Derrida's Dissemination: Plato's Pharmacy
I find Derrida to be an intense read. His work is quite dense, but also informative and well-written. He takes us through the idea of text and what writing is, using Plato's "Pharmacia" for illustration.
I believe Derrida's final points in his paper summarize his main purpose in writing this piece. He states that, "the truth of writing...nontruth...cannot be discovered in ourselves by ourselves" (74). He then goes on to speak of writing as "history that is recited" or a myth. So, in a way, writing for a person is introspective, yet verbal history. If morality, truth, memory, and dialectics all revolve around the idea of writing, writing receives its power from what it is. Is writing cunning or simply a repetition? Does it have necessity?
Derrida speaks of Socrates' statement that, "there remains the question of propriety and impropriety in writing, that is to say the conditions which make it proper or improper.." (74). Derrida says that writing is of course improper, but that there are more complexities that Socrates does not cover with clarity, and instead speaks of writing's "truth" in round-about "rumors."
2 years ago