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ERIC Number: ED551177
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 193
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: 978-1-2677-4555-2
"Lekta" and Inner Form as Loci of Sense in Metaphysics of Language
Lyanda-Geller, Olga V.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Purdue University
This project seeks to answer the question whether it is possible to locate sense in language. I suggest that two theories seemingly unrelated to each other, one belonging to Ancient thought, and the other to modern Continental philosophy, give positive answer to the question. I focus on the concepts of "lekton" and "inner form" that strike me as similar with regard to the roles they play in the process of signification and communication. In the first chapter I examine the Stoic doctrine of "lekta." A "lekton" is "what gets said," or "what is (there) to be said," regardless of actually being said. I argue that the incorporeal "lekton" understood as a metaphysical concept, rather than just logical or epistemological, does not result in discrepancies, with which the Stoics are often charged. Introducing "lekta" as the meaningful parts of utterances, the Stoics, with their pronounced interest to language and grammar, offer a special concept for expressing the linguistic sense. In the second chapter I consider the theory of inner form. The concept of "inner form" in its modern sense was developed by Wilhelm von Humboldt, who, following the tradition of German Romanticism, claimed that the evolution of a language leaves a mark on the inner form of the language. Humboldt's idea influenced a variety of later theories of inner form in European philosophy of language. I focus on Gustav Shpet's interpretation of inner form as a "logical form" taken as the law of formation of sense in words-concepts. I suggest a comparison between the concepts of "lekta" and "inner form." There are a lot of similarities between the Stoic and Shpet's accounts: both locate sense as expressed by linguistic means; both distinguish between the level of sense and the level of expression; both reserve room for things actually expressed and potentially thought of, which allows for an inlimited number of sense-expressions. Bringing the concepts of "lekta" and "inner form" together proves productive for both theories. In particular, Shpet's introduction of syntactic forms helps in understanding the issue of complete and incomplete "lekta." His interpretation of inner form as a law of forming and combining senses, and not senses themselves, sheds light on the status of "potential 'lekta'." In its turn, the Stoic theory of "lekta" as incorporeals that do not "exist" but "subsist", applied to Shpet's account, helps to represent the inner form as a "sui generis" being. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A