Originally published as "Le Mirage Linguistique", this test studies the role of linguistics in structuralism and poststructuralism. Thomas G. Pavel examines French thought through the work of luminaries such as Levi-Struss, Lacan, Foucault, and Derrida. The "spell of language" for Pavel consists of three things: the promise that linguistics seemed to represent for the humanites and social sciences; the distortions, misunderstandings, and wilful neglect incumberant upon the "linguistic turn"; and above all, the break with traditional humanism. He isolates three modes of thought - moderate structuralism, scientific structuralism and speculative structuralism - and shows how even as they diverge from each other, they all advocate an antihumanist point of view. In this book, Thomas Pavel shows that structuralism's flawed use of linguistic theory has rendered hollow the philosophical core of a whole generation of work in the human sciences. Ill.