By Jean-Jacques Lecercle
The aim of this booklet is to provide an actual aspiring 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 examine programme) and of the philosophy of language (the e-book has a bankruptcy assessing Habermas’s philosophy of communicative action).
The e-book goals at developing a Marxist philosophy of language, embodying a view of language as a social, ancient, fabric and political phenomenon. because there hasn't ever been a powerful culture of brooding about language in Marxism, the e-book presents an summary of the query of Marxism in language (from Stalin’s pamphlet to Voloshinov's booklet, taking in an essay through Pasolini), and it seeks to build a couple of options for a Marxist philosophy of language.
The e-book belongs to the culture of Marxist critique of dominant ideologies. it's going to be quite valuable to those that, within the fields of language learn, literature and verbal exchange stories, have determined that language isn't purely an software of conversation.
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Extra resources for A Marxist Philosophy of Language (Historical Materialism Book Series, Volume 12)
Thus sentence (25) is a more polite, or more servile, version of (24): 34 • Chapter Two (24) Is it for you? (25) Is it for yourself? We see how the syntax of the reﬂexive pronoun, supposedly inscribed in the genetic inheritance or the neuronal circuits, no longer applies: the ‘yourself’ has no antecedent. Its presence in fact obeys a pragmatic maxim of politeness, of the type: ‘prioritise the conversational interests of your interlocutor’. We can draw three conclusions from these examples and counter-examples: the rules of grammar are maxims, not laws of nature; they are speciﬁc to a language, not universal (French, for example, does not possess the honoriﬁc use of the reﬂexive); they are subject to historical evolution (according to a temporal layering: syntax develops more slowly than vocabulary), not ﬁxed once and for all by an evolutionary leap.
Habermas’s declared goal is to effect a shift from the philosophy of consciousness, which in the European (especially German) tradition occupied a dominant position, to a philosophy of language. This is why my favourite object is not only admissible but central to the philosophical enterprise. The second is that this ﬁrst shift involves another: an exit from historical materialism, which is one of the origins of Habermas’s thinking, but one which is not so much a rejection as a reconstruction. And the reconstruction, which aims to preserve the emancipatory dimension of Marx’s project, is effected by a move from the paradigm of labour to that of language.
The moment has come to identify its main characteristics. The four harmful characteristics of Chomsky’s philosophy of language The ﬁrst characteristic is methodological individualism – that is, the idea that the language faculty is inscribed in the brain (the mind/brain) of each individual speaker. As we have seen, this is a major regression compared with the Saussurian conception of langue. ) This characteristic signals the introduction of liberalism into the philosophy of language: Chomsky does to Saussure what the analytical Marxists (Elster and others) have tried to do to Marx.