'Chatter' cannot always be taken lightly, for its insignificance and insubstantiality challenge the very notions of substance and significance through which rational discourses seek justification. This book shows that in 'chatter' Kierkegaard uncovered a specifically linguistic mode of negativity. The author examines in detail those writings of Kierkegaard in which he undertook complex negotiations with the threat - and also the promise - of 'chatter', which cuts across the distinctions in which the relation of language to reality - and (...) above all, the reality of 'existence' - is stabilized, and it therefore releases historical understanding from its established conventions. Chatter situates as well as takes the measure of the seminal importance of Kierkegaard for many of today's unresolved debates about the relation of language and philosophy to history. (shrink)
A groundbreaking study of deafness, by a philosopher who combines the scientific erudition of Oliver Sacks with the historical flair of Simon Schama. There is nothing more personal than the human voice, traditionally considered the expression of the innermost self. But what of those who have no voice of their own and cannot hear the voices of others? In this tour de force of historical narrative, Jonathan Ree tells the astonishing story of the deaf, from the sixteenth century to the (...) present. Ree explores the great debates about deafness between those who believed the deaf should be made to speak and those who advocated non-oral communication. He traces the botched attempts to make language visible, through such exotic methods as picture writing, manual spellings, and vocal photography. And he charts the tortuous progress and final recognition of sign systems as natural languages in their own right. I See a Voice escorts us on a vast and eventful intellectual journey,taking in voice machines and musical scales, shorthand and phonetics, Egyptian hieroglyphs, talking parrots, and silent films. A fascinating tale of goodwill subverted by bad science, I See a Voice is as learned and informative as it is delightful to read. (shrink)
The irreducibility of language : the history of rhetoric in the age of typewriters -- The failures of empiricism : language, science, and the philosophical tradition -- What is a trope? : the discourse of metaphor and the language of the body -- The nervous systems of modern consciousness : metaphor, physiology, and mind -- Interpretation and life : outlines of an anthropology of knowledge.
The importance of history has been powerfully reaffirmed in recent years by the appearance of major new authors, pathbreaking works, and fresh interpretations of historical events, trends, and methods. Responding to these developments, Roger Chartier engages several of the most influential writers of cultural history whose works have spread far beyond academic audiences to become part of contemporary cultural argument. Challenging the assertion that history is no more than a "fiction-making operation" Chartier examines the relationships between (...) class='Hi'>history and fiction and proposes new foundations for establishing history as a specific kind of knowledge. Michel de Certeau's description of Michel Foucault's writings as "on the edge of the cliff," provides Chartier with an image he finds appropriate not only for Foucault but for many other recent historians--including de Certeau. Exploring the relationships between discursive practices and nondiscursive practices, Chartier examines the "heterology" of de Certeau pursues the "chimera of origin" and the causes of the French Revolution in Foucault's work and raises four pertinent questions for the metahistory of Hayden White. He follows the work of Louis Marin into the distinctions between interpreting a painting and interpreting a text. And a trio of essays treats the historical sociology of Norbert Elias and his work on power and civility. Throughout, Chartier keeps his focus on historians who have stressed the relations between the products of discourse and social practices. (shrink)
Although what language users in different cultures say about their own language has long been recognized as of potential interest, its theoretical importance to the study of language has typically been thought to be no more than peripheral. Theorizing Language is the first book to place the reflexive character of language at the very centre both of its empirical study and of its theoretical explanation. Language can only be explained as a cultural product of (...) the reflexive application of its own creative powers to construct, regulate, and give conceptual form to objects of understanding. Language is itself, first and foremost, an object of cultural understanding. Theoretical analyses of language which have neglected its reflexive character, or simply taken its effects for granted, merely impose their own artificial structures on their analytical object. The first part of this book discusses the consequences of neglecting this reflexive character for the technical concepts and methods which are used in analysing different types of communicational phenomena. In the second part, normativity - a crucial aspect of language's reflexive nature - is examined. The book's third and final part focuses on particular issues in the history of linguistic thought which bear witness to the rhetoric of language theorizing as a reflexive form of inquiry. (shrink)
In a powerful and original contribution to the history of ideas, Hannah Dawson explores the intense preoccupation with language in early-modern philosophy, and presents a groundbreaking analysis of John Locke's critique of words. By examining a broad sweep of pedagogical and philosophical material from antiquity to the late seventeenth century, Dr Dawson explains why language caused anxiety in writers such as Montaigne, Bacon, Descartes, Hobbes, Gassendi, Nicole, Pufendorf, Boyle, Malebranche and Locke. Locke, Language and Early-Modern Philosophy (...) demonstrates that new developments in philosophy, in conjunction with weaknesses in linguistic theory, resulted in serious concerns about the capacity of words to refer to the world, the stability of meaning, and the duplicitous power of words themselves. Dr Dawson shows that language so fixated all manner of early-modern authors because it was seen as an obstacle to both knowledge and society. She thereby uncovers a novel story about the problem of language in philosophy, and in the process reshapes our understanding of early-modern epistemology, morality and politics. (shrink)
The increasingly common use of inclusive language (e.g., "he or she") in representing past philosophers' views is often inappropriate. Using Immanuel Kant's work as an example, I compare his use of terms such as "human race" and "human being" with his views on women to show that his use of generic terms does not prove that he includes women. I then discuss three different approaches to this issue, found in recent Kant-literature, and show why each of them is insufficient. (...) I conclude that the tension between gender-neutral and gender-specific views in Kant's work should be made explicit, and I offer several strategies for doing so. (shrink)
Precursors of the linguistic turn: German philosophy of language in the late 19th century -- From text to discourse: a shift towards a pragmatic interpretation of "fictionality" -- Projecting a science of literature: on a theoretical basis for a rational science of literature -- The empirical science of literature ESL: a new paradigm -- From literary communication to literary systems -- Implementations: conventions and literary systems -- Unfinished business: literary history -- Changes in epistemology: media revisited -- Histories (...) and discourses: for an integrated communication science -- Aspects of media societies -- Advertising lessons for empirical aesthetics -- The self-organisation of human communication. (shrink)
Aim of the lectures -- Early Brahmanical literature -- Panini's grammar -- A passage from the Chandogya Upanisad -- The structures of languages -- The Buddhist contribution -- Vaisesika and language -- Verbal knowledge -- The contradictions of Nagarjuna -- The reactions of other thinkers -- Sarvastivada Samkhya -- The Agamasastra of Gaudapada -- Sankara -- Kashmiri Saivism -- Jainism -- Early Vaisesika -- Critiques of the existence of a thing before its arising -- Nyaya -- Mimamsa -- (...) The Abhidharmakosa bhasya of Vasubandhu -- The Abhidharmasamuccaya of Asanga and its bhasya -- Bhartrhari -- The problem of negation -- Dignaga and verbal knowledge -- The Bodhisattvabhumi -- Prajnakaragupta -- Indian thinkers and the correspondence principle -- Appendix. The Mahaprajnaparamitasastra and the Samkhya tanmatras. (shrink)
Contents include Language as a Means of Mental Culture and International Communication (1853; 2 vols) by Claude Marcel; The Mastery of Languages, or the Art of Speaking Foreign Tongues Idiomatically (1864) by Thomas Prendergast; Introduction to the Teaching of Living Languages without Grammar or Dictionary (1874) by Lambert Sauveur; and The Art of Teaching and Studying Languages (1880; English translation 1892) by Francois Goiun.
Drawing on ten years of research on the unpublished Wittgenstein papers, Stern investigates what motivated Wittgenstein's philosophical writing and casts new light on the Tractatus and Philosophical Investigations. The book is an exposition of Wittgenstein's early conception of the nature of representation and how his later revision and criticism of that work led to a radically different way of looking at mind and language. It also explains how the unpublished manuscripts and typescripts were put together and why they often (...) provide better evidence of the development of his ideas than can be found in his published writing. In doing so, the book traces the development of a number of central themes in Wittgenstein's philosophy, including his conception of philosophical method, the picture theory of meaning, the limits of language, the application of language to experience, his treatment of private language, and what he called the "flow of life." Arguing that Wittgenstein's views are often much more simple (and more radical) than we have been led to believe, Wittgenstein on Mind and Language provides an overview of the development of Wittgenstein's philosophy and brings to light aspects of his philosophy that have been almost universally neglected. (shrink)
This is a book about Aristotle's philosophy of language, interpreted in a framework that provides a comprehensive interpretation of Aristotle's metaphysics, philosophy of mind, epistemology and science. The aims of the book are to explicate the description of meaning contained in De Interpretatione and to show the relevance of that theory of meaning to much of the rest of Arisotle's philosophy. In the process Deborah Modrak reveals how that theory of meaning has been much maligned.
This third Companion To Ancient Thought is devoted to ancient theories of language. The chapters range over more than eight hundred years of philosophical enquiry, and provide critical analyses of all the principal accounts of how it is that language can have meaning and how we can come to acquire linguistic understanding. The discussions move from the naturalism examined in Plato's Cratylus to the sophisticated theories of the Hellenistic schools and the work of St Augustine. The relations between (...) thought about language and metaphysics, philosophy of mind and the development of grammar are also explored. (shrink)
The first study dedicated to the relationship between Alexander Pope and George Berkeley, this book undertakes a comparative reading of their work on the visual environment, economics and providence, challenging current ideas of the relationship between poetry and philosophy in early eighteenth-century Britain. It shows how Berkeley's idea that the phenomenal world is the language of God, learnt through custom and experience, can help to explain some of Pope's conservative sceptical arguments, and also his virtuoso poetic techniques.
Machine generated contents note: Part I. Truth and Disclosure: 1. Unconcealment; 2. The conditions of truth in Heidegger and Davidson; 3. On the 'existential positivity of our ability to be deceived'; 4. Heidegger on Plato, truth, and unconcealment: the 1931-32 lecture on The Essence of Truth; Part II. Language: 5. Social constraints on conversational content: Heidegger on Rede and Gerede; 6. Conversation, language, saying and showing; 7. The revealed word and world disclosure: Heidegger and Pascal on the phenomenology (...) of religious faith; Part III. Historical Worlds: 8. Philosophers, thinkers, and Heidegger's place in the history of being; 9. Between the earth and the sky: Heidegger on life after the death of God; 10. Nietzsche and the metaphysics of truth. (shrink)
This book compares attitudes to empiricism in language study from mid-twentieth century philosophy of language and from present-day linguistics. It focuses on responses to the logical positivism of the Vienna Circle, particularly in the work of British philosopher J. L. Austin and the much less well-known work of Norwegian philosopher Arne Naess.
Truth, Language, and History is the much-anticipated final volume of Donald Davidson's philosophical writings. In four groups of essays, Davidson continues to explore the themes that occupied him for more than fifty years: the relations between language and the world; speaker intention and linguistic meaning; language and mind; mind and body; mind and world; mind and other minds. He asks: what is the role of the concept of truth in these explorations? And, can a scientific world (...) view make room for human thought without reducing it to something material and mechanistic? Including a new introduction by his widow, Marcia Cavell, this volume completes Donald Davidson's colossal intellectual legacy. (shrink)
The historical problem about the origins of the language of rights derives its importance from the conceptual problem: of "two fundamentally different ways of thinking about justice," which is basic? Is justice unitary or plural? This in turn opens up a problem about the moral status of human nature. A narrative of the origins of "rights" is an account of how and when a plural concept of justice comes to the fore, and will be based on the occurrence of (...) definite speech-forms—the occurrence of the plural noun in the sense of "legal properties." The history of this development is currently held to begin with the twelfth-century canonists. Later significant thresholds may be found in the fourteenth, sixteenth, and eighteenth centuries. Wolterstorff's attempt to find the implicit recognition of rights in the Scriptures depends very heavily on what he takes to be implied rather than on what is stated, and at best can establish a pre-history of rights-language. (shrink)
Language, Truth, and History is an excellent volume of essays coming from one of the most important philosophers in the last fifty years. It would be of interest to anyone interested in the ways Davidson's philosophy evolved after the publication of the first two volumes, and it is essential reading for anyone working in philosophy of language or philosophy of mind.
Online trading invariably involves dealings between strangers, so it is important for one party to be able to judge objectively the trustworthiness of the other. In such a setting, the decision to trust a user may sensibly be based on that user’s past behaviour. We introduce a specification language based on linear temporal logic for expressing a policy for categorising the behaviour patterns of a user depending on its transaction history. We also present an algorithm for checking whether (...) the transaction history obeys the stated policy. To be useful in a real setting, such a language should allow one to express realistic policies which may involve parameter quantification and quantitative or statistical patterns. We introduce several extensions of linear temporal logic to cater for such needs: a restricted form of universal and existential quantification; arbitrary computable functions and relations in the term language; and a “counting” quantifier for counting how many times a formula holds in the past. We then show that model checking a transaction history against a policy, which we call the history-based transaction monitoring problem, is PSPACE-complete in the size of the policy formula and the length of the history, assuming that the underlying interpreted func-. (shrink)
Online trading invariably involves dealings between strangers, so it is important for one party to be able to judge objectively the trustworthiness of the other. In such a setting, the decision to trust a user may sensibly be based on that user’s past behaviour. We introduce a speciﬁcation language based on linear temporal logic for expressing a policy for categorising the behaviour patterns of a user depending on its transaction history. We also present an algorithm for checking whether (...) the transaction history obeys the stated policy. To be useful in a real setting, such a language should allow one to express realistic policies which may involve parameter quantiﬁcation and quantitative or statistical patterns. We introduce several extensions of linear temporal logic to cater for such needs: a restricted form of universal and existential quantiﬁcation; arbitrary computable functions and relations in the term language; and a “counting” quantiﬁer for counting how many times a formula holds in the past. We then show that model checking a transaction history against a policy, which we call the history-based transaction monitoring problem, is PSPACE-complete in the size of the policy formula and the length of the history, assuming that the underlying interpreted functions and relations are polynomially computable. The problem becomes decidable in polynomial time when the policies are ﬁxed. We also consider the problem of transaction monitoring in the case where not all the parameters of actions are observable. We formulate two such “partial observability” monitoring problems, and show their decidability under certain restrictions. (shrink)
This book traces the linguistic turns in the history of modern philosophy and the development of the philosophy of language from Locke to Wittgenstein. It examines the contributions of canonical figures such as Leibniz, Mill, Frege, Russell, Wittgenstein, Austin, Quine, and Davidson, as well as those of Condillac, Humboldt, Chomsky, and Derrida. Michael Losonsky argues that the philosophy of language begins with Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding and demonstrates how the history of the philosophy of (...) class='Hi'>language in the modern period is marked by a split between formal and pragmatic perspectives on language, which modern philosophy has not been able to integrate. (shrink)
This paper attempts to explain why Heidegger's thought has evoked both positive and negative reactions of such an extreme nature by focussing on his answer to the central methodological question “What is Philosophy?” After briefly setting forth Heidegger‟s answer in terms of attunement to Being, the centrality to it of his view of language and by focussing on his relationship with the word "philosophy‟ and with the history of philosophy, the author shows how it has led Heidegger to (...) construct his own work, itself linguistic, as a self-referential union of form and meaning. It is suggested that, from a Heideggerian perspective, this gives his work added argumentative force but, conversely, allows the critic no point of entry into his hermeneutical circle – hence the extreme reactions. This observation is then applied to address a related critical question; it is used to make sense of the apparent distinction, in Heidegger's work, between talking about attunement to Being and actually effecting such an attunement. The author argues that, for Heidegger, there is actually no distinction and that his apparent descriptions of attunement to Being at once describe and effect such an attunement. This union can therefore be conceived as one dimension of the intimacy, previously observed, between form and content and which is recognised to be a feature of Heidegger‟s work by both the acolyte and the critic. (shrink)
The mnemonic arts and the idea of a universal language that would capture the essence of all things were originally associated with cryptology, mysticism, and other occult practices. And it is commonly held that these enigmatic efforts were abandoned with the development of formal logic in the seventeenth century and the beginning of the modern era. In his distinguished book, Logic and the Art of Memory Italian philosopher and historian Paolo Rossi argues that this view is belied by an (...) examination of the history of the idea of a universal language. Based on comprehensive analyses of original texts, Rossi traces the development of this idea from late medieval thinkers such as Ramon Lull through Bruno, Bacon, Descartes, and finally Leibniz in the seventeenth century. The search for a symbolic mode of communication that would be intelligible to everyone was not a mere vestige of magical thinking and occult sciences, but a fundamental component of Renaissance and Enlightenment thought. Seen from this perspective, modern science and combinatorial logic represent not a break from the past but rather its full maturity. Available for the first time in English, this book (originally titled Clavis Universalis ) remains one of the most important contributions to the history of ideas ever written. In addition to his eagerly anticipated translation, Steven Clucas offers a substantial introduction that places this book in the context of other recent works on this fascinating subject. A rich history and valuable sourcebook, Logic and the Art of Memory documents an essential chapter in the development of human reason. (shrink)
This volume constitutes the largest collection of writings by the Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben hitherto published in any language and all but one appear in English for the first time. The essays consider figures in the history of philosophy (Plato, Plotinus, Spinoza, Hegel) and twentieth-century thought (Walter Benjamin, Heidegger, Derrida, Deleuze, the historian Aby Warburg, and the linguist J.-C. Milner). They also examine several central concerns of Agamben: the relation of linguistic and metaphysical categories; messianism in Islamic, Jewish, (...) and Christian theology; and the state and future of contemporary politics. Despite the diversity of the texts collected here, they show a consistent concern for a set of overriding philosophical themes concerning language, history, and potentiality. (shrink)
Why is mutual understanding between two substantially different comprehensive language communities often problematic and even unattainable? To answer this question, the author first introduces a notion of presuppositional languages. Based on the semantic structure of a presuppositional language, the author identifies a significant condition necessary for effective understanding of a language: the interpreter is able to effectively understand a language only if he/she is able to recognize and comprehend its metaphysical presuppositions. The essential role of (...) the knowledge of metaphysical presuppositions in understanding is further strengthened by developing a truth-value conditional theory of understanding. It is concluded that if the interpreter approaches an incompatible alien language from the standpoint of the interpreter's own language by projecting the metaphysical presuppositions of his/her own language upon the alien language, then the mutual understanding between the two language communities is doomed to failure. (shrink)