Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

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Nicholas of Cusa on Language - Dictionary of Arguments

Gadamer I 440
Word/concept/Nicolaus von Kues/Gadamer: As unfolding of unity
Gadamer I 441
of the mind, the concepts falling into words nevertheless retain the reference to a natural word (vocabulum naturale), whose return receipt is in them all (relucet), however much the individual designation may be arbitrary(1). (impositio nominis fit ad beneplacitum).
Gadamer: One may wonder what this reference is and what this natural word should be. But that the individual words of one language have an ultimate correspondence with those of every other in so far as all languages are unfoldings of the one unity of the spirit, has a methodically correct sense.
Original language/knowledge/Nicholaus of Cusa: Also the Cusan does not mean with the natural word the word of an original language which still preceded the human language confusion. Such a language of Adam in the sense of a doctrine of difference is quite far from him. Rather, the Cusan assumes the fundamental inaccuracy of all human knowledge. This is, as is well known, his doctrine of knowledge, in which Platonic and nominalistic motives intersect: all human knowledge is mere conjecture and opinion (coniectura, opinio).(2)
>Indeterminacy
, >Words, >Word meaning, >Reference, >Meaning, >Knowledge.
It is this doctrine that he now applies to language. Thus he can acknowledge the diversity of national languages and the apparent arbitrariness of their vocabulary, without therefore already falling prey to a purely conventionalist theory of language and an instrumentalist concept of language.
>Translation, >Vocabulary.

1. The most important testimony to which we refer in the following is Nic. Cus., Idiota De Mente Ill, 2: »Quomodo est vocabulum naturale et aliud impositum secundum illud citra praeclslonem.
2.Cf. most recently the instructive account by J. Koch, vgl. S. 438 Anm. 64.

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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.
Nicholas of Cusa
Gadamer I
Hans-Georg Gadamer
Wahrheit und Methode. Grundzüge einer philosophischen Hermeneutik 7. durchgesehene Auflage Tübingen 1960/2010

Gadamer II
H. G. Gadamer
The Relevance of the Beautiful, London 1986
German Edition:
Die Aktualität des Schönen: Kunst als Spiel, Symbol und Fest Stuttgart 1977


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