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Language, philosophy: language is a set of phonetic or written coded forms fixed at a time for the exchange of information or distinctions within a community whose members are able to recognize and interpret these forms as signs or symbols. In a wider sense, language is also a sign system, which can be processed by machines. See also communication, language rules, meaning, meaning change, information, signs, symbols, words, sentences, syntax, semantics, grammar, pragmatics, translation, interpretation, radical interpretation, indeterminacy.
Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

Michel Foucault on Language - Dictionary of Arguments

I 66
Language/16th century/Foucault: the real language is not a uniform and smooth whole, but rather an opaque, mysterious, self-contained matter, a fragmented, puzzling mass from point to point.
A character network in which each character, in relation to all others, can and actually does play the role of the content or character of the secret or clue.
Things themselves hide their puzzles like a language and manifest it at the same time.
Language belongs to the great distribution of similarities and signatures. Consequently, it must be examined as a matter of nature itself.
Language is not what it is, because it has a meaning. Its representative content does not play any role at all. The original form is given by God.
I 74ff
Language: In the 17th and 18th centuries, the own existence of language, its old strength of a thing written into the world was dissolved in the functioning of the representation. Every language was considered a discourse.
Signs were dispensed to name and then embrace the name in a simultaneously decorative and demonstrative duplication, conceale and hide it, to name it by other names, delayed presence, second sign, shape, rhetorical apparatus.
I 114ff
Language/Foucault: Classical Age/17th Century: Language unrestricted and restrained: unrestricted, because the words have obtained the power to represent thought, as the thinking represents itself.
Classical: nothing is given which would not be given in the rep.
Classical language is not an external effect of thought; it is thought itself. (17th century)
This makes language almost invisible.
Its entire existence consists in the representative role.
No place outside the representation anymore and no more value without it.
In this way it discovers a certain relation to herself, which up to then was neither possible nor comprehensible at all.
16th century: language was in a position of constant comment towards itself.
17th century: we no longer ask how to solve the great enigmatic word sequence, we ask how the discourse works, the elements that it emphasizes, how it analyzes and composes. Instead of comment now: Criticism. (>Words/Foucault
I 127
Because it has become the analysis of order, language makes connections over time that have not existed before.
Languages evolve through population shifts, wars, victories, fashions, exchange of goods. They do not, however, develop by virtue of a historicity which they themselves possess. No internal developmental principle.
>Discourse/Foucault, >Archeology/Foucault.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Foucault I
M. Foucault
Les mots et les choses: Une archéologie des sciences humaines , Paris 1966 - The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences, New York 1970
German Edition:
Die Ordnung der Dinge. Eine Archäologie der Humanwissenschaften Frankfurt/M. 1994

Foucault II
Michel Foucault
l’Archéologie du savoir, Paris 1969
German Edition:
Archäologie des Wissens Frankfurt/M. 1981

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