Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Reality is not what we say it is

"There is nothing new and modern (or postmodern) in the claim that human beings are the fountain of meaning and value, and that the dead fawn is nothing unless it has meaning and value for us. Selfishness is not a new disease. In the European literary tradition, it is even ascribed to one of the Presocratics, Protagoras of Abdera...

Anthropocentrists routinely suppose that human language is the only language there is, and unhappily, most of the people doing and teaching linguistics, like most of those involved now in literary theory, have been anthropocentrically trained. Carried to extremes, this training leads to the view that reality is what we say it is. In that kind of atmosphere, all talk of the linguistics of reality is deservedly suspect."


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