Sartre's not bad; I think he deserves to be counted among the tradition of "The Western Philosophers".Derrida on the other hand... he's worse than a bag of wind; he, like Searle puts it, gives bullshit a bad name.
Well, I admit my view of Sartre is colored by having actually had to study Being and Nothingness in a course on existentialism. So far as I could tell, it was just Heideggerian French fries. My reaction to Roqentin in Nausea was exactly the same as my reaction to Holden Caulfield. And of course I was completely charmed by Camus - and think that Marcel is a much better philosopher.That said, you are of course right: He's wonderful compared to Derrida. Perhaps at Christmas I will post my ditty "Derrida is Coming to Town."
There is a letter in the correspondence section of the Times every day now, with the writer's definition of an intellectual. Some of them are quite rude. I know a lot of very intellectual people, and one thing I can say about them: there is no correlation between intellectual ability and common sense.