Chad Engelland

in Ostension

Published by The MIT Press

Published in print November 2014 | ISBN: 9780262028097
Published online May 2015 | e-ISBN: 9780262320610 | DOI:

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This chapter clarifies key terms in the book’s argument: animate movement, language, and mind. Regarding movement, it contrasts the Cartesian reduction of all movement to physical motion with the Platonic and phenomenological view that the movement of manifestation is distinct from and not reducible to physical movement. Animate movement makes ostension possible, and the chapter argues that the Cartesian denial of such movement is unsustainable. Animate movement, inscribed into our ostensive acts, carries on in the words learned; spoken words make the world manifest to each of us together. The chapter reflects on the unique status of the human being who is that animate being capable of moving in the dimension of joint presence, a dimension that builds on basically animal powers of action and perception by putting them into a new, specifically human service. The chapter defends the publicness of language by showing the impossibility of meaningfully denying it. To institute a private language, a human would have to institute a non-human way of life. Finally, it argues for the primacy of manifestation as philosophy’s proper point of departure and return.

Keywords: animate movement; language; human nature; private language; metaphilosophy

Chapter.  9831 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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