The Illusion of Reference

  • Raymond Tallis
Part of the Language, Discourse, Society book series (LDS)


No one, I think, would wish to challenge the obvious truth that language is implicated in the construction of reality. The question that I wish to address in this section, however, is the extent to which reality is intra-linguistic and language is the agent or medium in virtue of which reality is structured or constituted. More particularly, I shall question the radically nominalist assumption, common to many post-Saussurean critics, that the traffic is all one way: that language structures reality but reality does not influence the structure, the system of differences, that is language. And, more specifically still, the claim that such radical nominalism is licensed by the ideas put forward by Saussure.


Literary Theory Radical Nominalism Death Sentence External Reality Colour Term 
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© Raymond Tallis 1995

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  • Raymond Tallis

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