Speech, Writing, and Play in Gadamer and Derrida


  • Thorsten Botz-Bornstein Gulf University for Science and Technology, Kuwait


Gadamer, Derrida, Phaedrus, hermeneutic circle, theory of foundation, hermeneutics and style, philosophy of play, Platonism


I revisit the Derrida-Gadamer debate in order to analyze more closely the problem of the foundation of reason and of interpretation. I explore the theme of play as a metaphor of non-foundation in both philosophers and analyze how both extract this quality from their readings of Plato's Phaedrus. Does Derrida not essentialize the game by declaring that the playful experience of a Gadamerian dialogue must produce a metaphysical presence in the form of a hermeneutic intention? I find that the circular structure of understanding permits – for both philosophers – no clear signifiant either in speech or in writing. The game of interpretation produces – in changing endlessly between reading and rhetoric – an endless chain from one signifier to the next signifier without ever imitating a divine logos.




How to Cite

Botz-Bornstein, T. (2013). Speech, Writing, and Play in Gadamer and Derrida. Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, 9(1), 249–264. Retrieved from https://cosmosandhistory.org/index.php/journal/article/view/286