Language, Identity and Multiculturalism
191 pages, year of publication: 2007
price: 40.50 €
With Augustine and especially with Wittgenstein, we see that when we use language we "negotiate a meaning" since language is something we acquire in a community. On the other hand, Chomsky argues that language is something that happens to us, rather than something we learn.
We attempt to bring these two positions in a balance by following Davidson's ideas on meaning and radical interpretation, which gives us a way to keep meaning (what someone thinks) and belief (what someone holds true about the world) together and thus we manage to bring and keep the individual and the community in a balance.
Moreover, through language, with the help of narrative, we get in touch with ourselves, as selves, and with the others, which leads us to considerations on personal identity. To illustrate this, we bring in a few examples ranging from Apache stories in Arizona to narrative accounts about lives lived while changing linguistic environments.
In guise of conclusion, we will attempt to move the discussion on the field of multiculturalism, pointing out a possible line of research which would inquire into an alternative approach to understanding other cultures by emphasizing the concept of dialogue and a re-defined concept of identity.