Routledge Revivals: Pandora and Occam (1992): On the Limits of Language and Literature

1st Edition

Horst Ruthrof

Routledge
Published October 21, 2019
Reference - 264 Pages
ISBN 9781138744479 - CAT# Y327931
Series: Routledge Revivals

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Summary

First published in 1992, this book evokes Pandora and Occam as metaphoric corner posts in an argument about language as discourse and in doing so, brings analytic philosophy to bear on issues of Continental philosophy, with attention to linguistic, semiological, and semiotic concerns. Instead of regarding meanings as guaranteed by definitions, the author argues that linguistic expressions are schemata directing us more or less loosely toward the activation of nonlinguistic sign systems. Ruthrof draws up a heuristic hierarchy of discourses, with literary expression at the top, descending through communication-reduced reference and speech acts to formal logic and digital communication at the bottom. The book offers multiple perspectives from which to review traditional theories of meaning, working from a wide variety of theorists, including Peirce, Frege, Husserl, Derrida, Lyotard, Davidson, and Searle. In Ruthrof’s analysis, Pandora and Occam illustrate the opposition between the suppressed rich materiality of culturally saturated discourse and the stark ideality of formal sign systems.

This book will be of interest to those studying linguistics, literature and philosophy.

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