Two contemporary philosophers take two very different approaches to Jean-Jacques Rousseau's Essay on the Origin of Languages, and then each reflects upon the approach of the other. Barry Stocker takes a deconstructionist approach, discussing the importance of Rousseau in the work of Jacques Derrida. John Bolender approaches Rousseau's Essay in terms of cognitive science, most especially in light of the theories of Noam Chomsky and Alan Page Fiske. Both authors agree that Rousseau's Essay still has much to teach us.
Keywords: Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Jacques Derrida, Noam Chomsky, Alan Page Fiske, linguistics, philosophy of language, cognitive science