The Arbitrariness of the Linguistic Sign: Variations on an Enlightenment Theme

Journal of the History of Ideas 73 (4):537-557 (2012)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

From the late seventeenth century to the middle of the eighteenth, an important shift occurred in attitudes to the arbitrariness of the first human words. While authors such as Locke and Pufendorf emphasized linguistic arbitrariness and human liberty, mid-eighteenth-century thinkers highlighted the natural aspects of language and the limited scope of freedom and reason. This change is linked to the contemporary view of the cultural world as a natural artifice, strongly molded by social and environmental factors. The article highlights hitherto neglected similarities between Leibniz’s ideas on language and mid-eighteenth-century theories, by contrast to the usual focus on Locke.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 74,649

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Pufendorf and Condillac on Law and Language.Hans Aarsleff - 2011 - Journal of the Philosophy of History 5 (3):308-321.
Epicurus in the Enlightenment.Neven Leddy & Avi Lifschitz (eds.) - 2009 - Voltaire Foundation.
Language.Avi Lifschitz - 2014 - In Aaron Garrett (ed.), The Routledge Companion to Eighteenth-Century Philosophy. Routledge. pp. 663-683.
The Arbitrariness of the Genetic Code.Ulrich E. Stegmann - 2004 - Biology and Philosophy 19 (2):205-222.

Analytics

Added to PP
2012-10-23

Downloads
39 (#297,219)

6 months
1 (#419,510)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Avi Lifschitz
University College London

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references