Coal and India in it’s Union Budget 2020-21. Is India really serious about its Climate Change commitments?

Centre’s Expenditure (figures in crore)

Revenue

Capital

Total

Actual 2018-19

708.34

0

708.34

Budget Estimate 2019-20

1159.05

0

1159.05

Revised Estimate 2019-20

933.60

0

933.60

Budget Estimate 2020-21

882.61

0

882.61

The breakup for this head is Rs. 819.98 crore for R&D, conservation, safety & infrastructure development in coal mines, and exploration of coal and lignite; Rs. 22.35 crore for coal mines pension scheme; and the remaining Rs. 40.28 crore is for the secretariat, statutory bodies and sub-ordinate bodies. The coal mines pension scheme allocation is the same as a social services developmental need and is covered under Labour, Employment and Skill Development. R&D’s main thrust area is promotion of clean coal technology and to identify coal blocks for coal to liquid projects. Conservation, safety and infrastructure’s emphasis is towards conservation of coal through protective works and safety improvement. The infrastructure component in coal field areas is development of road and rail network. Exploration of coal and lignite is to meet the demand for coal, including provisions for detailed drilling in n0n-Coal India Limited coal mining blocks (like the NTPC blocks) that would help the prospective investors in taking investment decisions regarding coal mining and reduction of time for preparing the mining plan. The allocation for the exploration of coal and lignite is Rs. 700 crore, which is to assess the coal availability to meet the sizable increase in the demand for coal. This scheme is to be implemented by the Central Mine Planning and Design Institute Limited (CMPDIL). Also, this step would help build promoting the private investment in the coal mining industry. 

The Government has eased restrictions on foreign investment in coal mining, in an effort to attract more capital from abroad. The allocation for the Coal Ministry has seen a 5.4% reduction to Rs. 882.61 crore for the FY 2020-21, a dip from the revised estimates for the FY 2019-20 of Rs. 933.60 crore. While the expenditure was Rs. 1159.05 crore for 2019-20, the actual was Rs. 708.32 crore for 2018-19. This year, however, the major increase in the allocation was towards the central sector schemes, that are entirely and directly funded and executed by the central government. However, there has been an increase in investment in public enterprises, including Coal India Limited in FY 2020-21 that stands at Rs. 18467 crore over the revised estimate of Rs. 18121 crore in FY 2109-20, which is a rise by 1.91%. What is really surprising is the mining of dirty fuel/coal by CIL which has got an overall capital outlay of Rs. 9500 crore this year. Juxtaposing this allocation with the Finance Minister’s focus on closing down thermal plants that violate carbon emissions is a paradox in itself. 

For the thermal power plants that are in violation of the National Clean Air Program (NCAP with an allocation of Rs. 4400 crore for FY 2020-21), the Finance Minister has announced a closure of such plants. These plants that are old and whose carbon emissions are higher than the preset limit would be advised to close down and the land will be put to alternative energy purposes. On the mitigation of polluted air, the International Solar Alliance will help in SDGs, climate change, disaster resilience and the NDCs under the Paris Accord. Earlier, a total of 47.95 GW of thermal capacity missed the December 31 deadline to install Flue Gas Desulphurization (FDG) units to minimize SO2 emissions level. According to the five-year National Clean Air Action Plan, the Government plans to reduce by 20-30% the concentration of particulate matter PM10 and PM2.5 by 2024, and according to the Finance Minister, the plan is India’s best effort basis and kicks off in 2021 on January 1. Interestingly, according to the Budget speech, the climate action targets under the 2015 Paris Accords were to be executed under the normal budgetary allocations. Also, according to the Paris Accords, India has committed to reduce by 2030 the emission intensity of its GDP by 33-35% over the 2005 levels. It has also pledged to generate 40% of India’s power capacity from non-fossil sources and create and additional carbon sink of 2.5-3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent through afforestation by 2030. 

So, what the Budget does is provide a conflicting picture of furthering mining either by domestic players, or by inviting mine-cum-developers by way of FDI on the one hand and its commitment to mitigate pollution standards either by retiring old plants or switching to renewables on the other. These two avenues clash in principle and throws up a confused state of affairs in India’s contributions to Paris Accords of 2015. 

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Schematic Grothendieck Representation

A spectral Grothendieck representation Rep is said to be schematic if for every triple γ ≤ τ ≤ δ in Top(A), for every A in R^(Ring) we have a commutative diagram in R^:

IMG_20191226_064217

 

If Rep is schematic, then, P : Top(A) → R^ is a presheaf with values in R^ over the lattice Top(A)o, for every A in R.

The modality is to restrict attention to Tors(Rep(A)); that is, a lattice in the usual sense; and hence this should be viewed as the commutative shadow of a suitable noncommutative theory.

For obtaining the complete lattice Q(A), a duality is expressed by an order-reversing bijection: (−)−1 : Q(A) → Q((Rep(A))o). (Rep(A))o is not a Grothendieck category. It is additive and has a projective generator; moreover, it is known to be a varietal category (also called triplable) in the sense that it has a projective regular generator P, it is co-complete and has kernel pairs with respect to the functor Hom(P, −), and moreover every equivalence relation in the category is a kernel pair. If a comparison functor is constructed via Hom(P, −) as a functor to the category of sets, it works well for the category of set-valued sheaves over a Grothendieck topology.

Now (−)−1 is defined as an order-reversing bijection between idempotent radicals on Rep(A) and (Rep(A))o, implying we write (Top(A))−1 for the image of Top(A) in Q((Rep( A))o). This is encoded in the exact sequence in Rep(A):

0 → ρ(M) → M → ρ−1(M) → 0

(reversed in (Rep(A))o). By restricting attention to hereditary torsion theories (kernel functors) when defining Tors(−), we introduce an asymmetry that breaks the duality because Top(A)−1 is not in Tors((Rep(A))op). If notationally, TT(G) is the complete lattice of torsion theories (not necessarily hereditary) of the category G; then (TT(G))−1 ≅ TT(Gop). Hence we may view Tors(G)−1 as a complete sublattice of TT(Gop).

The Code of Capital or the Legal Structure of Finance – How the Law Creates Wealth and Inequality with Katharina Pistor

In The Code of Capital: How the Law Creates Wealth and InequalityKatharina Pistoroffers an expansive analysis of the construction of capital, showing legal coding to be at the heart of this process. This is a welcome interdisciplinary contribution which attaches fresh dimensions to debates on the political economy of wealth and inequality and will be a valuable resource for anyone seeking to grapple with the formidable nature of global capital.

The economic and legal reforms coincided with the demise of the Iron Curtain and socialist governments, and were implemented in developing as well as emerging markets, and promised eventual benefits for everyone. But instead, contemporary levels of inequality are comparable to those that prevailed before the French Revolution. A standard response to such disparity is simply to hold ‘capitalism’ accountable. But Pistor argues that even to do just this, it is necessary to be cognisant of how capital is made. To do so is to resist simplifications in which capital is a thing, or a core feature of social relations between a proletariat and a bourgeoisie: ‘Against this background, one might even question whether it makes sense to bundle historical epochs that differ so fundamentally from one another under a single rubric of “capitalism”’.

 

The Polity Today

The Polity Today…

Image result for Jamia violence

Stifled and Suffocated Under Occupation,
Confined to a Life of Brazen Act of Annexation,
Subjected to a Toxicity by the Rest of the Confederacy,
Paying the Price for Some Cooked and Some Raw Conspiracy.

Counting Days and nights Cutoff from the Near and Dear Ones,
By the apathy and Atrophy of the Power that Runs,
Into a Corner and Forced Underground,
By the Despicable Vulgarity and Obscenity of the Dictatorial Sound.

Who’d Turn a Messiah to the Multiplying Affliction,
To Arrest the Basic Arithmetic of Division by Constriction,
To a Unity Imposed by Self-Rule and Determination,
By a Despot Shambolic and Ostentatious in Bringing Forth Malediction.

We are People With Indomitable Rights,
Sacrificed at the Altar of Rituals and Rites,
Chanted on by a Population that doesn’t seem to Care,
Legitimizing the Deeds of the Fundamentalists’ as an Internal Affair.

I, the Citizen, or You, the Citizen

Image result for curfew

Please cry for me India…
I, the citizen have lost my rights to be me,
I, the citizen have ceased to be,
I, the citizen have been stripped, raped, and burnt alive,
I, the citizen have been subject to justice denied,
I, the citizen have been alienated,
I, the citizen have been forcibly occupied,
I, the citizen have been living in constant fear,
I, the citizen have been subject to repeated smear,
I, the citizen have lost my right to express,
I, the citizen have my autonomy to suppress,
I, the citizen have my society divided,
I, the citizen have my politics lopsided,
I, the citizen are what you cast(e) me,
I, the citizen are what you class me,
Enough of this I, the citizen, for I shan’t be, what you prove me to be.
You, the citizen carve your own story,
You, the citizen, toy with my history,
You, the citizen decide what’s right,
You, the citizen have lost all foresight,
You, the citizen stifle my being,
You, the citizen compel me to fleeing,
You, the citizen regulate me with force,
You, the citizen admit, everything’s normal of course,
You, the citizen deny me free air,
You, the citizen snatch what’s my fair share,
You, the citizen dictate,
You, the citizen choose what’s my intimate,
You, the citizen force upon me your religion,
You, the citizen submit me to an unseen region,
Enough of this You, the Citizen, for WE the PEOPLE,
Will rise to dismantle,
What is yours to impose,
Won’t rest until you are deposed…

An Ode to a Silent Communicator…

tomasz-ryger-cursed-valley-min

With the setting and rising of the moon and the sun,
Shuffling back and forth in the derelict zone,
Mired in temporary infatuation and still on the run,
Waiting idly for the overwhelming attachment of what we don’t own.

Caught between the manic, the desirous and the anticipatory,
Playing by the gamble of this celestial cyclicity,
Stupefied in a hesitant, yet revelatory anxiety of the reconciliatory,
Calling upon to perpetually chasing along this periodicity.

Woken up to a reality of the ill-spraying wind,
To the lives torn asunder, and left to adrift,
Into the great chasm and the abyss of the chagrined,
Against the score of a deep silence, and the lyrically thrift…

How Long Do I?

grief
How long do I smile through the tears
How long do I fake there are no fears
How long do I put my insecurities to sleep
How long do I lock away the hurt that’s so deep…
How long do I write the ledger of tragedy
How long do I hide what’s written under comedy
How long do I regret what’s forgotten
How long do I not regret what’s forgiven
How long do I look for stars in daylight
How long do I long for sun at midnight
How long do I curse my stars
How long do I hold them the cause of my scars
How long do I mourn
All along in this state of being forlorn…

Black Hole Entropy in terms of Mass. Note Quote.

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If M-theory is compactified on a d-torus it becomes a D = 11 – d dimensional theory with Newton constant

GD = G11/Ld = l911/Ld —– (1)

A Schwartzschild black hole of mass M has a radius

Rs ~ M(1/(D-3)) GD(1/(D-3)) —– (2)

According to Bekenstein and Hawking the entropy of such a black hole is

S = Area/4GD —– (3)

where Area refers to the D – 2 dimensional hypervolume of the horizon:

Area ~ RsD-2 —– (4)

Thus

S ~ 1/GD (MGD)(D-2)/(D-3) ~ M(D-2)/(D-3) GD1/(D-3) —– (5)

From the traditional relativists’ point of view, black holes are extremely mysterious objects. They are described by unique classical solutions of Einstein’s equations. All perturbations quickly die away leaving a featureless “bald” black hole with ”no hair”. On the other hand Bekenstein and Hawking have given persuasive arguments that black holes possess thermodynamic entropy and temperature which point to the existence of a hidden microstructure. In particular, entropy generally represents the counting of hidden microstates which are invisible in a coarse grained description. An ultimate exact treatment of objects in matrix theory requires a passage to the infinite N limit. Unfortunately this limit is extremely difficult. For the study of Schwarzchild black holes, the optimal value of N (the value which is large enough to obtain an adequate description without involving many redundant variables) is of order the entropy, S, of the black hole.

Considering the minimum such value for N, we have

Nmin(S) = MRs = M(MGD)1/D-3 = S —– (6)

We see that the value of Nmin in every dimension is proportional to the entropy of the black hole. The thermodynamic properties of super Yang Mills theory can be estimated by standard arguments only if S ≤ N. Thus we are caught between conflicting requirements. For N >> S we don’t have tools to compute. For N ~ S the black hole will not fit into the compact geometry. Therefore we are forced to study the black hole using N = Nmin = S.

Matrix theory compactified on a d-torus is described by d + 1 super Yang Mills theory with 16 real supercharges. For d = 3 we are dealing with a very well known and special quantum field theory. In the standard 3+1 dimensional terminology it is U(N) Yang Mills theory with 4 supersymmetries and with all fields in the adjoint repersentation. This theory is very special in that, in addition to having electric/magnetic duality, it enjoys another property which makes it especially easy to analyze, namely it is exactly scale invariant.

Let us begin by considering it in the thermodynamic limit. The theory is characterized by a “moduli” space defined by the expectation values of the scalar fields φ. Since the φ also represents the positions of the original DO-branes in the non compact directions, we choose them at the origin. This represents the fact that we are considering a single compact object – the black hole- and not several disconnected pieces.

The equation of state of the system, defined by giving the entropy S as a function of temperature. Since entropy is extensive, it is proportional to the volume ∑3 of the dual torus. Furthermore, the scale invariance insures that S has the form

S = constant T33 —– (7)

The constant in this equation counts the number of degrees of freedom. For vanishing coupling constant, the theory is described by free quanta in the adjoint of U(N). This means that the number of degrees of freedom is ~ N2.

From the standard thermodynamic relation,

dE = TdS —– (8)

and the energy of the system is

E ~ N2T43 —– (9)

In order to relate entropy and mass of the black hole, let us eliminate temperature from (7) and (9).

S = N23((E/N23))3/4 —– (10)

Now the energy of the quantum field theory is identified with the light cone energy of the system of DO-branes forming the black hole. That is

E ≈ M2/N R —– (11)

Plugging (11) into (10)

S = N23(M2R/N23)3/4 —– (12)

This makes sense only when N << S, as when N >> S computing the equation of state is slightly trickier. At N ~ S, this is precisely the correct form for the black hole entropy in terms of the mass.

Derrida Contra Searle – Intentionality – Part 2…

searle big questionimg167

Part 1 is here

Another acerbic criticism by Searle concerns meaning as utterance meaning attributed to Derrida, where the positionality of intentions is confined to entities that are mysterious in nature and lying behind these utterances. The only way to smash this criticism is by showing that Derrida does respect the existence of distinction that mirrors Searle’s distinction between speaker’s utterance meaning and literal meaning. In accepting such a distinction, the seemingly apparent gulf becomes non-existent, and the irreducible polysemy or dissemination of Derrida lands on the same level as the literal ambiguity of Searle. Searle highlights the category mistake in underlying the supposition that the utterance of the token and the token are identical and the mistake only proliferates when the token acquires a different meaning from type in the case of utterance meaning as differing from sentence meaning. For him, excepting diachronic changes, special codes, and the like, the token’s meaning is always the same as the meaning of the type, and the only distinction worthy of name is the one between speaker’s utterance meaning from sentence meaning, type or token (John R. Searle – Expression and Meaning _ Studies in the Theory of Speech Acts). This can mean nothing more and nothing less than the fact that one’s use of token has no impact upon token’s type. Even if utterances and tokens are different from one another, utterances lose their existential status without tokens, implying that nothing rules out the possibility of utterances and token having different meanings, with the condition of utterance meaning as not affecting token’s literal meaning being strictly adhered to.1 In order to establish the nexus between literal meaning and the issue of intentionality, Searle takes a recourse to fungible intentionality that highlights the conventionality of intentionality when trying to connect to the notion of literal meaning. This introduces about-ness in intentions or intentional states. The word “fungible” is used to designate a literal meaning that can do the work of a state of mind that is about something. Searle’s vagaries are once again evident when he simply broaches this concept of fungible intentionality in his reply to Derrida, as the essay circulates around argument of the iterability of linguistic forms as facilitating a necessary condition for particular forms of intentionality as characterizing speech acts. This is so, primarily due to the status enjoyed by us human beings at mastering recursive rules that help in the proliferation of speech acts thus generating infinite number of new things, meanings in its wake. And this is true even in case of remainder or when the sentence gets alienated, weaned from its origin. As Searle points out,

There is no getting away from intentionality, because a meaningful sentence is just a standing possibility of the corresponding intentional speech act. To understand it, it is necessary to know that anyone who said it and meant it would be performing that speech act determined by the rules of the languages that give the sentence its meaning in the first place.

Another complication that surfaces in Searle is his insistence on the dissimilarity between utterance meaning’s context dependency vis-à-vis sentence meaning’s context dependency2, which incidentally is even accepted by Derrida. But, the problem lies in the non-clarity in Searle when he is trying his hand at distinguishing between meaning attached to the sentence and meaning attached to the utterance in his critique of Derrida in relation to Austin. To take an example, Derrida invokes a puzzling example from Nietzsche, “I forgot my umbrella”. This quote simply means ‘I forgot my umbrella’, even if one is unaware of the context underlying the remark. This quote also gives rise to a duality in that, on the one hand, one is aware of what is intended, whereas, on the other, one is not aware of the intention behind the statement. If this duality is considered, and if what Searle claims about intentionality as missing from writing holds true, then there is nothing that goes against Searle, for the consequence that a sentence would undergo would always be dictated by fungibility of intentions. But the point is missed for the thinker in question fails to apprehend what Derrida might have meant, that is, writer’s intention rather than fungible intention. The Derridean argument thereafter goes on to prove that intentions as such are never fully actualized. In a highly insightful passage, Derrida (Limited Inc 38) comments,

On the one hand, I am more or less in agreement with Sarl’s statement, “…there is no getting away from intentionality, because a meaningful statement is just a standing possibility of the corresponding intentional speech act”, I would, on the other hand, add, placing undue and artificial emphasis on -ful, that for reasons just stated, there cannot be a sentence that can be fully and actually meaningful and hence (or because) there can be no ‘corresponding (intentional) speech act’ that would be fulfilled, fully present, active and actual.

So, even if there are some traces of agreement between the two thinkers, Derrida rejects the thesis that intentions could be fully present within the text, thus proving his dissemination or irreducible polysemy as holding firm grounds. Moreover, his affirmation gets all the more strengthened because, iterability keeps account of dissemination, thus preventing intentions from ever getting actualized. Furthermore, if dissemination is to mark its presence, it is possible only with and within iterability. This goes on to prove the untenability of Searle’s “ideal hypothesis”, since the very structure of the mark excludes the hypothesis of idealization.

There is a nuance associated with irreducible polysemy, despite Searle’s thesis of vagueness and literal ambiguity that is no different than Derrida’s dissemination. Searle holds ambiguity to be finite, whereas, Derrida holds polysemy to be determinable, since irreducible polysemy never makes the arrogant claim on signs, words and sentences as having indeterminate meanings.3 Even a cursory look at the positions of the two thinkers  is enough to reach a conclusion that on the issue of meaning of sentences, these thinkers do not differ greatly, since both regard meaning as relatively contextual and meta- contextual, in addition to holding contexts as unchanging, and showing hardly any nuance amongst themselves in considering polysemy a characteristic feature of sentences. Well, this judgment appears to be slightly neutral laden or prejudiced with the usage of the word “nuance”, and could eventually mean as if the word is used rather strongly. But, this ain’t the sense in which it is employed here. There is a difference, and it lies in iterability, which, for Derrida, lends a polysemic status to sentential meanings, whereas the deviation wrought about by Searle lends legitimacy to the existence of univocal sentences.

Before getting into the discussion on parasitic discourses that formed a real contentious issue between Searle and Derrida, on the latter’s reading of Austin, it is necessary to provide a brief recapitulation. The major criticisms provided by Searle on Derrida’s take on Austin’s parasitic/normal/abnormal discourse are,

  1. a misplaced conflation of iterability, citationality and parasitism that slides into a misplaced accusation of Austin as implicitly denying quotability,
  2. a misplaced conflation of non-fiction/fiction distinction with speech/writing distinction as attributed to Austin,
  3. a mistaken understanding of Austin’s exclusion of parasitic discourse and,
  4. attaching an ethical status to this exclusion.

What is confounding for Searle is his understanding of Derrida, who according to former denies Austin any possible expressibility of quotations, since, Austin analyses serious speech acts before undertaking studies on parasitic ones. So, if Searle thinks of parasitism as not a matter of quotability on the one hand, he also considers Derrida’s position of commitment to parasitism as citationality on the other. Thus nothing differentiates citationality from quotability for Searle, whereas, for Derrida, quotation is just one aspect of citation. This Searlean argument falls flat on face, and a further decimation of it occurs, when one notes that Derridean parasitism is only an utterance, or a citation of an utterance in contexts that happen to be extraordinary. If non-serious citations were “the determined modification” of general citationality, it could only imply for non-serious utterances as a certain type of utterance in general4. One of the themes of Signature Event Context is to show that Austin excludes the determined modification of citationality, and with this exclusion, a successful performative misses its mark. So, it appears that there is a trade-off of exclusion for one type of citationality in favor of the other, viz, serious citation. This is a clear case of Searle misinterpreting citationality as mere quotability. Now, if there is a suggestion to the effect of non-serious citations as determined modifications of citationality, this could only be deciphered on the basis of conventionality, in that, whenever, these features are noticed, they should always be taken as utterances of a certain kind. If this is where Searle’s criticism aims at, Derrida takes a recourse to counter it by an augmented track to hit straight at former’s notions of idealization and semantic rules. This is to be accomplished in order to prove whether a distinction that is not sharp enough is a legitimate conceptual distinction in the first place. Derrida carries no qualms in admitting that it is not, whereas Searle insists on it being a legitimate conceptual distinction. The questions concerning the legitimate conceptual distinction is again a deviated path for the thinkers in question, since, both of them at least agree upon the premiss that a normal speech act is only comprehensible as a fiction following an aporetic situation in which a sharp distinction between normal and parasitic speech acts is encountered, thus considering these distinctions as nothing short of idealizations.

1 Kevin Halion correctly summarizes this with his reading of Searle as delineating two fundamental and separate distinctions viz, sentence/utterance and type/token. Speaker’s utterance meaning and sentence meaning are both context dependent. Over and above the context dependence of the utterance of ‘The cat is on the mat’ (where its indexicals are only determined relative to the context of utterance which decides which cat it is and where the mat is), there is a contextuality of its literal meaning. This dependence on contextual or background assumptions is easily shown. For instance, it would be problematic to speak of a cat’s being on a mat outside some gravitational field. However it might still be said and Searle gives an example to show this: looking from a space-ship window, mats float past with cats near them in such a relation that, relative to the ship, it can be said that in some cases the cat is on the mat and in the others the mat is on the cat. And there are innumerable other contexts to which the statement about the cat is also relative.

2 For to understand this opposition and differing kinds of context dependencies, it is worthwhile to have a look at the quote by Searle (Expression and Meaning 133f, linked above) below,

A … skeptical conclusion that I explicitly renounce is that the thesis of the relativity of literal meaning destroys or is in some way inconsistent with the system of distinctions … that centers around the distinction between the literal sentence meaning and the speaker’s utterance meaning, where the utterance meaning may depart in various ways from literal sentence meaning. …The modification that the thesis of relativity of meaning forces on that system of distinctions is that in the account of how context plays a role in the production and comprehension of metaphorical utterances, indirect speech acts, ironical utterances, and conversational implications, we will need to distinguish the special role of the context of utterance in these cases from the role that background assumptions play in the interpretation of literal meanings.

This clearly indicates the distinction made by Searle between utterance meaning and sentence meaning, even if they are both determined by context.

3 A couple of quotations from ‘Afterword: Toward an ethic Discussion’ (Limited Inc 115) lends legitimacy to Derrida’s views here.

I never proposed ‘a kind of “all or nothing” choice between pure realization of self-presence and complete freeplay or undecidability.’ I never believed in this and I never spoke of ‘complete freeeplay or undecidability’.

And again on page 148,

From the point of view of semantics…’deconstruction’ should never lead either to relativism or to any sort of indeterminism.

The quotations within the above quotes are from Searle (Caution: Subscribers’ only), that were reproduced by Gerald Graff in putting across his questions.

4 So it is not true that Derrida held that ‘the phenomenon of citationality’ (with citationality understood as quotability in the sense of mention but not of use) was ‘the same as the phenomenon of parasitic discourse’.

Derrida Contra Searle – Part 1…

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The three most essential features of writing for Derrida happen to be remainder, rupture and spacing, of which the first is mirrored in weaning of a text from its origin and the second finds its congruence in severance of expression from its meaning, and all of the three happen to be graphematic. Remainder could also be thought of as writing that absents itself from the original context, while rupture is to be seen primarily as the unlikelihood of a proper context that arrests it, or confines it. Even if weaning of a text from its origin fits the bill of being graphematic, Searle’s rejects rupture as being one. This implies that the status of permanence is accorded to writing, as unlike speech, it remains in its archival form even in the absence of speaker-writer. This position is non- Derridean, as it argues against all language use as characterized by the absence of the sender. Therefore, severance of meaning from the expression is denied any special status for writing by an advantageous denomination of quotability, which, even if, not a normal purpose of quotation1, could still be a possible one. Searle’s reading of severance of meaning from an expression or rupture goes for a tailspin here, for, rupture implies a signifier to be grafted onto innumerable contexts in which sense could be derived, rather than boundations imposed upon graphemes and phonemes as simple considerations of marks and sounds respectively, and alienated from any significations they might carry when considered as mere signifiers.

Derrida most patiently and appropriately, ironically launches into his own defense against these Searlean criticisms. Irony and/or mockery rules the roost in Limited Inc., for the style is a deliberate attempt to deal with the serious/non-serious distinction in response to Searle’s tone of high disdain. In the words of Spivak (Revolutions That As Yet Have No Model), Searle’s essay is brusque and all too brief, whereas, Derrida’s is long and parodistically courteous and painstaking.

Derrida in Signature Event Context thematically points out the exclusion of writing from speech act theory, and talks about the essential predicates that minimally determine the classical notion of writing. He does this through his reading of Husserl’s Logical Investigations and The Origin of Geometry, where Husserl had indicated a suspicion on speech as underlining certain of these predicates of writing, by supposing writing to imitate speech, but unable to share in the immediate link between speech and its context of production. Even if Signature Event Context considers every sign as cited without the quotation marks, a possibility of a break with every given context leading to illimitable new contexts cannot be ruled as a crisis ridden possibility in itself. Such a crisis has resolution in Husserl through his phenomenological reduction, and in Austin through a programmatic, initial, and initiating exclusion. For Searle, writing is nothing more than a transcription of speech, and his refutation of Derrida’s take on speech and writing is too quick a translation that finds its bottom in a standard and trivial idiom. For instance, Searle clearly misinterprets Derrida by noting some marks to be only iterable by citations exemplified in quotations. It is without any doubt that Derrida considers quotation as a form of iteration or citation, but is only one such form, since for him, use of any such mark is equally a case of/for citation and iteration.2

This is misinterpretation on Searle’s part primarily due to his treating/interpreting graphematic in the classical notion of writing.

When Searle reads Signature Event Context, he reads in it the absentia of intention from writing altogether, which he bases upon the mark as separated from its origin and context of production and is clearly stated in his reply to Derrida. He (Reiterating the Differences {linked in the footnotes}) says,

Intentionality plays exactly the same role in written as well as spoken communication. What differs in the two cases is not the intentions of the speaker but the role of the context of the utterance in the success of the communication.

So, if intentions are present in writing, and contexts differentiate themselves with respect to speech and writing, leading to speech as more implicit in its form as compared to writing that happens to be explicit, one can only adduce to the fact of Searle being caught up in the classical notion of writing, with writing relegated to a lower form of language vis-à-vis speech. This is despite the fact of classical notion holding writing as dependent on speech, with Searle breaking away from it marginally by holding this dependence to be a matter of contingency in the history of human languages, rather than construed as a logical matter, and simultaneously unsubscribing from the classical notion of intentions as somehow absent from writing. Derrida sees a problem with this particular take on intentions that have hitherto sought to actualize and totalize intentionality into self-presence and self-possession.3 One cannot miss the teleological overtones of classical notions of intentionality, and the resolution lies in problematizing this notion. One such solution lies in leveling the privileged status bestowed upon writer-reader’s presence brought about by deconstruction to call back to the center the necessary possibility of the absence of sender and receiver as the positive condition of possibility of communication.4 Such a critique should not be taken to mean in Searlean style that intentionality should be done away with, or effaced, but would only lay importance to its deployment as against disappearance. Intentions could very well themselves be the effects of a desire that lead to self-identical intentions in order to produce interpretations. A limit is imposed upon such desires to prevent it from being thought in terms of a fully intending subject. These limitations, however accentuate the very functionality of intentions, lest it should only focus on Derrida’s project as absurdly nihilist. According to Derrida (Limited Inc),

What is valid for intention, always differing, deferring, and without plenitude, is also valid correlatively, for the object (qua signified or referent) thus aimed at. However, this limit, I repeat (“without” plenitude), is also the (“positive”) condition of possibility of what is thus limited.

In short, in Derrida the originary self-division of intention “limits what it makes possible while rendering its rigor or purity impossible” (Revolutions that as yet have no model). Derrida sees intention as part of the total context5 that somehow carries the ability to intrinsically determine utterances, and is rigorously put forward, when he (Limited Inc) says,

Intention, itself marked by the context, is not foreign to the formation of the total context…to treat context as a factor from which one can abstract for the sake of refining one’s analysis, is to commit oneself to a description that cannot but miss the very contents and object it claims to isolate, for they are intrinsically determined by context.

This point of understanding intentionality is crucial here, for writer’s intending is bracketed by the same context as the actual production of graphemes, and Searle, who at times vehemently rejects any distinction between intention and context invokes it in his criticism of Derrida, thus exhibiting his own conflictual stance. To achieve explicitness, writing must be able to function without the presence of the writer, and the way this is attained is when something meaningful is being said, the intention behind it exhibits its non-presence. This helps clarifying the distinction between the intention to be meaningful and intention itself, or the intended meaning. The phrase “non-presence” is misleading however, and it is loaded with absence. In actuality, these are not to be employed synonymously.5 Non-presence entails intentions as never actualized, or made fully present in the language due to dissemination. Derrida (Limited Inc) explicitly never questions intentionality, but only its teleological aspirations through his text, since these aspirations orient the movements towards the possibility of fulfilling, realizing, and actualizing in a plenitude that would be present to and identical with itself. And this is precisely the reason why Derrida calls intention as not being present wholly. This position is bound to raise suspicion in Searle, when it is largely misinterpreted that radical absence of the receiver in general should connote the absence of trace of any sender. The confusion builds up around “radical absence”, as it is taken to mean the absence of intention, which, however, is not the case. What is really communicated here is the absence of consciousness of what one intended, as is clear from the fact that if a conscious act needs to be intentional, it does not assume intention as conscious.

Searle talks about the normal and the possible purpose of quotation in a note that follows his remark (Reiterating the Differences),

We can always consider words as just sounds and marks and we can always construe pictures as just material objects. But…this possibility of separating the sign from the signified is a feature of any system of representation whatever: there is nothing especially graphematic about it at all.

If every ark is iterable, then no mark belongs to language strictly speaking. Languages could be thought of as reifications, that for someone like Donald Davidson, help us construct theories of meaning, while at the same time engaging with consistent and idiomatic speech behaviors. This might seem like loose semantic conventions and habits, but nonetheless direct towards some sort of an engagement with the likes of Joyce and Mrs. Malaprop and inculcating in us the revisionary exercise towards the theory of what language our interlocutor is speaking in line with the principle of charity. 

This is one of the reasons why Derrida calls his critique as ethico-political in nature.

This is reviewed by Spivak (Revolutions that as yet have no model {linked above}), and she calls attention to an extensive quote attributed to Derrida on the same page, that I find very insightful and hence worth reproducing it here.

To affirm…that the receiver is present at the moment when I write a shopping list for myself, and , moreover, to turn this into an argument against the essential possibility of the receiver’s absence from every mark, is to settle for the shortest, most facile analysis. If both sender and receiver were entirely present when the mark was inscribed, and if they were thus present to themselves-since, by hypothesis, being present and being-present-to- oneself are here the same-how could they even be distinguished from one another? How could the message of the shopping list circulate among them? And the same hold force, a fortiori, for the other example, in which sender and receiver are hypothetically considered to be neighbors, it is true, but still as two separate persons occupying two different places, or seats…But these notes are only writable or legible to the extent that…these two possible absences construct the possibility of the message at the very instant of my writing or his reading.

This confusion is ameliorated when one sees non-presence as designating a less negated presence, rather than getting caught up in the principally binary presence/absence opposition that is usually interpreted.