Stutter and phenomena: The phenomenology and deconstruction of delayed auditory feedback | Intellect Skip to content
1981
Metaphoric Stammers and Embodied Speakers
  • ISSN: 2057-0341
  • E-ISSN: 2057-035X

Abstract

Jacques Derrida’s early critique of Husserlian phenomenology discusses the production of the ‘phenomenological voice’ as the consummate model of human consciousness. Challenging Husserl’s conviction that consciousness is produced from the self-enclosed act of ‘hearing-oneself-speak’, Derrida points to vocality as the complex site of the self’s relationship to presence and exteriority. The internal division between hearing and speaking, he argues, introduces difference into the generation of conscious life. The use of delayed auditory feedback (DAF) as a prosthetic for stuttering provides an opportunity to engage Derrida’s insights on the connection between consciousness and voice with an ear to the speech of people who stutter. DAF, which may reduce or increase dysfluency depending on the speech of the user, introduces a series of delays, alterations and supplements to speech that underwrite the heterogeneous experience of conscious life. What can the philosophy of deconstruction add to conversations about the function of DAF, and what can theory about and experiences with DAF teach us about the self’s presence to itself and the role of alterity in shaping speech? What does stuttering teach us about the necessity of dysfluency for all speech? This article examines the relation between the voice and the phenomenological voice, and between stuttering and prosthetics. Concluding with an analysis of Richard Serra’s experimental recording, (1974), it argues that voice is always already prostheticized with alterity, and that in hearing-oneself-speak we exist voice in an expansive and unfinished conversation with our own mystery.

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2020-12-01
2024-04-25
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