Re: sign/tools in interacting levls and forms of operation

From: Wolff-Michael Roth (
Date: Thu Jun 16 2005 - 22:27:59 PDT

Steve, here one more thing that goes into the same direction from

In dialogue, language as a system of signs is just an aid to relation,
which permeates language, appropriating it and creatively working with
it. Despite modern linguistic reduction, he who speaks and that which
is spoken of does exist outside language. The possibility of linguistic
creativity is conditioned precisely by this fact. In case the world is
identified with "the world of language", there is nothing to conduct
genuine dialogue about and no one with whom to conduct it.

In dialogue, language is adjusted to relatedness, not the other way
round. Language receives its life from dialogue; without contact with
what there is, it dies. Even my speaking Self becomes real or unreal
depending on the extent of the reality I allow to enter into my words.
If I am more my own myself in dialogue, this is because in it I
intrinsically stand up for that which is — and then also my language
meets its intrinsic destination. If I transcend it with a genuine
contact with reality, it, too, will transcend me with a genuine contact
with that with whom I want to speak. This transcendent character of
dialogue is transferred onto everything that may serve it.

The freer we are from language, the freer our language is itself. The
system of signs can function only in relation to an indisposable
reality. In the opposite case, it does not "mean" anything, but ceases
to be itself.

In the end, the predominance of relation over language means that a
dialogic relation may cover more than could be communicated by


On 16-Jun-05, at 8:23 PM, Steven Thorne wrote:

> you've misread me. for clarification, the point above had to do with
> my (possible mis-) interpretation of your earlier (to me unclear)
> statement about mediation.
> BREAK: Ana's note just came in. Michael -- as you feel so strongly
> about what i (and possibly others) have not taken account of/been
> consistent with, why don't we move at least one strand of the
> conversation in the direction Ana suggests -- that you illustrate some
> concrete examples using Buber in particular. what do you think?
> steve
>> Back to the above point, the mediating relationship in the activity
>> system, or for action, cannot be the same as that in the operation
>> case, and this is exactly the point Heidegger, Wittgenstein, Buber
>> and others seem to make in my view.
> --
> Steven L. Thorne
> Assistant Professor of Applied Linguistics
> Linguistics and Applied Language Studies
>    and
> Communication Arts and Sciences
> Associate Director, Center for Language Acquisition
> Associate Director, Center for Advanced Language Proficiency
> Education and Research
> The Pennsylvania State University
> Interact > 814.863.7036 | |
> | IM: avkrook

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