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The Death of PhilosophyReference and Self-reference in Contemporary Thought$
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Isabelle Thomas-Fogiel

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780231147781

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231147781.001.0001

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“Saying and the Said”

“Saying and the Said”

Two Paradigms for the Same Subject

(p.37) 2 “Saying and the Said”
The Death of Philosophy

Isabelle Thomas-Fogiel

, Richard A. Lynch
Columbia University Press

This chapter offers a critique of two philosophical traditions—both the most widely practiced and the most different in style—within the context of the death of philosophy: Continental philosophy and analytic philosophy. The Continental and analytic traditions have as a common horizon a questioning of the concept of representation. In this chapter, critique of representation and of philosophy takes the form of a theory of saying and the said—clearly in John Austin’s case, but also in the case of Emmanuel Levinas. The discussion begins with a comparison of the views of Austin, John Searle, and Stanley Cavell regarding “ordinary language” philosophy before turning to an analysis of the tendency of contemporary philosophy to oscillate between positivism and skepticism, as well as to self-refutation. The chapter then examines Edmund Husserl’s arguments concerning the “scientism” of phenomenology, along with Levinas’s reading of Husserl. It also considers the oscillation from metaphysics to literature, a process that it suggests means escaping from philosophy.

Keywords:   death of philosophy, Continental philosophy, analytic philosophy, representation, contemporary philosophy, John Austin, Emmanuel Levinas, positivism, skepticism, scientism

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