By Richard Bauman
This examine asserts that awake improvement of latest methods of pondering language had an important position in sleek heritage, rather the invention of the way transformations among languages legitimated social inequalities. It claims that savages and ancients have been judged alike simply because they used language equally, not like smooth Europeans who used disciplined language in medical, philosophical and felony tasks.
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Additional resources for Voices of Modernity: Language Ideologies and the Politics of Inequality (Studies in the Social and Cultural Foundations of Language)
What theorists of modernity have failed to see, however, is that Bacon did not contribute directly to a modern construction of language, that is, to its containment in an autonomous realm set apart from things and social relation. Indeed, he seemed to think that language – at least in its “natural” state – could not become part of the modern project. His contribution to modernizing language was rather to depict it as perhaps the greatest obstacle to modernity and progress. Linking perceived linguistic disorder closely with the political threats to the royalist order with which he was so closely identiﬁed, Bacon not only alarmed succeeding generations regarding language’s anti-modern character but convinced many natural philosophers that the only solution lay in creating a philosophical grammar and universal language – an artiﬁcial code that would circumvent the defects of its natural cousin.
In presenting his new mode of acquiring knowledge, Bacon speciﬁcally rejects the use of logic and rhetoric alone as means of generalizing from sense data. He cautions repeatedly against the use of syllogisms, “For syllogisms consist of propositions, and propositions of words; and words are but the current tokens or marks of popular notions of things” (1860c: 411). While sense data are susceptible to distortion, they are the fundamental source of authoritative knowledge, and they are perfectible.
6). Truth and abstraction are one: “Truth, then seems to me . . to signify nothing but the joining or separating of Signs” (IV. v. 2).
Voices of Modernity: Language Ideologies and the Politics of Inequality (Studies in the Social and Cultural Foundations of Language) by Richard Bauman