Language isn’t magic

Remember this next time someone tells about those awful postmodern relativists. And remember it well.

Jane Clare Jones

34_derrida

Once upon a time there was a philosopher. He was a very good philosopher, and he had a lot of wonderful things to say about existence, and how it was impossible for a thing to exist entirely in itself without being connected to all the things around it. He was very worried because lots of powerful men thought it very important that things-be-only-exactly-what-they-are-and-not-at-all-dependent-on-the-things-on-which-they-are-actually-dependent. He was worried because these powerful men’s obsession was a denial of life and of death, of vulnerability and responsibility, and he thought it led to lots of violence. He thought these powerful men’s obsession made it impossible for them to care properly about other people (particularly women, and foreigners, and animals, and the planet).

Unfortunately, this philosopher – his name was Jackie – started his career by talking about words, and using words to show how things that we think have meaning in themselves only really…

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