The Linguistic Turn

  • Thomas de Zengotita
Part of the Political Philosophy and Public Purpose book series (POPHPUPU)


The discipline of linguistics, especially as defined by Ferdinand de Saussure, was also conceived in the manner described in Chap. 3. Like phenomenology, it gets its own chapter because of the formative influence structuralism had on “post-structuralism” and, by extension, on postmodern theory in general. It touches first on Wittgenstein’s career because his later work anticipated many of the positions espoused by postmodernism and, in the Anglophone context, his considerable influence intensified the impact of French theory. But the main focus of this chapter is Saussure’s linguistics and the structuralist anthropology of Levi-Strauss. One cannot grasp what post-structuralists were up to without a working understanding of what structuralism was all about—and that is what this chapter supplies.


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas de Zengotita
    • 1
  1. 1.New York UniversityNew YorkUSA

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