Love for the mediate : Derrida's philosophy of touching
Tijdschrift voor philosophie. - Leuven, 1939 - 1961
, p. 231-252
University of Antwerp
The concept of 'the mediate'--a central notion in the philosophy of Aristotle and Hegel--is the starting point in this article on touching. It reveals that touching is less immediate than our philosophical tradition seems to admit. That is at least the position Derrida defends in a recent book in which he focusses on the priority of touching (called Haptocentrism). Together with the study of the paradox that Derrida discovers in Husserl's text on the hierarchy of the senses, it is Derrida's underlining of the priority of touching itself that is here being questioned. One wonders if the notion haptophilia, instead of haptocentrism, would not have been more accurate. Moreover, if Derrida's argument in general sensitizes for the less immediate aspects of the philosophical text and context, it is the most mediate dimension of touching that is actually being stressed. And since mediate aspects can never be addressed directly and explicitly, the critique of haptocentrism appears to be a matter of drawing attention to the mediate in an indirect way. In other words, the love for the mediate is itself expressed in an indirect and mediate way.