Re: Structural Determinism

Gary F. Blanchard (
Sat, 26 Apr 1997 00:28:34 -0700

RE: Continuing the conversation...

Maybe we should be asking the prior question:

What is it that the entity,"language," is? (How is it constituted?)


Robert Parks wrote:
> Thanks for the comments, John. I don't want to give a representationalist
> account of the role of language, however. I'd prefer to strive for a
> dialectical account. That is, I agreee that we construct our selves with
> and through language, however, we don't construct our selves "out of whole
> cloth" (to quote one dialectitian's phrase). Rather, we use words and
> expressions whose constraints (syntactic, semantic, pragmatic, etc) are the
> medium for recognition of and acknowledment of others. If we construct our
> world with language, then we must go back a step and ask also how the words
> we use acquired that tool-like character. How is it that "mother" gets a
> smile and "please" gets a cookie...? It seems that we are inducted into the
> process of acquiring the tools with which our selves will be constructed.
> I'll stop before this goes too far off track. I just wanted to say I don't
> accept a simple representational view.
> Regards,
> Bob