The origin of language: A scientific approach to the study of man

Topoi 4 (2):181-186 (1985)
The Enlightenment regarded language as one of the most significant achievements of man. Consequently inquiries into the origin and development of language play a central role in eighteenth-century moral philosophy. This new science of man consciously adopts the method of analysis and synthesis used in the natural sciences of the time. In moral philosophy, analysis corresponds to the search for the basic principles of human nature. Synthesis is identified with the attempt to interpret all artificial achievements of man (arts, sciences and institutions) as the effect of these principles and of man's physical and social environment - an attempt known as theoretical history. The type of explanation envisaged by theoretical historians is based on the principle of causality. It consists in a genetic reconstruction of the social phenomenon under investigation. Inquiries into the origin of language follow this pattern of explanation. They form part of theoretical history and thus represent a major aspect of the eighteenth-century scientific study of man.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/BF00135846
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 24,433
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

View all 15 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

61 ( #80,040 of 1,925,064 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

22 ( #23,081 of 1,925,064 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.