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This article is substandard and full of errors. Logocentrism is confused with phonocentrism. That Derrida's texts are an example of logocentrism is misleading since he was a major critic of logocentrism. In fact this is the most misleading article I've ever read on Wikipedia.


I just wanted to point out that if you feel an article is incorrect and can provide sources to show this you are more than welcome to change the article. I'm afraid my knowledge of the topic is insufficient to make informed changes, although if I get time I may undertake some reading, but even a very basic web search appears to show that you are correct in your assertion (here for example). I hope you will help to improve this article.

Martin Hinks 09:58, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

<-- the above issues have been taken care of.

Even if the above issues have been taken care of, the article is still riddled with errors. A major problem lies in that logocentrism, particularly on Derrida's part, is a derogatory term. It is tied in to a breaking away from structuralism. This, and other definitions, seem to have been convoluted in the article.

Logocentrism dictates a neat connection between linguistic signifier and conceptual signified, as well as consideration of written language as subservient to speech. Although Derrida does certainly not privlidge writing over speech ('Plato's Pharmacy' and 'Of Grammatology', would, in fact, suggest something very different) he does consider them much more seperate and than logocentrism would suggest.

Logocentrism and Phonocentrism[edit]

I find the article extremely useful and important and I very much appreciate the effort in improving it. I am by no means an expert in this issue. From this naive reading, these two paragraphs seem incoherent:

"Logocentrism is often confused with phonocentrism, which more specifically refers to the privileging of speech over writing".
"Logocentrism is claimed to be manifested in the works of Plato, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Ferdinand de Saussure, Claude Lévi-Strauss, and many other philosophers of the Western tradition, all of whom regard speech as superior to writing (believing writing only represents or archives speech)

Following the definition from the first paragraph, the second paragraph seems to be referring to "phonocentrism" instead of "logocentrism". Thanks! Mimosinnet (talk) 20:42, 8 March 2009 (UTC)

Hi. wow, there are still lots of problems with this entry. I apologize for not having the time to deal with much of it right now, but let me suggest at this point, starting from the top (more later), that this is already a very big problem:

Logocentrism is often used as a derogatory term, refering to the tendencies of some works to emphasize language or words to the exclusion or detriment of the matters to which they refer.

Almost the opposite is the case. Logocentrism focuses on the presumption of signified meaning to the near exclusion of all other aspects of a text or discourse (on language as logos as opposed to mythos, style, tropology, for instance.). The presumption is that the logos (as logic/reason) is grounded in and founded on some unmoved mover (god, perhaps), a transcendental signified that stands outside language and stabilizes it, so that the link not only b/w the signifier and the signified but also between the sign and the referent is solid, stable--which means that meaning is stable. Derrida demonstrates that this presumed stability is an illusion. No transcendental signified, no unmoved mover outside language securing its meaning.

Phonocentrism and phallogocentrism operate *within* logocentrism; they are both aspects or consequences of logocentrism. The voice is presumed to be closer to the signified (concept or mental image of the referent) than writing is, for example, and the masculine is supposed to be the ever-present standard up against which all deviations are judged. What derrida shows is that all the accusations of secondariness and deviation leveled at writing are true of speech, too--both writing and speech are signifiers of signifiers (rather than of a stable signified). And he shows that all the rude and crude dichotomies through which logocentric thought proceeds are already political: the two terms of an opposition are situated hierarchically--they are not simply separate but equal: Male/female, speech/writing, mind/body, etc. (Even on/off...) The first term is always privileged, the standard-bearer, and the second is a deviation, a wanna-be that doesn't measure up.

I apologize for not being able right now (I am out of the country teaching) to simply "edit this page," but i will return... 08:13, 3 June 2009 (UTC)d3davis —Preceding unsigned comment added by D3davis (talkcontribs)

What a mess! It notes that logocentrism is easily confused with phonocentrism, and then proceeds to confuse them. There is no straightforward definition of the term or discussion of its usage and application. I'm going to take out the wanderings, because they will frankly mislead anyone consulting the article, but not much will be left. DavidOaks (talk) 17:30, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

I apologize for my lack of wikipedia knowledge, but the section involving post-structuralism is flat-out wrong. It states that other post-structural philosophers and psychoanalysts include Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Freud. Freud was dead before post-structuralism was a concept and Nietzsche were dead structuralism was a concept. Heidegger was not a post-structuralist, either. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:25, 28 September 2011 (UTC)

Appalling First Sentence and Definition[edit]

The opening sentence of this article states that:

'Logocentrism is a term coined by the German philosopher Ludwig Klages in the 1920s. It refers to the tradition of "Western" science and philosophy that situates the logos, ‘the word’ or the ‘act of speech’, as epistemologically superior in a system, or structure, in which we may only know, or be present in, the world by way of a logocentric metaphysics.'

Whilst there are certain moments of clarity, ultimately this sentence is dreadful as a definition. A definition of Logocentrism cannot include the word 'logocentric' in it, as it is the very concept it is attempting to describe. This definition of Logocentrism is the equivalent of describing a chair by stating that 'a chair is a separate piece of furniture on which people can sit, which has a back and four legs, and is chair-like.' Appalling. Oulipal (talk) 12:57, 21 March 2013 (UTC)

Agreed - that second sentence is unnecessarily awkward and circular. I would suggest the following as a starting point for improving it: "Logocentrism refers to the tradition of Western science and philosophy that is based on the belief in an ultimate or Platonic reality, a centre of truth as the ideal foundation for all thought and action. Logocentrism privileges the logos, "the word" or the "act of speech," as epistemologically superior to various derivative forms of representation (like writing) because of the premise of a proximity between speech and thought that is not present in other forms of representation."

That still needs revision - I still don't like that first sentence. But I think it better corresponds to the quotation from Culler and it'd be a better option and a better place to start from for further revisions. Leif 16:44, 5 March 2014 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Leifeinarson (talkcontribs)