With Derrida, you can hardly misread him, because he's so obscure. Every time you say, "He says so and so," he always says, "You misunderstood me." But if you try to figure out the correct interpretation, then that's not so easy. I once said this to Michel Foucault, who was more hostile to Derrida even than I am, and Foucault said that Derrida practiced the method of obscurantisme terroriste (terrorism of obscurantism). We were speaking French. And I said, "What the hell do you mean by that?" And he said, "He writes so obscurely you can't tell what he's saying, that's the obscurantism part, and then when you criticize him, he can always say, 'You didn't understand me; you're an idiot.' That's the terrorism part."
Reality Principles: An Interview with John R. Searle with Steven R. Postrel & Edward Feser. Reason.com. February 2000. (HT: Edward Feser).
- Noam Chomsky Slams Žižek and Lacan: Empty ‘Posturing’ OpenCulture 6/28/13.
- John Searle on Foucault and the Obscurantism in French Philosophy OpenCulture. 07/01/13.