Continental philosophy of language is a tradition of reflexion on language initiated in the eighteenth century by authors such as J. G. Hamann and J. G. Herder, and later developed by W. von Humboldt. Through the work of M. Heidegger it has extended its influence to contemporary hermeneutic philosophy (H.-G. Gadamer, K.-O. Apel, J. Habermas). All the authors of this tradition are primarily interested in the world-disclosing function of language, that is, in the question of how language shapes our experience of the world through the net of concepts that it entails. Thus, they oppose the traditional view of language as a mere tool for the designation of entities given independently of language or the expression of prelinguistic thoughts. In contradistinction to this view, they consider language as constitutive of our experience of the world. But given the plurality of natural languages, this view seems immediately confronted by the problem of linguistic relativism: if speakers of different languages experience the world in genuinely different ways, how can they communicate with each other or reach shared knowledge of the world? Due to this difficulty, one of the main concerns in this tradition is to explain how understanding across different languages is possible.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences: Second Edition|
|Number of pages||6|
|State||Published - Mar 26 2015|
- Apel, K.-O.
- Communicative rationality
- Constitutive conception of language
- Designative function of language
- Formal pragmatics
- Gadamer, H.-G.
- Habermas, J.
- Hamann, J. G.
- Herder, J. G.
- Instrumental conception of language
- Linguistic idealism
- Linguistic relativism
- W. von Humboldt
- World-disclosing function of language
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences(all)