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There are some other books concerning Taylor that I've been looking into and I'll provide information about them soon. Charles Taylor, The Language Animal: Reviewed by Michael N. Its main topic is the nature of human language. But it also contains several long, semi-digressive, and very interesting discussions of additional topics, including meta-ethics and art chapter 6.
This review will focus on the book's official topic. It will begin by sketching the main contents before going on to offer some critical comments on the historical and philosophical theses developed.
The Preface sets up a fundamental contrast between two conceptions of human language: Taylor's project is basically to champion the former theories against the latter ix.
Chapter 1, "Designative and Constitutive Views," explains that what distinguishes these two types of theory is above all that HLC theories are "enframing" theories that "understand language within the framework of a picture of human life, behavior, purposes, or mental functioning, which is itself described and defined without reference to language," whereas HHH theories see language as "constitutive," that is, "as making possible new purposes, new levels of behavior, new meanings" Taylor next explores this contrast, focusing mainly on the HHH, "constitutive" side.
Here he focuses on Herder's famous idea in his Treatise on the Origin of Language that what is distinctive of human language, as opposed to animal signs, is Besonnenheit, which Taylor, like Herder, understands as a conception of linguistic "rightness" and which again like Herder he sees as distinguishing human beings from animals The chapter goes on to discuss and champion various further features of HHH theories and variants of them that Taylor endorses: Chapter 2, "How Language Grows," explores how human language develops, both ontogenetically and phylogenetically.
Concerning ontogeny, Taylor basically follows Michael Tomasello in arguing contrary to the epistemology of HLC theories for a chronological priority of shared intentions over individual subjectivity in child development Taylor considers the evidence concerning phylogeny to be less clear, but he tentatively endorses Merlin Donald's suggestion that the development of human language and culture began with a mimetic phase, then passed through a mythic and ritualistic phase, before finally attaining a theoretic phase One of Taylor's most interesting ideas in this connection concerns how the transition from a mythic -ritualistic to a theoretic phase occurred: Chapter 3, "Beyond Information Encoding," argues against the view that human language is continuous in nature with animal signs It also argues that the error of seeing them as continuous has encouraged the further mistake of thinking of human language as fundamentally descriptive Finally, it argues in preparation for a case to be developed more fully in the chapters ahead that HLC-style theories are fatally flawed because a description is not the exclusive function of human language and b description presupposes human language's other functions.
These other functions include articulating what Taylor calls "human meanings" e. It then argues that post- Fregean philosophy of language to a significant extent continues the HLC approach, and thereby inherits the latter's deficiencies In order to make this case, the chapter begins by outlining the main respects in which Frege and his followers by contrast depart from the HLC position e.
It then focuses on the residue of continuity: Finally, the chapter argues that while theories of this sort, such as Donald Davidson's, may be able to capture the character of a part of language, they cannot capture the character of language as a whole, and, moreover, the part whose character they can capture is essentially dependent on the parts whose character they cannot.
The latter parts are a a certain "Cratylist" dimension which centrally includes figurative or metaphorical uses of language and b "thick" cultural meanings e.
Chapter 5 will then go on to discuss case a in detail, while Chapters 6 and 7 will go on to do the same for case b.Further Reliques of Constance Naden: being essays and tracts for our times. Edited, with an introduction and notes by G.
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Did you know that you can help us produce ebooks by proof-reading just one page a day? Go to: Distributed Proofreaders. In Ann-Marie MacDonald’s Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet), the audience is swept into the playful subconscious of the protagonist, Constance Ledbelly.
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But now, our lives seem saturated with electronic devices that emit short-wavelength-enriched blue light as opposed to broad-spectrum white lights.