Article published in:Writing and the Mind
Edited by David R. Olson and Marcelo Dascal †
[Pragmatics & Cognition 21:3] 2013
► pp. 431–447
Literacy and the languages of rationality
Literacy, specifically the use of writing for rational purposes, adds a new dimension to the traditional problem of the relation between language, thought and rationality. Central to rational thought are the logical relations expressed by such terms as “is”, “or”, “and” and “not”. Whereas some see these concepts as fundamental and innate, it is here argued that such terms exhibit a diverse range of uses in speech and thought but through literacy and education they become explicit objects of thought and formalized or ‘normed’ into logical operators as part of a literate rationality. This more formal orientation to language is seen as metarepresentational and may be shown to have both an historical and a developmental trajectory.
Keywords: truth, meaning, literacy, logic, rationality
Published online: 24 July 2015
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