Ricerca Della Lingua Perfetta Nella Cultura Europea

ISBN-10: 0631205101

ISBN-13: 9780631205104

Edition: 1997

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Description:

The idea that there once existed a language which perfectly and unambiguously expressed the essence of all possible things and concepts has occupied the minds of philosophers, theologians, mystics and others for at least two millennia. This is an investigation into the history of that idea and of its profound influence on European thought, culture and history. From the early Dark Ages to the Renaissance it was widely believed that the language spoken in the Garden of Eden was just such a language, and that all current languages were its decadent descendants from the catastrophe of the Fall and at Babel. The recovery of that language would, for theologians, express the nature of divinity, for cabbalists allow access to hidden knowledge and power, and for philosophers reveal the nature of truth. Versions of these ideas remained current in the Enlightenment, and have recently received fresh impetus in attempts to create a natural language for artificial intelligence. The story that Umberto Eco tells ranges widely from the writings of Augustine, Dante, Descartes and Rousseau, arcane treatises on cabbalism and magic, to the history of the study of language and its origins. He demonstrates the initimate relation between language and identity and describes, for example, how and why the Irish, English, Germans and Swedes - one of whom presented God talking in Swedish to Adam, who replied in Danish, while the serpent tempted Eve in French - have variously claimed their language as closest to the original. He also shows how the late eighteenth-century discovery of a proto-language (Indo-European) for the Aryan peoples was perverted to support notions of racial superiority. To this subtle exposition of a history of extraordinary complexity, Umberto Eco links the associated history of the manner in which the sounds of language and concepts have been written and symbolized. Lucidly and wittily written, the book is, in sum, a tour de force of scholarly detection and cultural interpretation, providing a series of original perspectives on two thousand years of European History. The paperback edition of this book is not available through Blackwell outside of North America.
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Book details

List price: $43.95
Copyright year: 1997
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated
Publication date: 4/8/1997
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 400
Size: 5.75" wide x 9.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.232
Language: English

Umberto Eco was born in Alessandria, Italy on January 5, 1932. He received a doctorate of philosophy from the University of Turin in 1954. His first book, Il Problema Estetico in San Tommaso, was an extension of his doctoral thesis on St. Thomas Aquinas and was published in 1956. His first novel, The Name of the Rose, was published in 1980 and won the Premio Strega and the Premio Anghiar awards in 1981. His other works include Foucault's Pendulum, The Island of the Day Before, and The Prague Cementary.

Series Editor's Preface
Introduction
From Adam to Confusio Linguarum. .Genesis 2, 10, 11
Before and After Europe
Side-effects
A Semiotic Model for Natural Language
The Kabbalistic Pansemioticism
The Reading of the Torah
Cosmic Permutability and the Kabbala of Names
The Mother Tongue
The Perfect Language of Dante
Latin and the Vernacular
Language and Lingusitic Behavior
The First Gift to Adam
Dante and Universal Grammar
The Illustrious Vernacular
Dante and Abulafia
The Ars Magna of Raymond Lull
The Elements of the Ars Combinatoria
The Alphabet and the Four Figures
The Arbor Scientarium
The Concordia Universalis of Nicholas of Cusa
The Monogenetic Hypothesis and the Mother Tongues
The Return to Hebrew
Postel's Universalistic Utopia
The Etymological Furor
Conventionalism, Epicureanism and Polygenesis
The Pre-Hebraic Language
The Nationalistic Hypotheses
Philosophers against Monogeneticism
A Dream that refused to Die
New Prospects for the Monogenetic Hypothesis
Kabbalism and Lullism in Modern Culture
Magic Names and Kabbalistic Hebrew
Kabbalism and Lullism in the Steganographies
Lullian Kabbalism
Bruno: Ars Combinatoria and Infinite Worlds
Infinite Songs and Locutions
The Perfect Language of Images
Horapollo's Hieroglyphica
The Egyptian Alphabet
Kircher's Egyptology
Kircher's Chinese
The Kircherian Ideology
Later Critics
The Egyptian vs. the Chinese Way
Images for Aliens
Magic Language
Hypotheses
Dee's Magic Language
Perfection and Secrecy
Polygraphies
Kircher's Polygraphy
Beck and Becher
First Attempts at a Content Organizations
A Priori Philosophical Languages
Bacon
Comenius
Descarted and Mersenne
The English Debate on Character and Traits
Primitives and Organization Content
George Dalgarno
John Wilkins
The Tables and the Grammar
The Real Characters
The Dictionary: Synonyms, Periphrases, Metaphors
An Open Classification?
The Limits of Classification
The Hypertext of Wilkins
Francis Lodwick
From Liebniz to the Encyclopedie
Characteristica and Calculus
The Problem of the Primitives
The Encyclopedia and the Aphabet of Thought
Blind Thought
The I Ching and the Binary Calculus
Side-effects
The 'Library' of Liebnitz and the Encyclopedie
Philosophic Language from the Enlightenment to Today
Eighteenth-century Projects
The Last Flowering of Philosophic Languages
Space Languages
Artificial Intelligence
Some Ghosts of the Perfect Language
The Internatonal Auxiliary Languages
The Mixed Systems
The Babel of A Posteriori Languages
Esperanto
An Optimized Grammar
Theoretical Objections and Counter-objections
The 'Political' Possibilitites of an IAL
Limits and Effability of an IAL
Conclusion
Translation
The Gift to Adam
Notes
Bibliography
Index
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