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Pandora and Occam : on the limits of language and literature

Author: Horst Ruthrof
Publisher: Bloomington : Indiana University Press, ©1992.
Series: Advances in semiotics.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Evoking Pandora and Occam as metaphoric corner posts in an argument about language as discourse, Horst Ruthrof brings analytic philosophy to bear on issues of Continental philosophy, with attention to linguistic, semiological, and semiotic concerns. Instead of regarding meanings as guaranteed by definitions, the author argues that linguistic expressions are schemata directing us more or less loosely toward the
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Ruthrof, Horst.
Pandora and Occam.
Bloomington : Indiana University Press, ©1992
(OCoLC)645832436
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Horst Ruthrof
ISBN: 0253349958 9780253349958
OCLC Number: 24107134
Description: xiii, 250 pages ; 25 cm.
Contents: Prologue: Pandora and Occam: Two Stories --
I. The Directionality of Meaning --
II. The Rape of Autumn or the Rich and Fuzzy Life of Meanings --
III. The Modalities of the "Kunstlerroman" --
IV. Literature and Husserl: A Critique of Noematic Meaning --
V. Meaning as Sense and Derrida's Critique of the Concept --
VI. The Limits of Langue --
VII. Phrases in Dispute: Toward a Semiotic Differend --
VIII. A Striptease of Meaning on the Ladder of Discourse --
IX. Hypocrisis or Reading as Feigning --
X. The Fictions of Political Discourse and the Politics of Reading --
Conclusion: Pandora, Occam, and the Post-Humanist Subject.
Series Title: Advances in semiotics.
Responsibility: Horst Ruthrof.

Abstract:

Evoking Pandora and Occam as metaphoric corner posts in an argument about language as discourse, Horst Ruthrof brings analytic philosophy to bear on issues of Continental philosophy, with attention to linguistic, semiological, and semiotic concerns. Instead of regarding meanings as guaranteed by definitions, the author argues that linguistic expressions are schemata directing us more or less loosely toward the activation of nonlinguistic sign systems. Ruthrof draws up a heuristic hierarchy of discourses, with literary expression at the top, descending through communication-reduced reference and speech acts to formal logic and digital communication at the bottom.

The book offers multiple perspectives from which to review traditional theories of meaning, working from a wide variety of theorists, including Peirce, Frege, Husserl, Derrida, Lyotard, Davidson, and Searle. In Ruthrof's analysis, Pandora and Occam illustrate the opposition between the suppressed rich materiality of culturally saturated discourse and the stark ideality of formal sign systems.

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