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Tradition and Innovation in Language and Linguistics

A Coserian Perspective


Cristinel Munteanu

This volume consists of twelve studies thematically grouped into three parts: (1) Linguistics and Philosophy of Language, (2) Hermeneutics and Text Linguistics, and (3) Lexicology and Phraseology. The phrase «tradition and innovation» characterizes almost all the texts included here, since tradition and innovation are present both at the level of the object (language) and at the level of its research (linguistics). The dominant theoretical perspective is the «Coserian» one, since the author borrowed from Eugenio Coseriu’s linguistic theory a series of essential concepts and distinctions regarding language and culture.

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III. On the Necessity of Free Speech in Science


1. In an ample interview, given in Romanian, Eugenio Coseriu refers to an ethical issue of science which he exposes as follows:

The professional duty of the one who knows something and who had some [scientific] information is to pass it to everybody. Keeping a piece of information to oneself, so as not to be found by one’s colleague, is not appropriate. […] The man of culture, who has to be a moral being, fully aware of the moral of culture, would immediately inform the others. He would say: “Here is what I found. New ideas. Here it is! Read it! We will immediately multiply it, so that everybody can read it”. This is how I would do it, for example. […] Especially when the information is scarce. Ideas are not lost when shared. Science is a form of communication. If I have an idea and I share it with you, it is not the same as giving you 100 lei and no longer having it. (Coşeriu 2004a: 61)

1.1. Where does the morality of such an attitude stem from, or, better said, what exactly justifies the necessity to adopt such ethical behaviour? I assume there is no deontological code to include the following rule: Scientists are obliged to share the others the valuable ideas which they acquired as a result of their own study or from other sources. One could say, for example:

Well, on the one hand, I am in competition...

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