The Spell of Language: Poststructuralism and Speculation (Paperback)

The Spell of Language: Poststructuralism and Speculation By Thomas G. Pavel, Linda Jordan (Translated by) Cover Image
By Thomas G. Pavel, Linda Jordan (Translated by)
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Originally published as Le Mirage linguistique, this book remains the definitive study of the role of linguistics in structuralism and poststructuralism. Thomas Pavel examines recent French thought through the work of luminaries such as Lévi-Strauss, Lacan, Foucault, and Derrida. The "spell of language" for Pavel consists of three things: the promise that linguistics seemed to represent for the humanities and social sciences; the distortions, misunderstandings, and willful neglect incumbent upon the "linguistic turn"; and, above all, the break with traditional humanism. He isolates three modes of thought-moderate structuralism, scientific structuralism, and speculative structuralism-and shows how even as they diverge from each other, they all advocate an antihumanist point of view.

In this spirited book, Pavel shows that structuralism's flawed use of linguistic theory has rendered hollow the philosophical core of a whole generation of work in the human sciences.

About the Author

Thomas G. Pavel is a professor in and chair of the Department of Romance Languages at the University of Chicago. He is the author of several previous books, both fiction and nonfiction, in English, French, and Romanian.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780226650678
ISBN-10: 0226650677
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication Date: December 1st, 2001
Pages: 184
Language: English