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Adam Smith’s Essay on Language in regard to Linguistic and Scientific Realism

  • Journal of Humanities
  • 2022, (87), pp.285-316
  • DOI : 10.31310/HUM.087.10
  • Publisher : Institute for Humanities
  • Research Area : Humanities > Other Humanities
  • Received : October 7, 2022
  • Accepted : October 17, 2022
  • Published : November 30, 2022

KIM, KWANGSU 1 CHOI, MYUNGWON 1

1성균관대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

In Adam Smith’s view, language is both a natural expression of reality and an artifact that necessarily emerged in order to understand the natural world and effectively communicate with one another for the sake of human survival and interests. As widely informed by previous studies, Smith’s essay on language in regard to the origin and evolution of language addresses a relationship between cognition and language structure. Along with the advancement of civilization and abstraction capacities in the mind, primal synthetic languages in a typology evolved into modern analytic languages. Under the presumption, we cast light on Smith’s linguistic realism, simultaneously linking it with scientific realism found in his earlier essay on astronomy, which basically acts as a methodological foundation of his moral philosophy. From an epistemological point of view, Smith’s linguistic and scientific realism is complementary and helpful in taking an in-depth look at his system of the human sciences.

Citation status

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