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Book Information


Title: Rationality and the Literate Mind
Written By: Roy Harris
Series Title: Routledge Advances in Communication and Linguistic Theory

This book re-examines the old debate about the relationship between
rationality and literacy. Does writing "restructure consciousness?" Do
preliterate societies have a different "mind-set" from literate societies?
Is reason "built in" to the way we think? How is literacy related to
numeracy? Is the "logical form" that Western philosophers recognize
anything more than an extrapolation from the structure of the written
sentence? Is logic, as developed formally in Western education,
intrinsically beyond the reach of the preliterate mind? What light, if any,
do the findings of contemporary neuroscience throw on such issues? Roy
Harris challenges the received mainstream opinion that reason is an
intrinsic property of the human mind, and argues that the whole Western
conception of rational thought, from Classical Greece down to modern
symbolic logic, is a by-product of the way literacy developed in European

Publication Year: 2009
Publisher: Routledge (Taylor and Francis)
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Linguistic Field(s): Philosophy of Language
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Format: Hardback
ISBN: 0415999014
ISBN-13: 9780415999014
Pages: 190
Prices: U.K. £ 65.00
U.S. $ 120.00