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Getting to the Matter of Language

Getting to the Matter of Language 138 Review Articles / Research in Phenomenology 42 (2012) 117–153 Getting to the Matter of Language Damir Barbarić. Die Sprache der Philosophie . Tübingen: Atempoto Verlag, 2011. 82 pp. The idea that language is a necessary condition for human thought is not especially controversial. It seems clear that, without language, humans could not engage in activities such as law, natural science, mathematics, or philoso- phy. Yet, in everyday experience we never actually come across ‘language’ being a condition for ‘thought’; rather, a particular language is a condition for a particular thought, within a particular human being. This claim is likely also not especially controversial. A sizable can of worms is opened, however, when we pose the question, ‘If this particular language allowed for this particular thought, could a different language allow for the same thought?’ This is one of the central questions of Damir Barbarić’s Die Sprache der Philosophie . To broach this question, Barbarić takes a thoroughly historical approach, addressing thinkers from ancient Greece to the twentieth century. Yet he does so with an extremely light touch, such that Die Sprache der Philosophie (here- after, DSP )—in contrast to the great majority of scholarship in philosophy— is http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Research in Phenomenology Brill

Getting to the Matter of Language

Research in Phenomenology , Volume 42 (1): 138 – Jan 1, 2012

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
Subject
Review Articles
ISSN
0085-5553
eISSN
1569-1640
DOI
10.1163/156916412X628793
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

138 Review Articles / Research in Phenomenology 42 (2012) 117–153 Getting to the Matter of Language Damir Barbarić. Die Sprache der Philosophie . Tübingen: Atempoto Verlag, 2011. 82 pp. The idea that language is a necessary condition for human thought is not especially controversial. It seems clear that, without language, humans could not engage in activities such as law, natural science, mathematics, or philoso- phy. Yet, in everyday experience we never actually come across ‘language’ being a condition for ‘thought’; rather, a particular language is a condition for a particular thought, within a particular human being. This claim is likely also not especially controversial. A sizable can of worms is opened, however, when we pose the question, ‘If this particular language allowed for this particular thought, could a different language allow for the same thought?’ This is one of the central questions of Damir Barbarić’s Die Sprache der Philosophie . To broach this question, Barbarić takes a thoroughly historical approach, addressing thinkers from ancient Greece to the twentieth century. Yet he does so with an extremely light touch, such that Die Sprache der Philosophie (here- after, DSP )—in contrast to the great majority of scholarship in philosophy— is

Journal

Research in PhenomenologyBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2012

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