Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Middle Ground

So in class on Monday I was in the last group who didn't get to share when we were discussing our questions. We were the odd ones who chose the wild card question. For that we decided to ask the paradox question about whether using language to denote something destroys the "signified."

One of the ideas we were batting around is the idea that the object must exist to have a symbol or a sign corresponding to it. However, as soon as the symbol or sign is used the signifier is not destroyed, but it is diminished. while reflecting on this I could help but be reminded of Andy Warhol's famous Marilyn Monroe. He took a picture of Marilyn an he copied it multiple times until the picture was diminished and faded. I think that this is an awesome visual representation of this idea.

Another thing we talked about in our group was the idea of the middle ground, one of Derrida's points. Sure he may not be talking specifically about this idea of the destruction of the signifier, but it does apply. Taking two opposing or differing ideas, and finding and taking the middle ground. This would in essence diminish or destroy both to the other options and bringing forward a new and maybe more encompassing idea.

1 comment:

  1. I really like this visual representation of the diminishment of the signified object when one creates a sign for it. Your comment about the way that certain meanings are destroyed (or perhaps more like covered up) when a particular significance is chosen for a world is also very interesting. One thing that makes this idea of Derrida's complicated for me to understand is that he says "the ending -ance is undecided between active and passive" (284), and thus that "differance" doesn't signify simply the act of differing (or deferring), but something which seems more to encompass the whole host of meanings and states of active or passive-ness that the word "differer" can indicate. It seems that, along with discussing the way in which language can exclude certain meanings when it suggests others, Derrida is talking about how language has the capacity to create these disparate meanings as well. While speaking or writing a word generally indicates one meaning over the next, it is still in a somewhat "intransitive" (284) state in that its other meanings still exist and, I would say, inform our understanding of the particular meaning we have chosen.


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