Deafness, Gesture and Sign Language in the 18th Century French Philosophy
The book represents a historical overview of the way the topic of gesture and sign language has been treated in the 18th century French philosophy. The texts treated are grouped into several categories based on the view they present of deafness and gesture. While some of those texts obviously view deafness and sign language in negative terms, i.e. as deficiency, others present deafness essentially as difference, i.e. as a set of competences that might provide some insights into how spoken language works. One of the arguments of the book is that these two views of deafness and sign language still represent two dominant paradigms present in the current debates on the issue. The aim of the book, therefore, is not only to provide a historical overview but to trace what might be called a “history of the present”.
[Gesture Studies, 8] 2020. vii, 166 pp.
Publishing status: Available
© John Benjamins
Table of Contents
Chapter 1. Deafness as deficiency
Chapter 2. Deafness as deficiency continued: The “Wild Child” in the 18th century as a conceptual twin of the deaf person
Chapter 3. Deafness as difference
Chapter 4. Deafness as difference continued: Pierre Desloges’s account of signing from a signer’s perspective and Denis Diderot’s Letter on the Deaf and Dumb
Chapter 5. The origins of language
Chapter 6. Conclusion
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Subjects & Metadata
BIC Subject: CFZ – Sign languages, Braille & other linguistic communication
BISAC Subject: LAN017000 – LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Sign Language