restricted access Sounding out Différance: Derrida, Saussure, and Bhartṛhari


In this essay, Derrida's critique of Saussure is examined in light of the affinity between the work of Bhartr. hari and Saussure. It is argued that, in deconstructing Saussure's phonocentrism, Derrida reveals the underlying advaitin metaphysics that informs the synchronic linguistics that Saussure pioneered. Harold Coward's article comparing Derrida and Bhartr. hari (Philosophy East and West 41, no. 2 [1991]) is discussed and an interpretation is offered of the similarities that he finds, as well as a critical assessment of the conclusions that he draws from them. Finally, certain problems in Bhartr. hari's Vākyapadīya are considered as they relate to deconstruction.