Incommensurability and Cross-Language Communication: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Incommensurability and Cross-Language Communication

1st Edition

By Xinli Wang


384 pages

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A dominant epistemological assumption behind Western philosophy is that it is possible to locate some form of commonality between languages, traditions, or cultures - such as a common language or lexicon, or a common notion of rationality - which makes full linguistic communication between them always attainable. Xinli Wang argues that the thesis of incommensurability challenges this assumption by exploring why and how linguistic communication between two conceptually disparate languages, traditions, or cultures is often problematic and even unattainable. According to Wang's presuppositional interpretation of incommensurability, the real secret of incommensurability lies in the ontological set-ups of two competing presuppositional languages. This book provides many original contributions to the discussion of incommensurability and related issues in philosophy and offers valuable insights to scholars in other fields, such as anthropology, communication, linguistics, scientific education, and cultural studies.

Table of Contents

Contents: The many facets of incommensurability; Incommensurability as untranslatability; Incommensurability and conceptual schemes; In defense of the very notion of conceptual schemes; Case studies: the emergence of truth-value gaps; Toward the presuppositional interpretation; Kuhn's taxonomic incommensurability: a reconstruction; A defense of the notion of semantic presupposition; The structure of a presuppositional language; Existential presumptions and universal principles; Categorical frameworks; The failure of cross-language understanding; Hermeneutic understanding in abnormal discourse; Informative communication breakdown: the transmission model; Dialogical communication breakdown I: Gadamer's conversation model; Dialogical communication breakdown II: Habermas's discourse model; The concept of incommensurability; Bibliography; Index.

About the Author

Xinli Wang is Professor of Philosophy at Juniata College, Pennsylvania, USA.

About the Series

Ashgate New Critical Thinking in Philosophy

Ashgate New Critical Thinking in Philosophy
The Ashgate New Critical Thinking in Philosophy series brings high quality research monograph publishing into focus for authors, the international library market, and student, academic and research readers. Headed by an international editorial advisory board of acclaimed scholars from across the philosophical spectrum, this monograph series presents cutting-edge research from established as well as exciting new authors in the field. Spanning the breadth of philosophy and related disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives Ashgate New Critical Thinking in Philosophy takes contemporary philosophical research into new directions and debate.

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