The Imagination of Reference II: Perceiving, Indicating, Naming

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University Press of Florida, 1995 - Philosophy - 218 pages
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From the Foreword: "Like a musical fugue, Morot-Sir's meditations lead up to impressive grand conclusions on religion and the arts as universal referents. . . . In this dense and exquisitely erudite essay, the author returns to the philosophical starting point of his professional career, as expressed in his thèse d'état on La Pensée negative (1947).  Without overly simplifying his approach, one could qualify it as a kind of vector analysis of referential practices. Central to his thought is the paradox that reference (and with it, language) can but refer to itself.  Equally central is his 'will--if wavering at times--to remain a coherent and stubborn prisoner of language,' i.e., systematically to explore the full range of linguistic experience, the dynamics of the act of naming.  Using once again the meditation as his preferred mode of expression, Morot-Sir offers in this second volume a fitting complement to the challenges he issued and the expectations he raised in volume I of The Imagination of Reference." --Raymond Gay-Crosier, University of Florida
At the convergence of philosophy and psychology, this work continues the venture of "meditating the linguistic condition" which Edouard Morot-Sir began in The Imagination of Reference, this time concentrating on "perceiving, indicating, naming."  Together, the two volumes constitute the intellectual autobiography of a philosopher and his response to Merleau-Ponty's famous book on phenomenology.
 While the first book examined psychological, ontological, and epistemological presuppositions, this one explores the positive consequences of reference in action, with examples from religion, painting, and poetry.  Morot-Sir visualizes human imagination as a field marked by four corners:  perception, conception, memory, and judgment.  Acting as point of intersection and center of gravitation in the center of that field, reference eventually reclaims the primacy of imagination.  "We are namers and nameds," he concludes.  "Without names we would be blind, deaf, and mute."
Edouard Morot-Sir, who died in 1993, was the Kenan Professor Emeritus of French at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and the author of the companion volume, The Imagination of Reference: Meditating the Linguistic Condition (UPF, 1993).  He was also the author of many articles and books, including La Pensée negative, Philosophie et mystique, La Métaphysique de Pascal, and Les Mots de Jean-Paul Sartre. He taught logic and the philosophy of science at the universities of Bordeaux and Lille and served for twelve years as the cultural counselor to the French Embassy in the United States.
 

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Contents

Meditation One On Referenee to Referenee On Referenee to Pereeption
1
Understanding Reference
2
LexicoConceptual Analysis
12
Preliminary Exercises on the Problematic Experience of Perception and Reference
22
Meditation Two Pereeption and Indieation 1 Preferring Indicating Designating or Any Other Equivalent
27
Indicating and Verb Tenses
28
Indicating and Example
29
4 Indicating and Meaning
30
The Principle of Identity
93
The Principle of Individuation
94
Naming as Titling
96
Social Nominations
98
Scientific Nominations
100
The Incompleteness of Reference
105
Deseribing Defining
108
The Paradox of Defining
119

Indicating and Desire
32
Indicating Identifying Seeing
33
Indicating Absence
36
Indicating Indicating
38
The Language of Indicating or Deixis
40
Summing Up
49
Indicating Painting and Literature
51
Meditation Three The Art of Naming 1 Word Propriety and the Art of Naming
55
Marking and Naming
58
A Preliminary Lexical Tour
63
4 A Fregean Incursion
64
From Marking to Naming from Naming to Marking
74
The Primacy of Naming
75
Meditation Four Identity and Title Deseription and Definition 1 Identifying as Absolute Naming and Singular Valuation
87
The Russellian Theory of Deseription and Its Critics
122
Meditation Five Naming Grammatieal Distinetions and Pereeption 1 Exploring Grammatical Definitions
129
Verbs and Nouns
132
Proper Names Common Names
136
4 Concrete Names Abstract Names
143
Grammar as the Oldest Servant of Reference
149
Naming Religion and Literature
152
DepictingSeeing VoicingHearing
171
Summing Up
187
Notes
193
Bibliography
207
Index
211
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About the author (1995)

Edouard Morot-Sir, who died in 1993, was Kenan Professor Emeritus of French at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

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