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A Vocabulary for “Plato`s Pharmacy” – English 364, May 23, 2008

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A Vocabulary for “Plato’s Pharmacy” – English 364, May 23, 2008
Instruct or: Gre g Po lako ff
Notes: The definitions and comments that appear in brackets are mine; the others are from the Norton
Anthology. The primary source of the additional Greek definitions I provide is the Perseus online
dictionary (link on weblog). Transliterations of Greek words varies significantly from text to text.
aiskhron
alêtheia
agathon
aiskhrôs
akoé
analogon
anamnesia
autognosis
autoscopy
biblia
ekgonos
eikona
ergon
Delphikon gramma
diacritical
différance
doxa
dunamis
eidos
graphein
horômena
hupomnêmata
hypomnesia
hypomnêmis
kâlos
khairein
kibdêlon
logographer
infamy [from shame].
truth [Derrida's interpretation of this word is coloured by his extensive
reading of Heidegger, who emphasizes the dynamic nature of truth--that it
represents a constant process of revealing and disclosure].
good--of people and things, serviceable, morally good.
shamefully [with baseness and infamy].
something heard.
analogue.
recollection.
self-knowledge.
self-examination [refers to the self-examination of one's eye. this term
originates from the word autoscope, which is a Renaissance invention to
examine one's own eye--c.f. entry for macula below]
written texts.
born of, sprung from, used for "offspring," "child," "son" and "daughter.”
image.
works––or war, industry, deeds, etc.
Delphic inscription [...] "know thyself" [the question of whether or not it is
possible to "know thyself" is an important theme in the texts of Nietzsche,
Heidegger, Lacan, and various other authors that we will explore]
differentiating, separating. [capable of discerning and distinguishing
things. This word also refers to "diacritical marks" that are in various
language, and by linguists, to indicate variations in pronunciation. The
accent (the hat) over the Greek letters, that indicates a long vowel, is a
diacritical mark]
Probably Derrida's most famous neologism. It is a "noun-verb" that is a
play upon the words différer (verb: to differ and defer), différant (noun: the
condition of differing, or of differing), and différEnce (differnce––notice the
E in this word). This word defies our cognition of the sensible and the
intelligible (neither a noumenon nor phenomenon). This word is
indistinguishable to the ear from the word difference.
notion, opinion, external appearance.
power, that which is dynamic––might, strength, action of medicines,
function, force of word, meaning, value of money, phonetic value of
letters, magical substance, the exponential power of numbers.
idea or "form" as discussed in Plato's writings.
to write; writing.
visible.
monuments.
remembrance via reminding.
a reminding.
beautifully.
to rejoice at, to welcome, to bid farewell; or, rejoicing at, welcoming,
bidding farewell.
that which is falsified, adulterated, mendacious, deceptive, equivocal
(page 1845).
one who transcribes the spoken word––a “writer.”
logos
macula
mathêma
metastatic
medusée
mnême
mnesic
mythologemes
nooumena
onta
paidia
patêr
peithô
pharmakeia/pharmakon
philosopheme
phusis
psuche
sêmainei
sumplokê
sophia
sophists
sous rature
sungrammata
tekhnê
tokous
topoi
tupoi
zoôn
that which is spoken, language, talk, argument, speech, discourse,
conversation, narrative, opinion, reason, plea, etc.--these definitions
represent usages over a long period of time. Many interpret logos as the
written word. Derrida attempts to draw attention to these contradictions.
spot, stain (Latin). Note that in modern usage this word is also related to
the "eye"--see entry for autoscopy above. Macula specifically refers to a
spot or stain on the eye, or a corneal opacity--c.f. "macular degeneration."
discipline.
the movement or transportation of disease producing agents from one
part of a body to another, c.f. metastasize.
to be “stoned” (quite literally)—past tense of “meduser,” a verb based on
the name of the mythological figure Medusa. One look from her, and you
turn to stone!
memory.
having to do with memory.
constituent elements of mythology.
intelligible [c.f. nounmena--in Kantian philosophy, this term refers to "the
thing in itself" that is inaccessible to experience, but can be intuited
through the use of our various cognitive faculties].
Beings. Ontology is s branch of philosophy that examines the nature of
"being." Heidegger distinguishes the "ontic"––the description of "being"
from a static perspective––and the "ontological," the description of "being"
as dynamic and constantly evolving process (c.f. alêtheia). For Heidegger,
humans actively participate in the act of “being.” All things “are,” yet only
human beings are able to actively inquire into the nature of “being.”
Heidegger describes “being” as an active “questioning.” For further
information on these concepts, I recommend that you read the
introduction to Being and Time––a major influence on Derrida.
game.
father, author, epithet for various gods.
persuasion.
a common noun signifying the administration of the pharmakon, the drug;
the medicine and /or poison [Derrida 1835]
Constituent element of philosophy.
nature; natural world [rel. to "physics"].
soul.
signify.
intertwining; rhetorical interweaving.
instruction.
those who taught rhetoric and devised arguments for money; the term
later became synonymous with fallacious reasoners.
an erasure.
written compositions.
skills, craft, method of doing--in both the "technological" and "artistic"
sense. Derrida is likely drawing upon his experience with Heidegger here
as well--see note for alêtheia above.
bringing forth, childbirth, produce, and a metaphor for monetary interest.
places, topics.
types.
inflected form of zoôs: alive, living.
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