A critical theory of linguistics: a humanistic approach
Keywords:Linguistics of factuality, individuality and historicity of speaking, criticism of scientific ideologies in linguistics, ethics of linguistics, structure as a variable, historical languages of linguistics, categorization, linguistic indeterminacy.
The paper presents some of the main thesis of the “Critical Theory of Linguistics” on which the author is working at present, together with epistemological and ethical motivations underlying them. It starts from the Humboldtian axiom “language is real only while speaking each time”, opposing this viewpoint to several theoretical positions in the 20th century; positions that have replaced the fact of considering human speech as something rigorously individual and historical by images of “language” reduced to systems and rules acting beyond individuals and investigated under scientistic methodologies. Contrary to “linguistic ideologies” which have become dominant she proposes to follow the Kantian commitment of studying the human being not in order to “describe”, but aiming that he should “make the best possible out of himself”. Thus she unites the criticism against the metaphysics underlying formal structuralisms with an ethics in accordance with Western humanism. She also underscores the importance of studying language from a historical and comparative perspective.
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