The new Rethinking Theory series addresses the current intellectual impasse in literary criticism and theory.
Library JournalUsing theories by Peirce, Saussure, Wittgenstein, and Whorf, Ellis explains the philosophy of language and shows where he believes previous thinkers have gone wrong. He gives some idea of the future of linguistics and what he sees as directions for possible work in the field. For Ellis (German, Univ. of California at Santa Cruz), the concept of categorization is the most important aspect of the study of language. He criticizes Chomsky, Piaget, and Ayer for not understanding the basic nature of thought. Ellis's critique of the MIT school of linguistics is especially rigorous. He also discusses the relationship of factual statements and value judgments in questions of ethics and value aesthetics and touches upon grammar and epistemological questions. If this book is any indication of what the new series, ``Rethinking Theory,'' will produce in the future, every volume will be eagerly awaited. Recommended for large philosophy and linguistics collections.-- Gene Shaw, NYPL
BooknewsFurthering the ideas in his Against Deconstructionism (1989), Ellis (German literature, U. of California, Santa Cruz) seeks to break the current logjam in linguistic theory by arguing that categorization, not syntax, in the most important element. He also shows how thinking otherwise leads to the confusion about some basic philosophical problems. No index. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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