Today I begin with a definition, the one of language as a place of dialectic contradiction of appropriation and language exchange to make it clear, from the outset, the complete change of perspective that we must operate in relation to what I said when I tried to answer the question “What is thinking?” We turn, in fact, analysis of what is in the language of certain cognitive processes (fully implicit) that we have studied, which in it is entirely within sociology, is the permanent contradiction (and also implied) of divergence and convergence (now that you know well) constitutive of the person. I would add that the difference between speech and language, nobody does. Yet in anthropology Gagnepain proved that the two planes of rationality (rationality and social rationality) were clinically completely autonomous. I begin by illustrating the dialectical opposition of starting the existence of languages. Remember why I told you, while all the dolphins in the world speak “delphinien,” so to say, all men do not they speak the “anthropoid?” Just because dolphins -like all other animals – seek to “communicate” with each other, whereas what characterizes the man is precisely the denial of what is known in common parlance, the… “Communication!” You must understand, in fact, that it is the man that once said to another: “I am not you, it means, you know, we begin to dig ourselves a gap between us and our neighbor, we must divide it well, then fill, otherwise condemned to remain idiocy in the etymological sense of the term (the idiot in Greek, is one who remains locked in its singularity.) In other words, we must constantly we translate; translation should be taken into a model of a real communication.
However, if you admit this dialectical opposition of divergence and convergence, what can be called “a tongue.” Tonight we are supposed to express in one language that we agreed to call “French,” I mean that we use a talk and we refer to a certain doxa is a certain knowledge (the most extensive sense of the word) the two being inextricably linked (exactly as is, as regards the sign, signifier and signified.) But I begin by distinguishing for the convenience of analysis.
Regarding the speech, it is clear that there is nothing uniform, but it is a heterogeneous group in all the three dimensions of our “situation in the world, is to tell both in time and space in the middle (the social sense, of course.) In time, it is clear that the talk that we use today to express ourselves is no longer the one of Moliere, nor, a fortiori, neither the one of Montaigne, let alone which was treated in the Middle Ages. And it certainly is not, either, speaking in French that tomorrow will speak your children. In space, on the other hand, it is easy to see that our French is not only full of Anglicism, as has been sufficiently noticed, but also borrowed from many other tongues of English, Arabic, Spanish, Italian, for example, without even mentioning Latin and Greek, called the “dead languages,” but among us are nevertheless extremely hardy: for proof, in French there is no way to derive not speak Greek and Latin (horseback riding and horse!) Finally, we see the difference between French academicians who, addressing a lady of the world, greeted with: “My compliments, madam,” and that of the gangster who give a “Hi, kid!” Or, again, between speaking of such who “went to the hairdresser” and that of another who “goes to the barber,” and so on (examples abound!) However, talk is not enough to talk. Permanently interlocution (not to be confused with the phrase) refers to a heritage constituted of ideas, opinions, views journalistic, scientific, literary, etc, Heritage, too, quite heterogeneous in time, space and environment (this means, varying for each of us according to his education, of course, but also his business, his curiosity, etc.) In other words, if I say, for example, the word “structure,” each of you interprets the word spontaneously in a different way as will or not trained in linguistics, architecture, physics Atomic, etc. This means that when we dialogue in French, we do not create knowledge spontaneously. At best, we contribute to knowledge, but in most cases, we quote or recite, or even celebrate (this is the “literature”) use already know, namely that, quite significant English call lore (which was used to form the word “folklore”,) and Germans called Lehre (that is to say, the knowledge transmitted by education.) Some among us have spoken of “mentality” and other “civilization,” as our language teachers who, having long ago realized that speak in a language is not only to talk, and is why they call themselves “teachers of languages and civilizations.” The intention was far from being reprehensible, certainly, but the simplicity was very high which was to make a speech later, the doxa and the other, suggesting that there are two different realities that aim would be to report (report what, exactly?) Both, as I have said, are absolutely inseparable.
However, we have the right to use the word “language” in singular, provided they see a political entity, this means an entity resulting from the permanent reduction of the gap between the trend towards ownership of a strange speech and a doxa (that ownership is one of two speakers, small group or large community, whatever) and sharing of this talk and this doxa , exchange, pooling them, their communication in the true sense. This reduction of policy, if you want, is that the gap between the idiocy of schizophrenic and paranoid consent of any word from the speaker, whatever it is about, gap, therefore, between the absolute heterogeneity and homogeneity as absolute. But what we must see here is that these two poles, except pathological blockage in one of two permanently exist at all in talking about the phenomenon of verbal communication. The social space of interlocution is a constant back and forth between these two poles. Explained by the same sign, the fact that any language is subject to both political antagonist “covered” (conservatism and progressivism,) trying to resolve the dialectic of divergence and convergence, either within the meaning of convergence, either in the sense of divergence.
On the one hand, it reduces the temporal heterogeneity, spatial and social dialects and knowledge in the sense of uniformity, imposing a language in which only some are expressed: among us are the inhabitants of Ile-de-France, even the Parisians (“It is good that billed the Paris already said Villon.) And this reduction comes at the expense of all internal differences, of any origin, and thus the Provencal and Breton, for example, are excluded as “patois.” That is the Conservative policy, if not reactionary (whether right or left, think Jules Ferry!) And as it denies the variety of dialects and knowledge, we can say: “That is French! This policy, of course, can never reach perfect purity, as we have seen that speak a language assumed ownership strange that we sign, so the divergence is a pure cat! It attempts to “stop,” the quasi-legal sense of the word, dialect and! “Literature,” which gave yesterday, at home, the dictionary of the French Academy Grammar of the proper use of Grévisse and in my time, the famous Lagarde and Michard, real institutions to give us the illusion of a French internal consistency. For this part, is that progressive politics (whether of right or left) is exactly the opposite: it calls for an extension in time, space and environment of language status in all dialects and all knowledge. This time, Babel: pushing the limit, there are as many languages as individuals. Not only would consider the “talk of Marseilles,” to borrow the title of a book that you need to know, but it would make academic theses on the language of the Marseilles fish alive, living near the Old Port and sixty years! In reality, as the Conservative policy is forced to tolerate some differences, progressive politics can never assert its claims so that everyone can have their own language and that language can always be recognized.
After distinguishing as clearly as possible what, in the language is, first, specific cognitive processes, namely the dialectical contradiction between the abstract and the concrete (the sign,) and secondly, what is a purely sociological phenomenon, namely the dialectic of appropriation and communication (language,) I would now like to draw your attention to the phenomenon of interdependence, or sign and language, the interference level of society in terms of the sign.
Actually, what we commonly call “language” is neither sign nor language, but overall, the quasi-chemical meaning of the word, both. It is a bit of “language” like water, resulting from the combination, as everyone knows, hydrogen and oxygen, the bodies in catalysis produces another body, endowed with new properties, and it is precisely that with which you wash your hands, enjoy a drink, etc. But comparison is not right. However, it has been shown that, after the period of babbling, a child has an early formal logic of an adult -at the age of two years or two and a half years, when he says, for example, “sleep” as I told you. In other words, there is no “baby talk” if we adopt the perspective of cognitive processes: the ability to sign is innate in humans. But it is true that the ability of sign can only be through the impregnation of the other language, language that will be instilled in children by his entourage (his parents, his family, his environment, school, etc.) If the impregnation does not occur, the ability to sign will never occur. This is the case of the “wild child,” which has occupied Dr. Itard. So, again, Herodotus tells us, this pharaoh who, curious to know what could be the first language spoken by mankind, decided to shut a baby in a closed room at birth and during early years of his life. It was absurd, and you imagine that poor boy, unable to absorb a language, was, in turn, become unable to sign, in the sense we have defined. The mistake is to think that men spoke a “first” language, first in the chronological sense. This means that Homo sapiens and Homo socius are perfectly contemporary. This same interference plans (that of the verbal and rationality of social rationality) that explains that we did not quite the same logic as that is practiced language like French, which has, for example, in speaking of what are called “proposals,” and a language like Japanese, do not include. All those who practiced the teaching of languages called “foreign,” quickly realized it was not simply to transmit a talk and a doxa (language and civilization,) but there had to Moreover, divergent logics. And the cons-test is easy to do: it can be seen clearly that the description of the French by an Englishman, a Turk or Japanese that has little to do logically with that made by French. In short, there are so many “French” that are “foreign” languages. We are in the most absolute relativity! That is why, incidentally, is completely absurd to have established in our Faculty of Arts Departments of “French Foreign Language” (the famous “FFL” cannot, scientifically, to have any existence.)
However, this feedback (to use in the language of cybernetics) of the cognitive sociolinguistics can possibly give, finally, a precise definition of the concept of mentality. Those who refer generally attribute this concept both in style cathedrals than how to stand in a bar or a dining room, etc. Sociologically, this is not true. But, sociolinguistics, it is the translator that best identified the problem: they realized that moving from one language to another was not only spend a talk and a doxa another talk and another doxa (operation that is already not so easy!) but there was always a residue absolutely incompressible, a Weltanschauung in the words of Humboldt, this means, a “worldview” specific to each language, even to the author writing in the same language. Well, what we call “thinking” in the strict sense (and etymological) the term; it is precisely this mental universe that follows the footprint of language on our cognitive processes. That explains, for example, that the work of Descartes, translated into English, can never be the work that the philosopher would have written if he had been himself an Englishman! At this rate, you see that even among languages that sustain them an undeniable kinship (both talking at the level of the doxa,) they are differing with attitudes.
I would finally add that this divergence of attitudes, as defined only for sociolinguistics that I gave to that word appears nowhere more clearly between mathematicians, who, themselves, have long renounced the dream formalistic “pure mathematics,” not to say “universal mathematics.” Mathematicians do not agree among themselves, but not limited to questions of theory! To convince you, then open a math book, not least that the simplest textbook, written by an Englishman, and another written by a German, and one written by a Japanese man: each of these three books you remain more or less tight, if you do not have at least the rudiments of English, German or Japanese, and this, even if these books contain only equations. There exist many mathematical languages! In reality, there is almost as much mathematics as mathematicians (and almost as many mathematical object to process: economy math is not for astrophysicist, etc.) You see the splendid isolation of the “well-made language,” to use Condillac is a farce! We must therefore admit that mathematics as it is the language, has all the properties, and, like language; it is language in plural. It is conceivable that mathematics is a script of the conceptual logic resulting from our ability to sign, but as this concept is logical, from the outset, inseparable from the different languages that manifest his writing, much less is too. The thing is very interesting. When I was teaching in Beirut, I had the opportunity to address the problem of translation into math Arabic to textbooks written in French. Mission impossible! Why? Well, simply because of an irreducible difference was this mentality that I just mentioned. And I realized at the same time, the computer could never help anything, as regards the translation of a language “natural” as they say, to another. It was then, in the late sixties, where linguists and computer scientists dreamed of developing “machine translation.” You put in the computer, for example: “The flesh is weak and the spirit is willing,” the cons-test gave you in the best case, something like: “The meat is soft and the brain burns!” Years later I found one of my friends (former IBM engineer) who wade through the means of dealing with mathematics by computer. I told him: “You are wasting your time! Why? Because it was convenient to be able to give the computer the resolution of all our equations would have freed the mathematicians who could finally tackle this immense effort they have to provide if they want to take into account the quality. But you understand that thought, even one-legged man, can not be processed by computer, simply by what it is expressed in languages as diverse and multiple languages that our “natural.”
Let us close this parenthesis: I did illustrate the divergence of logic and, more generally, the divergence of attitudes, a divergence which is characteristic of a man. In other words, they do better or they laments, we do not hear from French, or even among Europeans. You can imagine that, the globalization of thought will never exist: there will always, in fact, be a perpetual conflict of attitudes or cultures. Why? Simply because, as you know, universal is not human. The only universal in man is his natural body of anthropoids, but it should be added that this is the body that allows Anthrop, unlike the apes (not to mention computers!) to develop the singularity (the difference, if you prefer,) who finds uniqueness in all areas: it can no more exist “universal language” than “universal art” of “universal human” or “universal religion:” there are only languages, styles, codes, or sects. This is what we have great difficulty in admitting in Europe (except in the West) since the Renaissance, I mean, since the birth of humanism that we still today caught for universal concepts which were and remain as ours. We have no right to hate so it is in man! It is, rather, that we learn to translate, this means to overcome through dialogue, our differences at all levels, from the microscopic (in any of our conversations) at the macroscopic (in relations between nations, or “civilizations.”) You see that in speaking of “translation” is, in fact, all of our social exchanges that question is, exchanges that are all based (whether the exchange of words, goods, women, etc.) on ownership. You could say that the animal, too, appropriated a terrier, for example, or a territory or females. Certainly, but practice does exogamy? Have you seen the other two wolves exchange their territory? Or, a hare rent his house? Of course no. This is not, except at La Fontaine… Everything is here! And that is why the animal is not “political” in the Aristotelian sense, this means, unlike humans, it does not contract, do not sign treaties in a word, it does not develop laws. If you prefer, it does not arbitrarily uses codified.
Well, precisely, language is to use an arbitrary code, the law: it is not pure coincidence that, in Latin, lex and the verb meaning “to read” are trained on the same branch. But then, you ask, from where it comes? From us, just exactly as it is within us lies the ability to sign. In other words, as we discussed the existence, in humans, a cognitive structuring principle, we must also recognize in him the existence of an organizing principle similar to that which we can produce the sign, but we can, this time to produce the society, not only to live in herds. But let us be clear on terms: in speaking of “herd” does not think that this is anything to denigrate the animal. The herd is a certain organization of “living together” as someone says, an organization can achieve, in some species, a level of extremely complex that we are still far from knowing. And as we never cease to belong to the animal kingdom, we may live in herds: see all the phenomena of emotional contagion, the phenomena of crowds, mass phenomena (like those that occurred during the death of Michael Jackson,) etc. -and perhaps even, as we have in common with the animal that is called “sympathy,” the fact is, literally, “suffering with.” But we are different animals, in that we have the ability, using our animal nature (as it has gregariousness) as a springboard to access, by abstraction, the principle of singularity, a principle that we are reinvesting Then our animalistic, without ever being able to coincide with it. Again, there is in this bipolar opposition of singular and universal a “game” quite similar to the one we analyzed for the reinvestment of verbal structure in the universe of the world to say.
However, everyone knows that laws are made to be amended, repealed or replaced at one time or another. If, therefore, there are no universal laws, it cannot be eternal laws. Similarly, why is there no contract that includes a termination clause? Because the termination is the foundation of the contract: no contract that stipulates the possibility of de-contracts. And it goes the same with all our treaties, all of our compromises etc. In short, any policy (not a politician in the sense of the term, you understand.) Policy, basically, in this sense, there is only one: the permanent revolution, insofar as we continue to be subject to becoming. Well, and it is through these words I will conclude, it is exactly the same translation, and therefore the language. That is why, as I told you one day, translations, this time meaning “language” of the term, are always repeated. That is also why the work of preparing a dictionary of the French Academy or use good grammar does not have the time. That is why, finally, the famous “Lagarde and Michard” time of my studies is being supplanted by new anthologies “folk” (in English meaning of the word, of course!)
Before you leave, I propose that we set a very brief summary methodology.
If you follow me, you understand that speaking of “language” as a scientific reality is an illusion, since this “language” involves four levels of determinism. A strictly cognitive determinism that we discussed when we posed the question “What is to think? Technical determinism, which I mentioned in dealing with ways of writing a social determinism, we have to consider now that that language is language, and finally an ethical determinism (or moral) I have met you in speaking of “freedom of expression.” In short, the language is not in any way a “given” scientific. In other words, the science of man, like any other science, must start by making its data. From this perspective, there is no difference between us and Lavoisier, who has scientifically break this kind of phenomenon that we call “water” to posit the existence of H2O. Lavoisier, so to say “deconstructed” this natural phenomenon to do what is called an “object of science,” and you know that through him we have gone from alchemy to chemistry. We need to deconstruct our “man” and, therefore, all phenomena, not natural but cultural. The difference between language and languages is absolutely fundamental, and nobody knows, except Mediations, of course, and it is a pity. Result: we talk constantly with the “mouth full,” so to speak, and it is doomed to see nothing and say nothing, scientifically, of what is yet to be wrong (as we may have an opportunity to see) as the entelechy of a man’s thought.
It is still unbelievable that the country castles of the Loire, which has had a tradition of culture and intelligence of many centuries, the requirement to fight to accept a theory that Chinese themselves are beginning to interest. We are going to look smart!
But it is not just Chinese! Gagnepain said I quote: “We do not claim, we must know, but we believe we can help, at least, better looking. So, it is not true that in the West there is nothing new. The few that we have representatives to the United States could very well one day or another return to Europe a new Columbus of our own ability to illuminate, in turn, what remains of the Old Continent. The current facility contacts lined with nearly instantaneous information should, in fact, simplify the task, provided that officials there are some that will. “What responsible?” you may ask: the so-called “government,” of course, but also journalists…and each of you, if you agree.