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Leder Andrzej (Polish Academy of Sciences)
Is Money a Linguistic Form? Integrating Simmel's Construction of Monetary Value into the Framework of the Philosophy of Language
Polish Sociological Review, 2018, nr 4, s. 515-526, rys., bibliogr. 16 poz.
Słowa kluczowe
Pieniądz, Językoznawstwo, Poglądy filozoficzne
Money, Linguistics, Philosophical thought
Simmel Georg, Wittgenstein Ludwig
In his study, the author discusses his hypothesis of money as a linguistic form, one understood sensu stricto, as Ferdinand de Saussure would. This approach seems to be the key to explaining some important phenomena: the so-called 'economics imperialism' in the social sciences and the specific character of economic language, as seen from the perspective of the humanities. Both the 'uncanny character' of economic terms and 'economics imperialism' appear in this text as symptoms, or ways in which economic signs, especially money understood as a sign, specifically manifest themselves. The logical analysis of the construction of these signs-analysis based on Saussure's and Simmel's propositions-is the main topic of this article. First, the author revisits a well-known parallel between formal structures of linguistic and monetary signs developed in Saussure's Course in General Linguistics. Second, a crucial difference in these structures is presented and theoretically explained using tools developed by Georg Simmel. The author goes on to consider whether this difference locates the monetary sign outside the realm of language per se. Finally, by applying certain claims made by Ludwig Wittgenstein on the limits of language, the author develops his hypothesis that money is a linguistic sign, but a specific one; it is a kind of a 'border phenomenon.' In this text, the author proposes the term 'linguistic form' to distinguish this kind of sign. Some theoretical and social consequences of this state of affairs are proposed; inter alia the immanent social antagonism between the symbolic articulation of the social sphere and the economic one. (original abstract)
Dostępne w
Biblioteka Główna Uniwersytetu Ekonomicznego w Krakowie
Biblioteka Główna Uniwersytetu Ekonomicznego w Katowicach
Pełny tekst
  1. Brzeziński, M., Gorynia, M., Hockuba, Z. 2008. Ekonomia a inne nauki społeczne na początku XXI w. Między imperializmem a kooperacją, Ekonomista, 2/2008, article-99062bc3-fa1e-47f8-943ac21f69e2f756
  2. Dodds, Nigel. 2014. The Social Life of Money. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press.
  3. Ferguson, S. 2017. Money's Laws of Motion., 03/10/2017.
  4. Fine, B., Lazear, E.P. 2000. Economic Imperialism, Quarterly Journal of Economics 115 (1).
  5. Fine, B. 1999. A Question of Economics: Is it Colonizing the Social Sciences?, Economy and Society 28 (3): 403-425.
  6. Lazear, E. 2000. Economics Imperialism, Quarterly Journal of Economics 115: 99-146.
  7. Mäki, U. 2008. Economics Imperialism: Concept and Constraints, unpublished paper, Sage Publications 10.1177/0048393108319023, hosted at (30/10/2017).
  8. Mäki, U. and associates. 2018. Scientific Imperialism. Exploring the Boundaries of Interdisciplinarity. London: Routledge.
  9. Mellor, M. 2010. The Future of Money. From Financial Crisis to Public Resource. London: Pluto Press.
  10. Saussure, F. de. 1959. Course in Linguistics General. New York: Columbia University Press.
  11. Saussure, F. de. 2006. Writings in General Linguistic. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press.
  12. Simmel, G. 2005. Philosophy of Money. London, New York 1979, e-edition 2005. London: Routledge.
  13. Taylor, C. 2004. Modern Social Imaginaries. Durham & London: Duke University Press.
  14. Virno, P., Campbell, T. 2009. Contemporary Italian Thought, Diacritics 39 (4).
  15. Vogl, J. 2014. The Specter of Capital. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
  16. Wittgenstein, L. [1912-1951] 1993. Philosophical Occasions, Ed. James Klagg & Alfred Nordmann. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Comp.
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