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Words Underway


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Table of Contents

Introduction / 1. Walker Percy, Phenomenology, and the Mystery of Language / 2. Words That Neither Reveal nor Conceal: The Philosophical Depths of Literary Theory / 3. Rethinking Women's Silence: Contributions from Continental Feminism / 4. Language as Habitat: Doing Justice to Experiences of Linguistic Alienation / 5. Words Underway: The Ethics of Linguistic Life / Bibliography / Index

About the Author

Carolyn Culbertson is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Florida Gulf Coast University. She has published articles in journals including Southwest Philosophy Review, International Journal for Feminist Bioethics, Continental Philosophy Review, Philosophy Today and Comparative and Continental Philosophy Journal.


Culbertson's book breaks new ground in offering a comprehensive treatment of the philosophy of language from a Continental perspective, not simply a survey of representative authors but a unique thematic path for new directions that exceed standard assumptions: how normative and developmental elements take precedence over mere descriptive accounts of linguistic formats; how the experience of alienation is a key factor in human discourse and development; how creative openness is an ever-ready impetus in language; how constraining and liberating forces both contribute to identity formation and cultural possibilities. Highly recommended. -- Lawrence J. Hatab, Louis I. Jaffe Professor of Philosophy, Old Dominion University
Culbertson makes a clear and convincing argument for the importance of continental philosophy of language to contemporary thought, an argument that is accessible to beginners and useful to experts. Rather than surveying the entire field, she begins with Heidegger and Gadamer to establish the inescapable ways that language and existence are interwoven. She then complicates and enriches this picture by examining how continental thinkers address moments of "alienation" from language, from the traumas of the Holocaust, to the challenges of gender (Butler), from the silences of depression (Kristeva) to the agonies of colonialism (Derrida). She closes by returning to Heidegger and the questions posed at the beginning, so that the reader can see why it makes sense to speak of continental philosophy as a distinctive tradition. Her book is an important contribution to scholarship and to the classroom. -- Meili Steele, Professor of English Language and Literature, University of South Carolina

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