The Linguistics of Existence

Peter Klapes, M.A. candidate in Philosophy (Boston College) Abstract: It is said that the nature of the linguistic sign is arbitrary. Since antiquity, the question of whether words are linked to their referent by nature or merely by convention has persisted. In Plato’s Cratylus, Socrates realizes that names are often imperfect in the naming of any object. Later, sparking somewhat of a linguistic crisis, Friedrich Nietzsche questioned the nature of truth and Ferdinand de Saussure demonstrated that signifiers and signifieds share no inherent link. This concept of linguistic arbitrariness will, in this talk, be connected to philosophical, existential, and anthropological questions and themes—including freedom, poetics, politics, and the nature of the imagination.

When 5:45 pm to 6:45 pm on Monday, April 8, 2019
Building College of Arts and Sciences - (725 Comm. Ave.)
Room 225
Contact Organization Boston University Linguistics Association