24.564, Books: Language and Enlightenment: Lifschitz

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LINGUIST List: Vol-24-564. Thu Jan 31 2013. ISSN: 1069 - 4875.

Subject: 24.564, Books: Language and Enlightenment: Lifschitz

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Date: Thu, 31 Jan 2013 11:46:14
From: Zach Borenstein [zach.borenstein at oup.com]
Subject: Language and Enlightenment: Lifschitz

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Title: Language and Enlightenment 
Subtitle: The Berlin Debates of the Eighteenth Century 
Publication Year: 2012 
Publisher: Oxford University Press
	   http://www.oup.com/us
	

Book URL: http://www.us.oup.com/us/catalog/general/subject/Linguistics/SociolinguisticsAnthropologicalL/?view=usa&ci=9780199661664 


Author: Avi Lifschitz

Hardback: ISBN:  9780199661664 Pages: 272 Price: U.S. $ 110.00


Abstract:

What is the role of language in human cognition? Could we attain
self-consciousness and construct our civilisation without language? Such were
the questions at the basis of eighteenth-century debates on the joint
evolution of language, mind, and culture. Language and Enlightenment
highlights the importance of language in the social theory, epistemology, and
aesthetics of the Enlightenment. While focusing on the Berlin Academy under
Frederick the Great, Avi Lifschitz situates the Berlin debates within a larger
temporal and geographical framework. He argues that awareness of the
historicity and linguistic rootedness of all forms of life was a mainstream
Enlightenment notion rather than a feature of the so-called
'Counter-Enlightenment'.

Enlightenment authors of different persuasions investigated whether speechless
human beings could have developed their language and society on their own.
Such inquiries usually pondered the difficult shift from natural signs like
cries and gestures to the artificial, articulate words of human language. This
transition from nature to artifice was mirrored in other domains of inquiry,
such as the origins of social relations, inequality, the arts and the
sciences. By examining a wide variety of authors - Leibniz, Wolff, Condillac,
Rousseau, Michaelis, and Herder, among others - Language and Enlightenment
emphasises the open and malleable character of the eighteenth-century Republic
of Letters. The language debates demonstrate that German theories of culture
and language were not merely a rejection of French ideas. New notions of the
genius of language and its role in cognition were constructed through a
complex interaction with cross-European currents, especially via the prize
contests at the Berlin Academy.
 



Linguistic Field(s): History of Linguistics
                     Sociolinguistics


Written In: English  (eng)

See this book announcement on our website: 
http://linguistlist.org/pubs/books/get-book.cfm?BookID=64001




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