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June 19 , 2009

Language and the Ineffable

A Developmental Perspective and Its Applications


One's conception of language is central in fields such as linguistics, but less obviously so in fields studying matters other than language. In Language and the Ineffable Louis S. Berger demonstrates the flaws of the received view of language and the difficulties they raise in multiple disciplines. This breakthrough study sees past failures as inevitable, since reformers retained key detrimental features of the received view. Berger undertakes a new reform, grounded in an unconventional model of individual human development. A central radical and generative feature is the premise that the neonate's world is holistic, boundary-less, unimaginable, impossible to describe_in other words, ineffable_completely distinct from what Berger calls 'adultocentrism.' The study is a wholly original approach to epistemology, separate from the traditional interpretations offered by skepticism, idealism, and realism. The work rejects both the independence of the world and the possibility of true judgment_a startling shift in the traditional responses to the standard schema. Language and the Ineffable evolves a unique conception of language that challenges and unsettles sacrosanct beliefs, not only about language, but other disciplines as well. Berger demonstrates the framework's potential for elucidating a wide range of problems in such diverse fields as philosophy, logic, psychiatry, general-experimental psychology, psychotherapy, and arithmetic. The reconceptualization marks a revolutionary turn in language studies that reaches across academic boundaries.
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