Social Philosophy

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By Jean-Jacques Lecercle

The aim of this publication is to offer an exact desiring to the formulation. English is the language of imperialism. knowing that assertion contains a critique of the dominant perspectives of language, either within the box of linguistics (the e-book has a bankruptcy criticising Chomsky's study programme) and of the philosophy of language (the ebook has a bankruptcy assessing Habermas's philosophy of communicative action). The ebook goals at developing a Marxist philosophy of language, embodying a view of language as a social, old, fabric and political phenomenon. in view that there hasn't ever been a robust culture of considering language in Marxism, the booklet presents an outline of the query of Marxism in language (from Stalin's pamphlet to Volosinov publication, taking in an essay by way of Pasolini), and it seeks to build a couple of options for a Marxist philosophy of language. The ebook belongs to the culture of Marxist critique of dominant ideologies. it's going to be rather valuable to people who, within the fields of language examine, literature and conversation experiences, have determined that language isn't basically an device of verbal exchange.

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From the standpoint of the science of language, ‘English’ does not exist: give or take a few parameters, and we move imperceptibly from one ‘language’ to another. For its part, the deep structure is universal and, from its standpoint, there is no difference between English and Quechua. In a sense, Chomsky is not mistaken on this point – but for reasons that he would probably not accept. As we saw in the introduction, ‘English’ is a cultural and political construct embodied in institutions (schools, the media, international institutions).

The organ of sight – is. It is called the eye and is the object of scientific study. This study does not simply explain the mechanism of visual sensations; it will also explain the role played by the brain in transforming these sensations into perceptions. And everyone will acknowledge that flies, moles, raptors, and human beings do not see in the same way. I note in passing that scientific studies of sight do not (or do not any longer) feel the need to resort to the philosophical concept of innatism.

However, in addition to the fact that the theory is revised from top to bottom every five years, and nevertheless claims at each step to state the truth of the non-temporal faculty of language – prompting me to take it with a pinch of salt – the evolution of the theory is proceeding towards an ever greater abstraction, rendering its capacity to explain grammatical constructions (which linguistic science must explain) highly uncertain. To summarise. It seems to me that the reason for these uncertainties about the science of language is to be found in a decision that is not scientific, but philosophical, and which guides and constrains Chomsky’s scientific practice: the philosophical thesis of the innate character of the biological structure of language.

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