Cover: The Institutions of Meaning: A Defense of Anthropological Holism, from Harvard University PressCover: The Institutions of Meaning in HARDCOVER

The Institutions of Meaning

A Defense of Anthropological Holism

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$60.00 • £52.95 • €54.95

ISBN 9780674728783

Publication Date: 03/11/2014


392 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches


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Vincent Descombes is one of the most exciting philosophers writing in France today. Readers of The Institutions of Meaning in the Anglo-American world will discover some familiar ideas (holism, social practice theory of meaning), but developed in an original way and associated with modes of thought (anthropology, sociology) not usually encountered in this context. This book is sure to interest both philosophers working in the area of language and mind and people working in the area of social theory.—Charles Larmore, Brown University

This insightful and carefully argued book should put an end forever to the widespread tendency to understand social life in atomist terms. Descombes shows convincingly how the social meanings we live by are carried in the institutions and practices that we share. They are not just in our heads, but in the social spaces we inhabit.—Charles Taylor, McGill University

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