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READ I NG TH E OTH E R

Do I say in my own case that I am saying something to myself, because I am behaving in such-and-such a way? – I do not say it from observation of my behaviour. But it only makes sense because I do behave in this way. (ibid., §357, my emphasis) The perhaps paradoxical consequence of this logic is that one has no (identifying) relation to oneself ‘that is not forced to defer itself by passing through the other. . . who is supposed to send his signature back to me’ (Derrida, 1985, p. 88). This ‘returned signature’ is the ‘standing in need of the reading-response’ which characterises the ‘what’ of inner states and processes. However, the idea of an authorising signature, or attesting countersignature, also suggests something like the leap to a ‘we’ which I introduced earlier. It is here that the second, possessor claim that I wish to defend comes to the fore. For, in one’s own case, in so far as nothing is read, one is not only not identifying, say, a sensation by criteria but also, essentially, not identifying an owner or ‘subject’ which has it: ‘the experience of feeling pain is not that a person “I” has something’ (PR, §65). As Wittgenstein goes on to note, this means that the first personal repetition of an expression cannot be the end of the story: ‘what sort of thing would a pain be that no one has? Pain belonging to no one at all?’ (ibid.). In my view, what we have to see is that it is not just the identity of inner states and processes (the ‘what’), but also the ‘identity or individuation of the subject of such states and processes (the ‘who’) which ‘stands in need’ of a reading-response. As indicated, my suggestion here is that the context of a reading-response must be seen as being, eo ipso, a turn towards a living thing us another. For example, if the response is as to a ‘pain in a hand’ ‘one does not comfort the hand, but the sufferer: one looks into his face’ (PI, §286). In short, the reading-response is always also a singular identifying response to a ‘soul’. I will explain this. As we have seen, in reading the behaviour of a living thing one is already caught responding or ‘recognising criteria’. My claim is that such a response (even if it is in the phenomenal form of a decisive ‘No!’) is necessarily one in which, here and now, a ‘we’ is . . . – A ‘we’ is what? Discovered? Produced? Performed? Chanced? Risked? I would suggest that the reading-response is best conceived as a spontaneous or originary apostrophe. That is, it is a turn to a living thing as another in advance of evidence or reasons which might ground it. Performing ‘(Yes:) p’, responding to the behaviour of a living thing by, among other things, returning/retaining a psychological concept-word is, ‘here and now’, to leap to a ‘we’.16 This leap, the returned signature, does not constitute the other as other. Rather, it is what assigns to a living thing the position of a subject, it is what ‘opens up the position’ of the ‘I’ as subject (Derrida, 1992, p. 300). This is why the individuation of a subject of experience, the ‘who’, ‘stands in need’ of a reading-response: ‘When I say “I am in pain”, I do not point to a person who is in pain, since in a certain sense I have no idea who is.’ And this can be given a justification. For the

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Glendinning, simon on being with others heidegger‚ derrida, wittgenstein  
Glendinning, simon on being with others heidegger‚ derrida, wittgenstein  
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