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Download A Marxist Philosophy of Language (Historical Materialism by Jean-Jacques Lecercle PDF

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By Jean-Jacques Lecercle

The aim of this booklet is to provide an actual 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 ebook has a bankruptcy criticising Chomsky’s learn programme) and of the philosophy of language (the ebook has a bankruptcy assessing Habermas’s philosophy of communicative action).

The publication goals at developing a Marxist philosophy of language, embodying a view of language as a social, ancient, fabric and political phenomenon. in view that there hasn't ever been a powerful culture of wondering language in Marxism, the ebook presents an outline of the query of Marxism in language (from Stalin’s pamphlet to Voloshinov's booklet, taking in an essay by way of Pasolini), and it seeks to build a couple of recommendations for a Marxist philosophy of language.
The booklet belongs to the culture of Marxist critique of dominant ideologies. it's going to be quite priceless to those that, within the fields of language examine, literature and conversation reviews, have made up our minds that language isn't really simply an tool of verbal exchange.

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Extra info for A Marxist Philosophy of Language (Historical Materialism Book Series, Volume 12)

Example text

Critique of Linguistics • 37 A spontaneous philosophy for scientists There is an aspect of Chomsky’s work that I have not yet broached. It is not the least important. As is well-known, Chomsky is an exemplary progressive thinker and activist. He is one of the most effective critics of the ravages of American imperialism. Certainly, he often says that he is not a Marxist; but then no one is perfect. So I am in the process of criticising the philosophy of language of someone whose political positions I fully endorse.

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. If Chomsky still has recourse to it, it is because language – unlike sight – possesses no single organ.

We can take our critique further. For Chomsky’s thesis is not even adapted to the detail of linguistic phenomena. Consider the following two sentences: (3) He painted the whole house brown. (4) He painted the house off-white. In these two instances, it seems to me that it is not so clearly the case that we are dealing with the outside of the house. e. the whole set of beliefs and knowledge characteristic of a community of speakers in a given historical conjuncture) is required. Sentence (3) might of course refer to the exterior of the house.

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