In my paper, I set The Language Animal against a broader picture of Charles Taylor’s intellectual trajectory. Sources of the Self (1989) left open three major questions: (a) the viability of religious moral sources in a ‘secular’ age; (b) the compatibility between a robust moral realism and a genealogical account of modern identity; and (c) the meaning and destiny of the so-called ‘linguistic turn.’ This is the framing topic of his last book. Although Taylor’s variety of hermeneutics is unquestionably a product of the linguistic turn, he has operated with a broad notion of the linguistic capacity from the start. Language is, for him, a shared activity and the acknowledgment of its animal embeddedness functions in his work as an antidote against any too idealized a view of the kind of creatures that humans are. In his earlier writings, however, a structural tension lurked below the surface between a Gadamerian notion of Sprache and a more phenomenological, Merleau-Pontyan, embodied outlook that was less modelled on articulate speech. My claim is that his new book marks a shift from a more speechoriented to a more body-oriented understanding of language.

The Language Animal: A Long Trajectory

Costa P.
2017

Abstract

In my paper, I set The Language Animal against a broader picture of Charles Taylor’s intellectual trajectory. Sources of the Self (1989) left open three major questions: (a) the viability of religious moral sources in a ‘secular’ age; (b) the compatibility between a robust moral realism and a genealogical account of modern identity; and (c) the meaning and destiny of the so-called ‘linguistic turn.’ This is the framing topic of his last book. Although Taylor’s variety of hermeneutics is unquestionably a product of the linguistic turn, he has operated with a broad notion of the linguistic capacity from the start. Language is, for him, a shared activity and the acknowledgment of its animal embeddedness functions in his work as an antidote against any too idealized a view of the kind of creatures that humans are. In his earlier writings, however, a structural tension lurked below the surface between a Gadamerian notion of Sprache and a more phenomenological, Merleau-Pontyan, embodied outlook that was less modelled on articulate speech. My claim is that his new book marks a shift from a more speechoriented to a more body-oriented understanding of language.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11582/312909
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