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Language, reason and education

Studies in honor of Eddo Rigotti


Edited By Giovanni Gobber and Andrea Rocci

Language as reason represents the unifying theme of this multifaceted reflection on Eddo Rigotti’s scientific contribution offered by his students and colleagues on the occasion of his seventieth birthday. Spanning argumentation theory, linguistics, psychology, semiotics and communication sciences, the volume reflects Rigotti’s generous personality and his trajectory of semiotician, philosopher, linguist and specialist in argumentation studies. Language as an instrument of communication with semiotic peculiarities is considered at different levels in which it manifests traces of reason at work. This means considering how reality reveals itself by means of language and how the semiotic character of language structures is used by people to enable joint actions and change the natural and social world. Particularly in focus is the realm of argumentation, that is of those joint actions where people exchange reasons in various communities, fora and markets in view of understanding and practical deliberation. To argumentation Eddo Rigotti devoted all his research efforts in recent years, with a keen sense of its intrinsic educational value and a sincere care for fostering the development of the argumentative mind.
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Italo Carta: The evocative and transformative power of words


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The evocative and transformative power of words

ITALO CARTA, University of Milano-Bicocca

When I began to think about the structure of this contribution many observations came to my mind: the most obvious of which is the one that refers to the immense literature that deals with the word, with words, with their origin, their truth, their effectiveness and their vanity: “verba, verba, praetereaque nihil”, “words, words, words” (Hamlet, Act 2, Scene 2) words, words, nothing but words: a latin sentence picked up by Shakespeare in Hamlet put in the mouth of the Prince of Denmark and definitely intended to be derogatory about words themselves. The hard fact, however, is the inevitable and inescapable need to use words to talk about them either to enhance their power and, even before that, their nature, or to denigrate them and judge them a dangerous vehicle of lies and of any sort of wickedness. This introduction is simply meant to reiterate that some things or many things may be said about words without getting out of the so-called semiotic circle, always remaining within it, as the different kind of conversations about words, that is meta-speeches, are substantiated by words themselves. For a few hundred thousand years, as we are fond of saying, we have lived in a verbal language with a pessimistic and skeptical perspective about the ability to find out some truth, we are prisoners of them in relation to the expression of our thoughts and...

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