By Alex Dick, Christina Lupton
This assortment brings jointly students who use literary interpretation and discourse research to learn eighteenth-century British philosophy in its old context. The essays examine how the philosophers of the Enlightenment considered their very own writing; how their institutional positions as lecturers and writers inspired their knowing of human attention; and the way our instructional legacy is due to the those philosophers' event as writers.
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Additional info for THEORY AND PRACTICE IN EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY BRITAIN: Writing Between Philosophy and Literature
He seems, on the other hand, to share a great deal with this tradition. From Locke, to Condillac, to Peirce, to Levinas (if we agree with Derrida in placing him there), empiricists have developed a deeply semiotic understanding of consciousness, and have held up metaphysical concepts of being, presence and selfhood to scepticism. Where Derrida maintains his status of ‘philosopher’ is in his resistance to full scepticism on these very questions. As revealed in his critique of Levinas, he held jealously to the position that these terms constituted the intransigent and irreducible essence of any truly ‘philosophical’ language.
48 But Derrida’s reading of Condillac is misleading to the extent that he presents the primitive, instinctual levels of consciousness as logocentric, or as capable of furnishing the mind with any access to truth or unmediated ‘presence’. Indeed, while Condillac sometimes reserves the word ‘signs’ for instituted signs, instinctual knowledge is not really ‘presemiotic’: its ‘signs’ are ‘natural’ rather than ‘arbitrary’ in the sense that random perceptions (a fearful object, a fruitful tree) recall absent perceptions.
61 In this respect Condillac was still influenced by creators of a ‘real character’ such as Wilkins and Leibniz, whom Derrida (as previously mentioned) placed in the tradition supposedly rejected by the eighteenth century. Condillac’s debt to what we might call a grammacentric tradition of the seventeenth century, when writing often became a template for the reform of speech, indeed makes much of his logic (as opposed to his influential ‘conjectural history’ or his rhetoric) seem dated in the eighteenth century.
THEORY AND PRACTICE IN EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY BRITAIN: Writing Between Philosophy and Literature by Alex Dick, Christina Lupton