A theory of language and mind by Ermanno Bencivenga

By Ermanno Bencivenga

In his newest booklet, Ermanno Bencivenga bargains a stylistically and conceptually intriguing research of the character of language, brain, and personhood and the numerous methods the 3 attach. Bencivenga, some of the most iconoclastic voices to emerge in modern American philosophy, contests the fundamental assumptions of analytic (and additionally, to an quantity, postmodern) ways to those issues. His exploration leads via interesting discussions of schooling, braveness, soreness, time and heritage, selfhood, subjectivity and objectivity, fact, evidence, the empirical, energy and transgression, silence, privateness and exposure, and play--all topics which are proven to be indispensable to our puzzling over language. Relentessly bending the foundations, Bencivenga frustrates our expectancies of a "proper" thought of language. He invokes the transgressions of Nietzsche and Wittgenstein at the same time he appropriates the aphoristic form of Wittgenstein's Tractatus. Written in a philosophically playful and experimental mode, A thought of Language and brain attracts the reader right into a feel of continuous shock, healing ache, and discovery.

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There is no radical opposition between pleasure and pain (indeed, the two are often Page 30 difficult to tell apart), but there is between indifference and pain (which can give rise to pleasure, by being overcomein the sense of aufgehoben: canceled and preserved).

11Expectation of an entrenched pattern is not necessarily absolute (the pattern will in general have only a statistically significant degree of recurrence). So violations will also be matters of degree. 12All sorts of ploys can help insulate violations (and deprive them of impact). That such ploys are often perfectly trivial does not detract from their effectiveness. (Effectiveness and stupidity, once again: it's amazing how inane the explanations are that people are willing to confidently, indeed enthusiastically, endorse.

Think of the antithesis of the second antinomy once again: of the world being divisible all the way down. Think of that as being how Page 13 it startsand stays, underneath (and despite) all presumptuous declarations of victory and all dull acquiescence in them. 41521Kant calls this dull acquiescence (this passivity: the extent to which one is not, is no will to power) the "faculty" of sensibility. And he says that sensibility faces the infinitely divisible manifold and that reason/understanding attempts to unify it.

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