Critical Humanist Perspectives: The Integrational Turn in Philosophy of Language and Communication, 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

Critical Humanist Perspectives

The Integrational Turn in Philosophy of Language and Communication, 1st Edition

Edited by Adrian Pablé


296 pages | 2 B/W Illus.

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The present book is a collection of scholarly reflections on the theme of humanism from an integrational linguistic perspective. It studies humanist thought in relation to the philosophy of language and communication underpinning it and considers the question whether being a ‘humanist’ binds one to a particular view of language. The contributions to this volume explore whether integrational linguistics, being informed by a non-mainstream semiology and adopting a lay linguistic perspective, can provide better answers to contentious ontological and epistemological questions concerning the humanist project – questions having to do with the self, reason, authenticity, creativity, free agency, knowledge and human communication. The humanist perspectives adopted by the contributors to this volume are critical insofar as they start from semiological assumptions that challenge received notions within mainstream linguistics, such as the belief that languages are fixed-codes of some kind, that communication serves the purpose of thought transfer, and that languages are prerequisites for communication.

Table of Contents


1 Introduction: humanism, existentialism and integrational semiology (Adrian Pablé)

PART II Integrating humanism

2 Secular humanist discourses on rationality: exploring questions in the philosophy of language and communication (Adrian Pablé)

3 Bedrock concepts and integrational theory: selves, animals and legal persons (Christopher Hutton)

4 The nature of language and the language of nature: Rabindranath Tagore’s Sabda Tattwo or The Essence of Words as an integrationist text (Rukmini Bhaya Nair)

5 An integrationist perspective on African philosophy (Sinfree B. Makoni and Cristine G. Severo)

PART III Integrating linguistics

6 Can integrational linguistics be integrated with (critical) discourse analysis? (Michael Toolan)

7 Indeterminacy in sociolinguistic and integrationist theory (Jon Orman)

8 Towards human concepts of language meaning and text comprehension (Charlotte Conrad)

PART IV Integrating systems and agency

9 The notion of an integrated system (Dorthe Duncker)

10 Humanist machines: an integrationist critique of mechanical models (David Bade)

PART V Integrating freedom and creativity

11 Mr. Micawber anticipates Feist : transformations of mental labour (Julian Warner)

12 Language and freedom vol 1: the abstract and the concrete (Peter E. Jones)

13 Emotional labour and the neoliberal entrepreneurial self at work and in the home: emotions as privatised individual capital or revolutionary social praxis? (Paul J. Thibault)

PART VI Integrating humanist models of education

14 Freedom of speech in a therapeutic age (Dennis Hayes)

15 ‘Crazy English’ and individual English learners: an integrationist critique of English education as a business in China (Feifei Zhou)


Discussion: integrationism, anti-humanism and the suprasubjective (Paul Cobley)

About the Editor

Adrian Pablé is Associate Professor of English at the University of Hong Kong.

About the Series

Routledge Advances in Communication and Linguistic Theory

Routledge Advances in Communication and Linguistic Theory presents an integrationist approach to problems of language and communication. Integrationism has emerged in recent years as a radically innovative theoretical position. It challenges the most basic assumptions underlying orthodox twentieth-century linguistics, including those taken for granted by leading structuralists, post-structuralists and generativists. According to integrationists, human communication is an essentially creative enterprise: it relies very little on the 'codes', 'systems', 'habits' and 'rules' postulated by orthodox theorists. Instead, integrationists see the communicative life of each individual as part of a continuous attempt to integrate the present with the past and the future. The success of this attempt depends crucially on the ability to contextualise on-going events rather than on any mastery of established conventions.
The books in this series are aimed at a multidisciplinary readership comprising those engaged in study, teaching and research in the humanities and social sciences, including anthropology, the arts, education, linguistics, literary studies, philosophy and psychology.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General