Etienne Bonnot de Condillac

 

From Essay de Semantique, 1897 (Engl. transl. 1900) by Michel Bréal

Language has been called an organism, a hollow deceptive word too freely lavished at the present day, and used every time that we want to dispense with the trouble of seeking for true causes. Since certain illustrious philologists have declared that man counted for nothing in the evolution of Language, that he was incapable of modifying anything, or of adding anything, and that one might as well try to change the laws of the circulation of the blood ; since others have compared this evolution to the trajectory of a shell or to the orbit of a planet ; since this is to-day currently accepted as a truth and passed on from book to book : it has seemed to me useful to have it out with these assertions, and once for all to make an end of this phantasmagoria.

Our forefathers of the school of Condillac, those ideologists who for fifty years served as target to a certain school of criticisms, were less far from the truth when they said, in simple and honest fashion, that words are signs. Where they went wrong was when they referred everything to a reasoning reason, and when they took Latin for the type of all Language. Words are signs : they have no more existence than the signals of the semaphore, or than the dots and dashes of Morse telegraphy. To say that Language is an organism is but to darken counsel and to sow a seed of error in the minds of men. It might be said, with an equal degree of truth, that writing is also an organism, since we see it evolving throughout the ages, without any one in particular having a very perceptible influence on its development. It might be said that song, religion, law, all the component parts of human life, are each an organism.

If we take nature in its widest sense, it evidently comprises man and the production of man. The history of morals, of customs, of habitation, of dress, of the arts, as well as social and political history, will, together with Language, form part of natural history.   (Etc.)

( M. Bréal, Essay de Semantique, Paris (?) 1897. )
( Semantics : studies in the science of meaning ;
translated by Mrs. Henry Cust, with a preface by J. P. Postgate.
Publisher New York : H. Holt, London : Heinemann, 1900. )
Classics in Semantics, editors Hayden and Alworth,
New York : Philosophical Library 1965, pages 192-3.

Bibliographic

Etienne Bonnot de, 1714-1780. Uniform Title [ Essai sur l'origine des connaissances humaines. English] Title An essay on the origin of human knowledge. : Being a supplement to Mr. Locke's Essay on the human understanding. / Translated from the French of the abbeì de Condillac, member of the Royal Academy of Berlin. By Mr. Nugent. Publisher London : printed for J. Nourse ..., MDCCLVI. [1756] Description liv, [6], 339, [1] p. 21 cm. (8⁰) Language English Note A translation of: Essai sur l'origine des connaissances humaines. Signatures: A⁸ a-b⁸ c⁶ B-Y⁸ Z². Running title reads: Origin of human knowledge.

Author Condillac, Etienne Bonnot de, 1714-1780. Title The logic of Condillac. Translated by Joseph Neef, as an illustration of the plan of education established at his school near Philadelphia. Publisher Philadelphia, 1809. Description 2 p. l., 136, [2] p. 16 cm.

Author Condillac, Etienne Bonnot de, 1714-1780. Title La logique, ou Les premiers développmens de l'art de penser; : ouvrage élémentaire, que le Conseil préposé aux Écoles Palatines avoit demandé, et qu'il a honoré de son approbation. / Par M. l'abbé de Condillac. Publisher A Paris : Chez L'Esprit, libraire, au Palais Royale. : Debure l'ainé, libraire, quai des Augustins, M. DCC. LXXX. [1780] Format Book Library UCLA 22 Details/Locations Author Condillac, Etienne Bonnot de, 1714-1780. Title Versuch über den Ursprung d. menschl. Erkenntniss [microform]. Publisher Leipzig, 1780. Format Book Library UCLA 23 Details/Locations Author Condillac, Etienne Bonnot de, 1714-1780. Title Cours d'étude pour l'instruction du Prince de Parme ... Tome 2. [Microform] / par l'Abbé de Condillac. Publisher Genève : DuVillard Fils, & Nouffer, 1780. Series Archives de la linguistique française ;88 Format Book Library UCB 24 Details/Locations Author Condillac, Etienne Bonnot de, 1714-1780. Title Traité des sensations, a Madame la comtesse De Vassé, suivi du Traité des animaux. Publisher Paris : Libraires Associés, 1777. Series His Oeuvres.t. 3 Format Book Library SRLF 25 Details/Locations Author Condillac, Etienne Bonnot de, 1714-1780. Title Le commerce et le gouvernement, considérés relativement l'un à l'autre. Ouvrage élémentaire, par M. l'abbé de Condillac ... Publisher Amsterdam, et se trouve à Paris : chez Jombert & Cellot, 1776. Format Book Library SRLF 26 Details/Locations Author Condillac, Etienne Bonnot de, 1714-1780. Title Cours d'étude pour l'instruction du Prince de Parme : aujourd'hui S.A.R. l'infant D. Ferdinand, Duc de Parme, Plaisance, Guastalle, &c. &c. &c. / par M. l'Abbé de Condillac ... Publisher A Parme : Chez Monory, 1776. Format Book Library CRL 27 Details/Locations Author Condillac, Etienne Bonnot de, 1714-1780. Title Essai sur l'origine des connoissances humaines : ouvrage où l'on réduit à un seul principe tout ce qui concerne l'entendement humain. Publisher Paris : chez les Libraires associés, 1769. Series Oeuvres de M. l'abbé de Condillac ;t. 1 Format Book Library SRLF 28 Details/Locations Author Condillac, Etienne Bonnot de, 1714-1780. Title Traité des animaux, où, après avoir fait des observations critiques sur le sentiment de Descartes & sur celui de M. de Buffon, on entreprend d'expliquer leurs principales facultés. Publisher Amsterdam, Ch. Ant. Jombert, 1766. Format Book Library NRLF UCD 29 Details/Locations Author Condillac, Etienne Bonnot de, 1714-1780. Uniform Title [ Essai sur l'origine des connaissances humaines. English] Title An essay on the origin of human knowledge. : Being a supplement to Mr. Locke's Essay on the human understanding. / Translated from the French of the abbé de Condillac, member of the Royal Academy of Berlin. By Mr. Nugent. Publisher London : printed for J. Nourse ..., MDCCLVI. [1756] Format Book Library UCLA 30 Details/Locations Author Condillac, Etienne Bonnot de, 1714-1780. Title Traité des animaux [microform] : où après avoir fait des observations critiques sur le sentiment de Descartes & sur celui de M. de Buffon, on entreprend d'expliquer leurs principales facultés / par M. l'Abbé de Condillac ; on a joint à cet ouvre un Extrait raisonné du traité des sensations. Publisher Amsterdam : [s.n.] ; Paris : se vend chez De Bure [et] C.A. Jombert, 1755. Format Book Library UCLA UCD 31 Details/Locations Author Condillac, Etienne Bonnot de, 1714-1780. Title Traité des sensations : à Madame la comtesse de Vassé / par M. l'abbé de Condillac. Publisher Londres, Paris : de Buré l'aîne, 1754. Format Book Library UCLA 32 Details/Locations Author Condillac, Etienne Bonnot de, 1714-1780. Title Traité des sistêmes : où l'on en démêle les inconvéniens & les avantages / par l'auteur de l'Essai sur l'origine des connoissances humaines. Publisher A La Haye : Chez Neaulme, 1749. Format Book Library UCB 33 Details/Locations Author Condillac, Etienne Bonnot de, 1714-1780. Title Traité des sistêmes, où l'on en démêle les inconvéniens & les avantages. Par l'auteur de l'Essai sur l'origine des connoissances humaines. Publisher La Haye, Neaulme, 1749. Format Book Library SRLF UCD 34 Details/Locations Author Condillac, Etienne Bonnot de, 1714-1780. Title Essai sur l'origine des connoissances humaines : ouvrage où l'on réduit à un seul principe tout ce qui concerne l'entendement humain. Publisher A Amsterdam : Chez Pierre Mortier, M. DCC. XLVI. [1746] Format Book

 

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