The Linguistic Turn in the Social Sciences
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Level: Graduate
Division: The New School for Social Research
Department: Philosophy
Course Number: GPHI 6689
Course Format: Seminar
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: Yes
  • Social Sciences
  • Philosophy
  • Anthropology
This graduate course provides an introduction to the linguistic turn in philosophy and the social sciences, with a special focus on performativity. It will trace three traditions that intersect around the issue of performativity: the semiological/semiotic tradition that develops from Ferdinand de Saussure and Charles Sanders Pierce, and continues through Roman Jakobson, and Emile Benveniste; the analytic philosophy of language tradition initiated by Frege and continuing through Donald Davidson and Saul Kripke; and an anthropological tradition that starts with the publication in 1949 (!) of Claude Levi-Strauss’s Elementary Structures of Kinship and continues in the anthropological study of ritual (Tambiah, Silverstein, Bourdieu) and finance (Callon, Latour). These traditions provide the intellectual framework for the issue of performativity, which is represented by the work of John Austin, Jacques Derrida, Soshana Felman, Paul DeMan, and Judith Butler.
Course Open to: Majors Only