Open Collections

UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

The role of language in the development of modernity: the discussion of origins of language in Rousseau… Wiesinger, Chris 1992

Your browser doesn't seem to have a PDF viewer, please download the PDF to view this item.

Item Metadata


831-ubc_1993_spring_wiesinger_chris.pdf [ 3.73MB ]
JSON: 831-1.0086185.json
JSON-LD: 831-1.0086185-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 831-1.0086185-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: 831-1.0086185-rdf.json
Turtle: 831-1.0086185-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 831-1.0086185-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: 831-1.0086185-source.json
Full Text

Full Text

THE ROLE OF LANGUAGE IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF MODERNITY: THE DISCUSSION OF ORIGINS OF LANGUAGE IN ROUSSEAU AND VICO by CHRIS WIESINGER  B.A., The University of British Columbia, 1989  A DISSERTATION SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS Faculty of Graduate Studies Department of History  We accept this thesis^conforming to the required standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA DECEMBER 1992 © Chris Wiesinger, 1992  In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission.  Department of  ^..STOX7#  The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada  Date  DE-6 (2/88)  a F /44 g -  -  -  5E  ii. ABSTRACT [Supervisors: E.J. Hundert, N. Hudson]  This dissertation examines parts of the eighteenth-century discussion of the origins of language with reference to a developing awareness of the characteristics of the modern mind. Giambattista Vico and Jean-Jacques Rousseau are focal points for this study because they most strongly and clearly express an awareness of the connection between modern consciousness and language.  TABLE OF CONTENTS  Abstract ^  ii  Table of Contents ^  iii  Acknowledgment ^  iv  Dedication ^  v  Chapter 1: From Sophocles and Derrida through Augustine and Hegel: The Self in Transition ^ Page 1 Chapter 2 Giambattista Vico: The Tropes of Language ^ Page 18 Chapter 3 From Condillac and Locke to Rousseau: The Civil Savage in Savage Society ^ Page 39 Chapter 4 Conclusion ^  Page 68  Bibliography ^  Page 84  iv. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS  I would like to express my gratitude to Professors Stephen Straker, Ed Hundert, Harvey Mitchell and Nicholas Hudson, who through their challenging seminars and tutorials allowed me a glimpse of the world of ideas. I thank them for their patience and infectious enthusiasm.  V. DEDICATION Dedicated to Franz Wiesinger. 1933-1991 I dedicate this work to my father, Franz Wiesinger, who was never afforded the opportunity to pursue higher education, but valued it above all else.  Page 1  Chapter 1 From Sophocles to Derrida through Augustine and Hegel The Self in Transition  When Sophocles presented The Antigone to his audiences in 441 B.C., he intended to bring into relief a problem taking shape between the demands of private and public life. Creon, the King, has cast his dead brother Polyneices on a hillside unburied, intending that nature should exact its revenge on one who Creon believed had defied it by attacking the state. Polyneices' sister, Antigone, struggles to bury Polyneices according to proper familial custom, to keep his body from being defiled by animals. In a sense, Creon, the state and the new order win the day; in the process however, Creon the individual, the family and the old order are radically reshaped, if not destroyed. "I am nothing," Creon comes to realize. "I have no life. Lead me away..." 1  Sophocles' attitude towards Creon was unsympathetic; he thought Creon a tragic figure, doomed because the demands of his position as King tended to bring to the surface Creon's weaknesses as an individual. When the curtain falls and the Chorus deliver the author's last words, it becomes evident that the playwright thinks the essence of Creon's downfall results from a weakness of character, and not from the position that he held. A justification for the bifurcation of Creon's self into two distinct spheres, that of King and that of brother, could not be made. For Sophocles, the different roles played by the same individual did not necessarily have to clash; the individual was expected always to weigh any situation that seemed to call for ethically contradictory responses by making certain that the right moral priorities were satisfied in the 1 Sophocles, Antigone, lines 1338-39, translated by E.F. Watling, in The Theban Plays [Penguin Books, 1947/1988], p.161.  Page 2  right order. In the Greek universe, incommensurable goods did not exist. The Good was a hierarchy, and the virtuous individual was one who knew how to go about satisfying the goods within that hierarchy in the right order. 2 Creon's moral blindness, his inability rightly to order ethical priorities, resulted from an inner capitulation to pride.  Hegel used Antigone more than two thousand years later to establish an argument that was the very antithesis of the Sophoclean view of Creon's predicament. 3 Hegel, a critical inheritor of the Enlightenment tradition and all that it bore, lived in a world fragmented into seemingly incommensurable goods; these contradictions he considered resolvable only at the highest philosophical level. In Hegel's view, the conflict between Creon and Antigone was one wherein both sides represent a moral force, Creon that of the state and Antigone that of the family. Indeed, as Hegel chose to understand Sophocles, the coming into being of a stage of history in which such a conflict could take place signalled the birth of an entirely new world for human beings. Jacques Derrida captures well the essence of the Hegelian perspective, which expresses the counter2 Aristotle, The Ethics, translated by J.A.K. Thompson [Penguin Books, 1953/1986], 1124a25 ff. (p.223). 3 see Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Phenomenology of Spirit (1807) translated by A.V. Miller [Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1977], pp.256-262 (Paragraphs 429-437, esp. 437), and pp. 279-289 (Paragraphs 464-473, esp. 470). See also Hegel, The Philosophy of Fine Art (1837) translated by F.P.B. Osmaston [London: G. Bell & Sons, Ltd., 1920], Book 1, p.193; Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion (1832) translated by Rev. E.B. Speers, B.D., and J. Burdon Sanderson [London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., 1895] Book 2, p.264. Hegel's reading of Antigone is discussed in Judith Shklar, Freedom and Independence: A Study of the Political Ideas of Hegel's Phenomenology [New York: Cambridge University Press, 1976], Henry Sussman, The Hegelian Aftermath [Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1982], Howard P. Kainz, Hegel's Phenomenology. Part II: The Evolution of Ethical and Religious Consciousness to the Absolute Standpoint [Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 1983], Jonathon Robinson, Duty and Hypocrisy in Hegel's Phenomenology of Mind: An Essay in the Real and Ideal [Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1977] and Stephen Bungay, Beauty and Truth: A Study of Hegel's Aesthetics [Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1984].  Page 3  Enlightenment's apprehension of what later thinkers would call "the problem of modernity": The family imperils the head. So... the government must become the enemy of just what it governs, must suppress the family not only as a natural singularity but in the judicial system proper to it: the war of the city government against the family, the law of day(light) against the law of night, human law against divine law, law of man against law of woman. This war is not one war among others; it is the war. 4 I agree with Hegel and Derrida in seeing this problem - the war - as resulting from the consequences of the fragmentation of society, the human self, and of practical morality. The modern stance is characterized by a particular conception of the human self and a constant struggle to develop forms of community that would allow the self to maintain a sense of integrity. Indeed, one of the main attributes of modernity is an almost obsessive concern with the self. My question in the pages following focuses on how awareness of the problem of modernity began to take shape in the eighteenth century's discussion of the origins of language. My interest in this question has been aroused by recent contemporary discussions of the characteristics of modernity, which have occasioned a number of intelligent and provocative approaches toward better understanding its historical origins and structural features. In particular, my attention has been engaged by the publications of Alasdair Maclntyre and Charles Taylor, and it is with reference to their discussions of practical morality and the modern self that my thesis has been shaped.  Maclntyre and Taylor distinguish themselves from the mainstream of modern analytical philosophy by offering historical discussions of their respective 4 Jacques Derrida, Glas, translated by John P. Leavey Jr. and Richard Rand [Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 1986], p.146.  Page 4  subjects. Their intent is to provide the reader with a history of the development of a particular problem, and within such a context offer philosophical approaches to the problem's solution. Before delving into the historical thesis which occupies the bulk of this paper, it is appropriate to sketch briefly what I see as the basic premises of the theses advanced by Maclntyre and Taylor, and what I have come to understand as misconceptions or omissions in the histories they provide.  Maclntyre's central point in After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory is that for the last four hundred years the project of moral philosophy has suffered a loss of comprehension of the practical and theoretical constraints under which moral philosophy had originally become a field of discussion. 5 The main reason for the paralysis plaguing moral philosophy since the Enlightenment, Maclntyre argues, is the rejection of the teleological framework in which ethics was embedded prior to the Scientific Revolution. Without this ends-orientated framework, contends Maclntyre, the philosophes' project of justifying morality on a rational basis was doomed from the outset and could only serve to be the foundation of moral relativism. Maclntyre attributes our modern inability to make clear moral judgements to the Enlightenment's conscious rejection of the teleological framework and asserts that this rejection should be understood as a leading component of the development of the problem of modernity.  The link between the relativistic standpoint and the issue of self, as exemplified by Hegel's reading of Antigone, is that the kind of self which finds itself confronting circumstances in which competing, incommensurable values 5 Alasdair Maclntyre, After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory, 2nd edition [Notre Dame, Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press, 1981/1984].  Page 5  present themselves for evaluation and decision tends to bureaucratize itself into separate and sometimes distinct spheres of identity. The moral life for the modern identity is a series of role-contingent moral perspectives, wherein one particular role or situation demands a set of moral priorities that might well be at odds with other roles played by the same identity. 6 The disappearance of objective values is synchronous with the rejection of the teleological framework, without which the self's integrity becomes extremely difficult - perhaps even impossible - to maintain. The self's fragmentation occurs as a result of the ways in which the social universe calls upon it to present itself, demands that are always contingent on the context of circumstance. The contingency of identity is therefore another principal component of the problem of modernity.  Charles Taylor's Sources of the Self: The Making of the Modern Identity provides an analysis of the development of the kind of self characterizing the modern age. 7 In this work, Taylor traces the development of the self-conscious self from moments in Augustine's Confessions, where the author seems to disengage from and address himself as he explains his conversion to the way of God. Augustine's conversion is a turn away from the outer world, from temptation and the world of the body, to an inner world illuminated by the light of God and unsullied by the physical world. Augustine's Confessions seem to be a conversation with himself about himself, and Taylor wants to establish that the appearance in Augustine's era of this level of self-consciousness is historically unique. 6 for a detailed discussion of this, see Alasdair Maclntyre, "Utilitarianism and Cost-Benefit Analysis: An Essay on the Relevance of Moral Philosophy to Bureaucratic Theory" in Kenneth Sayre, ed., Values in the Electric Power Industry [Notre Dame, Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press, 1977], pp.217237. 7 Charles Taylor, Sources of the Self: The making of the Modern Identity [Cambridge, Massachussetts: Harvard University Press, 1989].  Page 6  Taylor continues by showing the continuities and discontinuities between the Augustinian and the modern self, focussing on the nature of the Lockean self as suggested by Books II and IV of The Essay on Human Understanding, and bringing the reader into the formative years of the modern self by way of a discussion of the "expressivist" turn taken by Herder and the German Romantics. In contrast to the pre-modern self, defined by the constraints placed upon it by its natural and social environment, the modern self is self-articulating, drawing from an "inexhaustible inner domain" and constrained only insofar as it constrains itself. 8 The modern identity, Taylor suggests, is one which shapes and expresses itself through language and art; its modernity lies in the fact that it self-consciously defines itself.  In their discussions of the Enlightenment's role in the development of the problem of modernity, both Maclntyre and Taylor neglect the issue of language. In so doing, they relegate the discussion of the development of the modern mind, a crucial component of the discourse on language, to a relatively insignificant role. A closer examination of these intertwined topics would have intensified the depth of the stories Maclntyre and Taylor tell about the development of modernity. In fairness, however, to Maclntyre and Taylor, any critique of the traditional understanding of an historical epoch such as the Enlightenment must accept and maintain certain aspects of that traditional understanding so the revision of other aspects can be understood within the framework of the accepted history. Clearly Maclntyre and Taylor believed that the history of the understanding of language in the eighteenth century was an aspect of orthodoxy that could remain unchallenged. 8 Ibid., p.390.  Page 7  Historically overshadowed by the 1772 publication of Herder's Treatise on the Origin of Language, the Enlightenment's discussion of language has been subject to constant denigration by nineteenth and twentieth century commentators who misunderstood the very nature of the pre-Romantic project as being some kind of search for the origins, or genetic development, of language. 9 Indeed, Taylor's discussion of language in Hegel reflects just such a view when he grants Herder a privileged - indeed, "revolutionary" 10 - position in the history of discussion of the origins of language, although in Sources of the Self he tempers Herder's importance by granting that it might be more accurate to place Rousseau at the wellhead of the great advances made by the Romantic Germans on the subject. 11 However, Taylor nowhere retreats from his earlier claims that Herder's theory of language and aesthetics "provides a new interpretation of the traditional view of man as a rational animal, a being whose 9 Hans Aarsleff, "The Tradition of Condillac: The Problem of the Origin of Language in the Eighteenth Century and the Debate in the Berlin Academy before Herder," in his From Locke to Saussure: Essays on the Study of Language and Intellectual History [Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1982], p.150. Aarsleff provides a brief survey of the secondary literature on the eighteenth century's discussion of language to support this allegation (pp.149155) citing Benfey, Geschichte der Sprachwissenschaft [Munich, 1869], Steinthal, Ursprung der Sprache [Berlin, 1858], Cassirer, The Philosophy of Symbolic Forms [New Haven, 1953 (orig. pub. 1923], Verburg, Taal en Functionaleit [Wageningen, 1952], Arens, Sprachwissenschaft [Freiburg/Munich, 1955/1969], Renan, De l'origine du langage [Paris, 1958], Salmony, Die Philosophie des jungen Herder [Zurich, 1949]. The main line of thought in these arguments was that pre-Romantic discussions of language (Rousseau, perhaps, excepted) were fundamentally different than the tradition allegedly spawned by Herder is echoed in Berlin's Vico and Herder: Two Studies in the History of Ideas [London: The Hogarth Press, 1976]. Hayden White comments that language "was not a problem" for the Enlightenment in his "The Irrational and the Problem of Historical Knowledge in the Enlightenment", Tropics of Discourse: Essays in Cultural Criticism [Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1978], p.146. (My attention to White's claim was drawn by Robert E. Norton, Herder's Aesthetics and the European Enlightenment [Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 1991], p.83, who in a note expands on Aarsleff's list of "the canon".) 10 Charles Taylor, Hegel [Cambridge University Press, 1975], pp.15-20. 11 Taylor, Sources of the Self, op. cit., p.362.  Page 8  essence is rational awareness. This idea is now formulated in a new concept of self-awareness... (and) had to break with the Enlightenment accounts of language and meaning... The newtwist," Taylor concludes about the German  approach to language, "is that language is no longer of crucial importance as the vehicle of the ideas... but rather as the expression of self." 12  A better understanding of the pre-Romantic discussion of language in the eighteenth century would, I believe, both strengthen Taylor's thesis about the development of the modern identity in the eighteenth century, and expand and deepen Maclntyre's claims about the Enlightenment's role in shaping the problem of modernity. The core feature of the problem of modernity, I suggest, is a certain approach to the understanding of the role of language in the construction of social reality, an understanding that began to take shape in the late seventeenth century with Book III ("Of Words") of Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690), and grew to maturity with Condillac's Essay on the Origin of Human Knowledge (1746) and Rousseau's Discourse on the Origins of Inequality (1755). The discussions of the origins of language that occur within these works occur as part of the larger issue concerning these thinkers, that of the development of the capacities of the human mind. They are not carried out in an investigative framework suggesting an interest in the  genetic development of language per se. Their awareness of a link between the development of the modern mind and the progression of language ought to be 12 Taylor, Hegel, op. cit., pp. 17,18. Emphases mine. Taylor's views on Herder and the Enlightenment are influenced by those of Isaiah Berlin, who believed that Herder's doctrine of expressionism was "incompatible with the central moral, historical, and aesthetic doctrines of the Enlightenment." See Berlin, Vico and Herder: Two Studies in the History of Ideas op. cit., p.153. The monographs on Vico and Herder were first delivered as lectures (1957-58) and published in 1960 and 1965, respectively. Taylor acknowledges Berlin's influence in the preface and acknowledgements to Hegel (op. cit., p.viii).  Page 9  seen as a clear sign that the purpose and meaning of language were more than simply referential in nature. Language, for these thinkers and their audience, was a crucial constructive component in the intellectual development of the modern mind. They considered the development of mind and language to be inextricably intertwined. A close reading of important pre-1755 works on language will therefore contradict Taylor's impression that the Enlightenment understanding of language was characterized by a clear dichotomy between meaning and being.  Hans Aarsleff has successfully exploded the myth of Herder's preeminent status in the history of linguistics by emphasizing the importance of Condillac's role in the discussion of the origins of language in the eighteenth century. Yet he has not gone far enough in clearing the cobwebs of the history of this discourse, for in "The Tradition of Condillac" Aarsleff places Condillac on the pedestal once reserved for Herder and makes the claim that Condillac's Essay of 1746 sparked the "truly creative" period of discussion of the issue of  language. 13 The 1750's were undoubtedly an extremely productive time for the discussion of language, bringing forth Rousseau's Second Discourse, Diderot's Lettres sur les sourds et muets, Turgot's article on "Etymologie" in the sixth  volume of L'Encyclopedie, and Johnson's Dictionary of the English Language, to name but a few. They all differed little from the position sketched out by Condillac. 14  13 Aarsleff, "The Tradition of Condillac", p.147. 14 Roy Harris and Talbot J. Taylor, Landmarks in Linguistic Thought: The Western Tradition from Socrates to Saussure [New York: Routledge, Chapman and Hall, Inc., 1989], p.134.  Page 10  But I would argue that the "truly creative" work of which Aarsleff writes was not confined to the 1750's, and its domain was not solely Condillac's. The new discourse on language began percolating in a serious and focussed manner soon after the publication of Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding, a work of which it would be no exaggeration to say set the epistemological foundation of the entire Enlightenment programme with its discussion of the role of language and mind in the establishment of mixed modes, that is, concepts like law and morality. As well, the discussion of language in Mandeville's Fable of the Bees (1724-1728) can in no uncertain way be seen as foreshadowing and influencing the work of the 1750's, 15 and there should be no denying the importance of William Warburton's Divine Legation of Moses, (1738-1741) explicitly acknowledged by Condillac in his Essai. Mandeville's work shares its Lucretian and Epicurean background with Giambattista Vico's La Scienza Nuova (1725, first edition, 1744, third edition), a work delineating what might well be considered the eighteenth century's most focussed work on the connection of language and the development of civil society and consciousness, though no influence on the participants of the 1750's debate can be established. The connection between language and culture (social reality) is therefore well developed in the discourse on language in the early eighteenth century, long before Herder or Condillac began thinking about the subject.  One of the most interesting features of the discourse centering on the theme of language is that even where there are no clear lines of intellectual 15 see E.J. Hundert, "The Thread of Language and the Web of Dominion: Mandeville to Rousseau and Back," Eighteenth Century Studies, 21:2, Winter, 1987-88, pp.169-191. See also Paolo Rossi, The Dark Abyss of Time: The History of the Earth and the History of Nations from Hooke to Vico, translated by Lydia G. Cochrane [Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984] Italian original published 1979, pp.227-236.  Page 11  communication, there seems to exist a conceptual consensus on the nature of language far removed from traditional Adamic or essence-orientated theories. Vico had no contact with the works of Locke, Mandeville or Warburton, nor does Condillac or Rousseau indicate any familiarity with Vichian ideas. Vico's main modern influences were Descartes, Malebranche, Bacon, Grotius and Newton, and the only known readership he had in the northern parts of Europe was Jean Le Clerc, who was impressed by The Universal Laws (1720-1722), a work which might be considered a first sketch of the approach to characterize The New Science. 16  Despite the gulf separating him from the mainstream of northern European thought, Vico scholars constantly note the continuities between Vichian ideas and ideas enjoying attention in the north, and even betray a certain level of frustration in not being able directly to tie Vico into the larger picture of Enlightenment thought. The lack of intellectual cross-pollinization is in this sense lamentable, but I contend that there is a broader significance to the development of similar understandings of the social world developing in virtual isolation from one another. It indicates, in the larger historical picture, a coming into being of a kind of consciousness that can be said to be illustrative of the leading edge of European thought in the eighteenth century. This characterizes a fundamental feature of the Enlightenment.  16 Peter Burke engages in a short but useful discussion of Vico's intellectual development in the Past Masters edition of Vico [New York: Oxford University Press, 1985], pp.10-31. Burke notes that Vico sent copies of The New Science to both Newton and LeClerc; both remained unacknowledged. Gino Bendani follows Croce in suggesting that Vico had read an "anonymous" publication of Spinoza's Tractus Theologico-Politicus in Vico Revisited: Orthodoxy, naturalism and Science in the Scienza Nuova [Oxford: Berg, 1989], pp.88-89.  Page 12  Locke's reflections on language occur at the fragile intersection between seventeenth and eighteenth century thought on the matter in that the kinds of realizations which spring forth from Locke's eighteenth-century readers seem almost immanent in, or just below the surface of, Locke's text. Indeed, Condillac suggests in the first few pages of the Essai that Locke realized the importance of language to his discussion of the structure of human understanding "too late." 17 Commentators echo this reflection again and again, and one recent work has gone so far as to suggest that Locke purposefully constrained his speculations on language. Catherine Peaden notes that while "Locke's text includes an element of human constructivity in his linguistic theory, that element is deemphasized, or occulted, because of its destabilizing potential; for Locke, human progress depends upon keeping language under control." 18 I believe Peaden is correct in her assessment of Locke on this point, which suggests itself quite strongly when reading Locke's Two Treatises of Government in the context of the suggestions he makes about the constructive nature of language. 19  In making Vico and Rousseau the foci of this thesis, therefore, I am examining the intellectual result of two separate traditions of thought. Rousseau is indebted to the Condillac-Warburton, Condillac-Locke line of thought. Vico draws directly from the seventeenth century. To give a full history of the meaning and importance of discussions in which the development of language 17 Etienne Bonnot de Condillac, An Essay on the Origin of Human Knowledge, (1746, this edition 1756) translated by Thomas Nugent [Gainesville, Fla.: Scholars' Facsimiles and reprints, 1971], p.10. 18 Catherine Lynn Peaden, "Language and Rhetoric in Locke, Condillac, and Vico," Phd Dissertation, Purdue University, 1989 [UMI Dissertation Services #9018884], pp.70-71. The term "occulted" means that the element of discourse under discussion is in its own context marginalized, that is, given little attention. 19 The implications of Locke's ideas on language for his political works could be the subject of a very interesting paper; it is however beyond the scope of my argument here.  Page 13  and society play a crucial role one would have to carry out an investigation of the seventeenth century's role in the genesis of the debate. 20 Vico, as noted above, develops his ideas as a response to mostly seventeenth- century sources, and Locke's entire argument, both metaphysical and political, is a reaction to seventeenth century positions. A further investigation might also emphasize the common link with Lucretian and Epicurean ideas, admission of which were signs of political incorrectness (atheism) in the early eighteenth century. One might be able fully to address this subject in a book, but the purpose of this work is simply to sketch out, with reference to two intellectuals who most clearly articulate an awareness of them, the implications of modern eighteenth century theories on language.  Before engaging in this project, however, it is appropriate to delve deeper into the nature and import of the development of the understanding of the problem of language itself, that is, the context of the debate. To do this, it is instructive to return again to Hegel's reading of Antigone.  What Hegel sees in Antigone is far more reflective and revealing of the spirit of his own age than that of Sophocles. Unlike the Greeks, who thought of the state as part of the natural order, Hegel identifies the conflict between the state and the individual as being one between a starkly artificial order and a natural one, a classification clearly suggested by eighteenth-century debates on 20 as Paolo Rossi convincingly argues in The Dark Abyss of Time, op. cit., pp.200-220. Hans Aarsleff makes a similar suggestion in his excoriation of Berlin's views on Vico's originality in "Vico and Berlin", London Review of Books, 5-18 November 1981, p.6, where he writes: "Showing that the Vichian ideas attributed to British writers on aesthetics, poetics, language and historiography could readily have come from other sources known to have been available, he [Berlin] drew the obvious conclusion that the Vichian ideas that spread all over Europe in the 18th century were developed from sources that may have formed part of Vico's background..."  Page 14  nature and culture. The modern individual recognizes the artificiality of the state and recognizes that its formulation is the result of purely human activity and assent; furthermore, she realizes that its legitimacy depends solely on this assent and that if society had only conceived of the state in a different manner, the nature and legitimacy of the state would in reality be different. The divine sanction of the Greek world, the acceptance of the-world-as-it-is-because-thegods-made-it-that-way, is understood in the modern conception as simple metaphor or fancy.  That Hegel could perceive Sophocles' point in such a way is indicative of the Enlightenment's critical failure to find a grounding for the legitimacy of social institutions and values in reason and nature using the tools that had proved so successful in modern science. 21 Since it appeared that the universe was based on inflexible, mechanical principles, and since human beings were obviously a part of this mechanical nature, it followed that once the mechanics of the psychology of individuals (their 'nature') came to be understood, the solution to the problem of how to structure society would become apparent. The goal was to investigate man's nature and thereby determine whether, and to what extent, human conduct should be guided by such a nature in the absence of social controlling mechanisms.  There were a number of ways of carrying out these investigations. One approach was to contrast Europe's "civilized" individual with the "savages" of the far-off lands recently having come under exploration, the idea being that a reference to the 'natural' behaviour of "savages" would give a solid foundation 21 Alexandre Koyre, "The Significance of the Newtonian Synthesis", Newtonian Studies [Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1968], pp.19-24.  Page 15  upon which to base a science of society. This empirical approach was taken to be in line with the prescriptions of modern science. 22 Another tactic in this venture was to try to trace man's history back to some kind of primitive origin that would give a reference point for descriptions of "natural" behaviour. From such a benchmark one could determine what characteristics have arisen as a result of societal 'progress' from that primitive origin, and one could begin to distinguish 'the artificial' from 'the natural' in human behaviour. 23 This conjectural approach tended to deflect the empirical approach (or, at any rate, utilize it only when it could lend credence to conjectural argument) in favour of trying to establish an historical link with nature, before the confusions injected by society's repression of the natural.  In trying to find 'natural' man, many writers sought to find his place in the pre-social state of nature. Because they lacked evidence for their assertions about the history of man and society, their projects were self-acknowledged exercises in conjecture. In itself, this is a development indicative of the eighteenth century's place in the history of consciousness, because conjectural history is a prime example of the modern self coming to understand itself and the society within which it exists by way of intellectually reconstructing its own 22 Although, as Hayden White points out in "The Noble Savage Theme as Fetish", Tropics of Discourse, op. cit. , pp.191-192, there were also political issues at play in the characterization of the savage individual, the conservative position being that the natural human being was little better than an animal and therefore ought to be controlled by the aristocracy, and the radical position attacking the very notion of aristocracy by implying that nobility arises out of close ties with the natural, and that therefore the European so-called nobility was even more savage than the natural human being because they denied the essence of their own nature. 23 For a brief, but very useful historical discussion of the European understanding of the concepts of "artificial" and "natural", see Friedrich von Hayek, "Dr. Bernard Mandeville", reprinted in New Studies in Philosophy, Politics, Economics and the History of Ideas [London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1978], pp.176-194, especially pp.180-181.  Page 16  development. That, in fact, was what the language origins project was about - a reconstruction of the development of the modern mind.  Through their ruminations on the origins of civil society - trying to determine the historical process that had resulted in the kind of society within which the philosophes found themselves - the discussion of the development of language emerged. Language had long been acknowledged as a referential system of signs, and the ancient arguments about words having some innate connection with the essences (or 'natures') of the things referred to had been rejected by the beginning of the eighteenth century. The new feature of the developing consensus on language in the eighteenth century was that language came to be recognized as a building block of culture, a constructive tool of the mind rather than simply an indicator of autonomously existing ideas. The discoveries of the importance of language in the construction of the social world had a powerful effect on the way these thinkers conceived of the new 'nature' of society, politics, and the self.  Indeed, what I here consider to be a contribution to the history of the eighteenth century's discussion of the nature of language can be considered what Stephen Straker in a different but related context acknowledged as "a disguised form of the real history being enacted, the history of changing conceptions of the self." 24 The perception of language, in the development of theories of its origins, caused the participants in this debate to come to see 24 Stephen M. Straker, "What is the history of theories of perception the history of?" in Osler and Farber (eds.), Religion, Science, and Worldvidew: Essays in Honour of Richard Westfall [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985], p.258. Straker considers the history of theories of perception to be part of an ongoing history of conceptions of nature. Perception presupposes a perceiver, and the history of theories of perception are therefore also a history of changing self-perceptions.  Page 17  themselves, to some extent, as creatures of language, as self-made phenomena of the process of civilization. Vico and Rousseau are the clearest exponents of this realization in the pre-Romantic period, and it is therefore to them that we must now turn.  Page 18  Chapter 2 Giambattista Vico: The Tropes of Language Some of the clearest evidence of the sensitive ground upon which discourses on language and the origins of society were carried out in the eighteenth century can be drawn from La Scienza Nuova of Giambattista Vico. 25 Though its challenges to eighteenth century orthodoxy and the delicate machinations of the strategy necessary to get The New Science to press are well worth considering, they are beyond the bounds of this paper. 26 We begin by examining Vico's conception of the origins and workings of language and society. 25 Thomas Goddard Bergin and Max Harold Fisch, The New Science of Giambattista Vico, unabridged translation of the Third Edition (1744) [Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1948/1988]. Further references shall be in the form: Vico, New Science, [paragraph]. 26 It is necessary to draw attention to recent arguments that put forth and strongly defend the notion that The New Science is a combination of two interwoven texts, one designed to convey Vico's real ideas, the other intended to pacify the censors to secure the ecclesiastical seal of approval and have the work published. (Frederick Vaughan, The Political Philosophy of Giambattista Vico: An Introduction to La Scienza Nuova [The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1972]; Gino Bendani, Vico Revisited: Orthodoxy, Naturalism and Science in theScienza Nuova [Oxford: Berg Publishers Limited, 1989]) The essence of these arguments is that certain religious components of The New Science (the distinction between "sacred" and "profane" history, for example {Bedani, p.87.}) ought to be considered " a separate, theologically non-functional level of The New Science." {Bedani, p.49.} Another way of looking at this problem is to consider the structure of the work in light of Vico's theories about language and myth. It would not be inconsistent of him to couch his theories within the framework of a certain mythology (Roman Catholicism) in order to preserve the integrity of the social world constructed around that mythology. Furthermore, it would be socially destructive to unmask the structures of society for everyone to see; hence, making his text more opaque might have been a way to address his intended audience without causing the political upheaval a challenge to the orthodoxy might bring. In my exposition of Vico's understanding of the role of language in the development of society, however, I will attempt to avoid discussing the many apparent contradictions and flaws in the theory, caused by this interweaving of texts. Instead, I will attempt to sketch Vico's ideas as he might have, had he not been forced to camouflage them.  Page 19  Of fundamental importance in any understanding of Vico's work is a recognition of the greater intellectual context in which The New Science was composed. The New Science is a reaction against the Newtonian thrust of contemporary approaches to social and scientific problems, 27 which tended to favour the utilization of empirical techniques in any quest to solve important problems, be they scientific or social. Vico believed there to be a fundamental difference between the world of man and the world of nature in that the social environment is one created by man, whereas the natural environment is not. Human beings are by nature sociable, and their primary impulse is to make the world surrounding them intelligible. 28 The activity of making the world intelligible is one of man assigning meaning to things not understood; Vico believes it is the creative aspect of this process that lies at the heart of there being a possibility of a science of society. Because a science of society involves human beings investigating that which human beings have created, Vico argues, it is possible to achieve a true understanding of society. ...[I]n the night of thick darkness enveloping the earliest antiquity, so remote from ourselves, there shines the eternal and never failing light of a truth beyond all question; that the world of civil society has certainly been made by men, and that its principles are therefore to be found within the modifications of our own human mind. 29 The road to self-knowledge is paved by the history of human intellectual activity. The natural sciences, Vico proposes, have followed a course of development based on a faulty premise - that the truths of the natural world are indeed accessible to man. This attitude reflects both an exaggerated self27 on this, see Alexandre Koyre, "The Significance of the Newtonian Synthesis," op. cit. 28 Vico, The New Science, 135. 29 Ibid., 331.  Page 20  confidence and a lack of self-reflective thought. Scientists, Vico thinks, mistakenly believe that they can achieve a knowledge of the universe that could only be graspable by the entity that created the universe in the first place; this knowledge is privy only to God. 30 Whosoever reflects on this cannot but marvel that the philosophers should have bent all their energies to the study of the world of nature, which, since God made it, He alone knows; and that they should have neglected the study of the world of nations, or civil world, which, since men had made it, men could come to know. This aberration was a consequence of that infirmity of the human mind by which, immersed and buried in the body, it naturally inclines to take notice of bodily things, and finds the effort to attend to itself too laborious; just as the bodily eye sees all o0j,ects outside itself but needs a mirror to see itself. 0 I The language Vico uses here is Cartesian in origin, but critical of the Cartesian position that one achieves knowledge of the outside world by way of an internal certification of the human senses. 32 Descartes believed that there existed an "exterior" reality or truth accessible by way of the senses; from the "interiority" of the self; the gap between the interior and the exterior could be bridged. Vico, on the other hand, believes the only truths human beings are able to attain certainty on are those which they themselves have created. Clearly this is a distinctive way of understanding "truth." The foundation of human knowledge rests on "created wisdom," wisdom that is made rather than  30 For a discussion of Vico's notion of science, see Ernan McMullan, "Vico's Theory of Science," Social Research 43:3, Autumn 1976, pp.450-480. See also Leon Pompa's comment on McMullan, pp.480-483. 31 Vico, The New Science, 331. 32 Giambattista Vico, On the Most Ancient Wisdom of the Italians Unearthed From the Origins of the Latin Language, including the Disputation with the Giornale de' letterati d'Italia, translated with an introduction by Lucia M. Palmer [New York: Cornell University Press, 1988] addresses Descartes' "first truth" on pp.53-56.  Page 21  discovered. 33 "For the Latins," he writes, "verum (the true) and factum (what is made) are interchangeable... hence... the true is precisely what is made." 34  Vico's confidence in the veracity of this point is emphasized by his belief that the expressions of statements of truth are always dependent on language, and language is the tool created by man to express truth. He believes that truth is something achieved in terms of the degree of the gap between language and experience, between the sign and what is signified. The more specific a statement, that is, the more particular (and therefore verifiable) it is, the more certain that statement becomes. When statements become more universal in nature, certainty becomes a matter of probability. Probable certainty, in Vico's schema, is called "truth". "Men at first feel without perceiving," Vico asserts axiomatically, then they perceive with a troubled and agitated spirit, finally they reflect with a clear mind." 35 In a corollary, Vico continues that the first sentences formed by human beings were informed by "feelings of passion and emotion, whereas philosophic sentences are formed by reflection and reasoning. The more the latter rise toward universals, the closer they approach truth; the more the former descend to particulars, the more certain they become." 36  Thus, there is a clear difference between the natures of truth and certainty. Man's creative powers achieve certainty and the corollary ability to understand one's own creations. Truth - and this is where Vico finds fault with 33 James C. Morrison demonstrates an important distinction when he points out that Vico is writing about "the true", not "the nature of truth", in "Vico's Principle of Verum is Factum and the Problem of Historicism," Journal of the History of Ideas 34:4 (1978), p.582. The reasoning for this distinction, Morrison suggests, may well be that Vico was veiling his text for the censors (ibid., p.581). 34 Giambattista Vico, On the Most Ancient Wisdom of the Italians, op. cit., p.4546. 35 Vico, The New Science, 218. 36 Ibid., 219.  Page 22  modern science because its level of abstractness tends to blind participants to the gap between language and the "outer" reality - is simply "a semblance of probability." 37 In a sense, the knowledge of things made by human beings is made possible by a knowledge of the components of those things, much in the same way that the comprehension of a sentence is made possible by an understanding of the component words of that sentence, or a complex idea by an understanding of the simple ideas composing it. The Cartesian way of investigating nature, then, could not possibly lead to certainty because in order to do so the investigator would have to have made nature. 38 Certainty, according to Vico, entails creation, so that "there will be no possibility of my doubting it since I am the very one who has produced it." 39  Vico's project in The New Science examines the history of the way human beings have constructed forms of community, and how these social structures have affected and have been affected by human self-perception. The New Science is a history of mind. 40 The method of this project is to examine  closely the language used by human beings to describe their world in any given epoch, and the institutions attendant to the ideas informing that epoch.  Vico proposes that individuals' conceptions of the universe precede selfperception in the sense that to understand oneself, one must situate oneself in a particular context. "The human mind," Vico writes, "is naturally inclined by the 37 Giambattista Vico, On the Study Methods of Our Time, translated by Eli Gianturco [Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1965], p.24, quoted by Ernan McMullin in "Vico's Theory of Science," op. cit., p.459. 38 see Stephen H. Daniel, "Vico on the Mythic Figuration as Pre-requisite to Philosophical Literacy," New Vico Studies III (1985) [Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey: Humanities Press International, 1985], p.63. 39 Ibid., quoting Vico, Opere, edited by Giovanni Gentile and Fausto Nicolini [Bari: Laterza, 1911-14], i:258. 40 see James C. Morrison, "Vico's Principle of Verum is Factum," op. cit., p.593.  Page 23  senses to see itself externally in the body, and only with great difficulty does it come to understand itself by means of reflection. This axiom gives us the universal principle of etymology in all languages: words are carried over from bodies and from the properties of bodies to signify the institutions of the mind and spirit..., (hence) the order of ideas must follow the order of institutions." 41  In a sense there exists in this system an interplay of interpretative forces because, as Vico argues earlier, the forms of the outside world - of nature - are originally defined in terms of references familiar to the individuals partaking in the defining process. "The human mind, because of its indefinite nature, whenever it is lost in ignorance makes itself the rule of the universe in respect of everything it does not know." 42 The kind of social institutions and customs people practice reflect the way they conceive of themselves. The conception of self, then, is both a product and producer of its social and natural context.  Vico believes that once one grasps the structures of society (institutions), one is able to witness how the successes or failures of these structures affected the ideas informing and resulting of them, and hence the vocabulary with which those ideas were manipulated, and the kind of self constituted by that language. 43 "The vulgar tongues," Vico concludes," should be the most weighty witnesses concerning those ancient customs of the peoples that were in use at the time the languages were formed, [and the] ...language of  41 Vico, The New Science, 236, 237, 238. 42 Ibid., 181. 43 For a current discussion of the interrelationship between theory and practice which I believe is analogous to the argument Vico has set up, see Charles Taylor, "Social Theory as Practice" in Philosophy and the Human Sciences: Philosophical Papers 2 [New York: Cambridge University Press, 1985], pp.91115.  Page 24  ancient nations... should be a great witness to the customs of the early days of the world." 44  Vico sets the foundation of "vulgar wisdom" in the period when, several hundred years after the Universal Flood, the earth has become sufficiently dry to set off thunder and lightning storms. Frightened by this great, new noise, human beings naturally wondered what the noise was all about. They thought of their own violent passions, which often resulted in loud exclamations, and come to understand the noise emitted by the sky as being similar. They considered the sky to be a living body expressing itself. And because in such a case the nature of the human mind leads it to attribute its own nature to the effect, and because in that state their nature was that of men all robust bodily strength, who expressed their very violent passions by shouting and grumbling, they pictured the sky to themselves as a great animated body, which in that respect they called Jove... who meant to tell them somethin by the hiss of his bolts and the clap of his thunder. Vico emphasizes that this understanding of Jove develops through an act of imagination or "poetic wisdom". The "crude metaphysic" forming the foundation of this understanding is the idea that the universe and everything in it was for these primitive human beings animated and full of life and spirit. Thus any unfamiliar experiences are understood in the framework of an enchanted world of nature, a world in which mind suffuses every object. The unfamiliar is therefore understood in terms of the familiar, a characteristic which Vico notes can still be found in children, who tend to describe things puzzling them in terms of ideas already in their minds. "The most sublime labor of poetry," he writes, "is to give sense and passion to insensate things; and it is characteristic of children 44 Vico, The New Science, 151, 152, 153. 45 Vico, The New Science, 377.  Page 25  to take animate things in their hands and talk to them in play as if they were living persons... [On the world's childhood men were by nature sublime poets." 46 This characteristic still persists in the vulgar, who, when they see a comet or a sundog or some other extraordinary thing in nature, and particularly in the countenance of the sky, at once turn curious and anxiously inquire what it means. When they wonder at the prodigious effects of the magnet on the iron, even in this age of minds enlightened and instructed by philosophy, they come out with this: that the magnet has an occult sympathy for the iron; and so they make of all nature a vast, animate body which feels passions and affections. 47 Vico identifies this level of consciousness as metaphoric because the language used to explain and understand the universe is couched in comparisons with things and attributes human. The world is understood in terms of fables, "fantastic" stories that express understanding in terms of metaphors from the human body. 48 Metaphor is a trope that attempts description by comparison of two like things; in this way, the early understandings human beings made of the universe were metaphoric in that they applied the ideas associated with human bodies to nature. The social result of this kind of understanding of nature was the birth of religion through the fear inspired by the great being that was nature and expressed itself with loud roars - Jove and his thunder. "Thus it was fear which created Gods in the world; not fear awakened in men by other men, but fear awakened in men by themselves." 49 What made the sky especially frightening was that although it seemed to have the power to destroy man, it simply stated the extent of its power through the noise it  46 Ibid., 186, 187, 375, 376. 47 Ibid., 377. 48 Ibid., 404. 49 Ibid., 382.  Page 26  emitted. 50 That most violent passion of all, fear, is in Vico's opinion the progenitor of a characterization of reality that resulted in the institution of certain kinds of social arrangements. In this fashion the first theological poets created the first divine fable, the greatest they ever created: that of Jove, king and father of men and gods, in the act of hurtling the lightning bolt; an image so popular, disturbing and instructive that its creators themselves believed in it, and feared, revered, and worshipped it in frightful religions. And by that trait of the human mind noticed by Tacitus whatever these men saw, imagined, or even made or did by themselves they believed to be Jove; and to all of the universe that came within their scope, and to all its parts, they gave the being of animate substance. This is the civil history of the expression "All things are full of Jove" by which Plato later understood the ether which penetrates and fills everything. 51 Vico's analysis here is both brilliant and extremely dangerous. His argument, which finds some of its roots in Lucretian thought, required much camouflaging because of the obvious challenge such an ideological gauntlet presented to the Holy Roman Church. Vico implies that religion itself is founded on self-deception.  The creation of Jove, states Vico, was an act of poetic wisdom, and as the rest of the world came into focus for these primitive men, it became necessary that "the auspices" - nature being considered the expression of Jove be interpreted. "The first men, who spoke by signs," Vico continues, "naturally believed that lightning bolts and thunderclaps were signs made to them by Jove... They believed that Jove commanded by signs, that such signs were real  50 Gianfranco Cantelli, "Myth and Language in Vico," in Giorgio Tagliacozzo and Donald Phillip Verene, eds., Giambattista Vico's Science of Humanity [Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1976], p.52. 51 Ibid., 379.  Page 27  words, and that nature was the language of the gods." 52 Interpretation of these signs was carried out in a metaphorical way, as the theological poets "attributed senses and passions (...) to bodies, and to bodies as vast as sky, sea, and earth." 53 All of this, Vico points out, is a natural consequence of one of the fundamental assumptions he has made about human nature, "that man in his ignorance makes himself the rule of the universe." 54  Because the theological poets tended to live high on the mountainsides, Vico explains, they thought of themselves as closer to Jove than the rest of humanity, which lived below them. As a result of this authority 55 (author-ity) deriving from the connection with Jove, the theological poets become the ancestors of the class of nobles, who would eventually be the kings and leaders of the first cities. The heroes or nobles, by a certain nature of theirs which they believed to be of divine origin, were led to say that the gods belonged to them, and consequently that the auspices were theirs also. By means of the auspices they kept within their own orders all thepublic and private institutions of the heroic cities. 50 As the society of theological poets developed and matured, their interpretations of the auspices began to change slightly from the metaphorical mode into metonymic reductions. 57 This development, Vico posits, is the result 52 Ibid., 379. 53 Ibid., 402. See also 404. 54 Ibid., 405. 55 Ibid., 389. 56 Ibid., 414. 57 Metonymy is a figure of speech "that replaces the name of one thing by the name of something else closely associated with it, e.g. the bottle for alcoholic drink, the press for journalism, skirt for woman, Mozart for Mozart's music, the Oval Office for the US presidency. An important kind of metonymy is synechdoche, in which the name of a part is substituted for that of the whole. (e.g. hand for worker), or vice versa." Chris Baldick, The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms [New York: Oxford University Press, 1990], p.135.  Page 28  of the "modification" of the human mind by the ideas it has been working with. 58 Whereas under the metaphoric understanding thunder and lightning are considered signs made by Jove, the metonymic comprehension sees the thunder as being Jove. On a social level this reflects the tactical maneuver by the theological poets to arrogate to themselves the exclusive power of interpreting the auspices, Jove's will. The thunder - originally understood to be the 'voice' of Jove, the animated body in the sky - became a representation of Jove itself (in the way the theological poets had become a representation of Jove's will), and arrogated to itself the powers that had originally belonged to the body of Jove. "Metonymy of agent for act resulted from the fact that names for agents were commoner than names for acts," Vico writes. "Metonymy of subject for form and accident was due to the inability to abstract forms and qualities from subjects." 59 The effect (thunder) is given the significance of a cause. Hayden White explains it this way: By metonymic reduction the thunder is endowed with all the characteristics necessary to permit the conceptualization of it as a powerful, willful, and purposeful being, a great spirit which, because it is similar to man in some of it attributes, can be treated with, served, and placated. 00 This development, as noted above, is part of a shift in the social and political structure of early society. Whereas during the first epoch (the people Vico calls) "the vulgar" looked upon the theological poets as being the spokesmen for Jove, the metonymic epoch was characterized by the theological poets arrogating to themselves the title of "father", formerly been reserved for 58 See note 49. See also the debate between Charles Taylor, Richard Rorty and Hubert Dreyfus on the relationship of theory and practice in The Review of Metaphysics 34, September 1980. 59 Vico, The New Science, 406. 60 Hayden White, "The Tropics of History: The Deep Structure of The New Science," op. cit., pp.206-207.  Page 29  Jove, and thereby many of Jove's supposed powers. In one of the many semantic replacements characterizing this shift, the act of ruling becomes synonymous with the right to rule.  Vico's story of the development of language and social institutions focusses on the progression of consciousness from being unable to conceive of abstract ideas to the point where the characterization of the world takes on tinges of abstract forms. Vico's view of history is cyclical in that he understands historical progress not as an infinite progression of advanced states of being, but rather as periods of advance and decline, what he calls corso and ricorso. 61 The "progress" Vico describes, therefore, is not absolute, but revolves around the notion that all societies undergo a process of (philosophical-mental) structural development until they reach a stage that is in a sense "too advanced" for them, at which point everything breaks down and there is a reversion to the primary stage. 62 With language, this is a movement from a conceptual apparatus in which sign and meaning are unified to one where a split between the two begins to emerge; eventually, Vico suggests, such language develops to the point where genuine communication becomes impossible because the gap between sign and signified becomes too large, and society reverts to the mute and simplistic institutions of the primary historical stage.  61 Book 5 and "Conclusion to the Work" sketch out Vico's theory of history; in a sense the entire work can be viewed from this perspective. See also Robert Nisbet, "Vico and the Idea of Progress," Social Research 43:3, Autumn 1976, pp.625-637. 62 Although, as Jeffrey Barnouw rightly points out, Vico does not posit a historical necessity here; ricorso, at this point of development, is highly possible, but not necessary. Indeed, it is equally possible--but again, not necessary--that a solution to the crisis can be developed. See Barnouw, "The Critique of Classical Republicanism", op. cit., pp.413-414.  Page 30  In the political world of early society, Vico explains, we discover that the theological poets have become corrupt as a result of their possession of power, and have "begun to abuse the laws of protection and govern the clients harshly"; the clients rebel and the patriarchs pacify them by granting property rights. 63 The designation of property rights creates the need to represent ownership, to create signs with which to make the claim of ownership. "Such are the origins of family coats of arms and hence of medals and coins," Vico notes. 64 The metonymic phase of language encourages the idea that the act of granting ownership reflects the right to grant ownership. 65 But the need to signify ownership makes a slightly stronger demand on language in that a conscious need for signs has arisen. "In the construction of poetic wisdom," Michael Mooney explains, "one image seeds the next; one word, one symbol, one myth leads another, not through any logical extrapolation but through an endless social dialectic between public language on the one hand and a culture's changing sense of itself on the other." 66 The interaction of language and the ideas generated by social structures (Vico's "institutions") tends to create a need for more and more complicated linguistic structures and therefore social institutions. The continual exercise of language results in a move towards abstraction, which causes the human mind to further develop and hence increase its intellectual capacities. The pre-reflective mind that had recognized (re-cognized) thunder as an expressive body becomes reflective and 'realizes' that the thunder is simply a representation, a sign, made by a separate body.  63 Vico, The New Science, 1100. 64 Ibid., 483, 484. 65 cf. White, "Tropics of History," op. cit. p.211. 66 Michael Mooney, Vico in the Tradition of Rhetoric [Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1985], p.230.  Page 31  Effectively, this means that the metonymic way of comprehending the world refines itself into synecdoche. A crucial element of the shift to synecdoche is the growing awareness that an element of a group of objects and or ideas can signify the whole of the group of objects and or ideas. 67 Whereas on the metonymic understanding thunder was endowed with agency, the synecdochic understanding comprehends thunder as being an example of the power of Jove in the structural way that a single human being can be seen to be representative of mankind. Indeed, the political consequences of the development of the synecdochic consciousness include the realization, on the plebeians' behalf, that they have many things in common with the aristocrats and hence ought to be empowered to partake in the governing of society. 68 Synecdoche developed into metaphor as particulars were elevated into universals or parts united with other parts together with which they make up their wholes. Thus the term "mortals" was originally and properly applied only to men, as the only beings whose mortality there was any occasion to notice. The use of "head" for man or person, so frequent in vulgar Latin, was due to the fact that in the forests only the head of a man could be seen from a distance. The word "man" itself is abstract, comprehending as in a philosophic genus the body and all its parts, the mind,qnd all its faculties, the spirit and all its dispositions.b9 Characteristic of the synecdochic consciousness is a growing awareness of the abstract relationship - the gap - between language and that which it represents. Individuals possessing the synecdochic consciousness can in a very strong sense be said to have mentally evolved to a point beyond that of their 67 Synecdoche is a "trope by which something is referred to indirectly, either by naming only some part or constituent of it (e.g. 'hands' for manual labourers) or-less often--by naming some more comprehensive entity of which it is a part (e.g. 'the law' for police officer). Usually regarded as a special kind of metonymy..." Chris Baldick, The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms, op. cit., p.221. 68 Vico, The New Science, 1101. 69 Ibid., 407.  Page 32  predecessors. They begin to become aware of the difference between sign and signified, between the thunder and Jove, and realize that thunder is not an embodiment of divine agency; in fact, they begin to believe that thunder really has nothing to do with divine communication and that there is an important difference between the figurative representations of reality offered by the patriarchs and the actual behaviour of the objects and events referred to. What had previously been understood as the rulers' right to wield power over society slowly comes to be seen as a grand deception. 70 The development of their conceptual abilities during the synecdochic phase allows individuals to understand themselves as having the same basic human characteristics of the rulers, or theological poets, who until that point had been granted (indeed, had been able to grant themselves) exclusive license to interpret the auspices.  The onset of the synecdochic understanding then brings to the fore the difference between the philosophical concepts of truth and falsity, and a consciousness that representations of the way things are may not be indicative of their true state. The metonymic, and to a greater degree the synecdochic stance, "cuts man off from his immediate contact with the world to which such meanings refer. The identity of sign and signified is broken, and in its place skeptical doubts about the referential meaning of language threaten to undermine the meaningfulness of any signifier." 71 Expressed in terms of the earlier discussion of the difference between truth and certainty in Vico's thought, the newly developed consciousness of this difference pushes language to its final phase of abstractness. 70 Compare, later, Rousseau's statement about the development of property rights ("This is mine.") as being a fraud. See note 95. 71 Stephen H. Daniel, "Vico on the Mythic Figuration as Pre-requisite for Philosophical Literacy," op. cit., p.62.  Page 33  The realization of the existence of a gap between sign and that which it signifies results in attempts to investigate what things really are, that is, what the nature of things signified by words is, the operative assumption being that there is such a thing as true nature apart from language. Such an approach characterizes the ironic consciousness of the world because it acknowledges the possibility of false identification and representation. Irony certainly could not have begun until the period of reflection, because it is fashioned of falsehood bry dint of a reflection which bears the mask of truth. 7 Characterizing itself by an attempt to de-mystify the world, the ironic consciousness searches for vocabulary that accurately signifies the natural world; in other words, it seeks a language barren of all anthropomorphic comparisons. 73 Mechanism substitutes for meaning because it is thought that causes and effects are better subjects for explanation than are final causes. This change of focus is part of a growing belief that abstract thought provides a better conduit to "the truth" than does particular thought 74 because it is representative of general ideas rather than particular instances of human signification. The kind of language in which the new ironic consciousness describes or conceives of itself has shifted from the poetic to the prosaic, significant in the sense that prose tries to describe the world as it is for a consciousness that realizes that metaphorical descriptions are simply creative naming operations.  72 Vico, The New Science, 408. 73 cf. Alexandre Koyre, "The Significance of the Newtonian Synthesis," op. cit. From a Vichian point of view, Koyre's story shows Newton trying to straddle the gap between the synecdochic (deistic) and the ironic (non-deistic) understanding of the universe. 74 cf note 34 above.  Page 34  The ironic consciousness seeks "natural", as opposed to created, truth. "Irony," Michael Mooney comments, "implies a split between tongue and brain, the rise of distance between language and the reality it seeks to contain. Irony is the conscious trope, and the consciousness it implies extends to other tropes as well." 75 The political consequences of the ironic state are in Vico's eyes inevitably barbaric, because awareness of the creative element in describing the state of nature and what can be considered natural (and therefore true and just) displays itself most violently in the irresolvable struggle of determining which political alternatives are better than others. But if the people are rotting in that ultimate civil disease and cannot agree on a monarch from within, and are not conquered and preserved by better nations from without, then providence for their extreme ill has its extreme remedy at hand. For such peoples, like so many beasts, have fallen into the customs of each man thinking only of his own private interests and have reached the extreme of delicacy, or better of pride, in which like wild animals they bristle and lash out at the slightest displeasure... By reason of this, divine providence decrees that, through obstinate factions and desperate civil wars, they shall turn their cities into forests and the forests into dens and lairs of men. In this way, through long centuries of barbarism, rust will consume the misbegotten subtleties of malicious wits that have turned them into beasts made more inhuman by the barbarism of reflection than the first men had been made by the barbarism of sense. 76 Vico points out that it is through the ironic stance that we become ever more conscious of our own myth-making abilities and of the importance of language to the way that we describe the world. The result of all this constructive activity, however, is destructive, because language seems to develop beyond man's control and thereby tends to alienate the individual in a world full of signs, none of which can truly express intended meaning because they all depend on the vagaries of interpretation. As a result, the civil world begins to disintegrate. Ironically, the abstract trope brings with it a new 75 Michael Mooney, Vico in the Tradition of Rhetoric, pp.237-238. 76 Vico, The New Science, 1106.  Page 35  barbarianism that effectively is little different from the mute barbarianism out of which it arose.  Vico posits that the nature of the universe, or the natural world, can only be conceived of through the creation of meaning. He argues that when early humans conceived of the world in terms of what we now understand as metaphor (which includes metonymy and synechdoche), this understanding was not self-conscious. That is, early humans did not know that their descriptions of the world were metaphorical. Their descriptions of the way the world seemed to operate should be seen, Vico argues, as a genuine understanding. For early man, there could be no difference between description of the world and reality. 77 Here emerges a great principle of human institutions, confirming the origin of poetry disclosed in this work: that since the first men of the gentile world had the simplicity of children, who are truthful by nature, the first fables could not feign anything false; they must therefore have been, as they have been defined above, true narrations. 78 If the first understandings of the world were created with the innocence of a child's view of the universe, then the ironic understanding can only be the work of cynical adults generating a poetry devoid of emotion, magic, meter and 77 Eugenio Garin argues that Vico found fault with Galileo for constructing his physics "with the eye of a great geometrician, but without the full Enlightenment of metaphysics," suggesting that Galileo ignored the great gap between the way his mind apprehended reality and "the concreteness of experience"; that is, Vico didn't think Galileo was at all close to the truth that Galileo was convinced he had uncovered. Vico seems to be saying that Galileo wasn't conscious that a distinction between truth and certainty existed, and thus more resembled a primitive hero (i.e., a theological poet) than a modern ironist. See Eugenio Garin, "Vico and the Tradition of Renaissance Thought," in Giorgio Tagliacozzo, ed., Vico: Past and Present [Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey: The Humanities Press, 1981], p.102. For the contemporary re-run of this kind of debate, see the articles by Charles Taylor, Hubert Dreyfus and Richard Rorty in The Review of Metaphysics 34 (September 1980), pp.1-46. 78 Vico, The New Science, 408.  Page 37  isolation." 81 Rousseau was also to focus on this problem, as we shall shortly see.  If we return briefly to Charles Taylor's incisive comment about understanding the shift in the notion of self from the pre-modern to the modern as being a change in the very categories in which we understand self, Vico's critique can be seen as an eighteenth-century awareness of this revolution. 82 Vico recognizes, as Michael Mooney so aptly summarizes, that "there is a fundamental difference in continuity between traditional and modern man. They are related not only as the sense to the intellect of the race, but also as children to adults, and those who live by their wit, forever seeing or making connections, and those who live by reason, abstracting the general from the particulars by drawing distinctions..." 83 If pre-modern mankind were "the poets" of the human race, the moderns are its "intellect." 84  Moreover, the philosophical consequences of Vico's recognition of the powers and limitations of language are exactly those with which Hegel and the Romantics would wrestle. For the Romantics, the individual becomes a being enmeshed in a web of language over which she has relatively complete control. Vico recognizes the evolution of language not only to be a cause, but also a sign of mental and social development. 85 In the modern age, the individual becomes consciously self-defining and the problem of recognizing the Good as evinced by 81 Giambattista Vico, "Sixth Oration," Opere 1.59, quoted from Michael Mooney's translation in Vico in the Tradition of Rhetoric, p.188. Cf. also notes 73 and 75. 82 Charles Taylor, Hegel, op. cit., p.5. 83 Michael Mooney, Vico in the Tradition of Rhetoric, op. cit. p.239. 84 Vico, The New Science, 363. 85 see Naomi S. Baron, "Writing and Vico's Functional Approach to Language Change," in Tagliacozzo, ed., Vico: Past and Present, op. cit., p.124.  Page 38  the order of nature becomes a problem of how to go about making the Good; in turn this reflects back on language and the question of its representative powers. For through its inelegance, language in countless instances fails the mind, abandoning it when it seeks help in explaining itself. Or by its rough and primitive mode of expression it distorts the mind's perceptions with inappropriate words; it sullies them rather with base and vulgar terms or it conceals them in ambiguous phrases, so that what is understood is different from what is spoken. 86 They key question in all of this, however, is whether Vico's understanding of the powers inherent in language is typical of eighteenth-century self-reflection. That is, do other eighteenth century thinkers recognize the socially creative function of language in their emerging self-consciousness, and to what extent? As I shall argue, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and the tradition of argument to which Rousseau's meditations contributed strongly echoes Vico's reflections on language.  86 Vico, "Sixth Oration," Opere 1.58f., quoted from Michael Mooney's translation in Vico in the Tradition of Rhetoric, op. cit., p.188.  Page 39  Chapter 3 From Condillac and Locke to Rousseau: The Civil Savage in Savage Society Rousseau begins the second part of Discourse on the Origins of Inequality with this sentence: "The first man, who after enclosing a piece of land,  took it into his head to say, this is mine, and found people simple enough to believe him, was the real founder of civil society." 87 A creative use of language yields the institution of a principle. A word is uttered and accepted, and the truth is made. For Rousseau like Vico, one cannot divorce a study of the rise of civil society from an investigation of the development of language. Rousseau's central complaint about previous attempts to trace the origins of society was that - and here he was thinking mainly about Etienne Bonnot de Condillac - although they claimed to start their inquiry with man in "the state of nature" they inevitably characterized man in this state as being part of some type of primitive society. The philosophers who have examined the foundations of society, have all perceived the necessity of tracing it back to a state of nature, but not one of them has ever got there. Some of them have not scrupled to attribute to man in that state the ideas of justice and injustice, without troubling themselves to prove that he really must have had such ideas, or even that such ideas were useful to him: others have spoken of the natural right of every man to keep what belongs to him, without letting us know what they mean by the word belong; others, without further ceremony ascribing to the strongest an authority over the weakest, have immediately brought government into being, without thinking of the time requisite for men to form any notions of the things signified by the words authority and government... In speaking of savages, they described citizens.88  87 Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Discourse on the Origins of Inequality (1755) in Lester G. Crocker, ed., Jean-Jacques Rousseau: The Social Contract and Discourse on the Origins of Inequality [New York: Washington Square Press, 1967], p.211. 88 Ibid., p.176.  Page 40  Before delving into Rousseau, however, it is useful to sketch out the characteristics of Condillac's discussion of language. Condillac's arguments about language in the Essai, Rousseau writes in the Second Discourse, "all fully confirm my system, and perhaps even suggested to me the first idea of it." 89  At the heart of Condillac's argument lies the assertion that I believe to be typical of eighteenth century thought on the subject, that the discussion of the origins of language and the development of the human mind could not be separated. If we recollect that the habit of the imagination and memory depends intirely [sic] on the connexion of ideas, and that the latter is formed by the relation and analogy of signs, we shall be convinced that the less a language abounds in analogous expression, the less assistance it gives to the memory and imagination... It is with languages as with geometric signs; they give new insight into things, and dilate the mind in proportion as they are more perfect... 90 Condillac finds the origins of the development of the human mind in that remote period when individuals began using signs to communicate with one another. "The use of signs," argues Condillac, "insensibly enlarged and improved the operations of the mind, and on the other hand, these having acquired such improvement, perfected the signs, and rendered the use of them more familiar." 91 In other words, the activity of sign-making, which originally must have been quite simple, general and obvious, tended through 'frequent repetition of circumstances" to clarify its meanings "with more precision." Repetitive encounters of similar circumstances, Condillac continues. made the 89 Ibid., p.192. 90 Etienne Bonnot de Condillac, An Essay on the Origin of Human Knowledge: Being a Supplement to Mr. Locke's, translated by Thomas Nugent, 1756 [Gainesville, Fla.: Scholars' Facsimilies and Reprints, 1971], pp.287-288. Emphasis mine. 91 Ibid., p.174.  Page 41  mind "more accustomed to connect the same ideas with the same signs." 92 Finally, repeated exposure to, and participation in, the practice of making signs, tended to make the meanings of those signs permanent in their minds. Describing this process with reference to a hypothetical example of two children in a desert, Condillac writes that "Their memory began to acquire some sort of habit, they were able to command their imagination as they pleased, and insensibly they learned to do by reflexion what they had hitherto done merely by instinct." 93 Before long, sounds became connected with certain signs and ideas, and this connection between verbal expression and ideas caused a further development of the capacities of the mind, which created a necessity for continuing to develop signs for the conceptions being created in the mind. 94  The first languages, Condillac notes, were metaphorical in nature, and began to develop at the same time as primitive notions of government and religion. 95 The advanced form of communication was intended, he argues, "chiefly to instruct the people in regard to matters in which they were most deeply concerned; such as government and religion. Because as it acted on the imagination with greater force, the impression was more durable. Its expression contained even something elevated and noble, which the language of articulated sounds, 92 Ibid., p.237. 93 Ibid., p.173. 94 Ibid., p.250, p.273. 95 Condillac acknowledges here that his argument closely follows that of William Warburton, whose "notions and mine coincided, in supposing that languages must, from its first beginning, have been very figurative and metaphorical." Ibid., p.273. Earlier in the work, he makes the following statement: "The style of all languages was originally poetical, because it began with depicting the most sensible images of our ideas...", ibid., pp.228-229. He continues by noting that "poetry and music were cultivated merely with a design to promote the knowledge of religion and laws, or to preserve the memory of great men. Nothing could be more proper for this purpose; and indeed, it was the only method they could take; for as yet, they were strangers to writing...', ibid., p.231.  Page 42 could not come up to. This mode of speaking the ancients called dance... 96 Within this explanation lies an idea that recurs in discussions of the origin of civil society, that of "superior", or intellectually advanced, human beings using language to shape the behaviour of the less advanced. 97 Clearly, where people are being "instructed", someone is doing the instructing, and that instructor must have a solid understanding of the ideas informing the medium through which they are being transmitted. Metaphor was the only means with which to communicate relatively complicated thoughts. "To frame an idea of the taste of the earlier ages," he explains, "we have only to take a view of people who have no tincture of learning; they are pleased with everything that is figurative and metaphorical." 98 Like Vico, Condillac points to priests - in his case, Egyptian priests - as being the first manipulators of language; unlike Vico, Condillac suggests that the priests were conscious of what they were doing, being "very careful in the beginning to use only those figures whose analogy was most within reach of every capacity." 99  Condillac credits these Egyptian priests with the invention of written language, or hieroglyphics, the purpose of which was "to preserve the memory of events, and to record, openly and plainly, their laws, policies, and whatever else relates to civil matters." 100 As Egyptian society developed, the pictorial method of communicating became too cumbersome; the most intelligent, that is,  96 Ibid., p.177-178. 97 cf. Rousseau's "trick of the rich man", Mandeville's idea that the language of morals is a "tool" for the maintenance of social order, and Vico's theological poets. 98 Condillac, op. cit., p.280. 99 Ibid., p.275. See also pp.279-280. 100 Ibid., p.275.  Page 43  those of the highest level of mental development, therefore began stretching the limits of expression in order to be able to convey their ideas. This inconveniency arising from the enormous bulk of volumes induced them to make use of only a single figure to signify several things. Thus it was that writing, which before that time was a simple picture, became both picture and character; which is what properly constitutes the nature of hieroglyphics. Such was the first degree of perfection in this rude method of preserving ideas. They made use of three ways, which if we consult the nature of the thing, seem to have been invented gradually and at three different times. The first was to make the principal circumstance of the subject stand for the whole. Two hands, for instance, one holding a shield and the other a bow, represented a battle. The second, of more ingenious contrivance, was by putting the instrument of the thing, whether real or metaphorical, for the thing itself. Thus an eye, eminently placed, was designed to represent God's omniscience and a sword represented a tyrant. Their third, and still more artificial method of abridging, was by making one thing stand for, or represent another, where any quaint resemblance or analogy, in the representative, could be collected from their observations of nature or their traditional superstitions. The universe, for example, was designed by a serpent in a cir0e, whose variegated spots signified the stars.lui Condillac's formulation of this development of written language acknowledges Warburton, but it also brings Vico's tropes to mind, for they are all but one represented. Condillac makes no direct reference to irony, unless one can interpret it to reside in the thought behind this statement, made several pages later: "Perhaps the Egyptian priests saw with pleasure that by degrees they alone should be possessed of the key of writing, which preserved the secrets of their religion." 102 Vico's claim, if we recall, was that the sophistication of the modes of language used by the theological poets tended to improve the minds of the common people, and that although the theological poets reached 101 Ibid., p.274-275. 102 Ibid., p.278.  Page 44  the ironic stage first, the people would soon follow. When this began to occur, the knowledge inherent in the ironic stance would threaten to shatter the delicate structures of beliefs - previously believed to have a foundation in an immutable nature, but suddenly recognized as a web of language over which any individual could ptentially exercise control - which held their societies together. Condillac does not carry the argument this far.  One of the fundamental characteristics of Condillac's story about language is that language is responsible for shaping and setting the limits of thought. 103 The level of sophistication of language, Condillac asserts, is dependent on the level of sophistication achieved by the mind, which in turn is dependent on, and is encouraged to further develop, by the level of language. "If the display of great abilities is owing to the sensible improvements already made in a language, on the other hand the latter is indebted to men of abilities for new improvements, which raise it to its highest pitch of perfection..." 104 Language is a creation of the mind, and mind is a creation of language.  Society, or that collection of ideas which compose the idea of civil society, therefore, is a construction of language, a product of the mind. Here the ray of hope that characterized the Enlightenment shone most brightly: "Complex ideas are the workmanship of the mind," Condillac writes. "If they are defective it  103 Ibid., p.289. 104 Ibid., p.292. Earlier in the work, Condillac gives an excellent example of this process: "Before the discovery of algebraic signs, the human mind had acquired a sufficient habit and improvement of its operations to invent those arbitrary marks; but it is only since this invention, that they have been cultivated and improved to a degree sufficient, to bring mathematical learning to its present state of perfection...", ibid., p.174.  Page 45  is because we framed them ill: the only way to mend them, is to frame them anew." 1 05  Condillac's formulation of this idea, which lay at the heart of the Enlightenment project, is indebted to Locke's discussion of complex ideas and mixed modes in Book Ill of An Essay Concerning Human Understanding. Condillac, like Locke, distinguishes between mixed modes and complex ideas by designating the latter (which he calls "ideas of substances") as resulting of the naming of sense impressions, and designating mixed modes (which he calls "archetypes") to be the result of the combination of simple ideas. There is this difference between ideas of substances and archetypes, that we look upon the latter as patterns to which we refer external objects, whereas the former are no more than copies of what we perceive without ourselves. For the truth of the former, it is necessary that the combinations of the mind be conformable to what we observe in objects: for the truth of the latter, it is sufficient that externally the combinations of them may possibly be as they are in our minds. The idea of justice would be true, even if there was no such thing as a just action, because the truth of it consists in a collection of ideas, which does not at all depend upon external objects. 106 We have encountered this kind of notion of truth before in Vico's assertion that the human sciences are the only form of knowledge capable of providing certainty, because all that we would know must by definition have been created by human beings. "By these particulars concerning archetypes," continues Condillac, "one may easily conceive that it depends absolutely on ourselves to fix the signification of their names, because it is in our own power to determine the simple ideas, whose collections we ourselves have framed." 107 105 Ibid., p.313. 106 Ibid., p.316. 107 Condillac, op. cit., p.317.  Page 46  The usually reserved Locke becomes quite excited over this very point, emphasizing the problem of communication of complex ideas, which, to be successful, had to excite in the interlocutor's mind the same understandings of composite simple ideas held by the person speaking. Those who tell us that light is a great number of little globules, striking briskly on the bottom of the eye, speak more intelligibly than the Schools; but yet these words never so well understood would make the idea the word light stands for known to a man that understands it not before, than if one should tell him that light was nothing but a company of little tennis balls which fairies all day long struck with rackets against some men's foreheads, whilst they passed by others... 108 The more complex (general) an idea, that is, the more dependent an idea is on other ideas, the more difficult it is to communicate that idea. 109 The fundamental difference between simple ideas and complex ideas, however, is that simple ideas can be thought of as being somehow connected to "the real existence of things," (they are subjects of perception) whereas complex ideas are "inventions and creatures of the understanding." 110  For Locke, the crux of this realization about the nature of language lies in his discussion of mixed modes, the category of ideas under which conceptions of law and morality fall. At the outset of this discussion, Locke remarks that clearly the abstract ideas informing mixed modes "are made by the understanding." 111 Furthermore, he continues, "these essences of the species 108 John Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, abridged, selected and edited by John W. Yolton [London: J.M. Dent and Sons Ltd., 1990], 3:IV:7 (Book: Chapter: Paragraph]. 109 Ibid., 3:11:8. 110 Ibid., 3:111:11. 111 Ibid., 3:V:2  Page 47  of mixed modes are not only made by the mind, but made very arbitrarily, made without patterns, or reference to any real existence." 112 I do not say that this is done without reason, as we shall see more by and by; but this I say, that it is done by the free choice of the mind pursuing its own ends, and that therefore these species of mixed modes are the workmanship of the understanding; and that there is nothing more evident than that for the most part, in the framing of these ideas, the mind searches not its patterns in nature, nor refers the ideas it makes to the real existence of things, but puts such together as may best serve its own purposes, without tying itself to a precise imitation of anything that really exists. 113 As we shall come to see, Rousseau's conception of the role of language in the development of civil society owes a great deal to Condillac, and by extension, to Locke. Rousseau understands modern society to be the product of ideas shaped during the transition from the "golden age" to civil society, which he posits to have been founded by a trick of language. The point of Rousseau's exercise in The Second Discourse is to bring this trick of language into relief and thereby strip it of its self-granted legitimacy.  Rousseau will carry his investigation to the very beginning, to that state of human affairs which existed before man came to associate with his fellows. His quest is to discover the original state of being of humanity, the natural self, and by so doing analyze the development of the structures of the modern society in which he lives. The project is self-admittedly conjectural ("hypothetical  112 Ibid., 3:V:3; see also 3:V:5. Locke cites an example, discussing the difference between "killing" and "murder" and concluding that effectively, the action of causing another's death is described in the word applied to that action along with the moral implication of the activity, which would be contingent on time and place. (3:V:6) 113 Ibid., 3:V:6.  Page 48  history" 114 ) and this is in itself interesting because Rousseau is re-creating the natural self with the tools of language.  Rousseau characterizes his savage - the human being in the state of nature - as possessing three, natural characteristics. That is, Rousseau  conjectures that an individual in the state of nature possesses these characteristics. First, he has a natural drive for self-preservation. Furthermore, his nature grants him the ability to act against his instincts and thereby escape the conditions, the limits, prescribed by nature - he possesses an innate aptitude for perfectibilitó, the capacity to make progress. 115 "Nature speaks to all animals, and beasts obey her voice," Rousseau writes. "Man feels the same impulse, but at the same time he perceives that he is free to resist or acquiesce; and it is in the consciousness of his liberty that the spirituality of his soul chiefly appears." 116 It is important to emphasize that in the real state of nature, perfectibilitd is simply a possibility; it resides in the savage but remains dormant.  Over a long time, Rousseau suggests, perfectibilite comes to be recognized and exercised. When it does, the civilizing process begins. The third characteristic of natural man is that he is a bearer of the passion of pity, which allows him to identify with the pain and suffering experienced by other creatures he comes across. Again, this passion is latent because the opportunities for its emergence are rare; primitive man, Rousseau argues, necessarily had to be a solitary creature. Let us conclude then that savage man, wandering about in the forests, without industry, without speech, without any fixed residence, an equal stranger to war and every social tie, without any need of his fellows, as well as without any desire of hurting them, and 114 Rousseau, Discourse, op. cit., p.173. 115 ibid., p.187. 116 Ibid., p.187.  Page 49 perhaps even without ever distinguishing them individually from one another, subject to a few passions, and finding in himself all that he wants, let us... conclude that savage man had no knowledge or feelings but such as were proper to that situation. 117 The "knowledge and feelings proper to that situation" are those directly related to the acquisition of the means of survival - shelter and food. The intellect, generally speaking, is not required for tasks which for the most part rely on the senses of sight, hearing and smell. Taste and touch remain undeveloped, Rousseau notes, as does the capacity for abstract thought (the part of perfectibilitd that allows the conception of alternatives to the suggestions of the  voice of nature"), since they are not yet required. In one of several comments reminiscent of Vico's claims about the relationship between ideas and institutions, Rousseau points out that the "progress of the human mind has everywhere kept pace exactly with the wants to which nature had left the individual exposed." 118 In the state of nature, man's soul, "which nothing disturbs, gives itself up entirely to the consciousness of its present existence, without any thought of even the nearest futurity; and his projects, equally confined with his views, scarce extend to the end of the day." 119  In a sense, the material self of the state of nature is one that lies in a completely different category than does the modern spiritual self. Primitive man is an animal within which exists the potential to develop into something beyond an animal. Concerns are immediate and brought about by hunger or fear, by the innate drive for self-preservation. The primitive savage, in Rousseau's eyes, harbours no spirituality and depends for his existence solely upon himself.  117 Ibid., pp.207-208. 118 Ibid., p.189. 119 Ibid., p.190.  Page 50  But Rousseau's concerns do not lie with primitive man; they focus on the plight of the moderns. The innate possibility of perfectibilitO has not come to flower as it should in the civilized world of the eighteenth century. Something has gone dreadfully wrong - the structures of civil society have corrupted man's basic nature and he is no longer a self-contained being. Modern man is a slave of his surroundings. 120 "Social man," Rousseau writes in Discourse on Inequality, "constantly outside himself, knows only how to live in the opinions of others; and it is... merely from their judgement of him that he derives the consciousness of his own existence." 121  The psychological consequence of this constant quest for public esteem is the altering of the human character to live for others' rather than for one's own sake. The constant search for public esteem alienates the modern individual from the natural freedom he enjoyed in the state of nature. Socialized man comes to be judged for the appearances of his actions and intentions rather than for his real motives, which are hidden from public view. Hence social activity comes to be planned with appearance in mind, and the cultivation of complimentary public appearances becomes the main inspiration of social activity. It became to the interest of men to appear what they were really not. To be and to seem became two very different things, and from this distinction sprang haughty pomp and deceitful knavery, and all the vices which form their train... [M]an, heretofore free and independent, was now, in consequence of a multitude of new needs, brought into subjection, as it were, to all nature, and especially to his fellows, whose slave in some sense he became, even by becoming their master; if rich, he stood in need of their services, if 120 "Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains..." begins The Social Contract, ibid., p.7. 121 Rousseau, Discourse, op. cit., p.245.  Page 51 poor, of their assistance; even mediwrity itself could not enable him to do without them.lzz The self, in Rousseau's understanding, resides within the individual; it is separate from society, from the without. In a sense, the within has become a prisoner of the without, a spiritual entity confined in self-expression by the limits prescribed, not by nature, but by society. Hence the charge that modern man is "constantly outside himself"; the implication being that the public self differs from the private self and that the public self takes precedence. With the public self the artificial personality - overriding man's natural impulse to perfectibilitó, Rousseau suggests, the moral life becomes impossible because the constant reference to "outside" distorts the "natural" precepts (Rousseau's "inner voice") guiding the inner self.  It is important here to note that for Rousseau there is a difference between man's psychological characteristics in the state of nature, the age of the noble savage, and in the period of modernity. In the state of nature, there clearly are no moral concerns; freedom is limited only by the physical limitations of the primitive individual, and spirituality does not yet exist because the conditions for its coming into being do not yet exist. Primitive man in the state of nature is full of potential, but cannot properly be considered a full human being until that potential begins its realization. It is in the golden age of the noble savage, when the development of mankind lies in the twilight area between the state of nature and the state of society, that the innate characteristic of perfectibilite begins to unfold and society begins to come into being. Rousseau believes that man was only able to express his real nature when unencumbered by the institutions that arose out of the development of society. Here, integrity was possible and the 122 Ibid., p.224.  Page 52  within was at one with the without. The self expressed itself through activity and, without language, was able to make itself understood and transparent.  Rousseau's question in all of this is about the development of the otherregarding self of the eighteenth century, the public self that he believes stifles the internal self. Like Vico, he finds language at the heart of the problem of modern ity. 123  As the population of the primitive world grew, 124 man had more opportunities to observe his fellow man and to recognize in their activities characteristics that he shared. The identification of these other beings as being 123 As in my explication of Vico, I will attempt to present a coherent narrative where perhaps none is visible, and that will necessitate disregarding certain problems. The apparent contradictions between Rousseau's two accounts of language in The Discourse and The Essay on the Origins of Language have been well documented, but I think they are essentially the same story told from two different points of view. The discussion of the role of language in Rousseau's analysis of the problem of modernity will therefore draw from both works. 124 The question arises as to how, if there was very little contact between human beings, the population grew. Rousseau doesn't explain this very convincingly, but suggests that groups of humans tended to congregate in geographical areas which made their subsistence easier. While they did not freely associate with one another, we must assume they encountered each other in the way that animals do. (See Discourse, op. cit., p.193.) In contrast, Rousseau states in the Essay that in primitive times "the sparse human population had no social structure than the family." (Essay, p.31; see note 98 for full bibliographic data) A quick comparative reference to the Discourse finds this statement: "I might say, with many others, that languages are the fruit of domestic intercourse between fathers, mothers and children; but this, besides its not answering the difficulties, would be committing the same error as those, who reasoning on the state of nature, transfer to it ideas gathered in society." (Discourse, pp.192-193) I suppose that this contradiction can be resolved by suggesting that in the Essay Rousseau was already speaking of the phase through which mankind went between the extremes of lacking society and that of having society. I do not believe, however, that this detail really matters because Rousseau's history is, after all, conjectural. Let us read his explanation of this pre-social phase of mankind's existence as making the point that there would have had to be a time when there was no society, then a time when man gradually became social, and then, finally, the beginnings of society as we now know it.  Page 53  similar to himself was the first step to socialization in that it was a step from recognizing the particularity of one's own existence and associating that particularity with the characteristics of others like oneself. 125  The first identifications or naming processes, Rousseau argues, were metaphorical in nature because they arose out of comparison. Other men, he posits, were first mistakenly believed to be something they were not by the perceiver. The idea of giant, or something bigger than oneself, was probably culled from experience with the animal world, as was the association of bigness with danger, and danger with fear. The initial encounters with other men were as fear-filled as any encounter with a strange animal might be. Having, after a time, several opportunities to observe these other creatures, primitive man became aware that the beings he named 'giants' did not live up to the idea of giant - these men were not of the stature or strength he had imagined them to be. The idea of giant, however, remained in his mental vocabulary as a standard of comparison. So he invents another name common to them and to him, such as the word man, for example, and leaves giant to the fictitious object that had impressed him during his illusion. That is how the figurative word is born before the literal word, when our gaze is held in passionate fascination; and how it is that the first idea it conveys to us is not that of the truth... The illusory image presented by the passions is the first to appear, and the language that corresponded to it was also the first invented. It subsequently became metaphorical when the enlightened spirit, recognizing its first error, used the expression 9nly with those passions that had produced them. 126 125 Rousseau's analysis at this point is strongly reminiscent of Vico's discussion of the switch from the synecdochic to the ironic phase of understanding the world. 126 Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Essay on the Origin of Languages. Which Treats of Melody and Musical Imitation, translated by John H. Moran and Alexander Gode, eds., Two Essays on the  Page 54  These ideas of comparison engendering man's recognition of fellow man stemmed from the notions of "great, little, strong, weak, swift, slow, fearful, bold, and the like," 127 which arose out of his everyday experience of the world. Truth, Rousseau states, arises out of reflection, which is "born of the comparison of ideas, and it is the plurality of ideas that leads to their comparison." 128 Thus, the first step in man's emergence from solitary existence in the state of nature comes through reflection on and comparison of ideas. He begins to weigh alternatives, and in doing so the innate characteristic of perfectibilite comes into action.  With the development of comparative abilities, Rousseau continues, arose the ability to deceive, which first came into use while man hunted. The flush of pleasure at successfully ensnaring animals signalled the birth of pride, as man came to compare himself to the animals and realized that he, with his skills of deception, was more intelligent than they. He applied himself to learning how to ensnare [animals]; he played them a thousand tricks; and though several surpassed him in strength or in swiftness, he in time became master of those who could serve him, and a sore enemy to those who could do him mischief. Thus it was that the first look he gave into himself produced the first emotion of pride in him; thus it was that at a time when he scarcely knew how to distinguish between the different orders of beings, in considering himself the highest by virtue of his species he prepared the way for his much later claim to preeminence as an individual. 129  Origin of Languages: Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Johann Gottried Herder [Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1966, this edition 1986], p.13. 127 Rousseau, Discourse, op. cit., p.213. 128 Rousseau, Essay, op. cit., p.32. 129 Rousseau, Discourse, op. cit., p.214.  Page 55  But before these ideas could find any kind of communicative expression, it was necessary that man perceived there to be someone with the potential to comprehend him. Such a situation arose when man's reflection reached the point of being able to decide that in some instances it might be worthwhile to cooperate with these other creatures, who behaved as he did. Consciousness of the Other arose. 130 In order to cooperate successfully, communication became necessary, and the primitive forms of communication resulting of these cooperative ventures would have resulted in a vocabulary of gesticulation and imitative sounds. For a long time, Rousseau writes, these methods of communication constituted the "universal language of mankind." We may easily conceive that such an intercourse scarcely required a more refined language than that of crows and monkeys, which flock together in almost the same manner. Inarticulate exclamations, a great many gestures, and some imitative sounds must have been for long time the universal language of mankind. 101 Rousseau chooses to remain satisfied with having his readers recognize that there is a difference between the state of nature and the state of the first primitive society, a difference that ought to have been acknowledged by writers producing arguments about natural law and natural man. Part of this acknowledgement would be, to encapsulate Rousseau's argument, that the psychological composition of pre-linguistic man had to be quite different from the composition of linguistic man; thus normative statements about the 'nature' of human beings by such writers ought to have made clear that they were writing of man in an advanced state from that of the state of nature. Rousseau sees the real nature of man expressing itself in the short time between the appearance of socialization and the full establishment of the institutions of society, because it is 130 Rousseau, Essay, op. cit., p.5. 131 Rousseau, Discourse, op. cit., p.215.  Page 56  in this phase that perfectibilitO, in a teleological sense, begins to express itself, and expresses itself in a way unencumbered by social institutions.  From the initial experiences of cooperation, Rousseau explains, other developments naturally followed due to the inherent tendency of man to improve his condition. The fact that populations expanded resulted in more frequent encounters and gave men more occasions to cooperate. Men found it convenient to live close together, establishing families and small villages. Living in proximity, companionship and cooperation became survival necessities. Rousseau suggests this period was the happiest of mankind's existence.  A natural outgrowth of this swell of community was self-consciousness, that is, consciousness of self through the eyes of others. Rousseau describes the genesis of the idea of public esteem as occurring one night as the community gathered around a tree to dance. The abilities to compare and reflect have at this point developed considerably, and result in people beginning to evaluate each other's skills. Everyone began to notice the rest, and wished to be noticed himself; and public esteem acquired a value. He who sang or danced, the most dextrous, or the most eloquent, came to be the most respected: and this was the first step towards inequality, and at the same time towards vice. From these distinctions there arose on the one side vanity and contempt, on the other envy and shame; and the fermentation raised by these new leavens at length produced combinations fatal to happiness and innocence. 132 Herein lies, for Rousseau, the modern dilemma. Man's perspective of himself is split into two; one angle afforded him a view of himself as part of a community in which his actions were judged according to their appearance, and 132 Ibid., p.218. See also Essay, op. cit., p.41.  Page 57  the other gave him a perspective from within which he recognized the motives behind his activities. Rousseau considered the latter, "internal" perspective to be authentic, because it was based on feelings and instinct. From this point on, morality - notions of right and wrong, justice and injustice - developed and required enforcement to emphasize its authority over conduct. Such enforcement, carried out in the first instances by the aggrieved parties themselves, later became the province of individuals or bodies appointed to exercise authority objectively. For the individuals placed in the role of exercising this authority it became necessary to alienate their natural feelings of pity and empathy for suffering. In other words, society's establishment of codes of conduct, standards of right and wrong, better and worse, resulted in the creation of a new kind of individual, an individual less empathetic and more analytic - in Rousseau's view, less human.  These structural changes in the social environment were reflected in and consolidated by language. In this civilizing stage of society, part of the process of acquiring public esteem involved self-expression. In the previous stage, closer to the state of nature, action simply and effectively constituted selfexpression. One of the demands of civilization was that individuals explain themselves and their actions. Intentions - inner states - tend to become of primary importance, and the only way of discerning the inner states of actors was to understand them by having the actor explain himself.  In the first stages of civilization, this was less of a problem than it came to be later because communication was composed of cries and gestures and the meanings of these expressions were restricted to a limited number of instances. But when social encounters increased in frequency, they lost their simplicity and  Page 58  individuals came to require more and more refined ways of expressing their ideas. Words, or discrete sounds, became attached to experiences held in common; these words were at first figurative in nature because, argues Rousseau in a passage that carries with it an echo of Vico, "one calls things by their true name only when one sees them in their true form." 133 The first words would be imitative rather than definitive in essence and would therefore reflect characteristics of that to which the sound referred. It would only be after  repeated exposure to a certain kind of situation that one would attach a designative sound or sign to that situation. After further experience with that situation, and after coming to compare it to other situations, the designation of that situation would become increasingly precise. Rousseau's example here is the one mentioned above about the genesis of the word "giant". Only after the passionate responses to the sighting of other human beings gave way to calmer reflection comparing these other beings to oneself did the word "giant" become more specific in its definition.  The need to express oneself, Rousseau writes, arose from man's passions, and not as some writers argue, his needs. "[O]ne does not begin by reasoning, but by feeling," he states. "The natural effect of the first needs was to separate man, not to reunite them. It must have been that way, because the species spread out and the earth was promptly populated. Otherwise mankind would have been crammed into a small area of the world, and the rest would have remained uninhabited." 134 Man was, after all, in the state of nature a solitary creature; he could survive perfectly well on his own. Fear, inspired by natural events such as floods, lightning, thunder and volcanic eruptions, caused 133 Rousseau, Essay, op. cit., p.12. 134 Ibid., p.11.  Page 59  individuals to come together because such natural events were subjects of similar perception and everyone could see that they affected everyone equally. The feeling of comfort generated in the camaraderie resulting of this common fear began the civilizing process. 135  Rousseau explains the kind of language required by these situations as relying heavily on evocative gestures and tones rather than words because Clearly the most eloquent speeches are those containing the most imagery; and sounds are never more forceful than when they produce the effects of colors... The passions have their gestures, but they also have their accents, which thrill us, these tones of voice that cannot fail to be heard, penetrate to the very depths of the heart, carrying there the emotions they wring from us forcing us in spite of ourselves to feel what we hear. 138 This poetic form of language, Rousseau argues, is best suited to expressing an individual's feelings, which he considers to constitute the core of the human self in the primitive state of society. 137 Furthermore, the vocabulary constituting such a language would be extremely particular because each expression would be associated with a particular situation. "The first language," he notes, "would have many synonyms for expressing the same thing according to various relationships. It would have few adverbs and abstract names." 138 In other words, the many synonyms would each express a fine distinction between different phases of an event or object's being. Accordingly, the particularity and hence specificity of this vocabulary of experience would allow for rich selfexpression. 135 Ibid., p.40. 136 Ibid., pp.8, 9. 137 Ibid., pp.11-12. See also p.65: "The first tales, the first speeches, the first laws, were in verse. Poetry was devised before prose. That was bound to be, since feelings speak before reason." 138 Ibid., p.15.  Page 60  It would deemphasize grammatical analogy for euphony, number, harmony and beauty of sounds. Instead of arguments it would have aphorisms. It would persuade without conyincing, and would present without reasoning. 109 Indeed, the means of communications would be strictly emotive, relying on the connection of sounds and gestures with certain kinds of feelings. Since the range of experience and expression would be limited by the kinds of emotions generated by human activity, which at this point would be quite homogeneous, that is, focussed on the activity of survival, ideas would be relatively simple. Without a large range of possible ideas and alternatives, complication and intricacy cannot exist.Language would therefore be inextricably tied to activity.  But the longer people associate, the more complicated their endeavors and relationships become. Without a stretching of the limits prescribed on activity by language, complication could not occur. Language develops alongside activity to meet the communicative needs arising out of new situations and experiences. The need to name an idea also serves to define that idea more clearly, hence the more often individuals are called upon to define new experiences, the greater the development of the mind's reasoning capacity. The development of reason then causes language to become more exact and clear. The need for precision tends to lessen the emotive impact of language, and it begins losing its expressive capacities. As Rousseau puts it, To the degree that needs multiply, that affairs become complicated, that light is shed, language changes its character. It becomes more regular and less passionate. It substitutes ideas for feelings. It no longer speaks to the heart but to reason. Similarly, accent diminishes, articulation increases. Language 139 Ibid., p.15.  Page 61 becomes more exact and clearer, but more prolix, duller, and coldgr, This progression seems to me entirely natural. 140 It is precisely this enervation of language, this loss of expressive capacity, that Rousseau laments and considers the negative aspect of the process of civilization. The very nature of language changes. Whereas in the primitive state language was precise and detailed about specific situations, developing society begins to require abstraction and precision about general situations and events, situations and events conceivable apart from their actual happening here and now. The increasing importance of abstract thought creates a new world, a world within which the self must find a place. Because this world is so highly abstract and, Rousseau would say, artificial, the self must learn to fashion itself in such a way as to blend with the artificial. In effect, this causes the real self to withdraw from society, and leaves in its place a character who plays its role on society's stage. Because of language's focus on precision and reason, self-expression, or rather the expression of the feelings that constitute the self, becomes increasingly difficult. The natural self, Rousseau believes, is a matrix of complicated feelings that one cannot expect to define; they may, however, be characterized in activity much in the same way that the colors of a painting express meaning by the way the artist strokes them on the canvas or the sounds of individual notes in a piece of music denote meaning by their composition and arrangement. 141 The use of figurative language in the early period and the reliance on tone allowed self-expression to be more of a physical than an intellectual activity.  140 Ibid., p.16. 141 Ibid., p.53.  Page 62  Rousseau's concerns with language to a large degree reflect his practical experience with the unsuccessful relationships he had with his contemporaries, relationships fraught with misunderstandings and quarrelling. These misunderstandings arose from reactions to his literary works, which suggested to Rousseau that authorship, writing, was an unsuccessful way of expressing oneself to others. 142 The reason for writing's expressive weakness, he agreed with Locke, was because writing was three steps removed from the source of the real feelings being vented. The thought, the original idea, he believed was the primary representation of the "thing considered"; 143 words tended to alienate expression by one step from the source, being a signification of thought. Writing was the furthest removed from "things considered," because writing was a representation of a representation. Writing, which would seem to crystallize language, is precisely what alters it. It changes not the words but the spirit, substituting exactitude for expressiveness. Feelings are expressed in speaking, ideas in writing. In writing, one is forced to use all the words according to their conventional meaning. But in speaking, one varies the meanings by varying one's tone of voice, determining them as one pleases. And it is not possible for a language that is written, to retain its vitality as long as one that is only spoken... [I]n an inflected language, these are the sounds, the accents, and all sorts of modulations that are the main source of energy for a language, and what makes a given phrase, otherwise quite ordinary, uniquely appropriate. The means used to overcome this weakness tend to make written language rather elaborately prolix; and many books written in discourse will enervate the language. 144 This enervation of language, the loss of expressive capacity, Rousseau thinks, shuts the self out of the world. In the primitive state of society man was 142 cf. Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Confessions, translated by J.M. Cohen [Penguin Books, 1953/1988] Original edition completed in 1765, published in 1781. See pp.112-115 on the difficulties of communication. 143 John Locke's words, quoted by Jean Starobinsky, Jean-Jacques Rousseau: Transparency and Obstruction, translated by Arthur Goldhammer, [Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1971, this edition 1988], p.141. 144 Rousseau, Essay, op. cit., pp.21-22.  Page 63  able to express himself because his circumstances and emotions were simple, but rich in intensity and feeling. As society developed, language became more exact in its referents and lost "in power what [it] gained in clarity." 145 At the same time, the structures and demands of society made it increasingly important for an individual to be able to express himself clearly. The emphasis on clarity weakened the capacity of language to express the immediacy of an individual's feelings, since feelings cannot be expressed by a medium "designed" for reason. In Rousseau's view, this growing gap between man's expressive needs and language's expressive capabilities results in an inner self that must constantly mediate its self-images through words and letters, a self more and more removed from the world. It is important to note that for Rousseau, the inner self man's basic nature - is an historical constant. That self is always present, though perhaps shrouded with or disfigured by language.  In the "Preface" to the Discourse, Rousseau frames the problem like this: And how shall man be able to see himself, such as nature formed him, in spite of all the alterations which a long succession of years and events must have produced in his original constitution, and how shall he be able to distinguish what is of his own essence, from what the circumstances he has been in and the progress he has made have added to, or changed in, his primitive condition? The human soul, like the statue of Glaucus which time, the sea and storms had so much disfigured that it resembled a wild beast more than a god, the human soul, I say, altered in society by the perpetual succession of a thousand causes... has in a manner so change in appearance as to be scarcely distinguishable... 14 °  145 Ibid., p.27. 146 Rousseau, Discourse, op. cit., p.167.  Page 64  Something has gone wrong; Rousseau suggests that man's interference with the path of perfectibilitô, brought about by the growing role of reason and the repression of passions in the conduct of daily life, in a strong way "disfigured" natural man. Language, which tends to separate the self from society, is to a large degree responsible for this. Language has kept nature from taking its course, and the reason this has been at all possible is that innate characteristic of man, to hear the cry of nature, but to have a choice whether or not to obey it.  Rousseau wants desperately to be understood by others in the same way that he has come to understand himself - indeed, this is the raison d'etre of The Confessions. Language creates a barrier between the self and the world, and Rousseau's literary efforts are an attempt to overcome this barrier. His turn to the written word is an attempt to make himself transparent, such that his readers could see and understand the real Jean-Jacques, and his approach was to try to speak directly to that Other self, the Reader of his words. "Instead of hiding behind the narrative and pulling strings to manipulate the characters in the manner of Voltaire," notes Robert Darnton, "Rousseau threw himself into his works and expected the reader to do the same. He transformed the relationship between writer and reader, between reader and text." 147  Once Rousseau comes to understand that his words are subjects of misinterpretation at the hands of his peers, he realizes that his inability to cross the wall of language has left him alone in the world. His reaction to this revelation is to change the goal of his writing, to write simply to please and 147 Robert Darnton, "Readers respond to Rousseau: The fabrications of Romantic Sensitivity," in The Great Cat Massacre and Other Episodes in French Cultural History [New York: Basic Books, 1984], p.228. This article is an extremely rewarding exercise in discovering how eighteenth century readers went about the practice of reading.  Page 65  express himself, to experience inner growth. Indeed, this is rather ironic in that he seems not to realize that through his writing he has been shaping JeanJacques. Since it takes the written word to make sense of the self, it would seem that the self-conscious self could not exist without language. Let me give myself over entirely to the pleasure of conversing with my soul, since this is the only pleasure that men cannot take away from me. If by meditating on my inner life I am able to order it better and remedy the faults that may remain there, my meditations will not be entirely in vain, and although I am now good for nothing on this eqrth, I shall not have totally wasted my last days. 148 It is important to note that Rousseau meant both The Confessions and Reveries to be published after his death. The exercise of writing then should be seen as strictly one of self-examination and self-creation. Given the deeply personal confessions offered in these writings, it is difficult to question Rousseau's integrity. He unequivocally revels in the mire of admitting to having done something embarrassing. 149 The act of confession seems to be a way of atoning for Rousseau, as it is a way of re-creating a part of his character that he finds unacceptable, or that previously has been out of his control. Rousseau uses writing to develop personal self-understanding.  Rousseau's concern with self-expression, and the concomitant concern with the capacities of language to satisfy man's expressive needs, indicates the eighteenth century's growing awareness of the role of language in shaping the world. 150 Language, which at first was a vehicle for self-expression comes in  148 Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Reveries of the Solitary Walker, translated by Peter France [Penguin Classics, 1979], p.32. Rousseau calls the Reveries "an appendix to my Confessions" (p.33). Emphasis mine. 149 e.g., Rousseau, The Confessions, op. cit., p.300ff. 150 See also Darnton, op. cit.  Page 66  the eighteenth century to be understood as having taken on a life of its own apart from the individuals who use it. Language is simply not creative and flexible enough to encompass the complexities of the nature (i.e., passions) of the human self. The self thereby becomes a victim of language and is shut out of society by a number of communicative barriers. Rousseau constantly harangues the reader of The Confessions to read carefully, suggesting that if the reader at any point fails to sympathize with Rousseau, he is either misunderstanding the words on the page or has come upon a subject wherein Jean-Jacques was simply unable to find the right words to sensitively express himself.  In the framework of the Discourse, social development is impossible without the development of language. Yet in the Essay, language becomes an activity that somehow separates itself from the development of society and takes on meaning of its own. Words bring forth more words to explain words, and the more words interjected between the emotive source and the interpreter, the lower the rate of communicative success. The study of philosophy and the progress of reason, while having perfected grammar, deprive language of its vital, passionate quality which made it so singable. Composers, who originally were engaged by poets and worked only for them... were becoming independent... Thus melody, originally an aspect of discourse, imperceptibly assumes a separate existencegnd music becomes more independent of speech. 151 Language becomes a means of manipulation, of confusing situations such that the speaker gains advantage. Rousseau's acute awareness of this is echoed repeatedly by the participants in the discussion of language. In the sixth 151 Rousseau, Essay, op. cit., p.68.  Page 67  dialogue of Mandeville's Fable of the Bees, for example, Cleomenes replies to Horatio's suggestion that the sole purpose of language is to communicate ideas by emphasizing that language is primarily a tool of manipulation. In one Sense they do; but there is a double Meaning in those Words, which I believe you did not intend: if by Man's speaking to be understood you mean, that when Men speak, they desire that the Purport of the Sounds they utter should be known and apprehended by others, I answer in the Affirmative: But if you mean by it, that Men speak, in order that their Thoughts be known and their Sentiments laid open and seen through by others, which likewise may be meant by speaking to be understood, I answer in the Negative. The first Sign or Sound that Man ever made, born of a Woman, was made in Behalf, and intended for the use of him who made it; and I am of the Opinion that the first Design of Speech was to persuade others, either to give Credit to what the speaking Person would have them believe, or else to act or suffer such Things as he would compel them to act or suffer, if they were entirely in his Power. 152 With the split between language and expressiveness, truth and falsity enter the world, and deception becomes a communicative possibility. In its train, deception brings with it another vice, that of manipulation. Vico made the same point, and can be seen as agreeing with Mandeville and Rousseau in their diagnosis of what above I have referred to as "the problem of modernity." The modern world, for these thinkers, is an intricate network of rhetorical strategies.  152 Bernard Mandeville, The Fable of the Bees, or Private Vices, Publick Benefits, Volume 2, F.B. Kaye edition [Indianapolis: Liberty Classics, 1988], p.289. My attention to this passage was drawn by Hundert, "The Thread of Language and the Web of Dominion," op. cit., p.171, and Rossi, The Dark Abyss of Time, op. cit., pp.229-230.  Page 68  Chapter 4 Conclusion As the foregoing discussion demonstrates, the key participants in the early eighteenth century discourse on the origins of language shared an interest in a number of similar and interconnected themes. Primarily, these thinkers came to perceive language in a new and utterly modern way, seeing control and manipulation of language as lying at the core of the foundation of political power and social institutions and practices.  The common link between language and political power, recognized by both Vico and Rousseau, is the social acceptance of the concept of property. For Vico, the development of the concept of property begins with the theological poets claiming exclusive right to the interpretation of the auspices ("the gods belonged to them" 153 ). Later, physical property came into existence for political reasons when the theological poets allow a certain element of those they govern to lay claim to lands. The act of claiming something to belong to oneself was tantamount to claiming that one had the right to make such a claim. From an eighteenth century perspective, this appeared to be a trick of language, a conscious manipulation of social structures. Vico is careful however to distinguish between unselfconscious acts and self-conscious ones, and knows that the eighteenth century ironic perspective on the development of the idea of property should not be projected into this early stage of social development.  Rousseau, we will remember, ascribes the origin of property as being the sign of the end of the "golden age" of society and the beginning of "civil society" proper. In Rousseau's schema, self-consciousness and the self153 Vico, The New Science, 414.  Page 69  conscious ability to deceive are characteristics developing towards the end of the "golden age". Civil society is ushered in by way of an insidiously creative use of language. "The first man," he writes, "who after enclosing a piece of land, took it into his head to say, this is mine, and found people simple enough to believe him, was the real founder of civil society." 154 For Rousseau, civil society is the progeny of grand deception.  Like Vico, Rousseau considers property to be one of the foundations of political power and authority. Indeed, the connection between property and political power was quite clear to Enlightenment intellectuals; the unique aspect of the debate about the origins of language was that its participants tied the origin of the concept of property to what came to be seen as a "trick" of language. The self-granted authority to proclaim such a fundamental right then permutated into self-granted rights to govern and to dictate social values. For the philosophes, the "culprits" responsible for this "deception" were the clergy, who, commanding the exclusive right to interpret the will of God, exercised that power over royalty and aristocracy by issuing definitions of good and evil, right and wrong, and truth and falsity. Within such an interpretive framework, morality can be seen in a purely instrumental light as a means of social control.  Like Rousseau, Condillac followed Warburton in ascribing (what Vico would have called) ironic consciousness to the founders of civil society. Condillac repeated Warburton's claim that these founders - Egyptian priests purposefully invented means of communicating to the ignorant masses a certain set of expectations - "laws, policies, and whatever else relates to civil  154 Rousseau, Discourse on the Origins of Inequality, op. cit., p.211.  Page 70  matters" 155 - of the governed by the governors. The philosophes saw the power base of the Church as lying in the control and manipulation of language and knowledge; they furthermore considered the modern-day representatives of the Church to be the paragons of corruption and hypocrisy. Their lashing out at the institutions and values promoted by the Church was very much a result of the combination of being under an impression (constantly reinforced by the activities of ecclesiastical and state censors) that the Church had intentionally kept people ignorant in order to maintain power and witnessing the success of the Scientific Revolution, which proved conclusively that what the Church had established as "truth" about the workings of the universe could not withstand empirical investigation.  This recognition of the connection between language, political power and social institutions was remarkable for a number of reasons. Part of the revolutionary aspect of such a discovery is that it reflects one of the first instances of social science coming to approximate the perceived effectiveness of the natural sciences. Recognition of the power of ideas and the capacity to control and manipulate human beings through the intelligent exercise of language in a strong sense rivals the power of the scientists and engineers who harnessed the power of steam to gain dominion over a powerful part of nature. The understanding of language - of the composite power of words - reflects the modern atom istically-couched understanding of the universe. Just as atoms are understood to be the building blocks of the universe, language might be understood as being the building block of culture.  155 Condillac, Essay on the Origin of Human Knowledge, op. cit. p.275; see also p.274.  Page 71  Equally significant were the consequences of this view of language for eighteenth-century epistemology, which came to define knowledge in decidedly language-bound ways. Vico made the revolutionary claim that practitioners of the human sciences (the new science) had better access to certainty than did the practitioners of the natural sciences. His reasoning for this claim, the verum/factum argument, was that one can only be completely certain about one's knowledge of a particular thing if one has created that thing, that is, if one is familiar with all the parts that compose it and the raison d'etre of the thing considered. Investigators of nature could never approach the totality of this kind of knowledge, Vico stressed, because they did not create nature. A similar argument occurs in the Locke-Condillac vein of the discussion with reference to subjects such as morality, law and government. The concepts composing these subjects were products of the human mind, shaped and expressed by language. Rousseau recognized the epistemological implications of the modern understanding of the power of language to shape social institutions, and responded by suggesting that the arts (especially theatre) be restricted by law to expressing only those ideas sanctioned by the state. 156  Another remarkable aspect of the modern conception of language was that simply by coming to understand language in the way that they did, these writers were thrust - as in a gestalt shift - into a new mental universe, a universe characterized by a new way of perceiving society and oneself. In other words, the new understanding of language generated a more abstract level of consciousness, what we today call "radical reflexivity". It is their consciousness of the historical position they occupied in the history of the development of the 156 Although he had a specific kind of state in mind, characterized by specific values--this was in no way a blanket endorsement of censorship.  Page 72  modern mind that allowed these thinkers to engage in, and grant legitimacy to, conjectural history.  Conjectural history was a means of trying to make transparent a process of development, a grand historical schema culminating in modernity, without being constrained by evidence. The evidence of conjectural history lay in its endpoint, where the process of development concludes. The details of the process - the conjectural part of the history - are not intended to provide a true and certain picture of the step-by-step development of the process, but rather to provide a specific understanding of a contemporary situation, an understanding of "how we ended up here." The validity of conjectural history rests on plausibility. Plausibility, in turn, depends on being able to rely on an interlocutor's sense of self-understanding, and believing that the kind of selfunderstanding created by such an approach to history is universal. Conjectural history is therefore a type of self-conscious myth-making, a process of making a contemporary condition comprehensible by fabricating a story the conclusion of which is that condition. In a sense, such an approach transcends the real history of events culminating in that condition.  One of the hallmarks of the advanced form of consciousness characterized by this approach was that it enabled these thinkers to reflect clearly on the self-referential meaning of their own beliefs. That is, these writers were aware that their ability to think in the ways that they did and at the level of abstraction that they did was a result of the progressive development of language from a simple emotion-based instrument of communication to a highly abstract, intellectual medium. They realized that there was a connection  Page 73  between the development of language and the development of the capacities of the human mind.  A common metaphor in the recognition of this process as a phenomenon of social progress is that of ascribing to the early stages of society a "child-like" mentality, and to the modern era an "adult-like" maturity. Vico characterizes the primitive phase of society, the metaphoric stage, as being the world's "childhood" 157 , Condillac begins his tale of the origin of language with "two children... (wandering) about in the deserts" 158 , and Rousseau sketches the golden age of society - pre-civil society - as being a kind of community of happy children who, after a day of wholesome work, dance and sing to amuse themselves. In contrast, the modern world is characterized by the cynicism of adulthood - ironic consciousness in Vico, Condillac and Warburton, and the "trick of the rich man" in Rousseau and Mandeville.  For all of these writers, the child/adult metaphor elicited images of the process of education, of enlightenment, and of the development of the human mind. In Vico's discussion, the use of language and the concepts it generated tended to exercise the mind and thereby expand its capabilities, much in the same way that physical exercise strengthens and expands the capabilities of the body. The use of language, Vico claims, had physically modified the structure of the human mind from its primitive origins such that it is (now) barely possibly to "understand... how the first men thought who founded gentile humanity." 159 Condillac follows Locke in remarking, repeatedly, how the use of language tends to "dilate the mind" and improve its capacities. Rousseau makes similar 157 Vico, The New Science, 376. 158 Condillac, An Essay On the Origin of Human Knowledge, op. cit., p.169. 159 Vico, The New Science, 700.  Page 74  statements, attributing the development of the capacities of the mind to the demands made upon it by the circumstances in which human beings find themselves; the "progress of the human mind has everywhere kept pace exactly with the wants to which nature had left the individual exposed." 160 With all of these thinkers, the development of the capacities of the human mind is directly tied to the exercise of cognition by the use of language to describe and manipulate increasingly complicated circumstances, evolving from the primal needs of simple humans to the abstract problems created by and facing modern humanity.  As to the characteristics of language itself, there was broad agreement among the participants in this discourse on the question of the logical steps of development of language, and on the modes of understanding at each level of language's development. The major figures in this discussion all saw language as developing from an origin in emotional cries, through the sophistication of adding gestures to sounds to increase the effectiveness of communication, to the use of drawings or drawn signs and finally to the introduction of words and writing. And as the mediums of communication changed, these thinkers all point out, the institutions composing society underwent complementary development in terms of sophistication. The argument then extends to making the claim that as language and institutions undergo the process of sophistication, so does the human mind. In fact, the three features of the social world are seen to be interwoven in a complicated system of cause and effect where developments which at one point might be seen as effects can from a different perspective be seen as causal. The relationship between language, institutions and mind is symbiotic. 160 Rousseau, Discourse on the Origins of Inequality, op. cit. p.189.  Page 75  The primary phase of communication and understanding was widely accepted to be metaphorical, and the final, modern stage was acknowledged to be ironic in disposition. There was also wide agreement that the effects of linguistic development on the expressive capacities of language were negative; language in the primary phases of development was understood to be extremely expressive of emotion because emotion (fear, rage, sympathy, etc.) tended to accompany situations that called for communication. When language gained sophistication, it tended to lose the expressive element of its origins because the complicated situations forcing language to develop called for clarity and precision rather than feeling. Condillac, Rousseau and Vico all agree that what language gains in precision over the course of its development it loses in expressiveness.  There were two ways of evaluating this progress. On one side, the consequences of the progress in language and consciousness were thought to be positive. Since law, political legitimacy, ethics and aesthetics were "simply" creations of the human mind with a foundation in language rather than nature, such institutions were no longer limited by traditional constraints and could be perfected. The injustices perceived by the philosophes in the eighteenth century were no longer solely perceived and accepted as being the result of the will of God, but became seen in a cautiously optimistic light as having at least the potential to be made right. As Condillac so confidently put it, if certain ideas, or the institutions they have fostered, are flawed, "it is because we framed them ill: the only way to mend them, is to frame them anew." Condillac's assessment of human potential is Promethean in scope, and reflects Enlightenment confidence at its apex.  Page 76  Yet Condillac's optimism was quickly and deftly countered by Rousseau's insightful fears of the consequences for the human soul (for Rousseau, the nature of humanity) of the structures of civil society, lamenting principally the loss of the magic that had enveloped pre-modern society. Rousseau feared the artificiality brought about by modern self-reflexivity, which caused individuals constantly to concern themselves with outward appearances rather than inner harmonies. Rousseau thought that the new philosophical order of the Enlightenment tended to be destructive of the positive features of the simpler but more authentic world view, a view characterized by unified selves, certainty about right and wrong, confidence about the legitimacy of political institutions, and certitude about the ethical components of a virtuous life. Rousseau's concerns about this feature of the Enlightenment were confirmed when it became clear to him that the philosophes could not only not provide a better approach to legitimacy, law and ethics, but would have a great difficulty in matching the positive characteristics of the institutions they intended to destroy.  Voltaire's mocking suggestion that Rousseau really just wanted to return to the woods to live like a bear quite clearly missed the point of what Rousseau was saying and reflects the focussed intensity of a committed philosophe rather than the distanced and critical ear of a philosopher. This should serve to remind us that eighteenth century philosophy, especially in unstable polities such as France, was not the work of armchair aesthetes, but rather an almost martial campaign of conceptually revolutionary rhetoric.  If the authority of the Church to articulate morals could be demolished in the name of reason, when the philosophes begin to call upon reason to help  Page 77  them re-define the good, the most sober of their number, David Hume, stated quite simply that reason can never provide a guide for moral distinctions. 161 This realization counterbalances the optimism of the Enlightenment, and reflects a genuine consternation, in this case about the nature of the project of Enlightenment itself, also found in Vico. In terms of the understanding of language, the fear is that at its most advanced level, language begins to turn on and destroy both itself as an effective medium of communication and by extension, the institutions for which it provided metaphysical building blocks. Self-reflectiveness about the power of language in shaping the social world was a liberating force, but in another sense it undermined the possibility of establishing a universally acknowledged system of morality - something the philosophes wanted desperately to be able to construct. The result, a somber Vico suggests, is a return to the barbarism of earlier ages, to the wild forests and the "dens and lairs of men." Rousseau's assessment of the age was equally disheartened.  The critical conclusions about the political and social results of the sophistication of language also exemplify the unity of the early eighteenth century's discourse on language. As language developed from its expressive origins towards its abstract end, its communicative force tended to weaken because as this development progressed, emotive expression gave way to precision, and the passionate aspects of being human tended to be left without an effective means of authentic representation. The result of such change, it was agreed, was an altering of the nature of the human character. The eighteenth century therefore is a watershed in the development of the modern 161 David Hume, A Treatise of Human Nature,(1739 and 1740) edited by Ernst C. Mossner [Penguin Books, 1987], Book III, Part 1, Chapter 1.  Page 78  self, a self tending to bureaucratize its components (passions and reason) and draw upon these components in a self-reflective way depending on the context of any given situation.  Rousseau thought that the effects of modernity had forced human beings to repress their passionate nature and origins. The human character, in the modern age, had disintegrated - at least in the sense of what aspects of itself it could present in society. Instrumental reason and rational conduct were celebrated and the passionate aspect of human nature was repressed. Language, which had reached a point of development where reason and precision constituted the primary values composite of communication, was at the foundation of the social norms which Rousseau thought restricted the boundaries of human expression. The social norms of modernity demanded that one's conduct reflect rationality and precision, because that was the way of maintaining order in the modern world, and that one repress the passionate elements of being human because these elements tended to distract from, or hinder, social order. The growing recognition of the importance of language in the construction of social realities meant that language had to be used very precisely.  The result was the creation of two spheres of conduct, the private and the public. Mandeville and the Port Royal authors emphasized this especially, delineating anthropologies arguing that the private self (the inner, natural human being) was a self-interested beast that, if allowed to escape from the constraints placed upon individuals by society, would tend to work towards the destruction of social order. Carefully constrained and surreptitiously guided, however,  Page 79  Mandeville argued in The Fable of the Bees, private vices (selfishness) would often lead to public benefits.  While this self-conscious approach to language allowed a clearer understanding of the structures of society, it also exposed those structures to the threat of destruction. In accepting that the moral virtues were constructs of the human mind and not, as pre-moderns had believed, defined by the God that had created all of nature, the philosophes destroyed the foundation upon which morality had historically rested. Absolute right and wrong ceased to exist; in fact, morals became part of the domain of the utilitarian preconceptions of modern commercial society. In this light, the importance of the early eighteenth century's discourse on the origins of language to the analyses of the problem of modernity as sketched by Charles Taylor and Alasdair Maclntyre can now be seen in a fuller perspective.  Clearly, the importance of the new understanding of language is one of the critical elements of the development of the problem of modernity. Neither Maclntyre nor Taylor adequately address the issue of language in their analyses of our current dilemma - its omission underdetermines their explanation of the origins of modernity. In After Virtue, Maclntyre implies that the philosophes' rejection of the teleological universe reflected a fanatical determination to impose Newtonian values on social analysis, a resolve so strong that the possible negative consequences of doing so were blithely ignored. 162 The expressions of philosophical discomfort - Diderot's Le Neveu de Rameau, for example - that did emerge during the Enlightenment were, Maclntyre suggests, anomalies in 162 Maclntyre asks why the significance of the failure to justify morality on a rational basis was not appreciated in the period in which it occurred (After Virtue, op. cit., p.50).  Page 80  the overall tone of the eighteenth century. 163 Taylor, in a similar vein, proposes that the philosophes were so intent on smashing the institutional structures of the ancient regime that they did not realize that destroying the frameworks meant destroying the foundation of many of the values they continued to hold in esteem. 164  The sketch of the debate on the origins of language and its attendant emphases demonstrates that the philosophes were significantly more sophisticated in their understanding of the historical position they occupied than either Maclntyre or Taylor allows. The position on language carved out by Enlightenment thinkers is one from which only short steps must be taken to come to understand, in the modern sense, that language is the building block of culture and the self; and that the entirety of the social world can therefore be seen as its construct. A few philosophical steps down the road, moral precepts, legal judgements and governmental legitimacy all become concepts defined by the human mind and not, as the previous world-view had perceived them, certainties established by God. Rousseau and Vico are on the leading edge of thinking on this subject, recognizing the powerlessness of the individual self in a social world contingent on language, where the external (the expectations of society) creates the shapes that the internal (the self) is expected to realize.  The intent of these investigations of the origins of language, we must remember, was to understand the process of development of the human mind 163 Maclntyre, After Virtue, op. cit., p.55. 164 Taylor, in a penetrating summary of this aspect of the Enlightenment, notes that the Enlightenment "could live from the infamy it proposed to crush. In the attack, the goods were taken for granted and not thematized, and attention is focussed on the abuses which threaten them in the existing order." (Sources of the Self, op. cit. p.340.  Page 81  and of society. The results exceeded expectations. Instead of simply "discovering" how the human mind had come to develop as it did, the investigators created a new narrative of how the mind had developed. In so doing, they set the stage for understanding that not only was an individual's understanding of the world based on language, but that the structures of the social world were in a strong sense the results of individuals' descriptive choices in trying to understand it. Once so articulated in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the inescapable conclusion was that culture was a creature of language, and that over time its characteristics could be redescribed and changed.  The problem of modernity therefore is not simply, as Maclntyre suggests, a break in a tradition of using the language of morality in its "correct" teleological sense, the result of which has culminated in a social universe destructive of the unity of the self. Modernity is characterized by the ascendancy of self-consciousness in the eighteenth century. The political effects of this turn to the self bring into focus in later periods for the first time the extent of the powers of the self in that the self becomes understood in an almost teleological sense as an entity the purpose of which is to create itself. The mind engages in this self-constructive project with the instrument of language, accepting as building blocks already existing concepts and ideas or creating new ones when the latter are deemed insufficient. The rejection of the teleological framework of the ancients is a result of this new understanding of language, which concludes in a recognition of the vocabulary characterizing the ancient schema as being metaphorical and mythical in disposition.  Page 82  Taylor is closer to expressing the complexity of the shift in consciousness occurring in the eighteenth century, but he is wrong in ascribing the discovery of the role of language in the development of the modern self to the German Romantics. As I have shown, the discussion of language and the realization of its role in the development of civilization reaches far beyond Locke. Had Taylor recognized this feature of the early eighteenth century, he would have realized that the Enlightenment was closer to framing the difficulties posed by the modern dilemma than his writings suggest. The questions were already in the process of being formed. How ought we to shape and describe our society? How ought we to shape and describe ourselves? How does the way in which we choose to describe our social condition contribute to the creation or destruction of that condition?  In his recent Massey Lectures entitled "The Malaise of Modernity," Taylor cites the example of our contemporary battle between business and the environment as being delineated with a vocabulary that characterizes the debate in starkly irresolvable terms. 165 He suggests that the rigidity of the debate is a result of the participants' choice of vocabulary, and that the most constructive way of breaking the deadlock would be to choose to encode the issue in different terms. Even here, one is reminded of Condillac's comment about reframing problematic ideas and institutions.  As the pre-Romantic discussion clearly demonstrates, the participants of the discourse on language were fully aware of the relationship between language and the institutions it framed. Indeed, the impact of this eighteenth165 Lecture 5, "The Malaise of Modernity", CBC Radio, March 27, 1992, 21:05 hrs. See also Charles Taylor, The Malaise of Modernity, [Toronto, House of Anansi Press Ltd., 1992]  Page 83  century awareness of the role of language in the framing of social institutions had a force and effect comparable to that of the discoveries of the Scientific Revolution. The combination of these conceptual revolutions in the understanding of the physical and social worlds makes the eighteenth century the birthplace of modernity, and the source of many of our current philosophical challenges. Articulating the roots of modernity, that is, coming to understand the eighteenth century, may well be the first step to overcoming the modern predicament.  Page 84  Bibliography Aarsleff, Hans, "The Tradition of Condillac: The Problem of the Origin of Language in the Eighteenth Century and the Debate in the Berlin Academy before Herder," in his From Locke to Saussure: Essays on the Study of Language and Intellectual History [Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1982]. Aarsleff, Hans, "Vico and Berlin", London Review of Books, 5-18 November 1981. Aristotle, The Ethics, translated by J.A.K. Thompson [Penguin Books, 1953/1986]. Baldick, Chris, The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms [New York: Oxford University Press, 1990]. Baron, Naomi S., "Writing and Vico's Functional Approach to Language Change," in Tagliacozzo, ed.,Vico: Past and Present [Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey: The Humanities Press, 1981]. Bendani, Gino, Vico Revisited: Orthodoxy. naturalism and Science in the Scienza Nuova [Oxford: Berg, 1989]. Bergin, Thomas Goddard and Fisch, Max Harold, The New Science of Giambattista Vico, unabridged translation of the Third Edition (1744) [Ithaca: ComeII University Press, 1948/1988]. Berlin, Isiah, Vico and Herder: Two Studies in the History of Ideas [London: The Hogarth Press, 1976]. Bungay, Stephen, Beauty and Truth: A Study of Hegel's Aesthetics [Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1984]. Burke, Peter, Vico [New York: Oxford University Press, 1985]. Cantelli, Gianfranco, "Myth and Language in Vico," in Giorgio Tagliacozzo and Donald Phillip Verene, eds., Giambattista Vico's Science of Humanity [Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1976]. Condillac, Etienne Bonnot de, An Essay on the Origin of Human Knowledge, (1746, this edition 1756) translated by Thomas Nugent [Gainesville, Fla.: Scholars' Facsimiles and reprints, 1971]. Condillac, Etienne Bonnot de, An Essay on the Origin of Human Knowledge: Being a Supplement to Mr. Locke's, translated by Thomas Nugent, 1756 [Gainesville, Fla.: Scholars' Facsimilies and Reprints, 1971]. Daniel, Stephen H., "Vico on the Mythic Figuration as Pre-requisite to Philosophical Literacy," New Vico Studies III (1985) [Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey: Humanities Press International, 1985]. Darnton, Robert, The Great Cat Massacre and Other Episodes in French Cultural History [New York: Basic Books, 1984].  Page 85 Derrida, Jacques, Glas, translated by John P. Leavey Jr. and Richard Rand [Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 1986]. Garin, Eugenio, "Vico and the Tradition of Renaissance Thought," in Giorgio Tagliacozzo, ed., Vico: Past and Present [Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey: The Humanities Press, 1981]. Harris, Roy and Taylor, Talbot J., Landmarks in Linguistic Thought: The Western Tradition from Socrates to Saussure [New York: Routledge, Chapman and Hall, Inc., 1989]. Hayek Friedrich von, "Dr. Bernard Mandeville", reprinted in New Studies in Philosophy. Politics. Economics and the History of Ideas [London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1978]. Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich, Phenomenology of Spirit (1807) translated by A.V. Miller [Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1977]. Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich, The Philosophy of Fine Art (1837) translated by F.P.B. Osmaston [London: G. Bell & Sons, Ltd., 1920]. Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich, Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion (1832) translated by Rev. E.B. Speers, B.D., and J. Burdon Sanderson [London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., 1895]. Hume, David, A Treatise of Human Nature,(1739 and 1740) edited by Ernst C. Mossner [Penguin Books, 1987]. Hundert, Edward J, "The Thread of Language and the Web of Dominion: Mandeville to Rousseau and Back," Eighteenth Century Studies, 21:2, Winter, 1987-88. Kainz, Howard P., Hegel's Phenomenology. Part II: The Evolution of Ethical and Religious Consciousness to the Absolute Standpoint [Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 1983]. Koyre, Alexandre, "The Significance of the Newtonian Synthesis", Newtonian Studies [Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1968]. Locke, John, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, abridged, selected and edited by John W. Yolton [London: J.M. Dent and Sons Ltd., 1990], 3:IV:7. Maclntyre, Alasdair, After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory, 2nd edition [Notre Dame, Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press, 1981/1984]. Maclntyre, Alasdair, "Utilitarianism and Cost-Benefit Analysis: An Essay on the Relevance of Moral Philosophy to Bureaucratic Theory" in Kenneth Sayre, ed., Values in the Electric Power Industry [Notre Dame, Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press, 1977], pp.217-237. Maclntyre, Alasdair, After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory [Notre Dame, Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press, 1981]. Mandeville, Bernard, The Fable of the Bees. or Private Vices. Publick Benefits, Volume 2, F.B. Kaye edition [Indianapolis: Liberty Classics, 1988]  Page 86  McMullan, Ernan, "Vico's Theory of Science," Social Research 43:3, Autumn 1976. Mooney, Michael, Vico in the Tradition of Rhetoric [Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1985]. Morrison, James C. "Vico's Principle of Verum is Factum and the Problem of Historicism," Journal of the History of Ideas 34:4 (1978). Nisbet, Robert, "Vico and the Idea of Progress," Social Research 43:3, Autumn 1976. Norton, Robert E., Herder's Aesthetics and the European Enlightenment [Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 1991]. Peaden, Catherine Lynn, "Language and Rhetoric in Locke, Condillac, and Vico," Phd Dissertation, Purdue University, 1989 [UMI Dissertation Services #9018884]. Robinson, Jonathon, Duty and Hypocrisy in Hegel's Phenomenology of Mind: An Essay in the Real and Ideal [Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1977]. Rossi, Paolo, The Dark Abyss of Time: The History of the Earth and the History of Nations from Hooke to Vico, translated by Lydia G. Cochrane [Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984]. Rousseau, Jean-Jacques, Discourse on the Origins of Inequality (1755) in Lester G. Crocker, ed., Jean-Jacques Rousseau: The Social Contract and Discourse on the Origins of Inequality [New York: Washington Square Press, 1967]. Rousseau, Jean-Jacques, Essay on the Origin of Languages. Which Treats of Melody and Musical Imitation, translated by John H. Moran and Alexander Gode, eds., Two Essays on the Origin of Languages: Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Johann Gottried Herder [Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1966, this edition 1986]. Rousseau, Jean-Jacques, The Confessions, translated by J.M. Cohen [Penguin Books, 1953/1988] Original edition completed in 1765, published in 1781. Rousseau, Jean-Jacques, Reveries of the Solitary Walker, translated by Peter France [Penguin Classics, 1979]. Shklar, Judith, Freedom and Independence: A Study of the Political Ideas of Hegel's Phenomenology [New York: Cambridge University Press, 1976]. Sophocles, Antigone, translated by E.F. Watling, in The Theban Plays [Penguin Books, 1947/1988]. Starobinsky, Jean, Jean-Jacques Rousseau: Transparency and Obstruction, translated by Arthur Goldhammer, [Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1971, this edition 1988]. Straker, Stephen M. "What is the history of theories of perception the history of?" in Osier and Farber (eds.), Religion. Science, and Worldvidew: Essays in Honour of Richard Westfall [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985]. Sussman, Henry, The Hegelian Aftermath [Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1982].  Page 87 Taylor, Charles, Sources of the Self: The Making of the Modem Identity [Cambridge, Massachussetts: Harvard University Press, 1989]. Taylor, Charles, Hegel [Cambridge University Press, 1975]. Taylor, Charles, "Social Theory as Practice" in Philosophy and the Human Sciences: Philosophical Papers 2 [New York: Cambridge University Press, 1985]. Taylor, Charles The Malaise of Modernity, [Toronto, House of Anansi Press Ltd., 1992]. Vaughan, Frederick, The Political Philosophy of Giambattista Vico: An Introduction to La Scienza Nuova [The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1972]. Vico, Giambattista, On the Most Ancient Wisdom of the Italians Unearthed From the Origins of the Latin Language.including the Disputation with the Giornale de' letterati (Mafia, translated with an introduction by Lucia M. Palmer [New York: Cornell University Press, 1988]. Vico, Giambattista, On the Study Methods of Our Time, translated by Eli Gianturco [Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1965]. White, Hayden, Tropics of Discourse: Essays in Cultural Criticism [Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1978].  


Citation Scheme:


Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics



Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            async >
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:


Related Items