ( I b i d . I, 497). Despite t h e i r paradigmatic c h a r a c t e r they are more 4 H e r a c l i t u s i t i s m a t e r i a l and i d e n t i f i e d with f i r e . . . . I t i s a l s o i d e n t i c a l with nature (physls . . .) and Zeus (see Cleanthes, Hymn to Zeus; SVF I, 534). T h i s p e r v a s i v e presence i n the u n i v e r s e develops i n s e v e r a l d i r e c t i o n s : s i n c e i t i s a u n i t y i t grounds the theory of cosmic sympathy . . . and of n a t u r a l law and the e t h i c a l imperative "to l i v e a c c o r d i n g to nature". . . . S t o i c l i n g u i s t i c t h e o r y f u r t h e r d i s t i n g u i s h e d i n t e r i o r logos (=thought) and e x t e r i o r logos (=speech) (SVF I I , 135; Sextus Emplricus, Adv. Math. V I I I , 275" . . . ) , a d i s t i n c t i o n t h a t c l e a r l y i n f l u e n c e d P h i l o ' s n o t o r i o u s l y d i f f i c u l t v i s i o n of l o g o s . 5. P h i l o knew the d i s t i n c t i o n between i n t e r i o r and e x t e r i o r logos and c o u l d a p p l y i t i n an orthodox S t o i c f a s h i o n (De V i t a Mos. I I , 137 s), and i t was perhaps t h i s d i s t i n c t i o n , together with the Jewish s c r i p t u r a l t r a d i t i o n about the "Word of God," t h a t l e d to h i s new treatment of l o g o s . In the f i r s t i n s t a n c e logos i s the D i v i n e Reason t h a t embraces the a r c h e t y p a l complex of elde t h a t w i l l serve as the models of c r e a t i o n . . . . Next, t h i s logos t h a t i s God's mind i s e x t e r n a l i z e d i n the form of the kosmos noetos . . ., the u n i v e r s e A r i s t o t e l i a n than P l a t o n i c i n t h a t they are immanent i n matter ( i b i d . I I , 1074). They a l s o p l a y a major r o l e i n P l o t i n u s : they r e s i d e i n the psyche (Enn. I I , 3,14; IV, 3,10) where they are the cause of i t s movement ( i b i d . IV, 3,15), the l o g o l c o n t a i n a l l the d e t a i l s of the being ( i b i d . I l l , 2,1) and are the reasons why i n d i v i d u a l s d i f f e r ( i b i d . IV, 4,12); unextended themselves, they are i n d i v i d u a l i z e d o n l y by the matter i n which they Inhere ( i b i d . IV, 9,5). ( P e t e r s , 1967: 110) 5 Sextus E m p i r i c u s , Adversus Mathematicos, 3 v o l s . , ed. and t r a n s . R.G. Bury,Loeb C l a s s i c a l L i b r a r y , London. 1935-1953. 6 P h i l o , Works, ed. and t r a n s . F.H. Colson e t a l . , 10 v o l s . , Loeb C l a s s i c a l L i b r a r y , London, 1929 to date. a p p r e h e n s i b l e o n l y to the i n t e l l i g e n c e ( i b i d . 7,29). I t i s transcendent . . . and i t i s God, although not the God . . ., but r a t h e r the " e l d e r son of God". . . . With the c r e a t i o n of the v i s i b l e world (kosmos a l s t h e t o s ) the logos begins to p l a y an immanent r o l e as the " s e a l " of c r e a t i o n (De fuga 2,12), the S t o i c "bond of the u n i v e r s e " . . . and helmarmene t f a t e ] . P h i l o d i f f e r s from the S t o i c s i n denying t h a t t h i s immanent logos i s God (De mlgre. Abr. 32, 179-181); f o r the p r o v i d e n t i a l r o l e of F h i l o ' s l o gos, see p r o n o l a . 7 P h i l o g i v e s h i s logos a 7 According to P e t e r s , pronola means 'forethought' providence': 1. The e a r l i e r h i s t o r y of the concept of providence i s to be seen i n the emergence, from Diogenes to A r i s t o t l e , of a n o t i o n of an i n t e l l i g e n t purpose ( t e l o s . . .) o p e r a t i n g i n the u n i v e r s e . In a l l of these t h i n k e r s i t i s c l e a r l y a s s o c i a t e d with the i n t e l l i g e n t God whose f e a t u r e s begin to appear i n the l a t e r P l a t o (see Laws 899 where the d e n i a l of pronola i s reckoned blasphemy) and i n A r i s t o t l e . For the S t o i c s the immanent Logos governs a l l by nous and pronola (D.L. V I I , 138; SVF I, 176). I t i s given a new t u r n i n the d i r e c t i o n of anthropocentrism by Chrysippus where the r e s t of the kosmos i s s u b j e c t e d to the good of man. S t o i c p r o n o l a , i d e n t i f i e d as i t was with p h y s i s , was e s s e n t i a l l y immanent. 2. L a t e r Platonism, l i k e the newly appeared S e m i t i c t r a d i t i o n , was transcendent and b e l i e v e d i n a s e r i e s of i n termediate d e i t i e s . . ., with the r e s u l t t h a t p r o n o l a began to be d i s t r i b u t e d through the e n t i r e range of d e i t i e s ( P l u t a r c h , De  f a c t o 572f-273b; A p u l e i u s , De Platone I, 12). As the supreme p r i n c i p l e grows more remote, i t s d i r e c t involvement i n p r o n o l a becomes markedly l e s s . So i n P h i l o , De  fuga 101, the Logos e x e r c i s e s providence through the immanent dynamels, j u s t as i n P l o t i n u s (Enn. IV, 8,2) the World Soul has a g e n e r a l providence and the i n d i v i d u a l s o u l s a p a r t i c u l a r providence 6 d i s t i n c t r o l e i n c r e a t i o n : i t i s the in s t r u m e n t a l cause (De_ cher. 35, 126-127); i t i s a l s o an a r c h e t y p a l l i g h t . . ., t h i s l a t t e r image reappearing i n P l o t i n u s , Enn. I l l , 2,16. 8 But there i s a d i f f e r e n c e between the two t h i n k e r s ; what was i n P h i l o both logos and nous [ i n t e l l i g e n c e , i n t e l l e c t , mind] i s d i v i d e d i n P l o t i n u s who uses the l o g o l concept i n a f a s h i o n a k i n t o the s t o i c l o g o i s p e r m a t i k o i . . . . (P e t e r s , 1967: 110-112) From the f o r e g o i n g extended q u o t a t i o n i t may be seen t h a t throughout a n c i e n t Greek phi l o s o p h y , up to and i n c l u d i n g the f i r s t i n t i m a t i o n s of C h r i s t i a n i t y , the concept of logos i s always, e i t h e r d i r e c t l y or i n d i r e c t l y , a s s o c i a t e d with some n o t i o n of the e x i s t e n c e of an ab s o l u t e — of a changeless e n t i t y a g a i n s t which a l l e l s e may be measured. However, i t i s the P r e s o c r a t i c n o t i o n of logos as 'the u n d e r l y i n g o r g a n i z a t i o n a l p r i n c i p l e of the u n i v e r s e ' , a p r i n c i p l e which, i n v a r i o u s forms, p e r s i s t s through t o the present day, t h a t i n s p i r e d Jacques D e r r i d a t o c o i n the term 'logocentrism.' Logocentrism r e f e r s to Western phi l o s o p h y ' s assumption of f o r the bodies they i n h a b i t ; the One, of course, i s beyond providence. I m p l i c i t i n t h i s d i s t i n c t i o n between gen e r a l and p a r t i c u l a r providence, i . e . , between command and e x e c u t i o n , i s the r e c o n c i l i a t i o n of the necessary transcendence of God and the necessary immanence of p r o v i d e n t i a l a c t i v i t y . . . (P e t e r s , 1967: p. 164) 0 P l o t i n u s , Enneads, 6 v o l s . , ed. E. B r e h i e r , P a r i s , 1924-1938; t r a n s . S. MacKenna, 2nd ed., London, 1956. 7 presence, t h a t i s , i t s assumption of an essence, an a b s o l u t e , a p l e n i t u d e , e t c . which, i n the process of grounding and a c c o u n t i n g f o r a l l extant phenomena, subsumes d i f f e r e n c e w i t h i n i d e n t i t y and/or the other w i t h i n the s e l f . Thus, f o r example, P l a t o n i c and A r i s t o t e l i a n n o t i o n s of eidos (idea) presuppose a d i v i s i o n between what i s a b s o l u t e and what i s t r a n s i e n t . For P l a t o the changing world of mortal e x i s t e n t s i s a r e f l e c t i o n of the unchanging realm of the eide or i d e a s . As P e t e r s expresses i t , The r e l a t i o n s h i p between the i n d i v i s i b l e , e t e r n a l eide and t r a n s i e n t , s e n s i b l e phenomena ( a l s t h e t a ) i s d e s c r i b e d i n a number of d i f f e r e n t ways. The eide are the cause . . . of the a i s t h e t a (Phaedo l O O b - l O l c ) , and the l a t t e r are s a i d t o p a r t i c i p a t e . . . i n the eide.. In an e l a b o r a t e metaphor, p e r v a s i v e i n P l a t o , the a l s t h e t o n i s s a i d to be a copy (eikon . . .) of the e t e r n a l model (paradelgma), the e i d o s . T h i s a c t of a r t i s t i c c r e a t i o n (mimesis . . .) i s the work of a supreme craftsman (demiourgos . . . ) . . . . . [Where] i s one to l o c a t e the eide? Here analogy comes i n t o p l a y . J u s t as the a l s t h e t a are c o n t a i n e d i n some s o r t of o r g a n i c u n i t y t h a t i s the kosmos, so the eide e x i s t i n some " i n t e l l i g i b l e p l a c e " (topos noetos. Rep. 508c, 517b . . . ) l o c a t e d "beyond the heavens" (Phaedrus 247c). ( P e t e r s , 1967: 48) Thus P l a t o p o s i t s a transcendent realm capable of grounding and a c c o u n t i n g f o r the e a r t h l y realm. As f o r A r i s t o t l e , 8 The c h i e f d i f f e r e n c e between the P l a t o n i c and A r i s t o t e l i a n view of the ei d e i s t h a t f o r the l a t t e r the eidos i s not (except i n the cases of the f i r s t mover and/or movers, and t h a t of the nous [mind, i n t e l l e c t , i n t e l l i g e n c e ] " t h a t comes from o u t s i d e " . . .) a separate s u b s i s t e n t . . ., but a p r i n c i p l e of complete substances. I t i s the formal cause of t h i n g s (Phys. I I , 1946), a c o r r e l a t i v e of matter i n composite beings ( i b i d . I, 190b), and the i n t e l l i g i b l e essence (ousla) of an e x i s t e n t (Meta. 1013a . . . ) . In knowing t h i n g s we know t h e i r e i d o s (Meta. 1010a), i . e . , the a p p r o p r i a t e f a c u l t y (nous or a i s t h e s l s ) becomes the t h i n g i t knows by reason of the e i d o s of the known o b j e c t e n t e r i n g the s o u l (De_ an. I l l , 431b-432a). E i d o s i s , i n b r i e f , an a c t u a l i z a t i o n ( e n e r g e l a , e n t e l e c h l a . . .; De an. I I , 412a). (P e t e r s , 1967: 49-50) In other words, A r i s t o t l e takes the P l a t o n i c n o t i o n of eido s and views i t not o n l y as transcendent (e.g. f i r s t mover), but a l s o as immanent (e.g. 'the i n t e l l i g i b l e essence (ousla) of an e x i s t e n t ' ) . But the p o s i t i o n of the eido s as a b s o l u t e and unmoving remains c o n s t a n t . Given A r i s t o t l e ' s acceptance of ei d o s as a b s o l u t e and complete In and of i t s e l f , i t i s a sh o r t s t e p t o h i s p o s i t i n g of the founding p r i n c i p l e of the l o g i c of i d e n t i t y — the p r i n c i p l e of n o n - c o n t r a d i c t i o n : For the same t h i n g t o hold good and not  to hold good s i m u l t a n e o u s l y of the same  t h i n g and i n the same r e s p e c t i s  im p o s s i b l e . . . . T h i s , then, i s the f i r m e s t of a l l p r i n c i p l e s . . . . For i t i s impossible f o r anyone t o b e l i e v e t h a t the same t h i n g i s and i s not. . . . But i f i t i s not p o s s i b l e f o r c o n t r a r i e s t o hold good of the same t h i n g 9 s i m u l t a n e o u s l y . . ., and the o p i n i o n c o n t r a r y t o an o p i n i o n i s t h a t of the c o n t r a d i c t o r y , then o b v i o u s l y i t i s impossible f o r the same person t o b e l i e v e s i m u l t a n e o u s l y t h a t the same t h i n g i s and i s not; f o r anyone who made t h a t e r r o r would be h o l d i n g c o n t r a r y o p i n i o n s s i m u l t a n e o u s l y . That i s why a l l those who demonstrate go back t o t h i s o p i n i o n i n the end: i t i s , JLn the nature of  t h i n g s , the p r i n c i p l e of a l l the other axioms a l s o . ( A r i s t o t l e , 1987: 267) (emphasis A r i s t o t l e ' s and mine) T h i s p r i n c i p l e of n o n - c o n t r a d i c t i o n and i t s concomitant l o g i c of i d e n t i t y , premised as they are on an assumption of eidos as a b s o l u t e and e s s e n t i a l , have never ceased haunting Western p h i l o s o p h y and/or theology.* The two main branches of p o s t - P l a t o n i c and p o s t -A r i s t o t e l i a n p h i l o s o p h y are Empi r i c i s m and R a t i o n a l i s m . G e n e r a l l y speaking, the seventeenth c e n t u r y and e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y e m p i r i c i s t p h i l o s o p h e r s (e.g. Bacon, Locke, Berkeley, Hume) h e l d t h a t knowledge d e r i v e s not from innate or a p r i o r i ideas but from the accumulation of concrete sensory 9 With r e s p e c t t o C h r i s t i a n theology, whether the emphasis i s on God as transcendent (and hence the need f o r a c h a i n of i n t e r m e d i a r i e s schooled i n t r a n s l a t i n g His ways to humanity (e.g. Roman C a t h o l i c i s m ) ) or on God as immanent (and hence the need o n l y f o r an 'open heart and r e c e p t i v e mind' (e.g. P r o t e s t a n t i s m ) ) the important p o i n t i s t h a t God i s i n v a r i a b l y viewed as omnipotent and omnipresent ( a l s o , i n t e r e s t i n g l y , as male — metaphorics n o t w i t h s t a n d i n g ) . In other words, whatever p a r t i c u l a r aspect of the concept of God one chooses, f o r whatever reasons, t o s t r e s s , God, as such, i s assumed to be a b s o l u t e , unchanging and e t e r n a l — t h a t which both accounts f o r and c o n t a i n s a l l known (and, by e x t e n s i o n , unknown) phenomena. e x p e r i e n c e s . Here, of course, we see the glimmerings of an I n d u c t i v e ' s c i e n t i f i c method' premised on the n o t i o n t h a t c e r t a i n t y i s determinable through d i r e c t o b s e r v a t i o n and e x p e r i e n c e . However, l i k e the r a t i o n a l i s t s (and P l a t o and A r i s t o t l e before them), what Is of primary concern to the e m p i r i c i s t s i s s t i l l c e r t a i n t y , and, l i k e the r a t i o n a l i s t s , they assume t h a t c e r t a i n p r o p o s i t i o n s a r e , by d e f i n i t i o n , i n d u b i t a b l e . Thus the e m p i r i c i s t s r a r e l y questioned the e x i s t e n c e of God and, i n any case, never questioned the e x i s t e n c e of necessary t r u t h s — they merely h e l d t h a t the former was not s u b j e c t to concrete o b s e r v a t i o n and t h e r e f o r e not the business of s c i e n c e and t h a t the l a t t e r , being l o g i c a l l y necessary, c o u l d not be questioned without r e s u l t i n g i n a b s u r d i t y . For example, Bacon b e l i e v e d i n the s e p a r a t i o n of reason and r e v e l a t i o n ; Locke b e l i e v e d t h a t there was n o n e m p l r i c a l a p r i o r i knowledge of no n s e n s l b l e phenomena; Berkeley b e l i e v e d t h a t knowledge of God was a g i v e n ; Hume, u n l i k e the o t h e r s , questioned the e x i s t e n c e of God, but, l i k e the o t h e r s , b e l i e v e d t h a t c e r t a i n r e l a t i o n s of ideas (e.g. a n a l y t i c p r o p o s i t i o n s and mathematics) c o n s t i t u t e d necessary t r u t h s , and so on. The e m p i r i c i s t t r a d i t i o n , i n s p i t e of i t s s t a t e d o p p o s i t i o n to the P l a t o n i c dualism of unchanging transcendent i d e a s / t r a n s i e n t e a r t h l y phenomena and the g e n e r a l r a t i o n a l i s t d u alism of a p r i o r i / a p o s t e r i o r i i d e a s , i t s e l f remains e s s e n t i a l l y d u a l l s t i c i n t h a t i t assumes the v a l i d i t y of the 11 d i s t i n c t i o n between necessary and c o n t i n g e n t t r u t h s — an assumption which, except i n so f a r as i t l o c a t e s necessary t r u t h s w i t h i n the t e n e t s of u n i v e r s a l l o g i c r a t h e r than i n the human mind, does not d i f f e r i n any fundamental r e s p e c t from the aforementioned r a t i o n a l i s t assumption of the d i s t i n c t i o n between a p r i o r i / a p o s t e r i o r i i d e a s . Hence, methodological d i f f e r e n c e s a s i d e , the e m p i r i c i s t t r a d i t i o n , every b i t as much as the r a t i o n a l i s t t r a d i t i o n , assumes the e x i s t e n c e of s e l f - c e r t a i n and s e l f - e v i d e n t t r u t h s which are p r e d i c a t e d upon an acceptance of the i n d u b l t a b l l i t y of the l o g i c of i d e n t i t y (as evinced i n the A r i s t o t e l i a n p r i n c i p l e of n o n - c o n t r a d i c t i o n ) and a g a i n s t which a l l c o n c r e t e l y observed and/or experienced phenomena must be measured. Thus, f o r example, both t r a d i t i o n s assume concepts, as such, to be, by d e f i n i t i o n and i n p r i n c i p l e , s e l f - i d e n t i c a l and i n d i v i s i b l e because, f o l l o w i n g the l o g i c of non-c o n t r a d i c t i o n , a concept, being t h a t which i s d e f i n i t i v e of the essence or meaning of a c a t e g o r y or c l a s s of phenomena, cannot be what i t i s not: i . e . i t cannot, s i m u l t a n e o u s l y , be both p o s s i b l e and i m p o s s i b l e . 1 0 T h i s being the case, both t r a d i t i o n s , e i t h e r i m p l i c i t l y or e x p l i c i t l y , assume the p r i o r i t y of i d e n t i t y over d i f f e r e n c e and, as w i l l become 1 0 I t should be noted t h a t , n o t i o n s of 'good' and 'bad' t h e o r i z i n g about c o n c e p t u a l i t y n o t w i t h s t a n d i n g , t h i s i s the standard d e f i n i t i o n of 'concept* as i t f u n c t i o n s throughout the Western p h i l o s o p h i c a l t r a d i t i o n . (The reader may c o n s u l t the Oxford E n g l i s h D i c t i o n a r y or any r e p u t a b l e d i c t i o n a r y of p h i l o s o p h i c a l terms.) 12 c l e a r In the f o l l o w i n g s e c t i o n on R a t i o n a l i s m , s e l f over o t h e r . Of the three l e a d i n g seventeenth c e n t u r y and e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y r a t i o n a l i s t p h i l o s o p h e r s , Descartes, L e i b n i z and Spinoza, i t i s Descartes who has had by f a r the most i n f l u e n c e on l a t e r p h i l o s o p h y . I t i s g e n e r a l l y acknowledged t h a t modern p h i l o s o p h y begins with Descartes's demonstration t h a t c e r t i t u d e i s grounded i n the t h i n k i n g i n d i v i d u a l ' s i n d u b i t a b l e awareness of her own thought processes — the famous c o g l t o ergo sum. In other words, one may doubt e v e r y t h i n g but the f a c t of one's own t h i n k i n g / d o u b t i n g s e l f . Thus f o r the f i r s t time i n Western p h i l o s o p h y knowledge i s grounded i n the p e r c e i v i n g s u b j e c t r a t h e r than i n an assumed transcendent form(s) or i n a world t h a t Is presumed t o e x i s t o u t s i d e of one's own cons c i o u s n e s s . T h i s i s not to say t h a t Descartes dispensed with a n o t i o n of God — on the c o n t r a r y , he undertook t o prove the l o g i c a l n e c e s s i t y of God's e x i s t e n c e . " Moreover, Descartes b e l i e v e d i n the e x i s t e n c e of innate or a p r i o r i i d e a s , such as the p r i n c i p l e s of knowledge and s c i e n c e (e.g. the p r i n c i p l e of n o n - c o n t r a d i c t i o n ) which " Descartes argued t h a t t o know was a g r e a t e r p e r f e c t i o n than t o doubt, and t h a t t h e r e f o r e , he h i m s e l f must be an imperfect being who, nonetheless, was capable of having an idea of p e r f e c t i o n . T h i s idea of p e r f e c t i o n c o u l d o n l y have come from a p e r f e c t being, i . e . God. F u r t h e r t o t h i s , Descartes argued t h a t e x i s t e n c e , being a p e r f e c t i o n , c o u l d no more be separated from the n o t i o n of a supremely p e r f e c t being than having three angles c o u l d be separated from the n o t i o n of a t r i a n g l e . 13 are present i n the human mind from b i r t h and which, being e v i d e n t to the ' n a t u r a l l i g h t of reason,' are immune from doubt. However, Descartes's Importance f o r l a t e r p h i l o s o p h y c e n t r e s on h i s l i n k i n g of c e r t i t u d e with the t h i n k i n g s e l f and the concomitant n o t i o n of the mind/body s p l i t . As he reasons i n the f o u r t h D i s c o u r s e , . . . examining a t t e n t i v e l y what I was, and s e e i n g t h a t I c o u l d pretend t h a t I had no body and t h a t there was no world or p l a c e t h a t I was i n , but t h a t I c o u l d not, f o r a l l t h a t , pretend t h a t I d i d not e x i s t , and t h a t , on the c o n t r a r y , from the v e r y f a c t t h a t I thought of doubting the t r u t h of other t h i n g s , i t f o l l o w e d v e r y e v i d e n t l y and ve r y c e r t a i n l y t h a t I e x i s t e d ; while on the other hand, i f I had o n l y ceased t o t h i n k , although a l l the r e s t of what I had ever Imagined had been t r u e , I would have no reason t o b e l i e v e t h a t I e x i s t e d ; I thereby concluded t h a t I was a substance, of which the whole essence or nature c o n s i s t s i n t h i n k i n g , and which, i n order to e x i s t , needs no place and depends on no m a t e r i a l t h i n g ; so t h a t t h i s ' I ' , t h a t i s t o say, the mind, by which I am what I am, i s e n t i r e l y d i s t i n c t from the body, and even t h a t i t i s e a s i e r to know than the body, and moreover, t h a t even i f the body were not, i t would not cease t o be a l l t h a t i t i s . (Descartes, 1980: 54) Descartes reasoned t h a t the mind or s e l f (res c o g l t a n s ) was unextended and i n d i v i s i b l e and hence t o t a l l y d i s t i n c t from the body or matter (res extensa) which was extended and d i v i s i b l e . And because c e r t i t u d e can o n l y be achieved by and through the thought processes of the t h i n k i n g s u b j e c t , f o r Descartes, knowledge of otherness (res extensa) must, by d e f i n i t i o n , be d e r i v e d from and determined by the s e l f (res  c o g i t a n s ) . The seventeenth c e n t u r y and e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y e m p i r i c i s t t r a d i t i o n , with i t s n o t i o n s of l o g i c a l i n d u c t i o n and necessary t r u t h s and i t s emphasis on sensory experience as the barometer of c e r t i t u d e , c a r r i e d on through Auguste Comte up through Bertrand R u s s e l l , the e a r l y W i t t g e n s t e i n and the l o g i c a l p o s i t i v i s m of Hempel, Carnap e t a l . , and i n f l u e n c e d much of n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y and t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y anthropology (e.g. T y l o r , F r a s e r , Boas, R a d c l i f f e - B r o w n , Murdock, Stewart, white, L 6 v l - s t r a u s s , e t c . ) . The hallmarks of t h i s t r a d i t i o n i n c l u d e a r e l i a n c e on t e s t a b i l i t y , r e p l i c a b i l i t y , o b j e c t i v i t y , q u a n t i t a t i v e a n a l y s i s , f a c t s , c a u s a l or d e t e r m i n i s t i c e x p l a n a t i o n , a fundamental s e p a r a t i o n between the observer and the observed, and the p o s s i b i l i t y of e s t a b l i s h i n g laws based on c o n c l u s i o n s drawn from observable d a t a . The seventeenth c e n t u r y and e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y r a t i o n a l i s t t r a d i t i o n , with i t s n o t i o n of l o g i c a l d e duction from a p r i o r i ideas and i t s emphasis on the t h i n k i n g / p e r c e i v i n g s u b j e c t as the barometer of c e r t i t u d e , c a r r i e d on through Kant, Hegel, the phenomenology of H u s s e r l and the hermeneutics of Schleiermacher, D i l t h e y , Heidegger, Gadamer and Ricoeur and p a r t i c u l a r l y i n f l u e n c e d t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y i n t e r p r e t i v e anthropology (e.g. Geertz, Sperber, Rabinow, Boon, Hymes, e t c . ) and 'postmodern' anthropology (e.g. C l i f f o r d , T y l e r , Marcus, F i s c h e r , e t c . ) . The hallmarks of t h i s t r a d i t i o n i n c l u d e an emphasis on s u b j e c t i v i t y , a b e l i e f i n the i n t e r s u b j e c t i v e s o c i a l c o n s t r u c t i o n of an always mediated ' r e a l i t y ' and the importance of i n t e r p r e t e d meanings as opposed t o analyzed f a c t s . However, both t r a d i t i o n s , i n t h a t they whole-heartedly embrace the l o g i c of i d e n t i t y ( i . e . l o g i c premised on the v a l i d i t y of the p r i n c i p l e of n o n - c o n t r a d i c t i o n ) and i n t h a t they both a s p i r e t o the attainment of c e r t i t u d e , remain p r o f o u n d l y m e t a p h y s i c a l . That i s to say, they both assume and r e l y on a n o t i o n of presence, i . e . a guarantee of s e l f -e v i d e n t and s e l f - i d e n t i c a l c e r t a i n t y which expresses I t s e l f i n such n o t i o n s as essence, ide a , t r u t h , s e l f , d i a l e c t i c , c o n s c i o u s n e s s , concept, and so on. T h i s n o t i o n of presence, through p h e n o m e n o l o g l c a l / e x l s t e n t i a l i s t / h e r m e n e u t l c a l ideas concerning s e l f and/or d i a l e c t i c i t y and through s e m i o l o g i c a l / s t r u c t u r a l i s t ideas concerning b i n a r y o p p o s i t i o n a l i t y , dominates t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y thought every b i t as much as i t dominated P l a t o and A r i s t o t l e . I t i s t h i s i m p l i c i t or e x p l i c i t n o t i o n of presence which Jacques DerrIda's d e c o n s t r u c t i o n seeks to expose and to d e l i m i t w i t h i n the works of Western p h i l o s o p h y and, i n so doing, t o i n d i c a t e the way i n which, due to the ve r y nature of our most c h e r i s h e d concepts, indeed, due to the ve r y nature of concepts as such, we, a l b e i t unknowingly, c o n s t a n t l y r e p r e s s otherness and 16 d i f f e r e n c e . i i ) Statement of JjfrfcgjTt In t h i s d i s s e r t a t i o n I attempt t o accomplish three g o a l s : (1) to provide an e x p l i c a t i o n of Derridean thought and to demonstrate the re l e v a n c e of i t s a p p l i c a t i o n t o anthropology, (2) to d e l i n e a t e the p h i l o s o p h i c a l background and p r e s u p p o s i t i o n s of i n t e r p r e t i v e anthropology (as evinced i n the w r i t i n g s of C l i f f o r d Geertz) and 'postmodern 1 anthropology (as evinced i n the w r i t i n g s of James C l i f f o r d ) and t o s u b j e c t them t o a d e c o n s t r u c t i v e r e a d i n g and (3) to show t h a t Western c o n c e p t u a l i t y , by d e f i n i t i o n and i n p r i n c i p l e , i s both r e p r e s s i v e and opp r e s s i v e and t h a t , t h i s being the case, anthropology must begin to engage i n a fundamental r e - e v a l u a t i o n of i t s most b a s i c assumptions. I choose t o conc e n t r a t e on the work of Jacques D e r r i d a because, Nietzs c h e and Heidegger n o t w i t h s t a n d i n g , , a the o n l y 1 2 F r i e d r i c h N i e t z s c h e (1844 - 1900) i s of gre a t i n t e r e s t to D e r r i d a i n t h a t the former d e d i c a t e d h i s l i f e ' s work t o a r a d i c a l c r i t i q u e of the t r u t h c l a i m s of Western p h i l o s o p h y . In a d d r e s s i n g the concept of t r u t h N i e t z s c h e expresses h i m s e l f as f o l l o w s : What, then, i s t r u t h ? A mobile army of metaphors, metonyms, and anthropomorphisms — i n s h o r t , a sum of human r e l a t i o n s , which have been enhanced, transposed, and embellished p o e t i c a l l y and r h e t o r i c a l l y , and which a f t e r long use seem f i r m , c a n o n i c a l , and o b l i g a t o r y to a people: t r u t h s are i l l u s i o n s about which one has f o r g o t t e n t h a t t h i s i s what they are; metaphors which are worn out and without sensuous power; c o i n s which have l o s t t h e i r p i c t u r e s and now matter o n l y as metal, no longer as c o i n s . We s t i l l do not know where the urge f o r t r u t h comes from; f o r as yet we have heard o n l y of the o b l i g a t i o n 17 imposed by s o c i e t y t h a t i t should e x i s t : t o be t r u t h f u l means u s i n g the customary metaphors — i n moral terms: the o b l i g a t i o n t o l i e a c c o r d i n g t o a f i x e d convention, to l i e h e r d - l i k e i n a s t y l e o b l i g a t o r y f o r a l l . . . . ( N i e tzsche i n T a y l o r , 1986a: 219) In other words, a c c o r d i n g t o N i e t z s c h e , Western metaphysics, from P l a t o on, has engaged i n a prolonged process of m i s t a k i n g r h e t o r i c a l convention f o r i n d i s p u t a b l e t r u t h . He f u r t h e r argues t h a t human consciousness i s an e f f e c t of the i n t e r p l a y of d i f f e r e n t i a l f o r c e s and t h a t f o r c e i s , by d e f i n i t i o n , r e l a t i o n a l -- i . e . t h a t f o r c e , as such, cannot e x i s t as a s i n g u l a r u n i t y but must always e x i s t i n r e l a t i o n t o another f o r c e . In t h i s way Nie t z s c h e c h a l l e n g e s the gen e r a l p h i l o s o p h i c a l assumption of s e l f -i d e n t i c a l , s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t u n i t y . For N i e t z s c h e , . . . every t h i n g i s f i s s u r e d and every consciousness d u p l i c i t o u s . [He] b e l i e v e s t h a t the search f o r t r u t h i s a c t u a l l y an e x e r c i s e of "the w i l l to power" through which one t r i e s t o master the u n c e r t a i n t i e s of the human c o n d i t i o n by r e p r e s s i n g the i n e v i t a b i l i t y of fragmentation and d i s c l o c a t i o n . . . . N i e t z s c h e ' s "gay wisdom" j o y f u l l y a f f i r m s the i n e s c a p a b i l i t y of incom p l e t i o n and the i m p o s s i b i l i t y of knowledge. ( T a y l o r , 1986a: 16) Despite N i e t z s c h e ' s attempt t o u n s e t t l e the s e l f - a s s u r e d assumptions of Western metaphysics, M a r t i n Heidegger (1889 - 1976) co n s i d e r e d him to be ve r y much a proponent of t h a t which he sought to d i s c r e d i t . (Indeed, Heidegger r e f e r s t o N i e t z s c h e as the l a s t g r e a t metaphysician.) As f a r as Heidegger was concerned, N i e t z s c h e , l i k e a l l those who preceded him back t o and i n c l u d i n g P l a t o , was mired i n a concern with knowledge which precluded any s e r i o u s a t t e n t i o n t o the q u e s t i o n of the meaning of Being. A c c o r d i n g t o Heidegger, Ne i t h e r N i e t z s c h e nor any t h i n k e r before him . . . come to the commencing beginning, r a t h e r they see the beginn i n g a l r e a d y and onl y i n the l i g h t of what i s a l r e a d y a f a l l i n g o f f from the beginning and a q u i e t e n i n g of t h a t b e g i n n i n g : i n the l i g h t of P l a t o n i c p h i l o s o p h y . . . Ni e t z s c h e h i m s e l f a l r e a d y e a r l y on d e s i g n a t e s h i s ph i l o s o p h y as re v e r s e d P l a t o n i s m . The r e v e r s a l does not e l i m i n a t e the P l a t o n i c premise, but r a t h e r s o l i d i f i e s i t e x a c t l y through the appearance of e l i m i n a t i o n . (Heidegger i n Spivak i n D e r r i d a , 1982e: xxxiv) In other words, because N i e t z s c h e does not go f a r enough, because he does not q u e s t i o n the meaning of Being ( i . e . the p o s s i b i l i t y of presence as such), he i s l e f t with no ch o i c e but to operate by a 18 method of simple r e v e r s a l (e.g. a n t i - C h r i s t as opposed to C h r i s t , D i o n y s l a n as opposed to A p p o l l o n i a n e t c . ) which, Heidegger argues (and D e r r i d a would a g r e e ) , leaves the p h i l o s o p h i c a l f i e l d e s s e n t i a l l y untouched. Heidegger s e t s out to address the p o s s i b i l i t y of presence through attempting to t h i n k d i f f e r e n c e as d i f f e r e n c e . He r e f e r s t o d i f f e r e n c e as 'the same' which, f o r Heidegger, i s t h a t which s i m u l t a n e o u s l y j o i n s and s e p a r a t e s . In other words, Heidegger attempts to move away from the standard Western p h i l o s o p h i c a l n o t i o n of presence as, by d e f i n i t i o n , u n d i f f e r e n t i a t e d , and attempts to t h i n k presence as the 'luminous s e l f - c o n c e a l i n g ' of the •same.' However, as Mark T a y l o r p o i n t s out, I t Is c l e a r t h a t i n s t r u g g l i n g to t h i n k the unthought, Heidegger t r i e s to t h i n k p h i l o s o p h y ' s o t h e r . Yet does he s t i l l t h i n k t h i s other p h i l o s o p h i c a l l y or even  m e t a p h y s i c a l l y , and, thus, not t h i n k i t as other? I n s o f a r as Heidegger continues to value u n i t y over p l u r a l i t y , he remains t r u e t o the most important assumption of Western p h i l o s o p h y . Though intended to overcome metaphysical n o t i o n s of i d e n t i t y , Heidegger's concept of the same approaches the n o t i o n of i d e n t i t y -i n - d i f f e r e n c e t h a t Hegel develops i n response to what he regards as S c h e l l i n g ' s inadequate " p h i l o s o p h y of i d e n t i t y . " The Logos t h a t a r t i c u l a t e s Heidegger's same i s , l i k e the Hegelian Logos, a "primal phenomenon," t h a t "draws and j o i n s together what i s h e l d a p a r t i n s e p a r a t i o n . " By attempting to t h i n k d i f f e r e n c e as same, Heidegger seems to extend the p h i l o s o p h i c a l search f o r o r i g i n s . In e x p l o r i n g the d i f f e r e n c e l e f t unthought by p h i l o s o p h y , Heidegger seeks what he e x p l i c i t l y l a b e l s an " e s s e n t i a l o r i g i n . " From t h i s p o i n t of view, the problem with the t r a d i t i o n a l n o t i o n of Being, as w e l l as i t s modern m a n i f e s t a t i o n i n phenomenology's " p r i n c i p l e of p r i n c i p l e s " ( i . e . t r a n s c e n d e n t a l s u b j e c t i v i t y ) , i s t h a t both Being and s u b j e c t i v i t y are i n s u f f i c i e n t l y p r i m o r d i a l , and, hence, cannot provide a proper f o u n d a t i o n f o r t h i n k i n g . As a more o r i g i n a l o r i g i n , d i f f e r e n c e can answer the q u e s t i o n of how presence becomes present. ( T a y l o r , 1986a: 20-21) As w i l l become c l e a r i n the course of t h i s d i s s e r t a t i o n , D e r r i d a has a g r e a t d e a l of sympathy with p a r t s of the Nietzschean and Heideggerian e f f o r t s — much of h i s work being concerned with m a i n t a i n i n g and d e v e l o p i n g many of t h e i r i n s i g h t s while a v o i d i n g t h e i r e s s e n t i a l acceptance of presence. For, although both N i e t z s c h e and Heidegger a t t a c k the p r e s u p p o s i t i o n s of Western metaphysics, both, u l t i m a t e l y , remain d e d i c a t e d to t h a t metaphysics — N i e t z s c h e through the r e t e n t i o n of a metaphorics which i s 19 t h i n k e r of whom I am aware who manages, through h i s use of such •psuedo-concepts 1 as o r i g i n a r y d o u b l i n g and u n d e c i d a b i l i t y , , a to i n d i c a t e the way i n which Western metaphysics r e p r e s s e s otherness and d i f f e r e n c e without, h i m s e l f , succumbing t o such r e p r e s s i o n . I choose t o conce n t r a t e on i n t e r p r e t i v e anthropology because i t i s w i d e l y p e r c e i v e d t o be a r e a c t i o n t o , and more r i g o r o u s l y comprehensive than, t r a d i t i o n a l i s t p o s i t i v i s t l c approaches t o anthropology ( S c h o l t e , 1974; Hymes ed., 1974; Watson-Franke and Watson, 1975; Rabinow and S u l l i v a n eds., 1979; Ruby ed., 1982; Geertz, 1973, 1983, 1988; Boon, 1982; Whittaker, 1986; C l i f f o r d , 1988). As has been s a i d , p o s i t i v l s t approaches to anthropology modelled themselves on e m p i r i c i s t n o t i o n s of f a c t , o b j e c t i v i t y , the s e p a r a t i o n between observer and observed and so on. In o p p o s i t i o n to t h i s view, i n t e r p r e t i v e anthropology argues t h a t • o b j e c t i v i t y ' i s an e p i s t e m o l o g l c a l c o n s t r u c t which e n t a i l s the unwarranted and unacceptable assumption t h a t the a n t h r o p o l o g i s t can e x i s t as an unprejud i c e d observer who i s capable of w r i t i n g up a d i s p a s s i o n a t e , ' f a c t u a l * account of whatever she observes. I n t e r p r e t i v e a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s introduce phenomenological/ steeped i n P l a t o n i c / C a r t e s i a n dualism (e.g. t r u t h / e r r o r , appearance/ r e a l i t y e t c . ) and Heidegger through a n o s t a l g i a f o r r e c o v e r i n g the moment of the meaning of Being. , a Why these are not t r a d i t i o n a l concepts i s e x p l a i n e d i n Chapter Two. 20 hermeneutical n o t i o n s of i n t e r 3 u b j e c t l v i t y , i n t e r p r e t a t i o n and d i a l e c t i c i t y i n t o t h e i r d i s c i p l i n e and maintain t h a t whatever the a n t h r o p o l o g i s t produces, so f a r from being an u n p r e j u d i c e d , d i s p a s s i o n a t e account, i s always a t h o r o u g h l y mediated s o c i a l c o n s t r u c t i o n which d e a l s not with analyzed f a c t s but with i n t e r p r e t e d meanings — hence doing away with any n o t i o n of the v a l i d i t y of o b j e c t i v e , s c l e n t l s t l c p r i v i l e g e on the p a r t of the a n t h r o p o l o g i s t . I choose to c o n c e n t r a t e on 'postmodern' anthropology because i t s e t s i t s e l f up as an improvement over i n t e r p r e t i v e anthropology and as embodying what i s au courant w i t h i n the d i s c i p l i n e as a whole (Marcus and F i s h e r eds., 1986; C l i f f o r d and Marcus eds., 1986; Rabinow, 1986; T y l o r , 1987; C l i f f o r d , 1988; Sangren, 1988; Geertz, 1988; K a p f e r e r , 1989; Whittaker, 1990). 'Postmodern' anthropology argues t h a t I n t e r p r e t i v e anthropology, i t s improvement over p o s l t i v i s t anthropology n o t w i t h s t a n d i n g , merely i n t e r p r e t s , r a t h e r than a c t i v e l y  engaging with, other c u l t u r e s . Thus, while a c c e p t i n g the I n t e r p r e t i v e a n t h r o p o l o g i s t ' s emphasis on t h e phenomenological n o t i o n of i n t e r s u b j e c t i v i t y , 'postmodern' anthropology p l a c e s an emphasis on the Gadamerian hermeneutics of d i a l o g u e r a t h e r than on the D i l t h e y a n or Ricoeurean hermeneutics of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . In t h i s way, •postmodern' anthropology seeks to ensure t h a t whatever the a n t h r o p o l o g i s t produces w i l l be In the form of a 'negotiated r e a l i t y ' and, as such, u n l i k e I n t e r p r e t i v e anthropology, w i l l d i s a l l o w any p o s s i b i l i t y of being skewed i n favour of the remnants of a p r i v i l e g e d p o i n t of view. I choose to c o n c e n t r a t e on C l i f f o r d Geertz as r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of i n t e r p r e t i v e anthropology and on James C l i f f o r d as r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of 'postmodern* anthropology because t h a t i s how they are c h a r a c t e r i z e d i n the c u r r e n t a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l l i t e r a t u r e ( r e . Geertz: Rabinow and S u l l i v a n eds., 1979; Ruby ed., 1982; Boon, 1982; Webster, 1982, 1983; Parker, 1985; Marcus and F i s c h e r eds., 1986; S c h o l t e , 1986; C l i f f o r d , 1988. r e : C l i f f o r d : Marcus and Cushman, 1982; Marcus and F i s c h e r eds., 1986; Rabinow, 1986; Geertz, 1988; Sangren, 1988; K a p f e r e r , 1989; Whittaker, 1990). I argue t h a t both G e e r t z i a n i n t e r p r e t i v e anthropology and C l i f f o r d i a n 'postmodern' anthropology are f i r m l y embedded w i t h i n an unexamined c o n c e p t u a l i t y which ensures t h a t they continue to perpetuate the l e g a c y of Western metaphysics through the unacknowledged and, indeed, unrecognized r e p r e s s i o n of d i f f e r e n c e and otherness. 22 Chapter Two An E x p l i c a t i o n of Derrldean D e c o n s t r u c t l o n Jacques D e r r i d a maintains t h a t the e n t i r e h i s t o r y of Western metaphysics, from i t s i n c e p t i o n i n a n c i e n t Greece to i t s e x p r e s s i o n i n modern day hermeneutics, grounds i t s e l f i n a concept of presence; t h a t i s , i n the assumption of and d e s i r e f o r a ' t r a n s c e n d e n t a l s i g n i f i e d ' — an a b s o l u t e l y c e r t a i n because s e l f - i d e n t i c a l and s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t source of being and knowledge which manifests i t s e l f i n such concepts as t r u t h , essence, substance, meaning, God, and so on. 1 4 Whether presence i s expressed as a P r e s o c r a t i c n o t i o n of l o g o s , as a P l a t o n i c or A r i s t o t e l i a n n o t i o n of e i d o s , as a C h r i s t i a n n o t i o n of God, as a C a r t e s i a n n o t i o n of c o g i t o , as a K a n t i a n n o t i o n of s y n t h e t i c a p r i o r i , as a Hegelian n o t i o n of Absolute S p i r i t , as a Rousseauian n o t i o n of nature, as a Husserlean n o t i o n of t r a n s c e n d e n t a l s u b j e c t i v i t y , as a Saussurian n o t i o n of the Inner system of language or as a Heideggerian n o t i o n of the meaning of Being as a l e t h e l a , i t always expresses both the p o s s i b i l i t y and the n e c e s s i t y of an a b s o l u t e and s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t ground f o r a l l human experience. And because presence must be assumed to account f o r any and 1 4 The reader should be aware t h a t , throughout t h i s work, i t i s D e r r l d a ' s view of Western metaphysics with which I am concerned. I t should not be assumed t h a t t h i s i s a view which i s commonly shared by a l l p h i l o s o p h e r s . a l l d i s c r e t e phenomena, because nothing must be allowed to f a l l o u t s i d e i t s purview ( f o r , i f t h i s were to happen, the unquestionable would have to be questioned and chaos would t h r e a t e n logos) i t i s p e r c e i v e d to be homogeneous — to be the u l t i m a t e u n i t y which c o n t a i n s and allows f o r a l l m u l t i p l i c i t y but which i s not i n i t s e l f m u l t i p l e . A c o r o l l a r y of the f o r e g o i n g view of presence i s t h a t Western c o n c e p t u a l i t y abounds with innumerable h i e r a r c h i c a l l y s t r u c t u r e d o p p o s i t i o n a l p a i r s such as s p e e c h / w r i t i n g , t r u t h / e r r o r , c e r t a i n t y / u n c e r t a i n t y , r e f e r e n t / s i g n , s i g n i f i e d / s i g n i f i e r , i d e n t i t y / d i f f e r e n c e , meaning/absurdity, s e l f / o t h e r , wherein the l a t t e r term of each p a i r i s viewed as a c o r r u p t i o n of the former. Thus, to use the s p e e c h / w r i t i n g o p p o s i t i o n as an example, D e r r i d a a s s e r t s t h a t : .phonocentrism merges with the h i s t o r i c a l d e t e r m i n a t i o n of the meaning of being i n g e n e r a l as presence, with a l l the subdeterminations which depend on t h i s g e n e r a l form and which organize w i t h i n i t t h e i r system and t h e i r h i s t o r i c a l sequence (presence of the t h i n g t o s i g h t as e i d o s , presence as substance/essence/existence [ o u s i a ] , temporal presence as p o i n t [stlgm6] of the now or of the moment [nun], the s e l f -presence of the c o g i t o , c o n s c i o u s n e s s , s u b j e c t i v i t y , the co-presence of the other and of the s e l f , i n t e r s u b j e c t i v i t y as the I n t e n t i o n a l phenomenon of the ego, and so f o r t h ) . Logocentrism [supports] the d e t e r m i n a t i o n of the being of the e n t i t y as presence [and the] epoch of the logos thus debases w r i t i n g c o n s i d e r e d as mediation of mediation and as a f a l l i n t o 24 the e x t e r i o r i t y of meaning. 1 3 ( D e r r i d a , 1982e: 12-13) In other words, speech i s e x a l t e d because i t i s c o n s i d e r e d to be c l o s e t o an o r i g i n a r y presence, t r u t h or meaning, while w r i t i n g i s scorned because i t i s a •mediation of mediation' and consequently twice removed from t h a t which i t attempts to approximate. D e r r i d a contends t h a t , so f a r from being a secondary or d e r i v a t i v e form of speech, w r i t i n g i s a c t u a l l y a p r e c o n d i t i o n of language and t h a t speech has always a l r e a d y been w r i t t e n . C l e a r l y , D e r r i d a i s not r e f e r r i n g to w r i t i n g i n the standard sense of symbols r e p r e s e n t i n g words: As D e r r i d a deploys i t , the term [ w r i t i n g ! i s c l o s e l y r e l a t e d to t h a t element of s i g n i f y i n g d i f f e r e n c e which Saussure thought e s s e n t i a l t o the workings of language. W r i t i n g , f o r D e r r i d a , i s the 'free p l a y ' or element of 'undecid-a b i l i t y ' w i t h i n every system of communication. I t s o p e r a t i o n s are p r e c i s e l y those which escape the s e l f -c onsciousness of speech and i t s deluded sense of the mastery of concept over language. W r i t i n g i s the endless displacement of meaning which both governs language and p l a c e s I t f o r e v e r beyond the reach of a s t a b l e , s e l f -1 3 At t h i s p o i n t i t should be noted t h a t , throughout t h i s study, I have c o n s u l t e d E n g l i s h t r a n s l a t i o n s of DerrIda's works. I have not read D e r r i d a i n French and I do not c l a i m to account f o r the French v e r s i o n s of D e r r i d a . My s o l e concern i s with the E n g l i s h t r a n s l a t i o n s . a u t h e n t i c a t i n g knowledge. 1 6 ( N o r r i s , 1986: 28-29) 25 De r r i d a ' s b a s i c endeavour Is to demonstrate t h a t the key not i o n s of Western metaphysics are rooted i n , and determined by, the concept of presence, a concept which cannot h e l p but c o n t a i n i t s own absence — i t s own o r i g i n a r y d i f f e r e n c e from i t s e l f as such — and t h a t i t i s the d e n i a l or, more a p p r o p r i a t e l y , the r e p r e s s i o n of t h i s d i f f e r e n c e which has ensured t h a t our predominant modes of thought have so f a r remained u n s a t i s f a c t o r y . D e r r i d a ' s s t r a t e g y f o r c a l l i n g i n t o q u e s t i o n the concept of presence i n v o l v e s a c l o s e and r i g o r o u s examination of s p e c i f i c t e x t s with the i n t e n t i o n of d e c o n s t r u c t i n g t h e i r fundamental premises through exposing the p o i n t beyond which, f o l l o w i n g and because of t h e i r own  l o g i c , they i n e v i t a b l y lapse i n t o a p o r i a — i n t o an i n s o l u b l e problem f o r which Western metaphysics, due to i t s own b a s i c assumptions, simply cannot account. D e r r i d a ' s assessment of Saussure's Course In General  L i n g u i s t i c s may serve as an i l l u s t r a t i o n of how he (Derrida) goes about d e c o n s t r u c t i n g unexamined n o t i o n s of presence w i t h i n Western thought. With r e s p e c t t o t h i s p a r t i c u l a r t e x t , D e r r i d a a p p r o v i n g l y notes how Saussure maintains t h a t , s As D e r r i d a u t i l i z e s i t , ' w r i t i n g ' i s a s s o c i a t e d with an open-ended c h a i n of terms which he r e f e r s to as 'undecldables.' These w i l l be d i s c u s s e d i n a l a t e r p o r t i o n of t h i s c h a pter. language i s a system o£ s i g n s and t h a t s i g n s are a r b i t r a r y -- t h a t they are not d e f i n e d i n r e l a t i o n to an unchangeable essence or presence but by the d i f f e r e n c e s which d i s t i n g u i s h them from other s i g n s . D e r r i d a sees t h i s as a r a d i c a l f o r m u l a t i o n which, had i t been followed through, would have r e s u l t e d i n the r e c o g n i t i o n of a n o t i o n of w r i t i n g wherein: The p l a y of d i f f e r e n c e supposes, i n e f f e c t , syntheses and r e f e r r a l s which f o r b i d at any moment, or i n any sense, t h a t a simple element be present i n and of I t s e l f , r e f e r r i n g o n l y t o I t s e l f . Whether i n the order of spoken or w r i t t e n d i s c o u r s e , no element can f u n c t i o n as a s i g n without r e f e r r i n g t o another element which i t s e l f i s not simply p r e s e n t . T h i s interweaving r e s u l t s i n each 'element* -phoneme or grapheme — being c o n s t i t u t e d on the b a s i s of the t r a c e w i t h i n i t of the other elements of the c h a i n or system. T h i s interweaving, t h i s t e x t i l e , i s the t e x t produced o n l y i n the t r a n s f o r m a t i o n of another t e x t . Nothing, n e i t h e r among the elements nor w i t h i n the system, i s anywhere ever simply present or absent. There are only, everywhere, d i f f e r e n c e s and t r a c e s of t r a c e s . ( D e r r i d a , 1981g: 26) However, Saussure remains d e d i c a t e d to a n o t i o n of phonet i c w r i t i n g and thus views "[language] and w r i t i n g [as] two d i s t i n c t systems of s i g n s [with] the second [ e x i s t i n g ] f o r the s o l e purpose of r e p r e s e n t i n g the f i r s t " (Saussure i n D e r r i d a , 1982e: 30). Through t h i s l i m i t a t i o n he r e i n f o r c e s the t r a d i t i o n a l s p e e c h / w r i t i n g dichotomy and f u r t h e r contends t h a t : "The l i n g u i s t i c o b j e c t i s not d e f i n e d by the combination of the w r i t t e n and the spoken word: the spoken word alone c o n s t i t u t e s the o b j e c t " (Saussure i n D e r r i d a , 1982e: 31). In Saussurian l i n g u i s t i c s w r i t i n g i s " u n r e l a t e d to the inner system of language" (Saussure i n D e r r i d a , 1982e: 33) and i s doomed to wander the misty f l a t s of e x t e r i o r i t y . A c c o r d i n g to D e r r i d a , The b a s i c f u n c t i o n a l p r i n c i p l e of phonetic w r i t i n g i s p r e c i s e l y to r e s p e c t and p r o t e c t the i n t e g r i t y of the • i n t e r n a l system* of the language, even i f i n f a c t i t does not succeed i n doing so. The S a u s s u r i a n l i m i t a t i o n does not respond, by a mere happy convenience, to the s c i e n t i f i c exigency of the ' i n t e r n a l system.* That exigency i s I t s e l f c o n s t i t u t e d , as the e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l exigency i n g e n e r a l , by the v e r y p o s s i b i l i t y of phonetic w r i t i n g and by the e x t e r i o r i t y of the ' n o t a t i o n ' to i n t e r n a l l o g i c . ( D e r r i d a , 1982e: 33-34) In other words, the e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l concept of presence n e c e s s i t a t e s the concept of i t s own absence i n order to underscore i t s always assumed but never r e a l i z e d e x i s t e n c e . The Inside can o n l y be I n f e r r e d from the o u t s i d e . So w r i t i n g (the o u t s i d e ) , whose s o l e purpose i s to r e p r e s e n t language (the I n s i d e ) , r e p r e s e n t s presence by p r e s e n t i n g i t s absence. There i s here a danger to the e n t i r e e d i f i c e of the metaphysics of presence which D e r r i d a maintains i t i s c r u c i a l t o develop. Saussure h i m s e l f i s not unaware of t h i s danger: "Writing, though unrelated to i t s inner system, i s used continually to represent language. We cannot simply disregard i t . We must be acquainted with i t s usefulness, shortcomings, and dangers" (Saussure in Derrida, 1982e: 34). To develop t h i s further, consider some of Saussure's comments concerning writing: Writing v e i l s the appearance of language; i t Is not a guise for language but a disguise. (Saussure in Derrida, 1982e: 35) The graphic form [image] manages to force i t s e l f upon [people] at the expense of sound . . . and the natural sequence i s reversed. (Saussure in Derrida, 1982e: 35) . . . the graphic form [image] of words st r i k e s us as being something permanent and stable, better suited than sound to constitute the unity of language throughout time. Though i t creates a purely f i c t i t i o u s unity, the s u p e r f i c i a l bond of writing i s much easier to grasp than the natural bond, the only true bond, the bond of sound . . . . But the spoken word i s so Intimately bound to i t s written image that the l a t t e r manages to usurp the main r o l e . (Saussure in Derrida, 1982e: 35-36) (emphasis Derrida's) Derrida points out that Saussure*s castigatlon of writing i s fundamentally m o r a l i s t i c in tone. Writing forces i t s e l f on speech, i t usurps the p r i v i l e g e d p o sition of speech, i t reverses a natural sequence — i t i s , in i t s essence, a 29 p e r v e r s i o n . And w r i t i n g i s a dangerous p e r v e r s i o n p r e c i s e l y because i t thr e a t e n s the n a t u r a l p r i o r i t y accorded to speech by v i r t u e o£ i t s in t i m a t e a s s o c i a t i o n with an assumed, i n t u i t e d presence: The a f f i r m a t i o n of the e s s e n t i a l and ' n a t u r a l ' bond between the phon6 and the sense, the p r i v i l e g e accorded to an order of s i g n i f i e r (which then becomes the major s i g n i f i e d of a l l other s i g n i f i e r s ) depends e x p r e s s l y , and iin c o n t r a d i c t i o n  to the other l e v e l s of the Sauss u r i a n d i s c o u r s e , upon a psychology of c o n s c i o u s n e s s and of i n t u i t i v e c o n s c i o u s n e s s . What Saussure does not qu e s t i o n here i s the e s s e n t i a l  p o s s i b i l i t y of n o n l n t u l t l o n . ( D e r r i d a , 1982e: 40) (emphasis mine) That i s , what Saussure does not q u e s t i o n i s the e x i s t e n c e of a determining presence. The v e r y p o s s i b i l i t y of the phenomenon of w r i t i n g , because i t i s d e f i n e d as both e x t e r i o r t o , yet r e p r e s e n t a t i v e o f , language, c a r r i e s w i t h i n i t the t h r e a t of the absence of presence — of presence as absence. I f Saussure d i d not d e r i d e w r i t i n g , i f he took i t s r a m i f i c a t i o n s s e r i o u s l y , he would soon be dangerously c l o s e to D e r r i d a ' s v i s i o n of there being "only, everywhere, d i f f e r e n c e s and t r a c e s of t r a c e s . " I n t e r e s t i n g l y , D e r r i d a p o i n t s out t h a t : . . . i t i s when he i s not e x p r e s s l y d e a l i n g with w r i t i n g , when he f e e l s he has c l o s e d the parentheses on t h a t 30 s u b j e c t , t h a t Saussure opens the f i e l d of a g e n e r a l grammatology. 1 7 Which would no longer be excluded from g e n e r a l l i n g u i s t i c s , but would dominate i t and c o n t a i n i t w i t h i n i t s e l f . Then one r e a l i z e s t h a t what was chased o f f l i m i t s , the wandering o u t c a s t of l i n g u i s t i c s , has indeed never ceased to haunt language as i t s most i n t i m a t e p o s s i b i l i t y . Then something which was never spoken and which i s nothing other than w r i t i n g i t s e l f as the o r i g i n of language w r i t e s i t s e l f w i t h i n Saussure's d i s c o u r s e . ( D e r r i d a , 1982e: 43-44) Saussure s t a t e s t h a t : I t i s impossible f o r sound alone, a n a t u r a l element, to belong to language. I t i s o n l y a secondary t h i n g , substance to be put to use. A l l our c o n v e n t i o n a l v a l u e s have the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of not being confused with the t a n g i b l e element which supports them. . . . The l i n g u i s t i c s i g n i f i e r . . . i s not [ i n essence] phonic but i n c o r p o r e a l -- c o n s t i t u t e d not by the m a t e r i a l substance but by the d i f f e r e n c e s t h a t separate the sound-image from a l l o t h e r s . . . .The idea or phonic substance t h a t the s i g n c o n t a i n s i s of l e s s Importance than the other s i g n s t h a t surround i t . (Saussure i n D e r r i d a , 1982e: 53) Thus, i r o n i c a l l y , when Saussure i s not d e a l i n g with speech i n r e l a t i o n to w r i t i n g , he opens up the v e r y p o s s i b i l i t y of w r i t i n g which, e a r l i e r , he i s a t such pains to r e p r e s s . He has gone from "the spoken word alone c o n s t i t u t e s the 1 7 In D e r r i d a ' s usage 'grammatology' (which comes from L i t t r 6 : "A t r e a t i s e upon L e t t e r s , upon the alphabet, s y l l a b a t i o n , r e a d i n g , and w r i t i n g " ( D e r r i d a , 1982e: 323)) i s used i n t e r c h a n g e a b l y with ' w r i t i n g ' i n the undecidable sense. l i n g u i s t i c o b j e c t " (Saussure In D e r r i d a , 1982e: 31) to "the l i n g u i s t i c s i g n i f i e r . . . i s not . . . phonic but i n c o r p o r e a l " (Saussure i n D e r r i d a , 1982e: 53). And, to emphasize the c o n t r a d i c t i o n w i t h i n Saussure's work, D e r r i d a p o i n t s out t h a t : By d e f i n i t i o n , d i f f e r e n c e i s never i n i t s e l f a s e n s i b l e p l e n i t u d e . T h e r e f o r e , i t s n e c e s s i t y c o n t r a d i c t s the a l l e g a t i o n of a n a t u r a l l y phonic essence of language. I t c o n t e s t s by the same token the p r o f e s s e d n a t u r a l dependence of the g r a p h i c s i g n i f i e r . ( D e r r i d a , 1982e: 53) D e r r i d a contends t h a t i t i s Saussure's d e d i c a t i o n to a metaphysics of presence t h a t n e c e s s i t a t e s the s e l f -c o n t r a d i c t o r y nature of the Course i n General L i n g u i s t i c s : the i n t e n t i o n t h a t I n s t i t u t e s g e n e r a l l i n g u i s t i c s as a s c i e n c e remains w i t h i n a c o n t r a d i c t i o n . I t s d e c l a r e d purpose indeed c o n f i r m s , s a y i n g what goes without s a y i n g , the s u b o r d i n a t i o n of grammatology, the h i s t o r i c o - m e t a p h y s i c a l r e d u c t i o n of w r i t i n g to the rank of an instrument enslaved to a f u l l and o r i g i n a r i l y spoken language. But another gesture (not another statement of purpose, f o r here what does not go without s a y i n g i s done without being s a i d , w r i t t e n without being u t t e r e d ) l i b e r a t e s the f u t u r e of a g e n e r a l grammatology of which l i n g u i s t i c s - p h o n o l o g y would be o n l y a dependent and c i r c u m s c r i b e d a r e a . ( D e r r i d a , 1982e: 29-30) 32 In m a i n t a i n i n g t h a t "nothing . . . i s anywhere ever simply present or absent" D e r r i d a i s proposing t h a t concepts such as presence, essence, meaning e t c . , are always a l r e a d y doubled — t h a t I s , t h a t they are always a l r e a d y i n s c r i b e d with the p o s s i b i l i t y of t h e i r own otherness — t h a t they are heterogeneous as opposed to homogeneous from t h e i r v e r y  I n c e p t i o n . In d i s c u s s i n g D e r r i d a ' s *psuedo-concept' of i t e r a b i l i t y , 1 8 Rodolphe Gasch6 puts i t t h i s way: . . . what i s i n q u e s t i o n here i s not I t e r a t i o n or r e p e t i t i o n but o n l y t h e i r p o s s i b i l i t y , or i t e r a b i l i t y , which can occur as a p o s s i b i l i t y to any u n i t and i s , consequently, a necessary p o s s i b i l i t y t h a t must be i n s c r i b e d i n the essence of t h a t u n i t I t s e l f . A p r i o r i , then, the p o s s i b i l i t y of i t e r a t i o n d i v i d e s the i d e n t i t y of a l l u n i t s ; i t e r a b i l i t y i s the i m p u r i t y of an absence t h a t , from the s t a r t , p r o h i b i t s the f u l l and r i g o r o u s attainment of the p l e n i t u d e of a u n i t , and t h a t i n p r i n c i p l e s u b verts i t s s e l f -i d e n t i t y . (Gasch6, 1986: 213) As D e r r i d a says, . the being-present (on) i n i t s t r u t h , i n the presence of i t s i d e n t i t y and i n the i d e n t i t y of i t s presence, i s doubled as soon as i t appears, as soon as i t presents i t s e l f . It_ appears. In i t s  essence, as the p o s s i b i l i t y of i t s own most proper non-truth, of i t s psuedo-t r u t h r e f l e c t e d i n the i c o n , the phantasm, or the simulacrum. What i s i s not what i t i s , i d e n t i c a l and I d e n t i c a l to i t s e l f , unique, unless i t adds to • I t e r a b i l i t y ' i s another Derridean 'undecidable.' 33 I t s e l f the p o s s i b i l i t y of being repeated as such. And i t s i d e n t i t y i s hollowed out by t h a t a d d i t i o n , withdraws i t s e l f i n the supplement t h a t presents i t . ( D e r r i d a , 1981a: 168) Thus, f o r example, to r e f e r back to the e x p l i c a t i o n of Saussure's t e x t , the supposed o r i g i n a r y presence of the spoken word i s , because of i t s e s s e n t i a l l t e r a b i l i t y , always a l r e a d y w r i t t e n with the p o s s i b i l i t y of i t s own absence, i t s own non-presence, and, as such, with i t s own i m p o s s i b i l i t y as a s e l f - i d e n t i c a l concept. I t i s important to r e a l i z e t h a t D e r r i d a i s concerned n e i t h e r with a simple r e v e r s a l of o p p o s i t i o n a l concepts (e.g. w r i t i n g / s p e e c h i n s t e a d of speech/writing) nor with t h e i r n e u t r a l i z a t i o n : "[A g e n e r a l s t r a t e g y of d e c o n s t r u c t i o n ] i s to a v o i d both simply n e u t r a l i z i n g the b i n a r y o p p o s i t i o n s of metaphysics and simply r e s i d i n g w i t h i n the c l o s e d f i e l d of these o p p o s i t i o n s , thereby c o n f i r m i n g i t " ( D e r r i d a , 1981g: 41). A r e v e r s a l of these o p p o s i t i o n s would merely l e a d t o a Y e a t s i a n v i s i o n of r e v o l u t i o n wherein " t t l h e beggars have changed p l a c e s , but the l a s h goes on" (Yeats, 1973: 358) whereas a n e u t r a l i z a t i o n of these o p p o s i t i o n s would preclude any p o s s i b i l i t y of d i f f e r e n c e and hence r e s u l t i n a s p e e c h l e s s homogeneity. D e r r i d a does not attempt to do away with p h i l o s o p h i c a l o p p o s i t i o n — he attempts to address the p o s s i b i l i t y of o p p o s i t i o n a l i t y as such, and, i n so doing, to c a l l i n t o q u e s t i o n the e x i s t e n c e of presence as an o r i g i n a r l l y s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t e n t i t y capable of grounding and hence of accounting f o r a seemingly endless c h a i n of h i e r a r c h i c a l l y s t r u c t u r e d conceptual p a i r s . In other words, the purpose of d e c o n s t r u c t i o n i s not simply to i s o l a t e i n s t a n c e s of c o n t r a d i c t i o n w i t h i n any g i v e n t e x t or oeuvre and to say t h a t these c o n t r a d i c t i o n s are the l o g i c a l r e s u l t of Western phi l o s o p h y ' s s u b s c r i b i n g to the v a l i d i t y of p a i r e d h i e r a r c h i c a l o p p o s i t i o n s which are both premised on and r e s o l v e d by a concept of presence, but tp_ show the c o n t i n g e n t  nature of t h i s e n t i r e view and to t r y to u n s e t t l e or d i s p l a c e i t by i n d i c a t i n g other p o s s i b i l i t i e s . As Gasch6 p o i n t s out: D e c o n s t r u c t i o n i s . . . the attempt to a c c o u n t f o r t h e h e t e r o g e n e i t y c o n s t i t u t i v e of the p h i l o s o p h i c a l d i s c o u r s e , not by t r y i n g to overcome I t s inner d i f f e r e n c e s but by m a i n t a i n i n g them. . . . . . . d e c o n s t r u c t i o n s t a r t s with a s y s t e m a t i c e l u c i d a t i o n of c o n t r a d i c t i o n , paradoxes, i n c o n s i s t e n c i e s , and a p o r i a s c o n s t i t u t i v e o f c o n c e p t u a 1 i t y , argumentation, and the d i s c u r s i v e n e s s of p h i l o s o p h y . Yet these d i s c r e p a n c i e s are not l o g i c a l c o n t r a d i c t i o n s , the o n l y d i s c r e p a n c i e s f o r which the p h i l o s o p h i c a l d i s c o u r s e can account. Eluded by the l o g i c of i d e n t i t y , they are consequently not c o n t r a d i c t i o n s p r o p e r l y speaking. Nor are these necessary i n c o n s i s t e n c i e s the r e s u l t of i n e q u a l i t y between form and content. T h e i r e x c l u s i o n from the canon of p h i l o s o p h i c a l themes i s p r e c i s e l y what makes i t p o s s i b l e to d i s t i n g u i s h between form and content, a d i s t i n c t i o n t h a t takes plac e s o l e l y a g a i n s t the h o r i z o n of the p o s s i b i l i t y of t h e i r homogeneous r e u n i f i c a t i o n . (Gasch6, 1986: 135) I f one q u e s t i o n s the p o s s i b i l i t y of the 'homogeneous r e u n i f i c a t i o n ' of o p p o s i t i o n a l p a i r s then one has to r e - t h i n k the nature of p h i l o s o p h i c a l c o n t r a d i c t i o n . Rather than viewing c o n t r a d i c t i o n as something which i s a c t u a l l y r e s o l v a b l e , because, a c c o r d i n g to Western thought, both terms of o p p o s i t i o n a l p a i r s such as s i g n i f i e d / s l g n i f i e r are premised upon and contained w i t h i n a n o t i o n of o r i g i n a r y presence, the o n l y d i v i s i o n between them being t h a t the former i s c l o s e r to the o r g a n i z i n g source than the l a t t e r , one must view presence i t s e l f as o r i g i n a r l l y d i f f e r e n t i a t e d , i . e . as i t s e l f always a l r e a d y d i v i d e d by c o n t r a d i c t i o n . Thus c o n t r a d i c t i o n becomes something t h a t not o n l y cannot be r e s o l v e d i n an o r i g i n a r y and transcendent u n i t y , but must be viewed as t h a t which al l o w s the thought of u n i t y to be p o s s i b l e a t a l l . Hence, the concept of a u n i f y i n g presence i s o n l y p o s s i b l e due to i t s i m p o s s i b i l i t y as a s e l f - i d e n t i c a l e n t i t y , and c o n t r a d i c t i o n , which i s , of course, an e x p r e s s i o n of d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n or h e t e r o g e n e i t y , so f a r from being a p h i l o s o p h i c a l dead end — something which must be e i t h e r overcome ( i . e . transcended) or abandoned — i s a c t u a l l y t h a t which al l o w s f o r the p o s s i b i l i t y of p h i l o s o p h y i n the f i r s t p l a c e (pace A r i s t o t l e ) . Again, to r e f e r to Gasch6, . . . d e c o n s t r u c t i o n . . . presupposes a c o n c r e t e l y developed demonstration of the f a c t t h a t concepts and d i s c u r s i v e t o t a l i t i e s are a l r e a d y cracked and f i s s u r e d by necessary c o n t r a d i c t i o n s and h e t e r o g e n e i t i e s t h a t the d i s c o u r s e of 36 p h i l o s o p h y f a l l s to take Into account, e i t h e r because they are not, r i g o r o u s l y speaking, l o g i c a l c o n t r a d i c t i o n s , or because a r e g u l a t e d (conceptual) economy must a v o i d them i n order to safeguard the e t h i c o - t h e o r e t i c a l d e c i s i o n s t h a t o r i e n t i t s d i s c o u r s e . These f i s s u r e s become apparent when we f o l l o w to i t s l o g i c a l end t h a t which i n the process of c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n or argumentation i s o n l y i n a c e r t a i n manner s a i d . D e c o n s t r u c t i o n thus begins by t a k i n g up broached but d i s c o n t i n u e d I m p l i c a t i o n s -- d i s c o n t i n u e d because they would have c o n t r a d i c t e d the i n t e n t i o n s of philosophy. (Gasch6, 1986: 136) We have a l r e a d y seen how t h i s works i n Saussure -- how Saussure, i n s p i t e of a s s e r t i n g t h a t "the l i n g u i s t i c s i g n i f i e r . . . i s not . . . phonic but i n c o r p o r e a l — c o n s t i t u t e d not by the m a t e r i a l substance but by the d i f f e r e n c e s t h a t separate the sound image from a l l o t h e r s " (Saussure i n D e r r i d a , 1982e: 53), yet maintains, i n d i r e c t c o n t r a d i c t i o n to t h i s p o i n t , t h a t " . . . the spoken word alone c o n s t i t u t e s the [ l i n g u i s t i c ] o b j e c t " (Saussure i n D e r r i d a , 1982e: 31). And t h a t he maintains t h i s , not because i t i s supported by what he i s 'almosting' i n h i s work, but because of an e t h i c o - t h e o r e t i c a l d e d i c a t i o n to a n o t i o n of presence: "What Saussure does not q u e s t i o n here i s the e s s e n t i a l p o s s i b i l i t y of n o n i n t u i t i o n " ( D e r r i d a , 1982e: 40). D e r r i d a ' s work on Rousseau p r o v i d e s another of numerous examples of how the r e f u s a l to l e t go of the Western metaphysical concept of presence prevents a w r i t e r from 37 s e e i n g the i m p l i c a t i o n s o£ h i s own work. L i k e Saussure, Rousseau p r i v i l e g e s speech over w r i t i n g : Languages are made to be spoken, w r i t i n g serves o n l y as a supplement to speech. . Speech r e p r e s e n t s thought by c o n v e n t i o n a l s i g n s , and w r i t i n g r e p r e s e n t s the same with regard to speech. Thus the a r t of w r i t i n g i s nothing but a mediated r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of thought. (Rousseau i n D e r r i d a , 1982e: 144) What i s i n t e r e s t i n g here i s Rousseau's use of the term •supplement,' 1 9 f o r , as D e r r i d a p o i n t s out, i t "harbours w i t h i n i t s e l f two s i g n i f i c a t i o n s whose c o h a b i t a t i o n i s as strange as i t i s necessary" ( D e r r i d a , 1982e: 144). On the one hand, a supplement i s added to something which i s supposedly complete i n i t s e l f — i t i s , i n t h i s sense, an a d d i t i o n , an i n e s s e n t i a l e x t r a ; on the other hand, the v e r y e x i s t e n c e of a supplement i m p l i e s an incompleteness i n t h a t which i t not o n l y supplements but e f f e c t i v e l y r e p l a c e s . A c c o r d i n g to Rousseau a supplement i s dangerous p r e c i s e l y because i t leads to a p r e f e r e n c e f o r a r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of the phenomenon r a t h e r than f o r the phenomenon i t s e l f . And although he scorns w r i t i n g as a supplement of speech, "as d e s t r u c t i o n of presence and as d i s e a s e of speech" ( D e r r i d a , 1982e: 142), he f i n d s h i m s e l f attempting to supplement, 1 9 'Supplement' a l s o belongs to the open-ended company of Der r i d e a n 'undecidables.' 38 through the absence o£ w r i t i n g , a presence t h a t i s absent from speech: I would love s o c i e t y as others do i f I were not sure of showing myself not j u s t at a disadvantage but as completely d i f f e r e n t from what I am. The d e c i s i o n I have taken to w r i t e and to hide myself away i s p r e c i s e l y the one t h a t s u i t s me. I f I were present people would never have known what I was worth. (Rousseau In D e r r i d a , 1982e: 142) What does t h i s p o i n t to but the i n t i m a t i o n t h a t speech i s always a l r e a d y r i d d l e d with absence -- t h a t i t , too, i s a supplement and t h a t l i k e a l l supplements i t , too, may be supplemented? The phenomenon, as such, as the s e l f - i d e n t i c a l and s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t e n t i t y with which Rousseau so concerns h i m s e l f , does not and has never e x i s t e d : the i n d e f i n i t e process of s u p p l e m e n t a r i t y has always a l r e a d y I n f i l t r a t e d presence, always a l r e a d y i n s c r i b e d t here the space of r e p e t i t i o n and the s p l i t t i n g of the s e l f . R e p r e s e n t a t i o n iri the abyss [en abyme] a o of presence i s not an a c c i d e n t of presence; the d e s i r e of presence i s , on the c o n t r a r y , born from the abyss (the i n d e f i n i t e m u l t i p l i c a t i o n ) o f r e p r e s e n t a t i o n , from the r e p r e s e n t a t i o n 2 0 A c c o r d i n g to Barbara Johnson, t r a n s l a t o r of D e r r i d a ' s D i s s e m i n a t i o n : "The e x p r e s s i o n en abyme, p o p u l a r i z e d by Gide, was o r i g i n a l l y used i n h e r a l d r y to designate the s t a t u s of the f i g u r e of a sm a l l s h i e l d used to decorate a s h i e l d . Now used whenever some p a r t of a whole can be seen as a r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of t h a t whole . . . ad i n f i n i t u m , as i n the Quaker Oats box on which a man holds up a Quaker Oats box on which a man...etc." (Johnson i n D e r r i d a , 1981a: 265) / o£ r e p r e s e n t a t i o n , e t c . ( D e r r i d a , 1982e: 163) 39 In other words, presence, so f a r from being the p r i m o r d i a l r a l s o n d ' e t r e of the supplement, i s i t s e l f merely an e f f e c t of s u p p l e m e n t a r i t y . Throughout Rousseau's work, D e r r i d a underscores i n s t a n c e s of s u p p l e m e n t a r i t y : c u l t u r e i s a supplement of nature, masturbation i s a supplement of s o - c a l l e d 'normal s e x u a l i t y , ' Th6rdse i s a supplement of a ' r e a l mother,' w r i t i n g i s a supplement of speech, speech i s a supplement of thought and e v e r y t h i n g i s a supplement of presence — which i s i t s e l f always and everywhere o n l y approximated through i t s absence. I t i s Rousseau's commitment to a concept of presence t h a t leads him i n t o the to r t u o u s by-ways of a complex s u p p l e m e n t a r i t y which, a c c o r d i n g to him, i s by d e f i n i t i o n never good enough but which i s always a l l there i s . What D e r r i d a attempts to show i n d e c o n s t r u c t i n g Rousseau's use of the supplement i s t h a t : . . . i n what one c a l l s the r e a l l i f e of these e x i s t e n c e s of " f l e s h and bone," beyond and behind what one b e l i e v e s can be c i r c u m s c r i b e d as Rousseau's t e x t , there has never been anything but w r i t i n g ; there have never been anything b u t s u p p l e m e n t s , s u b s t i t u t i v e s i g n i f i c a t i o n s which c o u l d o n l y come f o r t h i n a c h a i n of d i f f e r e n t i a l r e f e r e n c e s , the " r e a l " supervening and being added o n l y while t a k i n g on meaning from a t r a c e and from an I n v o c a t i o n of the supplement, e t c . And thus to 40 i n f i n i t y , f o r we have read, iri the t e x t , t h a t the a b s o l u t e present, Nature, t h a t which words l i k e " r e a l mother" name, have always a l r e a d y escaped, have never e x i s t e d ; t h a t what opens meaning and language i s w r i t i n g as the disappearance of n a t u r a l presence. ( D e r r i d a , 1982e: 158-159) Although w r i t t e n e x p l i c i t l y about Rousseau, the f o l l o w i n g may be a p p l i e d to any w r i t e r o p e r a t i n g w i t h i n Western metaphysics: Rousseau's t e x t must c o n s t a n t l y be c o n s i d e r e d as a complex and many-leveled s t r u c t u r e ; In i t , c e r t a i n p r o p o s i t i o n s may be read as i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s of other p r o p o s i t i o n s t h a t we a r e , up to a c e r t a i n p o i n t and with c e r t a i n p r e c a u t i o n s , f r e e to read otherwise. Rousseau says A, then f o r reasons t h a t we must determine, he i n t e r p r e t s A i n t o B. A, which was a l r e a d y an i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , i s r e i n t e r p r e t e d i n t o B. A f t e r t a k i n g cognizance of i t , we may, without l e a v i n g Rousseau's t e x t , i s o l a t e A from i t s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n i n t o B, and d i s c o v e r p o s s i b i l i t i e s and resources there t h a t indeed belong to Rousseau's t e x t , but were not e x p l o i t e d by him, which, f o r e q u a l l y l e g i b l e motives, he p r e f e r r e d to  cut s h o r t . ( D e r r i d a 1982e: 307) What t r a d i t i o n a l metaphysics c o n s i s t e n t l y p r e f e r s to cut s h o r t (and, as D e r r i d a p o i n t s out, i t i s d i f f i c u l t not to surmise t h a t , whether conscious or not, t h i s i s an e t h i c o -t h e o r e t i c a l d e c i s i o n ) i s any e x p l o r a t i o n t h a t t h r e a t e n s to l e a d to a r a d i c a l q u e s t i o n i n g of presence. Thus, f o r example, In the case o£ Rousseau, he does not e x p l o r e the p o s s i b i l i t i e s of s u p p l e m e n t a r i t y t h a t l i e untouched w i t h i n h i s t e x t . Being committed to presence as a s e l f - I d e n t i c a l , s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t e n t i t y , Rousseau c o u l d not t h i n k t h i s w r i t i n g [supplementarity] t h a t takes pla c e before and w i t h i n speech. To the extent t h a t he belonged to the metaphysics of presence, he dreamed of the simple e x t e r i o r i t y of death to l i f e , e v i l to good, r e p r e s e n t a t i o n to presence, s i g n i f i e r t o s i g n i f i e d , r e p r e s e n t e r to r e p r e s e n t e d , mask to f a c e , w r i t i n g t o speech. But a l l such o p p o s i t i o n s are  i r r e d u c i b l y r ooted i n t h a t metaphysics.  Using them, one can o n l y operate by  r e v e r s a l s , t h a t i s to say by  c o n f i r m a t i o n s . The supplement i s none of  these terms. I t i s e s p e c i a l l y not more a s i g n i f i e r than a s i g n i f i e d , a r e p r e s e n t e r than a presence, a w r i t i n g  than a speech. None of the terms of t h i s  s e r i e s can, being comprehended w i t h i n i t , dominate the economy of d l f f 6 r a n c e a > or  s u p p l e m e n t a r i t y . Rousseau's dream c o n s i s t e d of making the supplement enter metaphysics by f o r c e . ( D e r r i d a , 1982e: 315) (emphasis D e r r i d a ' s and mine) A look a t D e r r i d a ' s 'undecidables' Is Indispensable to f u r t h e r c l a r i f y i n g d e c o n s t r u c t i o n ' s displacement of presence. In attempting to account f o r an always a l r e a d y o c c u r r i n g process of d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n which a l l o w s , s i m u l t a n e o u s l y , f o r both the p o s s i b i l i t y of presence (as an e f f e c t ) and the 2 1 ' D i f f ^ r a n c e ' i s an 'undecidable. ' 42 i m p o s s i b i l i t y of presence (as a s e l f - I d e n t i c a l e n t i t y ) , D e r r i d a p o s i t s a s e r i e s of terms such as t r a c e , l t e r a b l l l t y , d l f f F r a n c e , supplement, pharmakon, mark e t c . , which cannot be reduced to any s i n g l e , s e l f - i d e n t i c a l meaning. Thus, f o r example, t r a c e combines the senses of both the mark and the effacement of the mark, i t e r a b i l i t y combines the senses of both t h a t which i s repeated and t h a t which i s other ( i t e r coming from the S a n s k r i t i t a r a : o t h e r ) , d i f f F r a n c e combines the senses of both to d i f f e r and to d e f e r , supplement combines the senses of both t h a t which i s added to and t h a t which takes the p l a c e of, pharmakon combines the senses of both poison and remedy, mark combines the senses of both the t r a c e and the effacement of the t r a c e , and so on. These •undecldables, 1 as D e r r i d a r e f e r s to them, "can no longer be i n c l u d e d w i t h i n p h i l o s o p h i c a l ( b i n a r y ) o p p o s i t i o n but, r a t h e r , they i n h a b i t p h i l o s o p h i c a l o p p o s i t i o n , r e s i s t i n g and d i s o r g a n i z i n g i t , without ever c o n s t i t u t i n g a t h i r d term, without ever l e a v i n g room f o r a s o l u t i o n i n the form of s p e c u l a t i v e d i a l e c t i c s " ( D e r r i d a , 1981g: 43). V i n c e n t L e i t c h suggests a s i m i l a r i t y between Gell-Mann's and Zweig's quark 2 2 and D e r r i d a ' s u n d e c l d a b l e s : L i k e the quark i n p h y s i c s , the [undecidable] i s a t h e o r e t i c a l u n i t . . . t h a t , though i m p e r c e p t i b l e — more nothing than something 2 2 Derridean thought and quantum p h y s i c s are explored i n F l o y d M e r r e l l ' s D e c o n s t r u c t i o n Reframed, West L a f a y e t t e (Indiana: Purdue U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1985). 43 — operates amidst the innermost reaches o£ [ t e x t u a l i t y ] , permeating and e n e r g i z i n g i t s e n t i r e a c t i v i t y , a f f e c t i n g omnipresence, yet remaining out of hand. J u s t as the quark, p o s i t e d by Gell-Mann and Zweig d u r i n g the e a r l y 1960's, accounted f o r the strange a c t i v i t i e s of p a r t i c l e s w i t h i n sub-atomic spheres, so D e r r i d a ' s [undecidable] e x p l a i n s the p e c u l i a r e f f e c t s of t e x t u a l i t y d e t e c t e d a t m i c r o l e v e l s of the s i g n . Neither a f r e e quark nor a pure [undecidable] can be d i s l o d g e d or i s o l a t e d because they are f u n c t i o n s of r e l a t i o n s — mirage ' e f f e c t s ' of p r i m o r d i a l d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n i n pro c e s s . ( L e i t c h , 1983: 28) And, p r e c i s e l y because they cannot be d i s l o d g e d or i s o l a t e d , undecldables cannot be p e r c e i v e d as concepts per se — t h a t i s , they cannot be reabsorbed i n t o a d i a l e c t i c a l system of h i e r a r c h i c a l o p p o s i t i o n s as c l e a r c ut ' t h i r d terms' or, indeed, as s e l f - i d e n t i c a l terms a t a l l . As D e r r i d a says with r e s p e c t t o d i f f F r a n c e , "every concept i s i n s c r i b e d i n a c h a i n or i n a system w i t h i n which i t r e f e r s t o the o t h e r s , to other concepts, by means of the sy s t e m a t i c p l a y of d i f f e r e n c e s . Such a p l a y , d l f f F r a n c e , i s thus no longer simply a concept, but r a t h e r the p o s s i b i l i t y of c o n c e p t u a l i t y , of a conceptual process and system i n g e n e r a l " ( D e r r i d a , 1982a: 11). As Gasch6 p o i n t s out: Because the [undecldables] are not atoms, because they have no i d e n t i t y i n themselves, . . . they cannot be gathered once and f o r a l l upon themselves i n some i d e a l p u r i t y . L et us not f o r g e t t h a t the undecldables are the c o n d i t i o n s of p o s s i b i l i t y (and i m p o s s i b i l i t y ) of the conceptual d i f f e r e n c e s as w e l l as of 44 d i s c u r s i v e I n e q u a l i t i e s ; thus, they are what makes the p r o j e c t of s y s t e m a t i z a t i o n p o s s i b l e , without, however, being s y s t e m a t i z a b l e themselves. Yet t h i s i s not to say t h a t a c e r t a i n s y s t e m a t i z a t i o n cannot a p p l y to them; i t simply means t h a t t h e i r system cannot be c l o s e d upon i t s e l f by means of some dominating c e n t e r . . . . The system of the [undecidables] cannot be f o r m a l i z e d , i d e a l i z e d , or systematized because i t i s p r e c i s e l y i t s p l a y t h a t makes those p r o j e c t s p o s s i b l e . (Gasch6, 1986 184-185) D e r r i d a takes care to p o i n t out t h a t , because undecidables "block every r e l a t i o n s h i p to t h e o l o g y , " every r e l a t i o n s h i p t o a ' t r a n s c e n d e n t a l s i g n i f i e d ' or r e f e r e n t of whatever form, none of them may be e l e v a t e d to the p o s i t i o n of "a master-word or a master-concept" ( D e r r i d a , 1981g: 40) and, consequently, t h e i r number i s open -- t h e i r c r e a t i o n depending not on any p o s s i b i l i t y of a b s o l u t e c l o s u r e (as i s the case with philosophemes such as t r u t h , meaning, d i a l e c t i c e t c . which are grounded i n and contained by a n o t i o n of presence) but on the nuances and p l a y of whatever p i e c e of t e x t u a l i t y may be under one's c o n s i d e r a t i o n . As I w i l l now attempt to show, i t i s Important to understand how D e r r i d a views language and t e x t u a l i t y . In Of Grammatology D e r r i d a s t a t e s : "There i s nothing  o u t s i d e of the t e x t [there i s no o u t s i d e - t e x t ; i _ l n'y a pas  de hors t e x t e ] " ( D e r r i d a , 1982e: 158). T h i s statement, almost i n v a r i a b l y taken out of context, has l e d to enormous c o n f u s i o n and to the b e l i e f , expressed by c r i t i c s as d i v e r g e n t from one another as Edward Sa i d and E.D. H i r s c h , t h a t d e c o n s t r u c t i o n maintains t h a t nothing e x i s t s o u t s i d e of language. In a 1984 i n t e r v i e w with R i c h a r d Kearney D e r r i d a expresses h i s I r r i t a t i o n with such mlsreadings: I never cease to be s u r p r i s e d by c r i t i c s who see my work as a d e c l a r a t i o n t h a t there i s nothing beyond language, t h a t we are imprisoned i n language; i t i s , i n f a c t , s a y i n g the exact o p p o s i t e . The c r i t i q u e of l o g o c e n t r i s m i s above a l l e l s e the search f o r the 'other' and the 'other' of language. Every week I r e c e i v e c r i t i c a l commentaries and s t u d i e s on d e c o n s t r u c t i o n which operate on the assumption t h a t what they c a l l 'post-s t r u c t u r a l i s m ' amounts to s a y i n g t h a t there i s nothing beyond language, t h a t we are submerged i n words — and other s t u p i d i t i e s of t h a t s o r t . C e r t a i n l y , d e c o n s t r u c t i o n t r i e s t o show t h a t the q u e s t i o n of r e f e r e n c e i s much more complex and p r o b l e m a t i c than t r a d i t i o n a l t h e o r i e s supposed. I t even asks whether our term ' r e f e r e n c e ' i s e n t i r e l y adequate f o r d e s i g n a t i n g the 'other'. The other, which i s beyond language and which summons language, i s perhaps not a ' r e f e r e n t ' i n the normal sense which l i n g u i s t s have att a c h e d to t h i s term. But to d i s t a n c e o n e s e l f thus from the h a b i t u a l s t r u c t u r e of r e f e r e n c e , to c h a l l e n g e or complicate our common assumptions about i t , does not amount to s a y i n g t h a t there i s nothing beyond language. (D e r r i d a i n Kearney ed., 1984: 123-124) When D e r r i d a says t h a t " [ t l h e r e i s nothing o u t s i d e of the t e x t , " t h a t there i s no * o u t s l d e - t e x t , ' no ' e x t r a - t e x t , ' he i s s a y i n g t h a t there i s no ' t r a n s c e n d e n t a l s i g n i f i e d ' or s e l f - i d e n t i c a l presence capable of grounding and accounting f o r any given p i e c e of w r i t i n g or, indeed, f o r any i s o l a t e d or 'framed' s i t u a t i o n whatsoever. For D e r r i d a , language, as such, i s an e f f e c t of the t e x t taken i n i t s g e n e r a l i z e d or 'undecidable' sense, f o r , as Gasch6 i n d i c a t e s , a c c o r d i n g to D e r r i d a the g e n e r a l i z e d concept of t e x t Is p r e c i s e l y t h a t which exceeds the t r a d i t i o n a l d e t e r m i n a t i o n of t e x t as a t o t a l i t y . In whatever terms — e m p i r i c a l , i d e a l i s t , or d i a l e c t i c a l — t e x t i s d e f i n e d , i t always i m p l i e s a c l o s u r e upon i t s e l f with a c l e a r i n s i d e and o u t s i d e , whether i t i s the e m p i r i c a l c l o s u r e of the u n i t y of a corpus, the i n t e l l i g i b l e u n i t y of a work, or the d i a l e c t i c a l t o t a l i t y of i t s formal or thematic meanings. Yet i f the g e n e r a l t e x t d e l i m i t s the t r a d i t i o n a l t o t a l i z i n g concepts of what has been c a l l e d t e x t , i t a l s o i m p l i e s t h a t the e n t i r e l y d i f f e r e n t t e x t , because i t i s no longer a t o t a l i t y , has no i n s i d e or o u t s i d e . The g e n e r a l i z e d t e x t i s not something t h a t i s c l o s e d upon i t s e l f i n such a manner t h a t i t s l i m i t s would demarcate an i n s i d e from an o u t s i d e . . . . The g e n e r a l t e x t i s r a t h e r t h a t border i t s e l f , from which the assignment of i n s l d e s and o u t s l d e s takes p l a c e , as w e l l as where t h i s d i s t i n c t i o n u l t i m a t e l y c o l l a p s e s . . . . "There i s no e x t r a - t e x t " means j u s t t h i s : nothing o u t s i d e the t e x t can, l i k e a l a s t reason, assume a f u l f i l l i n g f u n c t i o n . . . of the t e x t u a l r e f e r r a l s . I t c e r t a i n l y does not permit the c o n c l u s i o n t h a t there i s nothing e l s e but t e x t s , or f o r t h a t matter, t h a t a l l i s language. (GaschS, 1986 279-181) I t may, of course, be argued, and, indeed, o f t e n i s , t h a t D e r r i d a i s maddeningly a b s t r u s e , t h a t he uses o r d i n a r y words i n an e x t r a o r d i n a r y f a s h i o n and then complains because people take e x c e p t i o n or get confused or both. Such comments as: "There i s nothing o u t s i d e the t e x t " ( D e r r i d a , 1982e: 158); "I don't b e l i e v e t h a t there i s any p e r c e p t i o n " ( D e r r i d a i n Macksey and Donato eds., 1982: 272); "Immediacy i s d e r i v e d " ( D e r r i d a , 1982e: 157); "Speech . . . i s a l r e a d y i n i t s e l f a w r i t i n g " ( D e r r i d a , 1982e: 46); "Wherever i t operates, 1 thought' means n o t h i n g " ( D e r r i d a , 1981g: 49), and so on, tend to be p i c k e d up (again, almost i n v a r i a b l y out of context) and bandied about as though they are merely o f f the c u f f comments and t h a t they, i n and of themselves, preclude any n e c e s s i t y f o r one's t a k i n g t h e i r author s e r i o u s l y . No l e s s an e s t a b l i s h e d and r e s p e c t e d c r i t i c than Ren6 Wellek has i n c u r r e d a contemptuous response from D e r r i d a f o r engaging i n p r e c i s e l y t h i s s o r t of d i s m i s s i v e and embarrassingly u n p r o f e s s i o n a l behaviour: I t does not s u f f i c e , i n order to know how to read, simply to own a l i b r a r y and to know how to t a l k . In s a y i n g t h i s I am r e f e r r i n g t o what can be i n f e r r e d about non-reading from an a s s e r t i o n by Wellek, a c c o r d i n g to which I supposedly advanced "the preposterous theory t h a t w r i t i n g precedes speaking, a c l a i m r e f u t e d by every c h i l d and by the thousand spoken languages t h a t have no w r i t t e n r e c o r d s . " I quote t h i s " c h i l d " argument . because i t demonstrates t h a t the condemned t e x t s have not even been opened. ( D e r r i d a , 1986d: 42) 48 The p o i n t i s , of course, t h a t DerrIda's comments are most e m p h a t i c a l l y not o f f the c u f f and to p o r t r a y them as such i s to do a d i s s e r v i c e not o n l y to him but to s c h o l a r s h i p i n g e n e r a l . One of the s t r a t e g i e s which D e r r i d a employs i n attempting to d e l i m i t Western metaphysics, which, i t must always be remembered, i s dependent upon the n o t i o n of presence as a s e l f - i d e n t i c a l and s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t e n t i t y , i s to demonstrate the unstable and v o l a t i l e nature of concepts such as t e x t , w r i t i n g , meaning, s i g n , and so on, which we commonly tend to view as d e f i n i t i v e l y c l o s e d s i g n i f i e d s . By I n d i c a t i n g the s l i p p a g e w i t h i n these concepts, by d i s p l a c i n g the s e l f - a u t h e n t i c a t i n g n o t i o n of presence, D e r r i d a i s attempting to open Western metaphysics to the p o s s i b i l i t y of i t s 'other,' to the p o s s i b i l i t y of an o r i g i n a r i l y and always, everywhere, a l r e a d y o c c u r r i n g process of d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n . With r e s p e c t to D e r r i d a ' s use of n o t i o n s and concepts which appear to be t r a d i t i o n a l to Western metaphysics one i s reminded of Wallace Stevens's The Man with the Blue G u i t a r : They s a i d , "You have a blue g u i t a r , You do not p l a y t h i n g s as they a r e . " The man r e p l i e d , "Things as they are Are changed upon the blue g u i t a r . " And they s a i d then, "But p l a y , you must, A tune beyond us, yet o u r s e l v e s , A tune upon the blue g u i t a r Of t h i n g s e x a c t l y as they a r e . " (Stevens, 1982c: 165) In other words, although D e r r i d a uses t r a d i t i o n a l concepts they are not to be read as ' t r a d i t i o n a l concepts' pure and simple -- they are always a l r e a d y 'under e r a s u r e ' a 3 — always a l r e a d y changed upon the blue g u i t a r of d e c o n s t r u c t i o n . As D e r r i d a says: Since these concepts are i n d i s p e n s a b l e f o r u n s e t t l i n g the h e r i t a g e t o which they belong, we should [not] renounce them. Within the c l o s u r e , by an o b l i q u e and always p e r i l o u s movement, c o n s t a n t l y r i s k i n g f a l l i n g back w i t h i n what i s being d e c o n s t r u c t e d , i t i s necessary to surround the c r i t i c a l concepts with a c a r e f u l and thorough d i s c o u r s e — to mark the c o n d i t i o n , the medium, and the l i m i t s of t h e i r e f f e c t i v e n e s s and to designate r i g o r o u s l y the in t i m a t e r e l a t i o n s h i p to the machine whose d e c o n s t r u c t i o n they permit; and, i n the same process, designate the c r e v i c e through which the yet unnameable glimmer beyond the c l o s u r e can be glimpsed. ( D e r r i d a , 1982e: 14) T h i s 'unnameable glimmer' i s teased out of the t e x t s of Western metaphysics i n the formless shape of 'undecldables' which, i n t u r n , are teased out by the ' s p l i t w r i t i n g ' or 'double g e s t u r e ' of d e c o n s t r u c t i o n . V i n c e n t L e i t c h o f f e r s a c o n c i s e and u s e f u l summary of t h i s p r o c e s s : The p l a c e where a reader n o t i c e s a displacement or r e v e r s a l i n a t e x t u a l 3 9 Concepts, which, having been d e c o n s t r u c t e d , are r e v e a l e d as being n o n - s e l f - i d e n t i c a l yet i n d i s p e n s a b l e , are sometimes w r i t t e n : t^a^h. 50 ch a i n or system o f t e n c o n s t i t u t e s the s i t e of p h i l o s o p h i c a l or thematic o p p o s i t i o n . D i s c l o s i n g such a c r e v i c e , the d e c o n s t r u c t o r s y s t e m a t i c a l l y and t e n a c i o u s l y i n v e r t s the o p p o s i t i o n s t o r e v e a l the a c t u a l h i e r a r c h i c a l r e l a t i o n of the dichotomous terms. At t h i s p o i n t she s t e a d f a s t l y d i s a l l o w s any r e c o n s t i t u t l o n , s u b l i m a t i o n , or s y n t h e s i s (any Hegelian Aufhebung) of opposing terms. T h i s s t r a t e g i c i n v e r s i o n and stubborn expos6 produce an unexpected gap, f o r c i n g the emergence of a new ['concept'], which nameless mark n e i t h e r n e u t r a l i z e s nor reforms the o l d o p p o s i t i o n . Rather, i t f u n c t i o n s as a d i s o r g a n i z i n g s t r u c t u r a l f o r c e t h a t I n v i s i b l y i n h a b i t s and t r a n s g r e s s e s the o p p o s i t i o n . . . . The purpose of the d e c o n s t r u c t o r i s to produce such undecidables and to t r a c k t h e i r i n s i s t e n t o p e r a t i o n throughout the t e x t . . . . The s p l i t w r i t i n g of d e c o n s t r u c t i o n . . . c o n s i s t s of d e l i b e r a t e l y i n v e r t i n g t r a d i t i o n a l o p p o s i t i o n s and marking the mysterious and d i s o r i e n t i n g p l a y of h i t h e r t o i n v i s i b l e ['concepts' i . e . undecidables] t h a t r e s i d e , unnamed, i n the gap between opposing terms. (Between "nature" and " c u l t u r e , " f o r example, dwells the supplement.) In t h i s double gesture, d e c o n s t r u c t i o n avoids simply d e f u s i n g o p p o s i t i o n s or reforming them; i n other words, d e c o n s t r u c t i o n a c t i v e l y r e s i s t s the i n c l u s i o n of the new ['concept'] i n t o the o l d dichotomy. ( L e i t c h , 1983: 180) J u s t as d e c o n s t r u c t i o n , with i t s i n s i s t e n c e on o r i g i n a r y d o u b l i n g , does away with the n o t i o n of a pure o r i g i n , b e g i n n i n g or arche, so i t a l s o does away with the c o r r e l a t i v e n o t i o n of a pure f i n a l i t y , ending or t e l o s . T h i s being the case, the western n o t i o n of l i n e a r i t y , and of h i s t o r y as a l i n e a r sequence, i s c a l l e d r a d i c a l l y i n t o q u e s t i o n , f o r , as 51 D e r r i d a p o i n t s out, " h i s t o r y has no doubt always been a s s o c i a t e d with a l i n e a r scheme of the u n f o l d i n g of presence, where the l i n e r e l a t e s the f i n a l presence to the o r i g i n a r y presence a c c o r d i n g to the s t r a i g h t l i n e or the c i r c l e " ( D e r r i d a , 1982e: 85). Although, as Mark T a y l o r i n d i c a t e s , we o f t e n tend to draw a sharp d i s t i n c t i o n between E a s t e r n and western, or, indeed, ' p r i m i t i v e ' and ' c i v i l i z e d ' n o t i o n s of time wherein the former i s c o n s i d e r e d to be c y c l i c a l and s t a t i c , with the end c o i n c i d i n g with the beginning, and the l a t t e r i s c o n s i d e r e d to be l i n e a r and p r o g r e s s i v e , with the end s u r p a s s i n g the beginning, i t i s important to r e a l i z e t h a t , " t b l o t h c i r c l e and l i n e are forms of c l o s u r e and f i g u r e s of p l e n i t u d e t h a t serve as t o t a l i z i n g metaphors" ( T a y l o r , 1987c: 70). In other words, both the l i n e and the c i r c l e are dominated and determined by the n o t i o n of presence. A c c o r d i n g to J . H i l l i s M i l l e r , The model of the l i n e i s a powerful p a r t of the t r a d i t i o n a l language of O c c i d e n t a l metaphysics. . . . The end of the s t o r y i s the r e t r o s p e c t i v e r e v e l a t i o n of the law of the whole. That law i s an u n d e r l y i n g ' t r u t h ' which t i e s a l l together i n an i n e v i t a b l e sequence r e v e a l i n g a h i t h e r t o hidden f i g u r e i n the c a r p e t . The image of the l i n e tends always to imply the norm of a s i n g l e continuous u n i f i e d s t r u c t u r e determined by one e x t e r n a l o r g a n i z i n g p r i n c i p l e . T h i s p r i n c i p l e holds the l i n e t o g e t h e r , g i v e s i t i t s law, c o n t r o l s i t s p r o g r e s s i v e e x t e n s i o n , c u r v i n g or s t r a i g h t , with some arche, t e l o s , or ground. O r i g i n , g o a l , or base: a l l three 52 come together i n the g a t h e r i n g movement of [p r e s e n c e ] . ( M i l l e r i n T a y l o r , 1987c: 70) Along with t h i s , of course, goes a severe c r i t i q u e of the n o t i o n of the book and i t s i m p l i c i t or e x p l i c i t assumption of the l i n e a r i t y of beginning, middle and end. Again i t must be emphasized t h a t , o b v i o u s l y , D e r r i d a does not d i s p u t e the e x i s t e n c e of books as t a n g i b l e o b j e c t s — what he does d i s p u t e i s the e x i s t e n c e of books as comprehensive wholes dependent on a n o t i o n of p r e - e s t a b l i s h e d s e l f - c o n t a i n e d harmony or order, i . e . presence. And t h i s c r i t i q u e holds whether the book i n q u e s t i o n happens t o be a n o v e l , a h i s t o r y , an ethnography, or whatever. A c c o r d i n g to D e r r i d a , The idea of the book i s the idea of a t o t a l i t y , f i n i t e or i n f i n i t e , of the s i g n i f i e r ; t h i s t o t a l i t y of the s i g n i f i e r cannot be a t o t a l i t y , u n l e s s a t o t a l i t y c o n s t i t u t e d by the s i g n i f i e d p r e e x i s t s i t , s u p e r v i s e s i t s i n s c r i p t i o n s and i t s s i g n s , and i s independent of i t i n i t s i d e a l i t y . The idea of the book, which always r e f e r s t o a . . . t o t a l i t y , i s prof o u n d l y a l i e n t o the sense of w r i t i n g . I t i s the e n c y c l o p e d i c p r o t e c t i o n of theolog y and of l o g o c e n t r l s m a g a i n s t the d i s r u p t i o n of w r i t i n g , a g a i n s t i t s a p h o r i s t i c energy, and . . . a g a i n s t d i f f e r e n c e i n g e n e r a l . I f I d i s t i n g u i s h the t e x t from the book, I s h a l l say t h a t the d e s t r u c t i o n of the book, as i t i s now underway i n a l l domains, denudes the s u r f a c e of the t e x t . ( D e r r i d a , 1982e: 18) 53 Not s u r p r i s i n g l y , D e r r i d a ' s n o t i o n o£ o r i g i n a r y d o u b l i n g , of i t e r a b i l i t y , a l s o p r o v i d e s a r a d i c a l c r i t i q u e of our concept of s e l f , and, by e x t e n s i o n , of our concept of the author as such. The Oxford E n g l i s h D i c t i o n a r y d e f i n e s ' s e l f as: "Person's . . . own i n d i v i d u a l i t y or essence." As D e r r i d a has shown, the idea of essence i s o n l y made p o s s i b l e by t h a t which renders i t impossible as an independent and s e l f - i d e n t i c a l concept. And so with the n o t i o n of s e l f : i n order to appear as what i t portends to be -- a unique and independent essence -- i t must, to r e i t e r a t e , "[add] to  i t s e l f the p o s s i b i l i t y of being repeated as such. And i t s i d e n t i t y i s hollowed out by t h a t a d d i t i o n , withdraws i t s e l f i n the supplement t h a t presents i t " ( D e r r i d a , 1981a: 168). Thus, as T a y l o r p o i n t s out, "[the] search f o r s e l f - p r e s e n c e i n s e l f - c o n s c i o u s n e s s leads to the d i s c o v e r y of the absence of the s e l f " ( T a y l o r , 1987c: 50). And t h i s because, by d e f i n i t i o n , consciousness of s e l f i s dependent on the p o s s i b i l i t y of the s e p a r a t i o n of s e l f from s e l f — on an o r i g i n a r y d o u b l i n g which p r e c l u d e s the p o s s i b i l i t y of s e l f as a unique, impenetrable essence. As D e r r i d a says, "the s e l f of the l i v i n g present i s p r i m o r d i a l l y a t r a c e " ( D e r r i d a , 1973b: 85). The Oxford E n g l i s h D i c t i o n a r y d e f i n e s 'author' as: " O r i g i n a t o r . . .; w r i t e r of book, t r e a t i s e , e t c . " We t h i n k of an author as a person (a s e l f ) who produces a book which c o n t a i n s what she means to say and which stands as a completed m a n i f e s t a t i o n of her expressed I n t e n t i o n s . Bearing i n mind the Derridean c r i t i q u e of o r i g i n , book and s e l f , c o n s i d e r the f o l l o w i n g : . . . i t e r a b i l i t y . . . excludes the hypothesis of i d e a l i z a t i o n , t h a t i s , the adequation of a meaning t o i t s e l f , of a sa y i n g to i t s e l f , of understanding t o a sentence, whether w r i t t e n or o r a l , or to a mark i n g e n e r a l . Once again , i t e r a b i l i t y makes p o s s i b l e i d e a l i z a t i o n — and thus, a c e r t a i n i d e n t i t y i n r e p e t i t i o n t h a t i s independent of the m u l t i p l i c i t y of f a c t u a l events — while at the same time l i m i t i n g the i d e a l i z a t i o n i t makes p o s s i b l e : broaching and breaching i t a t once t e l l e . 1'entame J. To put i t more simply and more c o n c r e t e l y : a t the ve r y moment (assuming t h a t t h i s moment i t s e l f might be f u l l and s e l f - i d e n t i c a l , i d e n t i f i a b l e -- f o r the problem of i d e a l i z a t i o n and i t e r a b i l i t y i s a l r e a d y posed here, i n the s t r u c t u r e of t e m p o r a l i z a t i o n 2 4 ) , a t the ve r y moment when someone would l i k e t o say or w r i t e , "On the t w e n t i e t h . . . e t c . , " the ve r y f a c t o r t h a t w i l l permit the mark (be i t p s y c h i c , o r a l , g r a p h i c ) to f u n c t i o n beyond t h i s moment — namely the p o s s i b i l i t y of i t s being repeated another time — breaches, d i v i d e s , e x p r o p r i a t e s the " i d e a l " p l e n i t u d e or s e l f - p r e s e n c e of 2 4 Of course, f o r D e r r i d a , the 'moment' can never be ' f u l l and s e l f - I d e n t i c a l ' because the s t r u c t u r e of t e m p o r a l i t y , being premised on the e s s e n t i a l l y A r i s t o t e l i a n n o t i o n of the non-temporal now, of presence as non-temporal because Immediate and s e l f - I d e n t i c a l , i s always a l r e a d y f i s s u r e d by i t s own i m p o s s i b i l i t y --by i t s 'other.' To put i t another way, because time i s d e f i n e d as a l i n e a r (or c i r c u l a r ) number of past-nows and future-nows ("It i s the now t h a t measures time, c o n s i d e r e d as before and a f t e r " ( A r i s t o t l e , 1987: 125)) and because the now as such cannot be r e a l i z e d i n i t s supposed s e l f - p r e s e n c e (always being a l r e a d y past or a l r e a d y f u t u r e ) the p o s s i b i l i t y of a f u l l and s e l f - i d e n t i c a l moment i s precluded by the ve r y t e m p o r a l i t y f o r which i t seeks to account. 55 i n t e n t i o n , of meaning (to say) and, a f o r t i o r i , of a l l adequation between meaning and s a y i n g . I t e r a b i l i t y a l t e r s , contaminating p a r a s l t l c a l l y what i t i d e n t i f i e s and enables to repeat " i t s e l f " ; i t leaves us no c h o i c e but to mean (to say) something t h a t i s ( a l r e a d y , always, a l s o ) other than what we say and would have wanted to say, to understand something other than . . . e t c . In c l a s s i c a l terms, the a c c i d e n t i s never an a c c i d e n t . ( D e r r i d a , 1977b: 199-200) In other words, n e i t h e r the 'author' nor the 'book' i s p o s s i b l e i n so f a r as e i t h e r presumes to present c l o s e d and/or d e f i n i t i v e accounts of anything whatsoever. And there can be no c l o s e d d e f i n i t i v e accounts not, as with the hermeneutlc n o t i o n of polysemy, because the number of p o s s i b l e meanings exceeds the p o s s i b i l i t y of adequate r e p r e s e n t a t i o n , but because meaning i s always a l r e a d y f i s s u r e d — Is always a l r e a d y marked with i t s own e s s e n t i a l non-essence. As D e r r i d a says, " I t i s t h i s hermeneutlc concept of polysemy t h a t must be r e p l a c e d by d i s s e m i n a t i o n " ( D e r r i d a , 1981a: 262). In P o s i t i o n s , D e r r i d a o f f e r s one of h i s c l e a r e s t statements on the problem of polysemy and d i s s e m i n a t i o n : I f d i s s e m i n a t i o n , seminal d l f f F r a n c e , cannot be summarized i n t o an exact conceptual t e n o r , i t i s because the f o r c e and form of i t s d i s r u p t i o n explode the semantic h o r i z o n . The a t t e n t i o n brought to bear on polysemia or polythematism d o u b t l e s s r e p r e s e n t s progress i n r e l a -t i o n s h i p t o the l i n e a r i t y of the 56 monothematlc w r i t i n g or r e a d i n g t h a t i s always anxious t o anchor i t s e l f to the t u t e l a r y meaning, the p r i n c i p a l s i g n i f i e d of a t e x t , t h a t i s , i t s major r e f e r e n t . N e v e r t h e l e s s , polysemia, as such, i s organized w i t h i n the i m p l i c i t h o r i z o n of a u n i t a r y resumption of meaning, t h a t i s , w i t h i n the h o r i z o n of a d i a l e c t i c s . . . a t e l e o l o g i c a l and t o t a l i z i n g d i a l e c t i c s t h a t a t a g i v e n moment, however f a r o f f , must permit the reassemblage of the t o t a l i t y of a t e x t i n t o the t r u t h of i t s meaning, c o n s t i t u t i n g the t e x t as e x p r e s s i o n , as I l l u s t r a t i o n , and an n u l -l i n g the open and p r o d u c t i v e displacement of the t e x t u a l c h a i n . D i s s e m i n a t i o n , on the c o n t r a r y , although producing a n o n f i n i t e number of semantic e f f e c t s , can be l e d back n e i t h e r t o a present of simple o r i g i n . . . nor t o an e s c h a t a l o g i c a l presence. I t marks an I r r e d u c i b l e and g e n e r a t i v e m u l t i p l i c i t y . The supplement and the tu r b u l e n c e of a c e r t a i n lack f r a c t u r e the l i m i t of the t e x t , f o r b i d d i n g an exhaustive and c l o s e d f o r m a l i z a t i o n of i t , or a t l e a s t a s a t u r a t i n g taxonomy of i t s themes, i t s s i g n i f i e d , i t s meaning. ( D e r r i d a , 1981g: 45) Di s s e m i n a t i o n , l i k e other Derridean 'undecidables,' i n d i c a t e s the o r i g i n a r y d o u b l i n g , the o r i g i n a r y s l i p p a g e and displacement, t h a t accounts f o r both the p o s s i b i l i t y and i m p o s s i b i l i t y of a c o n c e p t u a l i t y premised upon the n o t i o n of presence and i t s concomitant l o g i c of i d e n t i t y ( i . e . the p r i n c i p l e of n o n - c o n t r a d i c t i o n ) . Polysemy, i t s improvement over monosemic accountings n o t w i t h s t a n d i n g , s t i l l remains dependent upon a concept of f r a y e d but u l t i m a t e l y to be fused u n i t y . As Gasch6 puts i t : 57 D i s s e m i n a t i o n i s the name by which the in-advance always a l r e a d y d i v i d e d u n i t y i s a f f i r m e d . T h i s in-advance d i v i d e d u n i t y of the undecldables i s not the polysemic d i s p e r s i o n of a once u n i t a r y meaning but . . . an always open ensemble of s t r u c t u r e s , presupposed by the p r o j e c t of u n i t y and t o t a l i t y and a f f i r m e d by r e f l e c t i o n and s p e c u l a t i o n , without t h e i r knowledge, as the l i m i t of t h e i r p o s s i -b i l i t y . The gen e r a l theory of d u p l i -c a t i o n or r e d u p l i c a t i o n [ i t e r a b i l i t y ] o u t l i n e s . . . the l i m i t s of the p h i l o s o p h i c a l p r e s u p p o s i t i o n s of the phil o s o p h y of r e f l e x i v i t y — p r e s u p p o s i -t i o n s of an o r i g i n a l s p o n t a n e i t y , of pr o d u c t i v e i m a g i n a t i o n , of i n t e l l e c t u a l i n t u i t i o n , and so on. . . . No v i r g i n substance or homogeneous and or g a n i c u n i t y precedes or superintends the o r i g i n a r y d u p l i c a t i o n and the 'system' of the [ u n d e c l d a b l e s ] . The myth of a u n i t y i s o n l y an e f f e c t made p o s s i b l e and i r r e v o c a b l y undercut by r e f l e c t i o n i t s e l f , I n s o f a r as i t must r e l y , i n order to take p l a c e i n the f i r s t p l a c e , on what i t cannot hope to r e f l e c t . What l i e s beyond the m i r r o r , on the other s i d e of the speculum, i n the beyond of the p r e s u p p o s i t i o n s of the p h i l o s o p h y of r e f l e c t i o n -- t h a t i s to say, the 'system' of the [undecldables] — cannot be understood i n terms of u n i t y , s y n t h e s i s , t o t a l i t y , and the l i k e . (GaschS, 1986: 237) Diss e m i n a t i o n , the c o n s t a n t l y r e p r e s s e d 'other' of Western metaphysics, i s the l i m i t l e s s p l a y of o r i g i n a r y d i f f e r e n c e which al l o w s f o r the p o s s i b i l i t y of presence not as a s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t grounding t o t a l i t y but as an e f f e c t — as a by-product of the d i s s e m i n a t i n g p l a y of u n d e c i d a b i l i t y , i . e . w r i t i n g , t r a c e , d l f f 6 r a n c e , supplement e t c . And, as by now w i l l come as no s u r p r i s e , f o r D e r r i d a , 58 P l a y Is the d i s r u p t i o n o£ presence. The presence of an element i s always a s i g n i f y i n g and s u b s t i t u t i v e r e f e r e n c e i n s c r i b e d i n a system of d i f f e r e n c e s and the movement of a c h a i n . P l a y i s always p l a y of absence and presence, but i f i t i s to be thought r a d i c a l l y , p l a y must be conceived of before the a l t e r n a t i v e of presence and absence. Being must be conceived as presence or absence on the b a s i s of the p o s s i b i l i t y of p l a y and not the other way around. ( D e r r i d a , 19781: 292) i n other words, what Is of I n t e r e s t i s not s p e c i f i c concepts, themes or philosophemes per se, but the p l a y of the cracks and f i s s u r e s w i t h i n them which p r o h i b i t them from ever being s e l f - I d e n t i c a l and which ensure, from the o u t s e t , t h a t they w i l l always a l r e a d y be i n v o l v e d with s l i p p a g e and displacement. As D e r r i d a says, From the v e r y beginnings of Greek ph i l o s o p h y the s e l f - i d e n t i t y of the Logos i s a l r e a d y f i s s u r e d and d i v i d e d . I t h i n k one can d i s c e r n s i g n s of such f i s s u r e s of ' d i f f F r a n c e ' i n every great p h i l o s o p h e r : the 'Good beyond Being' (epekelna t e s  ouslas) of P l a t o ' s R e p u b l i c , f o r example, or the c o n f r o n t a t i o n with the 'Stranger' i n The S o p h i s t are a l r e a d y t r a c e s of an a l t e r l t y which r e f u s e s to be t o t a l l y domesticated. Moreover, the r a p p o r t of s e l f - i d e n t i t y i s i t s e l f always a r a p p o r t of v i o l e n c e with the other; so t h a t the n o t i o n s of p r o p e r t y , a p p r o p r i a t i o n and s e l f - p r e s e n c e , so c e n t r a l to l o g o c e n t r i c metaphysics, are e s s e n t i a l l y dependent on an o p p o s i t i o n a l r e l a t i o n with otherness. In t h i s sense, i d e n t i t y presupposes a l t e r i t y . ( D e r r i d a i n Kearney, ed., 1984: 117) 59 Rather than emphasizing presence and i t s concomitant n o t i o n s of homogeneity, the l o g i c of i d e n t i t y , non-c o n t r a d i c t i o n , the l i n e a r t e l e o l o g y of beginning, middle and ending, polysemy and so on, D e r r i d a s t r e s s e s o r i g i n a r y d o u b l i n g , h e t e r o g e n e i t y , displacement, and the d i s s e m i n a t i n g p l a y of u n d e c i d a b i l l t y . The f o l l o w i n g chapters concern themselves with what the Derridean e x p l o r a t i o n of the r e p r e s s e d 'other' of Western metaphysics has to say to an i n t e r p r e t i v e and/or 'postmodern' anthropology rooted i n phenomenological/hermeneutical notions of i n t e r s u b j e c t l v i t y , i n t e n t i o n a l l t y , meaning e t c . , and, by e x t e n s i o n , what i t portends f o r the p o s s i b l e f u t u r e of the d i s c i p l i n e of anthropology i n g e n e r a l . Chapter Three P h i l o s o p h i c a l Background of I n t e r p r e t i v e and 'Postmodern'  Anthropology: Phenomenology and Hermeneutlcs In order to adequately comprehend the s t a t u s of contemporary i n t e r p r e t i v e and/or 'postmodern' anthropology i t Is necessary to be acquainted with t h e i r rootedness i n c e r t a i n modes of C o n t i n e n t a l thought. Consequently, i n t h i s chapter I w i l l attempt to demonstrate t h a t the phenomenology of H u s s e r l and the hermeneutlcs of Heidegger, Gadamer and Ricoeur r e s p e c t i v e l y , are a l l based on such m a n i f e s t a t i o n s of the concept of presence as consciousness, u n i t y , t o t a l i t y , p l e n i t u d e , d i a l e c t i c , and so on and t h a t , as such, they (and, by e x t e n s i o n , t h e i r a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l i n h e r i t o r s ) are open to a r a d i c a l d e c o n s t r u c t i o n . Obviously, I make no c l a i m to coming c l o s e to a d d r e s s i n g a l l the c o m p l e x i t i e s inherent w i t h i n the works of any of the aforementioned authors — c o n s t a n t l y expanding l i b r a r y s h e l v e s a t t e s t to the i m p o s s i b i l i t y of such an endeavour. With r e s p e c t to H u s s e r l , Heidegger e t a l . , my concern i s simply to show t h a t s p e c i f i c threads of t h e i r r e a s o n i n g , which have woven and continue to weave t h e i r way i n t o the f a b r i c of i n t e r p r e t i v e and/or 'postmodern' anthropology, are prime fodder f o r a d e c o n s t r u c t i v e r e a d i n g . In t h i s chapter I w i l l not o f f e r any f u l l s c a l e d e c o n s t r u c t i v e readings but, r a t h e r , w i l l d e l i n e a t e c e r t a i n f e a t u r e s of C o n t i n e n t a l thought t h a t w i l l reappear i n my chapter on Geertz and C l i f f o r d and w i l l there be d e a l t with i n d e t a i l . I PHENOMENOLOGY (1) H u s s e r l In h i s l a s t work, The C r i s i s of European Sciences and  Transcendental Phenomenology, H u s s e r l makes an impassioned statement concerning the then c u r r e n t s t a t u s (1930's) of the n a t u r a l and human s c i e n c e s : The e x c l u s i v e n e s s with which the t o t a l world-view of modern [humanity], i n the second h a l f of the n i n e t e e n t h century, l e t i t s e l f be determined by the p o s i t i v e s c i e n c e s and be b l i n d e d by the ' p r o s p e r i t y ' they produced, meant an I n d i f f e r e n t turning-away from the q u e s t i o n s which are d e c i s i v e f o r a genuine humanity. Merely fact-minded s c i e n c e s make merely fact-minded people. . . . In our v i t a l need — so we are t o l d — t h i s s c i e n c e has nothing to say to us. I t excludes i n p r i n c i p l e p r e c i s e l y the q u e s t i o n s which [humanity], given over i n our unhappy times to the most portentous upheavals, f i n d s the most burning: q u e s t i o n s of the meaning or meaninglessness of the whole of t h i s human e x i s t e n c e . Do not these q u e s t i o n s , u n i v e r s a l and necessary f o r a l l [humanity], demand u n i v e r s a l r e f l e c t i o n s and answers based on r a t i o n a l i n s i g h t ? . . . . What does s c i e n c e have to say about reason and unreason or about us [human beings] as s u b j e c t s of t h i s freedom? The mere s c i e n c e of bodies c l e a r l y has nothing to say; I t a b s t r a c t s from e v e r y t h i n g s u b j e c t i v e . As f o r the humanistic s c i e n c e s , on the other hand, a l l the s p e c i a l and g e n e r a l d i s c i p l i n e s 62 of which t r e a t of [humanity's] s p i r i t u a l e x i s t e n c e , t h a t i s , w i t h i n the h o r i z o n of [ i t s ] h i s t o r i c i t y ; t h e i r r i g o r o u s s c i e n t i f i c c h a r a c t e r r e q u i r e s , we are t o l d , t h a t the s c h o l a r c a r e f u l l y exclude a l l v a l u a t i v e p o s i t i o n s , a l l q u e s t i o n s of reason or unreason of t h e i r human s u b j e c t matter and i t s c u l t u r a l c o n f i g u r a t i o n s . S c i e n t i f i c o b j e c t i v e t r u t h i s e x c l u s i v e l y a matter of e s t a b l i s h i n g what the world, the p h y s i c a l as w e l l as the s p i r i t u a l world, i s i n f a c t . But can the world, and human e x i s t e n c e i n i t , t r u t h f u l l y have a meaning i f the s c i e n c e s r e c o g n i z e as t r u e o n l y what i s o b j e c t i v e l y e s t a b l i s h e d In t h i s f a s h i o n , and i f h i s t o r y has nothing more to teach us than t h a t a l l the shapes of the s p i r i t u a l world, a l l the c o n d i t i o n s of l i f e , i d e a l s , norms upon which [humanity] r e l i e s , form and d i s s o l v e themselves l i k e f l e e t i n g waves, t h a t I t always was and ever w i l l be so, t h a t again and a g a i n reason must t u r n i n t o nonsense, and w e l l being i n t o misery? Can we console o u r s e l v e s with t h a t ? Can we l i v e i n t h i s world, where h i s t o r i c a l occurrence i s nothing but an unending c o n c a t e n a t i o n of i l l u s o r y p r o g r e s s and b i t t e r disappointment? ( H u s s e r l , 1970: 6-7) H u s s e r l b e l i e v e s t h a t the s c i e n c e s have become so c a r r i e d away with t h e i r methodologies and t h e i r f a s c i n a t i o n with ' f a c t s ' t h a t they have f o r g o t t e n t h e i r s u b j e c t i v e o r i g i n s . T h i s f o r g e t t i n g has i n t u r n l e d to the c r e a t i o n of an ever widening gap between t e c h n i c a l s o p h i s t i c a t i o n and a c t u a l human needs. As a s o l u t i o n to t h i s ' c r i s i s ' H u s s e r l o f f e r s t r a n s c e n d e n t a l phenomenology. Hu s s e r l ' s phenomenology i s meant to provide an a b s o l u t e l y sound, because a b s o l u t e l y i n d u b i t a b l e , o n t o l o g i c a l foundation f o r eplstemology. H u s s e r l b e l i e v e s t h a t what he terms the ' n a t u r a l a t t i t u d e , • the unexamined every-day world of taken f o r granted assumptions wherein o b j e c t s appear to e x i s t p r i o r t o and to impinge upon the p e r c e i v i n g consciousness from without, must be s u b j e c t e d to a phenomenological epoch6 or r e d u c t i o n . In other words, the n a t u r a l a t t i t u d e must be 'bracketed' or suspended and the phenomenologist must d e s c r i b e o n l y what appears to her consciousness as, and onl y i n so f a r as, i t appears to her cons c i o u s n e s s . The p o s s i b i l i t y of a t t a i n i n g to t h i s 'pure' form of d e s c r i p t i o n , a d e s c r i p t i o n which i s supposedly u n a d u l t e r a t e d by any i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , Is premised on the c o n v i c t i o n t h a t consciousness i s i n t e n t i o n a l — t h a t i s , t h a t a l l consciousness intends some o b j e c t , t h a t a l l consciousness i s , by d e f i n i t i o n , consciousness o|_ something. As H u s s e r l says, "the b a s i c c h a r a c t e r of being as consciousness, as consciousness of something, i s i n t e n t i o n a l i t y " ( H u s s e r l i n T a y l o r , 1986a: 123). Another way of p u t t i n g t h i s i s to say t h a t consciousness i s c o n s t i t u t i v e , i . e . , t h a t , so f a r from being a p a s s i v e r e c e p t a c l e (or, & l a Locke, a t a b u l a rasa) w a i t i n g to r e c e i v e e x t e r i o r o b j e c t i v e s e n s a t i o n s , consciousness a c t u a l l y produces o b j e c t i v e s e n s a t i o n s . In other words, o b j e c t i v i t y , as such, i s a s u b j e c t i v e c o n s t r u c t . T h i s being the case, the phenomenologlcally reduced consciousness i s immediately and unmediatedly present to i t s i n t e n t i o n a l phenomena, thus a l l o w i n g f o r p r i s t i n e d e s c r i p t i o n . I n t e r e s t i n g l y , f o r a l l h i s r a d i c a l i z i n g of C a r t e s i a n doubt (e.g. h i s emphasis on the i n t e n t i o n a l or c o n s t i t u t i v e nature of consciousness with the attendant c o l l a p s i n g of the res c o g l t a n s / r e s extensa d i s t i n c t i o n ) , H u s s e r l never attempts to doubt or bracket the phenomenologically reduced consciousness or what he a l t e r n a t e l y r e f e r s to as the 'transcendental s u b j e c t ' and/or ' p r i m o r d i a l i n t u i t i o n ' 2 3 : No theory we can conceive can mislead us In regard to the p r i n c i p l e of a l l  p r i n c i p l e s : t h a t every p r i m o r d i a l dator  I n t u i t i o n i s a source of a u t h o r i t y  ( R e c h t s q u e l l e ) f o r knowledge, t h a t whatever pres e n t s I t s e l f i n ' i n t u i t i o n ' [consciousness] i n p r i m o r d i a l form (as i t were i n i t s b o d i l y r e a l i t y ) , is. s imply to  be accepted as i t g i v e s I t s e l f out to be, though on l y w i t h i n the l i m i t s i n which i t  then presents I t s e l f . ( H u s s e r l i n D e r r i d a , 1973b: 62) Taking the t r a n s c e n d e n t a l s u b j e c t as the o n l y i n d u b i t a b l e g i v e n , H u s s e r l proceeds to show how i t i s r e s p o n s i b l e f o r c o n s t i t u t i n g ' r e a l i t y ' as we know and accept i t i n the common sense world of the n a t u r a l a t t i t u d e . I t i s important to 2 3 In order to a v o i d c o n f u s i o n , f o r the d u r a t i o n of t h i s s e c t i o n on H u s s e r l , I w i l l use the term 'transcendental s u b j e c t ' r a t h e r than ' p r i m o r d i a l i n t u i t i o n ' or 'phenomenologically reduced cons c i o u s n e s s . ' However, the reader should bear i n mind t h a t these terms are i n t e r c h a n g e a b l e . understand t h a t H u s s e r l b e l i e v e s t h a t the c o n s t i t u t i v e nature o£ the t r a n s c e n d e n t a l s u b j e c t r e s u l t s i n the emergence of ' i n v a r i a n t e s s e n t i a l forms' which a l l o w f o r the p o s s i b i l i t y of knowledge and which i t i s the purpose of phenomenological r e d u c t i o n to r e v e a l : . . . the phenomenology of p e r c e p t i o n of bodies w i l l not be (simply) a r e p o r t on the f a c t u a l l y o c c u r r i n g ' p e r c e p t i o n s or those to be expected; r a t h e r i t w i l l be the p r e s e n t a t i o n of i n v a r i a n t s t r u c t u r a l systems without which p e r c e p t i o n of a body and a s y n t h e t i c a l l y concordant m u l t i p l i c i t y of p e r c e p t i o n s of one and the same body as such would be u n t h i n k a b l e . I f the phenomenological r e d u c t i o n c o n t r i v e d a means of access to the phenomenon of r e a l and a l s o p o t e n t i a l inner experience, the method founded i n i t of " e i d e t i c r e d u c t i o n " p r o v i d e s the means of access to the i n v a r i a n t e s s e n t i a l s t r u c t u r e s of the t o t a l sphere of pure mental pro c e s s . ( H u s s e r l i n T a y l o r , 1986a: 126-127) In other words, through b r a c k e t i n g out the taken f o r granted world and by r e d u c i n g supposedly c o n c r e t e l y e x i s t i n g s e n s a t i o n s and/or o b j e c t s to i n t e n t i o n a l phenomena — to t h a t which i s a product of the i n t e n t i o n a l a c t i v i t y of a t r a n s c e n d e n t a l s u b j e c t , H u s s e r l i s able to p o s i t the a p r i o r i e x i s t e n c e of i n v a r i a n t e s s e n t i a l forms or s t r u c t u r e s which, as such, c o n s t i t u t e an i d e a l o b j e c t i v i t y and which a l l o w f o r the p o s s i b i l i t y of the everyday l i f e of the n a t u r a l a t t i t u d e . However, one must never f o r g e t t h a t t h i s seeming o b j e c t i v i t y Is f i r s t and foremost a s u b j e c t i v i t y as i t can, by d e f i n i t i o n , have no e x i s t e n c e a p a r t from the c o n s t i t u t i n g a c t i v i t y of the t r a n s c e n d e n t a l s u b j e c t . H u s s e r l i s not unaware t h a t he o f t e n appears to run the r i s k of becoming mired i n s o l i p s i s m . I f e v e r y t h i n g i s the consequence of the c o n s t i t u t i n g work of t r a n s c e n d e n t a l s u b j e c t i v i t y , i f i n order to know anything one must reduce, the world to the workings of one's own consciousness, how can one ever be c e r t a i n of the a c t u a l e x i s t e n c e of anything o u t s i d e of one's own mind? 2' H u s s e r l attempts to d e a l with t h i s problem through the n o t i o n of i n t e r s u b j e c t i v i t y : The r e d u c t i v e method i s t r a n s f e r r e d from s e l f - e x p e r i e n c e to the experience of other i n s o f a r as there can be a p p l i e d to the envisaged . . . mental l i f e of the Other the corresponding b r a c k e t i n g and d e s c r i p t i o n a c c o r d i n g to the s u b j e c t i v e "How" of i t s appearance and what Is appearing. . . . As a f u r t h e r conse-quence, the community t h a t i s experienced i n community experience i s reduced not o n l y to the m e n t a l l y p a r t i c u l a r i z e d i n t e n t i o n a l f i e l d s but a l s o to the u n i t y of the community l i f e t h a t connects them a l l t o g e t h e r , the community l i f e i n i t s phenomenological p u r i t y ( i n t e r s u b j e c t i v e r e d u c t i o n ) . . . . 2 6 At t h i s p o i n t i t does not hurt to r e c a l l t h a t , f o r H u s s e r l , pure e x p r e s s i o n — pure meaning as such, can o n l y occur w i t h i n ' s o l i t a r y mental l i f e ' ( H u s s e r l i n M u e l l e r - V o l l m e r ed., 1988: 173). A c c o r d i n g to H u s s e r l , o u t s i d e of the inner workings of consciousness, 'expression' i s always Interwoven with ' I n d i c a t i o n ' and hence 'meaning' can o n l y be intimated -- i t cannot be experienced i n i t s pure form. (In Speech and  Phenomena D e r r i d a p r o v i d e s an extended d e c o n s t r u c t i v e reading of H u s s e r l ' s use of 'expression* and ' i n d i c a t i o n . ' ) 67 To every mind there belongs not o n l y the u n i t y of i t s m u l t i p l e i n t e n t i o n a l  l i f e - p r o c e s s . . . with a l l i t s i n s e p a r a b l e u n i t i e s of sense d i r e c t e d towards the " o b j e c t . " There i s a l s o , i n s e p a r a b l e from t h i s l i f e - p r o c e s s , the e x p e r i e n c i n g I - s u b j e c t as the i d e n t i c a l I-pole g i v i n g a center f o r a l l s p e c i f i c i n t e n t i o n a l i t i e s , and as the c a r r i e r of a l l h a b i t u a l i t i e s growing out of t h i s l i f e - p r o c e s s . L i k e w i s e , then, the reduced i n t e r s u b j e c t i v i t y , i n pure form and c o n c r e t e l y grasped, i s a community of pure "persons" a c t i n g i n the i n t e r s u b j e c t i v e realm of the pure l i f e of consciousness. ( H u s s e r l i n T a y l o r , 1986a: 125-126) Yet a l l of the above must, by H u s s e r l ' s own ' p r i n c i p l e of p r i n c i p l e s , ' s t i l l be premised upon, and hence merely a p r o j e c t i o n of, the I n d i v i d u a l t r a n s c e n d e n t a l s u b j e c t or c o n s c i o u s n e s s . For H u s s e r l , the other must remain an e x t e n s i o n and r e f l e c t i o n of the s e l f . As a p h i l o s o p h y of t r a n s c e n d e n t a l s u b j e c t i v i t y , Husserlean phenomenology can no more bequeath o b j e c t i v e e x i s t e n c e to other s u b j e c t i v i t i e s than i t can bequeath o b j e c t i v e e x i s t e n c e to any f e a t u r e of the taken f o r granted world. A b r i e f look a t D e r r i d a ' s d e c o n s t r u c t i o n of H u s s e r l * s n o t i o n of inner time consciousness p r o v i d e s c o n s i d e r a b l e i n s i g h t i n t o phenomenology's i n a b i l i t y to remain t r u e to i t s own g u i d i n g p r i n c i p l e s . According to H u s s e r l , "the a c t u a l now i s n e c e s s a r i l y something punctual ( e i n P u n k t u e l l e s ) and remains so, a form t h a t p e r s i s t s through continuous change of  matter" (Husserl i n D e r r i d a , 1973b: 62). In order to account 68 f o r the seeming c o n t i n u i t y of events as p e r c e i v e d by consciousness H u s s e r l p o s i t s the idea of r e t e n t i o n and p r o t e n t i o n — t h a t i s , past nows and f u t u r e nows. However, H u s s e r l i s a t pains t o underscore the necessary and e s s e n t i a l p r i o r i t y of the ' a c t u a l ' or present now: "[The a c t u a l ] now-apprehension i s , as i t were, the nucleus of a comet's t a i l of r e t e n t i o n s [and] a punctual phase i s a c t u a l l y present as now at any gi v e n moment, while the others are connected as a r e t e n t i o n a l t r a i n " ( H u s s e r l i n D e r r i d a , 1973b: 62) (emphasis mine). Remembering t h a t the e n t i r e s t r u c t u r e of phenomenology r e s t s on a n o t i o n of the o r i g i n a r y and i n d u b i t a b l e s e l f - p r e s e n c e of the c o n s t i t u t i v e consciousness which, by d e f i n i t i o n , can on l y e x i s t i n an Immediate and unmediated present, one can see t h a t H u s s e r l ' s concept of r e t e n t i o n a l and p r o t e n t i o n a l components of the now shakes h i s whole e d i f i c e of thought. As D e r r i d a says, . . . we cannot a v o i d n o t i c i n g t h a t a . . . concept of the "now," of the present as p u n c t u a l i t y of the i n s t a n t , d e c i s i v e l y s a n c t i o n s [ H u s s e r l ' s ] whole system. . . . I f the p u n c t u a l i t y of the i n s t a n t i s a myth, a s p a t i a l or mechanical metaphor, an i n h e r i t e d metaphysical concept, or a l l t h a t a t once, and i f the present of s e l f - p r e s e n c e i s not simple, i f i t i s c o n s t i t u t e d i n a p r i m o r d i a l and i r r e d u c i b l e s y n t h e s i s , then the whole of H u s s e r l ' s argumentation i s threatened i n i t s very p r i n c i p l e . ( D e r r i d a , 1973b: 61) 69 l£ the present now must be supplemented by a past now In order to be known as such, then the present now i s not and cannot be a b s o l u t e — i t s p o s s i b i l i t y i s c o n s t i t u t e d by i t s i m p o s s i b i l i t y as a pure s e l f - i d e n t i c a l concept. I d e n t i t y , as such, i s always a l r e a d y contaminated by d i f f e r e n c e . As D e r r i d a puts i t , . . . d i f f e r e n c e , which c o n s t i t u t e s the s e l f - p r e s e n c e of the l i v i n g present, i n t r o d u c e s i n t o s e l f - p r e s e n c e from the beginning a l l the i m p u r i t y p u t a t i v e l y excluded from I t . The l i v i n g present s p r i n g s f o r t h out of i t s n o n i d e n t i t y with i t s e l f and from the p o s s i b i l i t y of a r e t e n t i o n a l t r a c e . I t i s always a l r e a d y a t r a c e . T h i s t r a c e cannot be thought out on the b a s i s of a simple present whose l i f e would be w i t h i n i t s e l f ; the s e l f of the l i v i n g present i s p r l m o r d i a l l y a t r a c e . ( D e r r i d a , 1973b: 85) In the form of a b e l i e f i n p r i m o r d i a l i n t u i t i o n / t r a n s c e n d e n t a l s u b j e c t i v i t y / c o n s t i t u t i v e consciousness H u s s e r l ' s t r a n s c e n d e n t a l phenomenology expresses i t s e l f as a p h i l o s o p h y of presence. As D e r r i d a says, what i s s i g n i f i e d by p h e n o m e n o l o g y ' s " p r i n c i p l e o f p r i n c i p l e s " ? What does the value of p r i m o r d i a l presence to i n t u i t i o n as source of sense and evidence, as the a p r i o r i of a p r l o r i s , s i g n i f y ? F i r s t of a l l i t s i g n i f i e s the c e r t a i n t y , I t s e l f i d e a l and a b s o l u t e , t h a t the u n i v e r s a l form of a l l experience ( E r l i b n i s ) , and t h e r e f o r e of a l l l i f e , has always been and w i l l always be the p r e s e n t . The 70 present alone Is and ever w i l l be. Being i s presence or the m o d i f i c a t i o n of presence. ( D e r r i d a , 1973b: 53) As with a l l p h i l o s o p h i e s of presence, phenomenology cannot be e x t r i c a t e d from not i o n s of the a b s o l u t e , of a r e t u r n to a p r i s t i n e o r i g i n , of essence, of t e l e o l o g y and so on. As H u s s e r l says, In phenomenology a l l r a t i o n a l problems have t h e i r p l a c e . . . . For out of the a b s o l u t e sources of t r a n s c e n d e n t a l experience . . . they f i r s t [are a b l e to] o b t a i n t h e i r genuine f o r m u l a t i o n and f e a s i b l e means f o r t h e i r s o l u t i o n . . . . [Phenomenology] r e c o g n i z e s the a b s o l u t e norms which are to be p i c k e d out i n t u i t i v e l y . . . and a l s o i t s p r i m o r d i a l t e l e o l o g l c a l - t e n d e n t l a l s t r u c t u r e i n a d i r e c t e d n e s s towards d i s c l o s u r e of these norms and t h e i r conscious p r a c t i c a l o p e r a t i o n s . . . . The t r a c i n g back of a l l being to the t r a n s c e n d e n t a l s u b j e c t i v i t y  and i t s c o n s t i t u t i v e i n t e n t i o n a l  f u n c t i o n s leaves open . . . no other way of contemplating the world than the t e l e o l o g i c a l . ( H u s s e r l i n T a y l o r , 1986a: 138-140) (emphasis H u s s e r l ' s and mine) And, a g a i n , as with a l l p h i l o s o p h i e s of presence, phenomenology n e c e s s i t a t e s and r e i n f o r c e s a whole s e r i e s of h i e r a r c h i c a l l y s t r u c t u r e d o p p o s i t i o n a l p a i r s such as s u b j e c t / o b j e c t , s e l f / o t h e r , essence/contingence, i d e n t i t y / d i f f e r e n c e , e t c . wherein the l a t t e r term of each p a i r i s viewed as a c o r r u p t i o n of the former, thus e n s u r i n g the s u p p r e s s i o n of 71 d i f f e r e n c e and/or otherness. As T a y l o r says, The a b s o l u t e knowledge made p o s s i b l e by the phenomenological r e d u c t i o n of d i f f e r e n c e to i d e n t i t y i n s u b j e c t i v i t y ' s f u l l knowledge of i t s e l f r e a l i z e s Western phil o s o p h y ' s dream of e n j o y i n g a t o t a l presence t h a t i s undisturbed by absence or l a c k . ( T a y l o r , 1986b: 3) II HERMENEUTICS ( i ) Background The term 'hermeneutics' comes from the Greek words •hermeneuein,' u s u a l l y t r a n s l a t e d as 'to i n t e r p r e t , ' and 'hermeneia,' u s u a l l y t r a n s l a t e d as ' i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . ' As Ri c h a r d Palmer p o i n t s out, 'hermeneuein' and 'hermeneia' taken together with 'hermeios' (the p r i e s t at the D e l p h i c o r a c l e ) r e f e r s back t o , the wing-footed messenger-god Hermes, from whose name the words are a p p a r e n t l y d e r i v e d (or v i c e v e r s a ? ) . S i g n i f i c a n t l y , Hermes i s a s s o c i a t e d with the f u n c t i o n of t r a n s m i t t i n g what i s beyond human understanding i n t o a form t h a t human i n t e l l i g e n c e can grasp. The v a r i o u s forms of t h i s word suggest the process of b r i n g i n g a t h i n g or s i t u a t i o n from u n l n t e l l i g i b i l i t y to understanding. (Palmer, 1969: 13) Hermeneutlcs, as such, Is u s u a l l y t r a c e d to the seventeenth century, a t which time i t was p e r c e i v e d to be a form of b i b l i c a l e x e g e s i s . In the l a t e e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y and e a r l y n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y hermeneutlcs was focussed upon the p h i l o l o g i c a l r esearches of Wolf and Ast and In the ni n e t e e n t h century Schleiermacher attempted to e l e v a t e hermeneutlcs t o the s t a t u s of a s c i e n c e of understanding through p r o v i d i n g a method by which the reader could comprehend the meaning of a gi v e n t e x t through an empathetlc understanding of i t s author's I n t e n t i o n s . However, i t was Wilhelm D i l t h e y who f i r s t attempted to ground the human s c i e n c e s on a n o t i o n of hermeneutical understanding. D i l t h e y b e l i e v e d t h a t , whereas the n a t u r a l s c i e n c e s may ground themselves on an e x p l a n a t i o n of f a c t , the human s c i e n c e s must ground themselves on an understanding of meaning. L i k e Schleiermacher, D i l t h e y b e l i e v e d t h a t i t was p o s s i b l e t o r e c o n s t r u c t and hence to re- e x p e r i e n c e another person's inner c o n s c i o u s n e s s . As Palmer says, " I t was D l l t h e y ' s aim to develop methods of g a i n i n g ' o b j e c t i v e l y v a l i d ' i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s of 'expressions of inner l i f e ' " (Palmer, 1969: 98). For D i l t h e y , 'understanding' i s an e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l n o t i o n which has to do with the k n o w a b i l i t y of the products of one human mind through "a mysterious process of mental t r a n s f e r " (Palmer, 1969: 104) to another human mind. T h i s mental t r a n s f e r takes p l a c e through the p o s s i b i l i t y of an i n t u i t i v e understanding of human p r o d u c t i o n s , be they t e x t s or v i s u a l a r t s or whatever. Thus Palmer quotes D i l t h e y as f o l l o w s : "above a l l . . . the g r a s p i n g of the s t r u c t u r e of the inner l i f e i s based on the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of works, works i n which the t e x t u r e of inner l i f e comes f u l l y to e x p r e s s i o n " ( D i l t h e y i n Palmer, 1969: 114). And, a c c o r d i n g to D i l t h e y , such an i n t e r p r e t a t i o n would be ' o b j e c t i v e l y v a l i d ' because these 'works' are as o b j e c t i v e l y e x i s t i n g as i s a n ything e l s e — t h e r e f o r e i t i s j u s t as p o s s i b l e f o r a hermeneutlc i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of a w r i t t e n t e x t to 'get i t r i g h t ' as i t i s f o r a s c i e n t i f i c e x p l a n a t i o n of a g e o l o g i c a l formation. The d i f f e r e n c e l i e s i n the o b j e c t s under study r a t h e r than i n the o b j e c t i v e v a l i d i t y of the r e s u l t s of the i n q u i r y . L i k e Wolf, Ast and Schleiermacher before him, D i l t h e y makes use of the 'hermeneutlc c i r c l e ' wherein the p a r t s are understood i n r e l a t i o n to the whole and the whole i s understood i n r e l a t i o n to i t s p a r t s . I t i s a t a c k i n g back and f o r t h between whole and p a r t s t h a t allows understanding to determine the s p e c i f i c meaning of any g i v e n work: . the sentence f u r n i s h e s a c l e a r example of the i n t e r a c t i o n of the whole and p a r t s and the need f o r both: out of the meaning of i n d i v i d u a l p a r t s i s y i e l d e d an understanding of the sense of the whole, which i n t u r n changes the indeterminateness of the words i n t o a f i x e d and meaningful p a t t e r n . D i l t h e y c i t e s t h i s example and then a s s e r t s t h a t the same r e l a t i o n s h i p e x i s t s between the p a r t s and the whole of one's l i f e . The meaning of the whole i s a 'sense' 74 d e r i v e d from the meaning of i n d i v i d u a l p a r t s . An event or experience can so a l t e r our l i v e s t h a t what was f o r m e r l y meaningful becomes meaningless and an a p p a r e n t l y unimportant past experience may take on meaning i n r e t r o s p e c t . The sense of the whole determines the f u n c t i o n and the meaning of the p a r t s . And meaning i s something h i s t o r i c a l ; i t i s a r e l a t i o n s h i p of whole to p a r t s seen by us from a gi v e n s t a n d p o i n t , at a given time, f o r a gi v e n combination of p a r t s . I t i s not something above or o u t s i d e h i s t o r y but a p a r t of a hermeneutlc c i r c l e always h i s t o r i c a l l y d e f i n e d . (Palmer, 1969: 118) D i l t h e y ' s hermeneutics i s premised on a ph i l o s o p h y of consciousness — on the idea t h a t the 'inner l i f e ' of the human mind e x i s t s as a knowable e n t i t y and i s understandable as such. His n o t i o n of ' o b j e c t i v e l y v a l i d ' knowledge i s a d i r e c t r e s u l t of h i s b e l i e f t h a t human works can be c o n t e x t u a l i z e d i n t o c o n c r e t e l y d e f i n a b l e p a r t s and wholes whose r e c i p r o c a l i n t e r a c t i o n accounts f o r the a t t a i n a b i l i t y of h i s t o r i c a l l y s p e c i f i c meanings. His concern i s fundamentally e p i s t e m o l o g l c a l , i . e . to provide a method whereby the s c i e n c e s may a s p i r e to the achievement of o b j e c t i v e l y v a l i d knowledge. I t i s M a r t i n Heidegger who f i r s t attempts to provide an o n t o l o g i c a l grounding f o r the hermeneutlc p r o j e c t . ( i i ) Heidegger Heidegger had been a student of Edmund H u s s e r l and, indeed, a t one time the l a t t e r e n t e r t a i n e d the hope t h a t the former would c a r r y on h i s work. However, as i s o f t e n the case, the student proved to be a major disappointment to the t e a c h e r . Heidegger c o u l d accept n e i t h e r H u s s e r l ' s n o t i o n of t r a n s c e n d e n t a l s u b j e c t i v i t y with i t s r o o t s i n human consciousness nor h i s hope f o r the development of phenomenology as a 'rigorous s c i e n c e . ' A c c o r d i n g to Heidegger, Western metaphysics took a wrong t u r n when i t ceased to take the P r e s o c r a t i c q u e s t i o n i n g of 'Being' s e r i o u s l y . T h i s q u e s t i o n has today been f o r g o t t e n -- although our time c o n s i d e r s I t s e l f p r o g r e s s i v e i n a g a i n a f f i r m i n g 'metaphysics.' . . . . And what then was wrested from phenomena by the h i g h e s t e x e r t i o n of t h i n k i n g , a l b e i t i n fragments and f i r s t - b e g i n n i n g s , has long s i n c e been t r i v i a l i z e d . Not o n l y t h a t . On the foundation of the Greek p o i n t of departure f o r the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of Being a dogmatic a t t i t u d e has taken shape which not o n l y d e c l a r e s the q u e s t i o n of the meaning of Being to be s u p e r f l u o u s but s a n c t i o n s i t s n e g l e c t . I t i s s a i d t h a t "Being" i s the most u n i v e r s a l and the emptiest concept. As such i t r e s i s t s every attempt a t d e f i n i t i o n . Nor does t h i s most u n i v e r s a l and thus i n d e f i n a b l e concept need any d e f i n i t i o n . Everybody uses I t c o n s t a n t l y and a l s o a l r e a d y understands what he means by i t . Thus what made a n c i e n t p h i l o s o p h i z i n g uneasy and kept I t so by v i r t u e of i t s o b s c u r i t y has become obvious, c l e a r as day; and t h i s to the p o i n t t h a t whoever pursues i t i s accused of an e r r o r of'method. (Heidegger, 1962: 2) Heidegger maintains t h a t Western metaphysics has an e s s e n t i a l l y e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l programme and t h a t , consequently, i t ' f o r g e t s ' to ask the fundamentally o n t o l o g i c a l q u e s t i o n of the meaning of Being, of the d i f f e r e n c e between being and B e i n g . 2 7 He d i s a g r e e s with H u s s e r l ' s p r e s u p p o s i t i o n of the e x i s t e n c e of p r i m o r d i a l i n t u i t i o n and maintains t h a t , so f a r from being a c o n s t i t u t i v e s u b j e c t i v i t y , Daseln ( l i t e r a l l y ' t here-being,' o f t e n l o o s e l y t r a n s l a t e d as 'human being') i s 'thrown' i n t o a world t h a t i s always a l r e a d y t h e r e . Knowledge, as such, i s a secondary phenomenon — what i s primary i s Dasein's i n t r i n s i c involvement with 'being i n the world, ' an involvement which Heidegger c h a r a c t e r i z e s as •concern' and/or 'care.' i t i s t h i s p r i m o r d i a l Involvement with the world (world being d e f i n e d as the whole i n which Dasein i s always a l r e a d y i n v o l v e d and always a l r e a d y preunderstands) t h a t metaphysics, i n i t s concern with •Knowledge,' f o r g e t s . In Being and Time Heidegger attempts to get to the q u e s t i o n of the meaning of Being through an a n a l y s i s of Dasein — t h a t being whose s p e c i a l o n t o l o g i c a l s t a t u s i s c o n s t i t u t e d by i t s awareness of Being. T h i s mindfulness of the problem of Being i s a f e a t u r e of Dasein's temporal nature, i . e . i t s awareness of past, present and f u t u r e as 2 7 Very roughly, 'being' r e f e r s t o the c o n c r e t e l y e x i s t i n g i n d i v i d u a l whereas 'Being' r e f e r s to the mystery of the ' i s n e s s ' of e x i s t e n c e . ( S t e i n e r , 1980: 26) c o i n c i d e n t a l with i t s Heidegger emphasizes examination of Dasein: awareness of i t s own the hermeneutic nature f i n i t u d e . of h i s In e x p l a i n i n g the tasks of ontology we found i t necessary t h a t there should be a fundamental ontology t a k i n g as i t s theme t h a t e n t i t y which i s o n t o l o g i c o -o n t i c a l l y d i s t i n c t i v e , Dasein, i n order to c o n f r o n t the c a r d i n a l problem -- the q u e s t i o n of the meaning of Being i n g e n e r a l . Our i n v e s t i g a t i o n i t s e l f w i l l show t h a t the meaning of phenomenological d e s c r i p t i o n as a method l i e s i n i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . The logos of the phenomenology of Dasein has the c h a r a c t e r of hermeneuein, through which the a u t h e n t i c meaning of Being, and a l s o those b a s i c s t r u c t u r e s of Being which Dasein i t s e l f possesses, are made known to Dasein's understanding of Being. The phenomenology of Dasein i s a hermeneutlc In the p r i m o r d i a l s i g n i f i c a t i o n of the word, where i t d e s i g n a t e s t h i s business of i n t e r p r e t i n g . (Heidegger, 1962: 61-62) Before l o o k i n g at Heidegger's v e r s i o n of the hermeneutic c i r c l e i t i s necessary to grasp what he has to say about understanding and i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . For Heidegger, understanding i s an e q u i p r l m o r d l a l f e a t u r e of Dasein's b e i n g -i n - t h e - w o r l d and, f u r t h e r , "understanding has i n I t s e l f the e x i s t e n t i a l s t r u c t u r e which we c a l l ' p r o j e c t i o n ' (Heidegger, 1962: 184-185). In other words, Dasein, by d e f i n i t i o n , always has a pre-understanding of any given s i t u a t i o n and, as p r o j e c t i o n r e f e r s to p o t e n t i a l , "Dasein always has understood 78 i t s e l f and always w i l l understand i t s e l f i n terms of p o s s i b i l i t i e s " (Heidegger, 1962: 185). I n t e r p r e t a t i o n i s the development and a r t i c u l a t i o n of the p o s s i b i l i t i e s p r o j e c t e d by understanding. As Heidegger says, The p r o j e c t i n g of the understanding we c a l l " i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . " In i t the u n d e r s t a n d i n g a p p r o p r i a t e s u n d e r s t a n d i n g l y t h a t which i s understood by i t . In i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , understanding does not become something d i f f e r e n t . I t becomes i t s e l f . Such i n t e r p r e t a t i o n i s grounded e x i s t e n t l a l l y In understanding; the l a t t e r does not a r i s e from the former. Nor i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n the a c q u i r i n g of i n f o r m a t i o n about what i s understood; i t i s r a t h e r the working-out of p o s s i b i l i t i e s p r o j e c t e d i n understanding. (Heidegger, 1962: 188-189) For Heidegger, an i n t e r p r e t a t i o n i s not a framework which we superimpose upon an o b j e c t i v e l y e x i s t i n g world but a d i s c l o s u r e or r e t r i e v a l of Dasein's pre-understanding of i t s always a l r e a d y o c c u r r i n g involvement with the world. As Heidegger puts i t , In i n t e r p r e t i n g , we do not, so to speak, throw a ' s i g n i f i c a t i o n ' over some naked t h i n g which i s present-at-hand, we do not s t i c k a value on i t ; but when something w i t h i n - t h e - w o r l d i s encountered as such, the t h i n g i n q u e s t i o n a l r e a d y has an involvement which i s d i s c l o s e d i n our understanding of the world, and t h i s involvement i s one which gets l a i d out by the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . (Heidegger, 1962: 190-191) 79 I n t e r p r e t a t i o n enables us t o view the 1ready-to-hand' world o£ the understanding as. c o n s t i t u t e d by v a r i o u s o b j e c t s such as t a b l e s , c h a i r s e t c . Heidegger r e f e r s to t h i s as the 'as  s t r u c t u r e ' o£ i n t e r p r e t a t i o n which, as w i l l p r e s e n t l y become c l e a r , i s i n t i m a t e l y i n v o l v e d with the f o r e - s t r u c t u r e s of understanding. Heidegger p o s i t s three f o r e s t r u c t u r e s which belong to the realm of understanding and which a l l o w f o r I t s development i n i n t e r p r e t a t i o n — f o r e - h a v i n g , f o r e - s i g h t and f o r e - c o n c e p t i o n . As these are c r u c i a l concepts with r e s p e c t to Heidegger's n o t i o n of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n I w i l l quote him at l e n g t h . The ready-to-hand i s always understood i n terms of a t o t a l i t y of involvements. T h i s t o t a l i t y need not be grasped e x p l i c i t l y by a thematic i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . Even i f i t has undergone such an i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , i t recedes i n t o an understanding which does not stand out from the background. And t h i s i s the ver y mode i n which i t i s the e s s e n t i a l f oundation f o r everyday c i r c u m s p e c t i v e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . In every case t h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n i s grounded i n something  we have i n advance — i n a f o r e - h a v i n g . As the a p p r o p r i a t i o n of understanding, the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n operates i n Being towards a t o t a l i t y of Involvements which i s a l r e a d y understood — a Being which understands. When something i s understood but s t i l l v e i l e d , i t becomes u n v e i l e d by an a c t of a p p r o p r i a t i o n , and t h i s i s always done under the guidance of a p o i n t of view, which f i x e s t h a t with regard to which what i s understood i s i n t e r p r e t e d . In e v e r y c a s e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n i s grounded In something 80 ve see In advance — i n a f o r e - s i g h t . T h i s f o r e - s i g h t 'takes the f i r s t c u t ' out of what has been taken i n t o our f o r e -having, and I t does so with a view to a d e f i n i t e way i n which t h i s can be i n t e r p r e t e d . Anything understood which i s held i n our f o r e - h a v i n g and towards which we s e t our s i g h t s ' f o r e s i g h t e d l y , ' becomes c o n c e p t u a l i z a b l e through the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . In su c h an i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , the way i n which the e n t i t y we are i n t e r p r e t i n g i s to be conceived can be drawn from the e n t i t y i t s e l f , or the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n can f o r c e the e n t i t y i n t o concepts t o which i t i s opposed In i t s manner of Being. In e i t h e r case, the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n has a l r e a d y decided f o r a d e f i n i t e way of c o n c e i v i n g i t , e i t h e r with f i n a l i t y or with r e s e r v a t i o n ; i t i s grounded i n something we grasp i n advance — i n a f o r e - c o n c e p t i o n . (Heidegger, 1962: 191) Thus the ' a s - s t r u c t u r e ' of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n i s the working out of the p r o j e c t e d ' f o r e - s t r u c t u r e s ' of understanding which, i n t u r n , a l l o w f o r Heidegger's n o t i o n of meaning as "the 'upon  which' of a p r o j e c t i o n i n terms of which something becomes  i n t e l l i g i b l e as something; i t gets i t s s t r u c t u r e from a f o r e - having, and a for e - c o n c e p t I o n . In so f a r as understanding and i n t e r p r e t a t i o n make up the e x i s t e n t i a l s t a t e of Being of the 'there,' 'meaning' must be conceived as the f o r m a l -e x i s t e n t i a l framework of the d i s c l o s e d n e s s which belongs to understanding" (Heidegger, 1962: 193). In other words, 'meaning' i s not something which e x i s t s i n some form o u t s i d e of Dasein — i t i s , by d e f i n i t i o n , c o n s t i t u t e d by and 81 r e s t r i c t e d to the h i s t o r i c a l h o r i z o n of Daseln's p r o j e c t e d understanding i n the form of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . By now i t should be c l e a r t h a t the Being of Dasein, along with being fundamentally temporal, i s e s s e n t i a l l y c i r c u l a r . As Heidegger says, The ' c i r c l e ' In understanding belongs to the s t r u c t u r e of meaning, and the l a t t e r phenomenon i s rooted i n the e x i s t e n t i a l c o n s t i t u t i o n of Dasein — t h a t i s , i n the understanding which i n t e r p r e t s . An e n t i t y f o r which, as Being- i n - t h e - w o r l d , i t s Being i s i t s e l f an i s s u e , has, o n t o l o g i c a l l y , a c i r c u l a r s t r u c t u r e . (Heidegger, 1962: 195) Thus the always a l r e a d y e x i s t i n g pre-understanding of Dasein p r o j e c t s i t s e l f toward f u t u r a l p o s s i b i l i t i e s which can o n l y be a u t h e n t i c a l l y 2 8 r e a l i z e d by d i s c l o s i n g the always a l r e a d y having been of p r i m o r d i a l understanding. L i k e T.s. E l i o t , we go forward i n order t o come back p r o p e r l y : We s h a l l not cease from e x p l o r a t i o n And the end of a l l our e x p l o r i n g W i l l be t o a r r i v e where we s t a r t e d And know the place f o r the f i r s t time. ( E l i o t , 1963: 222) John Caputo pro v i d e s a s u c c i n c t s ynopsis of the c i r c u l a r i t y of Dasein: 2 8 In Heidegger ' a u t h e n t i c i t y ' has to do with Daseln's r e c o g n i t i o n of, and being i n harmony with, Being whereas ' l n a u t h e n t i c l t y ' has to do with Daseln's f o r g e t t i n g of Being. 82 As an ' e x i s t i n g ' being ( i n the K l e r k e g a a r d i a n sense), the meaning of Dasein i s to move forward, to press ahead toward i t s a u t h e n t i c f u t u r e . But t h i s forward movement i s taken by Heidegger to be at one and the same time a movement back to the being t h a t Dasein a l l along has been. The movement forward i s thus a l s o a movement of r e c o v e r y or r e t r i e v a l . . . . Heidegger . . . g i v e s a s p e c i a l p l a y t o the ' c i r c u l a r ' movement of Dasein's Being i n Being and Time l i n k i n g i n an o n t o l o g i c a l loop Dasein's forward and backward movement, I t s f u t u r a l p r o j e c t i o n and i t s a l r e a d y having been. Wlederholung i n Being and Time means a r e p e t i t i o n / r e t r i e v a l , a p r e s s i n g forward which r e c o v e r s something h i t h e r t o l a t e n t , i n p o t e n t l a , harboured i n the p o s s i b i l i t y - t o - b e (Seinskonnen), of Dasein. Dasein's own Being ' c i r c u l a t e s ' between I t s ' f u t u r i t y ' ( Z u k u n f t l g k e l t ) and I t s 'having been' (Gewesenhelt). The Being of Dasein i s c o n s t a n t l y p r o j e c t e d ahead, never i n a f r e e - f l o a t i n g and abs o l u t e way, but always toward p o s s i b i l i t i e s i n t o which i t has a l l along been i n s e r t e d . Whence Heidegger speaks of "the c i r c u l a r Being of Dasein." (Caputo, 1987b: 60) Heidegger's s h i f t i n g of the hermeneutic c i r c l e from e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l to o n t o l o g i c a l ground p o r t r a y s h i s deep concern with o r i g i n s ("In the [hermeneutic] c i r c l e Is hidden a p o s i t i v e p o s s i b i l i t y of the most p r i m o r d i a l kind of knowing" (Heidegger, 1962: 195)), u n i t y and t o t a l i t y — i n a word, with holism. As Robert Solomon comments, "Being and  Time i s almost unique i n Western p h i l o s o p h y i n i t s u n r e s t r i c t e d emphasis on holism, i t s v i s i o n of our b e i n g - i n -83 the-world as a seamless whole even more than i n Hegel (who sees the whole as a r e s u l t r a t h e r than a s t a r t i n g p o i n t " ) (Solomon, 1988: 156). In h i s l a t e r w r i t i n g Heidegger moves away from attempting to determine the meaning of Being through an a n a l y s i s of Dasein and c o n c e n t r a t e s on e l u c i d a t i n g / o b f u s c a t i n g the meaning of Being as a l e t h e i a — as "luminous s e l f - c o n c e a l i n g " (Heidegger, 1984: 108). However, h i s n o s t a l g i a f o r o r i g i n s and h i s e s c h a t o - t e l e o -l o g l c a l d e s i r e f o r the u n i f y i n g h o r i z o n of the c i r c l e never abates. Hence, i n commenting on the "Anaximander Fragment," Heidegger expresses h i m s e l f as f o l l o w s : But what i f t h a t which i s e a r l y o u t d i s t a n c e d e v e r y t h i n g l a t e ; i f the v e r y e a r l i e s t f a r surpassed the v e r y l a t e s t ? What once occurred i n the dawn of our d e s t i n y would then come, as what once occurred, a t the l a s t . . ., t h a t i s , at the departure of the long-hidden d e s t i n y of Being. The Being of beings i s gathered . . . i n the u l t i m a c y of i t s d e s t i n y . The essence of Being h i t h e r t o d i s a p p e a r s , i t s t r u t h s t i l l v e i l e d . The h i s t o r y of Being i s gathered In t h i s d e p a rture. The g a t h e r i n g i n t h i s d e p arture, as the g a t h e r i n g . . . a t the outermost p o i n t . . . of i t s essence h i t h e r t o , i s the e s c h a t o l o g y of Being. As something f a t e f u l , Being i t s e l f i s i n h e r e n t l y e s c h a t o l o g i c a l . . . . We t h i n k of the e s c h a t o l o g y of Being i n a way c o r r e s p o n d i n g to the way the phenomenology of s p i r i t i s to be thought, i . e . from w i t h i n the h i s t o r y of Being. The phenomenology of s p i r i t i t s e l f c o n s t i t u t e s a phase i n the e s c h a t o l o g y of Being, when Being gathers i t s e l f In the u l t i m a c y of i t s essence. . . . I f we t h i n k the e s c h a t o l o g y of Being, then we must someday a n t i c i p a t e 84 the former dawn i n the day to come; today we must l e a r n to ponder t h i s former dawn through what i s imminent. (Heidegger, 1984: 18) ( i l l ) Gadamer Gadamer does not f o l l o w h i s teacher, Heidegger, i n t o the mysticism surrounding the l a t t e r ' s concern with the meaning of Being as a l e t h e i a but, i n s t e a d , takes h i s mentor's o n t o l o g i c a l n o t i o n of understanding and attempts to develop i t i n t o a f u l l blown ' p h i l o s o p h i c a l hermeneutlcs, ' the purpose of which i s to show "not what we do or what we ought to do, but what happens to us over and above our wanting and d o i n g " (Gadamer i n Baynes et a l . , 1988: 339). For Gadamer, t h i s means working out a system which accounts f o r understanding as the fundamental u n i v e r s a l o n t o l o g i c a l process of being human: "How i s understanding (Verstehen) p o s s i b l e ? " T h i s q u e s t i o n i s p r i o r t o any a c t i v i t y of understanding on the p a r t of s u b j e c t i v i t y , i n c l u d i n g the methodical a c t i v i t y of the verstehenden s c i e n c e s , t h e i r norms and r u l e s . In my view, Heidegger's temporal a n a l y s i s of human Dasein has c o n v i n c i n g l y shown t h a t understanding i s not one of many modes of a c t i o n on the p a r t of the s u b j e c t but r a t h e r Dasein's v e r y mode of being. I t i s i n t h i s sense t h a t [I employ] the concept of hermeneutlcs. . . . I t designates the fundamental movement of Dasein, which c o n s t i t u t e s i t s f i n l t u d e and h i s t o r i c i t y and thus encompasses the whole of i t s experience of the world. To say t h a t the movement of understanding i s comprehensive and u n i v e r s a l i s n e i t h e r a r b i t r a r y nor a c o n s t r u c t i v e e x a g g e r a t i o n of a s i n g l e a spect; i t l i e s r a t h e r i n the 85 v e r y nature of t h i n g s . (Gadamer i n Baynes et a l . , 1988: 341) Because Gadamer b e l i e v e s t h a t understanding i s e s s e n t i a l to the temporal beingness of Dasein he opposes Schleiermacher's and D i l t h e y ' s n o t i o n of the p o s s i b i l i t y of s l i p p i n g out of one's immediate h i s t o r i c a l context i n order to comprehend the a u t h o r i a l i n t e n t i o n w i t h i n a t e x t w r i t t e n i n another e r a . Ac c o r d i n g to Gadamer, t h i s r e s u l t s i n an impossible s e p a r a t i o n and hence r e i f i c a t i o n of both the past and the present whereas what i s r e q u i r e d i s a r e c o g n i t i o n t h a t , on the Heideggerian model, past, present and f u t u r e are i n s e p a r a b l e ( i . e . Dasein i s 'thrown' i n t o a present which i s c o n s t i t u t e d by a pre-understanding of the past and i s p r o j e c t e d i n t o the p o s s i b i l i t y of the f u t u r e ) . In working out h i s ' p h i l o s o p h i c a l hermeneutics' Gadamer ' r e h a b i l i t a t e s ' three n o t i o n s t h a t he maintains f e l l i n t o unwarranted d i s r e p u t e d u r i n g the Enlightenment — p r e j u d i c e , t r a d i t i o n and a u t h o r i t y . With r e s p e c t to p r e j u d i c e , Gadamer argues t h a t i t i s a c t u a l l y n e i t h e r more nor l e s s than the Heideggerian concept of pre-understanding, which e f f e c t i v e l y shows t h a t one i s , by d e f i n i t i o n , never without always a l r e a d y e x i s t i n g p r e s u p p o s i t i o n s . To deny these p r e s u p p o s i t i o n s Is to be unaware of one's own involvement with beingness and hence to ensure t h a t one w i l l be incapable of ever g r a s p i n g the a u t h e n t i c nature of understanding. As 86 f o r t r a d i t i o n , [In] our c o n t i n u a l l y manifested a t t i t u d e to the past, the main f e a t u r e i s not . . . a d i s t a n c i n g and f r e e i n g of o u r s e l v e s from what has been t r a n s m i t t e d . Rather, we stand always w i t h i n t r a d i t i o n , and t h i s i s no o b j e c t i f y i n g process, i . e . we do not conceive of what t r a d i t i o n says as something other, a model or exemplar, a r e c o g n i t i o n of o u r s e l v e s which our l a t e r h i s t o r i c a l judgement would h a r d l y see as a kind of knowledge, but as the s i m p l e s t p r e s e r v a t i o n of t r a d i t i o n . (Gadamer, 1975: 250) In other words, as Palmer s u c c i n c t l y expresses i t , " t r a d i t i o n does not stand over a g a i n s t our t h i n k i n g as an o b j e c t of thought but i s the f a b r i c of r e l a t i o n s , the h o r i z o n , w i t h i n which we do our t h i n k i n g " (Palmer, 1969: 182). The r e c o g n i t i o n of t r a d i t i o n as an I n t e g r a l p a r t of Dasein's b e l n g - l n - t h e - w o r l d leads d i r e c t l y to the acknowledgement of i t s a u t h o r i t y . As Gadamer says, That which has been sa n c t i o n e d by t r a d i t i o n . . . has an a u t h o r i t y t h a t i s nameless, and our f i n i t e h i s t o r i c a l being i s marked by the f a c t t h a t always the a u t h o r i t y of what has been t r a n s m i t t e d -- and not o n l y what i s c l e a r l y grounded -has power over our a t t i t u d e s and behaviour. (Gadamer, 1975: 249) B a s i c a l l y , Gadamer takes e x c e p t i o n to what he p e r c e i v e s to be the Enlightenment's s u p e r f i c i a l view t h a t p r e j u d i c e , 87 t r a d i t i o n and a u t h o r i t y are the enemies of c r e a t i v e thought -- i t s n o t i o n t h a t somehow i t i s p o s s i b l e to transcend the muck of the world and to have recourse to a p r i s t i n e realm of pure reason. Such an a t t i t u d e p recludes the p o s s i b i l i t y of r e c o g n i z i n g the o n t o l o g i c a l nature of understanding and determines a world view premised upon unacknowledged second order c o n s t r u c t s . As f a r as Gadamer Is concerned, p r e j u d i c e and the a u t h o r i t y of t r a d i t i o n are simply p a r t of the nature of t h i n g s and, whether or not t h i s f a c t i s c o n s c i o u s l y acknowledged, i t nonetheless e x e r t s I t s e f f e c t on a l l human thought -- Enlightenment or no Enlightenment: "there i s one p r e j u d i c e of the enlightenment t h a t i s e s s e n t i a l to i t : the fundamental p r e j u d i c e of the enlightenment i s the p r e j u d i c e a g a i n s t p r e j u d i c e i t s e l f , which d e p r i v e s t r a d i t i o n of i t s power" (Gadamer, 1975: 239-240) Again emphasizing Heidegger's n o t i o n of the e s s e n t i a l h i s t o r i c i t y of Dasein, Gadamer p o s i t s what he terms the ' p r i n c i p l e of e f f e c t i v e h i s t o r y . ' By t h i s he means t h a t Dasein must be aware t h a t i t s e x i s t e n c e as a h i s t o r i c a l being i s d e f i n i t i v e , i . e . i t cannot be. and be without p r e s u p p o s i t i o n s . Thus, I f we are t r y i n g to understand a h i s t o r i c a l phenomenon from the h i s t o r i c a l d i s t a n c e t h a t i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of our hermeneutical s i t u a t i o n , we are always s u b j e c t t o the e f f e c t s of e f f e c t i v e -h i s t o r y . I t determines i n advance both what seems to us worth e n q u i r i n g about and what w i l l appear as an o b j e c t of 88 i n v e s t i g a t i o n , and we more or l e s s f o r g e t h a l f of what i s r e a l l y there -- i n f a c t , we miss the whole t r u t h of the phenomenon when we take i t s immediate appearance as the whole t r u t h . (Gadamer, 1975: 267-268) Taking the h i s t o r i c i t y of Dasein as a g i v e n , Gadamer f u r t h e r argues t h a t i n l o o k i n g a t any p a r t i c u l a r t e x t or t e x t analogue one must i n i t i a l l y engage i n 'the a n t i c i p a t i o n of completion.' In other words, one must assume t h a t the t e x t p resents a ' u n i t y of meaning.' In a t t e s t i n g to h i s agreement with Heidegger concerning the s t r u c t u r e of the understanding Gadamer goes on to d i s c u s s the importance of the n o t i o n of completion: The s i g n i f i c a n c e of t t h e hermeneutic] c i r c l e , which i s fundamental to a l l understanding, has a f u r t h e r hermeneutic consequence which I may c a l l the ' f o r e - c o n c e p t i o n of completion.' But t h i s , too, i s o b v i o u s l y a formal c o n d i t i o n of a l l understanding. I t s t a t e s t h a t o n l y what r e a l l y c o n s t i t u t e s a u n i t y of meaning i s i n t e l l i g i b l e . So when we read a t e x t we always f o l l o w t h i s complete p r e s u p p o s i t i o n of completion, and o n l y when i t proves inadequate, i . e . the t e x t i s not i n t e l l i g i b l e , do we s t a r t to doubt the t r a n s m i t t e d t e x t and seek to d i s c o v e r i n what way i t can be remedied. The a n t i c i p a t i o n of completion t h a t guides a l l our understanding i s , then, always s p e c i f i c i n content. Not o n l y i s an immanent u n i t y of meaning g u i d i n g the reader assumed, but h i s understanding Is l i k e w i s e guided by the constant transcendent e x p e c t a t i o n s of meaning which proceed from the r e l a t i o n to the t r u t h of what i s being s a i d . . . . The a n t i c i p a t i o n of completion, then, c o n t a i n s not o n l y t h i s formal element t h a t a t e x t should f u l l y express i t s meaning, but a l s o t h a t what I t says 89 should be the whole t r u t h . [ U n d e r s t a n d i n g means, p r i m a r i l y , to understand the content of what i s s a i d , and o n l y s e c o n d a r i l y to i s o l a t e and understand another's meaning as such. Hence the f i r s t of a l l hermeneutlc requirements remains one's own f o r e -understanding, which proceeds from being concerned with the same s u b j e c t [matter as expressed i n the t e x t ] . I t i s t h i s t h a t determines what u n i f i e d meaning can be r e a l i s e d and hence the a p p l i c a t i o n of the a n t i c i p a t i o n of completion. (Gadamer, 1975: 261-262) (emphasis mine) The l a s t paragraph of the preceding q u o t a t i o n makes i t c l e a r t h a t what Gadamer concerns h i m s e l f with are the o n t o l o g i c a l c o n d i t i o n s of understanding i t s e l f r a t h e r than the e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l s t r u c t u r e of what i s presumed to be understood. For Gadamer, the primary area of herraeneutical i n t e r e s t l i e s i n the misty f l a t s between the given h i s t o r i c a l p o s i t i o n of a p a r t i c u l a r t e x t and the gi v e n h i s t o r i c a l p o s i t i o n of a p a r t i c u l a r reader. I t i s the seeming p o l a r i t y between the strangeness of what i s d i s t a n t and the f a m i l i a r i t y of what i s near t h a t hermeneutics attempts t o mediate: "The plac e between strangeness and f a m i l i a r i t y t h a t a t r a n s m i t t e d -text has f o r us i s t h a t i n t e rmediate p l a c e between being an h i s t o r i c a l l y intended separate o b j e c t and being p a r t of a t r a d i t i o n . The t r u e home of hermeneutics i s i n t h i s i ntermediate a r e a " (Gadamer, 1975: 262-262). In attempting to mediate between t e x t and reader Gadamer r e l i e s on a d i a l e c t i c t h a t i s p a r t P l a t o n i c and p a r t Hegelian 90 and which r e s u l t s i n what he terms a ' f u s i o n of h o r i z o n s . ' 8 8 Gadamer*s P l a t o n i c i n f l u e n c e i s e v i d e n t i n h i s b e l i e f t h a t a d i a l o g i c s t r u c t u r e of understanding Is e s s e n t i a l to mediating between the assumed u n i f i e d meaning of any g i v e n t e x t ( ' a n t i c i p a t i o n of completion') and i t s a p p l i c a t i o n to one's immediate h i s t o r i c a l s i t u a t e d n e s s . For Gadamer, P l a t o p r o v i d e s the i d e a l model of d i a l o g i c q u e s t i o n i n g : The a r t of q u e s t i o n i n g i s t h a t of being able to go on a s k i n g q u e s t i o n s , i . e . the a r t of t h i n k i n g . I t i s c a l l e d ' d i a l e c t i c , • f o r i t i s the a r t of conducting a r e a l c o n v e r s a t i o n . . . . To conduct a c o n v e r s a t i o n means to a l l o w o n e s e l f to be conducted by the o b j e c t to which the p a r t n e r s i n the c o n v e r s a t i o n are d i r e c t e d . I t r e q u i r e s t h a t one does not t r y to out-argue the other person, but t h a t one r e a l l y c o n s i d e r s the weight of the other's o p i n i o n . Hence i t i s an a r t of t e s t i n g . But the a r t of t e s t i n g i s the a r t of q u e s t i o n i n g . For . . . t o q u e s t i o n means to l a y open, to pl a c e i n the open. As a g a i n s t the s o l i d i t y of o p i n i o n , q u e s t i o n i n g makes the o b j e c t and a l l i t s p o s s i b i l i t i e s f l u i d . D i a l e c t i c c o n s i s t s not i n t r y i n g to d i s c o v e r the weakness of what i s s a i d , but i n b r i n g i n g out i t s r e a l s t r e n g t h . The unique and c o n t i n u i n g r e l e v a n c e of the P l a t o n i c d i a l o g u e s i s due to t h i s a r t of s t r e n g t h e n i n g , f o r i n t h i s process what i s s a i d i s c o n t i n u a l l y transformed i n t o the uttermost p o s s i b i l i t i e s of i t s r i g h t n e s s and t r u t h and overcomes a l l opposing argument which seeks to l i m i t i t s v a l i d i t y . . . . What emerges in_ i t s t r u t h [ i n the P l a t o n i c d i a l o g u e s ] is_ the  logos, which i s n e i t h e r mine nor yours 2 9 Gadamer d e f i n e s h o r i z o n as "the range of v i s i o n t h a t i n c l u d e s e v e r y t h i n g t h a t can be seen from a p a r t i c u l a r vantage p o i n t " (Gadamer, 1975: 269). 91 and hence so f a r transcends the s u b j e c t i v e o p i n i o n s of the p a r t n e r s to the d i a l o g u e t h a t even the person l e a d i n g the c o n v e r s a t i o n i s always i g n o r a n t . D i a l e c t i c as the a r t of conducting a c o n v e r s a t i o n i s a l s o the a r t of s e e i n g t h i n g s i n the u n i t y of an aspect (sunoran  e i s hen eid o s ) i . e . i t i s the a r t of the formation of concepts as the working out of the common meaning. (Gadamer, 1975: 330-331) (emphasis mine) Gadamer f o l l o w s t h i s panegyric to the P l a t o n i c d i a l o g u e by s t a t i n g t h a t " i t i s more than a metaphor, i t i s a memory of what o r i g i n a l l y was the case, to d e s c r i b e the work of hermeneutics as a c o n v e r s a t i o n with the t e x t " (Gadamer, 1975: 331) (emphasis mine). T h i s c o n v e r s a t i o n with the t e x t i s concerned not with any p o s s i b l e a u t h o r i a l i n t e n t i o n but with the s u b j e c t matter of the t e x t , which transcends any i n d i v i d u a l i n t e n t i o n a l i t y and which emerges as the f u s i o n of the h o r i z o n of the t e x t with the h o r i z o n of the reader. As Gadamer says, i t i s p a r t of any genuine c o n v e r s a t i o n t h a t one submits to the other, a l l o w s h i s viewpoint r e a l l y to count and gets i n s i d e the other f a r enough to understand not him, to be sure, as t h i s i n d i v i d u a l i t y but r a t h e r what he says. That which has to be grasped i s the s u b s t a n t i v e v a l i d i t y of h i s o p i n i o n so t h a t we can be u n i t e d with one another on the s u b j e c t - m a t t e r . (Gadamer i n Warnke, 1987: 100) Gadamer's n o t i o n of the f u s i o n of h o r i z o n s bears a s t r i k i n g resemblance to Hegel's n o t i o n of Aufhebung — of the s y n t h e s i s of t h e s i s and a n t i t h e s i s which transcends both while yet m a i n t a i n i n g both. Gadamer's c o n t e n t i o n t h a t he d i f f e r s markedly from Hegel i n so f a r as he has no n o t i o n of Absolute S p i r i t or Knowledge i n which the d i a l e c t i c a l process f i n d s u l t i m a t e completion cannot b e l i e the f a c t t h a t h i s v e r s i o n of the f u s i o n of h o r i z o n s reads very much l i k e a s e c u l a r i z a t i o n of Hegel. Thus, . . . the h o r i z o n of the present i s being c o n t i n u a l l y formed, i n t h a t we have c o n t i n u a l l y t o t e s t a l l our p r e j u d i c e s . An important p a r t of t h i s t e s t i n g i s the encounter with the past and the understanding of the t r a d i t i o n from which we come. Hence the h o r i z o n of the present cannot be formed without the past. There i s no more an i s o l a t e d h o r i z o n of the present than there are h i s t o r i c a l h o r i z o n s . Understanding, r a t h e r , i s always the f u s i o n of these h o r i z o n s which we imagine to e x i s t by themselves. . . . In . . . t r a d i t i o n t h i s process of f u s i o n i s c o n t i n u a l l y going on, f o r there o l d and new c o n t i n u a l l y grow together to make something of l i v i n g v a l u e , without e i t h e r being e x p l i c i t l y d i s t i n g u i s h e d from the other. (Gadamer, 1975: 273) John Caputo n i c e l y captures Gadamer's r e l i a n c e on P l a t o and Hegel: In the end . . . Gadamer remains at t a c h e d to t r a d i t i o n as the bearer of e t e r n a l t r u t h s , which i n a way does 93 nothing more than modify P l a t o and Hegel from a Heideggerian s t a n d p o i n t . Gadamer's hermeneutics i s t r a d i t i o n a l i s m and the p h i l o s o p h y of e t e r n a l t r u t h pushed to i t s h i s t o r i c a l l i m i t s . He o f f e r s us the most l i b e r a l form of t r a d i t i o n a l i s m p o s s i b l e . He i n t r o d u c e s as much change as p o s s i b l e i n t o the p h i l o s o p h y of unchanging t r u t h , as much movement as p o s s i b l e i n t o immobile v e r i t y . P l a t o s a i d t h a t t r u t h i s e t e r n a l and t h a t we r e q u i r e a d i a l o g u e among ou r s e l v e s In order to make the ascent to the forms. Hegel put the forms i n t o time and r e q u i r e d t h a t they pass through d i a l e c t i c a l development, t h a t they prove t h e i r e t e r n a l worth i n time, i n the hard work and n e g a t i v i t y of h i s t o r i c a l becoming. Gadamer d e l i m i t s the Hegelian p r o j e c t of s e t t i n g the t r u t h Into time, not by denying e t e r n a l t r u t h but by p r o t e s t i n g t h a t there i s no one f i n a l f o r m u l a t i o n of i t . He i n s i s t s t h a t there i s always a p l u r a l i t y of a r t i c u l a t i o n of the same t r u t h , t h a t the selfsame i s capable of an i n d e f i n i t e number of h i s t o r i c a l e x p r e s s i o n s . But t h a t i s another way of r e a s s u r i n g us t h a t no matter how great the t r a n s f o r m a t i o n of . . . t r a d i t i o n may be, i t s deep u n i t y i s always s a f e . Gadamer's whole argument turns on an i m p l i c i t acceptance of the metaphysical d i s t i n c t i o n between a more or l e s s s t a b l e and o b j e c t i v e meaning and i t s c e a s e l e s s l y changing e x p r e s s i o n . For Gadamer, the o n l y r e a l q u e s t i o n i s how meaning and t r u t h get passed along and handed down (trans-dare) . That i s why the P l a t o n i c c o n c e p t i o n of d i a l o g u e and the Hegelian d o c t r i n e of d i a l e c t i c a l mediation are so important to him. These are the p r i n c i p l e means of the t r a n s m i s s i o n of meaning and t r u t h . (Caputo, 1987b: 111) Thus Gadamer's p h i l o s o p h i c a l hermeneutics, I t s c r i t i q u e of the e p i s t e m o l o g l c a l bases of p r e v i o u s forms of hermeneutlcs n o t w i t h s t a n d i n g , remains embedded i n t r a d i t i o n a l Western metaphysical n o t i o n s o£ u n i t y , completion, t r u t h and so on. In l i g h t o£ t h i s i t i s not s u r p r i s i n g t h a t he p r e f a c e s h i s magnum opus, T r u t h and Method, with the f o l l o w i n g l a u d a t o r y address to the s u p p r e s s i o n of otherness: Catch o n l y what you've thrown y o u r s e l f , a l l Is mere s k i l l and l i t t l e g a i n ; but when you're suddenly the catcher of a b a l l thrown by an e t e r n a l p artner with accurate and measured swing towards you, to your c e n t r e , i n an arch from the g r e a t b r i d g e b u i l d i n g of God: Why c a t c h i n g then becomes a power — not yours, a world's. ( R l l k e i n Gadamer, 1975: n.p.) ( i v ) Rlcoeur L i k e Heidegger and Gadamer, Ricoeur b e l i e v e s t h a t hermeneutics must grasp the o n t o l o g i c a l s i g n i f i c a n c e of understanding as p r e d i c a t e d upon an awareness of human f i n i t u d e and h i s t o r i c i t y . However, u n l i k e Heidegger and Gadamer, Ricoeur concerns h i m s e l f with attempting a r e c o n c i l i a t i o n between ontology and epistemology through a study of the r e l a t i o n s h i p between understanding and e x p l a n a t i o n . According to Ricoeur: "Understanding precedes, accompanies, c l o s e s , and thus envelops e x p l a n a t i o n . In r e t u r n , e x p l a n a t i o n develops understanding a n a l y t i c a l l y " (Ricoeur i n Baynes et a l . , 1988: 354). As Ricoeur says, 95 I f there i s a f e a t u r e which d i s t i n g u i s h e s me not onl y from the hermeneutlc phi l o s o p h y of Schleiermacher and D i l t h e y , but a l s o from t h a t of Heidegger and even Gadamer ( d e s p i t e my great p r o x i m i t y to the work of the l a t t e r ) , i t i s indeed my concern t o av o i d the p i t f a l l of an o p p o s i t i o n between an 'understanding* which would be res e r v e d f o r the 'human s c i e n c e s ' and an 'e x p l a n a t i o n ' which would be common to the l a t t e r and to the nomological s c i e n c e s , p r i m a r i l y the p h y s i c a l s c i e n c e s . [I am concerned with the] search f o r a f l e x i b l e a r t i c u l a t i o n and a c o n t i n u a l to and f r o between the i n v e s t i g a t o r ' s p e r s o n a l engagement with the matter of the t e x t , and the disengagement which the o b j e c t i v e e x p l a n a t i o n by causes, laws, f u n c t i o n s or s t r u c t u r e s demands. . . . (Ricoeur, 19821: 36) In attempting to mediate between e x p l a n a t i o n ( e r k l a r e n ) and understanding (verstehen) Ricoeur r e l i e s upon the model of the w r i t t e n t e x t . A c c o r d i n g to Ricoeur, the t e x t i s " c h a r a c t e r i z e d by (1) the f i x a t i o n of meaning, (2) i t s d i s s o c i a t i o n from the mental i n t e n t i o n of the author, (3) the d i s p l a y of non-ostensive r e f e r e n c e s , (4) the u n i v e r s a l range of i t s addressees" (Ricoeur, 1982e: 210). The combination of the preceding four t r a i t s c o n s t i t u t e s the t e x t as an o b j e c t s u s c e p t i b l e to e x p l a n a t i o n — e x p l a n a t i o n being, as Ricoeur i s a t pains to p o i n t out, not an import from the n a t u r a l s c i e n c e s (pace D i l t h e y ) but a p o s s i b i l i t y which i s inhe r e n t w i t h i n the 96 l i n g u i s t i c a l i t y o£ any g i v e n t e x t as such 3 0: "There i s no t r a n s f e r from one r e g i o n of r e a l i t y t o another — l e t us say, from the sphere of f a c t s to the sphere of s i g n s . I t i s w i t h i n the same sphere of s i g n s t h a t the process of o b j e c t i f i c a t i o n takes p l a c e and g i v e s r i s e to e x p l a n a t o r y procedures" (Ricoeur, 1982e: 210). Ricoeur begins h i s d i s c u s s i o n of the nature of t e x t I n t e r p r e t a t i o n by p o s i t i n g a movement from understanding to e x p l a n a t i o n . Borrowing from E.D. H i r s c h , Rlcoeur maintains t h a t t e x t i n t e r p r e t a t i o n has to do with the d i a l e c t i c between guessing and v a l i d a t i n g , the former corresponding to understanding and the l a t t e r corresponding to e x p l a n a t i o n . The d i a l e c t i c of guess and v a l i d a t i o n i s n e c e s s i t a t e d by the h o l i s t i c nature of the t e x t . As Ricoeur says, Why do we need an a r t of guessing? Why do we have to 'construe' the meaning? . . . a t e x t has to be construed because i t i s not a mere sequence of sentences, a l l on an equal f o o t i n g and s e p a r a t e l y understandable. A t e x t i s a whole, a t o t a l i t y . . . . C o r r e c t l y , the whole appears as a h i e r a r c h y of t o p i c s , or primary and subordinate t o p i c s . The r e c o n s t r u c t i o n of the t e x t as a whole i s impl i e d i n the r e c o g n i t i o n of the p a r t s . And r e c i p r o c a l l y , i t i s i n c o n s t r u i n g the d e t a i l s t h a t we construe the whole. There i s no n e c e s s i t y and no evidence concerning what i s important and what i s 3 0 Ricoeur d i s t i n g u i s h e s between language-systems or l i n g u i s t i c codes and language-event or l i n g u i s t i c usage. The former i s s y n c h r o n i c and unchanging (e.g. Saussure's langue) and hence amenable to e x p l a n a t i o n whereas the l a t t e r i s d i a c h r o n i c and dynamic (e.g. Saussure's p a r o l e ) . 97 unimportant, what i s e s s e n t i a l and what i s u n e s s e n t i a l . The judgement of importance Is a guess. (Ricoeur, 1982e: 211) Thus, a c c o r d i n g to Ricoeur, our i n i t i a l response to the p l u r i v o c a l t o t a l i t y of any given t e x t i s to guess a t i t s meaning. Bearing i n mind t h a t "the t e x t i s a l i m i t e d f i e l d of p o s s i b l e c o n s t r u c t i o n s " (Ricoeur, 1982e: 213), a f t e r making one's 'guess' one then s u b j e c t s i t to a process of v a l i d a t i o n . T h i s process of v a l i d a t i o n , which manifests i t s e l f as a l o g i c of p r o b a b i l i t y , weighs the v a l i d i t y c l aims of any p a r t i c u l a r guess a g a i n s t what i s presumed to be known about the t e x t and eventuates i n the d e t e r m i n a t i o n of the most probable meaning: "Such i s the balance between the genius of guessing and the s c i e n t i f i c c h a r a c t e r of v a l i d a t i o n which c o n s t i t u t e s the modern complement of the d i a l e c t i c between verstehen and e r k l a r e n " (Ricoeur, 1982e: 212). At t h i s p o i n t i n h i s a n a l y s i s of t e x t i n t e r p r e t a t i o n Ricoeur r e v e r s e s the order of the movement from understanding to e x p l a n a t i o n . Working now from e x p l a n a t i o n to understanding, he s t r e s s e s the importance of the " r e f e r e n t i a l f u n c t i o n of the t e x t . " T h i s r e f e r e n t i a l f u n c t i o n . . . exceeds the mere o s t e n s i v e d e s i g n a t i o n of the s i t u a t i o n common to both speaker and hearer i n the d l a l o g i c a l s i t u a t i o n . T h i s a b s t r a c t i o n from the surrounding world g i v e s r i s e to two opposite a t t i t u d e s . As r e a d e r s , we may e i t h e r remain i n a kind 98 o£ s t a t e o£ suspense as regards any kind o£ re£erred-to world, or we may a c t u a l i z e the p o t e n t i a l non-ostensive r e f e r e n c e s of the t e x t i n a new s i t u a t i o n , t h a t of the reader. In the f i r s t case, we t r e a t the t e x t as a w o r l d l e s s e n t i t y ; i n the second, we c r e a t e a new o s t e n s i v e r e f e r e n c e through the kind of ' e x e c u t i o n 1 which the a r t of r e a d i n g i m p l i e s . These two p o s s i b i l i t i e s are e q u a l l y e n t a i l e d by the a c t of r e a d i n g , conceived as t h e i r d i a l e c t i c a l i n t e r p l a y . (Ricoeur, 1982e: 215-216) Looking a t the t e x t as a s e l f - e n c l o s e d , s e l f - r e f e r e n t i a l system of s i g n s e n t a i l s the use of e x p l a n a t i o n as s t r u c t u r a l e x p l i c a t i o n . C o n t r a s t i n g t h i s mode of e x p l a n a t i o n to D i l t h e y ' s a t t i t u d e toward e x p l a n a t i o n , Ricoeur says, . . . a new k i n d of e x p l a n a t o r y a t t i t u d e may be extended to the [ t e x t ] , which, c o n t r a r y to the e x p e c t a t i o n of D i l t h e y , i s no longer borrowed from the n a t u r a l s c i e n c e s , i . e . from an area of knowledge a l i e n to language i t s e l f . The o p p o s i t i o n between Natur and G e l s t i s no longer o p e r a t i v e here. I f some model i s borrowed, i t comes from . . . the s e m i o l o g i c a l f i e l d . . . . We have learned from the Geneva s c h o o l , the Prague s c h o o l , and the Danish s c h o o l t h a t i t i s always p o s s i b l e to a b s t r a c t systems from processes and to r e l a t e these systems — whether p h o n o l o g i c a l , l e x i c a l , or s y n t a c t i c a l — to u n i t s which are merely d e f i n e d by t h e i r o p p o s i t i o n to other u n i t s of the same system. T h i s i n t e r p l a y of merely d i s t i n c t i v e e n t i t i e s w i t h i n f i n i t e s e t s of such u n i t s d e f i n e s the n o t i o n of s t r u c t u r e i n l i n g u i s t i c s . (Ricoeur, 1982e: 216) 99 Ricoeur uses L 6 v i - S t r a u s s 1 s a n a l y s i s o£ myth as an example of the a p p r o p r i a t e a p p l i c a t i o n of e x p l a n a t i o n . In t h i s case the numerous sentences which c o n s t i t u t e the n a r r a t i v e of the myth are reduced to 'mythemes' or 'bundles of r e l a t i o n s ' the i n t e r a c t i o n of which makes up the s t r u c t u r e of the myth as such. S t r u c t u r a l a n a l y s i s a l l o w s us to "say t h a t we have e x p l a i n e d a myth, but not t h a t we have i n t e r p r e t e d i t . We can, by means of s t r u c t u r a l a n a l y s i s , b r i n g out the l o g i c of i t , the o p e r a t i o n s which r e l a t e the •bundles of r e l a t i o n s ' among themselves. T h i s l o g i c c o n s t i t u t e s the s t r u c t u r a l law of the myth under c o n s i d e r a t i o n " (Ricoeur, 1982e: 216-217). To t h i s s t r u c t u r a l e x p l a n a t i o n of a myth or t e x t must be added an understanding of what the t e x t t a l k s about, i . e . i t s meaning. Ricoeur argues t h a t t h i s understanding does not do v i o l e n c e to the i n t e g r i t y of s t r u c t u r a l a n a l y s i s but, r a t h e r , develops i t , f o r : " S t r u c t u r a l a n a l y s i s does not exclude, but presupposes . . . the . . . hypothesis [ t h a t ] the myth . . . has a meaning as a n a r r a t i v e of o r i g i n s . S t r u c t u r a l a n a l y s i s merely r e p r e s s e s t h i s f u n c t i o n . But i t cannot suppress i t " (Ricoeur, 1982e: 217). Ricoeur maintains t h a t the purpose of s t r u c t u r a l a n a l y s i s i s to go from s u r f a c e semantics (the myth or t e x t as n a r r a t i v e ) to depth semantics (the mediation of fundamental o p p o s i t i o n s ) , the l a t t e r c o n s t i t u t i n g "the u l t i m a t e 100 ' r e f e r e n t ' of the myth" (Ricoeur, 1982e: 217). Thus Rlcoeur suggests t h a t , I f . . . we c o n s i d e r s t r u c t u r a l a n a l y s i s as a stage -- and a necessary one --between a naive i n t e r p r e t a t i o n and a c r i t i c a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , between a s u r f a c e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n and a depth i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , then i t would be p o s s i b l e to l o c a t e e x p l a n a t i o n and understanding at two d i f f e r e n t stages of a unique hermeneutlcal a r c . I t i s t h i s depth semantics which c o n s t i t u t e s the genuine o b j e c t of understanding and which r e q u i r e s a s p e c i f i c a f f i n i t y between the reader and the kind of t h i n g s the t e x t i s about. (Ricoeur, 1982e: 218) Thus, as opposed to being concerned with a u t h o r i a l I n t e n t i o n or what the t e x t o s t e n s i v e l y says, one must be concerned with what the t e x t i s about, i . e . with i t s 'non-ostensive r e f e r e n c e s . ' I t i s these non-ostensive r e f e r e n c e s which a l l o w the reader to blend e x p l a n a t i o n with understanding, and, consequently, to e x e r c i s e her 'productive i m a g i n a t i o n ' i n the r e a l i z a t i o n of p o s s i b l e worlds. As Ricoeur says, The non-ostensive r e f e r e n c e of the t e x t i s the kind of world opened up by the depth semantics of the t e x t . Therefore what we want to understand i s not something hidden behind the t e x t , but something d i s c l o s e d i n f r o n t of i t . What has to be understood i s not the i n i t i a l s i t u a t i o n of d i s c o u r s e , but what p o i n t s to a p o s s i b l e world. Understanding . . . wants to grasp the proposed worlds opened up by the r e f e r e n c e s of the t e x t . To understand a t e x t i s to f o l l o w i t s 101 movement from sense to r e f e r e n c e , from what i t says t o what i t t a l k s about. In t h i s process the mediating r o l e played by s t r u c t u r a l a n a l y s i s c o n s t i t u t e s both the j u s t i f i c a t i o n of t h i s o b j e c t i v e approach and the r e c t i f i c a t i o n of the s u b j e c t i v e approach. (Ricoeur, 1982e: 218) Thus, whether the movement i s from understanding to e x p l a n a t i o n v i s a v i s guessing and v a l i d a t i n g or from e x p l a n a t i o n to understanding v i s a v i s o s t e n s i v e and non-o s t e n s i v e r e f e r e n c e s , a c c o r d i n g to Ricoeur: "Understanding i s e n t i r e l y mediated by the whole of e x p l a n a t o r y procedures which precede i t and accompany i t " (Ricoeur, 1982e: 220). And, not s u r p r i s i n g l y , t h i s e n t i r e d i a l e c t i c a l process always takes p l a c e w i t h i n the hermeneutlc c i r c l e : " U l t i m a t e l y , the c o r r e l a t i o n between e x p l a n a t i o n and understanding, between understanding and e x p l a n a t i o n , i s the 'hermeneutical c i r c l e ' " (Ricoeur, 1982e: 221). With r e s p e c t to h i s work on n a r r a t i v e , Ricoeur maintains t h a t " i t i s the same debate between understanding and e x p l a n a t i o n which i s pursued here; f o r the c a p a c i t y to f o l l o w a s t o r y expresses the i r r e d u c i b l e component of understanding i n the a c t of n a r r a t i n g , whereas the i n v e s t i g a t i o n of laws i n h i s t o r y , and of n a r r a t i v e s t r u c t u r e s i n f o l k t a l e s , p l a y s , novels and f i c t i o n a l l i t e r a t u r e i n g e n e r a l , corresponds to the e x p l a n a t o r y phase of the nomological s c i e n c e s " (Ricoeur, 1982h: 38). Very b r i e f l y , Ricoeur contends t h a t f i c t i o n a l 102 and h i s t o r i c a l n a r r a t i v e s have a common n a r r a t i v e s t r u c t u r e and t h a t t h i s s t r u c t u r e i s an i n d i s p e n s a b l e f e a t u r e of the h i s t o r i c i t y of the human s i t u a t i o n . I do not wish to get in v o l v e d i n a major d i s c u s s i o n of Ricoeur's theory of n a r r a t i v e as much of i t would merely repeat what has a l r e a d y been s a i d concerning t e x t a n a l y s i s (e.g. the n e c e s s i t y of a s t r u c t u r a l phase of a n a l y s i s , the importance of non-ostensive r e f e r e n t i a l i t y and so on). S u f f i c e i t to say th a t Ricoeur maintains t h a t : . . . any n a r r a t i v e combines, i n v a r y i n g p r o p o r t i o n s , two d i m e n s i o n s : a c h r o n o l o g i c a l dimension and a non-c h r o n o l o g i c a l dimension. The f i r s t may be c a l l e d the ' e p i s o d i c dimension' of the n a r r a t i v e . W i t h i n the a r t of f o l l o w i n g a s t o r y , t h i s dimension i s expressed i n the e x p e c t a t i o n of c o n t i n g e n c i e s which a f f e c t the s t o r y ' s development; hence i t giv e s r i s e to ques t i o n s such as: and so? and then? what happened next? what was the outcome? e t c . But the a c t i v i t y of n a r r a t i n g does not c o n s i s t simply i n ad d r e s s i n g episodes to one another; i t a l s o c o n s t r u c t s meaningful t o t a l i t i e s out of s c a t t e r e d events. This aspect of the a r t of n a r r a t i n g i s r e f l e c t e d , on the s i d e of f o l l o w i n g a s t o r y , i n the attempt to 'grasp t o g e t h e r ' s u c c e s s i v e events. The a r t of n a r r a t i n g , as w e l l as the corresponding a r t of f o l l o w i n g a s t o r y , t h e r e f o r e r e q u i r e t h a t we are able to  e x t r a c t a c o n f i g u r a t i o n from a s u c c e s s i o n . T h i s ' c o n f i g u r a t i o n a l ' o p e r a t i o n . . . c o n s t i t u t e s the second dimension of the n a r r a t i v e a c t i v i t y . (Ricoeur, 1982f: 278) 103 In other words, a l l n a r r a t i v e i s both t e l e o l o g i c a l ( c h r o n o l o g i c a l e p i s o d i c sequence tending to f i n a l r e s o l u t i o n ) and e s c h a t o l o g i c a l ( n o n - c h r o n o l o g i c a l meaningful t o t a l i t y — the a l l encompassing s t r u c t u r e of f i n a l r e s o l u t i o n ) the proper i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of which r e q u i r e s a d i a l e c t i c between understanding and e x p l a n a t i o n . Thus, although Ricoeur, l i k e Gadamer, maintains t h a t the t e x t or n a r r a t i v e d i s c l o s e s no a b s o l u t e meaning, t h a t the p o l y s e m i c / p l u r i v o c a l nature of l i n g u i s t i c a l i t y p r e c l u d e s t h i s p o s s i b i l i t y , he nonetheless p e r s i s t s i n viewing the t e x t / n a r r a t i v e as a u n i f i e d , meaningful t o t a l i t y — t h a t i s , m u l t i p l i c i t y / d i f f e r e n c e i s always contained w i t h i n , and dominated by, u n i t y / i d e n t i t y . As Caputo says, i n c o n t r a s t i n g Ricoeur and Gadamer to D e r r i d a : D i s s e m i n a t i o n e f f e c t s a d i s r u p t i o n of semantics, even when semantics t r i e s to p r o t e c t i t s e l f , when i t t r i e s to make con c e s s i o n s , with a theory of polysemy, such as those of Ricoeur and contemporary hermeneutical t h e o r i s t s . The r e a d i n g of l i t e r a t u r e has been dominated by the r u l e of the semantic. I t has assumed, f o r fundamentally metaphysical reasons, t h a t there i s a r u l i n g "thematic" u n i t y to a t e x t , a s i n g l e , u n i f y i n g meaning by which the e n t i r e c h a i n of s i g n i f i e r s i s organized and to which i t Is s u bordinated. In the o l d e r v e r s i o n , t h i s semantic u n i t y was a t t r i b u t e d to the u n i f y i n g i n t e n t i o n of the author. In i t s more modern form, i n the "new c r i t i c i s m " and i n the hermeneutics of Gadamer and Ricoeur, i t i s a t t r i b u t e d to a system of meaning which operates i n the t e x t i t s e l f , which t h e r e f o r e exceeds and o u t l a s t s the o r i g i n a l author and h i s o r i g i n a l audience. For D e r r i d a , t h i s 104 amounts to a retrenchment of semanticism which has the e f f e c t of a l l o w i n g i t to d i g i n even deeper. In e i t h e r v e r s i o n , the task of semantic c r i t i c i s m i s to f i n g e r t h i s golden thread, to f i n d the animating, u n i f y i n g c e n t r e . (Caputo, 1987b: 149) To summarize, i n v a r i o u s ways a l l of the preceding modes of thought manifest t h e i r r e l i a n c e on a concept of presence -- on the e x i s t e n c e of an a b s o l u t e and unquestionable ground capable of a c c o u n t i n g f o r a l l human expe r i e n c e . Thus, f o r example, H u s s e r l i n s i s t s upon the e x i s t e n c e of ' i n v a r i a n t e s s e n t i a l s t r u c t u r e s ' as the product of a c o n s t i t u t i v e t r a n s c e n d e n t a l s u b j e c t i v i t y , Heidegger i n s i s t s upon the o n t o l o g i c a l p r i o r i t y of the meaning of Being and on the c i r c u l a r nature of Dasein, Gadamer i n s i s t s upon the v a l i d i t y of understanding as a d i a l o g i c a l process r e s u l t i n g i n a f u s i o n of h o r i z o n s which maintains yet e l e v a t e s d i s c r e t e v iewpoints through a d i a l e c t i c a l process of transcendence and Ricoeur i n s i s t s upon i n t e r p r e t a t i o n as the product of the d i a l e c t i c a l I n t e r p l a y of e x p l a n a t i o n and understanding w i t h i n the u n i t y of meaning which i s the t e x t . In the f o l l o w i n g chapter I w i l l attempt to show t h a t a number of concepts common to i n t e r p r e t i v e and/or 'postmodern' anthropology (e.g. i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , d i a l o g i c , meaning and so on) are drawn d i r e c t l y from the aforementioned phenomeno-105 l o g i c a l / hermeneutical t r a d i t i o n s and t h a t , t h i s being the case, a d e c o n s t r u c t i v e r e a d i n g of these concepts (and, Indeed, of c o n c e p t u a l i t y as such) i s e s s e n t i a l to anthropology's r e c o g n i t i o n of i t s e l f as an i n h e r i t o r and perpetuator of the v a l u e s of Western metaphysics. 106 Chapter Four C l i f f o r d Geertz and James C l i f f o r d : A D e c o n s t r u c t l v e Reading In t h i s chapter, I w i l l look a t c e r t a i n works by C l i f f o r d Geertz and by James C l i f f o r d r e s p e c t i v e l y , with the purpose of i s o l a t i n g a number of t h e i r key concepts ( p a r t i c u l a r l y , i n Geertz's case, •meaning,' 'concept,' ' i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , ' •context,' ' t r a n s l a t i o n ' and ' t e x t ' and, i n C l i f f o r d ' s case, ' m e t a p h o r / a l l e g o r y , ' ' s u b j e c t i v i t y , ' ' d i a l o g i s m , ' ' d i s c u r s i v i t y , ' ' r e p r e s e n t a t i o n ' and 'speech') and s u b j e c t i n g them t o a d e c o n s t r u c t i v e r e a d i n g . In order, as much as p o s s i b l e , to al l o w Geertz and C l i f f o r d to speak f o r themselves, I w i l l provide an extended s e r i e s of quotations at the beginning of each of t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e s e c t i o n s . Although t h i s format n e c e s s a r i l y e n t a i l s a c e r t a i n amount of o v e r l a p , i t e f f e c t i v e l y i l l u s t r a t e s the s i g n i f i c a n c e of s p e c i f i c r e c u r r i n g concepts. I GEERTZ ( i ) C u l t u r e B e l i e v i n g , with Max Weber, t h a t man i s an animal suspended i n webs of s i g n i f i c a n c e he h i m s e l f has spun, I take c u l t u r e t o be those webs, and the a n a l y s i s of i t to be t h e r e f o r e not an experimental s c i e n c e i n search of law but an I n t e r p r e t i v e one i n search of meaning. I t i s e x p l i c a t i o n I am a f t e r , c o n s t r u i n g s o c i a l e x p r e s s i o n s  on t h e i r s u r f a c e e n i g m a t i c a l . (Geertz, 19731: 5) (emphasis mine) [Assuming t h a t ] the aim of anthropology i s the enlargement of the u n i v e r s e of  human d i s c o u r s e . . . . i t i s an aim to which a s e m l o t l c concept of c u l t u r e i s p e c u l i a r l y w e l l adapted. As interworked systems of c o n s t r u a b l e s i g n s (what, i g n o r i n g p r o v i n c i a l usages I would c a l l symbols), c u l t u r e i s not a power, something to which s o c i a l events, behaviours, i n s t i t u t i o n s , or processes can be c a u s a l l y a t t r i b u t e d ; i t i s a c o n t e x t , something w i t h i n which they can be i n t e l l i g i b l y — t h a t i s , t h i c k l y — d e s c r i b e d . (Geertz, 19731: 14) (emphasis mine) To g e n e r a l i z e w i t h i n cases i s u s u a l l y c a l l e d , at l e a s t i n medicine and depth psychology, c l i n i c a l i n f e r e n c e . Rather than beginning with a s e t of o b s e r v a t i o n s and attempting to subsume them under a governing law, such i n f e r e n c e begins with a s e t of (presumptive) s i g n i f i e r s and attempts to p l a c e them w i t h i n an i n t e l l i g i b l e frame. Measures are matched to t h e o r e t i c a l p r e d i c t i o n s , but symptoms are scanned f o r t h e o r e t i c a l p e c u l i a r i t i e s — t h a t i s , they are diagnosed. In the study of c u l t u r e the s i g n i f i e r s are not symptoms or c l u s t e r s of symptoms, but symbolic a c t s , and the aim i s not therapy but the a n a l y s i s of s o c i a l d i s c o u r s e . But the way In which the o r y i s used — to_ f e r r e t out the  unapparent import of t h i n g s — i s the same. (Geertz, 19731: 26) (emphasis mine) c u l t u r e Is best seen not as complexes of concrete behaviour p a t t e r n s — customs, usages, t r a d i t i o n s , h a b i t c l u s t e r s — as has, by and l a r g e , been the case up to now, but as a s e t of  c o n t r o l mechanisms — pl a n s , r e c i p e s , r u l e s , i n s t r u c t i o n s (what computer engineers c a l l "programs") -- f o r the governing of behaviour. (Geertz, 1973f: 44) (emphasis mine) . . . the c u l t u r e concept to which I adhere has n e i t h e r m u l t i p l e r e f e r e n t s nor, so f a r as I can see, any unusual a m b i g u i t i e s : i t denotes an h i s t o r i c a l l y  t r a n s m i t t e d p a t t e r n of meanings embodied  i n symbols, a system of i n h e r i t e d conceptions expressed i n symbolic forms by means of which men communicate, perpetuate, and develop t h e i r knowledge about and a t t i t u d e s toward l i f e . (Geertz, 1973g: 89) (emphasis mine) [To view a symbolic system as a "metasocial commentary"1 i s to engage i n a b i t of metaphorical r e f o c u s s i n g of one's own, f o r i t s h i f t s the a n a l y s i s of c u l t u r a l forms from an endeavour i n ge n e r a l p a r a l l e l to d i s s e c t i n g an organism, d i a g n o s i n g a symptom, d e c i p h e r i n g a code, or o r d e r i n g a system — the dominant a n a l o g i e s i n contemporary anthropology — to one i n g e n e r a l p a r a l l e l with p e n e t r a t i n g a l i t e r a r y  t e x t . I f one takes the [ B a l i n e s e ] c o c k f i g h t , or any other c o l l e c t i v e l y s u s t a i n e d symbolic s t r u c t u r e , as a means of "saying something of something" (to invoke a famous A r i s t o t e l i a n t a g ) , then one i s faced with a problem not i n s o c i a l mechanics but s o c i a l semantics. For the a n t h r o p o l o g i s t , whose concern i s with f o r m u l a t i n g s o c i o l o g i c a l p r i n c i p l e s . . . the q u e s t i o n i s , what does one l e a r n about such p r i n c i p l e s from examining 109 c u l t u r e as an assemblage of t e x t s ? (Geertz, 1973c: 448) (emphasis mine) ( i i ) I n t e r p r e t a t i o n . . . there are three c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of ethnographic d e s c r i p t i o n : i t i s i n t e r p r e t i v e ; what i t i s i n t e r p r e t i v e of i s the flow of s o c i a l d i s c o u r s e ; and the i n t e r p r e t i n g i n v o l v e d c o n s i s t s i n t r y i n g t o rescue the " s a i d " of such d i s c o u r s e  from i t s p e r i s h i n g occasions and f i x i t  i n perusable terms. (Geertz, 19731: 20) (emphasis mine) If a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n i s c o n s t r u c t i n g a r e a d i n g of what happens, then to d i v o r c e i t from what happens — from what, i n t h i s time or t h a t p l a c e , s p e c i f i c people say, what they do, what i s done to them, from the whole v a s t business of the world -- i s to d i v o r c e i t from i t s a p p l i c a t i o n and render i t vacant. A good i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of anything — a poem, a person, a h i s t o r y , a r i t u a l , an i n s t i t u t i o n , a s o c i e t y — takes us i n t o the heart of t h a t of which  i t i s an i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . (Geertz, 19731: 18) (emphasis mine) . . . from whatever l e v e l a t which one operates, and however i n t r i c a t e l y , the g u i d i n g p r i n c i p l e i s the same: s o c i e t i e s , l i k e l i v e s , c o n t a i n t h e i r own  i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s . One has o n l y to l e a r n  how to g a i n access to them. (Geertz, 1973c: 453) (emphasis mine) 110 Are we, i n d e s c r i b i n g symbol uses, d e s c r i b i n g p e r c e p t i o n s , sentiments, o u t l o o k s , experiences? And i n what sense? What do we c l a i m when we c l a i m t h a t we understand the s e m i o t i c means by which . . . persons are d e f i n e d to one another? That we know words or t h a t we know minds? In answering t h i s q u e s t i o n , i t i s necessary, I t h i n k , f i r s t to n o t i c e the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c i n t e l l e c t u a l movement, the Inward conceptual rhythm . . . in. a l l . . . analyses . . . namely, a continuous d i a l e c t i c a l t a c k i n g between the most l o c a l of l o c a l d e t a i l and the most g l o b a l of g l o b a l s t r u c t u r e i n such a way as to b r i n g them i n t o simultaneous view. . . . Hopping back and f o r t h between the whole  conceived through the p a r t s t h a t  a c t u a l i z e i t and the p a r t s conceived  through the whole t h a t motivates them, we  seek to t u r n them, by a s o r t of  i n t e l l e c t u a l p e r p e t u a l motion, i n t o  e x p l i c a t i o n s of one another. A l l t h i s i s . . . but the now f a m i l i a r t r a j e c t o r y of what D i l t h e y c a l l e d the hermeneutlc c i r c l e , and my argument here i s merely t h a t i t ^ is. as c e n t r a l to  ethnographic i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , and thus to  the p e n e t r a t i o n of other peoples' modes  of thought, as I t i s to l i t e r a r y ,  h i s t o r i c a l , p h i l o l o g i c a l , p s y c h o a n a l y t i c , or b i b l i c a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s . . . . (Geertz, 1983b: 69) (emphasis mine) ( i l l ) Anthropology a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l w r i t i n g s are themselves i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s , and second  and t h i r d order ones to boot. (By d e f i n i t i o n , o n l y a " n a t i v e " makes f i r s t  order ones: i t s h i s c u l t u r e . ) They a r e , thus, f i c t i o n s ; f i c t i o n s i n the sense t h a t they are "something made," "something f a s h i o n e d " — the o r i g i n a l meaning of f I c t i o — not t h a t they are f a l s e , u n f a c t u a l , or merely "as i f " thought experiments. (Geertz, 19731: 15) (emphasis Geertz's and mine) The ethnographer " I n s c r i b e s " s o c i a l  d i s c o u r s e : he w r i t e s i t down. In so doing, he turns i t from a p a s s i n g event, which e x i s t s o n l y i n i t s own moment of occurrence, i n t o an account, which e x i s t s i n i t s I n s c r i p t i o n s and can be r e c o n s u l t e d . . . . "What," Paul Ricoeur, from whom t h i s whole idea of i n s c r i p t i o n  of a c t i o n i s borrowed . . . asks, "what does w r i t i n g f i x ? Not the event of speaking, but the " s a i d " of speaking, where we understand by the " s a i d " of speaking t h a t i n t e n t i o n a l e x t e r i o r i z a t i o n c o n s t i t u t i v e of the aim of d i s c o u r s e thanks to which the sagen -- the s a y i n g -wants to become Aus-sage -- the e n u n c i a t i o n , the enunciated. In s h o r t , what we w r i t e i s the noema ["thought," "content," " g i s t " ] of the speaking. I t i s the meaning of the speech event, not the event as event." . . . C u l t u r a l a n a l y s i s i s (or should be) guessing a t meanings, a s s e s s i n g the guesses, and drawing e x p l a n a t o r y c o n c l u s i o n s from the b e t t e r guesses. . . . (Geertz, 19731: 19-20) (emphasis Geertz's and mine) We must, i n s h o r t , descend i n t o d e t a i l , past the m i s l e a d i n g tags, past the metaphysical types, past the empty s i m i l a r i t i e s to grasp f i r m l y the e s s e n t i a l c h a r a c t e r of not o n l y the v a r i o u s c u l t u r e s but the v a r i o u s s o r t s of i n d i v i d u a l s w i t h i n c u l t u r e , i f we wish to encounter humanity face to f a c e . (Geertz, 1973g: 53) (emphasis mine) [The] i s s u e s are m u l t i p l e , i n v o l v i n g questions of d e f i n i t i o n s , v e r i f i c a t i o n s , c a u s a l i t y , r e p r e s e n t a t i v e n e s s , o b j e c t i v i t y , measurement, communication. But a t base they a l l b o l l down to one  q u e s t i o n : how to frame an a n a l y s i s of  meaning -- the conceptual s t r u c t u r e s  I n d i v i d u a l s use to construe experience -- which w i l l be a t once c i r c u m s t a n t i a l enough to c a r r y c o n v i c t i o n and a b s t r a c t enough to forward theory. These are equal n e c e s s i t i e s . . . . But they a l s o . . . p u l l i n opposite d i r e c t i o n s , f o r the more one invokes d e t a i l s the more he i s bound to the p e c u l i a r i t i e s of the immediate case, the more one omits them the more he l o s e s touch with the ground on which h i s arguments r e s t . D i s c o v e r i n g how to escape t h i s paradox — or more e x a c t l y , f o r one never r e a l l y escapes I t , how to keep i t a t bay — i s what, m e t h o d o l o g i c a l l y , thematic a n a l y s i s i s a l l about. (Geertz, 19731: 313) (emphasis mine) What i s needed i s some s y s t e m a t i c , r a t h e r than merely l i t e r a r y or I m p r e s s i o n i s t i c , way to d i s c o v e r what is. g i v e n , what the conceptual s t r u c t u r e embodied i n the symbolic forms through which persons are p e r c e i v e d a c t u a l l y i s . What we want . . . i s a developed method of d e s c r i b i n g and a n a l y z i n g the meaningful s t r u c t u r e of experience . . . as i t i s apprehended by r e p r e s e n t a t i v e members of a p a r t i c u l a r s o c i e t y a t a p a r t i c u l a r p o i n t i n time --i n a word, a s c i e n t i f i c phenomenology of c u l t u r e . (Geertz, 1973h: 364) (emphasis mine) . . . i t i s from the . . . d i f f i c u l t achievement of s e e i n g o u r s e l v e s amongst ot h e r s , as a l o c a l example of the forms human l i f e has l o c a l l y taken, a case  among cases, a world among worlds, t h a t the largeness of mind, without which o b j e c t i v i t y i s s e l f - c o n g r a t u l a t i o n and t o l e r a n c e a sham, comes. I f i n t e r p r e t i v e 113 anthropology has any general o f f i c e i n the world i t i s to keep r e t e a c h i n g t h i s f i g u r a t i v e t r u t h . (Geertz, 1983f: 16) (emphasis mine) The q u e s t i o n of s i g n a t u r e , the  e s tablishment of an a u t h o r i a l presence w i t h i n a t e x t , has haunted ethnography from very e a r l y on, though f o r the most p a r t i t has done so i n a d i s g u i s e d form. D i s g u i s e d , because i t has been g e n e r a l l y c a s t not as a n a r r a t o l o g l c a l Issue, a matter of how best to get an honest s t o r y  h o n e s t l y t o l d , but as an e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l one, a matter of how to prevent s u b j e c t i v e views from c o l o r i n g o b j e c t i v e f a c t s . (Geertz, 1988b: 9) (emphasis mine) From the p r eceding q u o t a t i o n s , which, I b e l i e v e , c o n s t i t u t e a f a i r l y r e p r e s e n t a t i v e sampling of G e e r t z i a n anthropology, i t may be seen t h a t , 'a b i t of metaphorical r e f o c u s s i n g ' n o t w i t h s t a n d i n g , throughout h i s c a r e e r Geertz's views have remained q u i t e c o n s i s t e n t . Geertz o f t e n r e f e r s to h i m s e l f as a 'meanlngs-and-symbols' a n t h r o p o l o g i s t whose purpose i s to assess ever more p r e c i s e d e s c r i p t i o n s of v a r y i n g c u l t u r a l c o n t e x t s i n order to a r r i v e a t ever more acc u r a t e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s of "what the d e v i l [the people under s c r u t i n y ] t h i n k they are up t o " (Geertz, 1983d: 58). A c c o r d i n g to Geertz, meaning can be t r a n s f e r r e d from one c u l t u r a l context to another through the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of symbolic s t r u c t u r e s , thus e n a b l i n g 'the enlargement of the 114 u n i v e r s e o£ human d i s c o u r s e . ' In a p a r t i c u l a r l y romantic moment Geertz opines t h a t f o r the seeker of a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l knowledge "the road l i e s , l i k e any genuine Quest, through a t e r r i f y i n g complexity" (Geertz, 1973f: 54). Throughout h i s work, Geertz maintains t h a t an a p p l i c a t i o n of phenomenological ('some s y s t e m a t i c . . . way to d i s c o v e r what i s given') and hermeneutical ('a continuous d i a l e c t i c a l . . .[hJopping back and f o r t h between the whole conceived through the p a r t s t h a t a c t u a l i z e I t and the p a r t s conceived through the whole t h a t motivates them') p r i n c i p l e s to whatever c u l t u r a l context may be a t hand i s the method most a p p r o p r i a t e to those who would embark upon the a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l 'Quest.' Time and again Geertz makes use of such phrases as ' f i g u r a t i v e t r u t h , ' 'the heart of the matter,' ' e s s e n t i a l c h a r a c t e r , ' 'genuine Quest,' 'the f i x a t i o n of meaning' and so on. He i n s i s t s t h a t , The meanings t h a t symbols, the m a t e r i a l v e h i c l e s of thought, embody are o f t e n e l u s i v e , vague, f l u c t u a t i n g , and convoluted, but they are, i n p r i n c i p l e , as capable of being d i s c o v e r e d through s y s t e m a t i c e m p i r i c a l i n v e s t i g a t i o n e s p e c i a l l y i f the people who p e r c e i v e them w i l l cooperate a l i t t l e — as the atomic weight of hydrogen or the f u n c t i o n of the a d r e n a l glands. (Geertz, 1973h: 362-363) For Geertz, c u l t u r e s , l i k e the l i t e r a r y t e x t s examined by c r i t i c s such as Leo S p i t z e r and L i o n e l T r i l l i n g , are, i n 115 p r i n c i p l e , s u s c e p t i b l e to thematic a n a l y s i s , i . e . t h e i r meaning i s d i s c o v e r a b l e i f o n l y they are p r o p e r l y approached. I n t e r e s t i n g l y , i n s p i t e of Geertz's constant c o n t e n t i o n t h a t meaning i s , i n p r i n c i p l e , both d i s c o v e r a b l e and t r a n s f e r a b l e , and i n s p i t e of the f a c t t h a t "a r e c u r r i n g c y c l e of terms — symbol, meaning, co n c e p t i o n , form, t e x t . . . c u l t u r e — Care] designed to suggest there i s system i n p e r s i s t e n c e , t h a t a l l [my] so v a r i o u s l y aimed i n q u i r i e s are d r i v e n by a s u b t l e view of how one should go about c o n s t r u c t i n g an account of the imaginative make-up of a s o c i e t y " (Geertz, 1983f: 5), h i s work i s haunted by a n a g g i n g l y p e r s i s t e n t uneasiness. Thus, f o r example, The s t u t t e r i n g q u a l i t y of . . . my own e f f o r t s . . . i s a r e s u l t . . . . of not knowing, i n so u n c e r t a i n an undertaking, q u i t e where to begin, or, having anyhow begun, which way to move. Argument grows o b l i q u e , and language with i t , because the more o r d e r l y and s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d a p a r t i c u l a r course looks the more i t seems i l l a d v i s e d . (Geertz, 1983f: 6) F i n d i n g our f e e t , an unnerving business which never more than d i s t a n t l y succeeds, i s what ethnographic r e s e a r c h c o n s i s t s of as a p e r s o n a l experience; t r y i n g to formulate the b a s i s on which one imagines, always e x c e s s i v e l y , one has found them i s what a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l w r i t i n g c o n s i s t s of as a s c i e n t i f i c endeavour. (Geertz, 19731: 13) 116 El have never] gotten anywhere near to the bottom of anything I have ever w r i t t e n about. . . . C u l t u r a l a n a l y s i s i s i n t r i n s i c a l l y incomplete. And, worse than t h a t , the more deeply i t goes the l e s s complete i t i s . I t i s a strange s c i e n c e whose most t e l l i n g a s s e r t i o n s are i t s most t r e m u l o u s l y based, i n which to get somewhere with the matter a t hand i s to i n t e n s i f y the s u s p i c i o n , both your own and t h a t of o t h e r s , t h a t you are not q u i t e g e t t i n g i t r i g h t . (Geertz, 19731: 29) Meaning, t h a t e l u s i v e and i l l - d e f i n e d p s e u d o - e n t i t y we were once more than content to leave p h i l o s o p h e r s and l i t e r a r y c r i t i c s to fumble with, has now come back i n t o the heart of our d i s c i p l i n e . (Geertz, 19731: 29) T h i s e f f o r t , h a l f - q u i x o t i c , h a l f -Sisyphean . . . to render anomalous t h i n g s i n not too anomalous words. . . . (Geertz, 1983e: 225) I t i s not t h a t we no longer have conventions of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n ; we have more than ever, b u i l t — o f t e n enough j e r r y - b u i l t — t o accommodate a s i t u a t i o n a t once f l u i d , p l u r a l , uncentered, and i n e r a d i c a b l y u n t i d y . (Geertz, 1983a: 21) These examples c o u l d be m u l t i p l i e d , but what I have quoted should be s u f f i c i e n t to i n d i c a t e t h a t behind Geertz's more s e l f - a s s u r e d pronouncements there l u r k s an uneasiness f o r which the t e n e t s of h i s chosen c o n c e p t u a l i t y do not a l l o w him 117 adequately to account. I t i s with t h i s i n mind t h a t I would now l i k e to show what a d e c o n s t r u c t i v e r e a d i n g t e l l s us about Geertz's use of, and r e l i a n c e upon, such n o t i o n s as 'meaning,' 'concept,' ' i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , ' 'context,' ' t r a n s l a t i o n ' and ' t e x t . ' As w i l l be r e c a l l e d , D e r r i d a maintains t h a t concepts are always a l r e a d y doubled, t h a t the e s s e n t i a l p o s s i b i l i t y of t h e i r i t e r a b i l i t y p r e c l u d e s them from ever being homogeneous and s e l f - I d e n t i c a l . T h i s being the case, Geertz's assumption (which i s the assumption of Western metaphysics i n general) t h a t a ' f i x a t i o n of meaning' i s both p o s s i b l e and d e s i r a b l e i s c a l l e d r a d i c a l l y Into q u e s t i o n . As Geertz r e f e r s to h i m s e l f as a 'meanings-and-symbols' a n t h r o p o l o g i s t i t i s u s e f u l to look at how he d e f i n e s these two terms: . . . s i g n i f i c a n t symbols [Include] words fo r the most p a r t but a l s o g e s t u r e s , drawings, musical sounds, mechanical d e v i c e s l i k e c l o c k s , or n a t u r a l o b j e c t s l i k e jewels — a n y t h i n g , i n f a c t , t h a t i s  disengaged from i t s mere a c t u a l i t y and  used to Impose meaning on e x p e r i e n c e . (Geertz, 1973g: 45) (emphasis mine) [A symbol] i s . any o b j e c t , a c t , event, q u a l i t y , or r e l a t i o n which serves  as a v e h i c l e f o r a conception -- the  conception i s the symbol's "meaning." (Geertz, 1973J: 91) (emphasis mine) 118 So f o r Geertz, symbols are 'construable s i g n s * and what they are s i g n i f i c a t i v e of i s meanings or concepts. Now, a c c o r d i n g to D e r r i d a , n o t i o n s such as •symbol,' ' s i g n , 1 'meaning' and 'concept' are premised upon a d e d i c a t i o n t o presence — to a b e l i e f i n the e x i s t e n c e of a " ' t r a n s c e n d e n t a l s i g n i f i e d ' which i n and of i t s e l f , i n i t s essence, would r e f e r to no s i g n i f i e r , would exceed the c h a i n of s i g n s , and would no longer i t s e l f f u n c t i o n as a s i g n i f i e r " ( D e r r i d a , 1981g: 19-20). In other words, presence i s the u l t i m a t e u n i t y which both exceeds and c o n t a i n s m u l t i p l i c i t y , the u l t i m a t e s e l f -i d e n t i t y which both exceeds and c o n t a i n s d i f f e r e n c e -- i t i s the t h e o l o g i c a l moment par e x c e l l e n c e ("the name of God . . . Is the name of i n d i f f e r e n c e i t s e l f " ( D e r r i d a , 1982e: 71)), f o r , being p e r f e c t i n and of i t s e l f , i t f u n c t i o n s as an ab s o l u t e r e f e r e n t which, by d e f i n i t i o n , does not i t s e l f r e f e r . T h i s d e d i c a t i o n t o presence, whether i t be i n the form of a b e l i e f i n God, a b e l i e f i n meaning or a b e l i e f i n c o n c e p t u a l i t y as such, p r e c l u d e s the p o s s i b i l i t y of acknowledging d i f f e r e n c e as d i f f e r e n c e or the other as_ other f o r d i f f e r e n c e must always be viewed as a c o r r u p t i o n of and/or i n f e r i o r to i d e n t i t y and the other must always be viewed as a c o r r u p t i o n of and/or i n f e r i o r t o the s e l f . Hence Western metaphysics abounds with p h i l o s o p h i e s which subsume d i f f e r e n c e w i t h i n i d e n t i t y (e.g. the Hegelian Aufhebung and d i a l e c t i c s i n general) and the other w i t h i n the s e l f (e.g. the C a r t e s i a n c o g l t o and i t s development i n Husserlean 119 thought and phenomenology i n g e n e r a l ) . Thus the uneasiness which i s apparent i n Geertz's work may be seen to be due to the f a c t t h a t h i s metaphysical assumptions imprison him w i t h i n a t h e o r e t i c a l and methodological framework which f u n c t i o n s to r e p r e s s the d i f f e r e n c e / o t h e r n e s s / d i v e r s i t y t h a t he i s a b l e to intimate but f o r which he i s unable to account. Even though Geertz acknowledges t h a t ' c u l t u r a l a n a l y s i s i s i n t r i n s i c a l l y incomplete' t h a t meaning i s an ' e l u s i v e and i l l - d e f i n e d p s e u d o - e n t i t y ' he never a r r i v e s a t the p o i n t where he q u e s t i o n s the n o t i o n of concept or c o n c e p t u a l i t y as such. And, as D e r r i d a says, Every concept t h a t l a y s c l a i m to any r i g o u r whatsoever i m p l i e s the a l t e r n a t i v e of " a l l or n o t h i n g . " Even i f i n " r e a l i t y " or i n "experience" everyone b e l i e v e s he knows t h a t there i s never " a l l or n o t h i n g , " a concept determines i t s e l f o n l y a c c o r d i n g to " a l l or n o t h i n g . " Even the concept of " d i f f e r e n c e of degree," the concept of r e l a t i v i t y i s , qua concept, determined a c c o r d i n g to the l o g i c of a l l or nothing, of yes or no: d i f f e r e n c e s of degree or. n o n d l f f e r e n c e s of degree. I t i s impossible . . . to form a p h i l o s o p h i c a l  concept o u t s i d e of t h i s l o g i c of a l l or nothing. ( D e r r i d a , 1988a: 116-117) Thus, gi v e n t h a t concepts are d e f i n e d as s e l f - i d e n t i c a l ( e i t h e r there i s meaning or there i s not, e i t h e r there i s essence or there i s not e t c . ) and given t h a t Geertz does not q u e s t i o n the a p p r o p r i a t e n e s s and/or adequacy of c o n c e p t u a l i t y as such, i t Is not s u r p r i s i n g t h a t he c o n s t a n t l y f i n d s h i m s e l f 'unnerved' by what he p e r c e i v e s to be the • i n e r a d i c a b l e u n t i d i n e s s ' of c u l t u r a l phenomena. C u l t u r a l phenomena are not e i t h e r ( t i d y ) or. (untidy) -- they are both ( t i d y / u n t i d y ) and ( i n v o l v e d with i r r e d u c i b l e u n d e c l d a b i l i t y ) . And t h i s because no c u l t u r a l phenomenon, be i t a r i t u a l , a book or a p h i l o s o p h i c a l concept, e x i s t s i n and of i t s e l f , r e f e r r i n g o n l y to I t s e l f — i t i s always a l r e a d y doubled, always a l r e a d y p a r t of a s i g n i f y i n g c h a i n , and thus always a l r e a d y r i d d l e d with otherness. I t i s t h i s u n d e c l d a b i l i t y , t h i s p l a y of i t e r a b i l i t y , d i f f 6 r a n c e , t r a c e e t c . , which i s not r e d u c i b l e to e i t h e r / o r l o g i c , the l o g i c of i d e n t i t y , and yet which allows f o r both the p o s s i b i l i t y (as e f f e c t ) and the i m p o s s i b i l i t y (as s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t cause) of t h a t l o g i c , t h a t must be taken i n t o account. Geertz's n o t i o n of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n p r o v i d e s another example of the way i n which h i s t h e o r e t i c a l / p h i l o s o p h i c a l assumptions prevent him from r e c o g n i z i n g and d e v e l o p i n g c e r t a i n p o s s i b i l i t i e s which are nonetheless i n s c r i b e d w i t h i n h i s work. For Geertz, as f o r Western metaphysics i n g e n e r a l , i n t e r p r e t a t i o n c o n s i s t s In the d e t e r m i n a t i o n of meaning. I t i s important to r e a l i z e t h a t , however i t i s expressed, whether as a D i l t h e y a n t a c k i n g back and f o r t h between pa r t and whole, as a Heideggerian p r o j e c t i o n and r e t r i e v a l , as a Gadamerian f u s i o n of h o r i z o n s , as a R i c o e u r i a n working out of understanding and e x p l a n a t i o n , or as a G e e r t z i a n combination of D i l t h e y and Ricoeur, the d i a l e c t i c a l movement of the hermeneutic c i r c l e (or s p i r a l , or arc) always presupposes an o v e r - r i d i n g u n i t y upon which the p o s s i b i l i t y of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n as the c o n s t r u i n g of meaning i s based. A d i a l e c t i c a l s t r u c t u r e , whether i t be i n the garb of P l a t o n i c d i a l o g u e , Hegelian s p e c u l a t i o n , Gadamerian hermeneutlcs, or G e e r t z l a n i n t e r p r e t i v e anthropology, i s , by d e f i n i t i o n and i n p r i n c i p l e , d e d i c a t e d to the t e l e o l o g i c a l r e s o l u t i o n of o p p o s i t l o n a l i t y . As Wallace Stevens says, "a law of inherent o p p o s l t e s , / Of e s s e n t i a l u n i t y , i s as p l e a s a n t as p o r t " (Stevens, 1982b: 215). And whether the d i a l e c t i c a l process Is deemed capable of completion (e.g. Hegel's Absolute S p i r i t ) or whether i t i s deemed endless (e.g. Ricoeur's polysemy) i t i s nonetheless always c a r r i e d out w i t h i n a n o t i o n of u n i t y . Thus even though Geertz, i n l i k e n i n g the a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l task of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n to t h a t of the l i t e r a r y c r i t i c , views c u l t u r e as an 'assemblage of t e x t s ' which are by nature polysemous and p o l y t h e m a t i c , he s t i l l cannot escape the i n e v i t a b l y homogeneous s t r i c t u r e s of h i s t h e o r e t i c a l paradigm, f o r , as D e r r i d a says, Polysemy always puts out i t s m u l t i p l i c i t i e s and v a r i a t i o n s w i t h i n the hor i z o n , a t l e a s t , of some i n t e g r a l r e a d i n g which c o n t a i n s no a b s o l u t e r i f t , no s e n s e l e s s d e v i a t i o n — the h o r i z o n of the f i n a l p a r o u s i a of a meaning at l a s t d e ciphered, r e v e a l e d , made present i n the r i c h c o l l e c t i o n of i t s d e t e r m i n a t i o n s . Whatever i n t e r e s t one might f i n d i n them, whatever d i g n i t y one might grant them, 122 p l u r l v o c i t y , the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n I t c a l l s f o r , and the h i s t o r y t h a t Is p r e c i p i t a t e d out around i t remain l i v e d as the e n r i c h i n g , temporary detours of some pa s s i o n , some s i g n i f y i n g martyrdom t h a t t e s t i f i e s t o a t r u t h past or a t r u t h to come, to a meaning whose presence i s announced by enigma. A l l the moments of polysemy a r e , as the word i m p l i e s , moments of meaning. ( D e r r i d a , 1981a: 350) Thus, even though Geertz attempts to defend d i v e r s i t y by p r o c l a i m i n g an ' a n t l - a n t i - r e l a t i v i s t ' stance a g a i n s t the u n i f y i n g notions of 'Human Nature' (e.g. v a r i o u s forms of b i o l o g i c a l determinism) on the one hand and of 'Human Mind' (e.g. v a r i o u s forms of p s y c h o l o g i c o - l i n g u i s t i c determinism) on the other, both of which d i s p l a y "the same tendency to see d i v e r s i t y as s u r f a c e and u n i v e r s a l i t y as depth" (Geertz, 1984: 272), he nonetheless, i r o n i c a l l y and i n s p i t e of h i s own most strenuous e f f o r t s , cannot help but end up as h i m s e l f a promoter of u n i t y . And t h i s because he does not q u e s t i o n the r e p r e s s i v e , homogeneous i m p l i c a t i o n s of h i s own c o n c e p t u a l i t y . Geertz's n o t i o n of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , b esides e n t a i l i n g a d i a l e c t i c a l working out of meaning, a l s o e n t a i l s a n o t i o n of the e s s e n t i a l p o s s i b i l i t y of the t r a n s m i s s i b l l i t y of meaning from one c u l t u r a l context or frame to another. As Geertz says, he i s concerned with what he p e r c e i v e s to be a problem of " t r a n s l a t i o n , [of] how meaning gets moved, or does not, re a s o n a b l y i n t a c t from one s o r t of d i s c o u r s e to the next" 123 (Geertz, 1983g: 154). And ' t r a n s l a t i o n , ' a c c o r d i n g to Geertz, " i s not a simple r e c a s t i n g of o t h e r s ' ways of p u t t i n g t h i n g s i n terms of our own ways of p u t t i n g them . . . but [of] d i s p l a y i n g the l o g i c of t h e i r ways of p u t t i n g them i n the l o c u t i o n s of ours. . . . [ i t i s a] c a t c h i n g of ' t h e i r ' views i n 'our' v o c a b u l a r i e s " (Geertz, 1983f: 10). In other words, Geertz i s concerned with the t r a n s m i s s i o n of meaning ( i . e . t r a n s l a t i o n ) between c u l t u r e s v i a a thematic or i n t e r p r e t i v e r e a d i n g of symbols which al l o w s him . . . to penetrate somewhat [the] t a n g l e of hermeneutlcal involvements, to l o c a t e with some p r e c i s i o n the i n s t a b i l i t i e s of thought and sentiment i t generates and s e t them i n a s o c i a l frame. Such an e f f o r t h a r d l y d i s s o l v e s the t a n g l e or removes the i n s t a b i l i t i e s . Indeed . . . i t r a t h e r b r i n g s them more d i s t u r b i n g l y to n o t i c e . But i t does at l e a s t (or can) p l a c e them i n an i n t e l l i g i b l e c ontext, and u n t i l some c l i o m e t r i c i a n , s o c i o b i o l o g i s t , or deep l i n g u i s t i c i s t r e a l l y does c o n t r i v e to s o l v e the R i d d l e of the Sphinx, t h a t w i l l have to do. (Geertz, 1983c: 45) (emphasis mine) From the preceding q u o t a t i o n i t i s e v i d e n t t h a t , a g a i n , Geertz i s t r o u b l e d by the amorphous nature of h i s 'data' and t h a t , a g a i n , he attempts to account f o r i t through the use of an unexamined c o n c e p t u a l i t y . In order to begin d e c o n s t r u c t i n g t h i s l e t us f i r s t look a t the n o t i o n of • c o n t e x t . ' 124 The Oxford E n g l i s h D i c t i o n a r y d e f i n e s 'context* as, " p a r t s t h a t precede or f o l l o w a passage or word and f i x i t s meaning (out of -, without these and hence m i s l e a d i n g ) ; ambient c o n d i t i o n s . " In terms of a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n Geertz p e r c e i v e s a context to be those c o n d i t i o n s which surround and determine a p a r t i c u l a r phenomenon ( i . e . symbol or symbolic c l u s t e r ) hence r e n d e r i n g i t capable of being r e c o g n i z e d as a v e h i c l e of e s s e n t i a l l y t r a n s l a t a b l e meaning. In other words, symbols or symbolic c l u s t e r s are p e r c e i v e d to be a t the c e n t r e of any given context (at 'the heart of the matter,' as Geertz would say) and thus, by usage and by d e f i n i t i o n , the n o t i o n of context as such, as I t f u n c t i o n s In Geertz's work, Is, i n p r i n c i p l e , a u n i f i c concept c o n s t i t u t e d d i a l e c t i c a l l y by the 'meaning' which i t surrounds and i n surrounding both d e f i n e s and i s d e f i n e d by and i n d e f i n i n g i t both s a t u r a t e s and i s s a t u r a t e d by. What Geertz ends up with i s a n o t i o n of c u l t u r a l context which, f o r purposes of comparison and/or c o n t r a s t , i s i s o l a b l e and hence t r a n s m i s s i b l e and/or t r a n s l a t a b l e as a d e f i n a b l e e n t i t y . With r e s p e c t to t h i s n o t i o n of context D e r r i d a comments, But are the c o n d i t i o n s . . . of a context ever a b s o l u t e l y determinable. . . . Is there a r i g o r o u s and s c i e n t i f i c concept of context? Or does the n o t i o n of context c o n c e a l , behind a c e r t a i n c o n f u s i o n , p h i l o s o p h i c a l p r e s u p p o s i t i o n s of a v e r y determinate nature? . . . [I] t r y to demonstrate why a context i s never a b s o l u t e l y determinable, or r a t h e r , why 125 i t s d e t e r m i n a t i o n can never be e n t i r e l y c e r t a i n or s a t u r a t e d . T h i s s t r u c t u r a l n o n - s a t u r a t i o n would have a double e f f e c t : 1) i t would mark the t h e o r e t i c a l inadequacy o|_ the c u r r e n t concept of  context ( l i n g u i s t i c or n o n - l i n g u i s t i c ) , as i t i s accepted by numerous domains of r e s e a r c h , i n c l u d i n g a l l the concepts with which i t i s s y s t e m a t i c a l l y a s s o c i a t e d ; 2) i t would n e c e s s i t a t e a c e r t a i n g e n e r a l i z a t i o n and a c e r t a i n displacement of the concept of w r i t i n g . T h i s concept would no longer be comprehensible i n terms of communication, at l e a s t i n the l i m i t e d sense of a t r a n s m i s s i o n of meaning. I n v e r s e l y , i t Is w i t h i n the g e n e r a l domain of w r i t i n g , d e f i n e d i n t h i s way, t h a t the e f f e c t s of semantic communication can be determined as e f f e c t s t h a t are p a r t i c u l a r , secondary, i n s c r i b e d , and supplementary. ( D e r r i d a , 1988a: 2-3) As w i l l be r e c a l l e d , w r i t i n g , i n the sense by which D e r r i d a r e f e r s to i t above, i s an 'undecidable' -- i t i s , to r e i t e r a t e N o r r i s , "the endless displacement of meaning which both governs language and p l a c e s i t f o r e v e r beyond the reach of a s t a b l e , s e l f - a u t h e n t i c a t i n g knowledge" ( N o r r i s , 1986: 29). As I argued i n Chapter Two, i t i s the p l a y of u n d e c i d a b i l i t y which, premised as i t i s upon a n o t i o n of o r i g i n a r y d o u b l i n g , allows f o r both the p o s s i b i l i t y of p h i l o s o p h i c a l concepts (as e f f e c t s ) and t h e i r i m p o s s i b i l i t y (as s e l f - i d e n t i c a l e n t i t i e s ) . w i t h r e s p e c t to Geertz's n o t i o n of context, i t i s p r e c i s e l y t h i s p r i m o r d i a l p l a y of u n d e c i d a b i l i t y which he f a i l s to take i n t o account. For Geertz, context f u n c t i o n s as an i s o l a b l e framework which 126 surrounds and determines an e q u a l l y i s o l a b l e meaning. However, as D e r r i d a says, "Context i s always, and always has been, at work w i t h i n the p l a c e , and not o n l y around i t " ( D e r r i d a , 1988a: 60). In other words, c o n t e x t u a l i t y as such, as t h a t which frames or f i x e s a meaning, i s always a l r e a d y i t s e l f c o n t e x t u a l i z e d , t h a t i s , i t i s always a l r e a d y i t s e l f an e f f e c t of the p l a y of u n d e c l d a b i l i t y — I t nowhere e x i s t s as an a b s o l u t e , i s o l a b l e e n t i t y . And, as D e r r i d a p o i n t s out, "This does not imply t h a t [a gesture, a word, an a c t i o n e t c . ] i s v a l i d o u t s i d e of a c o n t e x t , but on the c o n t r a r y t h a t there are o n l y contexts without any c e n t r e or a b s o l u t e anchorage" ( D e r r i d a , 1988a: 12). And whether Geertz acknowledges the a r t i f i c i a l , imposed nature of h i s c o n t e x t u a l frames or not (and, q u i t e o b v i o u s l y , he does), u n l e s s and u n t i l he acknowledges the u n d e c l d a b i l i t y t h a t i s always a l r e a d y at work (or play) w i t h i n h i s chosen c o n c e p t u a l i t y he w i l l c o n t i n u e , c o n t r a r y to h i s r e p e a t e d l y p r o f e s s e d i n t e n t i o n s , to subordinate d i v e r s i t y to u n i t y , d i f f e r e n c e to i d e n t i t y , the other to the s e l f . Before d i s c u s s i n g Geertz's n o t i o n of t r a n s l a t i o n or the t r a n s m i s s i b i l i t y of meaning, i t i s important to be c l e a r t h a t , f o r him, meaning i s i n t e n t i o n a l , t h a t i s , meaning, being t h a t which i s contained w i t h i n 'symbols or symbolic c l u s t e r s , ' i s t h a t which people 'think [ i t i s ] they are up t o ' — i . e . i t Is t h a t which they Intend. I t must be remembered t h a t i n t e n t i o n a l i t y , as such, i s p r e d i c a t e d upon 127 a phenomenological n o t i o n of i n t e n t i o n a l consciousness which, i n t u r n , i s p r e d i c a t e d upon a n o t i o n of p r i m o r d i a l i n t u i t i o n , "where 'consciousness' means nothing other than the p o s s i b i l i t y of the s e l f - p r e s e n c e of the present i n the l i v i n g p r e s e n t " ( D e r r i d a , 1973b: 9 ) . In other words, i n t e n t i o n a l i t y i s an i n t e g r a l f e a t u r e of a p h i l o s o p h y of consciousness which p o s i t s the e s s e n t i a l p o s s i b i l i t y of i n t u i t i o n — of an immediately s e l f - p r e s e n t and unmediated "source of a u t h o r i t y . f o r knowledge" (Husserl i n D e r r i d a , 1973b: 62). I n t e n t i o n a l i t y , as d e f i n e d i n the t r a d i t i o n of Husserlean phenomenology and as manifested i n G e e r t z i a n i n t e r p r e t i v e anthropology, i s fundamentally and i r r e m e d i a b l y t e l e o l o g i c a l — t h a t Is, i t e n t a i l s , i n p r i n c i p l e , f u l f i l m e n t i n the s e l f -present r e a l i z a t i o n of t h a t which i t i n t e n d s . And, whether or not Geertz r e c o g n i z e s i t (and, a p p a r e n t l y , he does n o t ) , T h i s t e l o s of " f u l f i l l m e n t " Is c o n s t i t u t i v e of i n t e n t i o n a l i t y ; i t i s p a r t of i t s concept. I n t e n t i o n a l movement tends toward t h i s f u l f i l l m e n t . T h i s i s the o r i g i n or the f a t a l i t y of t h a t " l o n g i n g f o r metaphysical p l e n i t u d e " which, however, can a l s o be presupposed, d e s c r i b e d , or l i v e d without the romantic, even m y s t i c a l pathos sometimes a s s o c i a t e d with those words. . . . N e v e r t h e l e s s , i f one wishes to speak r i g o r o u s l y of an i n t e n t i o n a l s t r u c t u r e one should take i n t o account, with or without " l o n g i n g , " the t e l o s of p l e n i t u d e t h a t c o n s t i t u t e s i t . . . . T h i s p l e n i t u d e ( t h i s " f u l f i l l m e n t " ) , f o r reasons I have a l r e a d y s t a t e d ( i t e r a b i l i t y , s t r u c t u r e of the t r a c e and of the mark i n g e n e r a l [ i . e . the p l a y of u n d e c i d a b i l i t y ] ) , i s a l r e a d y i n a c c e s s i b l e i n p e r c e p t i o n or i n 128 I n t u i t i o n i n g e n e r a l as the experience of a present content. ( D e r r i d a , 1988a: 121) Now a g a i n , as with the n o t i o n of context, i t i s important to r e a l i z e t h a t D e r r i d a i s not arguing t h a t there i s no i n t e n t i o n a l i t y — he i s arguing t h a t i n t e n t i o n a l i t y as such, as a p h i l o s o p h i c a l concept premised on a t e l e o l o g i c a l n o t i o n of u l t i m a t e p l e n i t u d e , does not and has never e x i s t e d . As D e r r i d a says, "What i s l i m i t e d by i t e r a b i l i t y [ u n d e c l d a b i l i t y ] i s not i n t e n t i o n a l i t y i n g e n e r a l , but i t s c h a r a c t e r of being conscious or present to i t s e l f ( a c t u a l i z e d , f u l f i l l e d , and adequate), the s i m p l i c i t y of i t s f e a t u r e s , i t s undlvldedness. . . . The i t e r a t i o n s t r u c t u r i n g  i t a p r i o r i i n t r o d u c e s i n t o i t a dehiscence and a c l e f t . . . which are e s s e n t i a l " ( D e r r i d a , 1988a: 105). In other words, the concept of i n t e n t i o n a l i t y , l i k e a l l undeconstructed conceptual c a t e g o r i e s , f u n c t i o n s as a u n i f y i n g s t r u c t u r e which r e p r e s s e s i t s own e s s e n t i a l u n d e c l d a b i l i t y . And t h i s u n d e c l d a b i l i t y i s e s s e n t i a l because i n t e n t i o n a l i t y , as such, i s p r e d i c a t e d upon the impossible • p o s s i b i l i t y of the s e l f - p r e s e n c e of the present In the l i v i n g p r esent' — Impossible because, as s t a t e d i n Chapter Two but worth r e p e a t i n g here, . the being-present (on) i n i t s t r u t h , i n the presence of i t s i d e n t i t y and i n the i d e n t i t y of i t s presence, i s doubled as soon as i t appears, as soon as 129 i t presents i t s e l f . r t appears, i n i t s  essence, as the p o s s i b i l i t y of i t s own most proper non-truth, of i t s psuedo-t r u t h r e f l e c t e d i n the i c o n , the phantasm, or the simulacrum. What i s i s not what i t i s , I d e n t i c a l and I d e n t i c a l to i t s e l f , u nless i t adds to I t s e l f the p o s s i b i l i t y of being repeated as such. And i t s i d e n t i t y i s hollowed out by t h a t a d d i t i o n , withdraws i t s e l f i n the supplement t h a t presents i t . ( D e r r i d a , 1981a: 168) Thus I n t e n t i o n a l i t y , as a concept p r e d i c a t e d upon i t s r e a l i z a t i o n or f u l f i l m e n t i n the p l e n i t u d e of an intended and s e l f - p r e s e n t meaning, i s , due to o r i g i n a r y d o u b l i n g and the e s s e n t i a l p l a y of u n d e c i d a b i l i t y , i t s e l f always a l r e a d y f i s s u r e d with i t s own i m p o s s i b i l i t y . And again , as Geertz does not examine the i m p l i c a t i o n s of h i s conceptual framework, he i s l e f t with no a l t e r a t i v e but to f o l l o w the d i c t a t e s of t h a t framework, thus e n s u r i n g t h a t h e t e r o g e n e i t y i s i n e v i t a b l y subsumed w i t h i n homogeneity. With r e s p e c t to Geertz's n o t i o n of t r a n s l a t i o n , of the t r a n s m i s s i b i l i t y of meaning from one c u l t u r a l context to another, i t should by now be c l e a r t h a t i t i s premised upon a whole s t r a i n of p h i l o s o p h i c a l thought which, among other t h i n g s , presumes a t e l e o l o g i c a l n o t i o n of d i a l e c t i c a l process and of i n t e n t i o n a l i t y as w e l l as the s e l f - i d e n t i c a l nature of c o n c e p t u a l i t y . Thus i t should not be s u r p r i s i n g t h a t Geertz p o s i t s the p o s s i b i l i t y of "meaning g e t t t i n g ] moved, or . . . not, r e a s o n a b l y I n t a c t from one s o r t of d i s c o u r s e to the 130 n e x t . " I t w i l l be remembered t h a t G e e r t z contends t h a t meaning i s c o n t a i n e d w i t h i n symbols or s y m b o l i c c l u s t e r s and t h a t he d e f i n e s symbols as s i g n s . And, of c o u r s e , a c c o r d i n g t o G e e r t z ' s c o n c e p t u a l i t y , s i g n s must be s i g n s of_ something, and what t h e y a r e s i g n s of i s meaning. However, as D e r r i d a s a y s , "But what i s a s i g n as such? There i s no s i g n as suc h . E i t h e r the s i g n Is c o n s i d e r e d a t h i n g , and i t i s not a s i g n . Or i t i s a r e f e r e n c e , and thus not i t s e l f " ( D e r r i d a , 1982e: 204). F u r t h e r , Is i t not e v i d e n t t h a t no s i g n i f i e r , whatever i t s substance and form, has a "unique and s i n g u l a r r e a l i t y ? " A s i g n i f i e r i s from the very beginning the p o s s i b i l i t y of i t s own r e p e t i t i o n , of i t s own image or resemblance. I t i s the c o n d i t i o n of i t s i d e a l i t y , what i d e n t i f i e s i t as s i g n i f i e r , and makes i t f u n c t i o n as such, r e l a t i n g i t to a s i g n i f i e d which, f o r the same reasons, c o u l d never be a "unique and s i n g u l a r r e a l i t y . " From the moment t h a t the s i g n appears, t h a t i s to say from the ve r y beginning, there i s no chance of encountering anywhere the p u r i t y of " r e a l i t y , " " u n i c i t y , " " s i n g u l a r i t y . " ( D e r r i d a , 1982e: 91) Nonetheless, the concept of ' s i g n , ' as i t f u n c t i o n s w i t h i n Western metaphysics i n gen e r a l and w i t h i n G e e r t z l a n anthropology i n p a r t i c u l a r , i n d i c a t e s the e x i s t e n c e of a meaning which i s by d e f i n i t i o n s e l f - i d e n t i c a l and which i s i n p r i n c i p l e i s o l a b l e and hence t r a n s p o r t a b l e ( i . e . t r a n s l a t a b l e ) from one c u l t u r a l context to another. As D e r r i d a says, 131 . . . the model of the s i g n . . . marks the " s e m i o l o g i c a l " p r o j e c t i t s e l f and the o r g a n i c t o t a l i t y of i t s concepts, i n p a r t i c u l a r t h a t of communication, which i n e f f e c t i m p l i e s a t r a n s m i s s i o n charged  with making pass, from one s u b j e c t to  another, the i d e n t i t y of a s i g n i f i e d o b j e c t , of a meaning or of a concept r i g h t f u l l y separable from the process of passage and from the s i g n i f y i n g o p e r a t i o n . Communication presupposes s u b j e c t s (whose i d e n t i t y and presence are c o n s t i t u t e d before the s i g n i f y i n g o p e ration) and o b j e c t s ( s i g n i f i e d concepts, a thought meaning t h a t the passage of communication w i l l have n e i t h e r to c o n s t i t u t e , nor, by a l l r i g h t s , to t r a n s f o r m ) . A communicates B to C. ( D e r r i d a , 1981g: 23) Thus Geertz's n o t i o n of t r a n s l a t i o n may be seen to be the i n e v i t a b l e outcome of h i s embeddedness w i t h i n an undeconstructed system of c o n c e p t u a l i t y . And whether or not one argues t h a t Geertz i s , a f t e r a l l , by and l a r g e u s i n g 'everyday language' and t h a t to make so much out of h i s usage i s t o put f a r too f i n e a p o i n t on t h i n g s , I t cannot be denied t h a t , . . ."everyday language" i s not innocent or n e u t r a l . I t i s the language of Western metaphysics, and i t c a r r i e s with i t not o n l y a c o n s i d e r a b l e number of p r e s u p p o s i t i o n s of a l l types, but a l s o p r e s u p p o s i t i o n s i n s e p a r a b l e from metaphysics, which, although l i t t l e attended t o , are knotted i n t o a system. ( D e r r i d a , 1981g: 19) 132 Thus, f o r example, the concept ' s i g n , ' which c a r r i e s with i t the n o t i o n of an e s s e n t i a l d i s t i n c t i o n between s i g n i f i e r and s i g n i f i e d , between the s i g n and what i t s i g n s , i n h e r e n t l y leaves open the p o s s i b i l i t y of t h i n k i n g a concept  s i g n i f i e d i n and of i t s e l f , a concept simply present f o r thought, independent . . . of a r e l a t i o n s h i p to a system of s i g n i f i e r s [ i . e . a ' t r a n s c e n d e n t a l s i g n i f i e d ' ] . . . . [However] from the moment t h a t one q u e s t i o n s the p o s s i b i l i t y of . . . a t r a n s c e n d e n t a l s i g n i f i e d , and t h a t one r e c o g n i z e s t h a t every s i g n i f i e d i s a l s o In the p o s i t i o n of a s i g n i f i e r , the d i s t i n c t i o n between s i g n i f i e d and s i g n i f i e r becomes p r o b l e m a t i c a l a t i t s r o o t . . . . In e f f e c t , the theme of a t r a n s c e n d e n t a l s i g n i f i e d took shape w i t h i n the h o r i z o n of an a b s o l u t e l y pure, t r a n s p a r e n t , a n d u n e q u i v o c a l t r a n s l a t a b i l i t y . In the l i m i t s to which i t i s p o s s i b l e , or a t l e a s t appears p o s s i b l e , t r a n s l a t i o n p r a c t i c e s the d i f f e r e n c e between s i g n i f i e d and s i g n i f i e r . But i f t h i s d i f f e r e n c e i s never pure, no more so i s t r a n s l a t i o n , and f o r the n o t i o n of t r a n s l a t i o n we would have to s u b s t i t u t e a n o t i o n of t r a n s f o r m a t i o n ; a r e g u l a t e d t r a n s f o r m a t i o n of one language by another, of one t e x t by another. ( D e r r i d a , 1981g:19-20) In other words, the p o i n t i s n e i t h e r to n e u t r a l i z e the d i s t i n c t i o n between s i g n i f i e r and s i g n i f i e d nor simply to r e v e r s e t h e i r l e v e l s of importance, but to show t h a t t h e i r d i s t i n c t i o n i s not and never has been a b s o l u t e — t h a t i t i s an e f f e c t of an e s s e n t i a l u n d e c l d a b i l i t y which both allows f o r and d e l i m i t s the n o t i o n of c o n c e p t u a l i t y i n g e n e r a l . I t 133 i s t h i s e s s e n t i a l u n d e c l d a b i l i t y which ensures t h a t any n o t i o n of t r a n s l a t i o n as the simple t r a n s m i s s i o n of meaning from one context to another i s fundamentally inadequate, and i t i s t h i s e s s e n t i a l u n d e c l d a b i l i t y t h a t Geertz does not take i n t o account. Before going on to the work of James C l i f f o r d , I would l i k e t o look at Geertz's f a v o u r i t e analogue f o r c u l t u r e , t h a t of the t e x t : The key to the t r a n s i t i o n from t e x t to t e x t analogue, from w r i t i n g as d i s c o u r s e to a c t i o n as d i s c o u r s e , i s , as Paul Ricoeur has p o i n t e d out, the concept of " i n s c r i p t i o n " : the f i x a t i o n of meaning. When we speak, our u t t e r a n c e s f l y by as events l i k e any other behaviour; unless what we say i s i n s c r i b e d i n w r i t i n g (or some other e s t a b l i s h e d r e c o r d i n g p r o c e s s ) , i t i s as evanescent as what we do. I f i t i s so i n s c r i b e d , i t of course passes, l i k e Dorian Gray's youth, anyway; but a t l e a s t I t s meaning, the s a i d , not the s a y i n g -- to a degree and f o r a while remains. T h i s too i s not d i f f e r e n t f o r a c t i o n i n g e n e r a l : i t s meaning can p e r s i s t i n a way i t s a c t u a l i t y cannot. The g r e a t v i r t u e of the e x t e n s i o n of the n o t i o n of t e x t beyond t h i n g s w r i t t e n on paper or carved i n t o stone i s t h a t i t t r a i n s a t t e n t i o n on p r e c i s e l y t h i s phenomenon: on how the i n s c r i p t i o n of a c t i o n i s brought about, what i t s v e h i c l e s are and how they work, and on what the f i x a t i o n of meaning from the flow of events -- h i s t o r y from what happened, thought from t h i n k i n g , c u l t u r e from behaviour — i m p l i e s f o r s o c i o l o g i c a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . (Geertz, 1983a: 31) 134 Geertz, l i k e Rlcoeur, views the t e x t as a p l u r l v o c a l t o t a l i t y which, as such and i n p r i n c i p l e , enables the i n t e r p r e t e r to i s o l a t e and to account f o r s p e c i f i c meanings — the process of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n c o n s i s t i n g of a d i a l e c t i c between guessing at and v a l i d a t i n g s a i d meanings. Whereas the meanings of w r i t t e n d i s c o u r s e are embodied w i t h i n given l i n g u i s t i c or v e r b a l s t r u c t u r e s , the meanings of s o c i a l d i s c o u r s e are embodied w i t h i n a c t i o n s or c l u s t e r s of a c t i o n s p e r c e i v e d as symbolic s t r u c t u r e s — but the p r i n c i p l e upon which I n t e r p r e t a t i o n Is based remains the same, i . e . the e s s e n t i a l p o s s i b i l i t y of the f i x a t i o n of meaning or meanings which i s a necessary f e a t u r e of the s e l f - c o n t a i n e d t o t a l i z i n g s t r u c t u r e of the t e x t or t e x t analogue. I t Is p r e c i s e l y t h i s assumed t o t a l i z i n g s t r u c t u r e , which i s a f e a t u r e of c o n c e p t u a l i t y i n g e n e r a l , which must be questioned, f o r , u n t i l i t I s , a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l I n t e r p r e t a t i o n , along with i n t e r p r e t a t i o n i n g e n e r a l , w i l l remain d e d i c a t e d to a n o t i o n of p l e n i t u d e which d i s a l l o w s not o n l y a r i g o r o u s accounting o f , but, indeed, any r e c o g n i t i o n of, the r a d i c a l h e t e r o g e n e i t y of t h i n g s . Geertz's penchant f o r viewing anthropology as a kind of t e x t u a l commentary leads him to p o s i t , i n h i s most rec e n t work, t h a t the a n t h r o p o l o g i s t may be most c o n s t r u c t i v e l y viewed as being concerned with "a n a r r a t o l o g i c a l i s s u e , a matter of how best to get an honest s t o r y h o n e s t l y t o l d " (Geertz, 1988b: 9). Now both n a r r a t i o n and s t o r y e n t a i l , by 135 d e f i n i t i o n , the r e c o u n t i n g of a l i n e a r sequence of events or episodes which are contained w i t h i n an o v e r a r c h i n g p l o t s t r u c t u r e , i . e . they are both t e l e o l o g i c a l and e s c h a t o l o g l c a l . (See Ricoeur on n a r r a t i v e , chapter Three.) As such, they f u n c t i o n to c o n t a i n h e t e r o g e n e i t y ( i . e . the pe r c e i v e d ' i n e r a d i c a b l e u n t i d i n e s s ' of t h i n g s ) w i t h i n homogeneity ( i . e . the p l e n i t u d e of a s e l f - c o n t a i n e d and a l l encompassing paradigm). The s t o r y or n a r r a t i v e as such, as d e f i n e d w i t h i n the conceptual l i m i t s of Western metaphysics, do not and have never e x i s t e d f o r they are always a l r e a d y f i s s u r e d by an e s s e n t i a l u n d e c i d a b i l i t y which prevents them from ever being, at any given moment, pure or s e l f - c o n t a i n e d . T h i s being the case, the unexamined use of n a r r a t i v e or s t o r y as an analogue or model f o r the a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l e n t e r p r i s e ensures t h a t the l a t t e r w i l l remain premised upon and de d i c a t e d to a n o t i o n of p l e n i t u d e . As one of V i r g i n i a Woolf's c h a r a c t e r s comments, I have made up thousands of s t o r i e s ; I have f i l l e d innumerable notebooks with phrases to be used when I have found the tru e s t o r y , the one s t o r y to which a l l these phrases r e f e r . But I have never yet found t h a t s t o r y . And I begin to ask, Are there s t o r i e s ? (Woolf, 1968: 160) Geertz c o u l d do worse than to begin to ask as w e l l . 136 II CLIFFORD (1) Discourse Discourse . . . i s a mode o£ communication i n which the presence of  the speaking s u b j e c t and of the immediate  s i t u a t i o n of communication are i n t r i n s i c . . . . Discourse does not transcend the s p e c i f i c o c c a s i o n i n which a s u b j e c t a p p r o p r i a t e s the resources of language In order to communicate d l a l o g l c a l l y . Ricoeur argues t h a t d i s c o u r s e cannot be i n t e r p r e t e d In the open-ended p o t e n t i a l l y p u b l i c way i n which a t e x t i s "read." To understand d i s c o u r s e "you had to have been t h e r e , " i n the presence of the d i s c o u r s i n g s u b j e c t . For d i s c o u r s e to become a t e x t i t must become "autonomous," i n Ricoeur's terms, separated from a s p e c i f i c u t t e r a n c e and a u t h o r i a l i n t e n t i o n . I n t e r p r e t a t i o n i s  not i n t e r l o c u t i o n . I t does not depend on  being i n the presence of a speaker. ( C l i f f o r d , 1988f: 39) (emphasis mine) An i n t e r e s t i n the d i s c u r s i v e aspects of  c u l t u r a l r e p r e s e n t a t i o n draws a t t e n t i o n not to the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of c u l t u r a l " t e x t s " but to t h e i r r e l a t i o n s of p r o d u c t i o n . Divergent s t y l e s of w r i t i n g are, with v a r y i n g degrees of success, g r a p p l i n g with these new orders of complexity — d i f f e r e n t r u l e s and p o s s i b i l i t i e s w i t h i n the h o r i z o n of a h i s t o r i c a l moment. . . . [There i s a] general t r e n d toward a s p e c i f i c a t i o n of  d i s c o u r s e s i n ethnography: who speaks? who w r i t e s ? when and where? with or to whom? under what i n s t i t u t i o n a l and h i s t o r i c a l r e s t r a i n t s ? ( C l i f f o r d , 1986a: 13) (emphasis C l i f f o r d ' s and mine) A d i s c u r s i v e model o£ ethnographic p r a c t i c e b r i n g s i n t o prominence the i n t e r s u b j e c t i v i t y of speech, along with i t s immediate performative c o n t e x t . ( C l i f f o r d , 1988f: 41) (emphasis mine) Once c u l t u r e s are no longer p r e f i g u r e d v i s u a l l y — as o b j e c t s , t h e a t e r s , t e x t s -- i t becomes p o s s i b l e to t h i n k of a c u l t u r a l p o e t i c s t h a t i s an I n t e r p l a y of  v o i c e s , of p o s i t i o n e d u t t e r a n c e s . In a d i s c u r s i v e r a t h e r than a v i s u a l paradigm, the dominant metaphors f o r ethnography s h i f t away from the observing eye and toward e x p r e s s i v e speech. . . . And the c r u c i a l p o e t i c problem f o r a d i s c u r s i v e ethnography becomes how "to achieve by w r i t t e n means what speech c r e a t e s . " ( C l i f f o r d , 1986a: 12) (emphasis mine) i i ) Dialogue . . . d i a l o g i c a l processes p r o l i f e r a t e i n any complexly represented d i s c u r s i v e  space. . . . Many v o i c e s clamor f o r e x p r e s s i o n . P o l y v o c a l i t y was r e s t r a i n e d and o r c h e s t r a t e d i n t r a d i t i o n a l ethnographies by g i v i n g to one v o i c e a p e r v a s i v e a u t h o r i a l f u n c t i o n and to others the r o l e of sources, "informants," to be quoted or paraphrased. Once d l a l o g l s m and polyphony are r e c o g n i z e d as modes of t e x t u a l p r o d u c t i o n , monophonic a u t h o r i t y i s questioned, r e v e a l e d to be c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of a s c i e n c e t h a t has claimed to r e p r e s e n t c u l t u r e s . ( C l i f f o r d , 1986a: 15) (emphasis C l i f f o r d ' s and mine) To the extent t h a t the ethnographic process i s seen as i n s c r i p t i o n ( r a t h e r than, f o r example, as t r a n s c r i p t i o n , or d i a l o g u e ) the r e p r e s e n t a t i o n w i l l continue to enact a potent, and q u e s t i o n a b l e , a l l e g o r i c a l s t r u c t u r e . ( C l i f f o r d , 1986b: 113) (emphasis mine) The model of d i a l o g u e b r i n g s to prominence p r e c i s e l y those d i s c u r s i v e — c i r c u m s t a n t i a l and i n t e r s u b j e c t l v e — elements t h a t Ricoeur had to exclude from h i s model of the t e x t . . . . I f i t i s d i f f i c u l t f o r d l a l o g l c a l p o r t r a y a l s t o escape t y p i f y i n g procedures, they can, to a s i g n i f i c a n t degree, r e s i s t the p u l l toward a u t h o r i t a t i v e r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of the other. T h i s depends on t h e i r a b i l i t y f i c t i o n a l l y to maintain the strangeness of the other v o i c e and to h o l d i n view the s p e c i f i c c o n t i n g e n c i e s of the exchange. ( C l i f f o r d , 1988f: 43-44) (emphasis mine) The f i c t i o n a l d i a l o g u e i s i n f a c t a condensation, a s i m p l i f i e d r e p r e s e n t a t i o n  of complex m u l t i v o c a l p r o c e s s e s . An a l t e r n a t i v e way of r e p r e s e n t i n g t h i s d i s c u r s i v e complexity i s to understand the o v e r a l l course of the r e s e a r c h as an ongoing n e g o t i a t i o n . ( C l i f f o r d , 1988f: 44) (emphasis mine) ethnography [should be] a d l a l o g l c a l e n t e r p r i s e i n which both r e s e a r c h e r s and n a t i v e s are a c t i v e c r e a t o r s or, to s t r e t c h a term, authors of c u l t u r a l r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s . D i a l o g i c a l , c o n s t r u c t i v i s t paradigms tend to d i s p e r s e or share out ethnographic a u t h o r i t y . ( C l i f f o r d , 19881: 84) (emphasis mine) 139 [Fleldwork] must . . . be seen as a h i s t o r i c a l l y c o n t i n g e n t , u n r u l y d i a l o g i c a l encounter i n v o l v i n g to some degree both c o n f l i c t and c o l l a b o r a t i o n i n the p r o d u c t i o n of t e x t s . ( C l i f f o r d , 19881: 90) (emphasis mine) ( i i i ) Anthropology/Ethnography . . . I t r e a t ethnography I t s e l f as a performance emplotted by powerful  s t o r i e s . Embodied i n w r i t t e n r e p o r t s , these s t o r i e s s i m u l t a n e o u s l y d e s c r i b e r e a l c u l t u r a l events and make a d d i t i o n a l , moral, i d e o l o g i c a l , and even c o s m o l o g i c a l statements. Ethnographic w r i t i n g i s a l l e g o r i c a l a t the l e v e l both of i t s content (what i t says about c u l t u r e s and t h e i r h i s t o r i e s ) and of i t s form (what i s impli e d by i t s mode of t e x t u a l l z a t i o n ) . ( C l i f f o r d , 1986b: 98) (emphasis mine) . . . t r a n s c e n d e n t a l meanings are not a b s t r a c t i o n s or i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s "added" to the o r i g i n a l "simple" account. Rather, they are the c o n d i t i o n s of i t s  meaningfulness. Ethnographic t e x t s are i n e s c a p a b l y a l l e g o r i c a l , and a s e r i o u s acceptance of t h i s f a c t changes the ways they can be w r i t t e n and read. . . . I [applaud] a r e c e n t tendency to d i s t i n g u i s h a l l e g o r i c a l l e v e l s as s p e c i f i c " v o i c e s " w i t h i n the t e x t . I argue . . . t h a t the very a c t i v i t y of ethnographic w r i t i n g — seen as i n s c r i p t i o n or t e x t u a l i z a t i o n -- enacts a redemptive Western a l l e g o r y . T h i s p e r v a s i v e s t r u c t u r e needs to be p e r c e i v e d and weighed a g a i n s t other p o s s i b l e emplotments f o r the performance of ethnography. ( C l i f f o r d , 1986b: 99) (emphasis C l i f f o r d ' s and mine) A r e c o g n i t i o n of a l l e g o r y complicates the w r i t i n g and r e a d i n g of ethnographies i n p o t e n t i a l l y f r u i t f u l ways. A tendency emerges to s p e c i f y and separate d i f f e r e n t  a l l e g o r i c a l r e g i s t e r s w i t h i n the t e x t . The marking o f f of extended indigenous  d i s c o u r s e s shows the ethnography to be a h i e r a r c h i c a l s t r u c t u r e of powerful  s t o r i e s t h a t t r a n s l a t e , encounter, and r e c o n t e x t u a l i z e other powerful s t o r i e s . I t i s a p a l i m p s e s t . . . . Moreover, an awareness of a l l e g o r y heightens awareness of the n a r r a t i v e , and other temporal setups, I m p l i c i t l y or e x p l i c i t l y a t work. Is the redemptive s t r u c t u r e of s a l v a g e -t e x t u a l i z a t i o n being r e p l a c e d ? By what new a l l e g o r i e s ? Of c o n f l i c t ? Of emergence? Of syncretism? ( C l i f f o r d , 1986b: 120-121) (emphasis mine) I n t e r p r e t i v e anthropology, by viewing c u l t u r e s as assemblages of t e x t s , l o o s e l y and sometimes c o n t r a d i c t o r a l l y [ s i c ] u n i t e d , and by h i g h l i g h t i n g the i n v e n t i v e p o e i s i s a t work i n a l l c o l l e c t i v e r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s , has c o n t r i b u t e d s i g n i f i c a n t l y to the d e f a m i l i a r i z a t i o n of ethnographic a u t h o r i t y . In i t s mainstream r e a l i s t s t r a n d s , however, i t does not escape the general s t r i c t u r e s of t h o s e c r i t i c s o f " c o l o n i a l " r e p r e s e n t a t i o n who, s i n c e 1950, have r e j e c t e d d i s c o u r s e s t h a t p o r t r a y the c u l t u r a l r e a l i t y of other peoples without p l a c i n g t h e i r own r e a l i t y i n jeopardy. . . . Henceforth n e i t h e r the experience nor the i n t e r p r e t i v e a c t i v i t y of the s c i e n t i f i c r e s e a r c h e r can be c o n s i d e r e d innocent. I t becomes necessary to conceive of ethnography not as the experience and i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of a c i r c u m s c r i b e d " o t h e r " r e a l i t y , but r a t h e r as a c o n s t r u c t i v e n e g o t i a t i o n i n v o l v i n g at l e a s t two, and u s u a l l y more, consci o u s , p o l i t i c a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t s u b j e c t s . Paradigms of experience and i n t e r p r e t a t i o n are y i e l d i n g to d i s c u r s i v e  paradigms of d i a l o g u e and polyphony. ( C l i f f o r d , 1988f: 41) (emphasis mine) Although C l i f f o r d c o n s t a n t l y r e i t e r a t e s t h a t h i s d e s i r e i s "to d i s p l a c e any transcendent regime of a u t h e n t i c i t y " ( C l i f f o r d , 1988c: 10), to q u e s t i o n and c r i t i q u e a l l modes of t o t a l i z a t i o n ("there Is no whole p i c t u r e t h a t can be ' f i l l e d i n ' " ( C l i f f o r d , 1986a: 18) "There i s no longer any place of overview . . . no Archimedean p o i n t from which to r e p r e s e n t the world" ( C l i f f o r d , 1986a: 22)), i t i s e v i d e n t t h a t h i s f a i l u r e to s e r i o u s l y q u e s t i o n the components of h i s own p r e f e r r e d 'paradigm' pr e c l u d e s any p o s s i b i l i t y of the f u l f i l m e n t of t h i s d e s i r e . U n f o r t u n a t e l y , C l i f f o r d ' s approach t o t h e o r e t i c a l problems tends t o be r a t h e r s u p e r f i c i a l . As Kapferer comments ( i n a review with which, the f o l l o w i n g o b s e r v a t i o n a s i d e , I am f a r from being i n agreement), [In r e a d i n g C l i f f o r d ' s work] I co u l d not escape a sense of s u p e r f i c i a l i t y . C l i f f o r d a l i g h t s , l i k e some gorgeous b u t t e r f l y , i n the great garden of human p o s s i b i l i t y which i s the f i e l d of anthropology. But he passes from flower to flower, seldom s t a y i n g f o r long to examine tho r o u g h l y t h e i r p o s s i b i l i t y . T h i s I found f r u s t r a t i n g . (Kapferer, 1989: 101) S i m i l a r l y , Sangren c a l l s a t t e n t i o n to " C l i f f o r d ' s (1986a: 3) i n v o c a t i o n of academic l u m i n a r i e s to no apparent purpose other than to a u t h o r i z e and l o c a t e h i s t e x t w i t h i n t h e i r aura" (Sangren, 1988: 409). What i s most annoying about C l i f f o r d i s not simply t h a t he does not do what he says he Is going to do, i . e . d i s p l a c e transcendent, t o t a l i z i n g regimes of a u t h e n t i c i t y , but t h a t he i n f a c t f u r t h e r r e i n f o r c e s those regimes by c o n s i s t e n t l y o v e r l o o k i n g the t o t a l i z i n g nature of h i s own conceptual framework. For example, he does not q u e s t i o n metaphor/allegory, s u b j e c t i v i t y , d l a l o g l s m , d i s c u r s i v i t y , r e p r e s e n t a t i o n or speech as such. A c c o r d i n g l y , I w i l l begin my d e c o n s t r u c t i v e r e a d i n g of C l i f f o r d by l o o k i n g a t h i s use of metaphor and a l l e g o r y . In an essay e n t i t l e d "On Ethnographic A l l e g o r y " C l i f f o r d adopts the Webster's New Twentieth Century D i c t i o n a r y d e f i n i t i o n s of • a l l e g o r y 1 : "1. a s t o r y i n which people, t h i n g s and happenings have another meaning, as i n a f a b l e or p a r a b l e : a l l e g o r i e s are used f o r t e a c h i n g or e x p l a i n i n g . 2. the p r e s e n t a t i o n of ideas by means of such s t o r i e s " ( C l i f f o r d 1986b: 98). He argues t h a t ethnographies are Ir r e m e d i a b l y a l l e g o r i c a l and t h a t t h i s f a c t should be accepted as the b a s i s upon which ethnographic l i t e r a t u r e i s approached. According to C l i f f o r d , A s c i e n t i f i c ethnography normally e s t a b l i s h e s a p r i v i l e g e d a l l e g o r i c a l r e g i s t e r i t i d e n t i f i e s as "theory," " I n t e r p r e t a t i o n , " or " e x p l a n a t i o n . " But once a l l meaningful l e v e l s i n a t e x t , i n c l u d i n g t h e o r i e s and i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s , are r e c o g n i z e d as a l l e g o r i c a l , i t becomes d i f f i c u l t t o view one of them as p r i v i l e g e d , a c c o u n t i n g f o r the r e s t . Once t h i s anchor i s d i s l o d g e d , the s t a g i n g and v a l u i n g of m u l t i p l e a l l e g o r i c a l r e g i s t e r s , or " v o i c e s , " becomes an important area of concern f o r ethnographic w r i t e r s . R e c e n t l y t h i s has sometimes meant g i v i n g indigenous d i s c o u r s e a semi-independent s t a t u s i n the t e x t u a l whole, i n t e r r u p t i n g the p r i v i l e g e d monotone of " s c i e n t i f i c " r e p r e s e n t a t i o n . Much of ethnography, 143 t a k i n g i t s d i s t a n c e from t o t a l i z i n g anthropology, seeks t o evoke m u l t i p l e (but not l i m i t l e s s ) a l l e g o r i e s . ( C l i f f o r d , 1986b: 103) In other words, C l i f f o r d seems to t h i n k t h a t i f ethnographies are viewed as c o l l e c t i o n s of m u l t i p l e a l l e g o r i e s , t h i s f a c t , i n and of i t s e l f , prevents them from being t o t a l i z i n g c o n s t r u c t s c o n t r i b u t i n g t o a ' t o t a l i z i n g anthropology.' T h i s , however, i s f a r from the case, f o r the concept of a l l e g o r y , i n and of i t s e l f , i s a t o t a l i z i n g concept par  e x c e l l e n c e . And t h i s , C l i f f o r d seems not to n o t i c e . C l i f f o r d agrees with Q u i n t l l i a n t h a t a l l e g o r y i s , e s s e n t i a l l y , a form of metaphor, t h a t "any continuous or extended metaphor develops i n t o a l l e g o r y " ( C l i f f o r d , 1986b: 98). A r i s t o t l e p r o v i d e s the c l a s s i c d e f i n i t i o n of metaphor: Metaphor (metaphora) c o n s i s t s i n g i v i n g (epiphora) the t h i n g a name (onomatos) t h a t belongs to something e l s e ( a l l o t r l o r e ) . the t r a n s f e r e n c e being e i t h e r from genus to s p e c i e s . . ., or from s p e c i e s to genus . . ., or from s p e c i e s to s p e c i e s . . ., or on the grounds of analogy. ( A r i s t o t l e i n D e r r i d a , 1982m: 231) In d i s c u s s i n g the preceding d e f i n i t i o n D e r r i d a emphasizes the r e l a t i o n s h i p between metaphor and t h a t which i s n o m i n a l i z a b l e : I t Is under [the] heading of [the nominal, the noun] t h a t [ A r i s t o t l e ] t r e a t s metaphor (epiphora onomatos). Onoma c e r t a i n l y has two valu e s i n t h i s c o ntext. Sometimes i t i s opposed to the verb (rhema), which i m p l i e s the idea of time. Sometimes i t covers the f i e l d of verbs, s i n c e metaphor, the displacement of nouns, a l s o , i n the examples gi v e n i n the P o e t i c s , p l a y s upon verbs. T h i s c o n f u s i o n i s p o s s i b l e by v i r t u e of the profound i d e n t i t y of the noun and the verb: what they have i n common i s t h a t they are i n t e l l i g i b l e i n and of themselves, have an immediate r e l a t i o n to an o b j e c t or r a t h e r to a u n i t y of meaning. They c o n s t i t u t e the order of the phon& semantike from which are excluded . . . a r t i c l e s , c o n j u n c t i o n s , p r e p o s i t i o n s , and i n general a l l the elements of language which, a c c o r d i n g t o A r i s t o t l e , have no meaning i n themselves; i n other words, which do not of themselves designate something. The a d j e c t i v e i s capable of becoming s u b s t a n t i v e and nominal. To t h i s extent i t may belong to the semantic order. Therefore i t seems t h a t the f i e l d of onoma -- and consequently t h a t of metaphor, as the t r a n s p o r t of names — i s l e s s t h a t of the noun i n the s t r i c t sense, (which i t a c q u i r e d v e r y l a t e i n r h e t o r i c ) , t h a n t h a t of the n o m i n a l i z a b l e . Every word which r e s i s t s t h i s n o m i n a l i z a t i o n would remain f o r e i g n to metaphor. Now, onl y t h a t which c l a i m s , or h e n c e f o r t h claims — to have a complete and independent s i g n i f i c a t i o n , t h a t which i s i n t e l l i g i b l e by i t s e l f , o u t s i d e any s y n t a c t i c r e l a t i o n , can be nominalized. To take up a t r a d i t i o n a l o p p o s i t i o n t h a t s t i l l w i l l be i n use i n H u s s e r l , metaphor would be a t r a n s p o r t of categorematic and not syncategorematic words as. such. ( D e r r i d a , 1982m: 233) In other words, metaphor, and a l l concepts which are t r a c e a b l e to i t (e.g. a l l e g o r y , analogy, s i m i l e e t c . ) , i s rooted i n a n o t i o n o£ s e l f - i d e n t i c a l essence or presence. Metaphor, and, by e x t e n s i o n , a l l e g o r y , has to do not with the displacement o£ meaning as such but with the replacement o£ one meaning by another, and , hence, with the r e a f f i r m a t i o n of meaning as an a l l - i n c l u s i v e , s e l f - i d e n t i c a l concept. As Gasch6 p o i n t s out, D e r r i d a has never l e f t the s l i g h t e s t doubt t h a t metaphor i s by nature a metaphysical concept. In s p i t e , or r a t h e r because of i t s n e g a t i v i t y , i t belongs to the v e r y order and movement of meaning: the p r o v i s o r y l o s s of meaning t h a t metaphor i m p l i e s i s subordinated to the t e l e o l o g y of meaning as one moment i n the process of the s e l f - m a n i f e s t a t i o n of meaning i n a l l i t s p r o p r i e t y . The p h i l o s o p h i c a l concept of metaphor (and there i s no other) makes metaphor depend on the ab s o l u t e p a r o u s l a of meaning. (Gasch<§, 1986: 293) Indeed, D e r r i d a i s v e r y c l e a r In i n d i c a t i n g the p h i l o s o p h i c a l nature of metaphor and the metaphoric nature of ph i l o s o p h y : metaphor remains, i n a l l i t s e s s e n t i a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , a c l a s s i c a l philosopheme, a metaphysical concept. . . . Metaphor has been i s s u e d from a network of philosophemes which themselves correspond to tr o p e s or to f i g u r e s , and these philosophemes are contemporaneous to or i n s y s t e m a t i c s o l i d a r i t y with these t r o p e s or f i g u r e s . T h i s stratum of " t u t e l a r y " t r o p e s , the l a y e r of "primary" 146 phllosophemes (assuming t h a t the q u o t a t i o n marks w i l l serve as a s u f f i c i e n t p r e c a u t i o n h e r e ) , cannot be dominated. I t cannot dominate i t s e l f , cannot be dominated by what i t i t s e l f has engendered, has made to grow on i t s own s o i l , supported on i t s own base. T h e r e f o r e , i t gets " c a r r i e d away" each time t h a t one of i t s products — here, the concept of metaphor -- attempts i n v a i n to i n c l u d e under i t s own law the t o t a l i t y of the f i e l d t o which the product belongs. I f one wished to conceive and to c l a s s a l l the metaphorical p o s s i b i l i t i e s of p h i l o s o p h y , one metaphor, at l e a s t , always would remain excluded, o u t s i d e the system: the metaphor, at the v e r y l e a s t , without which the concept of metaphor c o u l d not be c o n s t r u c t e d , . . . the metaphor of metaphor. T h i s e x t r a metaphor, remaining o u t s i d e the f i e l d t h a t i t a l l o w s to be c i r c u m s c r i b e d , e x t r a c t s or a b s t r a c t s I t s e l f from t h i s f i e l d , thus s u b t r a c t i n g I t s e l f as a metaphor l e s s . By v i r t u e of [a] t r o p i c s u p p l e m e n t a r i t y , s i n c e the e x t r a t u r n of speech becomes the m i s s i n g term of speech, the taxonomy or h i s t o r y of p h i l o s o p h i c a l metaphors [can] never [be] s a t u r a t e d . ( D e r r i d a , 1982m: 219-220) In other words, what i s r a d i c a l i s not the d i s c o v e r y or r e a l i z a t i o n t h a t p h i l o s o p h i c a l works (which, of course, i n c l u d e s anthropology) are r e p l e t e with metaphors or a l l e g o r i e s -- they are so by d e f i n i t i o n (as Rabinow remarks, "the i n s i g h t t h at a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s w r i t e employing l i t e r a r y c onventions, although i n t e r e s t i n g , i s not i n h e r e n t l y c r i s i s p r ovoking" (Rabinow i n C l i f f o r d and Marcus eds., 1986c: 243)) but the r e c o g n i t i o n t h a t metaphor, as such, i s i n a symbiotic r e l a t i o n s h i p with p h i l o s o p h y and t h a t they must both be d e c o n s t r u c t e d . What has to be recog n i z e d i s not the e x i s t e n c e o£ metaphor as such but the p o s s i b i l i t y of  m e t a p h o r i c l t y i n g e n e r a l — which i s h a r d l y the same t h i n g . And t h i s comes back to the n o t i o n of o r i g i n a r y d o u b l i n g . I f phi l o s o p h y i s always a l r e a d y i n v o l v e d with metaphor as a means by which to re p r e s e n t or r e f e r t o i t s e l f , and i f metaphor i s always a l r e a d y p r e d i c a t e d upon and r e f e r r i n g to philo s o p h y , then we are l e f t with both a more and a l e s s f o r which n e i t h e r p h i l o s o p h y nor metaphor, as such, can account. The i d e a l of t o t a l i z a t i o n i s f i s s u r e d from the outset by the i m p o s s i b i l i t y of the e x i s t e n c e of an unmediated presence, an i m p o s s i b i l i t y which, from the ou t s e t , i n v o l v e s a ' t r o p i c s u p p l e m e n t a r i t y ' whereby the e x t r a metaphor ( i . e . the p o s s i b i l i t y of m e t a p h o r i c l t y — the metaphor of metaphor) becomes the m i s s i n g metaphor ( i . e . t h a t which escapes the t o t a l i z i n g f i e l d of p h i l o s o p h y ) . I t i s m e t a p h o r i c l t y as the p l a y of u n d e c i d a b i l i t y , as supplem e n t a r i t y , i t e r a b i l i t y , d i f f 6 r a n c e , t r a c e and so on t h a t may harbour r a d i c a l I m p l i c a t i o n s f o r p h i l o s o p h y and, by e x t e n s i o n , f o r anthropology, not metaphor or a l l e g o r y as such. C l i f f o r d never que s t i o n s the notio n s of a l l e g o r y or metaphor as p h i l o s o p h i c a l concepts. The r e c o g n i t i o n and, i n C l i f f o r d ' s case, the c e l e b r a t i o n of ethnographic works as c o n t a i n i n g m u l t i p l e a l l e g o r i c a l r e g i s t e r s does not f r e e them from a t o t a l i z i n g metaphysics — on the c o n t r a r y , I t binds them ever more t i g h t l y t o notio n s of essence, presence and so 148 on. Take, f o r example, C l i f f o r d ' s e f f u s i v e p r a i s e of one of the a l l e g o r i c a l s t r a n d s of M a r j o r i e Shostak's N i s a : The L i f e  and Words of a !Kung Woman: The s t o r y [of Nisa's g i v i n g b i r t h ] has great immediacy. Nisa's v o i c e i s unmistakable, the experience s h a r p l y evoked: "She l a y t h e r e , moving her arms about, t r y i n g to suck her f i n g e r s . " But as readers we do more than r e g i s t e r a unique event. The s t o r y ' s u n f o l d i n g r e q u i r e s us, f i r s t , t o imagine a d i f f e r e n t c u l t u r a l norm (JKung b i r t h , alone i n the bush) and then to r e c o g n i z e a common human experience (the q u i e t heroism of c h i l d b i r t h , f e e l i n g s of postpartum wonder and doubt). The s t o r y of an occurrence somewhere i n the K a l a h a r i d e s e r t cannot remain j u s t t h a t . I t i m p l i e s both l o c a l c u l t u r a l meanings and a g e n e r a l s t o r y of b i r t h . A d i f f e r e n c e i s p o s i t e d and transcended. Moreover, Nisa's s t o r y t e l l s us (how c o u l d i t not?) something b a s i c about woman's expe r i e n c e . Shostak's l i f e of a JKung i n d i v i d u a l i n e v i t a b l y becomes an a l l e g o r y of (female) humanity. ( C l i f f o r d , 1986b: 99) Not o n l y does t h i s passage s i n g the p r a i s e s of a t o t a l i z i n g , d i a l e c t i c a l homogeneity ('a d i f f e r e n c e i s p o s i t e d and transcended' 'an a l l e g o r y of (female) humanity' e t c . ) , but i t does so i n a p a r t i c u l a r l y o f f e n s i v e manner. Who i s James C l i f f o r d to d e f i n e c h i l d b i r t h as r e v e a l i n g 'something b a s i c about woman's experience'? What about the m i l l i o n s of women, myself numbered among them, to whom the experience of c h i l d b i r t h i s about as b a s i c as i s f l a p p i n g our arms and 149 f l y i n g to the moon? What about the m i l l i o n s of women to whom c h i l d b i r t h i s a sorrow and a burden, evoking not 'wonder and doubt' but d e p r e s s i o n and d e s p a i r ? Aside from the f a c t t h a t t h e r e are few t h i n g s q u i t e so o f f - p u t t i n g as some man gushing over 'the q u i e t heroism of c h i l d b i r t h ' i t seems to me t h a t C l i f f o r d here presents a c l a s s i c example of the way i n which the r e p r e s s i v e / o p p r e s s i v e nature of t o t a l i z a t i o n excludes and debases d i f f e r e n c e by subsuming i t w i t h i n a transcendent homogeneity. Because he never q u e s t i o n s the nature of metaphorical and/or a l l e g o r i c a l r e p r e s e n t a t i o n , C l i f f o r d never grasps the p o i n t t h a t , no matter how many a l l e g o r i c a l l e v e l s he may d e l i n e a t e or produce i n any given ethnography, so f a r from engaging i n the c o n s t r u c t i o n of a n o n - t o t a l i z i n g work, he i s merely j u g g l i n g v a r i o u s s t r a t a of meaning without ever  q u e s t i o n i n g meaning as such. C l i f f o r d leaves the p h i l o s o p h i c a l f i e l d u t t e r l y i n t a c t — allegory/metaphor and ph i l o s o p h y e n d l e s s l y r e f l e c t i n g and r e f e r r i n g to each other w i t h i n a c l o s e d c i r c u l a r i t y . Thus, f o r example, i n r e f e r r i n g to a passage of Shostak's work wherein she d e p i c t s her banter with a twelve year o l d !Kung g i r l whom she f i n d s admiring h e r s e l f i n a m i r r o r , C l i f f o r d comments (a p p r o v i n g l y ) as f o l l o w s : A great d e a l of the book i s here: an o l d v o i c e , a young v o i c e , a mi r r o r . . . t a l k of s e l f - p o s s e s s i o n . N a r c i s s i s m , a term of deviance a p p l i e d to women of the West, i s t r a n s f i g u r e d . We n o t i c e , too, t h a t i t 150 Is the ethnographer, assuming a v o i c e of age, who has brought a m i r r o r , j u s t as Nisa p r o v i d e s an a l l e g o r i c a l m i r r o r when Shostak takes the r o l e of youth. Ethnography gains s u b j e c t i v e "depth" through the s o r t s of r o l e s , r e f l e c t i o n s , and r e v e r s a l s dramatized here. The w r i t e r , and her readers, can be both young ( l e a r n i n g ) and o l d (knowing). They can s i m u l t a n e o u s l y l i s t e n , and "give v o i c e t o , " the other. Nisa's readers f o l l o w — and prolong — the p l a y of a d e s i r e . They imagine, i n the m i r r o r of the other, a g u i l e l e s s s e l f - p o s s e s s i o n , an u n c o m p l i c a t e d f e e l i n g of " a t t r a c t i v e n e s s . " ( C l i f f o r d , 1986b: 108-109) For C l i f f o r d , the other i s a m i r r o r which r e f l e c t s the s e l f and v i c e v e r s a — t h i s c i r c u l a r i t y i s s e l f - p e r p e t u a t i n g and c o n s t i t u t e s a homogeneity wherein the other as_ other has no p l a c e . In order to t h i n k a r a d i c a l a l t e r i t y one must f i r s t p e r c e i v e the cracks w i t h i n the r e f l e x i v e c i r c u l a r i t y of Western c o n c e p t u a l i t y . As D e r r i d a says, The breakthrough toward r a d i c a l otherness (with r e s p e c t to the p h i l o s o p h i c a l concept — of the concept) always takes, w i t h i n p h i l o s o p h y , the form of an a p o s t e r l o r i t y or an e m p i r i c i s m . But t h i s i s an e f f e c t of the s p e c u l a r nature of p h i l o s o p h i c a l r e f l e c t i o n , p h i l o s o p h y b e i n g i n c a p a b l e of i n s c r i b i n g (comprehending) what i s o u t s i d e i t otherwise than through the a p p r o p r i a t i n g negative image of i t , and d i s s e m i n a t i o n i s w r i t t e n on the back — the t a i n — of t h a t m i r r o r . Not on i t s i n v e r t e d s p e c t r e . Nor i n the t r i a d l c symbolic order of i t s s u b l i m a t i o n . ( D e r r i d a , 1981a: 33) i 151 C l i f f o r d s t a t e s t h a t , "In the human s c i e n c e s the r e l a t i o n of f a c t to a l l e g o r y i s a domain of s t r u g g l e and i n s t i t u t i o n a l d i s c i p l i n e " ( C l i f f o r d , 1986b: 119). And t h i s may, Indeed, be t r u e . However, what he c o n s i s t e n t l y f a i l s to comprehend i s t h a t f a c t and a l l e g o r y are both p r e d i c a t e d upon and d e d i c a t e d to a n o t i o n of presence, of s e l f - i d e n t i c a l and unquestionable essence. To emphasize a l l e g o r y r a t h e r than f a c t i s not, as C l i f f o r d seems to t h i n k , to d i s c o v e r "a t r o u b l e d , i n v e n t i v e moment i n the h i s t o r y of c r o s s - c u l t u r a l r e p r e s e n t a t i o n " ( C l i f f o r d , 1986b: 109), but merely, as the o l d s a y i n g goes, to rob Peter to pay P a u l . As D e r r i d a says concerning metaphor (and, i t w i l l be remembered, t h i s a l s o a p p l i e s to a l l e g o r y ) , Metaphor . . . i s determined by p h i l o s o p h y as a p r o v i s i o n a l l o s s of meaning, an economy of the proper without i r r e p a r a b l e damage, a c e r t a i n l y i n e v i t a b l e detour, but a l s o a h i s t o r y with i t s s i g h t s s e t on, and w i t h i n the h o r i z o n of, the c i r c u l a r r e a p p r o p r i a t i o n of l i t e r a l , proper meaning. T h i s i s why the p h i l o s o p h i c a l e v a l u a t i o n of metaphor always has been ambiguous: metaphor i s dangerous and f o r e i g n as concerns I n t u i t i o n ( v i s i o n or c o n t a c t ) , concept (the g r a s p i n g or proper presence of the s i g n i f i e d ) , and consciousness ( p r o x i m i t y or s e l f presence); but i t i s i n c o m p l i c i t y with what i t endangers, i s necessary to i t i n the extent to which the de-tour i s a r e - t u r n guided by the f u n c t i o n of resemblance (mimesis or ho m o i o s i s ) . under the law of the same. The o p p o s i t i o n of i n t u i t i o n , the concept, and consciousness a t t h i s p o i n t no longer has any p e r t i n e n c e . These three v a l u e s 152 belong to the order and to the movement of meaning. L i k e metaphor. Henceforth the e n t i r e t e l e o l o g y of meaning, which c o n s t r u c t s the p h i l o s o p h i c a l concept of metaphor, c o o r d i n a t e s metaphor w i t h the m a n i f e s t a t i o n of t r u t h , with the p r o d u c t i o n of t r u t h as presence without v e i l , of the r e a p p r o p r i a t i o n of a f u l l language without syntax, with the v o c a t i o n of a pure nomination: without d i f f e r e n t i a l syntax, or i n any case without a p r o p e r l y unnamable a r t i c u l a t i o n t h a t i s i r r e d u c i b l e . . . to d i a l e c t i c a l i n t e r i o r i z a t i o n . [What i s needed i s a d e c o n s t r u c t i o n of metaphor which] i s no longer a [matter] of extending and c o n f i r m i n g a philosopheme, but r a t h e r , of u n f o l d i n g I t without l i m i t , and w r e s t i n g i t s borders of p r o p r i e t y from i t . And consequently [exploding] the r e a s s u r i n g o p p o s i t i o n of the metaphoric and the proper, the o p p o s i t i o n i n which the one and the other have never done anything but r e f l e c t and r e f e r to each other i n t h e i r r a d i a n c e . ( D e r r i d a , 1982m: 270-271) I would l i k e now to look a t C l i f f o r d ' s use of d i s c o u r s e , d i a l o g u e , speech and v o i c e . C l i f f o r d c o n s t a n t l y urges t h a t a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s / e t h n o g r a p h e r s u t i l i z e d i s c u r s i v e / d i a l o g i c a l r a t h e r than t e x t u a l / I n t e r p r e t i v e models or paradigms i n t h e i r a c countings of other c u l t u r e s . C l i f f o r d b e l i e v e s t h a t f o c u s s i n g on attempting to capture the immediacy of the d i s c u r s i v e / d i a l o g i c a l context of speech events a l l o w s f o r the e v o c a t i o n of m u l t i p l e v o i c e s and hence f o r the d i s r u p t i o n and d i s p e r s i o n of monophonic a u t h o r i t y w i t h i n a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l / ethnographic w r i t i n g s . Aside from the obvious problem of who f i n a l l y determines what ends up i n any given w r i t t e n account 153 and what i t s format w i l l be, and, indeed, who (or what) dec i d e s upon what i s worth w r i t i n g up i n the f i r s t p lace (a problem which, to be sure, C l i f f o r d does appear to r e c o g n i z e ) , there remains a major problem which C l i f f o r d does not appear to r e c o g n i z e , and t h a t i s t h a t the concepts of d i s c o u r s e , speech, v o i c e , d i a l o g u e and so on are a l l premised upon and d e d i c a t e d to an unexamined n o t i o n of presence — a n o t i o n whose a u t h o r i t a t i v e sway i s c o n s t a n t l y r e i n f o r c e d i n h i s work by i t s s t a t u s as taken f o r granted assumption. As I argue throughout t h i s d i s s e r t a t i o n , the assumption of presence i s , by d e f i n i t i o n and i n p r i n c i p l e , r e p r e s s i v e / o p p r e s s i v e and, by e x t e n s i o n , so are the working concepts of Western thought which remain f i r m l y w i t h i n i t s aura. As has been s t a t e d , C l i f f o r d a s s e r t s t h a t , "a d i s c u r s i v e model of ethnographic p r a c t i c e b r i n g s i n t o prominence the i n t e r s u b j e c t i v i t y of speech along with i t s Immediate pe r f o r m a t i v e c o n t e x t . " And he concurs with Stephen T y l e r t h a t the "problem f o r a d i s c u r s i v e ethnography i s how 'to achieve by w r i t t e n means what speech c r e a t e s . ' " c l e a r l y , C l i f f o r d ' s primary focus i s on the presumed immediacy of speech and how best to d e p i c t t h a t immediacy i n ethnographic form. At t h i s p o i n t i t i s h e l p f u l to quote D e r r i d a at l e n g t h : Within [the] logos, the o r i g i n a l and e s s e n t i a l l i n k to the phon& has never been broken. . . . [The] essence of the phon& [ i s p e r c e i v e d to be] immediately proximate to t h a t which w i t h i n "thought" as logos r e l a t e s to "meaning," produces i t , r e c e i v e s i t , speaks i t , "composes" i t . I f , f o r A r i s t o t l e , f o r example, "spoken words (ta_ en te phon&) are the symbols of mental experience (pathemata  te s psyches) and w r i t t e n words are the symbols of spoken words" (De  i n t e r p r e t a t i o n e , 1, 16a, 3) i t i s because the v o i c e , producer of the f i r s t symbols, has a r e l a t i o n s h i p of e s s e n t i a l and immediate p r o x i m i t y with the mind. . . . The f e e l i n g s of the mind, e x p r e s s i n g t h i n g s n a t u r a l l y , c o n s t i t u t e s a s o r t of u n i v e r s a l language which can then e f f a c e i t s e l f . . . . In every case, the v o i c e i s c l o s e s t to the s i g n i f i e d , whether i t i s determined s t r i c t l y as sense (thought or l i v e d ) or more l o o s e l y as t h i n g . A l l s i g n i f l e r s . . . are d e r i v a t i v e with regard to what would wed the v o i c e i n d i s s o l u b l y to the mind or to the thought of the s i g n i f i e d sense, indeed to the t h i n g i t s e l f , (whether i t i s done i n the A r i s t o t e l i a n manner we have j u s t i n d i c a t e d or In the manner of medieval theology, determining the res as a t h i n g c r e a t e d from i t s e i d o s , from i t s sense thought In the logos or i n the i n f i n i t e understanding of God). The w r i t t e n s i g n i f i e r i s always t e c h n i c a l and r e p r e s e n t a t i v e . I t has no c o n s t i t u t i v e meaning. T h i s d e r i v a t i o n i s the very o r i g i n of the n o t i o n of the " s i g n i f i e r . " The n o t i o n of the s i g n always i m p l i e s w i t h i n i t s e l f the d i s t i n c t i o n between s i g n i f i e r and s i g n i f i e d , even i f , as Saussure argues, they are d i s t i n g u i s h e d simply as the two faces of one and the same l e a f . T h i s n o t i o n remains t h e r e f o r e w i t h i n the h e r i t a g e of t h a t l o g o c e n t r i s m which i s a l s o a phonocentrism: a b s o l u t e p r o x i m i t y of v o i c e and being, of v o i c e and the meaning of being, of v o i c e and the i d e a l i t y of meaning. . . . What i s s a i d of sound i n g e n e r a l i s a f o r t i o r i v a l i d f o r the phond by which, by v i r t u e of h e a r i n g (understanding)-oneself-speak — an l n d i s s o c i a b l e system — the s u b j e c t e f f e c t s i t s e l f and i s r e l a t e d to i t s e l f i n the element of i d e a l i t y . ( D e r r i d a , 1982e: 11-12) 155 And, as s t a t e d at the beginning of Chapter Two and worth r e -emphasizing here, phonocentrism merges with the h i s t o r i c a l d e t e r m i n a t i o n of the meaning of being i n g e n e r a l as presence, with a l l the sub-determinations which depend on t h i s g e n e r a l form and which organize w i t h i n i t t h e i r system and t h e i r h i s t o r i c a l sequence (presence of the t h i n g to s i g h t as e i d o s , presence as substance/essence/existence ( o u s l a ) , temporal presence as p o i n t (stigm6) of the now or of the moment (nun), the s e l f -presence of the c o g l t o , c onsciousness, s u b j e c t i v i t y , the co-presence of the other and of the s e l f , i n t e r s u b j e c t i v i t y as the i n t e n t i o n a l phenomenon of the ego, and so f o r t h ) . ( D e r r i d a , 1982e: 12) C l i f f o r d ' s emphasis on d i s c u r s i v i t y , the immediacy and i n t e r s u b j e c t i v i t y of speech, p l a c e s him s q u a r e l y w i t h i n a phenomenological p h i l o s o p h y of consciousness and/or s u b j e c t i v i t y . L i k e H u s s e r l before him, C l i f f o r d assumes the e x i s t e n c e of an i n t e n t i o n a l or c o n s t i t u t i v e consciousness and the problem i s not t h i s supposed consciousness as such but, r a t h e r , how best to d e p i c t the l n t e r s u b j e c t i v e r e l a t i o n s between such c o n s c i o u s n e s s e s . Thus, i n e x t o l l i n g a d i a l o g i c a l approach to anthropology, C l i f f o r d s t a t e s , f i c t i o n s of d i a l o g u e have the e f f e c t of t r a n s f o r m i n g the " c u l t u r a l " t e x t (a r i t u a l , an i n s t i t u t i o n , a l i f e h i s t o r y , or any u n i t of t y p i c a l behavior to be d e s c r i b e d or i n t e r p r e t e d ) i n t o a speaking s u b j e c t , who sees as w e l l as i s seen, who evades, argues, probes back. In t h i s view of ethnography the proper 156 r e f e r e n t of any account i s not a represented "world"; now i t i s s p e c i f i c i n s t a n c e s of d i s c o u r s e . But the p r i n c i p l e of d l a l o g l c a l t e x t u a l p r o d u c t i o n goes w e l l beyond the more or l e s s a r t f u l p r e s e n t a t i o n of " a c t u a l " encounters. I t l o c a t e s c u l t u r a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n i n many s o r t s of r e c i p r o c a l c o n t e x t s , and i t o b l i g e s w r i t e r s to f i n d d i v e r s e ways of r e n d e r i n g n e g o t i a t e d r e a l i t i e s as m u l t i s u b j e c t i v e , power-laden, and incongruent. In t h i s view, " c u l t u r e " i s always r e l a t i o n a l , an i n s c r i p t i o n of communicative processes t h a t e x i s t , h i s t o r i c a l l y , between  s u b j e c t s i n r e l a t i o n s of power. ( C l i f f o r d , 1986a: 14-15) (emphasis C l i f f o r d ' s and mine) C l i f f o r d then goes on to argue t h a t , i n order to d i s p e r s e monovocal a u t h o r i t y , ethnographies must be viewed and c o n s t r u c t e d as p o l y v o c a l . But 'voice' or 'speech' as such are never questioned. I t i s t h i s r e s o l u t e non-questioning of speech which allows C l i f f o r d ( i n agreement with Bakhtin) to a r r i v e a t the b i z a r r e c o n c l u s i o n t h a t the works of C h a r l e s Dickens, no l e s s , "tend to r e s i s t t o t a l i t y " p r e c i s e l y because they are p l u r i v o c a l ( C l i f f o r d , 1988f: 46-47). Now i t does not take much more than a nodding acquaintance with Dickens's work to r e a l i z e t h a t there are very few n o v e l i s t s who are more concerned with e n s u r i n g t h a t there are no loose ends, t h a t e v e r y t h i n g f i t s together i n a seamless whole, which, although i t may indeed s t r e t c h c o i n c i d e n c e to alarming i f not laughable extremes, nonetheless provides an adamantine s t r u c t u r e c o n t a i n i n g and accounting f o r any and a l l events. 157 And so with ethnography — I t i s not the number of v o i c e s which w i l l l ead to a n o n - t o t a l i z i n g product, but a re-working of the v e r y n o t i o n of speech or v o i c e as such. As D e r r i d a has shown, throughout Western metaphysics speech i s presumed to be i n immediate p r o x i m i t y with being or consciousness and thus i s p e r c e i v e d to be the p r i v i l e g e d v e h i c l e of meaning. However, speech, as such, as pure and s e l f - i d e n t i c a l , does not and cannot e x i s t f o r i t i s always a l r e a d y f i s s u r e d by the e s s e n t i a l p o s s i b i l i t y of i t s own i t e r a b i l i t y — i t s own otherness. In other words, speech's i n t e g r i t y as a s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t concept i s compromised from the outset by i t s own other because i t cannot be what i t i s unless i t adds to i t s e l f the p o s s i b i l i t y of i t s own r e p e t i t i o n — and t h i s necessary a d d i t i o n a b s o l u t e l y d i s a l l o w s i t s e x i s t e n c e as a unique, s e l f - i d e n t i c a l e n t i t y . What we have, from the o u t s e t , i s the t r a c e , d i f f 6 r a n c e , the supplement, i . e . u n d e c i d a b i l i t y and the concomitant e s s e n t i a l p o s s i b i l i t y of d i s s e m i n a t i o n . What we do not have i s a s e l f -i d e n t i c a l concept and the concomitant I n e v i t a b i l i t y of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n and/or d i a l o g i c a l t o t a l i z i n g as such. Because C l i f f o r d does not r a d i c a l l y q u e s t i o n h i s b a s i c concepts, i . e . speech, immediacy, d i s c o u r s e , d i a l o g u e , i n t e r s u b j e c t i v i t y and so on, even though he claims to be concerned with espousing a n o n - t o t a l i z i n g anthropology he i n e f f e c t does j u s t the o p p o s i t e . So f a r from i n v e n t i n g non-t o t a l i z i n g c o n s t r u c t s , C l i f f o r d merely adds h i s name to the 158 long l i s t o£ t h i n k e r s who p r e d i c a t e t h e i r work upon a primary n o t i o n o£ s u b j e c t i v i t y — a n o t i o n which, i n t u r n , i s t i e d to a p r i v i l e g i n g of speech, d i s c o u r s e , d i a l o g u e e t c . J u s t as C l i f f o r d seems content to p o s i t t h a t p o l y v o c a l i t y ensures the n o n - p r i v i l e g i n g of the s i n g u l a r v o i c e , so he seems content to p o s i t t h a t i n t e r s u b j e c t i v i t y ensures the n o n - p r i v i l e g i n g of the s i n g u l a r s u b j e c t or s e l f . But t h i s i s a v e r y s u p e r f i c i a l view. Numerous v o i c e s s t i l l come back to p r i v i l e g i n g v o i c e or speech as such j u s t as numerous s u b j e c t i v i t i e s s t i l l come back to p r i v i l e g i n g s u b j e c t i v i t y or consciousness as such. The m o t i v a t i n g concepts remain untouched. C l i f f o r d maintains t h a t " i d e n t i t y , c o n s i d e r e d e t h n o g r a p h i c a l l y , must always be mixed, r e l a t i o n a l , and i n v e n t i v e [ i . e . i n t e r s u b j e c t i v e ] " ( C l i f f o r d , 1988c: 10) and t h a t , ethnographic t e x t s are o r c h e s t r a t i o n s of m u l t i v o c a l exchanges o c c u r r i n g i n p o l i t i c a l l y charged s i t u a t i o n s . The s u b j e c t i v i t i e s produced i n these o f t e n unequal exchanges — whether of " n a t i v e s " or of v i s i t i n g p a r t i c i p a n t observers, are c o n s t r u c t e d domains of t r u t h , s e r i o u s f i c t i o n s . Once t h i s i s r e c o g n i z e d , d i v e r s e i n v e n t i v e p o s s i b i l i t i e s f o r p o s t c o l o n i a l ethnographic r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s emerge. ( C l i f f o r d , 1988c: 10) But how does t h i s ' r e c o g n i t i o n ' d i f f e r i n any s i g n i f i c a n t way from H u s s e r l * s o b s e r v a t i o n t h a t s u b j e c t i v i t y i s c o n s t i t u t i v e ? R e f e r r i n g to s u b j e c t i v i t y or s u b j e c t i v i t i e s as 'constructed 159 domains o£ t r u t h , s e r i o u s f i c t i o n s ' i n no way addresses the problem of s u b j e c t i v i t y as such, i . e . as, e s s e n t i a l l y , the product of a c o n s t i t u t i v e consciousness. C l i f f o r d merely p o i n t s out t h a t any given s e l f or s u b j e c t i v i t y i s 'fashioned' from numerous fragments — of language, of c u l t u r e , of i n t e r -p e r s o n a l r e l a t i o n s and so on, but even Tennyson (a c o n s e r v a t i v e , t o t a l i z i n g poet i f ever t h e r e was one) c o u l d acknowledge as much: "I am a p a r t of a l l t h a t I have met" (Tennyson, 1958: 66). I t i s the o l d Husserlean t r i c k of t r a n s f o r m i n g s u b j e c t i v i t y i n t o i n t e r s u b j e c t l v i t y i n a desperate b i d to a v o i d s o l i p s i s m , and i t works f o r C l i f f o r d about as w e l l as i t worked f o r H u s s e r l . As D e r r i d a says, a c c o r d i n g to H u s s e r l . . . the s u b j e c t [ i s ] d esignated i n terms of the c l a s s i c a l metaphysical schema which d i s t i n g u i s h e s substance (present being) from i t s a t t r i b u t e s . Another schema t h a t keeps the . . . a n a l y s i s w i t h i n the c l o s u r e of the metaphysics of presence i s the s u b j e c t - o b j e c t o p p o s i t i o n . T h i s being whose "absolute p r o p e r t i e s " are i n d e s c r i b a b l e i s present as a b s o l u t e s u b j e c t i v i t y , i s an a b s o l u t e l y present and a b s o l u t e l y s e l f - p r e s e n t being, o n l y i n o p p o s i t i o n to the o b j e c t . The o b j e c t i s r e l a t i v e ; what i s a b s o l u t e i s the s u b j e c t . . . . T h i s d e t e r m i n a t i o n of "absolute s u b j e c t i v i t y " would . . . have to be c r o s s e d out as soon as we conceive the present on the b a s i s of d i f f e r e n c e , and not the r e v e r s e . The concept of s u b j e c t i v i t y belongs a p r i o r i and i n  g e n e r a l to the order of the c o n s t i t u t e d . T h i s holds a f o r t i o r i f o r the a n a l o g i c a l a p p r e s e n t a t i o n t h a t c o n s t i t u t e s i n t e r s u b j e c t i v i t y . ( D e r r i d a , 1973b: 84-85) 160 In other words, i n t e r s u b j e c t i v i t y Is as much a product of the n o t i o n of c o n s t i t u t i v e or i n t e n t i o n a l consciousness as i s s u b j e c t i v i t y per se. But i f , as we have seen, consciousness i s not and cannot be an a b s o l u t e l y s e l f - p r e s e n t and s e l f -i d e n t i c a l e n t i t y , then not o n l y the n o t i o n of consciousness, but the noti o n s of i n t e n t i o n a l i t y , the s e l f , s u b j e c t i v i t y , i n t e r s u b j e c t i v i t y and so on must be rethought as w e l l . T h i s C l i f f o r d does not r e c o g n i z e . J u s t as C l i f f o r d ' s n o t i o n of s u b j e c t i v i t y may be seen to have i t s r o o t s i n H u s s e r l , so h i s n o t i o n of d i a l o g u e may be seen to have i t s r o o t s i n Gadamer. As was shown i n Chapter Three, Gadamer r e l i e s on a P l a t o n i c n o t i o n of d i a l o g u e i n order to achieve h i s hermeneutlc ' f u s i o n of h o r i z o n s ' and the concomitant attainment of 'the common meaning.' In the same way, C l i f f o r d ' s n o t i o n of 'negotiated r e a l i t i e s ' r e l i e s on an e s s e n t i a l l y P l a t o n i c cum Gadamerlan n o t i o n of d i a l o g u e wherein the ' t r u t h * ( p a r t i a l or otherwise) of any gi v e n s i t u a t i o n i s determined by the ' f u s i o n ' of the views of the n e g o t i a t i n g p a r t i e s . Again, the f a c t t h a t C l i f f o r d i n s i s t s upon the non-absolute ( i . e . the ' p a r t i a l ' nature of 'truth') i n no way d i s c o u n t s the f a c t t h a t h i s e n t i r e conceptual system remains p r e d i c a t e d upon and d e d i c a t e d to an unexamined n o t i o n of presence which, by d e f i n i t i o n , i m p l i e s the e x i s t e n c e of the v e r y a b s o l u t e s he i s a t pains to deny. In other words, i t i s no use denying the p o s s i b i l i t y of a t t a i n i n g a b s olute t r u t h i f one's e n t i r e c onceptual frame assumes t h a t p o s s i b i l i t y — one must f i r s t look to one's taken f o r granted n o t i o n s f o r , to paraphrase A r i s t o t l e , the unexamined concept i s not worth having. So with speech and d i a l o g u e , f o r , as D e r r i d a p o i n t s out, [The system of speech] r e q u i r e s t h a t i t be heard and understood immediately by whoever emits i t . I t produces a s i g n i f i e r which seems not to f a l l i n t o the world, o u t s i d e the i d e a l i t y of the s i g n i f i e d , but to remain s h e l t e r e d — even a t the moment th a t i t a t t a i n s the audiophonic system of the other -- w i t h i n the pure i n t e r i o r i t y of a u t o - a f f e c t i o n . I t does not f a l l i n t o the e x t e r i o r i t y of space, i n t o what one c a l l s the world, which i s nothing but the o u t s i d e of speech. Within s o - c a l l e d " l i v i n g " speech, the s p a t i a l e x t e r i o r i t y of the s i g n i f i e r seems a b s o l u t e l y reduced. . . Conve r s a t i o n [ dialogue] i s , then, a communication between two ab s o l u t e o r i g i n s t h a t , i f one may venture the formula, a u t o - a f f e c t r e c i p r o c a l l y , r e p e a t i n g as immediate echo the auto-a f f e c t i o n produced by the other. Immediacy i s here the myth of consciousness. Speech and consciousness of speech — t h a t i s to say consciousness simply as s e l f - p r e s e n c e — are the phenomenon of an a u t o - a f f e c t i o n l i v e d as suppr e s s i o n of d l f f F r a n c e . That phenomenon, the presumed s u p p r e s s i o n of d i f f 6 r a n c e , t h a t l i v e d r e d u c t i o n of the o p a c i t y of the s i g n i f i e r , are the o r i g i n s of what i s c a l l e d presence. ( D e r r i d a , 1982e: 166) And, indeed, C l i f f o r d v e r y much s u b s c r i b e s to t h i s system of speech and di a l o g u e as i n d i c a t i v e of immediate and unmediated i n s t a n c e s of presence — "the proper r e f e r e n t of any account i s not a represented 'world,' . . . i t i s s p e c i f i c i n s t a n c e s of d i s c o u r s e " ( C l i f f o r d , 1986a: 14). These 'Instances of d i s c o u r s e ' are composed of d l a l o g l c a l s i t u a t i o n s , the i n t e r s u b j e c t i v e nature of which i t i s the task of the ethnographer to n e g o t i a t e . But t h i s e n t i r e procedure takes plac e w i t h i n the unquestioned domain of speech as presence, of speech as Immediate and s e l f - i d e n t i c a l and, as we have seen, speech, being s u b j e c t to i t e r a b i l i t y , i s always a l r e a d y r i d d l e d with i t s own i m p o s s i b i l i t y as such — with i t s own I m p o s s i b i l i t y as an unmedlated, s e l f - I d e n t i c a l concept. Again, the r a m i f i c a t i o n s of t h i s must be c o n s i d e r e d . F i n a l l y , although C l i f f o r d c r i t i c i z e s an anthropology t h a t , monophonically, 'has claimed to r e p r e s e n t c u l t u r e s ' (emphasis C l i f f o r d ' s ) he has no d i f f i c u l t y i n p e r c e i v i n g anthropology as 'a d l a l o g l c a l e n t e r p r i s e i n which both r e s e a r c h e r s and n a t i v e s are . . . authors of c u l t u r a l r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s ' (emphasis mine). In other words, he never q u e s t i o n s the nature of r e p r e s e n t a t i o n as such. The Oxford  E n g l i s h D i c t i o n a r y d e f i n e s the verb 'to r e p r e s e n t ' as f o l l o w s : "place l i k e n e s s of before mind or senses, serve or be meant as l i k e n e s s of . . .symbolize, a c t as embodiment of, stand f o r , correspond t o . " Thus, r e p r e s e n t a t i o n may be seen to be p a r t of the order of the s i g n i n g e n e r a l (n.b. the OED d e f i n e s ' s i g n ' as " t h i n g used as r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of something") — t h a t i s to say, i t assumes the p o s s i b i l i t y of r e - p r e s e n t i n g an idea or phenomenon which p r e - e x i s t s s a i d 163 r e p r e s e n t a t i o n as a s e l f - c o n t a i n e d p l e n i t u d e . As D e r r i d a p o i n t s out, Between the overture and the p h i l o s o p h i c a l a c c o m p l i s h m e n t of phonologism (or l o g o c e n t r i s m ) , the motif of presence was d e c i s i v e l y a r t i c u l a t e d . I t underwent an i n t e r n a l m o d i f i c a t i o n whose most conspicuous index was the moment of c e r t i t u d e i n the C a r t e s i a n c o g i t o . Before t h a t , the i d e n t i t y of presence o f f e r e d to the mastery of r e p e t i t i o n was c o n s t i t u t e d under the " o b j e c t i v e " form of the I d e a l i t y of the eidos or the s u b s t a n t i a l i t y of o u s i a . T h e r e a f t e r , t h i s o b j e c t i v i t y takes the form of r e p r e s e n t a t i o n , of the idea as the m o d i f i c a t i o n of a s e l f - p r e s e n t substance, conscious and c e r t a i n of i t s e l f a t the moment of i t s r e l a t i o n s h i p to i t s e l f . W i t hin i t s most gen e r a l form, the mastery of presence a c q u i r e s a s o r t of i n f i n i t e assurance. The power of r e p e t i t i o n t h a t the eidos and ousi a made a v a i l a b l e seems t o a c q u i r e an abs o l u t e i n d e p e n d e n c e . I d e a l i t y and s u b s t a n t i a l i t y r e l a t e to themselves, i n the element of the res c o g l t a n s , by a movement of pure a u t o - a f f e c t i o n . Consciousness i s the experience of pure a u t o - a f f e c t i o n . ( D e r r i d a , 1982e: 97-98) In other words, i n p o s t - C a r t e s i a n p h i l o s o p h y the concept of r e p r e s e n t a t i o n i s i n d i s s o c i a b l e from the concept of consciousness as pure a u t o - a f f e c t i o n — as pure s e l f -presence. We have a l r e a d y seen how the C a r t e s i a n n o t i o n of consciousness i s developed and extended by H u s s e r l and how Husserlean phenomenology i s assumed by both ' i n t e r p r e t i v e ' anthropology v i s & v i s Geertz and 'postmodern* anthropology 164 v i s & v i s C l i f f o r d . The n o t i o n of r e p r e s e n t a t i o n as such assumes a p h i l o s o p h y of s u b j e c t i v i t y which takes as i t s moment of i n d u b i t a b i l i t y the moment of consciousness as pure s e l f - p r e s e n c e . To repeat, r e p r e s e n t a t i o n i s what r e - p r e s e n t s an assumed o r i g i n a r y s e l f - p r e s e n c e . However, i f the concept of presence, i n a l l i t s v a r i e d m a n i f e s t a t i o n s (e.g. speech, consciousness, metaphor e t c . ) , i s c a l l e d i n t o q u e s t i o n , so, too, i s the concept of r e p r e s e n t a t i o n . I f presence i s always a l r e a d y d i v i d e d , always a l r e a d y r i d d l e d with i t s own absence, then r e p r e s e n t a t i o n as such i s no longer a v i a b l e concept f o r i t can no longer r e - p r e s e n t a unique, s e l f - c o n t a i n e d phenomenon — which i s to say th a t i t cannot r e - p r e s e n t , as such, a t a l l . C l i f f o r d , l i k e Geertz, and, indeed, l i k e a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s i n g e n e r a l , must become more aware of the i m p l i c a t i o n s of Western c o n c e p t u a l i t y . Unless and u n t i l t h i s happens C l i f f o r d , and a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s i n g e n e r a l , w i l l continue, w i t t i n g l y or u n w i t t i n g l y , to r e i n f o r c e and to perpetuate the r e p r e s s i o n / o p p r e s s i o n which comes with an unexamined acceptance of t o t a l i z a t i o n and homogeneity. Chapter F i v e 165 Concluding Assessments In t h i s f i n a l chapter I w i l l begin by a s s e s s i n g what I have a l r e a d y s a i d about Geertz and C l i f f o r d r e s p e c t i v e l y , and, i n so doing, w i l l attempt t o show t h a t i n t e r p r e t i v e and 'postmodern' anthropology are two s i d e s of the same o l d c o i n . Having done t h a t , I w i l l then go on to suggest why a s e r i o u s c o n s i d e r a t i o n of Derridean d e c o n s t r u c t i o n i s of c r u c i a l importance t o the d i s c i p l i n e of anthropology. Both Geertz and C l i f f o r d have t h e i r r o o t s i n phenomenology and hermeneutlcs and both p r o f e s s to be concerned with r e s c u i n g c u l t u r a l d i v e r s i t y from an o v e r a r c h i n g u n i t y or t o t a l i t y . T h e i r main d i f f e r e n c e seems to be me t h o d o l o g i c a l , i n t h a t Geertz p r e f e r s the R i c o e u r i a n model of the t e x t whereas C l i f f o r d p r e f e r s the Gadamerlan model of the d i a l o g u e . 3 1 Thus Geertz lauds the p o s s i b i l i t y of a • f i x a t i o n of meaning' through e s t a b l i s h i n g a " c o n s u l t a b l e r e c o r d of what man has s a i d " (Geertz, 19731: 30) while C l i f f o r d lauds the p o s s i b i l i t y of a ' s p e c i f i c a t i o n of d i s c o u r s e s ' through emphasizing "the i n t e r s u b j e c t i v i t y of 3 1 I n t e r e s t i n g l y , Rabinow comments t h a t i n C l i f f o r d ' s a r t i c l e , "On Ethnographic A u t h o r i t y " (Representations 1, no. 2, 1983: 118-146), he p r a i s e s Gadamer f o r a s p i r i n g to ' r a d i c a l d i a l o g i s m . 1 However, i n the 1988 r e p r i n t of t h i s a r t i c l e i n C l i f f o r d ' s The Predicament of C u l t u r e , a l l r e f e r e n c e to Gadamer has been d e l e t e d , one wonders why. 166 speech, along with i t s immediate pe r f o r m a t i v e c o n t e x t " ( C l i f f o r d , 1988f: 41). In other words, Geertz a b s t r a c t s from the d l a l o g l c a l s i t u a t i o n ( s ) through a process of guess and v a l i d a t i o n whereby he a r r i v e s at the ' p a r t i a l t r u t h ' of an i n t e r p r e t a t i o n whereas C l i f f o r d attempts to r e p r e s e n t the d i a l o g i c a l s i t u a t i o n ( s ) as such whereby he a r r i v e s a t the ' p a r t i a l t r u t h ' of a n e g o t i a t e d ' r e a l i t y . ' But both authors p e r c e i v e the doing of anthropology to be i n v o l v e d with a hermeneutlc idea of process (Geertz through h i s n o t i o n of d i a l e c t i c and C l i f f o r d through h i s n o t i o n of d i a l o g u e ) and both authors p r i v i l e g e a phenomenological idea of the c o n s t i t u t i v e or i n t e n t i o n a l nature of consciousness (Geertz through h i s n o t i o n of meaning and C l i f f o r d through h i s n o t i o n of speech). F u r t h e r to t h i s , both authors emphasize the importance of n a r r a t i v e and/or s t o r i e s with r e s p e c t to ethnography (e.g. Geertz: "[Ethnography should be] c a s t . . . as a n a r r a t o l o g i c a l i s s u e , a matter of how best to get an honest s t o r y h o n e s t l y t o l d " (Geertz, 1988b: 9) and C l i f f o r d : "[A r e c o g n i t i o n of a l l e g o r y ] shows the ethnography t o be a h i e r a r c h i c a l s t r u c t u r e of powerful s t o r i e s [and] heightens awareness of the n a r r a t i v e . . . i m p l i c i t y or e x p l i c i t l y a t work" ( C l i f f o r d , 1986b: 120-121)). ( I t w i l l , of course, be remembered t h a t n a r r a t i v i t y as such i s , by d e f i n i t i o n , a t e l e o l o g i c a l / t o t a l i z i n g concept.) Thus Geertz and C l i f f o r d , t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e emphases on t e x t and i n t e r p r e t a t i o n on the one hand and speech and d i a l o g u e on the 167 other n o t w i t h s t a n d i n g , may be seen to be both i n h e r i t o r s and, more im p o r t a n t l y , p e r p e t u a t o r s of a p h i l o s o p h i c a l c o n c e p t u a l i t y which m i t i g a t e s a g a i n s t t h e i r p r o f e s s e d d e s i r e to emphasize d i v e r s i t y / h e t e r o g e n e i t y over unity/homogeneity. At t h i s p o i n t i t i s necessary to take a b r i e f look at the term 'postmodern' and attempt both to s i t u a t e i t and to assess i t s a p p r o p r i a t e n e s s as a d e s c r i p t i v e t ag f o r the work of James C l i f f o r d . 3 2 Mark T a y l o r p r o v i d e s the c l e a r e s t account of postmodernism and i t s r e l a t i o n s h i p t o modernism t h a t I have yet encountered and so I w i l l quote him a t some l e n g t h : The search f o r I r r e d u c i b l e d i f f e r e n c e and r a d i c a l otherness obsesses many of our most imag i n a t i v e and c r e a t i v e a r t i s t s , w r i t e r s , p h i l o s o p h e r s , p s y c h o l o g i s t s , and t h e o l o g i a n s . Although i t r e c u r s throughout the century, concern with d i f f e r e n c e and otherness i s a d i s t i n g u i s h i n g t r a i t of t h i n k e r s who can be d e s c r i b e d as "postmodern." "Postmodernism" i s a n o t o r i o u s l y vague term. The o b s c u r i t y of postmodernism r e f l e c t s , i n p a r t , the c o n t i n u i n g c o n f u s i o n surrounding the n o t i o n of the modern. . . . While i t i s impossible to d e f i n e and d e l i m i t modernity with any degree of p r e c i s i o n , there seems to be a consensus t h a t modern ph i l o s o p h y begins with Descartes's inward t u r n to the s u b j e c t . Plagued by u n c e r t a i n t y and doubt, Descartes seeks c e r t a i n t y through doubt. He doubts e v e r y t h i n g u n t i l he reaches what he regards as i n d u b i t a b l e -- h i s own doubting s e l f . Descartes 3 3 For an i n t e r e s t i n g account of the v a r i o u s s t r a n d s of postmodernist thought, the reader may wish to c o n s u l t E. Ann Kaplan, ed. Postmodernism and i t s D i s c o n t e n t s : T h e o r i e s ,  P r a c t i c e s (London: Verso, 1989). l a b e l s t h i s s e l f - c e r t a i n s u b j e c t res  c o g l t a n s , which he d i s t i n g u i s h e s from a l l e l s e , d e s c r i b e d as res extensa. Having r a d i c a l l y d i f f e r e n t i a t e d res c o g l t a n s from res extensa, Descartes faces the problem of e s t a b l i s h i n g the r e l a t i o n s h i p between s u b j e c t i v i t y and o b j e c t i v i t y . In a move t h a t becomes d e c i s i v e f o r many l a t e r t h i n k e r s , Descartes i n s i s t s t h a t the s u b j e c t ' s r e l a t i o n t o otherness i s mediated by and r e d u c i b l e to i t s r e l a t i o n s h i p to I t s e l f . In the wake of Descartes's m e d i t a t i o n s , modern phi l o s o p h y becomes a p h i l o s o p h y of the s u b j e c t . As the l o c u s of c e r t a i n t y and t r u t h , s u b j e c t i v i t y i s the f i r s t p r i n c i p l e from which e v e r y t h i n g a r i s e s and to which a l l must be r e t u r n e d . With the movement from Descartes, through the Enlightenment to i d e a l i s m and romanticism, a t t r i b u t e s t r a d i t i o n a l l y p r e d i c a t e d of the d i v i n e s u b j e c t are g r a d u a l l y d i s p l a c e d onto the human s u b j e c t . Through a d i a l e c t i c a l r e v e r s a l , the c r e a t o r God d i e s and i s r e s u r r e c t e d i n the c r e a t i v e s u b j e c t . As God c r e a t e d the world through the Logos, so man c r e a t e s a "world" through conscious and unconscious p r o j e c t i o n . In d i f f e r e n t terms, the modern s u b j e c t d e f i n e s i t s e l f by i t s c o n s t r u c t i v e a c t i v i t y . L i k e God, the s o v e r e i g n s u b j e c t r e l a t e s o n l y to what i t c o n s t r u c t s and t h e r e f o r e i s u n a f f e c t e d by anything other than i t s e l f . What appears to be a r e l a t i o n s h i p to otherness -- be t h a t other God, nature, o b j e c t s , s u b j e c t , c u l t u r e or h i s t o r y — always turns out to be an aspect of mediate s e l f - r e l a t i o n t h a t i s necessary fo r complete s e l f - r e a l i z a t i o n i n t r a n s p a r e n t s e l f - c o n s c i o u s n e s s . Absolute knowledge a c t u a l i z e d i n the f u l l s e l f -consciousness of the s u b j e c t seems to r e a l i z e Western philosophy's dream of e n j o y i n g a t o t a l presence t h a t i s n e i t h e r d i s t u r b e d by i r r e d u c i b l e d i f f e r e n c e nor i n t e r r u p t e d by the r e t u r n of an a b s o l u t e other. ( T a y l o r , 1987a: x x i - x x l i ) 169 Thus modernism has to do with n o t i o n s o£ s e l f - i d e n t i c a l / s e l f - c e r t a i n knowledge and t o t a l i t y ( i . e . presence), whereas postmodernism has to do with i r r e d u c i b l e d i f f e r e n c e and r a d i c a l a l t e r i t y ( i . e . u n d e c i d a b i l i t y ) . In these terms, C l i f f o r d f a l l s as much i n t o the modernist camp as does Geertz f o r , as has been seen, both he and Geertz r e l y on a c o n c e p t u a l i t y t h a t i s phenomenological/hermeneutical — i . e . a c o n c e p t u a l i t y t h a t i s rooted i n assumptions of s u b j e c t i v i t y (and hence t o t a l i t y ) on the one hand and assumptions of d i a l e c t i c l t y (and hence t o t a l i t y ) on the other. T h i s being the case, the term 'postmodernism' i s a misnomer as a p p l i e d to C l i f f o r d and i t i s e x c e e d i n g l y unfortunate t h a t t h i s a p p l i c a t i o n has gained c u r r e n c y i n r e c e n t a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l l i t e r a t u r e f o r i t can do nothing but spawn c o n f u s i o n . (In one r e c e n t a r t i c l e (Kapferer, 1989) even Geertz i s r e f e r r e d t o as postmodernist!) I t does not s u f f i c e merely to s t a t e t h a t one i s n o n - t o t a l i z i n g i n order a c t u a l l y to be so -- i f one's c o n c e p t u a l i t y does not f o l l o w s u i t one ends up being merely c o n t r a d i c t o r y . And i f t h i s c o n t r a d i c t i o n i s not r e c o g n i z e d and i t s r a m i f i c a t i o n s pursued (as i t i s not and they are not i n C l i f f o r d ' s work) then one submits to t o t a l i t y by d e f a u l t , f o r one's i n t e n t i o n s w i l l always remain prey to the assumptions i m p l i c i t w i t h i n one's conceptual frame. As V i n c e n t Descombes remarks, "We must be wary of m i s t a k i n g the wish to reach the promised land f o r having a l r e a d y a r r i v e d t h e r e " (Descombes, 1985: 77). 170 In any case, g i v e n t h a t what holds f o r Geertz and C l i f f o r d a l s o holds f o r anthropology i n g e n e r a l , i . e . t h a t i t s c onceptual frames are embedded i n an assumed n o t i o n of presence which always subsumes d i f f e r e n c e w i t h i n i d e n t i t y , d i v e r s i t y w i t h i n u n i t y , the problem becomes how to a v o i d doing t h i s while s t i l l remaining coherent. And i t i s c r u c i a l t o a v o i d t h i s assumption of presence because such an assumption, r e q u i r i n g , as i t does, a s e r i e s of h i e r a r c h i c a l o p p o s i t i o n a l p a i r s wherein one term i s always seen as s u b s e r v i e n t to and/or as a f a l l i n g away from the favoured term (which i s always c l o s e r to an assumed presence than i s i t s p a r t n e r ) , cannot h e l p but be both r e p r e s s i v e and o p p r e s s i v e . Indeed, the assumption of presence Is the very essence of r e p r e s s i v i t y and o p p r e s s i v i t y f o r i t r e q u i r e s , by d e f i n i t i o n and i n p r i n c i p l e , t h a t there be an a b s o l u t e , a 'trans c e n d e n t a l s i g n i f i e d , ' which e x i s t s as an u l t i m a t e , u t t e r l y dominant, s e l f - c e r t a i n p l e n i t u d e . I t f o l l o w s t h a t d i f f e r e n c e and otherness are given credence o n l y i n so f a r as they have the s t a t u s of mere v a r i a t i o n s on a theme (the theme, of course, being a b s o l u t e presence) -- they are not viewed as i n any way t h r e a t e n i n g t o the fundamental assumption of o v e r - a r c h i n g p l e n i t u d e . T h i s being the case, the e s s e n t i a l p o s s i b i l i t y of u n d e c l d a b i l i t y , of r a d i c a l otherness, of r a d i c a l d i f f e r e n c e -- an otherness and a d i f f e r e n c e t h a t a c t u a l l y d i s r u p t s and d i s p l a c e s a s e l f -c e r t a i n , s e l f - i d e n t i c a l presence — i s never s e r i o u s l y 171 c o n s i d e r e d because such a p o s s i b i l i t y i s presumed, from the ou t s e t , t o be u t t e r l y i m p o s s i b l e . Now i t i s not d i f f i c u l t to see how the p r e s u p p o s i t i o n of presence works I t s e l f out In p r a c t i c e — i t Is the ve r y c h a r t e r f o r sexism, r a c i s m and God-is-on-our-side p o l i t i c s of every d e s c r i p t i o n . And, indeed, how co u l d i t not be? For i f e v e r y t h i n g Is presumed, i n the ' f i n a l a n a l y s i s , ' to r e f e r t o an u l t i m a t e , s e l f - c e r t a i n and s e l f - c o n t a i n e d presence, then there cannot help but be corresponding n o t i o n s as to which e x i s t i n g phenomena most c l o s e l y approximate to t h a t presence. Thus those phenomena which are p e r c e i v e d to be nearer to presence ( i n the guise of God, the Good, Tr u t h , the Proper or whatever) are favoured while those which are pe r c e i v e d to be f u r t h e r from presence are d e r i d e d . To take an obvious example, Western European c u l t u r e was (and, make no mistake, s t i l l i s ) presumed to be s u p e r i o r t o non-Western European c u l t u r e s because the former was considered to be c l o s e r to God, the r l g h t n e s s and i n e v i t a b i l i t y of 'progress and c i v i l i z a t i o n ' and so on. Thus the 'white man's burden* was p e r c e i v e d to c o n s i s t of b r i n g i n g out the human essence of s u b j e c t peoples by t r a n s f o r m i n g them i n t o minor v e r s i o n s of Western Europeans. What i s t h i s but the r e p r e s s i o n / o p p r e s s i o n of d i f f e r e n c e i n the name of e s s e n t i a l i d e n t i t y ? And, of course, i t Is no s e c r e t as to who gets to d e f i n e what i s e s s e n t i a l and what should be developed, what di s c o u r a g e d . A l l t h i s i s , of course, w e l l documented and 172 need not be dwelt upon here, what concerns me Is t h a t t h i s same d e d i c a t i o n to presence remains f u l l y o p e r a t i v e today and continues to foment r e p r e s s i o n and o p p r e s s i o n . The p o i n t i s , I b e l i e v e , with D e r r i d a , t h a t so long as our c o n c e p t u a l i t y remains premised upon and d e d i c a t e d to an unexamined n o t i o n of presence, so long w i l l r e p r e s s i o n / oppression be, by d e f i n i t i o n and i n p r i n c i p l e , i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d and i n e v i t a b l e . I do not pretend to know e x a c t l y how to d e a l with t h i s s i t u a t i o n , but I do not t h i n k t h a t i t i s p o s s i b l e to over-emphasize the Importance of, a t the very l e a s t , r e c o g n i z i n g and acknowledging i t . And along with r e c o g n i t i o n and acknowledgement comes the o b l i g a t i o n not to shy away from the e f f o r t i n v o l v e d i n t r y i n g to get out of the mire of 'the o l d q u e s t i o n s , the o l d answers* (as T.S, E l i o t says, i n a r a t h e r d i f f e r e n t context, " A f t e r such knowledge, what f o r g i v e n e s s ? " ( E l i o t , 1963b: 40)) but, r a t h e r , to take the advice of the l a t e J a n i s J o p l i n : "You know what you b e t t e r do baby — you b e t t e r t r y harder" ( J o p l i n , 1975). So, i n t h i s e f f o r t of t r y i n g , t h i s t r y i n g e f f o r t , i t i s time to take a c l o s e r look at u n d e c l d a b i l i t y . As w i l l be remembered from Chapter Two, the d i s s e m i n a t i v e p l a y of u n d e c l d a b i l i t y i s an always a l r e a d y o c c u r r i n g process which prevents any given concept from ever being c l o s e d and s e l f -i d e n t i c a l ( i t s i m p o s s i b i l i t y ) while s i m u l t a n e o u s l y a l l o w i n g f o r the e x i s t e n c e of the concept as an e f f e c t ( i t s 173 p o s s i b i l i t y ) , 3 3 Once concepts are seen as e f f e c t s of a p r i m o r d i a l d i s s e m i n a t i v e u n d e c i d a b i l i t y , they are precluded from occupying any p o s i t i o n of absolute dominance because they are recognized as being always a l r e a d y f i s s u r e d by a p l a y which determines both t h e i r p o s s i b i l i t y and t h e i r i m p o s s i b i l i t y -- a p l a y which prevents them from ever a b s o l u t e l y a ccounting f o r any given s i t u a t i o n whatsoever. Again, I must emphasize t h a t t h i s i s not to say t h a t concepts w i l l cease to f u n c t i o n -- o n l y t h a t they w i l l cease to f u n c t i o n as a l l - d e t e r m i n i n g e n t i t l e s or essences, i . e . as concepts as such. As Henry Staten puts i t , D e r r i d a . . . denies what we c o u l d c a l l the i m p e r m e a b i l i t y of the as-such, the t r a n s c e n d e n t a 1 i t y o r l o g i c a l superhardness of the b a r r i e r t h a t marks o f f the conceptual p u r i t y of X from e v e r y t h i n g t h a t i s not-X. I t i s not t h a t i d e n t i t y i s drowned i n otherness, but t h a t i t i s n e c e s s a r i l y open to i t , contaminated by i t . Yet the n e c e s s i t y or e s s e n t i a l c h a r a c t e r of t h i s contamination cannot be named unless we f i r s t grasp the concept or essence or form as p u r i t y , as pure p o s i t i v e s e l f - i d e n t i t y . Otherwise e i t h e r there i s nothing to contaminate, or the f o r c e of the contamination i s not f e l t . Furthermore, the claims of p o s i t i v e s e l f - i d e n t i t y are undeniable. 3 3 I t should be noted t h a t t h i s holds f o r the concept of d i f f e r e n c e every b i t as much as i t holds f o r the concept of i d e n t i t y . The reader must take care not to confuse ' d i f f e r e n c e , ' a p h i l o s o p h i c a l concept which presupposes u l t i m a t e r e s o l u t i o n w i t h i n a u n i f i c , s e l f - i d e n t i c a l presence, with d l f f F r a n c e , the always a l r e a d y o c c u r r i n g process of u n d e c i d a b i l i t y , which i s n e i t h e r d i f f e r e n c e nor i d e n t i t y but which a l l o w s f o r the p o s s i b i l i t y of both as an e f f e c t of i t s d i s s e m i n a t i v e p l a y . 174 The Now cannot be reduced to the not-now. I t s e s s e n t i a l l i n k a g e with the not-now compromises the p u r i t y of i t s p o s i t i v e I d e n t i t y without d e s t r o y i n g i t . The p o i n t of departure of d e c o n s t r u c t i o n from p h i l o s o p h y i s thus q u i t e s u b t l e . The value and n e c e s s i t y of pure concepts and c a t e g o r i e s are not denied, but they are no longer the l a s t word. We no longer simply note and then set a s i d e the f a c t u a l or e m p i r i c a l contamination of our u n i t i e s , but see th a t they are Impure always and In p r i n c i p l e , and pursue the i m p l i c a t i o n s of t h i s e s s e n t i a l law of im p u r i t y . (Staten, 1984: 18-19) Now i f concepts, as such, can no longer be seen to t o t a l l y dominate any given f i e l d , can no longer be seen to have 'the l a s t word,' then i t becomes necessary to r e - t h i n k c o n c e p t u a l i t y as such and to take account of i t s e s s e n t i a l openness to r a d i c a l a l t e r i t y . And t h i s r a d i c a l a l t e r i t y , t h i s otherness which cannot be homogenized w i t h i n the s e l f -same of c l a s s i c a l c o n c e p t u a l i t y , i s the d i s s e m i n a t i v e p l a y of u n d e c l d a b i l i t y . I t i s important to r e a l i z e t h a t the d e c o n s t r u c t i v e concern with u n d e c l d a b i l i t y i s n e i t h e r negative nor n i h i l i s t i c . As D e r r i d a says, D e c o n s t r u c t i o n always presupposes a f f i r m a t i o n , as I have f r e q u e n t l y attempted t o p o i n t out. . . . I do not mean that the d e c o n s t r u c t i n g s u b j e c t or s e l f a f f i r m s . I mean t h a t d e c o n s t r u c t i o n i s , i n i t s e l f , a p o s i t i v e response to an a l t e r i t y which n e c e s s a r i l y c a l l s , summons or motivates i t . . . . The other, as the other than s e l f , the other t h a t opposes 175 s e l f - i d e n t i t y , i s not something t h a t can be d e t e c t e d and d i s c l o s e d w i t h i n a p h i l o s o p h i c a l space and with the a i d of a p h i l o s o p h i c a l lamp. The other precedes ph i l o s o p h y and n e c e s s a r i l y invokes and provokes the s u b j e c t before any genuine q u e s t i o n i n g can begin. I t i s i n t h i s r a pport with the other t h a t a f f i r m a t i o n expresses i t s e l f . ( D e r r i d a i n Kearney, ed., 1984: 118) In other words, d e c o n s t r u c t i o n , u n l i k e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n or e x p l a n a t i o n as such (which, being p r e d i c a t e d upon notions of presence, presuppose the e s s e n t i a l p o s s i b i l i t y of c l o s u r e , e.g. an u l t i m a t e r e f e r e n t i n the guise of an i n t e r p r e t e d theme(s) on the one hand or an e x p l a i n e d s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t r e s u l t on the other) c o n c e n t r a t e s on the p l a y of a n o n - f i n i t e d i s s e m i n a t i o n (which, being p r e d i c a t e d on o r i g i n a r y d o u b l i n g and u n d e c i d a b i l i t y , presupposes the e s s e n t i a l p o s s i b i l i t y of openness). T h i s d i s s e m i n a t i v e p l a y c o n s t a n t l y a f f i r m s an u n d e c i d a b i l i t y which, i n a l l o w i n g f o r both the p o s s i b i l i t y and I m p o s s i b i l i t y of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n / e x p l a n a t i o n as such, i n s i s t s on a r e c o g n i t i o n of r a d i c a l openness which c a l l s i n t o q u e s t i o n the c l a s s i c a l n o t i o n of the concept along with the e n t i r e t r a d i t i o n of Western thought which presupposes i t s a u t h o r i t y . To put i t another way, D e r r i d a ' s concern with u n d e c i d a b i l i t y does not negate Western p h i l o s o p h y — . i t s i t u a t e s i t . That i s to say, r a t h e r than being seen as s e l f -c o n t a i n e d and i n e v i t a b l e , Western thought i s seen as merely one p o s s i b l e o f f s h o o t of an o r i g i n a r y u n d e c i d a b i l i t y , and, as such, I t i s always a l r e a d y r i d d l e d with the p o s s i b i l i t y of what i t d e f i n e s i t s e l f as most p r o p e r l y not being, i . e . i t s other. And t h i s e s s e n t i a l p o s s i b i l i t y of r a d i c a l a l t e r i t y p r o h i b i t s Western thought from ever a t t a i n i n g a c l o s u r e and a dominance which i t nonetheless presumes. S i m i l a r l y , with r e s p e c t to u n d e c i d a b i l i t y e n t a i l i n g n i h i l i s m or a b s o l u t e indeterminacy, D e r r i d a comments as f o l l o w s : D l f f F r a n c e i s not indeterminacy. I t renders determinacy both p o s s i b l e and necessary. Someone might say: but i f i t renders determinacy p o s s i b l e , i t i s because i t i t s e l f i s "indeterminacy." P r e c i s e l y not, s i n c e f i r s t of a l l i t " i s " i n I t s e l f nothing o u t s i d e of d i f f e r e n t d e t e r m i n a t i o n s ; second, and consequently, i t never comes to a f u l l stop anywhere, a b s o l u t e l y t e l l e ne s ' a r r e t e n u l l e p a r t ], and Is n e i t h e r n e g a t i v i t y nor nothingness (as indeterminacy would be). ( D e r r i d a , 1988a: 149) In other words, the p l a y of u n d e c i d a b i l i t y , because i t accounts f o r both determined e f f e c t s and the i m p o s s i b i l i t y of the a b s o l u t e nature of those e f f e c t s , cannot be p e r c e i v e d as a simple indeterminacy, a simple n e g a t i v i t y , or, Indeed, a simple ( i n the sense of c o n s i s t i n g of one pure and s e l f -c o n t ained element or essence) anything. I t i s f o r t h i s reason t h a t d e c o n s t r u c t i o n and i t s i n s i s t e n c e upon the c r u c i a l importance of u n d e c i d a b i l i t y cannot be viewed as c o n s t i t u t i n g a form of r e l a t i v i s m . R e l a t i v i s m presumes a 177 n o t i o n o£ context or contexts as s e l f - c o n t a i n e d and s e l f -v a l i d a t i n g . I f , however, contexts as such are seen to be always a l r e a d y i n s c r i b e d with what they are not, i . e . with the p o s s i b i l i t y of t h e i r own o t h e r n e s s , 3 4 then the concept of r e l a t i v i s m , l i k e a l l p h i l o s o p h i c a l concepts, must be d e c o n s t r u c t e d — i t must give way to the d i s s e m i n a t i v e p l a y of u n d e c i d a b i l i t y . As w i l l be r e c a l l e d , D i s semination . . . although producing a n o n f i n i t e number of semantic e f f e c t s , can be l e d back n e i t h e r to a present of simple o r i g i n . . . nor to an e s c h a t o l o g i c a l presence. I t marks an i r r e d u c i b l e and g e n e r a t i v e m u l t i p l i c i t y . The supplement and the t u r b u l e n c e of a c e r t a i n lack f r a c t u r e the l i m i t of the t e x t , f o r b i d d i n g an exhaustive and c l o s e d f o r m a l i z a t i o n of i t , or a t l e a s t a s a t u r a t i n g taxonomy of i t s themes, i t s s i g n i f i e d , i t s meaning. ( D e r r i d a , 1981g: 45) The p o i n t i s , i f we can no longer t h i n k i n terms of concepts which are i n p r i n c i p l e a b s o l u t e and s e l f - c o n t a i n e d , i f we must acknowledge an o r i g i n a r y d o u b l i n g , an e s s e n t i a l u n d e c i d a b i l i t y which pr e c l u d e s any p o s s i b i l i t y of u l t i m a t e u n i t y or c l o s u r e , then we must f o l l o w up on Geertz's i n t i m a t i o n t h a t "Something i s happening to the way we t h i n k about the way we t h i n k " (Geertz, 1983a: 20). And what i s 3 4 See my d i s c u s s i o n of the concept of context i n chapter Four. 178 happening Is t h a t we can no longer 'think' as such — t h a t Is to say, we can no longer assume the e x i s t e n c e o£ a s i n g u l a r , s e l f - i d e n t i c a l consciousness or mind which intends s i n g u l a r and s e l f - i d e n t i c a l thoughts. (The Oxford E n g l i s h D i c t i o n a r y d e f i n e s the verb 'to t h i n k ' as: " i n t e n d , expect. . . . form c o n c e p t i o n o f . . . . independent mind.") Rather, we must be a t t e n t i v e to an e s s e n t i a l openness, a p r i m o r d i a l and g e n e r a t i v e h e t e r o g e n e i t y , a d i s s e m i n a t i v e p l a y of u n d e c i d a b i l i t y . And what might t h i s look l i k e f o r anthropology i n general? Well, to begin with, i t looks l i k e what I have attempted to do throughout t h i s d i s s e r t a t i o n . That i s , i t i n v o l v e s an extremely c l o s e examination and d e c o n s t r u c t i o n of what anthropology has done up to t h i s p o i n t — author by author and concept by concept. An a t t e n t i v e n e s s to u n d e c i d a b i l i t y i n v o l v e s a r e c o g n i t i o n t h a t none of our concepts, none of our assumptions, are a b s o l u t e and homogeneous and t h a t we must c o n s t a n t l y be on guard a g a i n s t l e t t i n g n o t i o n s of p l e n i t u d e , t o t a l i t y and other such m a n i f e s t a t i o n s of presence i n by the back door. And t h i s guarding a g a i n s t c o n s c i o u s l y or u n c o n s c i o u s l y r e l y i n g on v a r i o u s concepts which are rooted i n assumptions of presence i s of fundamental Importance to anthropology because such concepts are, by d e f i n i t i o n and i n p r i n c i p l e , both r e p r e s s i v e and o p p r e s s i v e . They are r e p r e s s i v e because they a b s o l u t e l y deny the p o s s i b i l i t y of an a l t e r i t y or otherness t h a t i s not subsumed w i t h i n n o t i o n s of 179 u n i t y and s e l f - i d e n t i t y — and t h i s a b s t r a c t r e p r e s s i o n t r a n s l a t e s i n t o a v e r y concrete o p p r e s s i o n . Thus throughout Western ' h i s t o r y ' women have been (and are) viewed as i n f e r i o r to and hence p r o p e r l y s u b s e r v i e n t to men, ' p r i m i t i v e ' c u l t u r e s have been (and are) viewed as i n f e r i o r to and hence p r o p e r l y s u b s e r v i e n t to ' c i v i l i z e d ' c u l t u r e s , people of c o l o u r have been (and are) viewed as i n f e r i o r to and hence p r o p e r l y s u b s e r v i e n t to white people (and here t r a d i t i o n a l Western notions of white s y m b o l i z i n g good and p u r i t y and black s y m b o l i z i n g e v i l and i m p u r i t y s u r e l y cannot be c o n s i d e r e d c o i n c i d e n t a l ) , non-human l i f e - f o r m s have been (and are) viewed as i n f e r i o r to and hence p r o p e r l y s u b s e r v i e n t to human l i f e - f o r m s and so on. In other words, the h i e r a r c h i c a l o p p o s i t i o n a l i t y which i s a product of v a r i o u s m a n i f e s t a t i o n s of the concept of presence i s s t r u c t u r e d In such a way t h a t the h a l f of an o p p o s i t i o n a l p a i r which i s co n s i d e r e d c l o s e s t to an o r i g i n a r y and a l l -encompassing presence i s p r i v i l e g e d over the other h a l f . The n o n - p r i v i l e g e d h a l f of a h i e r a r c h i c a l l y s t r u c t u r e d o p p o s i t i o n a l p a i r i s con s i d e r e d to be a c o r r u p t v e r s i o n of the p r i v i l e g e d h a l f and, t h e r e f o r e , to have no s t a n d i n g i n and of i t s e l f . That Is to say, because the e s s e n t i a l p o s s i b i l i t y of r a d i c a l a l t e r i t y , of u n d e c i d a b i l i t y , i s not taken i n t o c o n s i d e r a t i o n , the n o n - p r i v i l e g e d h a l f i s deemed to be o n l y an impure form of i t s partner and hence serves merely to underscore the e s s e n t i a l u n i t y of a dominating 180 presence — a dominating presence which i s always skewed In favour of t h a t which i s p e r c e i v e d to be c l o s e s t to i t . Thus, f o r example, i n C h r i s t i a n theology, Satan, the embodiment of e v i l , i s co n s i d e r e d to be a f a l l e n a n g e l ; women are con s i d e r e d to be f u r t h e r from God than are men ("Hee f o r God only, shee f o r God i n him" ( M i l t o n , 1975: 285)); ' p r i m i t i v e ' peoples are co n s i d e r e d to partake of the essence of humanity but i t i s ' c i v i l i z e d ' peoples who most p r o p e r l y express and d e f i n e t h a t essence; non-human l i f e - f o r m s are c o n s i d e r e d to be f u r t h e r from God than are human l i f e - f o r m s ("26. So God c r e a t e d man i n h i s own image, i n the image of God c r e a t e d he him; male and female c r e a t e d he them. 27. And God b l e s s e d them, and God s a i d unto them, Be f r u i t f u l and m u l t i p l y , and r e p l e n i s h the e a r t h , and subdue i t : and have dominion over the f i s h of the sea, and over the fowl of the a i r , and over every l i v i n g t h i n g t h a t moveth upon the e a r t h " (Genesis, Ch.I, v. 26-27)); and so on. The p o i n t i s , the non-p r i v i l e g e d term i n such o p p o s i t i o n a l p a i r s i s always seen as being an i n f e r i o r form of the p r i v i l e g e d term and, as such, i s s u b j e c t to abuse and s c o r n . I f the kinds of concrete o p p r e s s i o n t h a t I have mentioned can be seen to be l o g i c a l and i n e v i t a b l e e x tensions of a c o n c e p t u a l i t y t h a t i s i t s e l f d e d i c a t e d t o r e p r e s s i o n , then the importance of d e c o n s t r u c t i n g and r e s i t u a t i n g t h a t c o n c e p t u a l i t y should be co n s i d e r e d paramount not onl y by a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s , but by a l l those who have been brought up 181 w i t h i n the domain of Western thought. Again, I must emphasize t h a t t h i s i s not to say t h a t Western concepts must be destroyed a b s o l u t e l y — o n l y t h a t they must be destroyed i n t h e i r a b s olute form. And t h i s d e c o n s t r u c t i o n , t h i s displacement and r e s i t u a t l n g of c o n c e p t u a l i t y as such, e n t a i l i n g , as i t does, the acknowledgement of a s i t u a t i o n i n which i t i s no longer p o s s i b l e f o r a n o t i o n of presence to c o n t a i n and account f o r a l l phenomena, a s i t u a t i o n i n which i t i s no longer l e g i t i m a t e f o r one term of an o p p o s i t i o n a l p a i r t o be contained w i t h i n and dominated by i t s p a r t n e r , leads to a r e c o g n i t i o n of p r i m o r d i a l or r a d i c a l a l t e r i t y and a l l t h a t such a r e c o g n i t i o n i m p l i e s . As I hope has been s u f f i c i e n t l y c l e a r , r a d i c a l a l t e r i t y i s another name f o r u n d e c i d a b i l i t y , i . e . i t i s t h a t which cannot be contained and accounted f o r by the l o g i c of b i n a r y o p p o s i t i o n or t r i n l t a r i a n u n i t y (which i s the l o g i c of a Western ph i l o s o p h y rooted i n the presumption of presence) but which nonetheless al l o w s f o r the p o s s i b i l i t y of a c e r t a i n c o n c e p t u a l i t y . I say a ' c e r t a i n ' c o n c e p t u a l i t y because a c o n c e p t u a l i t y which i s seen to be the product of an o r i g i n a r y p l a y of u n d e c i d a b i l i t y , u n l i k e a c o n c e p t u a l i t y which i s seen to be the product of an assumption of presence, i s , by d e f i n i t i o n and i n p r i n c i p l e , incapable of absolute domination. In other words, what we are d e a l i n g with i s the d i f f e r e n c e between a fundamental h e t e r o g e n e i t y and a fundamental homogeneity -- the l a t t e r l e a d i n g to a 182 c o n c e p t u a l i t y which Is by d e f i n i t i o n c l o s e d and s e l f -c o n t a i n e d and the former l e a d i n g to a c o n c e p t u a l i t y which i s by d e f i n i t i o n open and always a l r e a d y other than what i t i s . What a r e c o g n i t i o n of r a d i c a l a l t e r i t y or u n d e c i d a b i l i t y i m p l i e s f o r anthropology (and, indeed, f o r Western thought i n general) i s nothing l e s s than the f a c t t h a t r e p r e s s i o n /  o p p r e s s i o n can never agai n be j u s t i f i e d on e i t h e r p u r e l y  l o g i c a l or p u r e l y moral grounds. In other words, i f c o n c e p t u a l i t y i s seen to be the product of an e s s e n t i a l u n d e c i d a b i l i t y , then l o g i c and m o r a l i t y as such must be seen to be 'impure' by d e f i n i t i o n -- to be always a l r e a d y contaminated by t h e i r other and hence to be incapable of grounding and v a l i d a t i n g a s e r i e s of h i e r a r c h i c a l l y s t r u c t u r e d o p p o s i t i o n a l p a i r s which presuppose u l t i m a t e r e s o l u t i o n w i t h i n a u n i f i c , all-encompassing presence. What t h i s means i s t h a t a r e p r e s s i o n / o p p r e s s i o n which has h e r e t o f o r e been the i n e v i t a b l e l o g i c a l and moral outcome of a c o n c e p t u a l i t y p r e d i c a t e d upon a n o t i o n of presence and i t s concomitant skewed b i n a r i s m i s , q u i t e simply, no longer a c c e p t a b l e . Obviously, I am not s a y i n g t h a t a r e a l i z a t i o n of the fundamentally r e p r e s s i v e / o p p r e s s i v e nature of Western c o n c e p t u a l i t y w i l l r e s u l t i n an end to r e p r e s s i o n and op p r e s s i o n . But I am s a y i n g t h a t such a r e a l i z a t i o n c o u l d , or, a t l e a s t , should r e s u l t i n an end to the unconscious and presumptuous m a n u f a c t u r e and p e r p e t u a t i o n of 183 r e p r e s s i o n / o p p r e s s i o n through the mindless assumption of an unexamined c o n c e p t u a l i t y . I b e l i e v e t h a t i t i s incumbent upon a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s (and, of course, hot o n l y upon a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s ) to be hyper-aware of the dangers of assuming such an unexamined c o n c e p t u a l i t y (and, as I hope my examination of Geertz and C l i f f o r d has shown, i t i s no easy task to a v o i d f a l l i n g back on o l d assumptions) and to work c o n s t a n t l y to tease out and to develop the p o s s i b i l i t i e s i nherent w i t h i n i t s cracks and f i s s u r e s . What t h i s t e a s i n g out and d e v e l o p i n g might look l i k e i n concrete f i e l d s i t u a t i o n s i t i s not p o s s i b l e f o r me to say, f o r , as D e r r i d a p o i n t s out, D e c o n s t r u c t i o n , i n the s i n g u l a r , i s not " i n h e r e n t l y " anything at a l l t h a t might be determinable on the b a s i s of [logocentrism] and of i t s c r i t e r i a . I t i s " i n h e r e n t l y " nothing a t a l l ; the l o g i c of essence (by o p p o s i t i o n to a c c i d e n t ) , of the proper (by o p p o s i t i o n to the improper), hence of the " i n h e r e n t " by o p p o s i t i o n to the e x t r i n s i c , i s p r e c i s e l y what a l l d e c o n s t r u c t i o n has from the s t a r t c a l l e d i n t o q u e s t i o n . D e c o n s t r u c t i o n does not e x i s t somewhere, pure, proper, s e l f - i d e n t i c a l , o u t s i d e of i t s i n s c r i p t i o n s i n c o n f l i c t u a l and d i f f e r e n t i a t e d c o n t e x t s ; i t " i s " o n l y what I t does and what i s done with i t , there where i t takes p l a c e . I t i s [not p o s s i b l e ] to give a u n i v o c a l d e f i n i t i o n or an adequate d e s c r i p t i o n of t h i s " t a k i n g p l a c e . " ( D e r r i d a , 1988a: 141) 184 In other words, the a p p l i c a t i o n of d e c o n s t r u c t i o n , what i t w i l l look l i k e , what t r a c e s i t w i l l f o l l o w , depends upon the p a r t i c u l a r context to which i t i s a p p l i e d , and t h i s not because of a b u i l t - i n obscurantism, but because of a fundamental and i n t e n s e r e s p e c t f u l n e s s f o r the r a d i c a l l y heterogeneous nature of any given s i t u a t i o n . Thus while i t i s p o s s i b l e f o r me to a p p l y a d e c o n s t r u c t l v e r e a d i n g to the t e x t s of C l i f f o r d Geertz and James C l i f f o r d r e s p e c t i v e l y , and to d e l i n e a t e the p r e s u p p o s i t i o n s and i m p l i c a t i o n s of t h e i r chosen c o n c e p t u a l i t y , I cannot say what they might have found i n any g i v e n f i e l d s i t u a t i o n had they u t i l i z e d a d e c o n s t r u c t i v e s t r a t e g y because t h a t would depend e n t i r e l y on the p a r t i c u l a r f i e l d s i t u a t i o n i n q u e s t i o n . And I cannot take t h e i r word f o r what they found because, as I have t r i e d t o show, i t i s a l r e a d y e n t i r e l y imbued with the p r e s u p p o s i t i o n s of Western c o n c e p t u a l i t y . Although the i n a b i l i t y to p r o j e c t the r e s u l t s of a p o t e n t i a l d e c o n s t r u c t l v e r e a d i n g of as yet undeconstructed s i t u a t i o n s may indeed be i r r i t a t i n g , I b e l i e v e t h a t i t i s v e r y much a s t r e n g t h r a t h e r than a weakness of the d e c o n s t r u c t i v e approach. And t h i s because i t m i t i g a t e s a g a i n s t the a l l too a p p e a l i n g temptation to r e s t on assumption. I f each and every s i t u a t i o n i s always a l r e a d y r i d d l e d with m u l t i p l e p o s s i b i l i t i e s due to an e s s e n t i a l u n d e c i d a b i l i t y , an e s s e n t i a l h e t e r o g e n e i t y , then each and every s i t u a t i o n must be approached with an openness which pr e c l u d e s the 185 p o s s i b i l i t y , or, perhaps I should say, the v a l i d i t y of a b s t r a c t p r o j e c t i o n . Again, t h i s i s n e i t h e r e v a s i o n nor obscurantism -- i t i s the necessary and i n e v i t a b l e c o r o l l a r y of emphasizing an e s s e n t i a l and r a d i c a l h e t e r o g e n e i t y r a t h e r than an e s s e n t i a l and r a d i c a l homogeneity. What d e c o n s t r u c t i o n , the r e c o g n i t i o n of r a d i c a l a l t e r i t y , e s s e n t i a l u n d e c i d a b i l i t y , c a l l s f o r Is nothing l e s s than a r e - r e a d i n g and r e s i t u a t i n g of the e n t i r e a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l canon along with, of course, an approach to f i e l d w o r k which takes t h i s r e s i t u a t i n g i n t o a c c o u n t . " We 3 5 With r e s p e c t to f i e l d w o r k , i t i s c r u c i a l to look a t the way i n which f i e l d w o r k e r s are now t r a i n e d . At the undergraduate l e v e l the Anthropology student takes a s e r i e s of courses which emphasize the h i s t o r y of the d i s c i p l i n e , two or three c u l t u r e areas (which are c o n s t i t u t e d by the w r i t i n g s of 'big name' a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s ) , methods and t h e o r i e s . At the graduate l e v e l the student engages In more of the same and then s e t s to conduct her f i e l d w o r k -- a f t e r which she r e t u r n s , w r i t e s up her experiences ( c a t e g o r i z i n g them w i t h i n the framework of any one of a number of methods and/or t h e o r i e s ) and Is accepted by the ' s c h o l a r l y community' ( i n the form of a d i s s e r t a t i o n committee) on the b a s i s of how w e l l she c a r r i e s out t h i s e n t e r p r i s e . Now, a l l of t h i s t r a i n i n g , and the f i n a l judgement of the student's work, acc e p t s , without q u e s t i o n , the fundamental c o r r e c t n e s s of the Western metaphysical n o t i o n of presence and a l l t h a t flows therefrom. So, whether v a r i a t i o n s on the theme of presence come i n the form of T y l o r i a n e v o l u t i o n i s m , R a d c l i f f e - B r o w n i a n s t r u c t u r e - f u n c t i o n a l i s m , Malinowskinian b i o -p s y c h o l o g i c a l f u n c t i o n a l i s m , L 6 v i - S t r a u s s i a n s t r u c t u r a l i s m , G e e r t z i a n i n t e r p r e t i s m or C l l f f o r d i a n 'postmodernism,' throughout her c a r e e r , the a n t h r o p o l o g i s t , so f a r from being encouraged to examine the consequences of her p r e s u p p o s i t i o n of presence, never  even becomes aware t h a t she has i t . As a r e s u l t of t h i s s t u d i e d lack of awareness, the d i s c i p l i n e of Anthropology p r o j e c t s the r e p r e s s i o n i n h e r e n t i n Western c o n c e p t u a l i t y onto other peoples and other c u l t u r e s through i t s agent, the a n t h r o p o l o g i s t . And so i t goes, Anthropology and the a n t h r o p o l o g i s t c o n s t a n t l y r e p l i c a t i n g and r e i n f o r c i n g each other through the t h o u g h t l e s s acceptance of a c o n c e p t u a l i t y which f u n c t i o n s to r e p r e s s the 'other.' In order to begin to r e d r e s s t h i s s i t u a t i o n , d e c o n s t r u c t l v e s t r a t e g i e s must be o f f e r e d as p a r t of the core c u r r i c u l a of a l l departments of Anthropology. I f t h i s were to be accomplished, 186 must become aware of the sometimes ever so s u b t l e (e.g. Geertz and C l i f f o r d ) sometimes ever so b l a t a n t (e.g. F r a z e r and T y l o r ) ways i n which anthropology f o i s t s an assumed c o n c e p t u a l i t y , with a l l of I t s r e p r e s s i v e / o p p r e s s i v e i m p l i c a t i o n s and consequences, onto non-Western c u l t u r e s . T h i s alone makes d e c o n s t r u c t i o n i n d i s p e n s a b l e to an anthropology t h a t e n t e r t a i n s any notio n s of i t s e l f as p o t e n t i a l l y non-oppressive, l i b e r a t i n g , g e n u i n e l y concerned with the other and so on. What does the e s s e n t i a l p o s s i b i l i t y of u n d e c i d a b i l i t y t e l l us about a l l we have w r i t t e n concerning the s o - c a l l e d ' p r i m i t i v e ' and h e r / h i s lack of l o g i c and consequent i n a b i l i t y to p e r c e i v e l o g i c a l c o n t r a d i c t i o n ? What i f she/he simply put the emphasis on h e t e r o g e n e i t y as opposed to homogeneity? Is i t p o s s i b l e t h a t L6vy-Bruhl stumbled onto the t r a c e of something which, i n our d e s i r e to view other peoples as, f o r whatever reasons, underdeveloped v e r s i o n s of o u r s e l v e s , we too e a s i l y and too smugly dismissed? I f our a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l fore-mothers and f o r e - f a t h e r s had presumed an e s s e n t i a l h e t e r o g e n e i t y / u n d e c i d a b i l i t y r a t h e r than an e s s e n t i a l homogeneity/presence, what might they have found? What might we s t i l l f i n d ? And so on and so on. Is anthropology, a f t e r a l l these years of c r e a t i n g and d e f i n i n g i t s e l f as a d i s c i p l i n e which i s perhaps the a n t h r o p o l o g i s t ' s p r o f e s s i o n a l t r a i n i n g c o u l d be a help r a t h e r than a hindrance with r e s p e c t to e n a b l i n g her to approach the f i e l d w o r k s i t u a t i o n with a s e n s i t i v i t y t o otherness which has, h i t h e r t o , been d i s c e r n i b l e o n l y as a l a c k . 187 supposedly d e d i c a t e d to d e s c r i b i n g and comprehending the other, l e f t i n the p o s i t i o n of an aged, half-mad, once-but-no-longer and never-again-to-be k i n g who can o n l y wander a i m l e s s l y amid a wretchedness of h i s own c r e a t i n g and p a t h e t i c a l l y intone, "0, I have ta'en too l i t t l e care of t h i s " (Shakespeare, 1963: 112)? The answer, a l l too c l e a r l y , i s yes. 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