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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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Carlo Cipolli: The narrative structure of dreams


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The narrative structure of dreams

CARLO CIPOLLI, University of Bologna

1. Introduction

In everyday life people usually realise that their dreams (as recalled in the morning) have “created” new stories out of nothing. Indeed, within the storylines of their dreams, individuals can recognize that concerns, characters and objects of recent or remote waking-life events (so-called “mnestic sources” of dream contents) are combined in a much more novel manner than simple collages. Moreover, dreams usually show life-like temporal and causal (albeit non-volitional: Rechstchaffen 1978) features, which are common to waking narratives (i.e., oral, written, or imaged descriptions of events communicated to listeners or readers).

Although the similarities between dreams and waking narratives had long been pointed out by many psychoanalysts (e.g., S. Freud, C. G. Jung, J. Lacan,), linguists (e.g., E. Benveniste and L. Polany) and semiologists (e.g., R. Barthes, T. Todorov), the first systematic attempts to describe dreams as narratives were made only recently in the context of the experimental studies of dreaming. The psychophysiological approach to dreaming, made possible after the discovery of the cyclic organization of sleep architecture, allowed to establish that a more or less “dreamlike” (i.e., with perceptually vivid and bizarre contents) mental experience is reported after more than 80% of the awakenings provoked in REM sleep and about 50% of the awakenings in NREM sleep (for a review, see Nielsen 2000). This means that people usually remember only a small proportion of the even...

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