Hello to all,
I'm new to this list ( today) and in fact, know hardly any Latin yet, though I'm faced with a somewhat complex question, really the main reason I found myself to this list-- that I have been unable to begin to comprehend with the textkit tutorials and learning kits. I realize that I have to start from square one and give the language a sustained focus before I'll be able to consider structural insights. And yet, I have a presentation coming up and I'm resting a large part of my argument on a premise about the Latin Language-- that I can't really answer whollly by myself.
Well, anyway the question is this....
Following Giorgio Agamben's logic in Language and Death, , as he theorizes the negative nature of the language of Western Metaphysics, he cleaves voice into two, in a crucial move that his whle book rests on. He theorizes Voice ( with a capitol V ) as a pre-eminent apriori entity that speaks through The voice ( lower case) and he does this with a resonate wave that leads through the medieval Grammarian's mouth. He argues with regards to a Medieval translation of Aristotle by Thurot ( though he rests his evidence in Priscian and Apollonius Disculus also) that the Medieval Latin pronoun was essentially an empty, pre-eminent vessel waiting to be inhabited, this happening of course through the two Medieval notions of Demonsrtatio and relatio. He quotes Thurot:
" The pronoun is a part of speach that signifies through its mode of being and is specified through some other thing .... whoever hears these pronouns -- I, you, he, or something else -- understands something permanent, but what is understood is neither distinct nor determinate nor under determinate understanding; however, it can be determined and distinguished and specified through some other thing, by means of demonstration." ( Agamben, Giorgio, Language and Death,pp. 21)
He is doing this , of course, to undermine metaphysics and to show its wholly negative foundation, but, beyond the fascinating medieval social implications, the kinds of things that can be discerned about religious motivations and censorship are why I'm trying to figure out if this assersion has any weight to it -- or is it a cherry picked idiosyncrosy Agamben is tailoring to his argumentm, that on a broader scene doesn't have as much validity. So.. Was the Latin pronoun ( translated in Medieval times) a Transcendential , purely, pre-eminant vessel waitng to be inhabited or possessed in relatio or demonstratio ??? That had to be protected from the vulgarities of vernacular translations, because it would bring those who took part in the act too close to God?
Best for now,\