Language, Action and Context: The early... | WHSmith Books
Language, Action and Context: The early history of pragmatics in Europe and America 1780-1930 (Studies in the History of the Language Sciences 80)

Language, Action and Context: The early history of pragmatics in Europe and America 1780-1930 (Studies in the History of the Language Sciences 80)

By: David D. Clarke (author), Brigitte Nerlich (author)Hardback

Up to 2 WeeksUsually despatched within 2 weeks


The roots of pragmatics reach back to Antiquity, especially to rhetoric as one of the three liberal arts. However, until the end of the 18th century proto-pragmatic insights tended to be consigned to the pragmatic, that is rhetoric, wastepaper basket and thus excluded from serious philosophical consideration. It can be said that pragmatics was conceived between 1780 and 1830 in Britain, but also in Germany and in France in post-Lockian and post-Kantian philosophies of language. These early 'conceptions' of pragmatics are described in the first part of the book. The second part of the book looks at pragmatic insights made between 1830 and 1880, when they were once more relegated to the philosophical and linguistic underground. The main stage was then occupied by a fact-hunting historical comparative linguistics on the one hand and a newly spiritualised philosophy on the other. In the last part the period between 1880 and 1930 is presented, when pragmatic insights flourished and were sought after systematically. This was due in part to a new upsurge in empiricism, positivism and later behaviourism in philosophy, linguistics and psychology. Between 1780 and 1930 philosophers, psychologists, sociologists and linguists came to see that language could only be studied in the context of dialogue, in the context of human life and finally as being a kind of human action itself.


1. Acknowledgements; 2. 0 Introduction; 3. 0.1 Is there a history of pragmatics?; 4. 0.2 Why should there be a history of pragmatics?; 5. 0.3 What is pragmatics?; 6. 0.4 How do we trace the history of pragmatic ideas?; 7. 0.5 The scope and limits of this book; 8. 0.6 Sources for pragmatic insights in the 19th and 20th century; 9. 0.7 Survey of the history of pragmatics; 10. 1 Prologue to protopragmatics: Locke's semiotic philosophy; 11. 1.1 Introduction; 12. 1.2 Locke's philosophy of the semiotic act; 13. 1.3 Locke's influence in Europe and America; 14. 1.4 An afterword on Kant, Locke and metaphor; 15. 2 Protopragmatics in Germany: pragmatics as part of a Romantic philosophy of language; 16. 2.1 Introduction; 17. 2.2 Kant: language and reason; 18. 2.3 Post-Kantian philosophies of language and communication; 19. 3 Protopragmatics in France: pragmatics as part of an 'ideological' theory of language and thought; 20. 3.1 Introduction; 21. 3.2 The roots: The general grammar of Port-Royal; 22. 3.3 Du Marsais: language and discourse; 23. 3.4 The debate about word order; 24. 3.5 From acts of thought to acts of language; 25. 3.6 Conclusion; 26. 4 A period of transition in the development of French pragmatics; 27. 4.1 Maine de Biran: language, the will and the self; 28. 4.2 Eclectic spiritualism; 29. 4.3 Garnier: speech acts and understanding; 30. 4.4 Weil: word order in speech and language; 31. 5 Protopragmatics in England: pragmatics as part of a common-sense theory of the mind; 32. 5.1 The roots; 33. 5.2 Reid: speech acts as social acts; 34. 6 A period of transition in the development of English pragmatics; 35. 6.1 Stewart: language, system and use; 36. 6.2 Smart: a contextualist theory of language; 37. 7 Pragmatism and behaviourism in America; 38. 7.1 Introduction; 39. 7.2 Pragmatism: use and truth; 40. 7.3 Peirce's semiotics; 41. 7.4 Mead: mind, self and the social act; 42. 7.5 Morris: behaviourist pragmatics; 43. 7.6 De Laguna: pragmatic behaviourism; 44. 7.7 Pragmatism and pragmatics; 45. 7.8 Whitney: the pragmatic evolution of language; 46. 7.9 Conclusion; 47. 8 A Period of transition: realist and idealist approaches to language use; 48. 8.1 The roots: Kant's pragmatic anthropology; 49. 8.2 Herbart: A practical approach to language and communication; 50. 8.3 Madvig: a realistic theory of language, its use and origin; 51. 8.4 Steinthal: an idealist theory of language, its use and origin; 52. 8.5 Lazarus: a theory of meaning and understanding; 53. 8.6 After Steinthal and Lazarus: Preview; 54. 8.7 Gerber: thought acts, speech acts and context; 55. 8.8 Paul: thought, sense and sentences; 56. 9 Pragmatics avant la lettre in Germany: language as an instrument to influence others; 57. 9.1 Wegener: a pioneer in pragmatic theory; 58. 9.2 After Wegener: the sentence and its communicative functions; 59. 9.3 A new psychology: Brentano's act psychology; 60. 9.4 Ries: the grammarians' revenge - form vs. function; 61. 9.5 A new philosophy: Husserl's phenomenology and the signifying act; 62. 9.6 Koschmieder: a case of 'coincidence'; 63. 9.7 Buhler: an integrated theory of language as system and language in use; 64. 10 Pragmatics avant la lettre in France (and beyond): a theory of the speaking subject; 65. 10.1 A new psychology: Taine's naturalism and positivism; 66. 10.2 Breal: language and the speaking subject; 67. 10.3 The individual and social psychology of speech and language; 68. 10.5 A sociology of ritual acts; 69. 10.6 Language and speech, functions and contexts; 70. 10.7 Functional linguistics and a theory of enunciation; 71. 11 Pragmatics avant la lettre in England: a theory of signs and contexts; 72. 11.1 The birth of pragmatics in England under the name of 'significs'; 73. 11.2 British Contextualism; 74. 11.3 Austin: problems with statements; 75. 12 Conclusion; 76. Appendix; 77. Notes; 78. References; 79. Primary sources; 80. Secondary sources; 81. Index

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9789027245670
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 511
  • ID: 9789027245670
  • weight: 780
  • ISBN10: 9027245673

Delivery Information

  • Saver Delivery: Yes
  • 1st Class Delivery: Yes
  • Courier Delivery: Yes
  • Store Delivery: Yes

Prices are for internet purchases only. Prices and availability in WHSmith Stores may vary significantly