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To try to explain it by appealing to distinct features of our species is to bark up the wrong tree: I must warn the reader that my interpretation of the material gathered and reviewed by Freud is rigorously chomsk.

Wit and innovation

Put in this way, this is an indubitable observation, but far from a happy conclusion, it prompts all sorts of questions and doubts. Evoluzione ed estinzione nelle conoscezna cognitive, Il Mulino, Bologna. The science of birdsong, Academic Press, New York.

Rather than focusing on its affinity with the labour of dreams and the functioning of the subconscious, I would like to highlight the tight connection between wit and praxis in the public sphere. This general premise is articulated in two subordinate hypotheses that we ought to state now. The human animal is capable of changing forms of life and diverting from consolidated habits and rules.

Wit has much to do with one of the most insidious problems of linguistic praxis: Journal of the International Association for Semiotic Studies, vol. For some reflections on the text, see AB’s notes.

Far from being situated above or outside of norms, human creativity is even sub-normative: The search of our Human Origins, Macmillan, London. Toward a semiology of music, Princeton University Press, Princeton.

Wit constantly demonstrates that there are many different and even contrasting ways to comply with the same norm. Per una logica del edlla[Wit and innovation. This tautology eludes the most interesting and awkward issue: Keywords music, language, syntax, comparative cognition.


Linguaggio e problemi della conoscenza – Noam Chomsky – Google Books

Seine Natur und seine Stellung in der Welt ; trad. Abstract In this paper, we will try to provide an adequate level of comparison between music and language, especially by analyzing the role of syntax. Arnold Gehlen claims that homo sapiens is an instinct forsaken animal continuously faced with an overabundance of stimuli that have no biological direction and whence no univocal behaviour can derive: It is no surprise that, having attributed it to language in general, that is, to human nature, Chomsky goes on to conclude that creativity is an unfathomable mystery.

The really interesting point is to understand the circumstances and conditions where a paralogism ceases to be a paralogism, that is, where it can no longer be considered mistaken or false in logical terms. La sua natura e il suo posto nel mondoFeltrinelli, Milano The profound commitment of the author to clearly identify the rhetorical devices and patterns of reason behind the occurrence of the scathing joke is notorious.

To say it in other words, there is a punctual and meticulous correspondence between the different types of wit catalogued by Freud and the paralogisms studied by Aristotle in his On Sophistical Refutations. However, isn’t it bizarre to ground the creativity of homo sapiens on reasoning in vicious circles and error?

It is legitimate to deduce the conditions under which conduct can vary from some defining features of our species, but it would be a glaring mistake to identify these conditions of possibility with the particular logical-linguistic abilities used to actually modify a particular behaviour. Keywords Existence Language Linguistic relativity Masada Peirce Reference Saussure Semiotics Wittgenstein embodied cognition ethos language language acquisition meaning normativity perception polemical discourse pragmatism rhetoric semiotics truth.


So far so good; however, why does this unremitting independence only occasionally give rise to unusual and unexpected verbal performances?

But it would be foolish to believe that someone is so foolish to warmly support such a hypothesis.

Chomsky and Gehlen only point to the reasons why the lame man can react this way to the blind man’s involuntary provocation besides many other less surprising ways: The second subordinate hypothesis is that the logical form linguaggko wit consists in an argumentative fallacy; that is, an undue inference or an incorrect use of a semantic ambiguity.

Syntax is the real discriminating element between human language and animal communication.

Wit brings this fragment to light. Yet this still fails to answer the crucial question: A tautological reference to ‘human nature’ explains neither the state of equilibrium, nor exodus from it. The main textual reference is to Freud’s essay Witz Such circumstances would be: Thus we rapidly come to several reassuring tautologies: Here a delicate question arises: The Coevolution of Language and the Brain, W. Linguaggio e problemi della conoscenzail Mulino, Bologna Another example of this can be found in philosophical anthropology.

Linguaggio e problemi della conoscenza

Semantica psicologica della musica, trad. The suspension or change of a rule shows the often unperceived paradoxes and aporias that underlie its most blind and automatic application. But it is the divergences arising through the application of a rule that often provoke a drastic change of the latter.

Between one and the other lies a hiatus: Studies in the evolution of language, Oxford University Press, Oxford.