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Language, reason and education

Studies in honor of Eddo Rigotti

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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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Jakob Wüest: Argumentation, causality and narrativity in Fernand Braudel’s The Mediterranean

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Argumentation, causality and narrativity in Fernand Braudel’s The Mediterranean1

JAKOB WÜEST, University of Zurich

Dear Eddo,

In our conversations I learned much from you about argumentation theory. I am primarily interested in the hierarchical structures of texts, and, however, as part of these structures, also in argumentation and causality. Since, at present, I am dealing with the structure of historiographic texts, I take the liberty of dedicating this article to you, that addresses Fernand Braudel’s The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Philip II.

Braudel (1902–1985), as a professor at the Collège de France (1949–1972), as the director of the 6th section of the Ecole pratique des hautes études (1956–1972) and as a co-editor of the journal Annales. Economies. Sociétés. Civilisations, was the most influential French historian of his generation. He was, after Marc Bloch and Lucien Febvre, the leading head of the school of French historians named the Annales school, after their journal. These historians blamed the traditional historiography for limiting itself to narrating historical events: “Traditional history, with its concern for the short time span, for the individual and the event, has long accustomed us to the headlong, dramatic, breathless rush of its narrative” (Braudel 1980: 27). Of course, history has always to do with time, there are short and long time spans. Braudel turned to a historiography that is concerned with the longue durée.

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