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Gli intellettuali, l'offerta di parole e il ruolo dell'economia

Intellectuals, the Supply of Words and the Role of Economics

Anno XXV, n. 110, luglio-settembre 1990
Centro Einaudi


Abstract disponibile solo in lingua inglese

This unpublished work by Karl Brunner, written in the late Sixties, deals with a crucial problem for contemporary societies – that of the decay of knowledge as a result of the increasing prevalence of the expressive-directive use of language and of the contextual refutation of the rigorous, a-valuational standards imposed by cognitive-informative language and scientific procedures, especially when serious economic and social problems are at stake. Expressive-directive language, laden as it is with emotive implications masked by scraps of information, predominates today in the culture of mass society: and mass education and the influence of the media appear to have created a particular type of human being receptive to this kind of language. The solution to cognitive problems is thus becoming more and more arduous, and the conflict and competition between ideas tend increasingly to be transformed into political conflict and competition – related, therefore, to the control of political power. The thesis is illustrated by a series of examples, and the solution proposed is that of a return – in universities, first and foremost – to a rigorous use of language, and to scientific standards that are non-esoteric but intersubjectively accessible. In this respect, new developments in economics and the application of behavioural and choice patterns elaborated thereby to the analysis of political, social and juridic problems may prove to be extremely fruitful, and promises to provide useful solutions.