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Title: La voce passionata : forza espressiva e affetti sociali nel Saggio sull'origine delle lingue di Rousseau
Other Titles: La voix passionnée : force expressive et affections sociales dans l’Essai sur l’origine des langues de Rousseau
Authors: Boccolari, Francesco
Issue Date: 19-Oct-2018
Publisher: Università degli studi Roma Tre
Abstract: This research combines elements of history of philosophy, political philosophy, and philosophy of language. It aims at investigating and reconstructing certain stages which, in Rousseau’s philosophy, mark the progressive and radical emergence of language as a political factor. In particular, the research provides a study of Rousseau’s pragmatic account of language, insofar as it underpins the main thesis of the Essay on the Origin of Languages. According to this thesis, speech does not originate from physical needs, but from human passions, conceived of as “moral needs”. Rousseau affirms that, contrary to physical needs, which inevitably arise in humans regardless of different occasions and circumstances, “the passions never become animated so long as they are of no effect” (Emile II, A. Bloom tr., New York, 1979, p. 92). Passions, that is, are only aroused in humans by acting upon each other, within a relationship of which they constitute the opposite poles. Since, according to Rousseau, speech was first caused by human passions —which can only develop in the soul and produce their effects within social relationships —he maintains that the original function of speech was not to represent a content that existed previously to its phonic materialisation. Rather, its primary role was to exert a power that is immanent to the voiced expression of feelings. In this sense, Rousseau’s goal in the Essay on the Origin of Languagesis to provide an account of the elements that allowed language to become the bearer, in a logically and chronologically subsequent moment of its history, of general and abstract meanings, which are independent of any emotional attitude inherent in the subjective act of enunciation. A particularly interesting aspect of Rousseau’s explanation is that it ascribes the birth and progress of the representative dimension of language to a modificationof its social and political function. This modification consists in the gradual suppression of the human needs to produce moral effects in the souls of others, excite or calm down passions through the sounds and tones of speech, and to exert an influence on society by forcefully acting through language.
Access Rights: info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess
Appears in Collections:Dipartimento di Filosofia, Comunicazione e Spettacolo
T - Tesi di dottorato

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