Words Underway: Continental Philosophy of Language, // Reviews // Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // University of Notre Dame

Culbertson is to be congratulated for a lucid, spirited, and masterfully executed defense of Continental philosophy of language. While we wait for an anthology reflecting this understudied area (an anthology would make a desirable sequel to this book), She has provided a helpful overview of key topics and texts, organizing them around a philosophically complex idea that language is equal parts a source of expression and frustration. She effectively synthesized several bodies of literature: classical Continental and feminist philosophical readings, Celan’s poetry, relevant literature in feminist psychology, autobiographical writings on depression, and, to a degree, theoretical studies of epistemic injustice. It is impressive to witness philosophy and non-philosophy speak to each other regarding how language works and/or how it falters. Her argument embodies the style of Continental philosophers she engages like Heidegger and Derrida: language reveals the world not despite but because of its manifest failures; language is undecided between the recovery and the withdrawal of sense.
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