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Language, reason and education

Studies in honor of Eddo Rigotti


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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Ad multos annos, Eddo! Многая лета, Эддо!

This volume is an offering of esteem and gratitude for Eddo Rigotti, who celebrated his seventieth birthday on May 25th this year. Young students and friends from Switzerland, and less young from Italy, have been joined by a group of distinguished international scholars in the fields of argumentation, linguistics, psychology, semiotics and communication sciences at large. We hope that the book reflects such a generous and strong personality of a semiotician, a philosopher, a linguist, a specialist in argumentation studies.

Eddo’s personality can be best understood if we consider his academic and scientific experience. He attended the high school in Trento, where he acquired an excellent knowledge in Classical languages and cultures. In those years, Greek and Latin, but also German and Russian became familiar to him before he was admitted to the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan, where he earned a M.A. degree in Philosophy with a thesis on Soviet semiotics. His first research program concerned the semiotic foundations of Russian and Soviet theoretical linguistics and the results were published between 1969 and 1974. The young Assistant professor was soon recognized as a specialist in the field. In 1980 he was promoted to Professor at the Calabria University and in 1981 went back to Milan. In the Nineties he was involved in the foundation of the Faculty of Communication Sciences at the “Università della Svizzera italiana” in Lugano, where he founded the Institute of Linguistics and...

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