Action and Agency in Dialogue: Passion, incarnation and by François Cooren

By François Cooren

What occurs whilst humans speak or discussion with one another? this is often the daunting query that this booklet proposes to deal with through ranging from a debatable speculation: What if human interactants weren't the one ones to be thought of, paraphrasing Austin (1962), as “doing issues with words”? that's, what if different “things” may be granted the prestige of brokers in a dialogical state of affairs? motion and enterprise in discussion: ardour, incarnation, and ventriloquism proposes to discover this particular speculation by means of mobilizing metaphorically the thought of ventriloquism. in line with this ventriloqual point of view, interactions are by no means in basic terms neighborhood, yet dislocal, that's, they continuously mobilize figures (collectives, ideas, values, feelings, etc.) that incarnate themselves in people’s discussions. This hugely unique ebook, which develops the analytical, useful and moral dimensions of this kind of theoretical positioning, will be of curiosity to verbal exchange students, linguists, sociologists, dialog analysts, administration and organizational students, in addition to philosophers drawn to language, motion and ethics.

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Additional info for Action and Agency in Dialogue: Passion, incarnation and ventriloquism (Dialogue Studies)

Example text

As Latour (1988) insightfully notes, “Nothing is, by itself, either reducible or irreducible to anything else” (p. 158). 19 20 Action and Agency in Dialogue precisely a perlocutionary act, according to Austin (1962/1975) and Searle (1979). It is a perlocution in that it implies the interlocutor’s reaction to what is said or put forward (Cooren 2000). While Austin and Searle implicitly or explicitly reduce this type of action to what humans and only humans do, nothing should prevent us from attributing a perlocutionary act to a text.

I now contend that the same reasoning can be applied to any semiotic production, whether in the interpersonal context or not. If it holds that whenever one acts, some other enters into action (Latour 1996), one should be able to apply this principle to verbal and nonverbal communication. After all, whenever interlocutors communicate, signs must be somehow produced and recognized, which means that, by definition, an activity of delegation obtains. Incidentally, this is precisely what Derrida (1988) had in mind when he proposed to conceive of any act of communication as an act of telecommunication.

During this stay and armed with a video camera, I followed various representatives of this humanitarian organization in order to study their activities, especially from an interactive perspective. One day, I was following Carole, who was at that time MSF’s medical coordinator for the whole country, as she was showing me a hospital that her organization had recently decided to support. Throughout the visit, we entered a laboratory and she showed me various devices that were used to decontaminate the medical instruments.

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