Conception Of Reading In John Locke's 'Logocentrism'

1485 Words 6 Pages
Topic: Logocentrism

Issue: It is reasonable to assert that reading is a very important intellectual practice. Without reading, the epistemic agent’s resources for conducting thorough inquiry would be extremely limited. There is some disagreement, however, among philosophers as to how exactly the virtuous, epistemic agent should practice reading. It is generally agreed upon that strictly passive reading is not conducive to attaining intellectual goods. Locke felt that excellent reading requires critically assessing the material and assimilating it into a coherent view of the world to attain the intellectual good of understanding. Derrida, in contrast, felt that reading should be a fundamentally creative activity. He denounced logocentrism, the slavery of presupposing that language is about things―the bondage of the word to its object. Regarding this disagreement, as
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Even the revised conception of Derridean reading is unacceptably limiting and chains the reader to the intended meaning of the words. Truth that the author did not intend or realize was present in a particular work therefore becomes restricted when readers are chained to a single, or in some cases a few, possible understandings and interpretations.
Reply 2: Creativity and imaginativeness, while generally desirable, do not serve the function of finding truth particularly in nonfiction literature as much as the Lockean virtues do. When reading any scientific article, creatively inventing worlds curbs the reader’s ability to draw knowledge by ignoring the reliability of the scientific method. Regarding works of fiction, a revised Derridean reading does not have to limit creativity, imagination, and freedom. Good readers can read a text more than once, so that in one reading they may concentrate on understanding the author’s intent, and in other readings they may concentrate on creating as many worlds as they

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