LINGUIST List 10.1031

Mon Jul 5 1999

Books: Language Philosophy/Pragmatics

Editor for this issue: Scott Fults <>

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  1. LINCOM EUROPA, Pragmatics/Lang Philosophy; Against Essentialism

Message 1: Pragmatics/Lang Philosophy; Against Essentialism

Date: Thu, 01 Jul 1999 14:41:40 +0200
Subject: Pragmatics/Lang Philosophy; Against Essentialism

Karol Janicki, University of Bergen

The major point made in this book is that the philosophical position
called 'essentialism' engenders a very unrewarding set of beliefs. These
beliefs are reflected in how people view language and in all the
possible walks of life which involve the use of language. A critical
stance toward philosophical essentialism is the idea which permeates and
thus unites all the eight dialogues in the book.

After a short introductory dialogue (1) concerning the use of
incomprehensible language, the book treats the following issues: (2) the
importance of philosophical knowledge both for the professional linguist
and for the average language user; (3) the importance that language
users attribute to words; (4) the relationship between cognitive
linguistics and non-essentialism (including a discussion of imprecision,
creativity, fuzziness, metaphor); (5) the omni-presence of
misunderstanding; (6) conflict (including a discussion of intolerance,
dogmatism, infallability, conceit, authoritarian argumentation); (7) the
political correctness debate; and (8) ways in which essentialism can be
counteracted (including encouragement of a tolerant attitude to language
use and of new coinages).

This book is intended primarily for undergraduate and graduate students
of linguistics; but, given the informal style and the main claims of the
book, which go significantly beyond linguistics, it may appeal to a much
broader audience.

ISBN 3895866210.
LINCOM Studies in Pragmatics 07. 
Ca. 260 pp. USD 55 / DM 94 / \163 36. July 1999.

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LINCOM EUROPA, Paul-Preuss-Str. 25, D-80995 Muenchen, Germany; FAX +4989
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