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Serendipities: Language and Lunacy (Italian Academy Lectures) por U Eco

Did it lay eggs? Was it just a taxonomic hoax?

How to Pronounce Serendipities

The platypus eventually found its rightful place in the animal kingdom, but as Eco Travels in Hyperreality, etc. Writing with his customary keenness of intellect, Eco ranges widely over metaphysical terrain, drawing on Aristotle, Heidegger and C. Peirce to inform his discussions. Revising aspects of Kant's philosophy in terms of cognitive studies, Eco ponders how we identify the things around us and argues that meaning in the world is ultimately contractual and negotiable.

When Aztecs first saw horses ridden by Spanish conquistadors, for example, they used their previous knowledge to surmise that the invaders were riding deer. In another example, Eco investigates how we can recognize a Bach suite for solo cello, even when played by different soloists or transcribed for the recorder.


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Throughout, Eco gamely reconsiders his work, A Theory of Semiotics, over which many a gauntlet was testily thrown, and revisits other key moments in the history of semiotic research. This collection will certainly appeal to specialists. In collecting these pieces I saw that not only are they parts of the history of the search for a perfect language but they also have something else in common: they speak of errors such as the European incomprehension of non-European languages or the mystical-reactionary view of language in Maistre, which leads him to absolutely risible etymological games or else of fictional inven -.


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    Serendipities: Language and Lunacy (Italian Academy Lectures) by Umberto Eco. | eBay

    If the problem persists, please try again in a little while. No cover image. Read preview. Synopsis Best-selling author Umberto Eco's latest work unlocks the riddles of history in an exploration of the "linguistics of the lunatic," stories told by scholars, scientists, poets, fanatics, and ordinary people in order to make sense of the world.

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    In a careful unraveling of the fabulous and the false, Eco shows us how serendipities—unanticipated truths—often spring from mistaken ideas. From Leibniz's belief that the I Ching illustrated the principles of calculus to Marco Polo's mistaking a rhinoceros for a unicorn, Eco tours the labyrinth of intellectual history, illuminating the ways in which we project the familiar onto the strange. Eco uncovers a rich history of linguistic endeavor—much of it ill-conceived—that sought to "heal the wound of Babel. In closing, Eco considers the erroneous notion of linguistic perfection and shrewdly observes that the dangers we face lie not in the rules we use to interpret other cultures but in our insistence on making these rules absolute.

    With the startling combination of erudition and wit, bewildering anecdotes and scholarly rigor that are Eco's hallmarks, Serendipities is sure to entertain and enlighten any reader with a passion for the curious history of languages and ideas.