A Marxist Philosophy of Language
The purpose of this book is to give a precise meaning to the formula: English is the language of imperialism. Understanding that statement involves a critique of the dominant views of language, both in the field of linguistics (the book has a chapter criticising Chomsky’s research programme) and of the philosophy of language (the book has a chapter assessing Habermas’s philosophy of communicative action). ?The book aims at constructing a Marxist philosophy of language, embodying a view of language as a social, historical, material and political phenomenon. Since there has never been a strong tradition of thinking about language in Marxism, the book provides an overview of the question of Marxism in language (from Stalin’s pamphlet to Voloshinov's book, taking in an essay by Pasolini), and it seeks to construct a number of concepts for a Marxist philosophy of language. ?The book belongs to the tradition of Marxist critique of dominant ideologies. It should be particularly useful to those who, in the fields of language study, literature and communication studies, have decided that language is not merely an instrument of communication.
About the Author
Jean-Jacques Lecercle was educated at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris. From 1999 to 2002 he was Research Professor in the English department at the University of Cardiff, and he is currently Professor of English at the University of Nanterre. He is the author of Interpretation as Pragmatics (Macmillan 1999), Deleuze and Language (Palgrave 2002) and The Force of Language (with Denise Riley, Macmillan 2004).
Gregory Elliott was educated at Balliol College, Oxford, where he completed his D.Phil. on Louis Althusser in 1985. An independent translator and writer, his books include Perry Anderson: The Merciless Laboratory of History (1998). His most recent translation is Luc Boltanski and Eve Chiapello’s The New Spirit of Capitalism(2006).