Sociality and Individuality of Language in Durkheim and Bergson

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 4:15 PM
Room: Booth 62
Oral Presentation
Ayako OZEKI , Faculty of Education, Wakayama University, Kainan-shi, Japan
The purpose of this presentation is to discern the role of language which we use to recognize ourselves and objects, and the phase of the sociality and individuality which language has. With this intention, I'll compare the category theory of Durkheim with Bergson's language criticism.

Human being differs from animal in that he uses language. The man synthesizes the special, the accidental and the individual by the reason, and he thinks by means of universal forms. He can understand the empiric things in the framework of abstract concept and, by exchanging this concepts, he can communicate with others who have their own experiences.

About this language, Durkheim emphasizes that it is given by society. A concept is not my concept. He thinks that the concept is essentially impersonal representation.The sign is a system preceding the individual's birthand given by the society. Not until he thought abstractly by the sign did a man became a human being.

Bergson, a contemporary of Durkheim thinks that the self is socialized itself, andthe soul of the society is immanent in the language supporting our thinking.

But Bergson opposes two plans of the object recognition method, that is, the analysis that comes from the outside and the intuition that come from the inside. He doesn’t consider that the essence of the object can be perceived from the outside, express itself by symbols, being incommensurable with all something else. In opposition to it, he considers that what is gotten by the analysis of the outside is only inert, translatable in words, the common elements given by the whole society, therefore impersonal and abstract state.

In order to recognize the aspect of the concrete and lively human life and society as it is, we have to inquire critically again the sociality which language has.